Daredevil: 2-Disc Special Edition (2003)

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Released 7-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-writer/director and producer
Informational Subtitles-text commentary
Unseen Footage-behind-the-scenes inserts
Featurette-Making Of-58:50
Featurette-Jennifer Garner screentest
Multiple Angles-dailies
Featurette-HBO: First Look Special (24:48)
Featurette-Featured Villain Kingpin (2:21)
Featurette-Moving Through Space (8:28)
Teaser Trailer-0:45
Theatrical Trailer-0:50, 1:45
Music Video-3
Gallery-Storyboards (400), Costumes (100)
Gallery-Set Design (20), Production Stills (16), Props (29)
Featurette-Men Without Fear (59:15)
Featurette-Shadow World Tour (6:15)
Notes-Modelling Sheets (5)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 99:19
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:00)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mark Steven Johnson
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner
Michael Clarke Duncan
Colin Farrell
Joe Pantoliano
Jon Favreau
David Keith
Case ?
RPI $44.95 Music Graeme Revell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Hungarian
Czech
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Estonian
Finnish
Hebrew
Portuguese
Icelandic
Latvian
Lithuanian
Norwegian
Polish
Romanian
Swedish
Turkish
Dutch
English Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
English Information
Dutch Information
Hungarian
Czech
Smoking Yes, bad guys smoke!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, keep watching...

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Justice is blind, but so is vengeance...

    You know, Superman ain't that brave — short of kryptonite knuckledusters, the average criminal can't hurt him at all. And Batman, at least on the big screen, is wearing bullet-proof armour — that shows a certain level of "caution". What does it take to be "The man who knows no fear"? I'll take complete invulnerability, thanks. Some super-strength would be nice, too. No? I don't get any of that?

    Daredevil, the man who knows no fear, isn't invulnerable, isn't bullet-proof, and isn't super-strong. He's blind. I'm not kidding — he lost his sight as a child in an accident. Admittedly, his other senses were heightened to a remarkable level — his hearing, in particular, is extremely acute. So acute, that a resonant sound will bounce off things and give him a radar-like image of his surroundings (I gotta say, even though the movie and the comics talk about radar sense, it is actually SONAR, as used by submarines — would it have been so hard for them to get that right?). The catch is that he has to sleep in an isolation tank, because all the sound in New York keeps him awake.

    Daredevil, like every good superhero, has a secret identity — his is Matt Murdock. Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is a lawyer who will never make the big time because he insists on working for the innocent, and prosecuting the guilty, much to the despair of his long-time partner, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson (Jon Favreau). Matt is a man for the ladies, and he's not above using his blindness as a ploy to pick them up. It doesn't work with the latest gorgeous, but mysterious, woman (Jennifer Garner, who looks really good with green eyes) — she brushes him off. When he follows her, she gets physical, and is astonished that he can fend off her attack. Their sparring gets more serious and becomes a form of foreplay — this is one of the sexiest fight scenes you'll see, as well as being an impressive use of playground equipment. (The extras show how it was Affleck and Garner doing all the wire work for this sequence — quite impressive).

    For an action movie like this we need a villain, or two, and we have them in Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell). Both are absolutely fabulous in their roles.

    This is a dark movie, much darker than Superman, and even darker than Batman. And that's right, because Daredevil isn't a light-hearted character, fighting for truth, justice, et cetera. He's a vigilante, seeking revenge more than justice, revenge on a world that killed his father. His is not the shiny world of Metropolis, or even Gotham City supported by the Wayne Foundation; he lives in Hell's Kitchen New York, the ghetto. He doesn't dress as an angel, come with heavenly justice — he dresses as a devil, come to punish the wicked.

    I have never read the Daredevil comic books, so I was surprised when I saw this film. It's a very cool movie, and they've done a superb job of it (and they are proud of it — check the extras). Strongly recommended, especially if you thought Batman wasn't dark enough.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original and intended aspect ratio. They shot in Super 35. They wanted a 2.35:1 ratio for composition.

