Customer Reviews: Daredevil (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
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A marked improvement over the previous version of the film, "Daredevil" (Director's Cut) allows director and co-writer Mark Steven Johnson to adjust his film to the darker aspects he originally wanted to portray on screen. I won't be reviewing the previous edition in this review at all (since inadvertently combines all editions into one pool this may end up under the previous theatrical DVD release), but will focus on what makes the "Director's Cut" unique and worth picking up for fans of the movie and the comic book.

Sometimes "Director's Cuts" are a mere attempt by the studio to make more money or the director to create something successful out of a disaster. That isn't the case with "Daredevil"(Director's Cut). Director Johnson originally intended to focus as much on Daredevil as he did on Matt Murdock and his career as a crusading lawyer fighting for the underdogs. The 30 minutes of additional footage adds an important subplot about the murder of a hooker which is pinned on street thug (Coolio). The fight sequence at the end between Kingpin and Daredevil is longer and more involved. Many of the fight sequences are cut with an "R" rating movie in mind (and that's what this DVD version received as its rating). Some of the love story between Elektra and Daredevil gets shortened here as well in favor of developing Murdock's character and for some truly interesting (and occasionally funny) courtroom scenes.

Johnson was required by his contract to provide a PG-13 movie and, as a result, he had to reshuffle the movie a bit cutting out much of the subplot as well as trimming down the more intense fight sequences of the film. There's also a number scenes related to character development that got lost along the way most notably the reporter that follows the Daredevil and Murdock himself. Restoring these sequences improve the film and add strength to a narrative that had a number of holes in it and was too simply resolved. Additionally, it gives more substance to Matt Murdock's character creating a much more complex person. We also see much more about Kingpin and scenes that demonstrate how dangerous he can be.

The transfer here actually looks a bit sharper and with slightly better clarity the the original DVD. Like the previous edition, this one has been transferred in the anamorphic widescreen format which translates to better image quality than a standard widescreen transfer. The sound is also top notch with nice use of the surround sound format.

This "Director's Cut" doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the previous edition (in fact it is a single disc release). The only extras are Johnson and producer Avi Arad's commentary track for this edition (which was in preparation for DVD before the movie was even released to theaters) and a 15 minute featurette on the director's intension in creating this edition. While it lacks the extras on the previous edition, it more than makes up for them with a stronger film. My only complaint is that this should have been released at the same time as the original DVD and/or in place of it with a second disc of extras. Unfortunately, Fox has participated in the old double dip.

Overall, "Daredevil" is much improved with this special edition. It's a pity it came out so long after the original (much like the "Lord of the Rings" movies). Johnson points out in the featurette that he considers "Daredevil" to still be flawed movie and while he may be right, restoring the first R rated version certainly makes this film stronger. The "Director's Cut" is far closer to Frank Miller's comic book vision of "Daredevil" than the previous edition. Fans of the movie will definitely want to pick this up.
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on December 1, 2004
This Director's Cut improves on the original in almost every way. The plot holes are filled in, the fight scenes are more violent, and the romance is trimmed down a bit. And believe it or not, former rapper Coolio was actually quite funny, especially in the court scene when he mentions he uses only shotguns (you'll know what I mean when you see it). If this was the version released in theaters I think most people would have this one at the top of the Superhero film lists right beside Batman, X-Men 2, and Spider-Man 2. This version is worth buying and I will never watch the theatrical cut again.
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on January 7, 2005
Don't get me wrong, I like the theatrical version of this movie. But, as a lifelong fan of Daredevil in the comic books, the Director's cut is not just more faithful to the source material, it's also a more cohesive film.

The added storyline with Coolio puts more focus on Matt (Ben Affleck) as a man, and how precariously he balances his life as a lawyer and as a vigilante. The toning down of the Matt/Elektra romance makes the the love affair all the more tragic. Jennifer Garner comes off much more believable as Elektra this time around because the love is unfulfilled. The subplot with Fisk's lawyer lends more depth to how insulated Wilson Fisk (Michael Clarke Duncan) really is, and some added footage, really lends to the Kingpin's cruel and violent nature. The fight sequences have a much better flow now, Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) is more fleshed out as a character, and Foggy (Jon Favreau) Nelson's sense of humour is given more room.

