Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics 12. The Fantastic 4

He’s hitting the dregs in this series now. Having waded through some serious poop in the form of Ghost Rider (you are aware JPT that the new one is out soon, and it’s your birthday! Not to mention that it’s directed by the two Crank monkeys, you lucky dog), Elektra et al, but it is now time for the Fantastic 4 to gangbang his fragile little mind into submission. Personally, I think he passed that point roughly at That Darn Cat in his ill-fated Birthday Series, but it looks like I could be wrong. So, with no more dull preamble from me, here’s Just Pillow Talk with the first of his less-than-Fantastic 4 reviews. 

Fantastic Four (2005)

Along with Ghostrider, I was dreading these films the most…from what I remember of them there was pretty much no redeeming features to either of the FF films.  Considering the track record of revisiting Marvel films, I was damn sure this one would only get worse.

Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd, horribly miscast) is supposedly a great scientist who has cash flow problems.  Seems the guy can’t pay his bills, even though he’s got this crazy intellect.  To that end, he and his buddy Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) go to see Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon – pussy), an old college acquaintance, to help fund a project that was rejected by NASA but Reed firmly believes in.  Reed thinks that cosmic energy is the key to changing DNA and ending disease and whatnot, and there happens to be an energy cloud heading toward Earth.  Victor has a space station that Reed would like to use to conduct the experiment.  Along for the ride are Sue Storm (Jessica Alba – bland but strips down, so good), Victor’s assistant in science and cleavage, and Sue’s brother Johnny (Chris Evans, who is on fire in this role) to pilot the space ship to the station.  Alas for our group, things go wrong.

The cosmic energy comes sooner than expected (quite rude) and the shields on the space station are not up to the task of keeping the cosmic energy out.  Our occupants are bombarded with cosmic energy and soon begin to have their DNA change.  I think this is one of the best scenes of the movie, because I dug how the cosmic energy was portrayed as wave after wave hit their bodies.  It seemed to me actual pages of the comic book, in this case, was brought to life.  Our four heroes-to-be soon discover their powers and deal with it in different ways.  Ben is a orange freak and wants to be cured as soon as possible.  Johnny uses his powers as just another outlet to be in the starlight.  Reed and Sue use this quality time to rediscover their relationship, which is the strength and core of the movie.  It’s the engine that drives the team together and holds the fabric of the movie together.  Okay, it doesn’t.  It’s shit because the actors are the weakest of the team and nothing they say or do carry any weight.  However, Alba does strip down.

The heroes solve their differences with each other and with their conditions by the end of the movie to do battle against Victor von Doom, who was changed as well into a strong, electricity shooting pussy.  They win via teamwork, Doom gets shipped back to Latveria where he’s from (not sure how that got worked out) and Reed proposes to Sue.  The end.

Right, let’s talk about what was actually good with this film, and frankly (monkey!) there’s more here I liked than I remembered.  Chris Evans as the Human Torch lights up the screen and really nails Johnny Storm’s character, especially when the FF first came out.  His humor, for the most part, kept the movie moving and he came across like he was enjoying the hell out of his self.  A role like this (or The Losers) is what he’s perfectly suited for, unlike Captain America where he comes across as a plank of wood.  I don’t think he can pull off the non-wise cracking roles, at least in a comic booky type movie.

Michael Chiklis also puts in a solid performance, displaying enough to show that Ben Grimm hates what he has become and clamoring for a cure, but at the same time, willing to turn himself back into the Thing to save his friends.  The one problem I still have with the Thing is his size.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t he a lot bigger than everyone else?  They probably would not have done a good job with the CGI (hello Hulk), so it’s probably a wise decision they went the way they did.

No idea what the fuck this is.

Now we get to Ioan Gruffudd, who I never bought for a second as a brilliant scientist.  He just comes off as a worthless fool who I have no idea how Sue Storm would ever fall for such a douche.  I think his acting is pretty bad, and that’s right from the beginning when he’s doing his ‘big’ presentation to Doom trying to sell the idea of using his space station.

Jessica Alba has a smoking body and that’s all I’ll say about Sue Storm.

Now we get to the biggest problem in terms of casting….the villain.  Your superhero movie is only as strong as your villain, and in this case, we have a gigantic pussy in that role.  So Doom is some successful business man who loses it all gambling on Reed’s project and loses all his investors, and Sue to Reed.  That’s fucking it?  That’s how you create the FF’s greatest villain….a failed business man who lost his woman (at least in his mind)?  Egads, talk about a weak ass villain.  I know you guys make fun of Bale’s Batman voice (rightfully so in some cases), but to hear Julian’s voice when donning the Doom mask, it’s laughable.  It’s like if a used car salesman starting telling me he was going to bring about world domination after selling me a 1998 Toyota Corolla.  Not so sure I would believe him.

