Daredevil review, Daredevil DVD review

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Buy your copy from Amazon.com Daredevil (2003) Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clark Duncan, Colin Farrell
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Rating: PG-13
Category: Action

Ben Affleck kills every movie he's in because he royally sucks. He can't act, he has no charisma and no, he's not the sexiest man alive. Okay, now that I got that out of the way, people can stop harassing the makers of "Daredevil" for shooting a bad movie, because it actually has its moments. "Daredevil" is one of the darker Marvel comics, incorporating a grittier detective persona to the title character, and this may be why it's more of a cult comic than a huge fan-based comic like "Spider-Man" and the "X-Men" books. Only a few years after the releases of the two biggest comics in Marvel history, "Daredevil" may not have been my first pick for the next slot, but it was still a good one.

Matthew Murdock (Scott Terra) is the son of a washed-up prize-fighting boxer (David Keith), who one day has an accident on a boat dock involving chemicals, destroying his eyesight, but amplifying his other four senses in the process. Matt eventually grows up (Ben Affleck) to become Daredevil by night and an attorney by day. Befriended by his partner in law, Foggy Nelson (Jon Favreau), Matt encounters a woman one day at a caf, Elektra Nachios (Jennifer Garner), who proves to be more of a match than Matt initially believes.

Also thrown into the mix is Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan), the "Kingpin" of all crime in the city of New York who hires the likes of Irish-born assassin Bullseye (Colin Farrell) to take out both Elektra and Daredevil in a two-for-one deal. "Daredevil" isn't exactly the best superhero to appeal to audiences since all he really has are his super senses, but his character also shares the deeper emotional storyline found in "Spider-Man" and the other early Marvel comics.

One thing the makers of "Daredevil" are guilty of, aside from casting the chump Affleck in the title role, was integrating so many main characters into the first of a possible film franchise, even though many were integral to the storyline. Jennifer Garner shines as Elektra, a seemingly perfect match since her acclaimed, ass-kicking role on the hit TV show "Alias," and Michael Clarke Duncan also does a great job as the Kingpin, probably the only imaginable actor large enough to portray the overwhelming big man in the comics. But once again it is Colin Farrell as villainous Bullseye who steals the show.

While "Daredevil" most definitely is targeted to the more hardcore comic fans that can show appreciation for keeping true to the comic's storyline, others should enjoy this one as well. Although it could be described as Spider-man and Batman combined, I'd rather not make that comparison. But if you do choose to go see this, stay through the closing credits to see the fate of one of the four main characters.

DVD Review:
Fans of Ben Affleck's less-than-amazing performance as the red-suited superhero, Daredevil, now have two ways to experience the film with the release of "Daredevil: Director's Cut" on DVD. The single-disc director's cut of the movie doesn't have the packaging glitz or the massive amount of bonus material as the original DVD release, but it does feature the intended, R-rated cut of the film with 30 additional minutes of footage. The new material includes never-before-seen subplots, extended fight sequences and even the deletion of a few scenes from the theatrical release. Presented in a widescreen 2.35:1 video transfer and a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, the director's cut of "Daredevil" is a completely different film for the better.

The only element that is completely lacking on the disc is the inclusion of any quality special features, so if fans do want to indulge in behind-the-scenes bonus material, they will have to buy the original release as well. The only new featurette added to the director's cut, "Giving the Devil His Due," is a 15-minute look into the making of the new cut of the film, with interviews by writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and producer/Marvel president Avi Arad. Most of the information discussed on the featurette though, can also be heard on the full-length audio commentary with Johnson and Arad. Aside from the flawed bonus material, "Daredevil: Director's Cut" is a pretty nifty catch that is certainly much better than the theatrical cut and will positively change anyone's opinion of the movie.

~Jason Zingale

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