HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
OnTV -- DVD Today's Date:

Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
(The Power Cosmic Edition)

Say what you will about the Fantastic Four movies; they are done by people who truly love the characters. If you listen in on the commentaries for this week's DVD release of Rise of the Silver Surfer, you may also discover that in some places, the talents behind the scenes thought they missed the mark the first time around, too.

So did they get it right the second time? Here at Fanboy Planet, we thought they did. While not exactly earth-shaking cinema (even if it was about destroying the Earth), Rise of the Silver Surfer delivers on thrills and fun, holding up even on a small-screen viewing.

It does have its problems, and it's almost a disappointment to listen to the commentary and have editors William Hoy and Peter Elliott point them out. They take the blame for a lot of leaps in logic that viewers have to make in order to enjoy the story. On the flip side, they also put together the film's introduction to the Fantastic Four, in a perfect Lee/Kirby airport homage, after they realized that the first cut of the film needed an earlier lift.

Yet still they argue internally about it, not quite convinced they made the right choices. Cutting in occasionally, screenwriter Don Payne echoes some of their doubts, particularly when it comes to the revival of Dr. Doom. It doesn't quite make sense, unless you're already a comics reader and are used to pseudo-science forcing huge leaps of logic. They just never quite spelled it out.

In a deleted sequence, Director Tim Story also expresses his dissatisfaction, making you wonder how this film became such an utter groupthink. Sure, it's an entertainment, but as some have complained, it's clear there was no one guiding vision. For the record, Story wanted a little piece thrown in that revealed Doom still to be metal, wearing a false skin. He still thinks it would have been the right way to go, and considering the strange miraculous recovery of the villain, Story is absolutely right about his story sense.

He gets his shots in a separate commentary from the others, but by this time it's clear that in order to enjoy this movie, you really just have to watch this movie.

Better to go into the extras and see all the genuine love and care. You can also see how easy it is to get the character dynamics right and wrong. In one deleted sequence, Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) hangs out in the Fantastic Four souvenir shop, subtly trying to push his own action figure over the Thing's. It's so perfectly Johnny, but a later sequence involving Johnny and Ben (Michael Chiklis) helping Reed with pre-wedding errands makes almost no sense. It's working too hard to deliver the charm.

Charm and affection come in spades, though, in a great documentary about the Silver Surfer's comics career. One of the coolest things about superhero movie DVDs is the opportunity for the greats (those remaining) to reflect on their creations. Stan Lee opens up about why the Silver Surfer is so close to him, but what really revs this are interviews with those that pushed the Surfer past beloved cult character and into a successful series in the '80's. Steve Englehart, Ron Marz, Jim Starlin and J.M. DeMatteis all talk about their tenures on the character, interspersed with some great artwork.

The only thing missing would be commentary from the artists that worked with these writers. Obviously, Jack Kirby and John Buscema are gone, but though Starlin and Engelhart pay tribute to Ron Lim, it seems odd that nobody thought to interview him. Still, it's a great chance to put faces to names of those whose work you've likely enjoyed.

In the rest of the featurettes section comes the usual combination of special effects docs and production diaries. While interesting, they're pretty standard and meant for the truly hardcore.

For a few weeks, anyway, you might enjoy going through the Previews section, as it does contain a (temporary) exclusive look at the next Futurama movie.

But that, too, is for the future. Enjoy Rise of the Silver Surfer now.

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites