Fantastic Four: Extended Edition Tim Story

Fantastic Four: Extended Edition Tim Story
A lumbering, gluttonous release more densely packed than the Thing’s petrified colon is this extended edition of superhero family film travesty Fantastic Four. Stretch the material of this crappy adaptation out thinner than Mr. Fantastic trying to envelope Galactus and you’ve got writing more transparent than Jessica Alba’s Invisible Woman. Even though the film was atrociously amateur in tone, the iconic status of the franchise ensured that FF made money, enough to warrant this hefty supplement, coincidentally timed with the theatrical release of its sequel. Included on the first disc are theatrical and extended cuts of the film, a preview of Rise of the Silver Surfer, extended/deleted scenes (including a weird face morph by Mr. Fantastic into Wolverine) and two commentary tracks, one with three of the Four and another with the director/writer/producer team. Oddly, these commentary tracks affirm the crew’s satisfaction with the project and demonstrate heavy research into the original comic books. For all their claims of reverence to the source material, however, director Tim Story and writers Mark Frost and Michael France display a shocking disrespect for the comic’s mythology, opting to glaze over a cobbled together story with a dazzling gloss of special effects. These expensive effects are deconstructed in painstaking detail on the second disc’s "Production” featurette. This extra disc is packed full of documentary-length features, informative technical deconstructions of the CGI use in action sequences and special effects, interviews with cast and crew, and some touching, funny scenes with Stan Lee, who seems as thrilled as ever to be involved. Largely because of Lee, the rest of the special features are a pleasure to watch and a gold mine of information for Marvel geeks. Nearly all the writers and artists involved in the history of The Fantastic Four discuss the comic’s evolution and there is an entire feature dedicated to the late Jack Kirby, the original artist and co-creator, which also covers much of the history of Marvel. These history lessons are much more valuable to comic lore than the actual movie and tellingly, reveal that many artists have had difficulty taking on the task of effectively extending Kirby and Lee’s first family of cosmically irradiated superheroes. (Fox)