Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Should You Bother?: Fantastic Four- Extended Edition (2005)

 A while back I looked at the Director's Cut of Daredevil and noted the improvements that came with it.

Could another Comic Book Film from that timeframe be helped in the same way?

In 2005, Fantastic Four came out in Theaters.  I saw it there.  Young me liked it.

In 2007, an Extended Edition was released before the Sequel came out.  Present day me had no idea until I found it in a Salvation Army.

Does an extra 20+ minutes make the Film better...or just longer?

Should You Bother?

The Films credits are longer and slightly cooler.  Not a big change yet.

- Other than a slight addition at Doom's Building, the next big one is that we see them wake up on the ship after the cosmic rays hit them.

Not that major, but it is better than just cutting to them back on Earth.

- On Earth, we see some flowers from the ship- brought on as samples to study- turn invisible.
This is paid off later when Reed tests the device on bad results.

* 30+ minutes later *

- A key moment in the Reed-Victor-Sue dynamic was cut...for some reason.
He confronts them on a friendly dinner date, is annoyed that she wants to stay at the Tower and crushes the ring he showed her earlier.

Why cut this?  It's only 2 minutes long!
- Two short Scenes were cut that aren't major, but also aren't exactly long.

We get a RomCom moment as stuff falls and Reed & Sue end up in a pile together.

More worrisome than that is the bit where Johnny realizes that he can heat up the inside of the elevator to make ladies get partially undressed around him.

It's a long way to get to Captain America!
- The oddest bit here is a section that was CHANGED, but not cut.

In the Extended Edition, Reed tries to look 'manly' by morphing his face into that of Wolverine's.
Corporate Synergy!

In the Theatrical Cut (and the one I first saw), he turns his face into, well, Bruce Campbell's instead.


- The oddest change is them cutting about 10 minutes of footage out right before the Finale.
In the Theatrical Cut, it goes from Victor suggesting that Ben check on Reed & Sue and then he does just that.

In the Extended Cut, we get ALL the footage that they cut.

Ben meets back up with Alicia and she sculpts him again.
Victor tries to get Johnny on his side by taking him in a limo.
Ben goes to a function with Alicia, but gets self-conscious and leaves (meeting Victor, as mentioned)
Johnny shows off at a bar, strikes out and people reject him, leading to character growth.

Yes, they cut ALL OF THAT.
The rest of the Film plays out the same, complete with the Sequel Bait about Doom.

So, is it better?

Yes.  It's not a major, major thing though.
If you didn't like the tone, casting, feel and overall vibe of the Film, this probably won't sway you.

That said, I like the Film- hence the reason I own both a Theatrical and Extended DVD of it- and this one is a clear improvement.

More Characterization, Plot and build-up is great.  Plus, the regular DVD has ZERO Special Features, whereas this one has those AND both Cuts together.

It kind of makes the original DVD release look kind of, well, ugly.
If you're on the fence about the Film, check out the longer Cut.  The Streaming one is Theatrical, so splurge the extra $1-4 for this one.

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