All in all, this is a more satisfying version of the movie. If you felt let down by Daredevil with the old version, give the Director's Cut a try. As both a movie fan and a Daredevil fanatic, I am more than pleased by this release.
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on February 11, 2003
"Lawyer by day, judge and jury by night."
Like many superheroes before him, Matt Murdock leads a double life. In one of those lives, he defends the innocent in court. In the other he is known as the Daredevil, a vigilante who takes the law into his own hands and punishes those that take advantages of the loopholes in the justice system. The unique thing about Murdock is that he is blind, an unfortunate result from a childhood chemical accident. To compensate the loss of sight, the rest of his four senses are consequently heightened to help him navigate his environment, acting like radar that works in a similar way to the bat sonar.
"A man without fear is a man without hope."
Surprisingly, Daredevil isn't a simple crime fighting fare or a showcase of good vs. evil. Beneath those familiar themes is a struggle with the meaning of justice and revenge. As expected, the obligatory introduction for the protagonist is there for the benefit of those that are not familiar with the comic. Even though one can't really fault these sequences for being formulaic (i.e. guy gets hurt, guy obtains superhuman abilities, and guy learns how to perfect these skills), suffice to say the movie does an adequate job of presenting the character of Daredevil to the audiences.
I admit to having doubts when hearing Ben Affleck is to don the costume as Daredevil, he just does not look like the superhero type to me. However, as the film progressed, I became more and more convinced that while he may not be perfect for the role, he did a fantastic job with it. Affleck was able to translate Murdock's loneliness, his playfulness and his inner struggles to the screen. He is a complex hero filled with the most basic of human needs, he is as fallible as you and me, and he does not always make the right choices. The lovely Jennifer Garner plays the tough and resilient Elektra, Murdock's love interest in the movie. I really appreciate the time taken to develop their relationship with each other, and the chemistry between the two leads is definitely there.
The characterizations of the villains, on the other hand, were rather weak. This is not to say that the performances by Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin and Colin Farrell as Bullseye were bad, but little screen time were devoted to them to flesh out these personalities, which could be the intention of the director for all we know. Nevertheless, the supporting cast is a strong one; I especially liked Jon Favreau in the part of Murdock's good-humored partner, Franklin Nelson.
The veteran Hong Kong master Cheung-Yan Yuen (brother to Woo-Ping) provides the action choreography, evident in the amount of wirework present in the movie. Personally, I think the film benefited from such collaboration, and it certainly made the fighting sequences much more exciting and stylish to watch. However, some of the editing of the said scenes left a lot to be desired, for example, the confrontation in the bar at the beginning was hectic and poorly lit, it is hard to appreciate what you cannot see.
Not a comic reader myself, I cannot say whether Daredevil is a faithful adaptation of the source material, but I can tell you that I enjoyed every minute of it. The movie is not without faults, yet I truly believe that it is everything Spider-Man was and more. It has action for the guys and romance for the women, come to think of it, Daredevil may not be a bad choice to spend part of your Valentine's Day. It is fun, charming, and a touch sinister. I really think Marvel has another success in its hands. Be sure to sit through the credits, there is an additional scene you don't want to miss.
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on December 20, 2004
Let me start by saying that I love Daredevil in all his comic book incarnations (see my other reviews) and I love both Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis, so I'm open to different interpretations of the character. But I thought the movie as shown in theatres was 'da suck.'

The big problem was that it felt like the guts of the movie were missing. It felt like it jumped jarringly from his childhood to his injury in the church and then back around again. By contrast, this movie takes its time in his childhood, giving his experience with his father more emotional weight. The church scene still seems out of place but at least you care more.

The best addition is that the subplot of Coolio's trial has been added back into the story. I didn't know it when I saw this movie in the theatre, but practially every scene in the second act of the movie ended with someone moving this trial along. You should watch this just to know how much you missed! The trial was actually a well-done murder mystery, and it gave Jon Favreau and even Ben Affleck more of a chance to be actors.

