Fantastic Four Blu-ray Review
Movies reviewSRP: £39.98
PictureFantastic Four comes to Blu-ray presented with a lavish, broad, 2.35:1 aspect ratio widescreen High Definition 1080p picture. It looks just about as fantastic as you would expect from the title, with good detail throughout, no softness, no noticeable edge enhancement and simply no grain whatsoever. The colour scheme is very broad and really makes the show spectacular as every colour, from the blues of their outfits to the fiery glow of the Human Torch (although The Thing still occasionally looks like a guy in a suit - probably because it is). Blacks are solid, which allows for good shadowing and night sequences. The bigger setpieces and space effects look tremendous in High Definition and this is a nice, shiny glossy number to come glistening to the glorious Blu-ray format.
SoundFantastic Four comes to Blu-ray presented with a DTS HD 5.1 lossless audio track that, despite the fact that most home cinema owners would only be able to listen to the 'core' DTS element, still sounds superior to the DVD release's DTS mix. Dialogue is presented clearly from the frontal array (although the cheering crowds sometimes breach the rears) but the really standout aspects are the thumping soundtrack (in typical mock-rock style that we have become accustomed to with Marvel interpretations) and the many wonderful effects, both of which fully utilise the wide spectrum of your six-speaker array. From multiple car-crashes to thunderous lighting strikes and The Thing smashing things up, it all sounds superb, particularly with this next generation track.
ExtrasFirst up we get the same Audio Commentary provided for us on the DVD release, contributed to by stars Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd. Unlike stated on the Blu-ray box (and the previous DVD specs) Julian McMahon and Chris Evans don't appear to pop up at all in this commentary but thankfully the ultra-cool Michael Chiklis takes centre stage for most of it anyway, talking about his love for the comics, the locations in the movie and offering plenty of anecdotes about occurrences during the production. They talk about working around effects that have to be put in later, getting on so well on and off set and basically having a great time making this fun movie. This is a nice, fun, cheery commentary that is worth dipping into, but those who want more character background and technical information might have wanted a second track with Creator Stan Lee or Director Tim Story, respectively.
All of the rest of the Extras on both the standard DVD release and the upcoming Extended Edition are notably absent here (particularly since the Deleted Scenes would have at least made up for the fact that we are not getting the new cut on Blu-ray yet) and instead we just get a bunch of Blu-ray release trailers.
VerdictFantastic Four is a somewhat standard addition to the burgeoning new run of comic-book adaptations. Distinctly by-the-numbers, it is still good fun and bodes well for the further, more developed adventures for this crew in the upcoming FF2: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Blu-ray video and audio presentations are excellent, with the lossless DTS track worth particular note but the lack of original DVD extras, let alone Blu-ray exclusive extras is a disappointment. Furthermore, the fact that an Extended Edition is about to get released on DVD is sure to put people off investing in this version on Blu-ray, assuming a further double dip will arise eventually. Still if you're a Marvel comic book fan then I'm sure you will enjoy this movie (and fans of the Fantastic Four are certainly not going to be disappointed) and it is also great fodder for kids, but those who prefer their 'Graphic Novel' adaptations to have a little more depth, it is worth renting it first to check it out.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £39.98
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