ranters and ravers

Did Someone Actually Call ‘Fantastic 4’ Stunning?

Blurb Patrol investigates!Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment

Fantastic 4 (extended edition) will be released on DVD June 5, fortuitously timed to the June 15 theatrical premiere of Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Now, we don’t recall the first movie making a particular critical splash … so imagine our surprise to find that the Chicago Tribune, according to a blurb on the DVD, called the film “Spectacular. Astonishing. Stunning.”

Assuming this wasn’t a three-word review reprinted in its entirety, Vulture decided to investigate, cross-referencing the blurb against Tribune film critic Michael Wilmington’s original review. Blurbers of the world, beware! Blurb Patrol is watching you.

Blurb: “Spectacular. Astonishing. Stunning.”

Context: “As directed by Tim Story (Barbershop), it’s pretty entertaining: fast, slick, spectacular and full of wisecracks and inside gags … It certainly looks stunning, and there’s even a try at injecting some human drama and strong emotion into the action stew … The special effects are suitably astonishing.”

Additional critical observations: “But Fantastic Four tends to disappear from your mind afterwards almost as fast as Invisible Woman vanishes in plain sight … There’s something too heavy about the jokes and the style, too obvious about the action … Comic monolith Marvel has had a hit-or-miss record with recent adaptations, making something truly marvelous with the two Spider-Man pictures and scoring with the second X-Men, but stumbling into camp, formula and even drivel with Daredevil and Elektra. Fantastic Four falls somewhere in between.”

Level of blurb offense: Misdemeanor

Suggested alternate blurbs: “Pretty entertaining. Somewhere in between Spider-Man and Elektra. Tends to disappear from your mind.”
—Adam Sternbergh

Did Someone Actually Call ‘Fantastic 4’ Stunning?