Sunday, June 24, 2007

Clobberin' Time!

On Saturday night, I went to see the new Fantastic Four movie with my new lady friend. Wasn't that bothered about seeing it, because the first one was a pile of shit, but seeing as this was supposed to be a date, the other films on (Hostel 2, Captivity, Vacancy and some film about Edith Piaf) weren't exactly suitable, we plumped for the Silver Surfer. I have a very deep fondness for the 60s FF (It was Kirby at his zenith, even more amazing when you consider the amount of books he was churning out month after month at the time), and I wasn't keen on seeing it bollocksed up for the second time.

Now, my new lady friend knows I'm a comics geek, but I think she's unaware how deep my sickness is. When I watch films based on comics I love, I have to split my brain into two halves; the nerd half and the normal half. The normal half thought the film was 'alright', it passed an hour and half amiably enough. The nerd half of my brain was going 'Hate it! Hate it! Make it stop!'

Now if you've not seen it and want to, there will be spoilers so stop reading now. What is the point of adapting a popular comic into a film, then taking out most of what makes the comic popular in the first place? as I said before, I love the old Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four stuff. A highlight of their epic collaboration was 'The Coming Of Galactus!", which the new film is based on. Now, I'm not expecting a totally faithful adaptation, certain aspects of the story, like Uatu the watcher's intervention, (told you this nerdiness was a sickness!) just wouldn't work on screen. But to have a film which spends most of its time building up to a showdown with Galactus, who devours planets, only to have it not happen, is rubbish. And turning Galactus from a giant man with a tuning fork helmet into a big dust cloud with fingers is even more rubbish! The picture above shows you what Galactus looks like, in no way does he even remotely resemble a cloud. A cloud that sticks its fingers into the holes in the earth that the Silver Surfer has made like some giant cosmic bowling ball. After the film finished I was thinking, "who's going to fill them holes in? That's going to take some work." Not out loud, obviously. Like I said, she doesn't know how geeky I really am ! One of Jack Kirby's great talents was his character designs (Along with the FF, and myriad others, he's also responsible for Hulk, Captain America, Thor, X-Men, along with their most memorable villains) and his design for the Thing is great. I love Ben Grimm, he's not your usual tights and cape superhero, he's a big talking turd. The film takes this great design and makes it look rubbish. It's got to be one of the cheapest-looking make up jobs I've seen for ages. Also, when you have such a striking-looking character like Galactus, who was designed by a genius, it seems odd that Hollywood thinks it can do better, and that a big dust cloud is superior. Well it's not.
The film seems designed to do two things. One, it seems to be designed to launch the Silver Surfer into his own film franchise, which might be good. He's a great character and the films based on the comics could be interesting, but Hollywood will mess it up. They've taken liberties with him in this film already. He's gained the ability to phase through stuff, like Kitty Pryde (Nerdy comics reference again!), which, I don't remember him doing in the comics. Generally, though, I thought ol' Norrin Radd looked cool in this film, they obviously spent more money on him than they did on poor old Ben Grimm.

The second thing this film is designed to do is to advertise stuff. the product placement in this film is astonishing. Even the fucking Fantasticar has a Dodge logo on its bonnet!

Also, Jessica Alba is a rubbish actress. She looks nice enough, but she's the weakest link of the FF. They make her wear really unconvincing blue contact lenses and blonde wig, which makes me wonder why they didn't cast someone more talented who is actually blonde with blue eyes. Maybe they should've cast a real talking turd as Ben Grimm, as well. While we're on the subject of rubbish acting, Julian McMahon is terrible as Doctor Doom. Doom is the baddest bastard in the Marvel Universe, but in the movie he's some wooden girly bloke who spends his time smirking and trying to look evil and failing. Thank the Broccolis he didn't get the Bond gig. I did enjoy the bit when he pinched Norrin's surfboard, but it's still not as good as when it happened in the comic. And as for turning Johnny into a type of Super-Skrull at the end- meh!
At least the film only lasted an hour and half, a pleasant change from all the bum-numbing threequels I've been sitting through lately, and it's not all bad. Despite his shitty costume, Michael Chiklis' performance as the Thing is spot-on, and Chris Evans (not the ginger ex-Billie shagger) is great as Johnny, although him walking around with his shirt off makes me feel inadequate, especially when I'm with a lady. My physique is bound to look rubbish in comparison! Saying that though, my physique looks rubbish when compared to most people!
Also, this was the first time in years I've been to a cinema of an evening and without kids in tow. I nearly fainted when they charged eleven quid for two tickets! Bloody Hell! Considering the fact that a new DVD costs about £14 these days, cinemas better stop ripping people off or they will find themselves obsolete. It's got HD and Blu-Ray and surround sound 50" plasma screens to compete with these days, so it better buck its ideas up. Eleven quid!! It's not as if the film was worth it! Basically. If you're not a comics nerd, you might like it, if you are, just re-read the original comic strips. I think they're in the collection Essential Fantastic Four vol.3, which you can get for a tenner, a whole quid cheaper than the pictures, and about thirty times more rewarding!


DanProject76 said...

'Labels: comics, moaning, movies, superheroes'


I agree. So I haven't dared to go see it.

jamie said...

yeah,yeah... we saw the film and it was just okay,but!
did she put out afterwards?
never mind world devourer...

mick said...

Dan: Wise decision. Save yourself at least eleven quid! It's probably more down there in the Smoke.

Jamie: Cheeky get! Never you mind! Despite appearances, I am a gentleman and would never divulge the intimate secrets of who I might or might not be shagging! Let's just say we both had a lovely evening afterwards.

mick said...

Actually, Jamie, that sounded a bit angry. Wasn't meant to. I know it's shocking that a comics geek actually has a girlfriend, you're only curious as to how this weird turn of events turned out!

jamie said...

lol,i love a happy ending.
good luck in your new home,btw...
i'm sure things'll work out just fine.