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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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The most 'comic book superheroes' film of all the 'comic book superheroes' films so far, IMHO. Plus Jessica Alba... ::wub

Ol' Mister Radd looked super too, in a different sense... ::unsure ::wink

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Yeah, I have to confess that I went and saw the first one, knowing full well that it was gonna suck balls, simply because it had Jessica Alba in it. ::wub This new movie was actually pretty darn good... ::happy

...and it had Jessica Alba in it. ::biggrin ::drool

So it basically kicked ass. ::thumbup

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Personally, I liked how great Lawrence Fishburne did as the voice actor for Norrin Radd. And to think that some idiot newspaper movie reviewer thought that that &%#@#$ jerk Sean Penn should've been the voice actor due to his "Jeff Spicoli" role in Fast Times At Ridgemont High! ::glare

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Erm.... Were you guys watching the same film that I did?!

There was little explanation of Doom's motivations (Doom is not just a megalomaniacal nutcase, he's a megalomaniacal genius!) and Julian McMahon acted the main cast out of the water! The "character development" of Johnny Storm was predictable and boring, Jessica Alba was average, as was Gruffod. Chiklis was once again good as Ben Grimm, but where is the angst and depth of character from the comics? The lip synching between the Surfer's lips and Fishburn's voice could have been a bit tighter as well. The final scene with Galactus was quite frankly baffling! Did the director actually speak to Stan Lee at all about storylines, or was he just obsessed with getting him into the wedding scene?

Overall, FF: RotSS was average (5 out of 10), with lots of style but little substance; better than Hulk, but less than X3 (which for all its faults (Brett Ratner!), was rich with the character development from the previous 2 films).

JC

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Im still going to go see it but I wanted to aomment a bit more to what our fearless admin said....

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Why is it that Marvel has been hosing all their own projects?? Why do comic movies suck? I think part of it might be that for all the social acceptance comics have gained as an adult form of literature, movie executives and producers are still afraid to immerse the mainstream audience in their depth.

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I didnt even see the first FF movie...the previews told me all too much about the plot..I could tell that not only was Doctor Doom going to be sacrificed on the alter of sacrilege but Reed Richards as well. I LOVE the FF comics...the characterizations are so rich...the writing so superbly awesome..

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I have heard the second one is better and indeed it looks to be some light summer movie fare with some amazing eye candy. But again I hear Doom is wasted?! I also understand that the portrayal of Galactus is more of an entity akin to the Ultimate U version...that the producers thought it was too much of a stretch that Galactus would be a giant humanoid....but then why would a storm cloud use a silver humaniod figure as its herald? If they were to really make a marve mvie there would be all kinds of humanoid aliens and cosmic entities so Galactus wouldnt seem so strange, yet marvel insits on isolating its properties into seemingly separate universes.

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X-men was okay the second was too...the thrid was horrible. I cant believe everyone thinks Hugh Jackman is an awesome wolverine..Hugh Jackman is like 6 foot 2 or something...Wolverine should be short...very short...built twice as big like the proverbial $#!^house and covered in hair....rather in the movies Hughs arms are nice and clean shaven and his muttton chops all short and trimmed.

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Hulk sucked...the more I watch the spider man movies the more I think they are just so cheesy and overdone...tobey maguire is not peter parker to me and what were they thinking with kirsten dunst as Mary Jane? No way is she the model-babe from the comics...Again..they got elements right, like Aunt May and J Jonah Jameson, but then they make a horrible green goblin costume! Stop trying to "change" things marvel and stick to what makes the comics great!...seriously, so many of these problems would be solved if directors and producers stopped trying to give their own spin on things and just make a real movie for the fans and not the masses.

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Comic properties done right so far have been mostly from DC, or vertigo.

