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Fantastic Four - The Trailer

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Movie Trailers Volume I

Sometimes, there is too much writing to be done to accomplish something for All Day Coffee, and so, rather than come up with something substantive, I will contribute to the greater body of intellectual criticism by submitting movie trailer reviews. Movie trailers are usually far better than the films they represent, and you don't have to spend $75 on popcorn (but if you wish I can sell you some - I make it very well). The benefit of reviewing movie trailers is that I can watch them fifteen times and still have time at work to take a lunch, and I don't have to know a single thing about film criticism.

Without further ado...

The Fantastic Four
It always excites me when a movie adaptation appears of Marvel Comics. I am a Marvel guy, and always will be. So I was very happy to receive the link of the Fantastic Four trailer. (Viewed here ). I will always wonder about the legendary version produced by Roger Corman, but I suppose we'll never know, unless you were to do something unsavory like purchase a bootleg online. Pirated trailers of the original float around the Internet.

Dr. Doom has always frightened me. He's a first class villain. He's got several deadly inventions built into his armor, and he's the dictator of a small Baltic Sea nation that somehow missed being conquered by the Soviet Union.

In this trailer he looks like he stumbled out of the Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera movie set. Or he also might be Quasimodo. In one clip, he walks like he's either carrying too much weight, the costume is heavy, or he really isn't happy about being the villain in this movie. He looks thin. He might be depressed.

Feeling the need to annoy generations of comic-reading gnomes, the screenwriters change the plot, and alter the origin story of our villain. Dr. Doom did not gain his super powers by being exposed to the same radiation that created the Fantastic Four, but the fact that he was raised by gypsies and then gained his powers from Tibetan monks might seem too politically incorrect. Although it is a lovely gesture to suggest the duality of superpowers, that the same space radiation can create both heroes and villains, I for one have seen that duality one time too many. They might as well have dropped him into a vat of acid and left him for dead.

Doom's mask makes me wonder if there might be a single mask shop in Hollywood, that somehow has a lifetime contract for making masks, and the only color they can be is green. For review: The Mask (the Jim Carrey vehicle, not the Cher vehicle), the Green Goblin in Spider-man, and now the faceplate hiding the terribly scarred visage of Otto Von Doom. He's got a green mask. A brief reference check in the Marvel Comic Secret Wars confirmed that Dr. Doom's whole costume is grey, with a green cape and hood ensemble. In any event, the mask should not be green. And it has that same upturned chin that was shared with the crappy Green Goblin costume, so I posit: not only is this the same Hollywood mask-making emporium, but it is in fact the same mask. For shame, Hollywood, did you not think someone would notice? If you need to borrow a mask, why not borrow Darth Vader's?

The trailer's climax in which Doom, shot from behind, a poor choice because it makes him look smaller and more depressed, lumbers less than ominously toward his target, shooting out blue sparks from his hands, is reminiscent of the climax of Return of the Jedi, in which the emperor, with hood and cloak and trembling gait.

The predicable soundtrack includes the requisite percussive bombast and chorus of tortured angels. Fortunately, the music in the trailer switches to techno-metal, informing us that the film will both be epic, and yet very very now.

I love when certain heroes are so strong that they can punch an SUV or a semi that's speeding toward them, and said vehicle launches into the air. I wish I had that power. You see The Thing do it, and we have seen Hellboy do it as well. Note to the folks making these trailers - you really shouldn't be using the same clip, even if you liked this idea in the Hellboy movie and you wanted it so bad you copied it and put it in your own movie. You might call it an homage to the greater oeuvre of filmmaking, and Hellboy isn't that old. We call this plagiarism.

The Thing looks nothing like the Ben Grimm I have known and enjoyed. How they could do such difficult rendered always made me wonder, and in this effort they have failed miserably. They should call this pox-ridden stand-in "Inverted Waffle Man", or "The Waffler." I have no problem believing that he's heroically strong, and made of rock, but this hero must live in perpetual fear of becoming soft and powerless on contact with maple syrup. In the Roger Corman version, with a budget of $2M Canadian, The Thing looks much better.

The Human Torch looks great, but it's no surprise that today's movie technology could represent a man on fire. The trailer gives him much face time, suggesting that the plot arc will follow him. I have nothing to say about Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl, or the Invisible Woman, or the Invisible Ms, or whatever name they have updated her with. Their powers bore me.

Do I recommend this movie? Far be it from me to stop the juggernaut that is Hollywood by the power of my words. But the trailer itself lacks promise. Unlike Spider-man, or Batman Begins, it gives me no further impetus to see a movie that I know I'll shell out the ten bucks for anyway because I'm a Marvel junkie. This lack of enthusiasm makes me sad, it almost says, forget artistry in the trailer - the film and its heroes will sell itself.


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