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This column may as well be called “The battle of the (sort-of-shitty) sequels” at this point.
The deal is:
Jason Griffenhagen (of Death by Sexy , sharp dresser, and rapscallion) reviews (post-release) whatever movie was number 1 in the box office the previous weekend, and tells everyone why its fucking terrible. or good. And yes, please feel free to discuss this with him at length whenever you spot him at the Cat. He cherishes every second of it.
(illustration by Evan Keeling)

THIS WEEK(with a money back guarantee):

Fantastic 4: The Rise of the Silver Surfer
(worth a cool-almost 58 million last weekend, which is probably 1/10th of its budget, or something.)

I’m sure there’s a good dick joke in there somewhere

For all of you who haven’t noticed, Hollywood is nothing if not persistent. Why else would they make a sequel to a movie that wasn’t very good the first time around? Well, besides filthy lucre, and quite possibly the chance to put Jessica Alba in a skin tight superhero suit? I guess next summer we can all look forward to White Chicks 2, and possibly the sequel everyone is clamoring for: XXX: WTF?.

Continuing in the grand tradition of “summer event movies” this weeks heapin’ helping of CGI came to us in the form of Fantastic 4: At Surferman’s End: 3. Or was it part two? Does it really matter? Its just another in the long line of mediocre movies based on comic books. I’m waiting for the movie adaptations of Pickles, Non-Sequiter, and Cathy(starring Rosie O’Donnell). Those are gonna rule, and Totally Slay at the box office. Of course, there’s always the upcoming Family Circus movie, where I heard they spent over 100 million dollars just to get the “black dotted line” effect that happens when P.J. runs through the neighborhood. I just hope they keep it true to the Bil Keane originals, or at least give him a shitty little cameo in the film, a la Stan Lee.

As far as keeping it true to the original comic, Fantastic 4 manages to combine the stilted dialogue of comic books with the two-dimensional nature of an ACTUAL comic book. WOW! The storyline intertwines the aspects of a disaster movie and a bad romantic comedy, complete with meaningless special effects. Sue Storm(The Invisible Woman) is trying to get married to Reed Richards(Mr. Fantastic), but, goshdarnit!, she can’t ever seem to have a normal life because they are always saving the earth from Certain Doom. Or, actually, his name is Doctor Doom, but whatever. The two never-weds are joined by their teammates The Thing and The Human Torch(I didn’t bother to look up their real names, I mean, who frakkin’ cares? Other than my comic book friends), because a totally gnarly dude from outerspace who looks like the T1000 is completely shredding some tubular curls all over the planet, thus causing major destruction.

Fear not, dear readers, because one good thing came out of me watching this movie. Evidently the onscreen action was too hot, because the fire alarm went off in the middle of the film. Frankly, I was thankful for it, because up until the time the projector went off, I was bored out of my mind. Maybe its because I never read any of the comics, didn’t see the first movie, and really didn’t give three burrito shits about any of the characters.

But HARK!!! Mean Gene Siskel must have been looking down on me from heaven! In addition to giving me a much needed respite from the onscreen tedium, I got my money back! Plus, we got to go back into the theater and watch the rest of the movie.

I’ll have to admit, that they probably cut it off at the perfect time, because the rest of the movie was straight up action. I guess the best thing I can say about this is that the last part of the film was OK, and they probably could have gotten rid of the the first two-thirds of the movie without anyone getting confused about what was going on. Its also helpful that The Thing tells you the plot up to the final battle sequence with a line that starts off, “OK. Let me get this straight, the government is after us, the planet is about to be devoured, we have an alien in the ship with us, Doctor Doom has unlimited power, and there’s nothing we can do to stop him?” That was certainly helpful. Thanks Thing!

Well, at least I got a refund, and a little bit of excitement on a Monday night not involving a pregnancy test. Ahem.

Next Week: Evan Almighty brings the wrath of Morgan Freeman upon Steve Carell? You don’t fuck with Easy Reader kids. Til then…Riddle me this: Does the plus sign mean pregnant or not pregnant? Always use condoms, kids.