DVD Review #20: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (The Power Cosmic Edition) (2007)

February 20, 2010 at 8:40 AM | Posted in Based on a Comic, DVD Reviews, Franchise Film | 1 Comment

Fire boobs.

Movie:
Rise of the Silver Surfer is a delightful romantic comedy about a wedding that gets gate-crashed by a New York street performer who dresses up as a robot. Actually, this movie is not that bad. It’s shorter than the previous, which is a good thing. There aren’t as many jokes. It’s a little darker. It looks slightly better. It has an actual story. The effects are better. There’s less time spent on arguing characters and setup. It has a title sequence. It’s less of a comedy and more of a comic book movie.

(Cont.)

As far as anything missing, the character that suffers most is Doom. It’s not that he’s barely in the movie. It’s just that he first shows up having his mask removed. For some reason, he’s no longer a solid metal statue. It’s not explained how he gets his skin back. The whole skin problem isn’t really explained in the first movie either. Furthermore, he gets metal gloves and an armored chestplate in this, but we don’t see it happen. He looks better, but it’s out of nowhere. There’s not much reference to the previous film. Doom spends the whole movie tracking the Surfer and stealing his power. So there’s a lack of focus on antagonism, as it shifts from Surfer to Doom, and only to the silent Galactus at the very end.

The action tends to be similar to Spider-Man 3. There’s so much, so fast, with so much CG, that it tends not to be memorable. At least as far as the final scenes. Johnny chasing the Surfer isn’t terribly different from Johnny being chased by a well-fueled missile. The Doom fight is mostly done well (although it was filmed too darkly), but the simpler things like the bridge scene from the first movie work better because they’re more grounded and identifiable. It’s more a problem with action sequels and CG use than with this movie in particular.

Although the plot exists, it’s still rather vague. The film world tends to unravel when Reed mentions all the planets that the Surfer has been to are now lifeless. Implying that before, he knew about life on a dozen other planets but didn’t bother to tell anybody. No wonder he’s not taken seriously as a scientist.

Commentary:
Tim Story has his own commentary this time, and it’s pretty clear that he knew he wouldn’t be doing a third film. He’s not that excited, so the track is nothing special.

The crew commentary features Arad, one of the twelve million screenwriters, and the two editors. The editors sound like they’ve been toking for a while, and don’t really seem to think the movie is made very well. It’s actually quite gratifying to hear them discuss how hard it was to make and edit this movie and how many things weren’t available to improve it.

A real mistake in these commentaries was leaving out any of the effects team, or even Doug Jones, to talk about the MOST interesting parts of the film, rather than the writing, editing, directing, etc. Generally, the less popular movies like this one tend to throw some technical people in there. In certain cases, it’s a bit of a cop out and a little dull. But in this case, one of them could have easily replaced Avi. You really don’t need the producer overexplaining the obvious and telling you what parts are fun. The director will cover anything of import he says. I’d love to hear the effects supervisor reiterating how shots didn’t have enough time to be completed. It would be the single greatest apology track ever.

Extras:
Unlike/like the first movie, the extended and deleted scenes aren’t even substantial. Notice there’s no extended version of this movie.

The soundbites about the creation of the Silver Surfer character that you’ll find in other documentaries tell the most interesting part of the story. Whereas the very long feature on the extras disc about the character isn’t very interesting for its duration.

Strangely, the movie’s behind-the-scenes feature includes pre-production and production… but no post-production. I’m not sure why this is. Obviously the movie had lots of post on the Surfer character, so this is an odd omission. It would seem they wanted the Surfer and Fantasticar to have their own featurettes, but that still leaves out the whole Doom fight.

Features about the Thing makeup and scoring of the film round out the disc. There’s not that much here, especially compared to the previous film’s extended edition.

Scenes behind the filming of the Surfer are cool, but there’s not much on the DVD to warrant an expensive purchase. If you didn’t like the movie, this edition won’t make you like it any more.

Film Connections:
DVD Review #18: Fantastic Four (Extended Edition)

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  1. […] Film Connections: DVD Review #20: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (The Power Cosmic Edition) […]


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