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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Daredevil - Director's Cut

Blu-ray Reviews

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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 21 2008 - 11:09 AM

Blu-ray Disc Review


Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 2003
Film Length: 133 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour/B&W: Colour

BD Specifications:
Resolution: 1080/24p
Video Codec: AVC @ 20MBPS
Disc Size: BD-50

  • English DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

    Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin
    Film Rating: R

  • Release Date: September 30, 2008.


    Starring: Ben Affleck (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Jennifer Garner (Elektra Natchios), Colin Farrell (Bullseye), Michael Clarke Duncan (The Kingpin/Wilson Frisk), Jon Favreau (Franklin “Foggy” Nelson), Joe Pantoliano (Ben Urich)

    Written by: Mark Steven Johnson
    Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson

    A Daring New Vision.

    Mediocre reviews put a pitchfork into this box-office release. Most viewers of Daredevil walked away with a feeling of disappointment. The main criticism? Same old, same old: lots of action but lack of story. For director Mark Steven Johnson, there was a dual sense of obligation; one was to make a successful movie with high returns for the studio, the second was to make a very good film that he would be satisfied with. The result: two different cuts of the film – one each to satisfy both interests. The obvious question is “why can’t one film be both successful and satisfying?” I can’t answer that for the creators, but too often we see films that puts fire on the action and water downs the plot, much to the pressure of the studio.

    Daredevil is a film based on the Marvel Comic book hero. Matt Murdoch is a lawyer by day and superhero by night. Blinded as a child by a freak chemical accident, he acquires superhuman senses of sounds, tastes and textures that all other humans cannot perceive. His vision lies in darkness, but he can see shapes in his mind when sounds reflect off their boundaries. While he learns to master these new skills Matt is faced with the tragic murder of his father.

    From then on, Matt swears to avenge his father’s death. As he ages, Matt as Daredevil dons the red suit and eye mask and uses his radar senses to find wrongdoing in the streets at night. He avenges justice by giving the guilty people hell to pay. But during the day, Matt sticks up for the little guy who is innocent. He owns a storefront law office with his best friend Franklin Nelson. Together they are lawyers protecting those who are wrongfully charged with a crime. Each day and night Matt balances the lawyer by day and superhero by night. It’s a typical dual personality that never lets him live a normal life. While much of his personal and daily life was hinted upon in the theatrical cut, it is elaborated much more in the director’s cut. It’s this balance that makes the director’s cut far more appealing to watch.

    After filming took place, the producers pressured the theatrical release of the film as a 100-minute action flick based on the comic-book superhero. It was to be fast-paced and revenge orientated, but little in the way of character development. Daredevil: The Director’s Cut was the way the film was originally cut. According to writer/director Johnson, it was supposed to be the movie released in the theatre. After some meddling with the plots and many scene trims to make a faster paced film, the theatrical cut ended up being a light-hearted action-revenge movie. The director’s cut in comparison – adding an additional 30 minutes of footage – is more downbeat, darker, and of course far better.

    Added to this movie is anything from scene extensions that are merely a few seconds longer to several minutes in length. The subplot of the murdered prostitute and the protection of his client Dante Jackson (played by rapper Coolio) has been reinstated. There are more maddening scenes with Bullseye, some very funny ones with Foggy Nelson, and the threat of the Kingpin is far more apparent with a longer and more brutal climax. The director’s cut has received a Restricted rating over the theatrical PG-13, but there isn’t much more violence that’s been added to the film. The featurette on the disc goes over the additions quite well and will explain it a little further. Johnson has also elected to eliminate several scenes that were in the theatrical cut. The ‘confessional’ scenes and the ‘lovemaking’ scenes were shot after the first cut of the film and didn’t fit with the original vision. This time around they’ve been pulled and replaced by alternate scenes which I prefer in comparison.

    Is Daredevil: Director’s Cut a better movie? Hell yes! If you didn’t like the movie the first time around I really suggest giving this version a try. Sometimes extended cuts don’t always add much to the movie, but in this case it really does.

    Daredevil was released back in July 2003 as a two disc DVD set. It featured the theatrical version of the film with a handful of extras on disc two. In 2004, the Director’s Cut became available but dropped the features on the first DVD set but included two new ones. Four years later, this Blu-ray disc features the Director’s Cut only (clearly it is the preferred version by the director) as well as all features available from the first two DVDs.

    Note the runtime on the Blu-ray package is incorrectly labelled as 124 minutes. The correct runtime is 133 minutes.