Another plus is that the sex scene with Elektra has been axed. Instead of going home with her, Daredevil has to leave her to help a stranger in trouble. The scene is very well done and feels much more like Matt Murdock.

Also, the fight scene with Kingpin has been extended and feels much more significant. The breaking of the knees makes more sense and therefore no longer feels cheesy.

This movie is still flawed. Ben Affleck is better but still not quite right. Jennifer Garner is a lovely actress but she still looks silly kicking sandbags with little devils painted on them. And I still get taken out of the story every time a minor character is named John Romita or Joe Quesada (famous Daredevil artists). Most importantly, I DO NOT BUY DAREDEVIL AS A KILLER!!! Why would he practice law and then go out and kill people? But there is so much that is better about this version that I have to congratulate them for releasing it.
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on July 21, 2005
First, I have to admit that I simply HATED the theatrical cut of "Daredevil", despite some of the well executed CGI effects and action sequences. To begin, there was hardly ANY character development and lastly, there were plenty of plot holes thrown in here and there. In addition, some scenes felt a bit rushed and/or out of place (e.g. the love scene between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner) as if not much thought [or detail] had been put into them! However, after getting a chance to see the long rumored Director's Cut of the film, I decided to give it a second chance. The result: I wasn't disappointed! Unlike the original PG-13 release back in 2003, this is the R rated version that director, Mark Steven Johnson had originally envisioned, but didn't get the chance to make at the time. But now, we can see an adaptation, which is a lot more faithful to the original Marvel comic series created by Stan Lee (who also made "Spider-Man") and Bill Everrett. Yes, this version is LONGER, DARKER, and BETTER THAN EVER!!

Ben Affleck plays the role of Matt Murdock who becomes blind after experiencing a freak accident as a child. He grows up in Hell's Kitchen, New York to become a lawyer and of course, the "Man without Fear" himself: DAREDEVIL! Using an inner radar-like sensor and superhuman strength, he defends the innocent of the Big Apple from dangerous criminals in all shapes and sizes. Eventually, he meets up with the beautiful assassin, Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner) and together, they battle the forces of the bone crushing, Kingpin (excellently done by talented Michael Clarke-Duncan) and the ruthless Bullseye (Colin Farrell)! But will they be enough to bring down these two awesome villains?

There is over 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage in this DVD release not shown in theaters, including some extended footage with Matt and his father, Jack Murdock, a humorous court scene with Coolio, and a longer, more intense fight sequence between Daredevil and the Kingpin! There are many others that I haven't listed here, but most importantly, there IS plenty of character development this time around! Other features include: a Full-Length Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Mark Steven Johnson and Producer Avi Arad and the featurette, "Giving the Devil His Due", which gives us a BTS look at the making of "Daredevil" (Director's Cut)! The movie itself is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. If you want the PERFECT and IMPROVED version of the DD movie, then this is the one to own!

Also recommended: "X-Men", "X-2: X-Men United", "Spider-Man", "Spider-Man 2", and "The Punisher"!
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on November 24, 2011
Where to begin? Well, first of all, as many others have already stated: Yes, the director's cut of Daredevil really is a vast improvement over the theatrical cut! I personally didn't hate the theatrical cut, but I did find it to be kind of mediocre. But that's not what we're here for, is it? The following review is for the Director's Cut blu-ray of the film:

I found the video quality to be absolutely stunning. I was especially surprised by this as it was only encoded at a bitrate of 20 Mbps. Whoever authored this disc did an excellent job. It's worth noting that while much of this film takes place at night, every scene in this movie still looks very crisp and clear. It's a 50 GB dual layer disc, and it's been used to its full advantage to deliver excellent video quality.

The audio options for this disc are: English DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio and English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Surround. It sounds great to me, even though I don't own a fantastic sound system to play it on. I have no doubt this will sound amazing on a high quality sound system, but I will update this review if I ever find out otherwise.