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V for Vendetta kicked ass as a movie, though I havent read the graphic novel yet and I hear there were serious changes. Batman Begins rocked (go Chris Nolan!) but there was at least one glaring Hollywood stupidity (a microwave emiter that powerful would microwave all the water out of people...). Um..Blade 1 and 2 kicked ass...mostly due to Wesley Snipes impeccable method acting and presence...but by the third you could see that they were just looking for a spinofff...parker posey and ryan renolds lines were horrible and written for shock value but terribly and woodenly delivered...just utter cheese and bs.

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Ghost rider...sucked. daredevil sucked. How come they cant get it right?

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Damn it!!!! ::brick

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I think there have been several good movies made from comic books, actually. Honestly, I would say a strong majority of Marvel writing is pretty damn mediocre to begin with. I'm extremely happy with how all three Spiderman movies turned out, and 300, in my opinion, was a fantastic movie. Besides, Road to Perdition was also exceptional, The Punisher not half bad, the X-Men movies tolerable, V for Vendetta pretty damn entertaining, and the first Men in Black outstandingly hilarious and moving.

And Watchmen is coming out next year.

Let's count ourselves lucky that comics have achieved such serious mainstream success for such movies to even be considered viable.

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I think there have been several good movies made from comic books, actually. Honestly, I would say a strong majority of Marvel writing is pretty damn mediocre to begin with. I'm extremely happy with how all three Spiderman movies turned out, and 300, in my opinion, was a fantastic movie. Besides, Road to Perdition was also exceptional, The Punisher not half bad, the X-Men movies tolerable, V for Vendetta pretty damn entertaining, and the first Men in Black outstandingly hilarious and moving.

And Watchmen is coming out next year.

Let's count ourselves lucky that comics have achieved such serious mainstream success for such movies to even be considered viable.

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Maybe so, but the ones I read at least have some damn good writing.

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Spiderman...meh...way too cheeser and hollywood but Ive ranted enough in my previuos post.

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300...again..awesome! All of Alan moores stuff came out well. I rewatched LXG with my roomie, and despite some poor casting choices/changes (Tom Sawyer anyone?), the plot and the story are cool and entertaining to me at least...Still...its not as awesome as it *could* have been had they stuck to the darker and far less campy plot of the source material...My complaint in this topic is how all these Hollywood types feel the need to change the material somehow...that somehow mainstream audiences wont "get" the comic version...well I say the world is ready! Damn it!

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Pinisher *was* very cool...though why its set in Florida is beyond me. Still..spot on with the character...

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X-Men..meh...tolerable is the right word...but still filled with some sacrilege IMHO.

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I hadnt realized Men in Black and Road to Perdition were based on comics...but then again they arent really "superhero" genre either...Im talking about a supers movie that will finally get it right.

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On that note, I was talking with Cottus on AIM last night and told him that when he makes his fortune from his breathtakingly cool illustrations and concept design work for major feature films, that he will have to personally produce a supers movie/trilogy/series based wholly on our Abbie games and characters (though with certain names changed to prevent infringment...or heck...buy the licence and lets publish these fan supps for real! That way Potts will finally let me buy some of those nifty enhancments from Brainwaves, FP and the hotly antipated TNF!!! ::ultracool ). Of course all of us Eonites will be paid fat stipends for being "consultants" and make sure they cast and portray our characters to our liking!

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Go Cottus! ::laugh

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I rewatched LXG with my roomie, and despite some poor casting choices/changes (Tom Sawyer anyone?), the plot and the story are cool and entertaining to me at least...Still...its not as awesome as it *could* have been had they stuck to the darker and far less campy plot of the source material...My complaint in this topic is how all these Hollywood types feel the need to change the material somehow...that somehow mainstream audiences wont "get" the comic version...well I say the world is ready! Damn it!

They started work on LXG before Moore's comics had even been written - all they had at the time was his ideas related over a phone call. So LXG is basically just a film based on the same idea as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics, it was never meant (& couldn't have been) a film version of the same story.

