08 Aug

Fantastic Four

The Setup

As we all know, tis’ the season for superhero reboots, and Fantastic Four is no exception. To celebrate the release of the newest attempt, we elected to watch the original Fantastic Four which premiered in 2005 – 10 years ago if you didn’t bother to do the math. We thought it would be entertaining to compare origin stories and portrayals of Doom/Dr. Von Doom. But like the ratings and reviews of both movies would suggest, we were oh so misguided and wrong.

The Food

We opted to make this one of our shorter posts by only preparing a dessert and a drink instead of a full meal. Although the three of us would love to watch movies, create recipes, and eat delicious food full-time, we are all gainfully employed with real jobs until such a setup becomes profitable (hint, hint future sponsors!). Thus, this Munch movie night was planned on a weeknight and required some prep and planning beforehand to pull it off.

Things started off great. Ben and Andre both had incredibly hectic weeks at work, and Leanna volunteered as tribute to bake two cakes, one vanilla and one chocolate, to craft petit fours from (Get it? Petit fours for the Fantastic Four? Because four… You get it.) later in the week.

This is where we should have realized a Fantastic Four post was not in the stars for us.

For starters, we had envisioned making one of the tiny cakes bubblegum flavored for Mr. Fantastic (seriously, that’s his name?) AKA the guy who can stretch. On game day, we realized we lacked the necessary resources to flavor the frosting like bubblegum. We launched an extensive internet search and came up empty handed. We’ll make it work, we said. It’ll be fine, we said.

Nope. Nope. Nope nope nope. Things continued to spiral out of control.

The vanilla cake was too dense and too dry. We didn’t think to purchase a cake splitter (not that we are necessarily considering it now either) so the chocolate cake was unevenly sliced. The chocolate ganache was too runny and didn’t stick. The petit fours crumbled at the edges, oozed their filling out as they were sliced, and were constantly sliding apart.

It was a fantastic failure.

(Except the buttercream. America’s Test Kitchen really got that recipe right.)

To be honest, we’ve been pretty lucky here at Munch. Minus a few cooking classes at Sur La Table (thanks, Louise!), none of us are professionally trained or have experience working in a kitchen. We’ve hacked a gas grill into a smoker, we’ve deep fried everything from donuts to homemade potato chips, and we’ve prepared incredibly involved dishes such as lobster mac and cheese, glazed Christmas ham, and award-winning cheesecake. But, really we’re just faking it ‘till we make it and today the world caught up with us and said, “Wait, how did you get this far? This is a mistake. Go to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”

In the end, we were left with a disappointing product that we didn’t feel was worthy of the blog. But we decided to show it to you anyway because everybody makes mistakes and we’re willing to bet that despite the fact that every other food blogger might be cringing at this epic Pinterest-worthy fail, they’ve totally been there and are actually jealous of our courage to show it off.

Or maybe they’re just laughing at us. Whatever.

The Drinks

We wish we could tell you that despite our fiasco in the kitchen, we successfully mixed a winning drink for the movie. We’d be lying if we did.

We made an electric lemonade to tie the movie together and pay a tribute to Dr. Von Doom. This villain is able to control lighting, so we made an electric lemonade with sour mix (lemon and lime), blue curacao, and vodka, topped with some Sprite if you prefer it to be a little sweeter. Sounds pretty basic. Hard to screw up. Just leave that to us.

We floated a lemon in it as a finishing touch, and just as we were about to begin shooting, the lemon sunk.

The Movie

Wouldn’t it be great if after all this we got to sit down with our drinks (despite the sunken lemons), and laugh at a movie that’s so bad it’s good? Probably, but we wouldn’t know because we never got to watch the movie. Figures.

During our research on where to source bubblegum extract, flavoring, syrup or literally anything besides cough syrup and tooth paste that could be used to flavor the frosting, Ben stumbled upon an article that claimed Fox had pulled the original Fantastic Four movies from every online streaming source so as to “avoid marketplace confusion” about the upcoming new release. We scoured the internet to verify this statement (it was true), attempted to get same-day delivery of the DVD from Amazon (impossible), pleaded with our friends on social media who just might have a copy we could borrow (no luck), and even checked the limited video selections at RedBox and Safeway where we buy groceries (nope).

We should have called the whole night off at this point. We’d already failed to get our bubblegum flavoring and now the movie was inaccessible. Why keep going? Because, dear reader, Leanna had already baked two goddamn cakes and wasn’t going to let them go to waste. Sadly, they did anyway, and we were all left fuming in the crater of a volcano of regret.

And that’s a wrap. No reviews, no drinking rules this week. Fantastic Four was a Fantastic Failure, and we’re coming to terms with that one sip of electric lemonade at a time. We were probably set up to fail from the beginning: Fantastic Four (2005) is sitting at a lofty 27% on Rotten Tomatoes with its new counterpart even lower at 12%. That’s lower than Pixels. And that’s an Adam Sandler movie. This movie and this post, just weren’t meant to succeed.