Fantastic Four (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Among the many entries in the comic-book-movie frenzy, Fantastic Four is refreshing because it doesn't take itself too seriously. Characterization isn't too deep, and the action is a bit sparse until the final reel (like most "first" superhero movies, it has to go through the "how did we get these powers and what we will do with them" churn). But it's a good-looking cast, and original comic-book cocreator Stan Lee makes his most significant Marvel-movie cameo yet, in a speaking role as the FF's steadfast postal carrier, Willie Lumpkin. Newcomers to superhero movies might find the idea of a family with flexibility, strength, invisibility, and force fields a retread of The Incredibles, but Pixar's animated film was very much a tribute to the FF and other heroes of the last 40 years. The irony is that while Fantastic Four is an enjoyable B-grade movie, it's the tribute, The Incredibles, that turned out to be a film for the ages. --David Horiuchi
On the DVD
The Fantastic Four two-disc extended-cut edition is the DVD that should have come out first. But if you did buy the original edition, you don't need it any more because this version has both the extended cut and the theatrical cut with the same commentary by Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, and Michael Chiklis. If you enjoyed the film, you'll probably like the extended cut as well, since it adds 20 minutes to the relatively short 106-minute running time. The new and extended scenes (which are also viewable separately) are mostly character interplay--Sue/Reed, Sue/Victor, Ben-Alicia (with a glimpse at a possible future villain)--plus some gags like Johnny heating up an elevator. The new cut has a new commentary by director Tim Story, producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige, and screenwriters Michael France and Mark Frost, though they choose to talk about producing the film and not the new material. The second disc is practically worth the price of admission, with two hourlong documentaries. One is the history of the FF comic book decade by decade, with interviews of Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott, Walter Simonson, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Alex Ross, and Jim Lee (John Byrne is discussed but not interviewed). The second focuses on master artist Jack Kirby, including his work from the '40s on, life, work style, personal style, and far-reaching influence. The interviewees include many of the same from the other documentary, plus Neal Adams, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Kirby's kids, assistants, and friends. More featurettes and still galleries of costumes and memorabilia fill out the disc. --David Horiuchi
The Fantastic Four at Amazon.com
Comics and Graphic Novels
Disney animated series
The classic comic book
Movie tie-in graphic novel
The Xbox game
Fantastic Four Soundtrack
The Fantastic Cast
Jessica Alba as Sue Storm
Michael Chiklis as The Thing
Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards
Chris Evans as Johnny Storm
Stills from Fantastic Four (click for larger images)
Top Customer Reviews
Not very creative, but very fun. It captured the imagination of people back then and after 40 YEARS it has turned these characters into beloved icons. That's where I think people are being unfair to this movie. They're expecting all 40 years of character development into 1 hr. and 45 minutes worth of film. It's a beginning, an origin. We see how these characters know each other, how they attain their powers, and how they choose to deal with them at a very early stage. Do we see the intensity of their relationships, the bonds that unite them so strongly? Not so much. But they've just come together. They've just formed the team. They need time. Which is, again, what 40 years of comics give them that 1 movie can't.
I've always looked at The Fantastic Four as cheesy or goofy. From their names to their powers (Reed's stretching for example) to the situations they're put into. And yet, its still fun. From The Thing and Torch's banter, Reed and Sue as husband and wife, and the overall family atmosphere between all four of them.
So to me, this film lives up to all of that. Unlike recent comic book films (Batman, Spider-man, X-men, Hulk), it doens't take itself too seriously. It reminds us that comic books are fun and so is this movie.Read more ›
So WHY am I reviewing this version of the DVD as a 5-star "MUST BUY" version? SOLELY because the "extras" DVD has a feature reflecting and honoring JACK "KING" KIRBY, the man/legend who co-created the entire Marvel universe (among other superheroes), with Stan Lee, but got almost NONE of the credit (or money) that Stan did...
KIRBY was a creative FORCE for both Marvel and DC comics over his lifetime career, and not only was he the world's greatest comic book creator and artist, but an amazingly warm, wonderful person, family man, and treated his fans as if they were close friends...never in the world was a man more deserving of a documentary than Kirby was, and while it should've been included in the original release, this feature alone is WELL worth watching and well worth as well the cost of buying this DVD...you will NOT be disappointed by watching the KIRBY documentary...he WELL deserves this honor, and it's VERY interesting for comic fans and non comic fans alike...
The good news is: the movie is watchable. It's not perfect, and I still rate the X-men and the Incredibles ahead of this. The effects are well crafted, and much thought has been put into the visual approach.
What else is good about this: Great casting of Von Doom (Julian McMahon of Nip/Tuck) and Chris Evans as the Human Torch. Jessica Alba looks great too.
What could have been better: This entire film was more like an introduction to the Four rather than a complete movie experience. Sometimes feels like a TV show. Since a sequel is in the works, we'll just have to wait.
Weak Chink for me: Mr Fantastic is pretty average. And Dr Doom's origins are less compelling than the real comic book Dr Doom.
As some reviews say above, the Fantastic Four isn't about characterisations, and yet, one feels that the chemistry of the four could've been tweaked up a notch instead of falling back purely on the comic book landscape / approach of simple characters. After all, the Fantastic Four became "the world's greatest comic" simply BECAUSE the characterisations were complex and unique, and the characters each had strong identities. This is ignored a bit in favour of an Irwin Allen "Land of the Giants" TV feel. Meaning: these are not epic characters on the level of the X-men.
Dr Doom's development was somewhat of a disappointment. While I enjoyed how the new scriptwriters have incorporated him in a more contemporary and intelligent way - I wish that the original character could've been respected.Read more ›
Going in to see this movie I was expecting the worst...like Batman & Robin bad....however I was pleasantly surprised. It's not Spider-man 2 great, but it is on par with the first X-men (i.e. movie could have been longer and the ending "bigger", but the potential for a superior sequel is there)
FF is definitely more lighter & comedic than other super-hero movies...and it should be. The FF has never been dark & brooding...it's always been about a slightly disfunctional family with super-powers.
The one issue I had with this film was the editing...the transistion from some scenes seems very choppy...i get the sense that a lot was left on the cutting room floor to quicken the pace of the movie. Hopefully, a extended cut DVD version will be offered with those scenes placed back and the movie should flow better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's been 11 years since this movie. I feel so old. With the release of the new Fantastic 4, I'm suddenly feeling nostalgic for this old versionPublished 1 month ago by Jims Reed
I agree with C. Antal. "Cheese, but good Cheese." It's a relief to watch a superhero movie that doesn't feel like it was made by a 14-year-old who stole his daddy's black... Read morePublished 1 month ago by George Beinhorn
Got it for my marvel collection like this one better then the newer one they came out with.Published 4 months ago by Anna L Terwilliger
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