For my part the only supers films I've really not liked are The Punisher (the new one is one of the worst films I've ever seen, IMHO: who was that pathetic wimp, & where was Frank Castle? The old Dolf version, on the other hand, rocks!) & The Hulk (although there are enough redeeming scenes in The Hulk that I bothered to get the DVD - when you can skip to 'Hulk Vs Tanks' & 'Hulk Vs Jets' then the whole thing is a lot better than when you have to sit through it all...). Catwoman, basically, sucked - but Halle Berry made it all worth while ::blush . X3 & Spiderman 3 both seemed to suffer from 'it's the last one we're planning to do, so lets throw in everything for the fan boys, & leave out the plot' syndrome, which made both, IMHO, disappointing (but still with their good points).

Best supers films in recent years I think are X2, Spiderman 2, Batman Begins (natch), Hellboy, & V for Vendetta (actually better than the original comic - since it benefited from a coherant plot). Ghost Rider I think did great things with a rather fringe character (& I'm not much of a Nick Cage fan usually - he was great in Ghost Rider), & the two Fantastic Four movies captured the essence of the comics marvelously.

The two 'Ultimate Avengers' animated DVDs are also excellent IMHO - sort of a mid-ground between the hard core @$$wipes of the Ultimates comics, & the regular heroes of the original Avengers. I'm looking forward to the Iron Man & Doctor Strange animated movies too.

Of course, then there's also the Heroes TV series which isn't technically based on an actual comic (as far as I'm aware?), but is seriously compulsive viewing.

Comics-wise, if anyone hasn't read it yet & is an Aberrant fan, then I'd suggest picking up 'The Boys' - it's a nasty anti-superhero book which makes me laugh out loud.

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For my part the only supers films I've really not liked are The Punisher (the new one is one of the worst films I've ever seen, IMHO: who was that pathetic wimp, & where was Frank Castle?

Well Prof, I disagree on the quality of that movie, but then I've never really gotten into The Punisher comics. However, I know full well that as soon as the Watchmen movie comes out, I'm going to feel exactly the same way about what they're going to do to Rorschach... ::rolleyes ::unsure

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You may be dissapointed to know that there are 3 more Spiderman flicks on the table Potts...

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I agree with you mostly, but I never saw the first FF movie because I could tell that they ruined Dr. Doom..IMHO the best and most hardcore villain in the marvel U (His intelligence is equal to Reed Richards (though with a different bent), his power armor is second only to Iron Mans (and its most likely a Doombot youre fighting anyways), He is a powerful sorcerer only second to Dr. Strange in his command of the mystic arts and extra planar energies, he has access to the resources of an entire wwealthy nation...who loves him....AND he has actually "conquered the world" (even the universe really when he used his intelligence to steal the Cosmic Cube) on several occasions and then "gave it back" because he was too bored without a challenge. The FF movie essentially captured none of that...and despite jessica Alba looking hot and smokin, it looked like they made Reed kid of a wooden Putz, whereas in the comic he has alwasy seemed the epitome of cool...sure he is a geeky brain but we can all imagine how he might excel in ah...bedroom activities...behind close doors Sue Richards refers to him as Mister F*&^$ing Fantastic!

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You may be dissapointed to know that there are 3 more Spiderman flicks on the table Potts...

No, that's great - do you know if it'll be the same cast? I tend to agree that Pete & (especially) Mary-Jane were seriously miscast in the 3 Spidey flicks (MJ in the comics is meant to be a firebrand, & Kirsten Dunst, while lovely & all, just doesn't come across as the extravert party-girl type).

As for the FF - one of the things I really liked about RotSS is that Doom gets his armour (woo! ::biggrin ); Doom's powers in the first film were more 'Ultimate Doom' (lite) - but having him as the 'fifth' of the four did always make a lot of sense in retrospect.

Punisher-wise I would recommend everyone sees the Dolf version - scene one he takes out a house full of Mafia dudes... then blows it up... that's Frank Castle, not the T-shirt wearing, fake-fire-hydrant using twit from the more recent film. I guess the newer Punisher film really disappointed because, let's face it, of all the Marvel characters he's probably the easiest to portray - it's not even superheroics: just an ex-military guy with a heart full of revenge taking on the bad guys as if he were at war. Die Hard was more Punisher than the new Punisher. The supporting cast of the Dolf version was also excellent - the evil Yakuza boss-woman came across as seriously evil, & the Mafia boss trying to get his son back was equally good.

