Fantastic Four (2005) - Extended Edition

Genre(s): Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Fox || PG13 - 125 minutes - $26.98 || June 5, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-06-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Tim Story
Writer(s): Jack Kirby (characters by) & Stan Lee (characters by), Michael France (written by) and Mark Frost (written by)
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington


Theatrical Release Date: July 9th, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    Disc 1:
  • Extended Edition
  • Theatrical Cut
  • Cast Commentary (Theatrical Cut Only)
  • Filmmakers' Commentary (Extended Edition)
  • Extended/Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Silver Surfer Featurette


  • Disc 2:
  • Heroes Are Born: The Making of Fantastic Four Documentary
  • The Baxter Building: Declassified Featurette
  • The World's Greatest Comic: Magazine Documentary
  • Jack Kirby: Storyteller Documentary
  • Visiting the Stately Ross Museum Featurette
  • From Comic Book to Film Featurette
  • Multi-Angle Scene Studies
  • Still Galleries


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Although I didn’t like Fantastic Four very much, I decided to give Fox’s “Extended Edition” release a try since I’ve enjoyed other 2-disc incarnations before (Elektra, X-Men 1.5).

My feelings on the film even with the extra 20-minutes remain the same. The casting is off, especially in Jessica Alba’s case -- though she is easy on the eyes -- and the story still has the same problems as before with some of the more lazy writing I’ve seen only outdone perhaps by Rise of the Silver Surfer. Director Tim Story doesn’t seem to know how to tell a story when one is there, but beyond that, the Fantastic Four’s archenemy, Doctor Doom, isn’t that much of an obstacle for them.

As for Doom’s evil plot, I won’t begrudge him trying to rule the world since another classic comic book villain (Lex Luthor) has been doing this in every movie he’s appeared in. Of course, I think Luthor, despite not having any superpowers whatsoever, can stand toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel.

The extra 20-minutes are inserted, for the most part, nicely, beginning with a new opening credits sequence. The biggest change is the sub plot between Ben (Chiklis) and Alicia (Washington) where their relationship fleshed out.

Equally large, on the other hand, is the inclusion of a scene with Reed and Sue coming right after the planetarium scene. This is a cute scene but the dialogue and purpose mirror that in the planetarium, so it feels odd seeing them back to back.

If you want to read more, you can check out my DVD review that includes my original theatrical review as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

DISC 1:
Disc one includes both the extended cut and theatrical version. There’s a new commentary track with the filmmakers including director Tim Story, producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige, and screenwriters Michael France and Mark Frost. Their comments were recorded separately and then spliced in to make at least a semi-entertaining track.

The theatrical version includes the original cast commentary featuring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis (see review of original DVD for more comments).

The disc also includes deleted/extended scenes (26:40), so you can watch these separately from the extended cut. Finally, there’s a marketing section housing theatrical and teaser trailers. There is also, under “Inside Look” on the main menu, the trailer for Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Note: Despite the back of the DVD case stating the inclusion of a “Silver Surfer” featurette, unless it’s an easter egg, I have been unable to find it...

DISC 2:
The second disc is split into three parts: “Production”, “The Comic Book” and “Still Galleries”.

PRODUCTION
Heroes Are Born: Making of Fantastic 4 (97:31) - This feature-length making-of doc is what one expects from one of these. It does have the normal butt kissing, like getting the actors they wanted or how great each one of them were. Besides that, though, you get a good dose of behind-the-scenes footage along with interview footage from the main cast.

The Baxter Building: Declassified (6:48) - A brief look at the Fantastic 4’s headquarters from the comic book. As a non-fan, I actually did find this interesting, but in comparison with everything else, this was just fluff.

The last feature in this section, is are Multi-Angle Animatic to Scene Studies.

THE COMIC BOOK
The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine (57:46) - Expansive documentary taking the viewer through the history of the “Fantastic Four” from their early days with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, through the 70s and 80s, to today and how they’ve changed/adapted through time. This features interviews with current and former artists/writers and give their insight into the comic that made Marvel what it is today.

Jack Kirby: Storyteller (62:22) - Even as a non-Marvel fan, I know the legend of Jack Kirby and the influence he had at the company. While many worship at the feet of Stan Lee (and even, to a certain extent Bob Kane in DC’s case), it seems if there was one person who built the comic book industry, and did so humbly, it would be Jack Kirby.

From Comic Book to Film (3:45) - Just a chronicle of taking the comic book to the big screen.

There’s also a throw-away gallery for Collectibles.

STILL GALLERIES
Speaking of which, rounding out the second disc are galleries of pictures from “Behind the Scenes”, “Character Sculpts”, “Characters”, “Concept Art”, “Costumes” and “Human Torch Flame Tests”.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

I assume this is the same exact transfer as the last release, so the same opinions apply here. But here is the technical info:

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen. 2.35 OAR and looks crisp and clear, even during the inserted scenes.

You also have the choice of a standard Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 tracks, both of which are perfectly suitable for your home theater, though DTS, of course, provides a bit more depth. A Spanish Dolby Surround track is also available along with English, Spanish and French subtitles (good to have on while listening to commentaries).



.::OVERALL::.

This “Extended Edition” isn’t for everyone. Myself, it was worth the sale price of $9.99 just for the second disc goodies. Sure, the movie is still crap and Alba can’t act, but she is fine to look at, so I’ll chalk that in the plus category.