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Fantastic Four (2 Disc Special Edition) [2005] [DVD]
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Yeah, you heard the general consensus regarding ‘The Fantastic Four’s’ first major big screen outing. Most people hated it. I didn’t hate it, but I’m not warming to it with time. When I first saw it in the cinema I thought it was ‘just about okay.’ Now I’ve watched it again on DVD a couple of years over time I’m sticking to my original verdict.

In fact, one of its problems is the rest of the ‘Marvel’ movies. Since 2005 we’ve been treated to the whole ‘expanded universe’ where all the Marvel superheroes pop in and out of each other’s films. And, it’s safe to say that most people like all that (plus Avengers etc). So, basically the current way of doing superhero films is miles above what 20th Century Fox tried back in 2005.

The cast isn’t really the problem. Even if some of them did get some stick for their portrayals of the characters, I didn’t find any of them a problem. They all looked the part to me. However, the problem I had with the movie is that it never really gets going. It’s not a long film (only an hour and a half) and, despite getting their superpowers early on, the four central characters don’t really do that much with them until literally the final few minutes. I thought this when I first watched it in the cinema, but it wasn’t until I saw it again on DVD that I was able to time exactly when the film actually ‘got going’ (in my opinion). It was about at 1h 20 minutes (out of an hour and a half!). That’s when the superheroes finally come together like I was expecting them to and fight Dr Doom.

Oh yes... Dr Doom. I mentioned that the casting wasn’t that bad. I was referring to the Four. Dr Doom is pretty unspectacular and not that evil. And they only gang up on him at the end, making the whole film seem like a prequel that could have been told in about twenty minutes until the story starts properly.

All in all, The Fantastic Four will always be classed as a ‘missed opportunity.’ Yes, it’s already being ‘rebooted’ and die-hard fans are hoping that Fox will get the formula right this time. Although... rumour has it that the writers are already changing HOW the Four got their powers. Therefore I’m not holding my breath!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2005
This film was poorly received by film critics but then i dare say most film critics are not fans of Marvel superheroes. Granted, this is not a particularly well-directed film with hardly a storyline to speak of, other than describing how the Fantastic Four came into being. But if you are like me in that you have been a fan of Marvel superheroes like the Fantastic Four since you were a kid, then i reckon that this film will definitely hit the spot for you. This is no X-men or Spiderman, but perhaps most importantly the original Fantastic four characters are perfectly transfered here from their comic-book origins.
The sight of Jessica Alba in her underwear is worth the price of the DVD alone, frankly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2006
Having read some negative comments about the movie as a fan of the cartoon, I felt the need to comment. I feel that too many people are comparing this to Spiderman and it is unfair, because there are lots of comic book movies, some better than others and are good for individual reasons and so I feel we should appreciate this for its entirety.

The good things about this movie are the acting. Jessica and Chris have been cast perfectly; Jessica is great as the intelligent Sue Storm and they establish the difficult sibling relationship, which we can all relate to. Special effects are also impressive, and we are lucky at how advanced technology is. Michael Chiklis in his costume is also visually a stunner, and you can really feel his emotion whereas with CGI that would not be possible. I also found this movie to be very funny. Its rare to find a well thought out comic book movie with comedy to entertain you and even though this is aimed at kids, the comedy is enjoyable, mostly provided by Chris Evans who is a great improvisier. And I loved how they incorporated the legendary quotes "Flame On!" and "Its Clobbering Time!" for the hardcore fans.

However there are some negative elements to this movie. Primarily aimed at kids, there are some jokes I found tedious e.g. the dog shielding its eyes when they crashed on the bridge and the pidgeon pooping on the thing but it was expected for me, and it didn't discourage me much. I also felt that Dr Doom could have been more developed, he didn't seem as evil as I anticipated and the end battle was over very quickly.

Overall, the minor errors haven't put me off from seeing the 2nd one, which I hope will have more action and the same kind of comedy. The acting is great, plus there is some great eye candy for guys and girls, visually it is enjoyable and this is a great movie for all people.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) has a brilliant idea he wants to test in space involving human DNA and radiation. To do that, he swallows his pride and turns to his old rival, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon). Victor agrees, and soon five people are traveling to a space station, hoping to get their experiment set up before a cosmic storm arrives.

Unfortunately, they don't make it, and the five of them are caught in the storm. At first, there don't appear to be any effects. But then they begin to change. First, it's Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) who becomes a rock creature. But then Reed discovers he can flex his body into any shape desired. Siblings Sue and Johnny Storm (Jessica Alba and Chris Evans) also find they have powers. Sue can turn invisible and create force fields while Johnny can turn his body into fire and use that to fly.

