This weekend's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer cost an estimated $130 million to produce and is the sequel to a blockbuster that earned more than $150 million in domestic box office. But that doesn't stop director Tim Story from playing the underdog to another Marvel superhero. "Spider-Man is the Godfather of comic-book movies," says Story. "Think about all their resources and the actors they have to work with, man, I’m just saying."
While we're sure Fantastic Four stars Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and Ioan Gruffudd would love to know exactly what Story's saying about their contributions, we'll cut the director some slack. The reviews have been harsh thus far, with the most damning judgment coming from the New York Times — which relegates Manohla Dargis's dismissal to the Film in Review capsules on page E8. There the weekend's top blockbuster shares real estate with documentaries on Czechoslovakia, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the anti-abortion movement. —Steve Ramos