By Your Powers Combined…

27-Jun-07 3:49 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 2 comments.

My belated report on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is that it's a better film than I expected — yet ironically, that may be because I wasn't expecting much.

I've previously written how disappointed I was in the first film, which I saw only a few scant months after watching the canned 1994 flick of the same name. Even now, I'm challenged to keep the two straight — not that it matters, as they were comparable in quality. I was disappointed by the goofy antics of the Fantastic Four, especially after the roller-coaster rides of action and drama that were the first Spider-Man and X-Men films. Since I've specialized in in DC comics, not Marvel, I didn't know any better. Maybe the dynamic duo times two have always been this silly.

This sequel is much the same, with gratuitous acts of wanton stretchiness and laughably bad dialogue. But this time around, I knew what I was getting myself into, so I accepted such comical romps as this film's definition of "fun". Contributing to its entertainment value were that Julian McMahon did a better job as Victor Von Doom than he did in the previous film, though he did seem to be trying too hard to channel Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Laurence Fishburne was wonderfully, stereotypically mysterious and melancholy as the voice of the Silver Surfer. And Stan Lee's cameos, unlike Hitchcock's and King's in their horror films, are getting just too obvious.

Regardless of my perception, Rise of the Silver Surfer actually was superior to its predecessor — the action, characterization, and conflicts were all a bit more complex than before. But this time, it was okay that those elements were not on par with their more successful comic book kin. Let this comic book be comical; for anything more, I have the first two Spider-Man and X-Men.

Fantastic Faux

26-Dec-06 11:15 PM by
Filed under Films; 6 comments.

And now the trailer for the next Fantastic Four film is up.

I know why I watch this stuff: after watching the best parts of a bomb excerpted into trailer form, I'm saved the time and money of watching the rest of the movie. Here, we have Johnny Storm chasing the T-1000, who has some pretty nifty powers but whose motivations are unclear. I'm happy for them to stay that way.

I saw the first Fantastic Four film at KansasFest 2005 as our annual geek field trip; other such titles have included Superman Returns, Terminator 3, X-Men, Planet of the Apes, and both Bourne films. Obviously, we've had both hits and misses. But based on past experience, I think we can safely rule out this Marvel flop as a likely candidate for KFest 2007.

It's a shame that Marvel's cinematic adaptations can't be more consistent, as they have great potential. I rewatched Spider-Man 2 today, and the original X-Men last week (more on that in a future post). So far, four-fifths of these two franchises are fantastic; but the other Marvel films I've seen, such as Daredevil and Hulk, were simply painful. I'll take my Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno DVD sets anyday.