Johnny is the only one of the four who is excited about their new found powers. He wants to use them for good, sure, but also exploit them for profit. Ben is the most reluctant to embrace their new found powers since he's a giant rock. Reed tries to find a way to reverse the process while all of them attempt to deal with the powers.

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is also undergoing a change. But he wants to use his powers to satisfy his own greed and take over the world. Now, the Fantastic Four will need to accept their powers in order to stop him.

I had heard of the Fantastic Four, but didn't know what to expect going into this movie. The things I did expect were good special effects and lots of action. I got one of the two. The special effects were incredible, especially for Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch and Reed as Mr. Fantastic.

Instead of being an action movie, this was more a character drama giving the origins and background on the characters. There were some action scenes, but they were few and far between and mostly came at the end. Frankly, I left the theater disappointed because it wasn't what I expected.

That's not to say that the story wasn't interesting or entertaining. Four ordinary people suddenly having these powers thrust on them will turn their lives upside down, and I enjoyed how it was handled. I especially felt sorriest for Ben who had his entire life changed forever by his new form.

This movie gives good background on the characters and sets things up for the inevitable sequel. But on its own, it's a rather disappointing superhero movie because of the lack of action.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2005
A little underwhelming but enormous fun and, for once, a comic book adaptation where one of the superheroes actually enjoys his powers. Chris Evans's Johnny Storm/Human Torch, an immature but cute all-round ladies man, has a ball once he's learnt to handle his particular powers and gets most of the funny lines. Julian McMahon is all arched eyebrows and panto menace as Victor von Doom. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) is an idealistic on-the-brink-of-bankruptcy scientist who struggles on with a furrowed brow as people like von Doom (probably only von Doom, as he seems to have spy cameras in Reed's lab) beat him every time. Certainly, there's a lot of the four (and arch-villain Dr Doom) getting to grips with their newly aquired powers and not that much action. And the Brooklyn Bridge rescue, impressive as it is, reminds one too much of Superman and other films. Only right at the end, when Mr Fantastic flexes his muscles and Torch, Thing and Invisible Girl do their stuff to contain Dr Doom, does the movie really comes alive and resemble a panel from the Comic book. Sure, this is not of the calibre of the Xmen or Spiderman movies - as other reviewers have said, there's no dark here - but it's no turkey either and I for one will look forward to a (hopefully) action-packed sequel.
Disc 1 contains a home movie by Jessica Alba following the cast around the world on the publicity circuit. Disc 2 has over an hour of people explaining how the driving/cycling/fire stunts were done and has a couple of music vids. Seen them once, won't bother again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2010
Be sure which of the 3 versions you want before you part with your cash. This is not the version from the cinema but the american version (so I'm told) - though the missing scenes are on the second disc, and it is not the extented version either.

It's still a great film, just make sure it's the version for you.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2007
...to buy this version of the DVD. While there may be an extended version of the movie, there are few other extras. And what there is, relates to the second movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer.

From what I can see, the region 1 'extended edition' is a better buy - the original 2 disk special edition which now includes the extended cut, as well as the original theatrical version, of the movie.

