Monday Morning Critic – Trying to Gauge The Pre-Release Buzz Of Fantastic Four … and Why People Are Reading The Wrong Things Out Of It

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I had initially planned a neat sit down interview with a friend of mine who runs Third Coast Comics for an interview piece on the week’s big film, Fantastic Four, but unfortunately the downside of owning your own home is that sometimes it interferes with your ability to do cool things. In the meantime if you’re looking for comic books and you’re in or near the city of Chicago you should find my buddy’s shop and buy all of the comics there.

I’ll find a way to do something cool like that in the future, hopefully soon, as I’d like to explore a video column as a semi-regular feature.

A big to do over the weekend, though, was an article that has something from the BBC. Apparently the cast of Fantastic Four hadn’t seen a full cut of the film yet, neither have the press, and with a week to go before the release the reaction has been a puzzling one. It’s time for everyone to relax and realize a couple things.


It’s fairly common for the press to not see a film this close to release. Plenty of press screenings are closer to the release date. Usually it’s a sign that the studio has very little or an excess of confidence in the drawing power of a title. How late in the week a first presser is scheduled is a sign of it; if it’s Wednesday or Thursday then a Friday deadline won’t nearly have as much sting because people won’t be discussing it, et al, beforehand. It’s the one thing big budget films and small indie films have in common before release into theaters, the lack of screenings.

Most films of this size don’t screen many times because that’s usually designed for mid size films, mainly comedies, needing a buzz. I remember the run up to both Juno and Knocked Up had a half dozen screenings apiece of both films just in the greater Chicagoland area. Thank you for Smoking had a number of them, as well. It’s the mid range that usually screens a lot for both the press and radio contests, trying to build a buzz.

A film like Fantastic Four doesn’t need to do it because they have a very good idea right now what it should gross week one, which is the point of most press screening tours. A good buzz can add volume but the baseline number is something 20th Century Fox knows as a huge chunk of ticket purchases now have already been made. They know most of the midnight screening number from Thursday as well as the bare minimum they’ll do from people who’ve already purchased tickets so far. They can estimate the additional percentage this week that’ll pre-purchase but a huge chunk of that is already on the books.


The other curious thing is that the cast hasn’t seen the film. While that’s uncommon it’s not that surprising, either. Plenty of casts don’t see the finished product until the world premiere as usually the finished film is only seen by the editor and director, as well as the studio. Plenty of actors see it for the first time there, of course, and plenty see it beforehand. With a film this effects laden it’s not surprising they haven’t seen the finished product just yet.

While it doesn’t bode well that the film has been shrouded in some secrecy so far … let’s also relax and realize that this is kind of common.

Stuff for General George S. Pimpage, Esq

And now on MMC … we watch some funny commentary on exercise injuries.

Injuries from the Washed Up Loser Olympics (2015) by InfiniteElgintensity

If you want to pimp anything email it to me with a good reason why. It helps to bribe me with stuff, just saying ….

A Movie A Week – The Challenge


This week’s DVD – The Warriors

It would’ve been cliché to grab They Live or something with Roddy Piper in it this week, as he passed this weekend, but frankly I just couldn’t. I settled on one of the more controversial cult films of its time, grabbing the director’s cut Walter Hill wound up releasing in 2005.

Simple premise. A gang truce was called and was supposed to lead to something more winds up in chaos. Luther (David Patrick Kelly) winds up betraying the peace, leading to all sorts of shenanigans in Pelham Bay Park. Coney Island gang The Warriors are blamed in the aftermath and now have to make their way back to their home turf, surrounded by enemies. It’s nearly 30 miles and the subways aren’t their friends, either, as NYPD is after them as well.

It was controversial at the time because of some violence that broke out in theatres, not the first time that had happened, and was pulled fairly quickly, but managed to find an audience over the years because of how different it was. This is 1970s New York, before it was cleaned up, and Walter Hill gets us into just how bad some areas of NYC really were.

The director’s cut is interesting because Hill crafted the film more for a comic book sensibility … It’s one of the few films where the director’s cut feels better than the original.


What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound

Fantastic Four (2015) – Fox goes back to the well one more time to try and get this franchise right.

See it – I don’t like the trailer. I’m not sure if Josh Trank is the guy to make that next step, career wise. BUT I adore this cast and think if there’s a time to get this right, it’s now.

The Gift – Joel Edgerton makes his feature film directorial debut in a psychological thriller.

See it – Edgerton is captain of the underrated actor squad and I’m curious how his directorial debut turns out.

Ricki and the Flash – Meryl Streep gender bends the “rock star who was a terrible parent” film.

See it – It looks as passable as Sean Penn in This Must Be The Place, where he starred as a goth rocker turned Nazi hunter, but Streep is never dull. Her playing a terrible parent isn’t new, of course, but I’m curious how she pulls this one off. This reeks of something that’ll get her another Oscar nomination, as well.

Shaun the Sheep Movie – The guys behind Wallace and Gromit and The Pirates! are back.

See it – Aardman is like Pixar; it’s a near automatic.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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