Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fantastic Four (1994) DVD

Rating: 0 out of 5 stereotype replacements of established characters

Plot Synopsis:  Reed and Victor try to harness the power of COLE-OS-US which ends up disfiguring Doom.  Ten years later Reed leads a crew of untrained kids into space where they become horribly mutilated and given special powers.  We have a B-plot involving a stereotype and the quickest damn love story ever.  Then Doom shoots a laser that is powered by all the FF’s powers (?) and the laser, a beam of light traveling at the speed of light, is vulnerable to crappy CGI fire (WTF?).

The Good:

-Hey Mercades McNab.  You grow up to be super hot.

-Sue Storm is not bad looking.

-Reed at least seems to reconsider bringing a crew of untrained people into outer space.

-Is that David Cross as the doctor?  If not perhaps the prototype David Cross.

-This Doom, despite his many, many faults, still manages to be better than Julian McMahon.  It’s at least in the right direction where McMahon went completely opposite of what Doom should be.

-If they focused entirely on the 2 Latverian buddy spies the movie would have been better for it.  Just have the Fantastic Four stuff happen in the background through news stories, news papers and radio announcements.

-Doom’s reaction to the Fantastic Four escaping Doom’s death trap: “Hm.” perfect, especially after the bombastic laughter and the “My friends!” before surveying the chaos.

-I got to say it again, I really like this version of Doom after he’s armored.  As Victor he kind of sucks but as DOOM he’s awesome.

-“Touch it and she dies!” “Don’t let me stop you.” Doom you are such a baller.

The Bad:

-That is one overacting professor brought to us by the dad from Punky Brewster.

-What the fuck is up with Victor Von Doom?  I don’t think he’s acting in the same movie as the rest of the cast.  Granted his movie seems cheesier but oddly more compelling than the movie everyone else is in.

-Reed is in love with Susan from when she was pre pubescent.  Way to be super creepy Mr. Pedo-tastic.

-The only way Ben can save Victor is by shoulder tackling him.  Victor get’s horribly scarred for life and Ben ends up with a terminal case of “inconvienent black grease paint” that goes into remission by the next scene.

-“I’ll get some help.” after the cheap light show and your lab partner getting BBQ’ed, yeah, you might want to get on that.  Understatement of the fucking year boy genius.

-A somewhat romantic scene of Ben holding Reed after Victor “dies”, the music suggests this occurs right before a night of passionate love making.

-Sue Storm grows up damn quick and damn fine.

-Is Ben Grimm mentally retarded in this?  It would explain a lot.  There’s a real Simple Jack/Lennie vibe from him.  He doesn’t make the mistake of going full retard though.  You never go full retard.

-“I know the perfect crew.  Two young kids!”

-Reed changes his mind on that whole “untrained crew” thing pretty damn quick.  Especially after he sees hot Sue is on the staircase in her sun dress.

-We get the Jeweler as our B villain.  He is somehow even lamer than Mole Man even though it’s basically the same character.  Also he’s bordering on offensive Jewish stereotype.  Also, why couldn’t we just get the Mole Man?  You went to the trouble of ripping him off, it’s like they originally wrote the Mole Man and the producer came back with “Make him a little ‘Jew-ier’ around the edges.” and they did.  By using stereotype instead of characterization.

-Ben meeting Alicia is a little creepy and rape-y.

-We need conflict, let’s put Ben and The Jew-ler in the same place and have them fall in love with the same blind girl.  Also we’ll make one scene creepy and one totally unnecessary, I leave it to you script writers to decide which scene is which.

-Your shuttle looks like it was bought at a hobby shop but thank you for intercutting stock footage of an actual launch.

-Doom lives in a crappy matte painting.  A really crappy matte painting.  I meant at least it’s animated, slightly animated, but it still looks pretty shitty.  No wonder he’s so angry at Reed.

-“I’m trapped under this incredibly large but light part.  At least the one piece of space ship I made out of cardboard landed gently on me.”

-Johnny is kind of annoying in the same way a spree shooting in an orphanage is kind of a downer.

-I barely knew you delivery boy, but you, you I hate the most.

-The Jew-ler = Mole Man, Moloids = Hobo’s?  I’m not saying the moloids wouldn’t benefit from being drunken vagrants, I’m just saying this sucks.

-The scene where Alicia get’s kidnapped looks like the start of a terrible vagrant gang bang porno called ‘Bum Fucks’ (or at least that’s what it would be called if there were any justice).

-Once again we have knock out spray.  Was that a thing in the late 80’s/early 90’s and I missed it?  It would have made High School way more fun.

-Let’s not SHOW Ben Grimm knocking fools out.  Let’s just spin the camera while we play stock fighting noises.

-That doctor is HIGH-lary-us!

-That’s the lamest Clobberin’ Time ever.  Also that’s a pretty shitty Flame On!

-Reed’s contribution to the fight scene is extending his leg across a doorway and tripping like a hundred million guys.  Does no one notice all the dudes falling down in front of them?

-“Johnny you’ve always had a quick temper.” “FUCK YOU REED!” “Exactly.”

