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Dan – With my local multiplex offering the chance to watch a preview screening of Marvel’s new offering in the form of Fantastic Four, a reboot of the widely panned Chris Evans/Jessica Alba films released ten and eight years ago respectively, it was one of the rare occasions in which I went into a high-profile release without a sense of whether it was set to be a masterpiece or a complete turkey due to the miracle that is social media, something of which I believe results in a much more reliable and fresh opinion in one’s opinion of that film. One thing that has always impressed me about the abundance of Marvel movie releases and the subsequent Cinematic Universe, harking back to the release of Iron Man in 2008, is that throughout its long list of releases, all the films within such a universe have always tended to be in the positive spectrum when it comes to a critical stance, where although some are much better than others (The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy), nearly all have also been rather solid, if rather formulaic, without one seemingly sticking out and declaring itself as the black sheep of the bunch. With the release of Fantastic Four however, although not being a part of the MCU in terms of the bigger picture, it seems that this particular run of good Marvel fortune has seemingly come to an end, with Josh Trank’s reboot being a complete mess from beginning to end, resulting in a movie on par with the widely panned original releases ten years previous.
When boy genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller, Whiplash) is given the opportunity to further his studies into the boundaries between parallel dimensions by Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards), he and his team of like-minded scientists including Sue Storm (Kate Mara, House of Cards), Johnny Storm (Micheal B. Jordan, Chronicle) and the reluctant Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell, Dead Man’s Shoes) successfully gain access to the parallel world known simply as “Planet Zero”. One drunken night, Reed, Johnny, Victor and close friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell, Jumper), decide to be the first to venture into the unknown plant and inadvertently witness Victor seemingly fall to his death, whilst bringing back with them a range of powers that have not only changed their own genetic structure, but that of Sue who was attempting to help them return from Planet Zero. With their new-found powers and abilities, the team not only must adjust to their radical changes, but the threat of impending doom from something they thought they had once lost but has now returned with a vengeance. So, in terms of the premise of Fantastic Four, it is pretty much what we all expected, with a redesign of the origin of our four main heroes and an influence of their biggest enemy, Doctor Doom, in an attempt to give them their first taste of heroism, all of which was given away in the rather overplayed trailers. So with a solid, if rather unsurprising, story to helm it, Fantastic Four was never set to be anything as good as previous superhero entries but the completed picture can only be classed as something of a complete disaster with a wide range of faults and issues that succeed only in making it one of the biggest disappointments of the year so far.
With recent superhero movies attempting to redesign the notion of what such a film entails, helped by the success, both critically and financially of The Dark Knight trilogy, Fantastic Four seemingly has decided to completely disregard such ideas, with the added depth that has been highly prevalent in recent comic-related movies missing entirely, resulting in characters that I don’t overly care for and a story that is completely off the chains to say the least in terms of its’ narrative structure and discipline, evidenced by a final act that not only is rushed completely off its’ feet, but has no dramatic or logical impact whatsoever aside from the fact that a big-budget Hollywood movie like this has to have at least some sort of scene whereby destruction and only destruction is the key concept. I mean come on guys, did your editing or production team simply bypass watching the film as a whole before releasing it, or were they just not bothered about the critical appeal of such a film and instead took the Micheal Bay approach in that big explosions and fire results in making big money? Well if that is the case, unfortunately for you, Fantastic Four will not take Avengers-like levels of cash and instead will only be seen for what it is; a fantastic disaster from start to finish which not only will anger cinema viewers who will no doubt pay to witness such drivel, but the Marvel fans who were waiting for at last a solid take on one of their most beloved comic creations, something of which they definitely did not get this time around.
Adding to the mediocrity of Fantastic Four is its’ fundamental contradictory in what it wants to see itself as. Is it a dark, adult, comic film in similar vein to Watchmen, or instead a light-hearted, comedic take on the superhero movie like Guardians of the Galaxy? Too many times the film seemingly flipped in and out of its’ true intentions with cheesy one liners being offset with scenes of shocking violence whilst the calm and collective beginning being transposed with a shoddy collapse at the films’ conclusion all resulting in a film, which although must have had good intentions, seemingly being made without a care in the world, something of which angers me deeply as lover of film. The one saving grace of the film? The cast, with Miles Teller leading the way in doing the best he can with the script he was handed, whilst it is good to see Reg E. Cathey getting more of a shot in Hollywood after his heart-braking performances in House of Cards. But in terms of the good, that’s just about it. Ironically, director Josh Trank has come out this week stating that the reason for Fantastic Four sucking so much is due to the input and influence of 20th Century Fox, and that his version would be receiving much better reviews if not for their desire to edit and change. Well Mr, Trank, if that is the case then you have my sympathies, but for now we are left with a shoddy, out-of-place, disaster-ridden raspberry that not only will be quickly forgotten, but will hopefully be lost in the vaults of cinema completely and left to die along with its’ equally as bad predecessors ten years previous. Want my advice? Watch Ant-Man again.
Dan’s Overall Score: 3/10
Pete – Lets put it this way, Fantastic 4 is as fantastic as an empty bottle of Fanta filled with lukewarm piss. Its as if Josh Trank wanted to make the worst Marvel movie in history. How someone can actually enjoy this, I will never know. We can’t even class it as a child’s entrance film into the MCU because there is so little substance, you may as well let your kid watch paint dry.
