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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse


FF: The Rise of Silver Surfer, A Review of Sorts @ 10:35 am

Last night my partner and I sat down with some tiramisu and a bottle of champaign (we'd neglected to celebrate a number of writing victories, including Many Bloody Returns making the NY Times Bestseller list), and watched Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer

I can see why the film didn't really resonate with the mundane movie-going audiences.  There's a certain level of cheese and eye-popping whiz-bang that audiences have come to expect from comicbook movies.  FF:2 didn't really deliver.  The Silver Surfer himself is pretty cool to watch, but he felt like of been there, done that for some reason.  We've seen Ghost Rider run down the side of a building, and the Surfer's FX reminded me of the liquid-metal Terminator we saw in T2.  So most of the "cool!" moments really belonged to us longtime readers/fans. I was super happy to see the Fantastic-car make its appearance (I actually recognized it under the canopy in Reed's lab), and of course, Doom getting his face back and being incideously "helpful" worked really well for those of us who are generally fans of von Doom (and, any time we see Latvaria, I laugh with a kind of fannish squee.)

But given that the FF went for the fan audience, I was kind of disappointed it didn't just go ALL THE WAY, you know?  Okay, a bit of a spoiler here, but a running gag throughout the film is that Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) keep trying to get married only to be interupted by various cosmic disasters.  This is well in keeping with the original marriage, which I recently re-read.  The only "insider" gag was that Stan Lee himself tries to come to the wedding, but gets kicked out because he's not on the guest list.  The guest list, generally, felt like a missed opportunity to me.  Couldn't they have paid Toby McGuiger some cash for a cameo?  And maybe some of the other folks who have played Marvel heroes?  Hugh Jackman -- hell, what's Ben Afflick doing these days besides being a dad anyway?  You could get the new Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) to show, too.  One of the things I love about the X-Men movie is all the characters they allude to without really giving much screen time.  We all saw Remy LeBeau's name listed on the computer screen in was that #2?  I mean, come on, how hard would it have been to have a tiny little scene with Reed shaking hands with all these people we know saying, "Oh, hi, Mr. Stark, glad you could make it," and "Oh, Logan, no brawling, okay?"  It would have MADE that movie.

Plus, there's this moment when the general (who looked all the world to me like the head of SHIELD from the Ultimate FF's universe) says to Reed, "Well, this is too big for the four of you.  We've called in..." then he says Doom, but my brain filled in "The Avengers."  A scene with a Steve Rogers saying, "SHIELD and I are taking over now, thanks for your time" would have also gone a long way for me.

I think my biggest problem is that the titles in the Marvel Universe have NEVER existed in a vacuum, and the other Marvel movies have made more of an effort, it seems to me, to imply that other heroes are out there.  FF, existing on its own -- almost isolated, feels kind of strange to a long time fan like me.  I guess maybe, too, I think my problem is that in Spider-Man the comics, Spidey has a love/hate relationship with the fame that the FF bring on themselves by being unmasked... and so it's weird when the movie goes into Johnny Storm's media houndness without flashing to an image of Peter Parker rolling his eyes while shooting photos for the Daily Bugle.

I loved that von Doom and Richards had to work together -- though it seemed like they lost an opportunity for von Doom to geek out on Richards and have them engaged in some heated science debate - but I was baffled why they didn't call in Iron Man or  Bruce Banner... or even tap Henry Pimm (Ant Man from the Avengers)  I mean, Richards is one of the smartest guys on the planet, but given that the universe was in jepordy....

Ah well.

I can only hope that cross-over movies will come soon.
 

Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse