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Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Daredevil disappoints, yet Blu-ray releases dazzle with quality visuals, audio, and extras.

    Daredevil Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • 'Daredevil' boasts a detailed 1080p transfer with alternating vibrant and muted colors, striking contrasts, and deep blacks. Despite minor flaws and intentional grain, the overall image maintains sharpness and realism, especially in Daredevil's costume, showcasing Fox's excellent transfer work.

  • Audio
  • Daredevil's DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack delights with immersive, precise audio, excelling in clarity, power, and surround effects, making it a pinnacle of Blu-ray lossless audio for an enveloping superheroic experience.

  • Extra
  • The 'Daredevil: Director's Cut' Blu-ray excites with exhaustive extras including engaging commentaries, deep-dive documentaries, and rich behind-the-scenes features, despite SD visuals.

  • Movie
  • Daredevil," criticized for its execution and acting, gains a following with its Director's Cut, offering a deeper dive into its hero's life despite enduring flaws.

    Video: 67

    The Blu-ray presentation of "Daredevil" shines in its 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer, offering an exemplary visual experience that stands in contrast to its standard DVD predecessor. Despite the film's inherent preference for darker tones and shadowed sequences, the transfer manages to maintain a vibrant yet somewhat muted palette, particularly in scenes enveloped in darkness or those set in Daredevil's monochromatic lair, where the only bursts of color come from the protagonist's dark red costume. The depth of the image is notable, with even background details retaining their sharpness and intricacy. Close-up shots, especially of the Daredevil costume, showcase the texture and detail with remarkable clarity, highlighting the realistic albeit somewhat cheap appearance of the suit.

    However, not all is perfect with this Blu-ray transfer. Viewers might notice occasional issues such as black crush which can detract from the overall viewing experience, while long shots sometimes lack the clarity seen in closer frames, and film grain can at times overwhelm. Despite these minor imperfections, likely rooted in directorial choices or limitations of the original film print, the blacks are deep and inky, skin tones appear natural and accurate during daytime sequences, and there is an absence of artificial enhancements or compression artifacts that could mar the viewing experience.

    Fox's Blu-ray edition of 'Daredevil' undoubtedly represents a significant improvement over previous versions, showcasing bold and accurate colors, flawless blacks in suitable scenes, and exceptional detail and texture across both dark and well-lit environments. While nighttime scenes could benefit from better delineation, the transfer as a whole impresses and demonstrates Fox's dedication to delivering high-quality transfers, making it a must-have for fans seeking the finest presentation of this film.

    Audio: 74

    The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack accompanying the Blu-ray release of "Daredevil" delivers an exhilarating audio experience that is both thoroughly immersive and impeccably balanced. This soundtrack excels across all fronts, offering a rich and full musical score that envelops the listener, alongside dialogue that retains clarity and precision throughout the most action-packed sequences. The use of surround sound is nothing short of masterful, demonstrating an extraordinary ability to create a vivid and dynamic soundscape. From the nuanced sound of a rat scurrying from the rear to the front soundstage to the complex ambience of Hell’s Kitchen, the audio track crafts an incredibly engaging environment that enhances every scene.

    Technical aspects of this soundtrack shine, with LFE support aggressively underpinning the audio experience and contributing to a forceful bass presence that resonates deeply. The rear channel usage is not only convincing but full, offering a layer of sound that is persistently rich and enveloping. The sound effects are punchy, hard-hitting, and serve to heighten the sense of immersion, though it's worth noting that, at times, they can somewhat overshadow more nuanced environmental sounds. This minor quibble aside, directionality is precise, contributing to an overall soundstage that is astonishingly vivid and wholly absorbing.

    "Daredevil's" sonic presentation stands out as a benchmark for Blu-ray audio quality, with each element of the mix— from the subtlety of ambient sounds to the powerful impact of action sequences—meticulously calibrated to showcase the film's dynamic range. The blend of incredibly clear dialogue, sweeping music, and robust surround effects not only complements but elevates the visual narrative, offering an audio experience that is as close to flawless as one might hope for. This soundtrack does more than just accompany the film; it creates an audibly rich world that pulls the viewer deeper into the heart of Daredevil’s story.

