Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Viewed: 10:20:pm 7/8/05
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Julian McMahon
Directed by: Tim Story
The Fantastic Four have held a very special place in my heart for a very long time. As a comic nerd child I went through my predictable phases. I heavily collected X-men and Spiderman and Batman at different times. But the first comic that I made a real strong connection with just as I was become an adult was the Fantastic Four. Started reading it seriously around 10th grade and I was immediately enthralled by the fantastic sci-fi adventures injected with the perfect amount of comedy, romance, heart, and true emotion. There's a reason that the Fantastic Four is called "The world's greatest comic Magazine." It's very special.
True, it's not as flashy or gritty or brutally realistic as comic books modern heavy hitters. But it defined sci-fi fantasy in comic form. Creators Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby made these characters come to life, and made you believe. No comic has done it better, and it's hard to imagine any will.
So what the hell happen with the movie?
No magic. No sparks. None of the fantastic legendary storytelling that we get monthly from the comics. This is the founding family of superheroes, and they were short changed on their epic origin. This movie adaptation plays like made for TV special. Spotty effects combined with major liberties taken with the story, and just an over all lack of grand scale, all left me unsatisfied.
It's filled with uneven effects that will blow your mind one second, and leave you scratching your head the next. Mr. Fantastic elasticity is never fully effective. While there are a couple of scenes where it's used in a cool way, it's never convincing. Invisible girl is handled well, but invisibility is an old trick in Hollywood these days. Human Torch I liked a lot but his reveal is wasted. A man covered head to toe in flames ? that's something you play up. Instead it's just tossed at us .The Thing looked good, but his reveal was botched too. They could have taken his transformation and really gotten to the audience with it. It's potentially a terrifying scene that you could freak people out with. I understand this is a family friendly film, but early on, it's a great opportunity to get people's attention, and build up the monster-man angle that the Thing suffers with.
And while the big four were treated with care and attention you see where they didn't budget for effects. The scene where they are exposed to cosmic radiation is one that suffered. It looks so run of the mill. And emotionally it was practically nothing. It just happens. There's no tension. No urgency. Maybe that's because I know what's going to happen, and that every thing will be ok. But the lack of tension is pretty consistent throughout the movie. You never feel like anyone is in danger. And what good is a movie with no conflict. My life is more interesting then that, and trust me? I'm BOOOORRREEEING.
But the movie is not without merit. The fab four were cast very well. The best ? hands down ? is Chris Evans as The Human Torch. He IS Johnny Storm. It's amazing. Funny, charming, impetuous, kinda dumb. They really hit gold with this casting. (Evans is a real talent to keep you eye on. Check out 2004's Cellular for another good action flick he stars in. Quite entertaining.)
Chiklis I liked more as Ben Grimm then the ever lovin' blue eyed Thing, but he was also able to emote, and express in that larger then life costume. So huge props to him and the make-up team on that. Tom pointed out that Chiklis is the only of the four to admit to reading the comics, but he's also spent all his interview time bitching about how hard it was to wear the costume. It's never cool to complain. How easy would it be to talk about how heavy it was, and how they were ramming air conditioners in pre-placed holes, then say that it was worth it to be part of something so cool? I'm grateful for what he went through. He did a really great job in the role. I hope technology makes the process easier next time.
Ioan Gruffudd and Jessica Alba I liked, but were both not as perfect as Evans and Chiklis. Gruffudd was dull and forgettable. He shines in the beginning of the movie as he gets the majority of the opening scene. I was convinced within 5 minutes that he was a good choice, (even though Reed isn't such a push over these days.) But as the movie goes on, he sinks into the background and never steps up. Even though his story continues and evolves, you loose interest in him. Alba surprised me by really stepping up as the glue that keeps the team united. These three guys are screwed up, and she acts as the voice of reason steering them in the right direction. I'm glad they were able to work that in, because it's such an important part of the team dynamic in the comics. Plus she was super hot.