    The image is sharp and clear, even in very dark scenes. There's excellent shadow detail (have a look at the costumes), where desired. There are no problems with film grain, and no low-level noise. This is superb.

    Colour is marvellous (pun intended). This is a film made from a comic book, but they have resisted the temptation to use comic book colours (remember Dick Tracy?) — Daredevil's costume isn't comic-book red, it's more a deep rich claret. If you listen to the commentary, you'll hear them talking about punching up the reds in some scenes. Even with those manipulations, the colours are quite beautiful to look at, and rendered well. There are no unintentional colour artefacts, and only a couple of brief intentional ones. There is some interesting discussion of the deliberate distortion of colour in, for example, the courtroom, in the commentary.

    Daredevil's sonar sense is depicted in a very interesting way, using CGI — they call it Shadow World in the extras — it really works in conveying how he perceives the world, although I think the sound design really sells it.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There is a little bit of aliasing, but it is worth suffering for the sake of the clarity of the transfer. There's no moiré, except for one touch on a wire fence seen at a distance. There's no shimmer. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are twenty five subtitle tracks, but only the first nineteen are subtitles for the dialogue of the movie. There are subtitles for the commentary (a rare, but useful feature), and a trivia track that points out things like the appearance of the names of various writers and artists who've worked on the Daredevil comic books over the years. I watched the English subtitles (which are actually Hearing Impaired subtitles) and the English commentary subtitles. Both are easy to read, fairly accurate, and well-timed to the sound.

    One thing that's not quite a subtitle, but impressed me, is that all the opening credits come up in Braille, then morph into the English characters — according to the commentary, all the Braille shown is accurate. I thought that was a nice touch.

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change comes at 62:00, and it is neatly hidden in a fade-to-black between scenes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are six sound tracks on this disc, and four of them are in English. The film's soundtrack is provided in both Dolby Digital 5.1, and dts 5.1 — I mainly listened to the dts, because there are so few chances to use the dts decoder in my amp. I sampled the Dolby Digital, and it's quite similar, but I think the dts offers more precise directional sound. Then there's the audio commentary — I listened to all of that. Finally, there's an interesting track described as English for the Visually Impaired. It includes the regular sound, but adds an announcer filling in a description of what's seen on screen — I've heard a similar track once before, and this one isn't quite as good as that other one, because this announcer gets a little behind the on-screen action at times — it's still a lot better than nothing, and a good thing to have on a DVD about a blind super-hero.

    The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand. There are no audio sync issues. A couple of words are less than completely clear, but we miss nothing that's important to the plot.

    The music consists of an orchestral score from Graeme Revell, combined with some fairly heavy contemporary music. A strange combination, but very effective.

    The sound design on this film is wonderful. It's a vital part of the film, because sound is such a critical part of Daredevil's environment. There's excellent use of the full 5.1 system; in fact, my rear centre found some signal to decode from the surround channels, and provided a truly immersive experience. This is a really good example of why we install surround sound systems.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Few movies, even those presented as dual disc sets, get as much in the way of real extras as this one.

Menu

    The menu is animated with music, and an interesting opening transition. The entire menu is represented in Shadow World form, and that's quite effective.

Extras on Disc One

Audio Commentary

    The commentary is provided by the director, Mark Steven Johnson, and producer, Gary Foster. It's very clear that Johnson is a huge fan of comic books in general, and Daredevil in particular. He points out some of the cameos by people involved in the Daredevil comic book, including Stan Lee and Kevin Smith (I only spotted Kevin Smith). They provide a wealth of information about the making of the film. Strongly recommended.

Text Commentary

    This is more of a trivia track, and a very good one.

Enhanced Viewing Mode

    When enabled, this cuts in eight behind the scenes segments at appropriate moments in the movie. Interesting stuff to watch, especially when you are listening to the commentary. The eight scenes are:

Extras on Disc Two

    The extras on disc two are divided into two sections: those relating to the film, and those relating to the comic book. It's not often you see a dual-layered extras disc, but there's so much material on this disc they had no choice. There's no visible layer change, because they've managed to arrange the material neatly on the two layers without any item spanning both layers.