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I'm sort of in a weird place...

Janes vs. Dolf: I thought the Janes version was a better movie, especially with the flatmates; it had some great development and The Punisher was seriously out for blood, and doing it with some actual intelligence. It got silly towards the end, but overall it was worth watching. The Dolf version was closer to the comic, but is only worth watching if you like really, really bad movies...

Comic Movies in General: I appreciate that certain changes needed to be done, but it's getting ridiculous. I can't wait until you get a TV/movie version that's actually close to the comic....Part of the suckage is the need for change...

Ah well....

FR

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I'm quite happy that they aren't writing things too close to the comics right now. Since that would involve Tony Stark as Iron Fuhrer and Reed Richards more interested in creating hell-prisons and cloned gods than actually saving the universe from imminent destruction.

Oh, and Cap being dead, but thats actually being well written. . .

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I can't wait until you get a TV/movie version that's actually close to the comic....Part of the suckage is the need for change...

Ah well....

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I'm quite happy that they aren't writing things too close to the comics right now. Since that would involve Tony Stark as Iron Fuhrer and Reed Richards more interested in creating hell-prisons and cloned gods than actually saving the universe from imminent destruction.

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I suppose I was talking about how in these supers movies they always seem to rewrite or "creatively reinterpret" the origins and nature of the characters...In many cases the movie and storey would have been better served had they stuck to the vision in the comics...Green Goblins Glider was cool, and Willam Defoe was an Awesome Osborn, but his reimagined costume made him look rediculous.

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Also, Punisher wasn't that bad, but the problems that did arise would have been eliminated had they just stuck to the comic. Same thing with Ghost Rider...total cheese and rewrite.

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Part of this is studios are unwilling to commit ahead of time to the number of movies it would take to tell the whole story so they have to condense all the important stuff into a two hour sound bite for the masses. This is what is happening to Watchmen...they want to do it in one movie. Period.

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Imagine now if you will, that they took a cue from Sin City, or 300 and used the comic as the litteral storyboard...It would take maybe 3 or more movies...but how awesome would that be?!?! There are plenty of opportunities to use the cliffhanger ending to set up for the sequal but noooo...they have to try and cram it into one! Why?! My guess is simply that they are unwilling to commit to that size of a project without knowing if it will besuccessful.

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Movie execs dont like to take risks...yet it is those films that take risks that engage the audience most...that refresh us and take us somewhere beyond the tired cliches.

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I wish they would give us, the audience, a lil more credit.

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So I just finished watching the three latest Marvel Animation projects and thought Id add my critique.

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I was dissapointed by Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2. The first follows fairly closely with the Ultimates book but its more like Ultimates: lite...it took away the adult appeal of the books showing that once again, Americans are afraid to make animation for adults. They kidiefied it quite a bit. Second they made it so the "Chittauri" (Skrulls) don't shapeshift...only one of their "supersoldiers" (Kleiser) does. Also their redesigned look and technolgy was poorly executed, boring and clumsy.

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Ultimate Avengers 2 was even worse. They recycled the Chittauri as villains, but not only that...the plot and climax was a blatant straight ripoff of Independance Day and War of The Worlds...complete with Main-Gun-Mothership and Giant Stilt legged "Quad-pods".

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The Animation was merely okay but Ive been spoiled by the likes of Miyazaki, so my standards are higher. I feel like Marvels should be higher too. Why aim for the direct to video low-budg market when they have such financial clout? Again I see it as a failure to take risks.

