DAREDEVIL SPECIAL EDITION: DVD (2 discs)
Growing up is tough in New York's Hell's Kitchen for young Matt Murdock (Scott Terra), who's blinded by a chemical spill and deprived of a father by crime boss Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan). Bitter and bent on revenge, Murdock soon becomes a lawyer by day and a hyper-sensed avenger (Ben Affleck) called Daredevil by night, dealing swift justice to the crooks he can't prosecute. Things look up when he meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), an alias avenger too, but when she mistakenly thinks Daredevil kills her father, she vows revenge on him, setting both on the war path towards Kingpin and his psychotic hired henchman Bullseye (Colin Farrell).
Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney have all pulled on the tights as caped crusader Batman. Tobey Maguire wore the sticky red suit as Spider-Man. Hugh Jackman donned Elvis' sideburns as Wolverine in X-Men. And in Hollywood's continued exploitation of A-list stars willing to wear ridiculous Spandex outfits, Ben Affleck now pulls on the red liquorice fetish suit to play Daredevil. Now that's daring! What would possess Affleck (or B-Lo, as I like to call him) to squeeze into a fire-engine red neoprene devil suit to play one of Marvel Comics’ lesser known superheroes? Did he know "the chance of looking ridiculous was very, very high?" Or did he just want to get his arse kicked by Jennifer Garner? Whatever the reason, Affleck succeeds. He looks ridiculous and he gets his arse kicked by Garner.
And his nuts too, in one of this 2-disc DVD's funniest moments. With DTS sound, widescreen format and more features than Daredevil has gizmos, Daredevil on DVD packs a serious punch. On the first disc, you get the movie, the movie with a so-so commentary by director Mark Steven Johnson and producer Gary Foster, and the movie in enhanced mode with eight Multi-Angle, Behind-the-Scenes segments. The best features, as always, are on the second disc. Beyond Hell's Kitchen is an hour long documentary which covers all aspects of casting, costuming, editing and choreography. There's interesting sidebars on how close Daredevil came to being canned in this honest, fun commentary. Affleck admits adoption is his best parenting option after all that wire work (did J-Lo hear that?), Colin Farrell describes Bullseye as a cross between Sid Vicious and Alex in Clockwork Orange, and Michael Clarke Duncan chuckles about having to put on 20 pounds to play Kingpin because he was too skinny.
Another cool extra - one that will really appeal to comic lovers - is The Men Without Fear featurette. It's a light-hearted look at the writers, creators and sketchers at Marvel Comics, and a great tribute to the comic book tradition. There are some really wacky characters here, especially the great Stan Lee and inker John Romita. It's funny to think that Lee changed Daredevil's costume from yellow to red without batting an eyelid, while the crew argued about the costumes for almost eight months. There are too many more extras to go into here, suffice to say comic book fans will get the most out of them. It's just a shame that Johnson, so obviously passionate about bringing the Daredevil tradition to life, offers rather unimaginative direction. His film might dare very little, and is a more throw-away comic adventure than a classic geared to repeat DVD viewings, but this Daredevil DVD really does dare to satisfy fans - stupid suit or not.
Published July 3, 2003
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DAREDEVIL SPECIAL EDITION: DVD (2 discs) (M)
CAST: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin J Farrell,
Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, David Kerth, Scott Terra.
DIRECTOR: Mark Steven Johnson
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9 Enhanced widescreen, DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with director and producer, subtitle commentary with director and producer, enhanced viewing mode, Beyond Hell's Kitchen: Making of Daredevil, The Men Without Fear: The Art of Daredevil,
Featurette: Shadow World, Featurette: Featured Villain: The Kingpin, 5 Modelling Sheets, Daredevil: HBO 1st Look Special, 6 Multi-Angle Scenes, Featurette: Moving Through Space: A Day with Tom Sullivan, Jennifer Garner
Screen Test, Stills Gallery with over 950 Images, 3 Daredevil Theatrical Trailers, 3 Music Videos: Fuel ("Won't Back Down"), The Calling ("For You"), Evanescence ("Bring Me to Life"), Easter Egg
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 9, 2003