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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific And Awesome Action Movie With Heart And Rage
Years before moviemakers really starting getting comic book adaptations right with films like "Spider-Man" and "Batman Begins" came "Darkman", a brilliant action-horror movie that came closer than any show before it to capturing the darker, more developed comics of the modern era. It's a gory and action-packed - and intelligent, emotional and quite often humorous - tale...
Published on January 5, 2006 by Stephen B. O'Blenis

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a shocker seeing Bruce Campbell in this
A superhero movie that originally flew under my radar when it was first released. Hey I was six! But I'd still never heard of it, when it was suggested that we watch and I thought why not? Was expecting good stuff when I saw Sam Raimi's name flash up on screen and yes, he delivered.

Darkman stars Liam Neeson, as a scientist, who is develops a liquid, mask style...
Published on September 17, 2007 by Meesha


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific And Awesome Action Movie With Heart And Rage, January 5, 2006
By 
Stephen B. O'Blenis (Nova Scotia, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
Years before moviemakers really starting getting comic book adaptations right with films like "Spider-Man" and "Batman Begins" came "Darkman", a brilliant action-horror movie that came closer than any show before it to capturing the darker, more developed comics of the modern era. It's a gory and action-packed - and intelligent, emotional and quite often humorous - tale as Peyton Westlake (superbly played by Liam Neeson) becomes the Darkman after barely surviving an attack by mob thugs employed by the crimelord Durant (Larry Drake), who Westlake's attorney girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand) is trying to bring down. A scientist researching the development of a perfect synthetic skin to aid burn victims, it's being immersed in this liquid in its unstable corrosive state and then left for dead following the explosive destruction of his lab that is largely responsible for Westlake's metamorphis into Darkman.

Unable to feel physical pain but constantly assailed by emotional and mental anguish. Enhanced strength due to the maximum adrenaline now coursing unchecked through his system constantly, 24 hours a day. Serious rage problems. Severely altered, scarred physical appearance. Westlake/Darkman can create perfect masks of any human being (and mimic their vocal patterns precisely) but the masks break down after a finite period in sunlight, and thus he most frequently appears in his new identity's trademark garb of bandages and black trenchcoat and hat. I realize typing that that it sounds like a dopey outfit but it's actually a striking and intimidating look onscreen thanks to the great effects and costuming. Hellbent on a path of revenge against Drake's crime empire, and on protecting his love Julie from the shadows, the violent and vengeful reign of the Darkman begins. A movie that possibly could only have been made by a man capable of directing such diverse films as the "Spider-Man" epics, the "Evil Dead" trilogy and "The Gift". Highest recommendation.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before Spider-Man, there was Darkman, June 27, 2002
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
Sam Raimi, brilliant director of the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy and the current blockbuster Spider-Man, directed this entertaining action yarn hot on the heels of 1989's hit Batman. While many saw Darkman as a Batman rip off (sort of), Raimi's talented directorial skills gave Darkman a personality of its own. Liam Neeson (before he hit it big) stars as scientist Peyton Westlake, who has developed a synthetic skin, only problem is, it can only hold for 99 minutes before it deteriorates. When his lab is destroyed by Robert Durant (Larry Drake), Peyton is blasted into a nearby harbor. He is left horribly scarred, but when he recovers he uses the synthetic skin to get his revenge on his would be murderers while trying to get back with his girlfriend (Frances McDormand). Darkman is really entertaining and is a great twist on superhero movies, Neeson shines as the tortured soul hero, while McDormand is great as his girlfriend. Recommended to those looking for a comic style movie with a twist. A little side note, since this is a Sam Raimi movie, Evil Dead hero Bruce Campbell has a cameo as the "final shemp" in the film.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive HD! What All HD should look like!, August 2, 2007
By 
M. Daneker (Spinnerstown, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darkman [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
After being sorely disapointed by HD releases of Excalibur and Army of Darkness, I was extreamly happy when I saw the opening menu for Darkman.

As soon as the clips began to roll behind the menu I knew they'd done the job right here. This film was largely missed in theaters and the home video and DVD versions where grainy, washed-out presentations that greatly diminished the style of director Sam Rami.

This is a must for HD DVD players. The pitcture is fully restored, crisp, clear, vibrant and devoid of all film flaws such as dust and scratches. Where some HD DVD versions are nothing more than the original DVD digital masters transfered to the new format (much the way many early DVD's where really Laser-disk copied to the then new format) this is not!