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Surprisingly, the Invincible Iron Man was quite good! Most of the standard animation was the same (done by the same team), but the CGI character designs of the Elementals, Iron Man Armors and Dragon looked amazing and were superbly executed. They also took more risks on this one..They address somewhat directly the discrimination of women in China with one of the main characters and I was quite surprised when a man was executed with a point blank gunshot to the head on screen! It showed that they were going for a more adult tone, than they did with the wussified Ultimates. It was also a better example of how changes can be made and still keep the character somehow intact. For example, they introduced the Mandarin in a way that wouldnt be un-PC and offensive, ie he is an ancient villain...even to his own people.

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The ending got a bit cheesy and stock and the final notes were taken straight out of Batman Begins but overall it was a much better third attempt. I look forward to the Animated Doctor Strange, of which the first five minutes were shown in the special features of the Iron Man DVD.

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... The Dolf version was closer to the comic, but is only worth watching if you like really, really bad movies...

Guilty as charged! ::biggrin Crap is still crap, but cheese is pure gold! ::wink

I was dissapointed by Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2. The first follows fairly closely with the Ultimates book but its more like Ultimates: lite...it took away the adult appeal of the books showing that once again, Americans are afraid to make animation for adults. They kidiefied it quite a bit.

Of course, if they'd made it just like the comics, they'd have had to make it cert. 18 (or whatever the US equivalent is) & lost a majority of their target audience. Like I mentioned, I saw the two movies as a sort of mid-ground between the traditional Avengers & the Ultimates & liked what I saw - I hardly think that Stark's womanising & drinking, the portrayal of war, violence, & death, the Hulk being a murderous brute, etc. could really be classed as 'kidiefied', even if it wasn't as hard core as the Ultimates comic - but each to their own. ::wink

Imagine now if you will, that they took a cue from Sin City, or 300 and used the comic as the litteral storyboard...

Haven't see 300 yet, but I found Sin City pretty disappointing. Attempts to make films exactly like books have traditionally failed badly - what I'd really like to see is a long-running supers TV series where there's enough scope & room to explore the layered facets you get with better written comic book characters & plotlines: Heroes is doing great, but that Mutant X thing was just naff (IMHO, natch). Of course I was always a fan of the more 'soap-operatic' elements of comics anyway (the sort of thing you end up with in long-running TV series like the Star Trek franchise).

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The biggest challenge a studio faces when they do a superhero film is striking a balance between appealing to hardcore fans and making it accessible to newbies, who typically outnumber the fans by a large margin, which I thing leads to playing to the uninformed a bit more. The other challenge is figuring out which version of a character or team to go with; the average superhero has been around forty years or more, and has changed quite a bit over time. I know with the first FF movie the director chose to go with the Ultimate version of Doom as opposed to the classic one, which I thought was a mistake, but given that choice I think they did a good job.

The thing to remember about Hollywood movies, especially action movies, is that they are insanely expensive to produce; Serenity, Joss Whedon's feature film follow-up to the brilliant (IMHO) Firefly, cost 50 million dollars, which is considered very low budget for an action film, and it barely made a profit. Considering that the average superhero film cost two to four times more than that, and even selling the best stories is a longshot, and we begin to see why Hollywood gets nervous; I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it is a big factor in the decisions these fat cat executives make.

Building upon what Potts said, sometimes a literal translation is not a good idea, at least in terms of finding a wide audience; when you shift a story from one medium to another, you have to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of both mediums. If you just film a stage play with a static camera, it's going to suck, because a stage play depends upon the intimate connection between audience and performer. In my opinion, for example, including so much of Frank Miller's dialog as voiceover in Sin City was a mistake, because his staccato style sounds hackneyed when it's spoken out loud, even though it reads great; Clive Owen almost pulled it off, because he has a great deep speaking voice, but Bruce Willis made me cringe. However, I admit to being a bit biased on the voiceover issue, because at screenwriting school, they beat a healthy dislike of v.o. into you with a rolled-up copy of Variety; I'm not saying it should never be used, sometimes it works great, but usually it's a crutch because the director (or more likely the studio) doesn't trust the audience to figure things out on their own.

So anyway, my two cents.

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