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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer(2007)
The Fantastic Four meet their greatest challenge yet as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of The Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.
For more about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray release, see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray Review published by PeteR on October 20, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Tim Story
Writers: Mark Frost, Don Payne, John Turman
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington
» See full cast & crew
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray Review
All that you know...is at an end.
Reviewed by PeteR, October 20, 2007
An alien world withers and dies by a mysterious force. Leaving the scene, a silvery flash of light shoots across the stars, arriving at a familiar blue planet: Earth.
Across the globe, inexplicable weather phenomena and power outages are associated with the arrival of this force streaking across the sky. The Fantastic Four: Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards (Ioan Gruffud), Sue "Invisible Girl" Storm (Jessica Alba), Ben "Thing" Grimm (Michael Chiklis) and Johnny "Human Torch" Storm (Chris Evans) are busy preparing for the wedding of Reed and Sue. Interrupting Reeds' bachelor party, U.S. Army General Hager (Andre Braugher) requests Reed to build a sensor that can track the object. When the big day arrives, the nuptials are literally crashed by the appearance of the object. Johnny gives chase to this mysterious being which is revealed as the Silver Surfer (voice of Laurence Fishbourne). This encounter leaves Johnny unable to control his powers: whenever he touches a member of the team they switch abilities. Meanwhile Reed has made a troubling discovery: tracking the Surfer's movement across space, he sees that every planet the Surfer encountered has been destroyed. Now, huge craters have started appearing on Earth. After a disastrous attempt to stop the Surfer at the London Eye, General Hager brings in Dr. Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon) to help. Reluctantly, the team agrees. Will they be able to work together and stop the Surfer before the force that destroyed those other worlds can do the same to Earth?
I enjoyed the original Fantastic Four, and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is just as entertaining. Like the first film, I found I enjoyed it more the second time around, once I knew what kind of film to expect. The sequel is fast and light, shed of the burden of telling the origin of the characters. There is also a larger sense of scope, with much of the film taking place outdoors in various locations around the world. What sets these films apart from other comic book adaptations is the humor and fun, without descending into the camp that plagued the original Batman franchise. Even the cast seems to be having a good time, particular standouts being Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. Evans brings a real sense of playfulness to his scenes with Chiklis and you believe these characters like and care about each other, even if they don't always get along. Just like any family...except with super powers.
Don't let the PG rating fool you, the film is still full of action and adventure that's enjoyable for folks all ages.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is presented in 1080p and encoded in MPEG4 AVC. The video bitrate hovers in the mid 20s-30's (the box says 27Mbps average). The transfer and encoding are near perfect, with only a small bit of noise that may be source related and not the fault of the transfer or encoding. Colors are rich and deep: this is how a comic book movie should look! The depth associated with HD material comes through in nearly every scene. Grain is minimal, and the image has a nice texture that allows a viewer to count every hair on Susan Storm's head or crack in Ben Grimm's stony visage. Cue up nearly any scene on the disc and you'll find an excellent picture. Chapter 7: "The Silver Surfer" is a perfect example and destined to become the demo loop for Circuit City's across the country (and who's product placement is even more noticeable thanks to Blu-ray). As seen in the film's theatrical trailer, the chase of Surfer by Johnny Storm down the eastern seaboard is an amazing sequence that goes from the bright outdoors to the blackness of space. Despite all the various locations, the transfer never becomes blurred or washed out, the exception being the final chase over China where the picture was artificially darkened at the last minute by the production team.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Note: the main audio track of this disc is encoded with 5.1 DTS-MA Master Audio, since I am using the Sony PlayStation 3 as my playback unit only the lossy core 1.5Mbps DTS is currently available to me.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer has a VERY active soundtrack and is prime demo material for any home theater system. Audio is rich and deep. Dialogue never drowned out by the sound effects or music. Environments have a nice "you are there" feel to them, and there's even some moments of subtle panning dialogue. Dynamic without being overwhelming. It's one of those soundtracks that allows you to become more involved with the film without drawing undue attention to itself. The film also includes a (rare for Fox) English Dolby Digital 5.1 track @ 448kbps, as well as French and Spanish in DD 5.1 (also @ 448kbps). Not every system is DTS capable, and being able to engage things like Dolby's "Night Mode" is appreciated. This multi-option approach allows the soundtrack to be heard on all systems ranging from simple stereo to full blown DTS lossless. Thank you Fox!
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Wow! Fox makes up for the lack of extras in their initial releases by including everything from the Special Edition DVD and taking advantage of the interactive JAVA features that the Blu-ray format offers. While it would have been nice to have the extras in 1080 HD, I can understand why they aren't since the disc is a full 46.6GB in size!
