Friday 22nd July 2005

The way the week panned out meant that Friday was going to busy, I knew by Wednesday that I would be under pressure to get laptops and PDAs out of the door by Friday, 3.30pm. The morning, therefore was busy, trying to meet this deadline, but this led to an afternoon lull, with a handful of calls coming to the helpdesk. As we headed for the busiest period of the working week, I expected to be overwhelmed but instead took two calls in the space of a few hours, when I would usually be taking up to six even eight calls. The day was dragging and I started to look forward to my weekend. The office gathers an eerie quiet around 5.20pm, when most of the staff have left, on time (sometimes early) for the weekend. There are is just me answering the phone to potential 900 reps, give or take a handful on holiday.

I left the office at 6pm sharp, aiming to be home before 6.30pm. The by pass was congested yet again and I had to take the scenic cross country route. Coming into my room, I rushed to get changed, switching on my television to Channel 4. Just in time, Hollyoaks was just about to start. Yet, I could not sit down and relax, I had to get ready and be out of the door within the hour. I grabbed some food, before heading off into the car and over to Reading. Under normal circumstances, I should have taken the motorway route, M4, A329(M) but opted for the A4 cross country route, via the picturesque village of Sonning. Arrived at Pav’s house at 7.35pm and unlike a few weeks ago, when we went to watch Batman Begins, we were in the Rover 216i and heading for the Oracle in no time. I had not paid much attention at the time, but the movie was to be shown on screen 4. Someone at the cinema must have a sense of humour. But actually. this screen is the biggest and with the best digital surround sound and seating. It was the first time since Toy Story 2, that I had been in this particular screen. Taken six years for me to watch a movie in here again.

As I mentioned on Thursday, the Fantastic Four are great band B super heroes, much like The Phantom or The Shadow. That is not to say the are not great crime fighters in their own right, with special superpowers to match the likes of Superman, Spiderman and Batman. I just feel they do not have the same mass appeal, as the gang of three, whom have a much popular following. Nevertheless, I came to the cinema to be entertained and it was what I got in abundance, along with some fantastic comic screen moments. What makes the movie work is the fact that you have four very different people coming together for one purpose. In reality, we all know that the Thing and Human Torch would never get along, and the writers have exploited this somewhat. The star of the show in my eyes, is Jessica Alba. While her performance in Sin City, was great, it was more of a bit part come eye candy role, which is shame, as she has so much more to offer. Here, placed centre stage, you get an idea of how well she is developing as an actress. The fact she is easy on the eye also helps. She is one of those people (few exist, believe me) that could wear anything and I mean absolutely anything and would make it look good. Even in this movie you see her, in mean superhero mode, in spandex, but also looking every bit the intelligent scientist, in a white coat and glasses. I still cannot believe that just over ten years ago, I was watching this young starlet on one of my favourite children television shows. When I saw the trailer for this movie, I expected more action, which was one of the main reasons I came to see it on the big screen rather than wait for the DVD. Overall there is something for everyone here and a great way to waste away a few hours. It may not have the impact of other superhero movies, particularly in comparison to reason attempts, but it makes up with the lack of twists and turns, with a solid plot, trying to explain the emotional responses to the gifts given to the main characters. (Johnny, perhaps gives the modern celebrity generation reaction to a new found talent!) Stan Lee as expected makes a fleeting cameo appearance, but I wish they had used him more. His character is more than a stand in part, as he has made in the Spiderman movies. The film leads up to a major battle between the Four and Dr. Doom, but I think this was played down for one reason and one reason alone, leaving the door firmly open for the Fantastic Four Return. Until then, once you too have seen the movie, only one place will be able to cater for your longing for more FF material.

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