Darkman is a great, twisted peice that blends the ultra-violent comic-book styles seen in now in films like Sin City with the breakneck actions sequences of films like Spiderman.

See it again for the first time on HD DVD! This is the sound and fury of Home Theater and one of the best restorations I've ever seen!

BTW, if you have a smaller HD set (1280X720p max)that only accepts up to 1080i, then set your HD DVD player only to output 720p, it reduces the pixelation in the dark grays and blacks and reduces motion blure. I use this with my Toshiba Player and 42" sony grand wega through HDMI and the picture is flawless. Remember, if your set is 46" or under, 720p is mostly likely it's native resolution and outputing at that resolution can cause major improvement.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkman Deserves to See the Light of Day, July 11, 2011
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
How do you follow up a double dosage of slapstick horror like "The Evil Dead" and "The Evil Dead II?" Why, you make a superhero film! Well, that's what Sam Raimi did, anyway. Raimi's first big-budget Hollywood film, "Darkman," marks a creative left-turn for the writer-director, one that would ultimately define his future film career and set the tone for a variety of projects that are completely different from one another yet somehow are linked by something Raimi-esque that could never be duplicated.

Liam Neeson stars as scientist turned superhero Peyton Westlake, who is left for dead by a gang of criminals. It's "Phantom of the Opera" meets "Batman," as Peyton -- burnt, battered and broken-hearted -- struggles to reconnect with the love of his life (Frances McDormand), avenge his attempted-murder and rebuild himself both externally and internally. While it's Raimi's wild visual sense and unrelenting sense of cinematic adventure that drives the film, it is ultimately Neeson who carries it through to its brilliant conclusion. Strong and sympathetic, Neeson is perhaps the ultimate good-guy and someone you can't help but root for. Likewise, his co-star, Frances McDormand, while underused, plays a big part of the film's success. Because both characters are portrayed so realistically, you believe even the most unbelievable moments of the film.

True, there are some stale green-screen effects at hand and one can't help but feel the movie moves just a little too fast, but in spite of some minor issues here and there, the film's heart is in the right place. Compared to Tim Burton's "Batman," it is (brace for backlash) a superior and near-perfect superhero film. In fact, when you stack it up against Raimi's far more successful and marketable "Spider-Man" flicks, it still comes out on top. Throughout the years it has earned its cult status, spawning two direct-to-video sequels (sorry, these are Neeson-free) and a career for Raimi that can be traced back to this little-known emotional and thrilling epic. Truly, "Darkman" deserves to see the light of day.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Early Childhood Classic, February 3, 2004
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
If your wondering what the title of my review means, it's because "Darkman" was a favorite movie of mine growing up. I think I was three or four years old when I saw it over and over again. Pretty young, huh? Anyway, "Darkman" is a twisted story of revenge and is entertaining thrill-ride from start to finish.
Director Sam Raimi, future commander of the "Spider-Man" blockbuster, shows us his talents by writing the screenplay of a dark tale that goes like this: an attorney named Julie (Frances McDormand) stumbles upon cover-up real estate dealings, then hoodlums brutally attack her scientist beau, Peyton Westlake(Liam Neeson) and leave him for dead. But Peyton miraculously lives, and is taken as a John Doe at a hospital. The obscure patient is yielded to breakthough, but extreme therapy which insenates his nerves to feelings and enhances his strength and emotions. Then Peyton unexpectedly awakens and escapes the hospital. He builds a dilapidated lab in an abandoned industrial plant. His terribly burned skin from the lab accident prompts him to develop synthetic skin in order to impersonate the thugs who horribly disfigured him. His revenge gives him a sign of life when he visits his love, Julie, who thought he died.
I thought it was an intriging plot, and the cinematography and fantastic score by Danny Elfman are highlights. I also loved the character Peyton, aka Darkman. He's a haunted soul and the ultimate anti-hero who can't view himself in the world because of his horribly scared skin. There's also great directing by Raimi, who balances suspense, action and moments of humor.
I'll always cherish "Darkman" because I never get sick of it. It will always be one of my favorite movies because it was a bear in memory from my childhood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific comic book movie from Sam Raimi appears in so-so Blu-ray transfer-4 star movie/3 star presentation., January 15, 2011
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This review is from: Darkman [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"Darkman" helped Sam Raimi burst into the mainstream as a film director. Often visually stunning and one of the few movies that captures the "feel" of a comic book from the framing to the outrageous camera moves. It's a fun movie full of larger-than-life with operatic/melodramatic touches and outrageous moments (from the scenes where one of the thugs who has had all of his weapons taken away pulls off his prosthetic leg to reveal it's a machine gun!). "Darkman" stands as the pivotal link between Raimi's fascinating low budget flicks like "Evil Dead 2" and "Spider-Man"; it's an important film that showed how he had developed as a film director and writer.

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray for "Darkman" has been drawn from an older high def master. The film which has always looked extremely grainy (characteristic of films from the time period)is awash in digital noise reduction. For those who want to the film to look like a digitally shot movie that's fine but it looks very little like the original presentation of the film. Detail and skin textures have been washed away making "Darkman" look like it's populated with wax figures rather than people. The contrast is also off throughout most of the movie as well. I'm not sure who did the digital mastering on this but clearly they fell asleep or were taken major pain medication at the time. The good news is that colors do pop replacing the often washed out look of the film in syndicated showings.

Sadly, Universal doesn't include any extras with this not even the wonky theatrical trailer which didn't prepare those who had never seen Raimi's films before for the rush of adrenaline, pulp storytelling, outrageous humor and comicbook inspired framing.

I'd advise the buyer to beware;while "Darkman" does look better than just about any DVD presentation I've seen of the movie, it falls below the bar when it comes to trying to capture the look of the film and the Blu-ray is a missed opportunity as Universal uses an older HD master. Film-4 stars/transfer 2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes....Darkman!, April 23, 2014
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This review is from: Darkman (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
If you are a fan of this movie then this deserves a double dip just for the special features! Here is what you get as far as bonus features:

Interview with Liam Neeson (1080p; 7:29). Neeson has very clear memories of this film, including other actors who were up for his role. He evidently loved working with Raimi and offers some fun anecdotes about the shoot.

The Name is Durant with Larry Drake (1080p; 15:59). Drake is a lot of fun in this interview, talking about the hazards of being typecasting as well as why he liked working on Darkman.

The Face of Revenge with Makeup Designer Tony Gardner (1080p; 13:21) is a really interesting piece detailing the film's makeup effects.

Henchmen Tales (1080p; 12:57) profiles some of the other bad guys in the film.

Dark Design (1080p; 16:46) looks at the film's production design and includes interviews with Randy Ser.

An Interview with Frances McDormand (1080p; 10:50). McDormand talks about her history with the Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi. Unbelievable but true fact: she was a word processor answering fan mail for AC/DC when she was cast in this film. The clips in this piece are weirdly anamorphically squeezed for some reason.

Darkman Featurette (1080i; 6:26) is a vintage piece.

Cast and Crew Interviews (1080i; 8:59) are more vintage offerings.

Vintage Interview Galleries include:

Colin Friels (1080i; 12:14)
Frances McDormand (1080i; 20:43)
Liam Neeson (1080i; 28:02)
Sam Raimi (1080i; 23:09)

Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Bill Pope and Michael Felsher.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Angriest Super Hero in the World, June 16, 2010
This review is from: Darkman [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Like no other and this dark trendsetter came after the Evil Dead series, and looks the part. Wow.. Fresh Rami, Elfman and Pablo Ferro montages create a potent reality of a twisted hero's roots and beginnings. Pre-Spiderman and "moody hero" film has style of delivery not to find often. All systems work. Love, mystery and action ... in a "vintage" minded pace; Fun, moody and a bit mean. A catharsis cartoon.

BD is fine for the title, picture is fine from the time, when sound didn't always go around
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Down The Vermin..., March 24, 2010
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
Sam Raimi melds together the super(anti-)hero, mad science, and revenge film w/ DARKMAN. It's great fun all the way through, w/ eeevil characters and Frances McDormand (BLOOD SIMPLE) as the woman who helps DARKMAN (Liam Neeson) in his endeavors to pay back those who have destroyed his life and permanently disfigured him. Loaded w/ action, wit, and suspense, DARKMAN is one of the better anti-hero movies...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first and favorite Liam Neeson performance, March 14, 2010
This review is from: Darkman (DVD)
Liam Neeson's voice is beautiful and sad in this movie. And Bruce Campbell is so young and his most beautiful such that the audience collectively sighed when he appeared on the screen. The reputation of this franchise would have been better if both of these actors had been retained for the sequel. This highly wrought movie made me look forward to more from Sam Raimi and the actors.
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Darkman (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
Darkman (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] by Sam Raimi (Blu-ray - 2014)
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