This disc contains plenty to keep you occupied, mostly behind-the-scenes documentaries and other supplements of that nature. I haven't gone through all of them myself, but here is the Special Features list, as it appears on the box:

- Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Mark Steven Johnson and Producer Avi Arad
- Enhanced Viewing Mode - Takes You Behind the Scenes as You Watch the Film
- "Beyond Hell's Kitchen: Making Daredevil" Documentary
- "Men Without Fear: Creating Daredevil" Documentary
- "Daredevil: HBO First Look" TV Special
- Jennifer Garner Screen Tests
- "Featured Villain: Kingpin" Featurette
- "Moving Through Space: A Day With Tom Sullivan" Featurette
- "Giving the Devil His Due" Featurette
- 3 Music Videos, 5 Photo Galleries and More!

If I'm not mistaken, this release lacks some feature(s) that the Theatrical cut DVD has. That shouldn't deter you from this version though, because here you are still getting a pretty good amount of features with an arguably better version of the movie. I definitely see the special features as a huge plus for this blu-ray.

- Subtitle options include English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin.
- Closed-captioning is available, if needed.
- This is a minor detail, but it bugs me: On the back of the box, the year of release is incorrectly listed as 2002. The movie was actually released in February of 2003. This is honestly the only con I can think of for the entire disc.

This is a great release! Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree with me or disagree with me, or (especially) if there is something I have missed in this review.
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on April 10, 2005
Everytime I see a director's cut, I am amazed at how much better the story is than the one in the theaters and Daredevil (Director's Cut) is no exception. Instead of jumping from the first act to the finale there is an actual story going on here. Not only that but the action scenes are better. It was funny to hear the director's commentary talking about how the movie executives wanted to shorten the fighting scenes - in an action movie? How ridiculous. Movie executives should stay out of the creative process and let the story tellers do their job. This Daredevil is the real thing, you won't want to miss it.
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on December 1, 2004
Ben Affleck turns in a brooding performance as "Daredevil," a blind hero that is attorney by day; judge, jury and executioner by night. Typical of comic book yarn, father, giftedly played by David Keith, is murdered. Young son Matt is left alone, blind, and vengeful. He uses his other senses to "see" with sound vibrations. He becomes skilled in martial arts and acrobatics. Suprisingly believable. I enjoyed the PG13 version, but felt this version is much tighter and darker. There is a whole scenerio involving Coolio that got cut originally, and felt it added to the story. I do feel that Kingpin, brilliantly done by Michael Clarke Duncon, was underused and was worthy of having the villainous role all to his own. Bullseye, played smartassy by Colin Farrell could have been a chief villain as well instead as a supporting player. Electra was in the film far too short, but will be spun off to her own movie. On a side note I was a little disappointed that there was no "Electra" trailer considering the film comes out in January. It would have been nice to include a free pass for it too. After all Fox, we did buy this film a second time. All in all though the sound is great, the new scenes are added seemlessly. It is well worth owning both versions.
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on April 15, 2003
Superhero movies. They're on their way this summer in the forms of the Incredible Hulk, a "League" of gentlemen, and some guy named Wolverine. Could Daredevil just be a taste of what's to come? If so, then I say bring on them crazy superhero mutants!

Daredevil was a great surprise to me. To begin with, I'm not a fan of Daredevil, Ben Affleck, nor Jennifer Garner. Not that their stuff bores me, it's just I'm not big fans of their work. Daredevil changed that.

The story is simple. Murdock is a blind guy who has enhanced all of his abilities through his handicap. He uses these abilities to revenge the death of his father by giving justice to the city he lives in. When he meets Elektra, a new sort of justice comes into play.

Our leads give a fantastic performance and their chemistry was awesome. The rooftop kiss in the rain scene is - in my opinion - one of the best kiss scenes. Colin Farrel gives a hoot of a performance as a co-villian and Michael Clarke Duncan rocks as usual.

The action in this movie is high. There are a number of great fight scenes and action sequences. A bunch of adrenaline here.

I only have one complaint with this movie, and it seemed it moved too fast at times. I need a little bit more character development (partially with Elektra) for me. But other than . . .

Daredevil was a fun adrenaline-filled movie with the right amount of a side love story to settle it.
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