Featurette: Beyond Hell's Kitchen (Making Daredevil) (58:50)

    This is so much more than a standard EPK fluff piece (and a heck of a lot longer!). This is a genuine documentary piece about the making of this film. It's well worth a watch. You can watch it in Enhanced Viewing Mode, just like the film. Six extra segments are cut in if you enable enhanced viewing, but you can watch those six pieces separately, too — they are more substantial than the extra segments in the movie. The six segments are:

Screen Test: Jennifer Garner (2:30)

    Interesting to watch, if only to hear some of the dialogue that was cut from one of the scenes.

Multi-Angle Dailies

    These are two important scenes which were shot with multiple cameras. We can watch each camera individually, or all cameras at once in a composite, switching between views using the Angle button on the DVD remote. The two scenes are:

Featurette: Featured Villain: Kingpin (2:21)

    This is a short piece with Michael Clarke Duncan talking about his character. Most of this footage is included in one of the other featurettes.

Featurette: HBO First Look Special (24:48)

    There's some overlap between this and the first featurette, but it's still worth a look for the parts that are different. This one has a rather cute intro from Jennifer Garner.

Featurette: Moving Through Space — a day with Tom Sullivan (8:28)

    This is an interesting segment with the "sight-impaired consultant" who gave them so much advice about how a blind person copes with the world — little things like folding different denominations of currency in different ways to distinguish them (I believe this is less necessary with Australian currency, because it was designed with visually impaired people in mind — US currency wasn't).

Theatrical Trailers

Music Videos

    I usually loathe music videos — there are quite decent ones.

Galleries: Stills

    Some discs include a collection of ten images, and call that a gallery. Not this one.

Featurette: Men Without Fear (Creating Daredevil) (59:15)

    This is perhaps the most interesting (as well as the longest) of the documentary pieces. This chronicles the progress of the Daredevil comic book from its inception in 1964 to the present day through interviews with some of the men who worked on it:

    Most of these names appear in the movie; Joe Quesada gets the dubious honour of giving his name to a rapist...

    It's quite interesting to see the sample of comic artwork that comes up during each interview. The styles are different (David Mack's work is very different), but the character is pretty much the same. There's some fairly serious aliasing on some of the artwork.

Featurette: Shadow World Tour (6:15)

    A look at how Daredevil perceives the world around him.

Modelling Sheets

    A sheet for each of five different characters giving some details.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film arrives on Region 1 DVD in July 2003. As far as I can ascertain from reviews, the Region 1 package is almost identical to this one — two discs, most of the extras on the second disc, pretty much the same list of extras... They get a couple of other trailers, but nothing substantial extra. It sounds very much like their transfer is about as good as ours, too. I certainly get the impression that you can be happy with either version.

Summary

    A dark storyline, realised well on film, and superbly presented on DVD.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent, with reference quality directional sound.

    The extras are plentiful, substantial, and interesting — lots of care and devotion has been lavished on this release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, June 16, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
What, No Comments on Censorship? - REPLY POSTED
Rumor: New R1 version in the works -
Director's Cut? - Abz
Director's Cut? - Abz REPLY POSTED
Directors cut? - Zinzan (This is my.... bio)
One of the best Comic Book films - James O
The UK version is NOT cut! - REPLY POSTED
Release date?? - REPLY POSTED
Apallingly bad movie - REPLY POSTED
re: Appallingly bad movie - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
re: re: Appallingly bad movie - Craggles (Behold the mighty bio!!)
Re:Apallingly bad movie - disagree -
Re: Apallingly bad movie -
Dare to dislike Daredevil ? ;-) - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
They promote almost every film that way - Craggles (Behold the mighty bio!!)
Re: They promote almost every film that way - NewcastleBoy (read my bio)
Another Great Comic Adaption to Film - Rayzor
playback on dv-344 -
R1 DC is here -