Sunday, October 11, 2009

Review: DVD - Rise of the Silver Surfer

Rise of the Silver Surfer
Directed by Tim Story
Ioan Gruffudd
Jessica Alba
Michael Chiklis
Chris Evans
Doug Jones (Doug's the body for the Surfer, even though he voiced it, Fishburn overdubbed)
Julian McMahon
Kerry Washington
Laurence Fishburne (ok this is a stretch...he did the surfers voice in final staring?)

Yep, I know, scraping the bottom of the barrel in some respects with this rental. But, a friend mentioned it so I gave it a look. For those of you that have not seen Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer, all you have to do is look at the title and you have the complete plot...well most of it. Nothing new here. Rise is a by the numbers comic book super hero movie. Absolutely nothing new or chance taking with this film, formulaistic from the opening to the pre credits closing (My god, all in a line walking and talking, we are family, can't break up the team, all you needed was an awards ceremony and have them all turn to wave at the crowd....!) But I am getting ahead of my self.

Rise of the Silver Surfer again joins the Fan 4 as they encounter a mysterious silvered being punching 200 meter wide ever so deep craters in the Earth. Reed Richards discovers that this has taken place on other planets which all have died shortly after this mysterious surfer leaves the planet. They put in place a plan to capture the surfer with the aide of a resurrected Dr. Doom.

We find out that the Surfer is not the bringer of destruction but at the most a facilitator. Also Doom can't be trusted (no really?) and I am not giving anything away when I say that Earth is saved and disaster is averted in the very last seconds (I am not making this stuff up!) Doom may or may not be dead, Surfer most likely is not, and off they trot arm in arm to meet the wizard....well I made the last one up.

If you're a Fan 4 fan you will not be disappointed. The Fantastic Four manage to pull off a couple of surprises, but when your upstaged by a flying Car well...what can I say. Fans will enjoy the action and interaction. People that enjoy non stop action will get a kick out of some of the movie. But quite honestly I am surprised that I managed to catch this on DVD before it hit the late night, early Saturday morning cable viewing choice.

Ok on to the DVD
My copy was the pan/scan modified for this screen (tells ya that the square tv crew dont have long to wait) which limited the viewing enjoyment, but the sound is REALLY good. As far as extras? Well the directors commentary is very good. The viewer is really treated to an inside view of the workings the director, though he is a bit too pleased with himself for the special effects. Yeah we get it...CGI NEXT! The other commentary is equally insightful, but in a completely different way. It is clear listening to the second commentary that was by the screen writer and the producer, gave a clear impression of why some of the movie had an almost unfinished look and also tended towards formula movie making. It becomes almost painfully clear that there were many disagreements as to placement of certain scenes and an almost frantic last miniut push to finish the film that gave a strong impression that the crew making Rise of the Silver Surfer were a harmonious group. Mixed with oft not very well executed cgi effects (ie when Sue traps Reed between 2 force fields to make her point)the project was plagued with last minute rewrites and demands for new scenes or edits. The net effect was often poor execution, odd edits (they describe one scene in particular where a holograph was to be simulated and the supporting shots were already made. However the effect was so poorly executed that it was taken back out and a nonsense shot of a computer screne was added. The net effect is that it is clear that the actors, following cues, are looking and pointing to "something" and that something is NOT the computer!) But it's these little comments made about ugly editing and poor effects that offsets the director's blithely straight faced commentary which gives the dvd a value add enough to think about buying. Though one thing that did aggravate, there were several mentions of the deleted scenes reel which I could find no where on the disks. And for me, this is one of the things that entice me to buy a DVD, commentary and deleted scenes. So even the extras bat 500. I am inclined, if you haven't rented it yet, to pass on it and wait for the FX movie to pick it up. This is not a movie that I would watch more than once, so I question if the DVD would be worth the investment. If your an Action / adventure fan, yeah go for it. Otherwise there is nothing new here, very by the numbers movie. Makes a 6 in my book.

No comments: