Thursday, February 19, 2009

Exfanding Recommends...

Daredevil in the rainSome of you may remember a little movie from way back in 2003 starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Colin Farrell about a blind man from Hell's Kitchen who practices law by day and is a vigilante superhero by night. Right, so, oh hold on a second, Nathaniel's just popped his head in and--what's that? No one remembers or even cares about--?

Ah, I see.

Well, regardless of its place in the pop culture pantheon, that little movie was called Daredevil, and while you may not remember it, well...OK, fine, so pretty much everyone else wants to forget everything about it, too.

And even though there were some, uh, almost good scenes in the movie, for the most part, it wasn't exactly The Godfather. (Actually, it wasn't even Godfather III). And the problem with that is, the Daredevil character inherently lends itself to a Godfather-esque crime story.

And, yes, for all you DD enthusiasts out there, I know that the Director's Cut of the film, while certainly not perfect, does improve upon the theatrical release quite a bit.

The real question you may have right now is, "why in the heck is he talking about a DVD release from over five years ago?" And the answer to that is simple--I just found the DVD under a pile of other stuff last night, and while I couldn't stomach a viewing of the film, I did pop in the extra features.

So, while Affleck's stupid maroon costume was...well, stupid and maroon...we here at Exfanding Your Horizons (read: Alex) did, in fact, find something pretty cool about the original DVD release. Included on the bonus disc is a special feature entitled Men Without Fear: The Creators of Daredevil.

Basically this is a series of interviews conducted with comics creators who have worked on Daredevil through the years. Included in the 60 minute documentary are, among others, Stan Lee, John Romita and John Romita Jr, Gene Colan, Frank Miller, and Brian Bendis.

Now, as I've mentioned in the past, Daredevil is one of my favorite characters and Frank Miller, Gene Colan, and Brian Bendis are some of my favorite creators. Oh, and Kevin Smith is featured in the doc, as well. And it was Smith's run on the Daredevil comics series that actually introduced me to the character.

So, for all you DD fans out there, if you don't own the disc (because the movie itself has become a repressed memory), try to seek it out in the bargain bins, or rent it, just to watch this feature.

The best part, in my opinion at least, is Frank Miller's quasi-maniacal rantings on the character and his world. Through that interview, you really get to see what was going on inside Miller's head when he was writing, I think, the very best superhero comics ever.

Miller's run on Daredevil in the 1980s (starting with issue 168 when he took on both writing and art chores) is legendary amongst comics fans, and with good reason. His Daredevil was an adult book, a mature readers title set in the Marvel Universe proper.

It was grim, gritty, certainly violent, but thought-provoking and revolutionary. And, in the interview, you get to hear about why Miller did some of the things he did on the book, and why he put Matt Murdock through some of the most torturous events in comics history. For that ten minutes alone, this doc is worth checking out.

So, grit your teeth if you must, but try to find a copy of this DVD, skip the movie, and head right over to the bonus features.

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