July 08, 2005



I'm a sucker for stories about P.R. gangbangs that go awry. I've been part of too many to say that I can enjoy them in person, but I'm always keen to hear when one falls to pieces despite the best efforts of publicists to shine the penny as much as possible.

Case in point: The Fantastic Four movie premiere on Liberty Island the other night.

Rule No. 1 in publicity: Unless you really like who you're going to spend the evening with, don't imprison them with you on an island in a rainstorm:


The Great Fantastic Four Premiere Debacle

Last night's Fantastic Four premiere, ambitiously slated for Liberty Island (perhaps inside the Statue of Liberty's head?), could have used some superhero help as it went up in flames (or down in the rain).

Members of the press were herded in Battery Park, then boated to Liberty Island. A red carpet parade happened. (For the record, Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein's name appeared on the tip sheet of celebs. It's not that Ms. Rubenstein isn't famous, but... well, it's a bit like listing Mr. Pibb alongside Coke and Pepsi, if you follow. Still, to the organizer's credit, snacks were even provided for the reporters, which is something The Transom has never, ever heard of.)

Most of the press, of course, were not allowed to actually attend the film, so they were put back on a boat to Manhattan. But ten minutes into the screening, which was delayed until shortly after 10 p.m., apparently the projector broke. A note from our reporter Adriane Quinlan:

The reporters on the boat were treated to the sight of screening attendees scrambling below to board the press boat, so as to not be stranded on Liberty Island for an unknown amount of time. "Forget them, pull the plank!" said a publicist. Meanwhile, celebs themselves crushed unhappily onto the press boat, which took off promptly, leaving flurrying celebs below like so many Titanic victims. Jessica Alba stood bravely in the prow of The Transom's boat, unwilling to speak to the hordes of media types who surrounded her.

Then there was this bit of snarky goodness:

Fantastic Four: Julian Is Not Wearing Hugo Boss

The red carpet at last night’s Liberty Island screening of the Fantastic Four was sopping wet. When the film’s cast finally walked off the dock, they were a few hours late, having dragged their kitten heels through mud.

Alice Evans, a leggy blonde who has dated Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) for five years, hobbled about in a broken Jimmy Choo heel. Jessica Alba couldn’t talk to the press—she was seasick, according to her publicist. And when asked how he felt on this grand occasion, Mr. Fantastic himself replied in one adjective—“Moist.”

Hoping to calm the livid reporters who they had literally stranded on an island, one well-intentioned publicist ventured on the red carpet to give a statement: “To anyone who this concerns, Julian [McMahon] is not wearing Hugo Boss, he’s wearing Ted Baker.”

Press: "Okay. Thanks."

Two second pause.

Raucous laughter.

“Who cares?”

Twenty minutes later, the fireworks display started—of course, they had been scheduled to pop off after the film, not before it. Since the first ferry had been arranged to head out after the fireworks, those who felt a bit antsy were overjoyed. And the bangs were grand! After a heartbeat-paced shower of stars, in a pause, a photographer hastily clapped. When the show started up again, he could be heard above the gunshots: “You lied to me!”

Indeed, the mood was somber when the finale went off: fireworks in the form of—are those fours?—exploded in the night sky. But the majority of fours were backwards, aimed to resemble fours to, perhaps, those safe, dry, lucky people who were still on a much larger island—Manhattan. Reporters giggled. And Jessica Alba was probably wishing she hadn’t worn a barebacked Gucci gown. The chairs were soaking, and the only food was ice cream.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the toys associated with the movie are getting hazed as well.


Children are not idiots. Okay, most of them are idiots. Nevertheless, children still deserve our respect. Okay, they don't deserve any respect. But even so, I would not wish the Fantastic 4 Human Torch™ ATV (with Light-Up Headlights!) toy on my worst child enemy--and, believe me, I have many. Why? Because of the thousands of movie tie-in toys produced in the world every year --from Batman action figures to Darth Vader helmets to Lord of the Rings crossbows -- there has never been a more ridiculously stupid and insulting toy than the Fantastic 4 Human Torch™ ATV (with Light-Up Headlights!).

And this is why:

The Human Torch has no need for an "All-Terrain Vehicle" -- because the last time I checked, the Human Torch can fucking FLY.

Has anyone told the Human Torch that it might not be safe to sit on top of a gas tank when one is on FIRE? Nice message to send the kids, assholes!

As you know, the Fantastic 4 lives and works in New York City -- where driving an ATV is ILLEGAL. According to section 4-14, subsection 1 of the NYC municipal traffic code: "In order to provide for the maximum safe use of the expressways, drives, highways, interstate routes, bridges, and thruways, and to preserve life and limb thereon, the use of such highways by pedestrians, riders of horses, and operators of limited use vehicles [ATVs] and bicycles is prohibited." (Yes, I actually looked this up.)

The Fantastic 4 Human Torch™ ATV also has "light-up headlights!" Good thing, because there's nothing more useless than "dark-down headlights."

What does the freaking Human Torch need with headlights anyway? HE'S ON FIRE!

ATVs are exclusively for assholes and rednecks. I know, this has nothing to do with the Human Torch riding an ATV, but this guy who lives down the block from me is constantly ripping around our neighborhood on one of these stupid four-wheelers--and without a helmet, no less! So basically, this is just to let him know, I think he's an asshole and a redneck.

The Fantastic 4 Human Torch™ ATV has Spider-Man™ hubcaps. Hey toymakers, if saving money by recycling an unsuccessful Spider-Man ATV is all you're interested in, why not just line up the children of the world and piss in their mouths?

And Spider-Man doesn't need an ATV, either!!

Posted by Jeff at July 8, 2005 11:05 PM | TrackBack
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