What the movie does seem to get right is the family dynamic, with of course the interactions between Johnny and Ben the best.  They are also able to work, however briefly, a team dynamic to defeating Doom which was kind of cool.  I realize it was yet another origin movie, but it seriously lacked enough action for a comic book movie.  It certainly wasn’t Ghostrider bad, or even X-men bad, but come on people, throw me a bone here.

Comparably speaking, it is better than Electra, Ghostrider, Spidey 3, even the first and third X-men.  I would even say I would rather watch this than the first Spider-man.  Yup, I actually had more fun with this than all those movies.  It is still not a good movie, but it’s a lot more close to being passable than I’ve given it credit for.  I’ll give it 1 ½ Jessica Alba’s out of 4.

Pillow out

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

82 responses to “Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics 12. The Fantastic 4”

  1. Jarv says :

    Crap film this, but I would also probably watch it before X-Men, X3, X:Foetus, Spidey 1, Spidey 3, Elektra as well.

    So 1.5 is totally justified. If it had a better villain then it would be a much better film.

  2. just pillow talk says :

    Heh…the kid with the thing gloves made me laugh. I felt obligated to include it here. I’m sure the monkey has a pair of those home.

  3. Droid says :

    Caught a bit of this on tv the other day. Or maybe it was the sequel. Anyway, it was shit. I recall being ginormously underwhelmed by them, but not hating them. No real interest in seeing them again.

    I would like a Silver Surfer movie though.

    • Jarv says :

      Thought FF2 was fucking awful, actually, and partially because of the moving Oscar Statue. I’d seriously contemplate an Orangutan for it.

      • Droid says :

        Nah, 2 was better than 1. Surfer was decent. It was dreadful shit like rubber man dancing with chicks that sunk it.

      • Jarv says :

        Fucking hated 2. Really hated it. Hated the concept, the dance scene was almost beyond awful (I’d forgotten it, thanks for the reminder), and I did not under any circumstances want to watch a funny book movie where a fucking will-they-won-they wedding is one of the driving forces of the plot.

      • Just Pillow Talk says :

        Hmmm…I don’t remember the second one much. I just remember the cloud and Sue Storm dying, but not really, at the end.

        A Silver Surfer in actual space could be okay, but who am I kidding? They would fuck that up too.

  4. Xiphos0311 says :

    The movie is the very definition of generic paint by the numbers nothingness and how come The Thing is the smallest person on screen not named Alba?

  5. tombando says :

    I’m in the Vast minority here-I like this movie. It’s smaller scale than it shoulda been, set in the wrong era, too–and yeah some of the casting is silly-Alba?!-Doom?-but I enjoy it.

    Chiklis is good, Evans is good, the plot is useless, the whole thing plays like a pricey made for TV movie, but hell, it works. What I saw of the sequel was just more of the same. I don’t hate on this one.

  6. Jarv says :

    To cheer you up Pillows:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/53628

    Fatass likes it.

  7. Xiphos0311 says :

    Marvel theses are the movies you should be making:

    1. Moon Knight the fuck up version not the rebooted one
    2. Power Man & Iron Fist
    3. WereWolf by Night
    4. Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu
    5. A better version of DareDevil

    you can also do a cross over with Shang Chi and Power man & Iron fist

    • Jarv says :

      I was reading about Moon Knight the other day. Never going to happen, and he’s damned close to Batman, except with added Egyptian shenanigans.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        oh sure he’s a total batman rip with a cooler costume and a truly fucked up back story and civilian identity. The Egyptian stuff is gravy.

      • Jarv says :

        I get Batman’s costume is all about Stealth and whatnot, but Moon Knight’s is just really funny. He can’t lurk in the shadows, can he?

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Huh part my reply didn’t make it this is the rest

        plus MK joyfully slaughters bad guys and has some cool weapons

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah you would think that but somehow he manages to, its some funny shit. His cape is a way more effective weapon then Batman’s and MK has a way cooler looking head gear.

      • Jarv says :

        Batman’s cape isn’t really a weapon is it, though?

        Which reminds me, I’m feeling definite worries about TDKR. That trailer looks dire, and I don’t see why they can’t just punch up the sound on Bane’s voice.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Batmans cape is a defensive sort of weapon it confuses his enemies while fighting but, in some outfits, it has an offensive capability.

        I was never much of a fan of Nolan’s Batman franchise so I have no opinion about it. To me look like more of the same to me.

  8. Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

    Ok, confession time. I have just got into True Blood.

