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PHOTOGRAPHY

FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER Power Cosmic Edition
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 92 minutes (TWO DISC SET),two audio commentaries, deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary, Making of documentary, 4 featurettes, Silfer Surfer Origins documentary, still galleries, theatrical trailers, and interactive Fantasticar Experience
VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)/ 1.33:1 (Full Frame)
AUDIO: English 5.1, French 2.0, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ Marvel
RELEASE DATE: 10-2-2007

It was a given that the Fantastic Four would face the Silver Surfer and the planet eater Galactus in the first sequel to the successful film FANTASTIC 4. Yes, it would be silly if Galactus turned out to be a giant human in a purple costume with a big hat in the film (like he did in the comic book which somehow worked). Glactus is more ominus in FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. The story wisely focuses on the four heroes (Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Sue Storm, and Ben Grimm), the Silver Surfer, and Dr. Victor Von Domm (back for another round of evil). The Fantastic four end up teaming with Victor to stop to the Silver Surfer despite the team's mistrust of Doom. Reed and Sue are trying to get married, but the coming of the Silver Surfer wrecks havoc on the planet and leads to ominious news.

FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER has the same tone and humor as the first film. The sequel flies by at good pace and it is over before you know it. Excellent popcorn entertainment for the summer movie season. The team faces all types of conflicts (including Johnny being able to switch powers with any of the other members is he comes into contact with them, Doom's motives, Reed wanting to be a hero while wanting to make Sue happy, and more). Humor is helps make the sequel a fun trip (Reed's bachelor party, Johnny's troubles with his powers). I do think it is faithful in spirit to the issue of the comic book that introduced the suilver Surfer and Galactus. Watch out for the Stan Lee cameo and stay around for a few second during the end credits for an extra bit. I just wonder what the third FANTASTIC 4 will bring (maybe a son for Reed and Sue- hopefully not the silly robot from the first cartoon). With scant amount of deleted and extended scenes on the Power Cosmic Edition, I wonder if there are a few more for an extended cut later on.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Disc 1 has two audio commentaries recorded for the film (one with Director Tim Story and the other with Producer Avi Arad, Screenwriter Donm Payne, and Film Editors Peter S. Elliot and William Hoy). I do agree on the second track that they should have did the scene during the end credits a little differently. Tim Story (on commentary track number 1) reveals little secrets about why certain things were done for the story.

Disc 2 has the majority of extras. Many will probably just buy the one disc and miss out on a few interesting extras. The extended and deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Dirctor Tim Story) don't amount to much like a full title credits sequence and few throwaway scenes. The theatrical teaser and full theatrical trailer are included on the disc along with trailers for the first F4, the three X-MEN films, Deck The halls, and a DARK ANGEL DVD spot. Three still galleries (Behind The Scenes, Characters, and Concept Art) are also included in addition a very lame Interactive Fantasticar Experience (Nuff Said).

The Best Extras are the documentaries and featurettes.
FAMILY BONDS: THE MAKING OF F4- THE RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER is presented as a Pre-Production and Production featurettes which can be play on their own or as a full documentary. They focus on the prep work right before production and the things that happen during Production (like how snow caused them to compress the shooting of the final scene on the last night of filming).

THE POWER COSMIC looks aty the special effects work that went into creating the Silver Surfer for the film with the help of Doug Jones in a Silver Surfer costume (as a stand-in) and a CGI Surfer created by WETA.
CHARACTER DESIGN WITH SPECTRAL MOTION focuses on the work and improvenments that went into The thing costume for the sequel.
SCORING THE FANTASTIC takes us into the process of recording the film's score.
SENTINEL OF THE SPACEWAYS: COMIC BOOK ORIGINS OF THE SILVER SURFER is the best documentary on the disc as it's four chapters go into detail of the creation of the Silver Surfer, the Silver Surfer comics written by Stan Lee and others, and how the Surfer took off in the 1980s 20 years after he was first created. The first two Silver Surfer storylines in the FANTASTIC FOUR comic book more the basis for much of the storyline in the sequel.

FINAL ANALYSIS: FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER is a popcorn sequel which will please some and still disappoint others who didn't like the first one either. The Power Cosmic Edition does have some interesting featurettes and documentaries on disc 2. I just wonder if an extended cut is planned for in the future to coincide with a third FANTASTIC 4 film.

this DVD review is (c)9-29-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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