13.07.2005

 

Tim Story - director

Bernd Eichinger - producer

Avi Arad - producer

Ralph Winter - producer

Micheal France - Screenwriter

Mark Frost - screenwriter

Oliver Wood - director of photography

Bill Boes - production designer

John Ottman  - composer

 

 

 

main actors

 

Ioan Gruffudd - Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

Jessica Alba - Susan Storm/Invisible Woman

Chris Evans - Johnny Storm/Human Torch

Michael Chiklis - Ben Grimm/The Thing

Julian McMahon - Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom

Kerry Washington - Alicia Masters

 

F4-273_s.jpg (79053 Byte)


FANTASTIC FOUR       www.fantasticfourmovie.com       www.fantasticfour.ch       www.fantastic4.film.de        www.constantin-film.com

© Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved. Illustrative stuff and official dialogue sample are property of Twentieth Century Fox.

based upon Marvelís longest running comic book series,  "The Greatest Comic in the World." 

In theatres in Germany on 14th July; Switzerland on 21st July D-CH, 16th  September I-CH and Italy


preview-review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

 


 

IF THE NASA DOESN'T TRUST YOU, WHY SHOULD I?

cut in the face of a vain character and space genomics

 

Suitable for a young target. The typical optimism of the 60's

There are many films who are  recommended  for people with or over 14 years of age. Fantastic 4, on the contrary, should be not recommended  to  people over  14 years of age. But don't misunderstand me. Let's simply say that this movie could be considered good -and -suitable to a very young target, but not to a more adult one, cause Fantastic Four IS the typical  comic book made comic- movie. And it shows the typical  60's optimism also, that could be  healthy however,  for our disillusioned young generations. Nothing less, nothing more. Other films are based on comic book series, but on the screen  they have been transformed into stories of mature action, and most of times by the same producers of Fantastic Four. But Fantastic Four is and remains the mirror of its  comic source and as such should be considered. .There are anyway points of attention that should not be completely underestimated.  I must say that the special effects are proposed very well, the rhythm is fast , incisive, never boring, many dialogues are really (and i mean  really) humorous, there are a couple of starting points worth to be discussed, like we will do together. The general frame is a typical comic story soaked with praise of friendship and acceptance of our personalities, soaked with explosion of colours and effects which enrich a simple plot. The artistic value in recitation is nothing spectacular though. That's why i suggest it to a young target of kids, girls and boys who are just entering the teen age, cause they will find good ideals (that after all  are never wrong) and, above all,  some incentives and inputs for falling in love with science and/or with more intriguing literary themes in future. Fantastic Four could be "positive" like a Walt Disney film  (and notice that Ralph Winter, one of the producers, who worked and works respectively for  X-men, X2 and X3, was also executive producer of "Inspector Gadget" for Walt Disney Pictures). But for an adult audience, who got used to major sci-fi productions or great intellectual ones, Fantastic 4 would end up as too mild and naive. Only exception is when you are really  depressed, in that case  it could be nice to have a couple of laughs watching this film., maybe then you are feeling better, surely better than having a solemn alcohol hang-over. In fact: a comic to be taken as such. But attention, like mentioned before, let's not think that  this movie is too poor anyway.  Let's see why.

Let's spend gladly some words  about those points who are the best visit card of the movie. First of all the famous special effects. These effects are undoubtedly good and "children" of such sophisticated computer graphic . It was  impossible to think to make this film before.  Comics writer Stan Lee says " Fox has wanted to make this movie for a long time. I'm glad they waited for the right story and the right technology". The production of this film indeed would have been impossible even only a couple of years ago. Producer Ralph Winter says "Within the last 2 years or so the advancements in computer graphics, computer-generated imaging and photo-realistic software enabled us to take a serious look at the possibility to get it right. We could bend and stretch a man's body and make it look real; blend real fire elements with CGI fire elements to make The Human Torch believable; create an invisible character that the audience can still see. And the art of special visual effects makeup had come far enough so that a real actor  could play The Thing, as opposed  to having a computer generate the entire character".

 

Daytime heroes

F4-294_s.jpg (127820 Byte)Second point that could be mentioned favorably is the nature of these superheroes. The movie underlines perfectly that they are a family, "real" people gaining superpowers and celebrity cult status but remaining  after all normal persons with their feelings, their doubts, their strength and weakness. F4-289_s.jpg (117273 Byte) The are daytime heroes, the heroes next door, without pretentiousness, heroes that common people like so much.  "The biggest difference between the Fantastic Four and other comic books superheroes - tells director Tim Story -  is that they don't have secret identities or hidden alter  egos."  Uhh!! this goes straight to Batman, hehehee.

 

In my opinion the most touching character is Ben Grimm/The Thing, the one who must  suffer the most , after the accident in outer space. Basically, he remains The Thing forever, (almost) irreversibly.  "From an actor's point of view, his character arc is filled with an incredible amount of emotional and physical transformations - says  Michael Chiklis - he starts out as this , confident, self-effacing guy and ends up a monster and a hero and a celebrity....he just wants to be Ben again. So , yes, this role proved to be one of the most challenging things i 've done in my life and career. I personally had to overcome a great deal of fear and apprehension with the task that was ahead of me"

 

The real imaginauts. The 1960's science fiction has become the 21st century's science fact

Third point i would analyze is  the symbology combined with scientific factors present. It is quite easy to  say that the powers of these 4 heroes are strictly related with the four ancient  "elements" : earth, air, fire and water. From the moment that 5 persons are involved in the DNA mutation, the superheroes would be actually 5, but being  the fifth the evil one, the antagonist, he is of course not fantastic, is he? hehehe This makes me remind  of Luc Besson's "The fifth Element". The fifth there was the Love, here the fifth one is  Hate, being the so -called Love just the consequence of the united work  of the other 4. And now to more scientific things. "The 1960's science fiction of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby has become the 21st century's science fact", says producer Avi Arad, "They were the real imaginauts, creating stories about the privatization of space travel and DNA research long before  either of those things became possible and part of  of the mainstream consciousness. Now we read and hear about those things every day". Very, very, and  very true!  The cosmic radiations exist  and are a real pain  in the ass for space scientists and astronauts; plans for enhancement of genetic experiments in space exist and are a pain  in the ass for lab animals....till now.  Let's read a passage from this article, it's not too difficult: http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2004/february4/worms-24.html "Worms in space" by Dawn Levy (Februray 2004) , 

"Because its genetic blueprint is known and gene changes can be detected, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has "the right stuff" to be launched into space in the name of science. Complete genetic sequences, or genomes, are also known for the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the yeast cell Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the bacterium Escherichia coli and the mustard weed Arabidopsis thaliana. They're lab rats of a new field -- space genomics -- in which scientists study the way weightlessness and space radiation affect an organism's genes. Since diverse organisms share many of the same genes, such studies may give scientists a better understanding of how space travel may affect human genes."

 Understood! Space genomics. The  question is "What actually does space do to you?"  Fantastic 4 gives nothing but a comic book answer of superhuman powers. It changes a tragedy into hero capacities for the benefit of mankind.  But which will be  the real answer? This is well worth a discussion and a research.

 

For a guy that vain, a cut in the face....

F4-219R_s.jpg (80330 Byte)The screenplay is quite simple  but of course was not easy to be done as well. Fantastic Four is based on Marvelís longest running comic book series, also known as "The Greatest Comic in the World." Several Marvel comics-to-film adaptations have preceded Fantastic Four (X-Men, Spiderman), but here it was almost impossible to be faithful to all the thousand comics stories of the series, and the screenwriting had to walk hand in hand with the real  technological possibilities. Over a period of years, several writers penned script drafts too, and finally the screenplay took  definitely shape in the hands of Fantastic 4 fans like Michael France ("Hulk) and Mark Frost ("Twin Peaks"). "I thought we needed to go to the roots of the comics" says writer Mark Frost " We wanted to capture the excitement of the Fantastic Four gaining their powers, while introducing a new audience to their mythology".

Scientist Dr. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud) would like to study the genetic effect  of  a cosmic storm, in the outer space,  hoping to discover sensational consequences of benefit in the human genetic code. And it is his old college rival  Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), now billionaire industrialist,  to make this enterprise possible, granting means and financial deal. Yes Dr. Reed must be helped by the vain sinister Van Doom, a character "only  concerned with  bettering his  own position of power". Reed's crew is ready for the flight and is composed by Reed himself,  his best friend Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis); Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) , the pretty Von Doom's director of genetic research and reed's ex-girlfriend, and Sue Storm's lively and cool brother, pilot Johnny Storm (by the way, what original names...ok) . Von Doom is also included, in tow. Unfortunately, the mission is a real disaster . Reed discovers too late a miscalculation of the speed of the approaching storm. The space station is hit  by picturesque  storming clouds of radiations which are able to alter DNA . Only back to  earth and when  it seems that everything's is ok  the crew realizes that there has been a genetic mutation. The way they must face the first  apparitions of this alteration  is one of the most humorous moments of the movie. Reed can stretch his body elastically in any direction he wants, he becomes  Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the group who will try to find the way to invert  the transformation. F4-FF-66_s.jpg (106934 Byte)

Sue (Invisible Woman) can make herself invisible and can project force fields. F4-FF-36_s.jpg (56568 Byte)

F4-FF-18R_s.jpg (73424 Byte) Fire is hot-blooded Johnny, who becomes the Human Torch  whose big performance is the Nova effect and to fly. For these 3 guys, the effects can appear and disappear and can be forced , mastered , evoked at will, though  after a hard training in order to learn how to use them.

 F4-119_s.jpg (96804 Byte)The situation is worse for Ben, who  transforms himself permanently in a heavy orange super  strong monstruous rocky creature (The Thing), still having  a kind of human  shape though. , Ben's feelings, personality and identity are the same, just  prisoners now of this monstruous body, with too big hands unable to handle small and fine objects like... rings for example (touching the scene of the ring indeed). But when he will have  the possibility to  be Ben again F4-123_s.jpg (55599 Byte),  he will renounce the normal identity and body in order to help his friends, which need The Thing. They all must be united and hold on  to their unwanted powers cause iron-fisted Dr. Doom's metamorphosis becomes inexorable underneath, while Latveria can wait..

 "However, for a guy that vain, a cut on the face is not a good thing..." (Julian McMahon)

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dalia di giacomo

 

Fantastic Four album   www.fantasticfoursoundtrack.com 

Wind-up's soundtrack FANTASTIC FOUR - THE ALBUM  features tracks from Velvet Revolver, Ben Moody feat. Anastacia, Megan McCauley, Ryan Cabrera, Chingy, Alter Bridge, Taking Back Sunday, Omnisoul, Simple Plan, Joss Stone, and more.

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