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The Problem with The Fantastic Four Trailer

Christopher Cocca

The Fantastic Four teaser trailer has been released by 20th Century Fox/Marvel, and there are problems.  First and foremost, it mimics the gravity of the Man of Steel promos (a tone that translated well to the film) unconvincingly.  The Richards family may be superdom’s “First Family” and represent an important moment in the history of comics (which, are, of course, an abiding part of American folklore, just as Brian Wilson is our greatest folk musician), but you don’t get that feeling from the teaser.  Comparisons to Superman don’t help.  There’s even the classic car shot from the Star Trek reboot, making all of this feel re-tread.

Reed’s outsider-genius status will always evoke a certain pathos, but the downright absurdity of his acquired powers sort of ruins everything.  Using IN CINEMAS SUMMER 2015 instead of simply SUMMER 2015 is another stab at unearned weight, and the most egregious.

Yes, this is just a teaser reel, but the best thing about it is the way the title is rendered at the end.

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Romney, Huntsman Vie For Reagan’s Mantle, Green Lantern’s Coif

You probably know by now that Jon Huntsman made his president bid facebook official today.  While the media rather callously waxes about the novelty of TWO (count ’em! TWO!) Mormons in the presidential race, I’d rather look at what seems, on the surface, a more superficial similarity between Huntsman and GOP front runner Mitt Romney:

There's a joke in here somewhere about being made in the 50s or the "it's the 56 Chevy of hairstyles" or something.

Those gorgeous temples.  The gray ones they both have above their ears.  The common trope is that as men age, these kinds of things add an air of distinction and gravity to their personae.  I think that’s probably true in most cases, unfair and shallow as it is.  That said, both gents rock the look like champs.  But which two-tone coif do you prefer?

Personally, I think Huntsman has the better siding.  It’s thicker, wider, and grayer than Romney’s.  But Romney’s look offers more overall contrast: it’s more stark, which is precisely what Romney needs to be if he’s going to break out of the empty suit rap he’s earned himself over the last five years.

If you think all this hair business isn’t important, I want you to remember that the world went crazy when Jimmy Carter decided to part his hair to the left instead of the to the right (was that his response to Ted Kennedy’s demands that the President move more to the left? Come on, now.  Well, okay, maybe.).  I want you to remember Reagan’s hair, which had the power to sign its own executive orders.  Remember all the bru-ha-ha about how quickly Clinton grayed.  And then when Sec. Clinton’s hair looked all a fright at that big important meeting at the UN.  You remember that, right?  The hair clip incident?  And remember when the CIA tried to make Castro’s beard fall out?  And when Bill Clinton was a Foghat roadie?

If Ronald Reagan had the Superman of presidential dos, and let’s be honest, he absolutely did, Huntsman and Romney sport the Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards versions respectively.  Neither Jordan or Richards are slouches by superhero standards, but they’ve both had their share of public image issues.  Food for thought, gents, as you proceed.

Let me also go on the record as a staunch opponent of religious discrimination:  these guys are both Mormons.  Get the hell over it already.