Saturday, June 23, 2007


Come on now Marvel, at least try! Marvel is becoming like the American Idol of movies, so ragingly arrogant that they expect everyone to beg for seconds while they're serving up crap (product placement as actual content) and filler (remember what just happened? Let's talk about it!) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is crap and the filmmaking is so lazy and the screenplay so simple that it feels padded even at a merciful 92 minutes.

The best thing about the first FF was Chris Evans as Johnny Storm but he's phoning it in here. Newsflash Evans: it's too early in your career to coast. Jessica Alba meanwhile makes Berry's Catwoman star turn seem rangey and nuanced (I just threw up). Alba was never a strong actress but she's getting worse. You're supposed to get better with practice... Jessica Alba: dyslexic with talent. Yeah, yeah, the Silver Surfer looks great but there's more than one effect in this movie. D

P.S. I realize I'm a week late seeing this and it's so disposable that everyone has already moved on. I put it off hoping to quell the child within who was just so desperate to see Norrin Rad on that intergalactic surf board. Once I was myself again I went in with exceedingly low expectations and it still managed to disappoint. That's Marvels new superpower.

A rough view of Marvel's track record (I skipped Blade sequels, The Punisher & Ghost Rider)
"A"s Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man
"B"s X-2: X-Men United, Hulk, X-Men
"C"s Spider-Man 3, Blade, X-Men: The Last Stand
"D"s Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
"F"s Daredevil, Elektra
Good luck Iron Man. You'll need it


Scott said...

Wow - you're really kind in your grading of The Last Stand.

And actually Blade 3 wasn't so terrible. I mean it was far from the best thing ever (far indeed), but lots of Ryan Reynolds, sometimes shirtless ... well, it was a lot better than some of the other Marvel trash you've listed.

J.D. said...

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) + Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk) + Marvel = Lots and lots of hope and praying.

Am I wrong?

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

There! Someone else finally said that Jessica Alba is getting worse with this as evidence.

adam k. said...

I thought Spider-Man was a B+? I definitely enjoyed X2 more than I did Spider-Man.

I think what's happening with Alba is she's realizing now that she can not even try to act and still be famous and make loads of $. Before she was at least trying, though still failing, but now she basically just stands there, knowing that as long as her face and her boobs remain intact, she has nothing to worry about. And she's right. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

I have ridiculously high expectations for Iron Man. That's despite not having particularly liked any Marvel movie so far (yes, even the Spideys) and not knowing squat about this hero's mythology.

I just love Robert Downey, Jr., and the supporting cast isn't bad, either.

Anonymous said...

"There’s always a choice."

For you, that choice may not be Jessica Alba and that's fine.

I thought she was fantastic in the movie and gave audiences the only character to emotionally invest in. She should be commended.

I would suggest checking out the Director's Cut of "Daredevil" on DVD. It's a much stronger movie than the theatrical cut.


well i'd like to blame her performance on that white blonde wig and blue contacts which make her face look tremendously masklike --a problem for a beautiful girl who already has a lack of facial expressions (the only actress i can think of with less is Emmy Rossum) ...but you can act through makeup. Many can.

in one way this movie succeeds: Evans and Alba are both leaning so hard on their physical beauty to act for them that they do feel like siblings. Dumb gorgeous siblings but you gotta start somewhere... it's the most believable relationship in the movie.

Joel said...

Ghost Rider is definitely an F, Blade 2 a B, Blade 3 a C and Punisher is probably a D.


scott --it's a C- ;) but yeah. it sucked.

j.d. --i think the key is to not have much hope for the Hulk. I mean Marvel clearly wants to move away from the auteurs because of Ang Lee's Hulk which is better than they think (though not exactly what anyone wanted) --but what they fail to understand is they're never getting anywhere near Spider-Man and X-Men grosses without the real directors on board. You can make $100 million easy with a presold character and a nontalent directing. My guess is it's next to impossible to get to $300 million unless people think your movie is spectacular. Which requires the good directors like Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer. (I still maintain that the only reason last stand did so well, despite Ratner's hideous work, was that people were so fond of the series due to Singer's efforts)

j.s. --i'm glad i'm not alone. people are so wild for her but will they stay that way?

luke lower your standards quick. Marvel wants you to! (but in all seriousness so far it doesn't sound like a disaster. at least as far as the casting goes)

ken why would i expose myself to more of Daredevil when watching it drained the happiness all out of me (it's the worst missed opportunity yet --aside from the botching of dark phoenix -- because the daredevil, elektra, bullseye stuff in comic book form is gold. And it was just terrible in that movie: lazy, poorly edited, vaguely acted, etc...)

joel thanks for doing the dirty work for me. I didn't suspect i needed to see them.

...but i still feel so sad to be such a comic book fan and have so little desire to see these movies on account of i love the cinema more than i will ever love lame attempts to make a quick buck by exploiting comic book characters from my childhood.

adam k. said...

What I wanna know is why the hell anyone cast Jessica Alba in this movie in the first place? Aren't there enough generic blonde babes to choose from in this industry? Or even real actresses? Rachel McAdams, Kirsten Dunst, and Katherine Heigl are names that immediately spring to mind. And if they weren't interested, it's not that hard to find a pretty blone off the street. Or at least someone who's actually WHITE. Why did they have to go with dark-haired, dark-skinned, exotic-looking Alba when that's absolutely the opposite of what this character is meant to look like/signify? Obviously she'll look stupid when dolled up to look white and blonde. You can't make an exotic beauty WASPy. It's like white-face. It's just stupid. What did they expect?

Anonymous said...

I am very happy they went with Alba who looks more like girls of today. She's relatable and connects with moviegoers. Look no further than Ashley Tisdale's song "He Said, She Said," which coined the term "so Jessica-Alba-fantastic." Tweeners loved it because they look up to Alba.

I wasn't a big fan of the blue eye contacts, but Alba can play various ethnicities and still look believable. She was exactly how I envisioned a modern-day, hipper Sue Storm.

From a financial stand point, Fox should thank their lucky stars they casted Alba. They've marketed the trailers and posters with her as the "star." She's recognizable worldwide and people are captivated about her.

Pfangirl said...

Ghost Rider... definitely an F. Easily the worst film I've seen this year so far. Retina-burning awful!

And I'd definitely put X-Men 2 in the A category. It must actually be one of my top 3 comic book movies ever.


adam & ken --i am thinking of writing a piece on color blind casting. it does bring up issues in that if you're gonna go that direction, great, most people don't care anymore thank god. but when you pretend you haven't gone in that direction? that's where it gets weird

but it's a big touchy topic.

my issue with that here has always been that the fantastic four are the most retro, waspy, and square of all superhero groups. so, like i said, they've changed the direction: fine. But why pretend that they haven't and make Alba look so strange? She's a beautiful woman playing a beautiful woman so why make her less beautiful attempting to shoehorn her into a role that you haven't bothered to reimagine for her?

everyone --the grades are kind of overviews... i feel about the same on Spider-Man & X2. They're my second favorite after Spider-Man 2

JP said...

I donno.. The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man will be the first films that Marvel will independently produce. Meaning they wont have to go through crappy Studios like 20th Century Fox.

If you look at the track record, the worst offenses in the Marvel movies are the ones produced by Fox.

Now Marvel has the rights in their own hands, they can do what THEY want. I'm eager to see what happens.


JP i hope you're right but on the other hand. Ari Avad is the one who demanded venom be in the spiderman movie against sam raimi's wishes and that didn't turn out so well.

it's best to leave the filmmakers in charge.

JP said...

Oh, I totally agree.

It's all a matter of wait and see right now.

Dog Ear said...

Spider-Man 3 is an F. The first two X-men could even be A-/B+.

I had Ghost Rider on at work and I couldn't even get past 30 minutes. Is there something lower than F?

Punisher, on the other hand, I'd give a B.

-----The Other Nat-----

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Alba bores me. She's pretty , but that's about all. Her get up was horrendous.


who are you apologizing too exactly. she bores many...