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Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer: 2 Disc Special Edition

01/06/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer in the USA - or Buy Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer in the UK

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DVD region 2: pub: 20th Century Fox 3518901001. 2 DVDs 88 minute film with extras. Price: 6.00 (UK) if you look around. stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Julian McMahon.

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The 'Fantastic Four' films have never been done as dark moody pieces of physical vigilantism as compared to other films based on Marvel Comics characters. This is true of the comicbook itself where the FF are the family celebrity super-humans whom you might be willing to have around for tea. Well, maybe not the Torch who is kinda heated and wouldn't want near your daughters and ensuring the Thing has a large enough strong cup that won't break. Certainly, Mr. Fantastic could repair any household machinery.

As the sub-title suggests, the story is not so much about the FF but that of the Silver Surfer, a character composite of elements that doesn't even get a credit on the back cover blurb as any one individual but certainly comes to life on the screen. Certainly, Galactus doesn't resemble his comicbook counter-part but considering what happens in the finale, maybe that will happen if there's a comeback in the next FF film or maybe a spin-off and giving the Surfer his own film.

In many respects this second FF film mixes two of the original FF stories where the Silver Surfer first comes to Earth to prepare it for annihilation by his master, the planet hungry Galactus, and the later story where Doctor Doom steals the herald's power. Anything else is more a case of matching into physical reality which is often a lot harder than a simple depiction on a comicbook page.

I say 'simple' as an arbitrary term. Whether its comicbook or film, there's a requirement of any medium to accept the reality of what you are reading first and looking for mistakes afterwards. A lot of film conversions has often ended up explaining how the terminology came about. The film makes an interesting point that the Silver Surfer didn't come up with his own name although I doubt if any survivors of his master would have called him Norrin Radd had they known it. Oddly, the Watcher wasn't brought into the mix but that might have been too many powerful aliens.

I've watched it more than a couple times now, mostly to pick up on the two audio commentaries. It has to be taken on its own merits rather than as a comparison to the other Marvel based films. If anything, the FF is more a family friendly based film and carries much of the spirit of the comicbook.

The extras focus more on the Silver Surfer and his transfer to screen and his back history. With its current drop price, it's within the reach of everyone. Without the encumbrance of having to do an origin story, it should move onto a third film and someone should seriously consider bringing on the Skulls or Reed Richards opening the Negative Zone and getting Blastarr in on the scene. That would be something.

GF Willmetts

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