(aka 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' or 'Fantastic Four 2' or 'Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer' or 'Fantastic Four: The Next Chapter')
It would be far too easy to look down and pick flaws in these type of films - but I think its important to remember who they are made for. I know I elicited more than a few raised eyebrows when I expressed my pleasure with Fantastic Four the first movie. How dare I like Bresson and Antonioni... and Marvel too. Well...
Now I wouldn't put this sequel anywhere near X-Men 2 or Spiderman 2 (both which I touted in THIS article) but, in overall terms, it continued to export the adventurous purity of the comic universe in which the characters, Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and brother and sister Sue and Johnny Storm, inhabit. As far as transporting the narrative wonders of superhero comic art to the silver screen - well, there can be few complaints. Special effects and technology produce an accurate visage of what I recall as a boy reading these stories and impatiently waiting for the next month's issue to arrive. Half of these versions are the accuracy of the appearances and the ability to mimic the protagonists and villains. They do a fabulous job!
On Saturday night we had a party for my wife's birthday and our friends brought their 11 year old son, Nathan, along. I threw this on for him and he watched with keen interest, as did my own two boys; seeing the Human Torch fly through the air pursuing Norin Radd (The Silver Surfer - the voice of Laurence Fishburne by the way) or Mr. Fantastic stretch his body out to unthinkable proportions, or Sue Storm turning invisible or Ben Grimm, The Thing, stopping an out-of-control helicopter with his bare hands. I mean, that is cool.... they loved it! And I loved seeing them transfixed - reflecting to my own youth - imagining exactly what I was now seeing as I read and re-read the comic book stories at Nathan's age.
That is who 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is for... and if you don't like it - then maybe you aren't supposed to. Or maybe you should revisit your inner child and give him or her some, much craved, joy and entertainment - it might make you feel young again. N'uff said.
Theatrical Release: June 12th, 2007
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.79 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
Side One includes both widescreen and full
screen versions (on opposite sides)
• Extended and Deleted scenes
with optional commentary by Tim Story
• The Fantastic Four; State of the Arts featurette
• Interactive Fanatsicar
• The Power Cosmic featurette
• Character Design with Special Motion Picture featurette
• Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of The Silver Surfer documentary
• Scoring the Fantastic Four featurette
• Still Gallery (Behind the Scenes, Characters, Concept Art)
• Theatrical trailers
This DVD image is exceptionally strong. The 20th Century Fox package has made the feature transfer as expected - anamorphic, progressive and dual-layered. The only minor softness is inherent in the film during certain CGI-based effects. Colors, contrast and detail are very good although I suspect the upcoming Blu-ray DVD to be even brighter and more vibrant. The image is, as one might anticipate, very clean without damage or speckles. Audio comes in a fairly dynamic 5.1 variety that has some decent separation - two DUBs are offered in stereo French or Spanish. English or Spanish optional subtitles support the audio. In short the technical features of the main disc are all excellent - no complaints at all.
Disc one offers two audio commentaries - the first, a good one, by director Tim Story and the 2nd is a group effort by producer Avi Arad, screen writer Don Payne and film editors Peter S. Elliot and William Hoy. The latter is a bit more lightweight and expectantly fun with respective participants chiming in when they have details to impart.
This package offers a 2nd disc of supplements... and it is loaded (dual-layered!). There are some interesting extended and deleted scenes with an optional commentary by Tim Story for further clarification. Then there are a few worthy featurettes, if you are keen, ranging from 20 - 45 minutes each - Family Bonds - 'Making Of' documentary, The Fantastic Four; State of the Arts featurette, The Power Cosmic featurette, Character Design with Special Motion Picture featurette, Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of The Silver Surfer documentary, Scoring the Fantastic Four featurette. There is a little interactive things on the Fantasticar where you click to see various incarnations of the transportation device used by the group (unusually not brought up much in the film but a more extensive part of the comic as I remember) Finally a stills gallery with some Behind the Scenes, Characters, and Concept Art images.
Okay, I'm tired of cowering in the shadows with my expression of satisfaction with these type of films - I've stated my case above and I enjoyed it although it is certainly not the height of this newish genre and it barely touches upon the depth of the Norin Radd character - more should be coming. The Fox DVD is pretty much perfect in every respect - I can't see any reason for complaints. I may even get the Blu-ray DVD to compare. That's me though.