Let me make one thing clear, these actors suck. They suck more than Kim Kardashian. The casting was just awful. Pretty much every incarnation I’ve seen of FF source material has involved adults. The group were of a serious age to be taking part in space age opportunities, not borderline psychopathic children that where clichés from High School Musical. The teen angst drips from this and it has to be one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching. Oh, big spoiler here, Doom dies. Deader than a doornail. Sucked into some power hunger hole that tore him into pieces and it was probably for the best. Hopefully he will never come back to grace the screen with his awful costume that looked more like a morph suit than it did the real Doom. Don’t insult the source material with such an awful depiction. Although, this is honestly the only action that happens in the film. The last 10 minutes of the film is occupied with it while the rest of the experience is tortuous attempts at storytelling.
Dan speaks of the indecisiveness of the plot from gritty and dark to ‘comedy’ and I couldn’t agree more. Every attempt at character development was removed, deaths were played off as something not relevant and these “incredibly smart children” are fucking morons. I’ve watched many movies in my time and more so with the creation of this blog but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like throwing faeces at the screen and swinging out like fucking Tarzan 10 minutes into a film. Sure, The Counsellor was bad, like real bad; but Christ, at least they tried.
You know what made it worse? The acting. Even the extras were awful. Often you would catch one staring at the camera lens like its some sort of mythical creature with a creepy grin slapped across their face. Obviously they’re just extras who somehow landed a quick role in the flick but when the main cast can’t type on a keyboard in a convincing manner, is almost an indefinite sign that they have no idea what they’re doing. At least put a little effort into what you are ‘doing’. Perhaps write an essay on how you’re such a terrible actor and that you really don’t want to be on a film that everyone will see because you don’t want your reputation to sink any further into the precipice of Josh Trank’s vacant mind than it already has.
I’m not going to argue against Dan. I’m in fact, going to congratulate him on such restraint. The awful composition, shots, music, story, acting, character development, design and visuals were trash for a Marvel film. Perhaps if 20th Century Fox actually worked with Marvel on this, we could have finally got the FF we deserve but noooooo. I’m almost tempted not to give this a score. Giving it score would acknowledge is actually exists and I don’t feel like it even deserves that. Dan’s score says it all and heed these words, we do not want another. I saw you had it scheduled, stop it. Now. For the love of god, kill it off now and please don’t fuck up X-men…
OVERALL SCORE – 3/10 – DO NOT WATCH
The Batman Arkham series is one of my personal favourites and one of the best ventures for the DC universe to date. With Troy Baker also in the mix, what is there not to love?
A unique combat system which sees you flinging yourself across the room at 30 thugs singlehandidly beating the live crap out of them with a grasious flow or the sneaky strap the bastards up by their testies to a ledge approach are just some ways the game is so fond in my memory. Its now that we can finally return to the DC world and do it all over again but this time we have Nightwing, Robin and Catwoman!
Bring it on!
Arkham Knight drops the 23rd of June this year
Over the next few days, The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5 is going live across a large selection of platforms. The highly anticipated finale to the series inspired and influenced by the Fable graphic novels is bitter sweet. As ever with something you invest a lot of time into, you can become attached to the series and it certainly is sad to see Bigby Wolf’s current tale end. With the huge success, it’s quite possible that we will see his return and that is calming to think about.
If you aren’t aware of The Wolf Among Us, you must experience it. From the studio that brought you The Walking Dead, Telltale studios have brought the comic book world into an experience that can only be described as an interactive show where your choices and actions form the story around you. Starring the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby, you are Fabletown’s protector; a detective of sorts. Over the 5 episodes you must solve the murder of a young Fable, but its never going to be that simple with Telltale. Without divulging the story, I can say that nothing really goes to plan for you. you’re thrown from pillar to post trying to work out who the murderer is but also get stuck into the affairs of many of Fabletown’s citizens who fate YOU decide.
Telltale’s success is not simple down to its innovate gameplay or story telling, it’s also down to the characters that it creates. Lee and Clementine from The Walking Dead series are the perfect examples of this. Their bond and partnership was endearing and you couldn’t help but fall in love with them. The same can be said about Bibgy Wolf. Although he’s not the loving sort of character, he is a reformed character with a troubled past. His big persona, strength and forwardness are great fun and he knows he’s doing what needs to be done in a place where many fear his past. A man seeking redemption if you may. As a much more aggressive character, he’s accustom to violence so many of his actions can be extreme. Personally for me, this makes him even cooler and has sold me onto buying the graphic novels.
As I’ve already mentioned, the gameplay and story are wonderful, mixed with the amazing art style that uses thick and heavy outlines with many saturated colours, the colours actually pop. With news that Telltale are creating a Borderlands series, the blend of styles will make it one of the best visually. The vast amounts of work that goes into creating the art and story do have it’s drawbacks. Waiting patiently each month for a download means that many, like myself, have to suffer with a poor internet connection to download a substantial file and is a bit of a pain on days/times when internet traffic is high or your internet is down. The other problem is that the game can be a little fragmented with framerate issues. Dropping from time to time when loading and presenting itself as frozen does interrupt the flow of the story. Many of the Xbox users may also notice an achievement glitch which awards you the achievements but doesn’t acknowledge them on the Xbox hub. Currently the situation has yet to be fixed and little news opens up why this is happening.
I’ve been very careful not to reveal any spoilers for this series due to the fact that it is just epic and everyone’s experience can be different. The overall ending is set but why should I ruin that? Episode 5’s release was heavily anticipated and you will not be disappointed with this instalment. I’m a little confused by the end scene myself but I hope we will see some answers in the near future.
Wolf Among Us as a whole series deserves a 9/10. Sure, it can be buggy at times, but everything else works in it’s favour. It’s not convoluted and it’s not pre-school level. A very well written (with some very funny moments), voiced and styled first outing for Bigby and I can’t wait to see him return…Please let him return!