    Its really good! lol. And very fucked up story-telling too. Great settings, great actors doing crazy things. And more sex and blood since Rome, although I hear nu Sparticus is good for that too.

    Man, everyone gets their kit off on that show! No matter which way your bread is buttered, there’s something for everybody on it 😀

    • Droid says :

      Watched 3 eps of True Blood. Bored and annoyed by it so I stopped.

      • Jarv says :

        I made it 4 in. And Paquin does not have good enough norks to warrant me sitting through any more.

      • Droid says :

        Haven’t you read the books?

      • Jarv says :

        The first 8 when I had Swine Flu. Incidentally, I’m never being rude about Swine Flu again.

        They’re uniformly dreadful. Awful, awful crap, and they sink into the mire of being totally fucking awful in the end- with Werepanthers, Weretigers, and whatnot.

        It’s fucking awful stuff from start to finish.

      • Jarv says :

        Just in case you’re struggling- the books are fucking Awful.

        Because I don’t think I used that word enough last time.

      • Droid says :

        It’s fucking awful stuff from start to finish.

        Yet you read 8 of them.

      • Droid says :

        Speaking of crap books. I’m still struggling through Dragon Tats. It’s shit and if I read another description of an apple product I’m going to… [obnoxious remark about dead author deleted].

      • Jarv says :

        Swine Flu. Which, incidentally, I’ll never be rude about again.

        I read them all in about 4 days when I literally could not move from bed, and couldn’t bloody sleep. I also watched some real garbage in the background.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        The books are entertainingly awful in my opinion the later ones have become really dark, weird and violent.

      • Jarv says :

        The ones I’ve read in order:

        • Dead until Dark: Utter shit- introduces the concept, nothing really happens apart from her getting porked by Bill. And falling out with him. Then making up
        • Living Dead in Dallas: Even worse. She goes to Dallas, fuck all happens of interest. Big and gratuitous orgy at the end.
        • Club Dead: Words fail me. The low point of the series. Bill abandons her, she follows him, he rapes her. They break up. Wretched on every level. Werewolves appear for the first time.
        • Dead to the World: Best novel, by a mile, that I’ve read. Eric has Amnesia, and there’s a full blown supernatural war. Werepanthers are introduced. Sookie kills Debbie Pelt (this will plague the later books)
        • Dead as a Doornail: Shite. Jason is becoming a werepanther, and someone is killing supernaturals. Also, Debbie Pelts sister starts to interfere in Sookie’s life. Just terrible. Weretigers are introduced
        • Definitely Dead: Crap. Sookie starts dating Quinn the Weretiger, and has problems with Vampire hierarchy.Amelia the crap witch introduced.
        • All together Dead: Painfully bad. Sookie goes to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Patronising shite, and made worse by appearance of another telepath. Sookie still being plagued by the Pelts. Faries introduced.
        • From Dead to Worse: Last one I’ve read. Complete and utter shit. Still, at least she finally resolves the Pelts storyline. Oh, and the main storyline is a load of crap about her relationships with her grandfather and the werepanther AND some bollocks about Werepanthers/ Werewolf competition. This is the one nearest to soap opera.
        • Basically, don’t bother with any of them bar number 4

      • Jarv says :

        Oh, and in the storyline that won’t die, I’ve heard Sandra Pelt is back in the latest Sookie novel.

        Brilliant. She’s not an interesting antagonist, and fuck knows why she’s in so many of the books.

      • Kloipy says :

        the worst ‘show is better than the books’ is Dexter. I haven’t read the books but the synopsis that Dexter is actually possessed by the ‘dark passenger’ that is actually an ancient demon

      • Jarv says :

        The first Dexter book is actually really good. The second is utter shite, and I will not ever touch the Dark Passenger one.

      • Jarv says :

        Off now. See you later.

      • Droid says :

        Somewhat like the show itself then. The first series is excellent and the second is utter shite.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah after reading that book I was like…ehhhh how did this become a good show? I’ve yet to see past season 1 or read another book. I wanna see the Lithgow season.

      • Droid says :

        Just skip to the 4th season. I’ve watched 1-3 and 2 is unwatchable garbage. 3 is okay. I’ve got the 4th to watch at some stage.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Dexter both the books and the TV show are awful though I’ll give the crappy TV show a slight edge for the nudity. That Fucking Dexter is a whinny cunt.

      • Droid says :

        I don’t find him especially whiny. Not compared to a character like Sam on SN. It’s the nature of the beast with that show as it helps to push the stories along and add interest and whatnot, but man he sooks like a bitch all through the show.

      • koutchboom says :

        My problem is that season 1 wrapped up so well I was like…ok I don’t need to see anymore of this.

