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Fantastic Four (Extended Edition)
DVD disk
06.12.2007 By: Quigles
Fantastic Four (Extended Edition) order
Director:
Tim Story

Actors:
Ioan Gruffudd
Jessica Alba
Chris Evans

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of five people go into space and encounter a cosmic storm that gives them special abilities. But when one of them uses their powers for evil, the other four must fight to stop him.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie got me thinking. While a director like Uwe Boll is off destroying the very essence of what makes film great, at least he's been doing it to adaptations that not many people care about. Tim Story, on the other hand, must have complete disregard for comic book fans and moviegoers around the globe. I have no proof of this, but after watching (nay, enduring) FANTASTIC FOUR for the second time now, I've come to the conclusion that Tim Story probably hates everybody, and wants to watch them suffer.

Of course, there's a lot more wrong with the movie than the ill-conceived, poorly-timed, bland, amateurish, and overall piss-poor direction. This picture was doomed from the start, and it's all because of the screenplay. Just about every line is painfully awful, simultaneously failing at being clever, funny, or even mildly amusing. If you were to compile all of the horrendous puns that get spouted off every 30 seconds, they'd probably account for over half of the script.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about... Prior to the team getting their powers, Victor Von Doom says to Reed Richards, "Same old Reed, always stretching, reaching for the stars." And wouldn't ya know it, after the cosmic storm, he actually stretches! Boy, what hilarious irony! Trust me though, it gets so much worse. Sue makes comments about people seeing right through her, Ben talks about how he feels "solid," and Johnny gets every fire-related pun ever conceived. It was at this point I noticed the screenwriters were sitting beside me, smiling, derisively whispering into my now-bleeding ears, "F*ck you."

If that weren't enough, even the acting sucks. I attribute most of that to the pathetic screenplay and direction, since neither gave the actors much to work with, but that doesn't excuse the lousy casting job. Ioan Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic) is likable enough, but he lacks a strong presence (isn't this guy supposed to be the team leader?). Then we have Jessica Alba (The Invisible Woman), who looks smokin' hot as usual, but with acting abilities that could make babies cry. It also doesn't help that Gruffudd and Alba share zero chemistry, yet their horribly handled love story bullshit takes up the majority of the runtime.

Michael Chiklis raises the bar slightly as The Thing (despite being forced to wear a cheap-looking prosthetic costume), but he's not nearly as good as people have made him out to be. The only true highlight of the cast is Chris Evans, who perfectly captures the comical, charismatic arrogance of The Human Torch. He also gets a number of genuinely funny moments, completely to his own credit (since it's the delivery that's good, not the lines themselves). Without him in the film, I probably would've hung myself halfway through.

It's painful to think, the problems don't end here; they appear to be infinite. Oftentimes, there are completely nonsensical moments that pop up, such as with the Jessica Alba stripping scene (I was grateful they had it in there, but how the hell did her becoming invisible help them get through the crowd?). An even bigger problem is the dismal lack of action. There are only two action set pieces, neither of which are that cool (although the trailers were certainly edited well enough to make it seem otherwise). This is mostly thanks to Tim Story's awkward direction, but the weak CGI certainly doesn't help.

The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that, if you reduce your expectations below zero, it can be mildly fun in spurts (albeit in a dumb, goofy way). Too bad the rest of the movie is agonizing torture to the brain. The film ranks up there with GHOST RIDER and ELEKTRA in the "What the f*ck were they thinking?" department.
THE EXTRAS
I was going to praise Fox for making available both the theatrical and extended cuts (the latter of which runs 20 minutes longer) on this new 2-disc set, but really, they didn't have much of a choice. The extended cut is an incomplete version of the film, featuring several moments of blatantly unfinished CGI. Annoying.

Some of the noticeable extra footage includes: a spiffy opening credits sequence, more character development for Ben, a silly elevator sequence with Johnny, more lovey dovey bullshit between Reed and Sue, and another scene with Johnny featuring some halfway decent character development (shocking!). This stuff would've been great had it not been from the same director/writers as the actual movie.

It also comes complete with a Free Ticket (up to $8.50) to see the sequel, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (in theatres June 15, 2007). The pass expires July 7, 2007, and is only valid in the U.S.

DISC 1

Audio Commentary (with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, and Michael Chiklis): This track from the previous DVD release doesn't offer anything substantial of interest, but fans should like it if they want to hear some fun stories and random chit-chat.

Audio Commentary (with director Tim Story, producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige, and screenwriters Michael France and Mark Frost): This newly recorded track is available for both the extended and theatrical cuts of the film, and is easily the more informative of the two. My first complaint is that, with the overflow of participants, it became pretty hard to keep track of who was talking. My second complaint is that these guys all joined forces to create a one helluva shitty movie.

Extended and Deleted Scenes (26:42): There are 12 deleted/extended scenes, all of which can be seen in the extended version of the film.

Inside Look: Rise of the Silver Surfer (8:39): This feature gives you access to the sequel's teaser trailer, followed by an interesting but brief featurette involving the Silver Surfer.

Also included are the Teaser Trailer, the Theatrical Trailer, and 3 TV Spots.

DISC 2

Heroes are Born: The Making of Fantastic Four (1:37:30): This lengthy documentary features an extensive amount of on-set footage and interviews, most of which is pretty interesting. It's not as in-depth as it probably could've been (especially considering the length), but it's still worth a watch.

The Baxter Building: Declassified (6:49): This is a set tour of the Fantastic Four headquarters.

Multi-Angle Animatic to Scene Study (5:31): A collection of six side-by-side comparison shots (animatic to final) of various scenes.

The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine (59:09): A terrific interview-filled featurette that covers all bases of the Fantastic Four, from the comic's origin to the state it's in now. Numerous of the comic's artists/writers chime in to offer up their thoughts and experiences.

Jack Kirby: Storyteller (1:03:58): This in-depth documentary is wonderful for all comic book fans, as it explores the history on one of the original Fantastic Four artists, Jack Kirby. Check it out.

Visiting the Stately Ross Museum (3:00): A quick look at some of the collectibles that Marvel artist Alex Ross has.

From Comic Book to Film (3:54): A very neat featurette that takes panels from the comics and compares them to the film.

Also included on this disc are a collection of six Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes, Character Sculpts, Characters, Concept Art, Costumes, and Human Torch Flame Tests).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Fans may appreciate this 2-disc set (complete with both the extended and theatrical versions of the film, a ton of quality special features, and a free ticket to see RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER - see more about this in the extras section), but the rest of us who despise the flick can at least sleep soundly knowing that there's no way the sequel can possibly be any worse... Oh please, for the love of god, don't let the sequel be any worse.
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