More belated film reviews

Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer.

It’s time to get married, but superheroes should know by now that that ain’t gonna happen because some supervillain is bound to gatecrash the party. And so it happens. Reid Richards (who should be called Richard Reid because that’s the usual order; same for French Stewart, Parker Posey and any other thesps who have arse-backwards names; you want an arse-backwards name? You should be Chinese or Japanese, among whom it’s the done thing) is about to marry Susan Storm when the Silver Surfer zeroes in on New York.

Victor von Doom comes back from the dead and starts by helping the military. That doesn’t last long – predictably. He gets the surfer’s board, skewers Susan (and not in the fun adult way either), and must then face the combined might of the Four. The Surfer gets his board back and goes and takes out Galacticus, or whatever the huge, cosmic cloud was called.

So, at the end of the film, Victor’s somewhere in the Atlantic just of the east coast of the States waiting for the sequel (Fantastic Four: Victor von Doom’s Underwater World); the Silver Surfer is in space and perhaps reunited with his board waiting for his spin-off movie (The Silver Surfer: Thong Bikini Babes of NGC 2264); and Reid and Susan get married, but attract the inevitable emergency.

Annoyances: the disc came out of Russia. The English soundtrack was out of sync and gave way to Russian in a few places; there were some parts which seem to have been edited out when one scene would abruptly jump to another.

As sequels go, this was a decent follow-up to the first film.


Zodiac.

I wonder how much longer this film is? What?! Another two hours?! Yes, Zodiac is a long, long tale about the serial killer who sent newspapers encrypted messages, but who was never caught by the police. The film made it clear that the most likely culprit was Arthur Leigh Allen, who remains conveniently dead.

But the film was less about the killings themselves than the obsession it became, especially with Robert Graysmith, who definitely needed treat­ment. It was a little like that for a lot of the people who were principally involved with the hunt for Zodiac.

Part of the problem in identifying and arresting Zodiac seemed to be that the police investigating the case only had part of the evidence. Graysmith seemed to dig up missing pieces of the puzzle, because in the course of the official investigation, the police were playing a kind of left-hand/right-hand game.

Did the length of the film detract from it? Not really. It wasn’t meant to be a fast-paced thriller, but I guess the audience got drawn in by the ob­sess­ion. There was the attempt to heighten the dramatic tension when Gray­smith feared that he’d come face to face with Zodiac, or Zodiac was in the house with the man who had made the posters for the movie theatre back in the 60s.

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