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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going into this movie, I didn't have the same stellar expectations that I had with other movies of this particular genre like I did with Batman Begins, the Spiderman or even the X-Men flicks. We're not talking about some catastrophic event that happens to a single human being which transforms his life into something more than it was and he has to maintain his every day Joe Schmoe attire while all the while protecting his alter-ego from the rest of the world. This isn't even a band of outlaw mutants hiding out from a world that fears and hates them for being different. This is a silly Saturday morning cartoon come to life and while catastrophy does strike, their identies are very much in the open unlike Batman or Spiderman. It's not meant to be taken very seriously, and as such I will not harp on various weak points I felt that the film had. Instead, I will get right to it and try to be as fair as possible.

You all know this story (Well, comic book fans do.) a team of scientists led by Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) to observe and harness the radiation of a cosmic storm in space. Reed believes that the radiation according to his calculations can benefit mankind and wipe out diseases that have plagued us from the dawn of time. Unfortunately, his calculations happen to be off and he, along with his companions become a band of superheroes dubbed The Fantastic Four. We have the orange, rock skinned Thing ( Michael Chiklis), The Human Torch (Chris Evans) and last, and certainly not least The Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba) Seeing Alba here in and in other movies and her various attire, I have a new appreciation of her...contributions to moviemaking in general. She doesn't really have to do anything except appear on the screen and I'm sure I speak for the rest of the male populace when I say that is all she really has to do.

They have another companion whose intentions are not as benevolent as theirs. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) has every intention of using their discovery to reaffirm his power base, but unknown to him, his coporation is wanting him out of power which he finds out to his dismay upon arriving back on earth. Doom is pissed to say the least, and he decides it's time to take out his frustrations on the media's new darlings, The F.F. He is developing powers of his own which consist of metallic armored skin and an ability to bend electricity to his will. An all out battle converges on the streets and from there we see some cartoon violence little seen since Batman and Robin. Not to say this film was as bad as that one, I doubt anything made before or since even comes close to that Schumacher atrocity; it was very campy but oh so much like the comic book itself back in the day.

On that note, I must say that the cast played their parts EXACTLY as they probably should have been played knowing the comic book from whence they originated. I felt that the relationship between Reed and Sue Storm could have been less sappy, but overall I guess it worked for this piece of cinematic tomfoolery. While McMahon played Doom covincingly in his arrogance, I must admit I longed for a more regal bearing and a commanding voice to fit the character. Something very close to James Earl Jones speaking in a defiant tone "I AM DOOM!!!" All would have been well, and the movie would have gotten a higher ranking.

Maybe Doom will be better served in the next film. Your heroes are only as good as your villians, and this time around we didn't really have such a "Fantastic" showing, but it was enjoyable for all that.

Rating: 3 out of a possible 5 stars.
 

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I have absolutely no interest in seeing this film, and I think this whole Superhero movie trend is getting a little old, and sad, and annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you haven't seen Batman Begins I think you owe it to yourself to go check out this particular movie before nailing the coffin shut on the whole genre. Forget Burton and especially Schumacher's vision of The Dark Knight; that movie is worth at least one veiwing if not more. I can't really blame your apathy toward this movie or quite a few others of the cape and spandex clad community; some directors just hear a cash register ringing on something that could be potentially hot and decide to capitalize on it without paying attention to what would or wouldn't work in a movie of this type. How else would you explain Batman and Robin, Daredevil, Electra and the last two Superman films?
 

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I have heard about how great Batman Begins is, and for the wait, it should be. I'm not sure I will see it, me and actually seeing movies is a matter of what do I get out of the experience, why should I go to the trouble of seeing it. Because I'm not a kid, I saw Tim Burton's Batman movies when I was a kid and I loved them. I still do, with a passion. And it's all pretty much due to their darkness and a certain meanspiritedness in a way, they go quite far into the dark side of human nature. And the satirical elements are so rich and the production values are so gothic and rewardingly eerie.

I loved Batman 89's satire on beauty-culture and high art. How the Joker considers himself a homicidal artist. I hated Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack in The Shining because of it's over-the-top quality, because the movie is supposed to be about his slow mental/personality deterioration. But in Batman, it's his near-death experience coupled with his life's natural imbalance that just at one moment instantly makes him totally ****ing crazy. And Jack Nicholson does this like no one can, and every moment he's onscreen as the Joker is an incredible kick. His very flamboyant and taunting performance is just so easy to get into and dig, if you're sick of all the lame, quasi-civilized James Bond enemies. It's any one of those, with all the stops pulled out. The whole movie is just insane with this manic energy and I find it quite a fun ride.