      • Droid says :

        There is some truth to that. Which is why you should probably skip straight to the 4th season if you’re wanting to see the Lithgow series. Apparently that’s the next best series. Certainly don’t bother with series 2.

      • Droid says :

        Although Dexter in season two was an annoying cunt. It’s when he’s “conflicted” and such that he’s at his most irritating.

      • Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

        I dont think I’ll be reading the books, Jarv. This show fills the trashy tv part of my life at the moment.

        Dexter just got boring for me. Never read the books, but heard the show is much better. It just got very samey. I really enjoyed the first 4 seasons upto Lithgow, but once the 5th started, I just lost interest.

        Same with 24 (after 5 seasons). You just know every beat of the season will be the same as the ones before. Different big bad and plot, but all the beats and twists will be the same. You just realise you’ve seen the same thing over and over again.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        I don’t find him especially whiny

        Dude whines for about half every show about Harry rules this Harry rules that. But at least on the TV show he’s slightly less whiny but he’s still like a chick on the rag.

      • Droid says :

        Well Harrys rules are the basis for the conflict. If you don’t have them and you don’t have Dexters conflicted feelings towards them you don’t have much of a show.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      The TV show is OKish they get some hot guest stars nekkid so that’s a plus. Gap tooth can keep her duds on really no one wants to see that anymore.

      • Kloipy says :

        Yeah, I like True Blood. I realize that it is completely stupid and cheesy but I think that’s the charm of it. It’s filled with gore, nudity, and it’s got some funny stuff in it too. It runs itself off the rails a lot but it’s a total guilty pleasure

      • Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

        I’m with you on this Kloipy. It’s dumb, trashy fun of the highest order.

  9. Kloipy says :

    Also- Great review Pillow, I don’t know how you are doing this series. I’m so sick of superhero movies I don’t think I can watch another one for a long time

  10. ThereWolf says :

    I wasn’t bothered by ‘F4’ one way or the other. I can barely remember it now. I thought Evans was good and I do recall Von Doom being wank. Oddly – or perhaps not – I can’t think of a single scene in ‘F4:2’ which makes me wonder if I’ve actually seen it. A surfing silver bloke? I’m sure I have.

    Good stuff, Pillow.

    I love that poster, by the way… “Fuck, why!”

  11. Continentalop says :

    Good review Pillow for a movie I hate. I was a big FF fan growing up (Kirby & Lee era & Byrne’s era), and while I admit I know they’re hard to adapt into movies, that is no excuse why this movie had to be so bad. God did Reed & Doom suck in this film (but at least neither one was turned into a space cloud).

  12. Bartleby says :

    Good review JPT. It really is a lame movie , although I’d draw the line over watching it before the first Spiderman. Not much of a problem as I never usually return to any of the Marvel movies. I’ve yet to watch any of the summer ones over again and probably won’t anytime soon.

    The movie is such a complete rush-job and doesn’t take any time to understand the characters. In fact it’s clear that Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis have a better concept of their characters than the script does.

    The d-bag cast as Doom would sink it if Gruffoad hadn’t already, but to be fair it was DOA from the beginning because of the script.

    It’s disheartening when something like FF4 floats around Hellyweird for years, with some pretty good scripts attached, and then ends up getting made like this.

    I seem to recall the sequel being better, but that’s not necessarily a big feat.

    Are you going to review the Corman version? Hell, I like it better than this one.

    And, dont’ let Fatass’ review of Ghost Rider mislead you. It’s effin garbage…

    http://popcultureninja.com/2012/02/17/movie-review-ghost-rider-sucks-with-a-vengeance/

  13. koutchboom says :

    This movie did have a fantastic Teaser trailer. I still love this trailer:

  14. The Thorn says :

    What about the fact that they made Dr. Doom into a frickin’ mutation, instead of giving him a suit of armour? That was the thing that irritated me the most about this movie. I guess the FF wouldn’t have found a “clever” way to stop him at the end, if not for this… oO

    …which leads to question his return in the sequel. How does THAT happen?!!! :(:(:(

    Still, if you think this is bad, you should get your hands on the ’90s version of the Fantastic Four – that’s worth quite a few laughs. 😛

    • Jarv says :

      I can’t wait for that one. He’s also got 1990’s Captain America to do as well.

      And we’re waiting for his Ghost Rider 2 review….

      • The Thorn says :

        Aweomse! I hope he’ll also do the two ‘Captain America’ TV movies – they’re so bad that they’re fun to tear apart.

        I did those plus the Captain America serials last summer. It was a memorable week of Captain America cheesiness 😛

      • Jarv says :

        I actually think the Cap 1990 film is better than the new one. Well, it’s much funnier even if the Red Skull is Italian.

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