(Fantastic) 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Featured In Issue 126, December 2007

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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For sequences of action violence, some mild language and innuendo.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Tim Story
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 6.1
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Mr. Fantastic Dr. Reed (Gruffudd) and Invisible Woman Sue Storm (Alba) are busy planning their upcoming wedding when a mysterious alien—The Silver Surfer (Voice of Fishburne), crashes to Earth demolishing most of Manhattan. The villainous alien intends to destroy Earth as he has done to dozens of other planets. It is up to the Fantastic 4 to thwart The Rise Of The Silver Surfer. Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. (Stacey Pendry)

In addition to the same special features found on the DVD (five extended/deleted scenes with optional commentary by Director Tim Story; a two-part making-of documentary (46 miunutes); an interactive Fantasticar gallery; the following featurettes: "The Fantasticar: State Of The Art" (ten minutes), "The Power Cosmic" (15 Minutes), "Sentinel Of The Spaceways: Comic Book Origins Of The Silver Surfer" (38 minutes), "Character Design With Special Motion" (17 minutes), and "Scoring The Fantastic" (four minutes); a stills gallery; and trailers); additional features include commentary by Story; commentary by Producer Avi Arad, Writer Don Payne, and Film Editors Peter Elliot and William Hoy; a "Saving The World One Question At A Time" trivia game; a "Who Dares Defy Galactus?" strategy game; Personal Scene Selections, where the viewer is able to select specific scenes and watch them in sequence; and D-BOX Motion Code data. This Blu-ray Disc took so incredibly long to load, I hope you'll have the patience for it...I almost didn't.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD can look very good, with good shadow delineation and well-captured details. Black levels can be slightly murky, but contrast is balanced well and colors are bold and vibrant. Fleshtones have a subtly pink tone, but color fidelity is generally natural. Source element artifacts are not noticeable, but compression artifacts and edge enhancement can become problematic. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc looks superb, with well-resolved details and an impressive sense of depth, with deeper black levels than the DVD. Fleshtones still have a subtly pink tone, but this is a very good high-definition image. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is superb, with a great mix that keeps the entire soundstage active for the majority of the presentation. Phantom imaging is generally good around the room, but center surround imaging can be lacking, leaving a gaping hole in the surround field. Pans across the side walls can be quite impressive, and imaging across the front stage is generally good. Fidelity is generally pristine, but dialogue can occasionally sound forward and when directionalization is attempted across the front stage, it usually fails to convince. Unfortunately, we still do not have a way of decoding DTS-HD Master Audio encodings, but the core DTS® encoding that is extracted sounds very good, improving the tightness of the low bass and improved overall fidelity. (Danny Richelieu)