I loved Batman Returns, mainly because we see a strange kind of private torment in Cat Woman's life. Danny DeVito's Penguin was lame in his backstory and like he actually cared about his parent's abandoning him, the way he goes on it's like even he considers it the best thing that could have happened to him. But Cat Woman is a whole other story. Though I love Batman's concern in this film, he goes out on a limb to help one of the villains because he empathizes with her feelings that she wants vengeance and her wanting some kind of justice and she aimlessly looks for a way she can hurt Max Shreck only to find more of her energies focused on hurting Batman. Then the two come together in fiercely erotic scenes, where I think we have some elements of sadomasochism. And that really kind of speaks volumes about their relationship and characters. And puts in that element of now he can understand what she's going through. But really he can't, which is probably why they don't end up together. I love her transformation into a very assertive but still darkly brooding and troubled manipulater. But she's not devious, that's Max Shreck who's the opportunist and needed to be killed. And I really dug the way he melts down in the end, trying to do away with anything good when he tries to kill Batman for pretty much no reason. It's a tragedy where only the real evil people die, and we keep seeing that even though Cat Woman is a vigilante, she's quite conflicted.

And I love the scores to these movies. And that style. And I just can't see how Batman Forever or Batman & Robin could compare to Burton's Batman movies. They're too conventional. And lame that way.

Nicole Kidman is such a loser in Forever, with her so-accomplished career and self-assured interest in the psychology of Batman, and she's never in real peril nor could act it if she were. Val Kilmer is so flat and soulless that I can't buy that he has any confusion about what he is, he's so determined all the time. I hate the part where he gets knocked out, because he's one of those people you don't buy as a victim. You can't see his insecurity whether he's supposed to be at war with himself or with his foes. He's such a boring Batman. Then Robin in Forever is supposed to be like Batman in the original '89 Batman, which seems like a rip-off idea to me. And handled so stiffly. He wants revenge against Two-Face, I have to say, who cares. He's just a pipsqueak of a character we don't even want the film to elaborate on. I SO hate too that scene he goes out in Batman's mobile as a test, can he be Batboy. I laughed at the points when everybody else felt sorry for him. And then, let's not even talk about the way Drew Barrymore is wasted in this stupid role as Jim Carrey's ditsy trophy girlfriend / Two-Face's better half. Another great flamboyant actress, Debi Mazer has a part though you barely see her, as Two-Face's trophy girlfriend/worse half. It's like, why did they even hire her, her scenes are so darkly lit you can't even recognize it's her.

I don't remember Batman & Robin very well, but I liked it. A lot of very inspired casting. Who better to first of all play Mr. Freeze than someone who is pratically unable to play real emotions and has that robotic anti-humanity about him. Some people might have said, too predictable or easy to cast The Terminator as Mr. Freeze- but that's such a pathetic point of criticism. I'm not sure they said it about this movie, but you know what I mean. Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy was basically a casting choice I see coming from the filmmaker(s) having a love affair with Pulp Fiction, which we all do, be honest- even if you hate it, you still feel that love in the way that you hate it. From there, I think it's a matter of effects and action-adventure set-pieces. I guess a lot of people said George Clooney wasn't a good choice for Batman, because they never wanted to see him covered by that costume and part of his casting whenever he is cast is to see the handsome guy. I think I bought him as a good choice for the suited Batman even though he seems more sophisticated and less physical, I consider him to be the James Bond Batman, because that's who he is- charming and sophisticated but still able to be strong and physical. Covering him up with the suit also is the perfect camouflage: if you could see him as George Clooney beating up badguys and stuff, you wouldn't buy it.

If I could see Batman Begins as an extension of these films, I'd dig it. But it just has to be really intelligent and appealing in that sense. I would have loved to see Katie Holmes playing the Chase Meridian. I've always liked Katie Holmes's way of looking meak or meager and then blowing you away with some hidden bit of talent or edge that you only see if you watch her long enough, if you give her a chance.
 
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