The one star rating is for the DVD content, not the movie - which I enjoyed immensely.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2007
The creation of THE FANTASTIC FOUR has done pretty well turn into motion picture, the characters are so alike in the comics. The film itself isn't too bad, when first release it was about 100 mins long, i thought it's kinda short usually nowa days movies are about 2hours long. With the Region2 extended version 1-Disc you get 20 mins of unseen footage & THE RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER trailer. Extra features are on 2005 relelease version 1 & 2 Disc edition, if you've already got 2005 version & don't mind paying under a tenner for extra footage or you could go for Region1, 2-Disc edition. 1.Why is the edit & extended cut have different certificate? 2.How come Region2 extended cut is not released on 2-Disc like SPIDER-MAN 2.1 ?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Apparently we are living in the golden age of comic book movies. Last summer we had "Spiderman 2" and this summer we had "Batman Begins" and "Fantastic Four." As a result, memories of "Hulk" and "Elektra" are quickly receding into the background. The worst of times are over and let us enjoy the best of times while we can, hoping that Hollywood gets the point regarding the importance of fidelity to the spirit, if not the letter, of the original comic books they are bringing to the big screen.
The Fantastic Four, who will be confused with "The Incredibles" even though they should not be, are Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), Sue Storm/The Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), her brother Johnny Storm/The Human Torch (Chris Evans), and Ben Grimm/The Thing (Michael Chiklis). The genesis for "The World's Greatest Comic Book" was Stan Lee and Jack Kirby taking the idea of a superhero group (to wit, the Justice League of America) and giving it a twist by having the members always at each other's throat. The screenplay by Mark Frost ("Hill Street Blues," "Twin Peaks") and Michael France ("Hulk," "Punisher") ups the ante on that dysfunctionality. Of course you have the Thing mad at everybody, but primarily at Reed, whom he blames for the transformation, and Johnny, who is always adding insult to the aforementioned injury along with a bevy of practical jokes. But now we also have Reed and Sue being an ex-couple with unresolved issues from their breakup and Sue constantly telling Johnny to grow up (especially when he publicly lays the "Invisible Girl" label on her).
There are a lot of things that I think this movie has working in its favor. First, the humor, of which there is a lot, is mostly character driven and rarely overplayed, without taking away from the seriousness of the storyline. Second, when there are fight sequences you can actually see what is going on because Tim Story is not relying on rapid editing of shots to simply convey an effect. Third, there is an effort to deal realistically with these powers, from what happens to their clothes to asking the big question that has been on the minds of everyone regarding Mr. Fantastic since issue #1 of the comic book (okay, the question goes back to Plastic Man, but nod your head and play along). Fourth, when we get to the big finale the F.F. actually work as a team. True, if you are four against one that makes sense, but the contrast to the X-Men movies where everybody teams up for fights or takes turns fighting Magneto was good to see. Finally, for the first time, in his cameo Stan Lee actually plays a recognizable and beloved character from the original comic book and for that matter I liked the casting with Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington), and hope there is a scene or two between her and Ben that will appear in the deleted scenes on the DVD (which I expect to see out for Christmas).
For me the problematic parts of the story line have to do with the new and improved Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon). On the hand I understand the problem when you have a quartet of superheroes going up against a guy wearing armor and a cloak. After all, Doom is not as smart as Reed and not as strong as the Thing, so being the FF's greatest villain given the inherent one-to-four odds had to rely on other things, which was usually the element of surprise and the fact Doom was the king of Latveria. Having diplomatic immunity is a nice roadblock for superheroes to have to deal with in repeat encounters. What they go for here is to have Victor along for the ride so when dem cosmic rays hit he gets some powers too and has his own dermatological concerns. The Marvel universe reference would be Electro, but I was going for the irony of Dr. Doom being like the Emperor in "Star Wars," because I think the shadow of Darth Vader effects Doom's characterization. Because the weakest part of this whole movie is Doom's "normal" speaking voice once he dons his armor because I have always thought of him as being to the right of Magneto on the megalomaniac scale. I want Dr. Doom to sound like the king of a European postage stamp nation bringing down his wrath on those who dare oppose him (yes, I think the voice makes that much of a difference, a point amply proven by Darth Vader).
I still end up rounding up on this one at the end even though I am not enamored of the Thing wearing long pants, being married, or looking like he did in issue #1 rather than developing the ridged forehead. I am glad that they explained at one point that Victor's company was out to ruin Reed because I found the idea that Mr. Fantastic is not as smart as we think that he is rather unsettling. Sue Storm is certainly a modern woman and we refer to this film as "the new Jessica Alba movie" around our house, but it is Chris Evans as Johnny Storm who keeps trying to steal this movie. Johnny is no longer a teenager, but he has that mentality and Evans milks the role for all it is worth. Clearly Marvel is always looking for a franchise with any and all of their comic book movies and given that long-range view I also would have liked them to have twisted the knife a bit more with Ben Grimm (e.g., only hint at Alicia at this point), because I think they were a bit too quick to throw away one of the more tragic comic book figures in the Marvel universe. I was going to say you cannot go back and revisit that initial ground again, but we already learned this summer that you can.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Fantastic Four have their DNA transformed by a solar storm and develop superhero powers. Reed Richards (Gruffudd) becomes rubber and can stretch his limbs indefinitely. Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) can become invisible at will, her brother Johnny (Chris Evans) can set himself on fire and fly, and poor old Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) becomes solid rock.

The essential comic book villain is Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon).

Unfortunately the film attempts to succeed in many different ways, also it portrays characters with children's story attributes that have lost their way into an adult comic book drama. There are some good special effects and a few good action scenes; there is an effort to show the effect on normal people suddenly able to do impossible things, but the comic book origins of the characters inhibit success; the love interest between Reed and Sue also stumbles along without any real chemistry.

Although everything about the film seems ambivalent it is not a failure, probably intended as a family film that falls short of the mark.
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