There are a couple of? let's call them "Organic Web Spinner" moments. Things they changed to make the movie flow better. So it would make sense. I'm all for it. I understand they don't have the benefit of 50 years of comics to evolve these characters. Do what you must. But don't do it, if it's retarded. Mr. Fantastic walks in and says. "Because we were wearing theses suites when we were exposed they can also adjust with our new powers!" Of Course! That makes perfect sense!!! Wait, no it doesn't. It's utterly stupid. Ok, you can call me a comic dork that's nitpicking away at this, but Reed Richards is a genius. A GENIUS. He invented these costumes in the comics, why not in the movie. But whatever. It's nothing compared to the great Doom disaster of 2005.
Julian McMahon was cast as doom, and he was fine, but? man? I?they? what happen, I mean? who?Who's getting fired over this? They took Dr, Doom and really threw him away. He's the biggest badest FF villain, and they took his origin, his purpose and decided to go in a very different direction. Way too different. There was nothing wrong with Doom, why improve on perfection. I understand the idea of updating the story. This was first told in the 60's, and the modern world is a very different place (with tons of product placement apparently.) You can't have your villain be a egomaniacal king form another country. So they make him a foreign businessman. He was too much business and not enough science. They nailed his vanity. They nailed his thirst for power. But doing what they did with him is like making Lex Luthor Superman's Kryptonian cousin (is that still in the Superman script? I haven't been following the rumors.) I'll say no more for spoilers sake, but I may do a spoiler comic/rant about the Doom Disaster, later on.
Nothing in this movie feels quite right. Even the scenery doesn't have a real presence. The FF are very New York, and we get our obligatory shots of Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. I've even been told that the inside of the fictitious Baxter Building (The FF's "headquarters") is modeled after the Empire state building. But why? The Baxter Building is not a historical classical construct. It's a sleek modern office building. I know, the comic nerd in me is being too picky. But background and environment can be hugely important. When the imposing, awe inspiring building of the comics comes to the big screen and ends up looking like a wizards house on top of a really tall building? something's a little off.
In the long run these little problems didn't effect my enjoyment too much. I mean ? yeah, that Doom nonsense was ridiculous, but overall it was a good time. Tons of laughs. Seriously, wall to wall they're making you laugh. But not enough action or romance which are huge parts of the Fantastic Four. There's some of both but none of it on the scale it should be. This is a huge fantastic story that, even with some really nice elements, was not told at the level it deserved.
I'm still going to recommend it to people looking for a fun movie to watch. It may be hugely entertaining to a non comic reader. I hope it is, because I would love to see a sequel. 5 out of 10 Average. But how ridiculous it was that Grimm's wife walked outside in her nighty. In New York! INSANE! You can't do that. 3 steps and you're drawing a crowd, many of which are not there just to watch. Me and the group I went with laughed about how silly that was for a good while, so it gets points for that.
DVD worthy?: Yeah, I think so. Most comic movies are better on a second viewing, so why not.
If you liked this movie check out : The Incredibles
A great take on the real life of a family of Superheroes. Pixar put together something with laughs, adventure, and heart. It even had the classic feel that Fantastic Four was lacking. But if you haven't heard of or seen the incredible then you've been living under a rock. It was one of the biggest movies of last year, and because it was a family cartoon it had accessibility that few movies had. The moment this movie was created was a great moment for superhero fans.
Trailer Hitch: Transporter 2
Oh man I was ALL ABOUT the original Transporter, until I actually saw it. A really great idea with a really cool fresh star. I was very excited to see Jason Statham really shine in his first leading role. Then he's oiling up and sucking air out of guys underwater. And the villain in that movie was so annoying. It was a heartbreaking disappointment for me.
Still I'm glad the sequel was green lit. It's still a good premise. And while Statham isn't an action god, he still makes lots and lots of really cool movies. He's one of my favorite people to watch these days. Thank god the trailer looks awesome. Non stop action and some sweet one liners. I'm such a sucker.
But you know what, it's Statham doing all his own martial arts stunts, and it looks great. The guy can really move. I'll keep my expectations low, but if this franchise can redeem itself, I'll be more then pleased.
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V