    Extra: 69

    The Director's Cut Blu-ray edition of "Daredevil" is an impressive collection that brings together a treasure trove of supplementary features previously available across the original and Director's Cut DVD releases, now presented in standard definition. The centerpiece is an insightful audio commentary by writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and producer Avi Arad, offering a deep dive into the film's production, the editorial decisions that shaped the Director's Cut, and candid discussions on the evolution of key characters. Alongside, the disc boasts a breadth of featurettes covering every aspect of the film's creation, from the detailed "Behind Hell’s Kitchen" documentary, exploring the intricate process of bringing Daredevil's world to life, to "The Men Without Fear", shedding light on the character's comic book history through interviews with industry luminaries. Despite the lack of Blu-ray exclusives or the theatrical cut, the volume and quality of content, including music videos, trivia tracks, and extensive galleries, make it an essential acquisition for fans and completists alike.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: A detailed discussion with writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and producer Avi Arad.
    • Behind Hell’s Kitchen: A comprehensive documentary on the making of "Daredevil".
    • The Men Without Fear: Documentary detailing Daredevil’s comic book origins and evolution.
    • Production Featurettes: In-depth look into the film’s production process.
    • Performance Featurettes: Includes Jennifer Garner's screen tests and a featurette on Michael Clarke Duncan's Kingpin.
    • Shadow World Tour: An overview of Daredevil's superpowers.
    • Music Videos: Features videos by Evanescence, Fuel, and The Calling.
    • Still Galleries: Galleries covering storyboards, costumes, set design, production, props, and modeling sheets.
    • Fact and Fiction Trivia Track: Text-based trivia accessible during playback.
    • Trailers: Includes three theatrical previews.

    Movie: 49

    Daredevil, a film that has ebbed and flowed in the favor of critics and fans alike since its 2003 release, stands as a curious entrant into the early-2000s surge of superhero cinema. Helmed by Ben Affleck as blind attorney-by-day, vigilante-by-night Matt Murdock, the movie attempts to carve its niche within a crowded genre. Despite the allure of Affleck's Daredevil relying on heightened senses rather than superhuman strength—akin yet distinct from Batman's reliance on wealth for prowess—the film grapples with a mix of critiques aimed at its substance and style. Notably, the Director’s Cut is widely viewed as a superior version, providing a fuller, more satisfying narrative that offers deeper dives into Murdock's dual lives and the film's central conflicts.

    While boasting a technically sound production under director Mark Steven Johnson, 'Daredevil' stumbles primarily in its adherence to superhero film formulae and a screenplay that suffers from a glut of plot oversights and underdeveloped character dynamics. The portrayal of key characters by the cast has received mixed reviews, with Michael Clarke Duncan's Kingpin and Jennifer Garner's Elektra noted for less criticized performances amidst general disappointment. However, Farrell’s Bullseye is widely panned for embodying an over-the-top villainy that leans more towards farce than fright. Moreover, the film's cinematography and action sequences, though occasionally striking, often verge on being overly polished and detached from the gritty essence that Daredevil's story arguably demands.

    The undertaking of the Director’s Cut did bring ‘Daredevil’ closer to a rendition that resonates more coherently with its intended thematic depth and character developments. This version expanded on nuanced aspects of Murdock’s life and his combat against Hell’s Kitchen’s underworld—a move which somewhat rejuvenated the film’s standing among viewers. Still, the struggle to balance a dense plot while remaining faithful to the comic's soul remains palpable, leaving 'Daredevil' as a tantalizing "what could have been" in superhero cinematic history. Despite its ambitions and moments of clarity, the movie ultimately reflects the growing pains of a genre in the midst of finding its footing in both storytelling ambition and cinematic execution.

    Total: 64

    The Blu-ray release of "Daredevil," particularly the Director’s Cut, presents an enigmatic case where the quality of the physical disc outshines the content of the film it holds. Despite being burdened by a cliché-ridden plot and performances that range from unconvincing to downright detrimental—most notably, Colin Farrell's portrayal of Bullseye, which detracts significantly from the film's overall quality—the Blu-ray edition offers a redemption of sorts. Not only does it provide a technically superior visual experience, but it also boasts an impeccable lossless audio track that transforms viewing into an auditory spectacle. The additional content loaded in the supplemental section enhances the package, making this release a surprising standout.

    The Director’s Cut, in particular, underscores a rare improvement over its theatrical counterpart, introducing a more integrated and engaging narrative that might change the minds of initial skeptics. This version digs deeper into the character's mythos, offering a semblance of what fans hoped to see in a Daredevil adaptation. Paired with an excellent video transfer and a robust collection of bonus materials, this edition asserts itself as a worthwhile acquisition, even if the movie's foundational flaws can't be entirely overlooked. The commitment to quality in the disc's production is evident, signaling that 20th Century Fox aimed to appeal not just to die-hard fans but also to audiophiles and collectors seeking reference-quality material.

    In conclusion, while "Daredevil" struggles to fully capitalize on its source material, resulting in a film that is often criticized for its execution and performance, the Blu-ray release—and in particular, the Director’s Cut—proves to be a surprising gem. It rises above the film's limitations through stellar technical presentation and an abundance of supplemental features. This paradoxical situation makes the Blu-ray an essential pick for enthusiasts eager to explore the depths of its sonic landscape and extras, if not for the movie itself. The disc stands as a testament to how home media can redefine the viewing experience of a film that may not have initially met expectations.