    Michael Osadciw

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator

    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine

    #2 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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    Posted September 21 2008 - 11:11 AM

    There you go Michael, your review is much better in this area of the forum.Posted Image

    #3 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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    Posted September 21 2008 - 11:14 AM

    lol...I was so eager to post I didn't know I was in the wrong forum. ha ha!

    Michael Osadciw

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    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine

    #4 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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    Posted September 21 2008 - 12:39 PM

    An excellent review for a far superior version of this film. Definitely one of the better superhero films out there IMHO. I will definitely be picking this one up to replace the DVD that I currently have.
    Recently watched- The Masque Of The Red Death(1964), Sabotage(2014), Twin Peaks: Season 1, The Pit and The Pendulum(1961), Beware The Batman: Shadows Of Gotham, Scream and Scream Again, Arrow: Season 3, The Return Of Count Yorga, Count Yorga,Vampire, John Carpenter's Vampires, Burn Notice: Season 7, V For Vendetta, Halloween: Resurrection

    Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 3, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Game Of Thrones: Season 2, Heroes: Season 2, The Pacific, Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection, Beware The Batman: Dark Justice, Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, Scarecrow & Mrs. King: Season 2
    "The owls are not what they seem."


    #5 of 15 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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    Posted September 21 2008 - 01:12 PM

    A far superior version of the film. Nice to see this being done right, a must buy for myself.
    You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!

    #6 of 15 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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    Posted September 21 2008 - 03:38 PM

    I really liked the film, too, especially the Director's Cut. But I was alone among my friends, most of whom found it ho-hum to unenjoyable. Thanks for the extensive review, Mike.

    #7 of 15 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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    Posted September 21 2008 - 11:39 PM

    I was a bit underwhelmed with the theatrical cut but I never got a chance to see the DC. I wanted to but netflix didn't carry it. Fox's higher than average catalog pricing might prevent a "near-sighted buy" from me unless I can find a good deal. Otherwise I'll probably rent this if I can.
    Death before Streaming!

    #8 of 15 OFFLINE   Bleddyn Williams

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    Posted September 22 2008 - 01:33 AM

    Thanks for the review! A definite buy for me, but I gotta know - that stupid box on the front cover, pushing Jon Favreau - is it a sticker, or actually printed onto the artwork?

    #9 of 15 OFFLINE   troy evans

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    Posted September 22 2008 - 06:06 PM

    Awe man. You should have said "blind buy" for the ultimate pun.Posted Image
    " I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

    #10 of 15 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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    Posted September 22 2008 - 11:12 PM

    Posted Image
    Death before Streaming!

    #11 of 15 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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    Posted September 28 2008 - 05:11 PM

    Never saw the DC version....I eagerly await Tuesday. Nice review.

    #12 of 15 OFFLINE   John Troutman

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    Posted September 29 2008 - 08:20 AM

    The DC is the only copy worth watching. If you disliked the theatrical cut, you owe it to yourself to watch this version. It's a night and day comparison. If you couldn't tell, I LOVE the DDPosted ImageC. Posted Image I can't wait to watch this puppy in HD.

    #13 of 15 OFFLINE   Derek Faber

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    Posted October 01 2008 - 12:27 PM

    So underrated. So much better than most of the comic book films coming from Marvel lately. Better than any Spiderman, Hulk and Iron Man. IMO, this is their best film to date.

    #14 of 15 OFFLINE   JustinCleveland



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    Posted October 01 2008 - 01:49 PM

    Better than Spider-Man 3 and Hulk, I'll grant you that. But this film isn't without problems. The street fight in the playground, for instance. It is illogical. Similarly, Murdoch's legal profession is unclear. He at once seems to be a prosecutor and defense attorney. Is this criminal court, or civil? That all said, I really like the film. But I don't know that I can put it above Iron Man, the first two Spider-Man films, or the first two X-Men installments.

    #15 of 15 OFFLINE   Peter Raber

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    Posted October 02 2008 - 07:21 AM

    You guys actually make me want to give the DC a try. I never saw this in the movies, but as DD is one of my favorite comic book characters I blind bought the original when it was released, and man I thought it was BAD! As bad as the Hulk was. So when this was first released as a DC I said no way, but based on the comments I read here I will give the Blu-ray a try. I won't buy it unless it goes down to $19.95, but if it doesn't soon then I'll rent it for sure.

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