-Thing has so much PATHOS in his depression tour of the city.  “I’m a freak and I’ll prove it by wandering the city to the horrified reactions of regular city folk.”

-How the fuck did Reed not put together the whole ‘Victor is Doom and Doom is Victor’ thing immediately?

-Thing develops plot related relapse as he turns from Thing to Ben, leaves the scene and goes back to being Thing again.  It serves no purpose, they just realized they wrote themselves into a corner and had to get Ben away from Doom and that was the easiest way possible.  I mean besides going back to script and writing something fucking coherent and entertaining.

-The fight scenes look like the worst battles the A-Team ever had.  There’s lots of shooting and punching and action (sort of) but it’s all pretty harmless and no one seems to get hurt.

-How does Doom not see that slow motion stretchy punch?  It moves so slowly and doesn’t look like it has ANY power behind it.

-Doom falls to his death when he slips out of his gauntlet while Reed is trying to save him.  Reed puts the gauntlet on the ledge where Doom falls and it starts moving.  So the fuck what?  What does that mean?  Doom’s alive?  Why would his gauntlet be the tell tale sign of that?

-Jew-ler just disappears, he get’s scared away by Doom and just disappears along with all his hoboids.

The Ugly:

-Right off the bat we have a shitty open that looks like the opening credits of a public access show about space and the aliens.  This is fortunate because the music sounds like it was lifted from the same shitty space alien program.


-“Look at you.  The fantastic four.”  thanks adopted mom (?) (no seriously what the hell is their relationship?  The sign out front says orphanage, or maybe it says boarding house.  Whatever.) we couldn’t have continued without that reference to the main title and also our future team name.  Now that you’ve served all your plot related purpose it’s time for you to leave, forever, and to never be heard from again.

-Here, let’s shoe horn in Alicia Masters, because, I don’t know, fuck it.

-Is that the Latverian accent?  Fake, crappy American actor accent?  Is that where Latveria is?  In the voice boxes of all shitty actors everywhere?

-I’m in love with a blind girl so I’m going to kidnap her and present her with the world’s biggest diamond.  If I were blind and that was given to me I’d be offended.  It’s a little condescending.

-That’s some damn fine special effecting.

-That Thing costume is SEAM-less.  He looks like a ninja Turtle costume got icthyosis and he sounds like how I imagine Lennie from Mice and Men talking.

-“Let me think of a plan.” the plan ends up being to knock some assholes out.  That’s the product of an indeterminately long period of thinking by the world’s smartest man.

-The audio quality on this version is terrible.  It may be the version I have, since this isn’t available through... traditional means, but it makes some characters hard to understand, especially Doom.  The music is also terrible and often inappropriate.  It’s as if they lifted the soundtrack from an entirely different movie and used it to save money.  Which, knowing Roger Corman, is not only entirely possible but most likely the case.

-You can’t afford squibs?  Are you fucking kidding me?  You couldn’t afford blanks and squibs?  Did you spend it all on Doom’s matte painting apartment?

-Did they hire the cast from the local acting school?  The local bad acting school?  Like the community college theater program?  And not the good community college where people start their college careers for cheap or where they teach trades.  The shitty community college in the inner city where dreams go to die and the homeless go to poop.

-“Ben no! I luuuuurve you!” says the perpetual hostage Alicia Masters.

-“Quickly get to your mark and step into the special effect”

-She’s the fucking INVISIBLE Woman, not the INTANGIBLE Girl.  INVISIBILITY is not the same thing as being INTANGIBLE.

-Oh, here’s a wedding we threw in at the very end.  Enjoy Reeds stretchy arm waving out the top of the limo looking so fake and awkward.

Final Thoughts:  The history of this movie, in a nutshell, is this: Constantin Films had optioned FF for a movie.  They had to make a movie or lose the rights for any future movies.  So they threw this thing together and gave it to the king of making the best out of a bad thing: Roger Corman.  Now Corman is known for being good with a budget and taking shit and polishing it to a high gloss to make it into something entertaining.  It may not be good but it will at least be entertaining.  This is the exception to that.  The thing to keep in mind though is that this movie was never meant to be released.  It’s a movie based on Hollywood political maneuvering, the only thing worse would getting impregnated by a demon and raising the child based on the teachings of Hitler.  Sure it’s a cute kid but he was born with all the strikes against him.

            This movie is terrible, there is nothing redeeming about it.  The only thing that might even be worth seeing is Doom and he’s in it so little that it’s hard to justify.  The plot flies along with terrible pacing and to make up for said terrible pacing they just throw in plot points.  Why spend time developing any relationship when you can just write that they’re in love now?  Why show when you can tell, especially in A FUCKING VISUAL MEDIUM!?!  The only bonus to this is you no longer have to buy it from a bootlegger at a comic convention, you can find it for free from a number of places.  Unless you’re me, then you buy it from a bootlegger.  Why?  I don’t know, I’m a character from this movie, I’m not subject to motivation, why’s or how’s.  I just do.  But even for free I wouldn’t subject yourself to this.  Unless you write a blog where you do this sort of thing.

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