DISC VERSUS DISC:
Welcome to another installment of DVD: Disc Versus Disc. Apparently I need to clarify a few things about this blog series. When I came up with the title, I had no intention of comparing DVDs themselves. It is comparing and contrasting original films and remakes. It is not comparing differences in special features on DVDs.
Apparently some readers of DVD: Disc Versus Disc – Judge Dredd Vs Dredd (2012) were disappointed that I didn’t pick a winner in that first blog. I never thought of this blog series as a win or lose thing. YES I know it has VERSUS in the title, and the two DVDs in the imagery are fighting, but that had nothing to do with the point this blog series will be. I’ll say this in the future posts there can and will be from me winners, losers, and ties.
This time around I’m doing something slightly different. Comparing and contrasting the same film, but the two different cuts of it. We are talking about Daredevil Theatrical VS Director’s Cut.
Theatrical & Director’s Cut Info:
Release Dates: Teatrical 2/14/03 & Director’s Cut DVD 11/30/04
Film Ratings: Theatrical PG-13 Director’s Cut R
Actors: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Gardner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joe Pantoliano, Kevin Smith, Coolio, and more.
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Main Plot: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.
What the Director’s Cut added to the story:
A director’s cut of the film was announced for a spring 2004 DVD release. This version contained new additions like previously unseen footage and a removed subplot, and was to be a bit darker with an R rating. The film, released in 2.35:1 widescreen format, was released with DTS and Dolby Digital sound. The new version of the film has newly recorded commentary to accompany it, featuring Mark Steven Johnson and Avi Arad. A “Making of Director’s Cut” featurette also accompanied the film. The release date of the DVD was later pushed back to November 30, 2004. On September 30, 2008 the director’s cut was released on Blu-ray. The DVD release of the director’s cut removed the wealth of bonus material included on the theatrical cut’s DVD release, but it was restored for the Blu-ray release (although the Blu-ray release only contains the director’s cut).
One of the biggest changes to the film was the addition of a subplot involving a drug addict played by Coolio. While this subplot was missing from the theatrical version of the film, it is present in the novelization by Greg Cox, published in 2003.
Kevin Feige commented on this version of the film, believing “the people who had other opinions will be won over by this new version.” Reviewers like Empire‘s Danny Graydon seemed to reaffirm this opinion by considering this version a “considerable improvement on the original version,” notably preferring the more violent undertones, a lesser focus on the romance, and the equal focus of Daredevil and his lawyer alias Matt Murdock and the subplot involving Coolio. Some gripes still remained though, as Graydon felt Affleck did not suit himself in the Daredevil outfit, and that Michael Clark Duncan as the Kingpin was done in an over-the-top manner. IGN‘s Jeff Otto and Andy Patrizio also deemed this version an improvement over the original. They felt this version was more loyal to the Frank Miller feel of the Daredevil world, with more focus on themes such as Murdock’s struggle with his Catholic upbringing. On the whole they felt the film would be far more pleasing to the fans, and overall better than the theatrical release
Dissecting The Plots:
The plot of both versions is essentially the same. With the exceptions that the Director’s Cut has an R rating, and the fact that it adds to the overall story of the film.
The main plot is essentially the same. The soundtrack songs are all in the right places in both versions of the film. The theatrical version wraps up ay too fast. Whereas the Director’s cut is a much more involved story, and ends more fluidly.
The added storyline of Matt’s client Dante Jackson, it took out the romance elements, and was much more gritty. There are also scenes in the Director’s Cut that seem to be filmed differently, meaning stuff has slightly different angles to it. The Director’s Cut DVD did not use any of the bonus features that are on the theatrical DVD. However when the DD Director’s Cut went to Blu Ray, the features were added in again. Although JUST the Director’s cut of the film is on this Blu-Ray. I remember hearing the commentary on the director’s cut, and Mark Steven Johnson saying something to the effect that if fans want the features they can get the theatrical version. That the Director’s cut version was to tell a better story. Or something like that, It’s been 9 years or so since I watched the director’s cut with commentary on.
I loved seeing Daredevil in theaters, 10 years ago to the day! The theatrical version is a good film, if you wanna see the romance between Matt and Elektra. The Director’s Cut however is a much better story, and even though the main plot is there, it seems to have been told better wth the romance removed from it. The fact that it was an in your face gritty DD film, is absolutely amazing. As stated above I haven’t seen either of these films since about 2004-2005. Going back now and rewatching both versions I think they hold up for what they are. The theatrical is for mainstream audiences, and the director’s cut is for die hard Daredevil fans. Everyone needs to watch the Director’s Cut at least once!!!
WINNER: Daredevil: Director’s Cut