All extras with the exception of the trailers are presented in 480p and encoded in AVC. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 @ 224kbps except for the deleted scenes which are Dolby 5.1 @ 448kbps.
Commentary by Director Tim Story: Feature length. Very interesting to listen to, the man knows his FF history and points out cool details and salutes to the source comics. He acknowledges controversies fans have had and the reasons for whatever decisions he and the writing team came up with. A must listen.
Commentary by Producer Avi Arad, Writer Don Payne, and Film Editors Peter Eliot & Bill Hoy: Feature length. A bit drier, despite 4 times the participants of the other commentary. They go a bit deeper into the behind the scenes aspect of the film and story itself. Particularly interesting is the conversation between editors Eliot and Hoy: they show how much of the film was molded and changed from the script in post production.
Documentaries and Featurettes:
Extended and Deleted Scenes (0:09:36): Scenes cut for time and pacing. The film isn't hurt by their absence, but once you see them you'll wonder if it wouldn't hurt if they had been left in. Includes the very Superman-ish original opening credits and a couple of very funny scenes with Johnny Storm. Includes optional commentary by Tim Story.
Family Bonds-The Making of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (0:46:11) Thorough documentary covering the entire production of the film, from a "fly on the wall" perspective. You'll be amazed how they got the film completed in such a short schedule.
The Fantasticar: State of the Art (0:10:37): Featurette on the creation of the team's vehicle.
The Power Cosmic (0:15:10): Creating the look and visual effects of the title character.
Sentinel of the Spaceways: Comic Book Origins of the Silver Surfer (0:39:02): History of the Silver Surfer character beginning as a guest in the Fantastic Four comic to having his own series. For comics fans and anyone interested in the character's origin.
Scoring the Fantastic (0:04:39): Short interview with composer John Ottman.
Character Design with Spectral Motion (0:11:34): Featurette with the bulk being an interview with actor Michael Chiklis as he undergoes the grueling makeup process to become The Thing. One tidbit I learned was that Chiklis created Ben Grimm's deep, gruff voice without the aid of audio processing!
Still Galleries: Behind the Scenes, Characters, Concept Art(various running times): Short slideshows of the film's production, characters, and artwork.
Trailers (various): The film's teaser and final trailers presented in 1080p
Fox on Blu-ray (various): Trailers for Fantastic Four, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, X-Men The Last Stand, presented in 1080p.
Personal Scene Selections: During the film, pressing "1" on the remote bookmarks the selected chapter for later playback.
Saving the World One Question at a Time Trivia Game: Series of 180 trivia questions you answer while the film plays in the background. Get a question wrong or take too long to answer and Galactus "eats" a set number of planets. The game ends when he gets to Earth. VERY difficult since it not only is based on the film, but requires a good knowledge of the source comic books.
Who Dares Defy Galactus? Strategy Game: Rendered board type game where one player is the Silver Surfer and one is Galactus. Each player tries to "possess" planets in various solar systems, each planet is worth a certain amount of points. Takes a couple tries to get used to, and I'm not entirely sure the computer isn't cheating in the one player game.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A good film for all ages, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a surprisingly pleasant time at the movies. With all the other comic book film franchises starting to crowd the marketplace, the approach by Tim Story and his team to have a fun, funny, lighthearted adventure is welcome. Fox has delivered a terrific Blu-ray disc with top rate picture, sound, plenty of extras, and interactive features that one can spend hours exploring. Highly recommended.
Reviewer's Note: I tried playing this and The Day After Tomorrow on my Windows Vista Ultimate PC with PowerDVD Ultra 7.3. At first the program wouldn't play the disc at all, then an update appeared on site. Downloaded the update, the application starts but all I get is a blank screen. Reinstalling from scratch did not help. Looks like BD+ and PCs don't get along very well, at least for now. Those of you playing via Media Center PCs take note.
Blu-ray bundles with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (6 bundles)
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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Fox Specs Die Hard and Fantastic Four - August 30, 2007
Fox Home Entertainment has released the official specs for 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer', 'Live Free or Die Hard' (Unrated), and 'Diehard Trilogy' Blu-ray releases. 'Fantastic Four' will get AVC 1080p video and DTS-HD MA audio on a BD-50, and is set ...
• Fox Announces and Dates 29 Blu-ray Titles - August 20, 2007
Fox and MGM have revealed 29 upcoming Blu-ray releases. Included are 19 catalog titles from Fox and MGM, and 10 new release titles to be sold day-and-date with their DVD releases. These titles include 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' and 'Live Free or ...
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