Daredevil Director's Cut & The Incredibles
Publisher: Fox (DD) & Buena Vista (Incredibles)
Wed, 6 July 2005
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More DVD reviews at planet Buttonhole! That's always good, right? I'll have some other movie reviews up for you soon too but, right here and now, here's a "double review" of two recent flicks that I tied together, because they both have a superhero theme (other than that though, they are really nothing alike). I'll start with the Daredevil Director's Cut review and right under that you'll find my review of Pixar's The Incredibles. Rock on!
So many people hated the theatrical version of Daredevil and I don’t really know why. It wasn’t great by any means, but I still reckon it was entertaining enough, for what it was, and undeserving of such utter disdain. I’ve seen many action flicks that were a thousand times worse, yet none of them seemed to get attacked so savagely.
Maybe all those DD haters should check out this director’s cut version; it is amazing what a difference the extra 30 or so minutes make to the film. If the studio had released this one in the first place, I suspect it would have faired quite a bit better with the critics (or maybe not, since some people jumped on that ‘Daredevil sucks’ bandwagon without even bothering to actually watch the movie).
With the additional footage and other nips and tucks, director Mark Steven Johnson has made to his version of the film, Daredevil has gone from a movie that was okay to a movie that is genuinely good, in my estimation. Apparently the studio decided that audiences didn’t want any of that pesky plot stuff getting in the way, so they cut most of that out. Now that it is back in, let me say this to producer Gary Foster; you are a dick and your editing choices suck.
I’m sure you all know what Daredevil is about by now. An adaptation of the Marvel Comics character; Matt Murdoch (Ben Affleck) is a blind lawyer by day and a blind superhero by night. Despite having no sight, his other senses are ultra powerful and he has incredible balance and all that caper.
This Director’s cut version develops all of the characters much more strongly, as well as their relationships with each other. It also has some subplots which tie together to make a greatly more interesting and well constructed whole. The fittingly dark tone of the film is more pronounced now and the fight scenes are more violent. But this is balanced out well, thanks some lighter stuff like John Faverau’s excellent portrayal of Foggy Nelson getting more screen time. The Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) is much more interesting and imposing in this version as well.
The extras are cool and there are plenty of them with this two disc set. Especially great is the "Men Without Fear" featurette, which has various comic book authors/artists talking about their work and their thoughts on the DD character (it is so good, in fact, that I'd pay full price just to have that alone). However, if you already have the first Daredevil "special edition" DVD, most of the extras (including that featurette I just mentioned) are exactly the same as what was on that one.
Daredevil Director’s Cut is still not a perfect movie. But, all together this is vastly superior to the theatrical cut. It is truer than ever to the comic source material, has a way better plot, the characters are richer and the action is grittier and makes more of an impact. I recommend it strongly for Daredevil/comic fans and mildly for those who just want a decent action flick.
And Frank Miller’s cameo is still one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. Kevin Smith's isn't half bad either.
Movie: 8.5 out of 11
Extras: 9.5 if you don’t own Daredevil Special Edition
and 5.5 if you do.
I love everything about this movie. The way it looks, the plot, the characters, the music...you get the idea. Not only is it one of my favourite animated films and one of my favourite superhero films; it is just one of my favourite movies of any kind. That’s how truly exceptional I believe it to be.
Due to The Incredibles being an animated movie, this review should probably have gone in our "'Toons" section. But, since I put it into a double review with the live action Daredevil, it wound up going into the "regular" movie section. Regardless, a great movie is a great movie, no matter what category you choose to place it in.
It was written and directed by Brad Bird, who also did another excellent animated film called Iron Giant. This guy must be some kind of genius and I’ll definitely watch anything that has his name attached to it.
As a comic book and superhero fan, The Incredibles appeals to me on multiple levels. There are so many nods and tributes to all sorts of ‘superhero lore’ that you could spend days trying to pick them all out. There are a huge number of references to other films too (such as Star Wars) so it is kind of a "geek’s paradise" in that regard. Even if you have no interest in any of that stuff though, this movie is a tremendously entertaining one, for an almost universal audience. And that is not an easy thing to make.
To save myself some time, I’ll just quote the plot synopsis from the back of the DVD case:
Bob Parr and his wife Helen used to be among the world’s greatest crime fighters, saving lives and battling evil on a daily basis. Fifteen years later, they have been forced to adopt civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs where they live "normal" lives with their three kids, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment. He soon discovers that it will take a super family effort to rescue the world from total destruction.
There are multiple themes explored in this story; the importance of family, believing in oneself, celebrating our individuality and a whole lot more. It is all packed into a wonderfully well paced film which can be watched over and over again and it will still be enjoyable every single time.
On this two disc edition you have a vast array of bonus stuff to sort through and the majority of it is truly excellent too. Great extras for a great movie; this package is a damned impressive one!
Some of the action sequences are breath taking and the visuals throughout are downright magnificent. The characters (and the voices the actors provide them with) all shine in their own right and every element of the film works exactly as it should. If you don't own it already, what the hell are you waiting for?
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This really is one of the most perfectly well made movies I have ever seen.