Marvel characters have been hitting the silver screen at a rapid pace over the last few years. ‘Daredevil’ is one of those earlier characters that received the Marvel to Film treatment. ‘Daredevil’ falls between the A-list and B-list of characters where he isn’t as popular as Spiderman, but not as popular as Luke Cage. ‘Daredevil’ is a very interesting character and the rollercoaster ride that he has taken over the years in the comic book world has been rather a wild one. ‘Daredevil’ was released in theaters in 2003 to a mixed reaction by critics and fans. With an $80 million dollar budget, ‘Daredevil’ was a success at the box office raking in $179 million worldwide. It was such a success that a spin-off was made based off of the character ‘Elektra’ who is also in the film.

‘Daredevil’ first made his debut in the comic book world in 1964, with a look of black, yellow, and red costume as opposed to his current outfit. There is a 30+ year history with the ‘Daredevil’ character in the comic book world, so when fans heard that ‘Daredevil’ was coming to film, they were ecstatic. The story behind ‘Daredevil’ begins with young Matt Murdock (Scott Terra) gets blinded by a chemical spill when he was a child. While Matt lost his sight, his senses went crazy in a way where they compensated for his loss of sight. Matt is able to use his sense of hearing in ways that they almost substitute his lack of sight. He is also known as the ‘The Man Without Fear’, because he has no fears. Matt’s father (David Keith) is a professional boxer and he is asked to throw his next fight. When he hears Matt in the crowd cheering him on, he has nothing left, but to make his son proud with a win going against what he promised. Matt’s father is killed for not fulfilling on his promise, which would turn him into the crime fighter on the streets and court room.

Once Matt’s father was brutally murdered by the gangsters, Matt took it upon himself to seek justice. We have Lawyer Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) that fights crime in the courtroom by day and dons his ‘Daredevil’ suit by night fight crime on the streets. Murdock meets Elektra (Jennifer Gardner), and takes a sudden interest in her. Things move to us getting a little bit of story on Elektra and her father. This is just enough to give us a taste of the character and what she is about, especially for those that have never read or know about the ‘Daredevil’ mythos. The villains in ‘Daredevil’ follow the superhero film world of coming in pairs. In ‘Daredevil’ we have Bullseye (Colin Farrell), who is an assassin and he is one guy you wouldn’t want to cross. Then we have the mastermind behind all the crime in New York City, Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan). Duncan had the look for Kingpin and also very menacing looking. Both Bullseye and Kingpin are at the top of Daredevil’s rogue gallery.

‘Daredevil: Director’s Cut’ actually offers an extra 30 minutes into the film. I will say that these extra 30 minutes make a huge difference over the theatrical cut. There are a few extra scenes inserted throughout the film and also there is more to the tale of Matt Murdock defending an innocent (Coolio) whom may not be so innocent, more of Matt’s backstory when he was younger, and a longer fight scene between Elektra and Matt Murdock in the park are the main add-in to go along with multiple more scenes that were added. On a personal note, I prefer the ‘Director’s Cut’ over the ‘Theatrical Cut’ for the fact that it fleshes out the story more and we get more background on some of the characters.

I have seen ‘Daredevil’ in the theater and DVD quite a bit since it released, and this transfer is the best yet. The Blu-ray is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a 1080p AVC codec. I found the picture quality to be pristine and a very clean transfer even trouncing my DVD upconverted which wasn’t a slouch. ‘Daredevil’ is a very colorful film and on Blu-ray the colors were much more vibrant than the soft look of the ‘Director’s Cut’ DVD. There is some grain throughout the film, but nothing that detracts from the experience. This is also a very detailed transfer and I think those vibrant colors help bring out the details even more. The sound is presented in DTS-HD mix and boy does the sound work your setup. The sound comes out of the rears very clear and even better is that the dialogue is balanced very well with the soundfield mix. Not once did I have to turn up the volume during the scenes with dialogue.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Write/Director Mark Steven Johnson and Prodcuer Avi Arad
  • Enhanced Viewing Mode – Behind the Scenes
  • 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!

I was very satisfied with ‘Daredevil: Director’s Cut’ on Blu-ray and believe that this is the best version of the film as it expands the story even more by 30 minutes than the theatrical cut. On Blu-ray you are getting a catalogue title that is demo worthy in picture and audio quality. I highly recommend purchasing ‘Daredevil: Director’s Cut’ on Blu-ray if you are a fan of Marvel Comics and superhero films. Now I can finally retire my DVD version of the film and enjoy the superior Blu-ray released by FOX.

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