Daredevil (2003)

I don't plan on re-watching Elektra anytime soon.

I don’t plan on re-watching Elektra anytime soon.

Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson (well, this is his best movie, sad as that may be)

Written by: Johnson wrote the screenplay based on the Marvel Comics character of Daredevil

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, David Keith and Leland Orser

What it’s about: a man struck with blindness as a result of a childhood accident finds his other senses are greatly heightened and uses those abilities to fight crime as both a super-hero and a lawyer

What I liked: To be clear, this was the Director’s Cut that I watched.  It’s a bit longer and in some cases it actually makes the film better.  Most of the action scenes are decent, as well as the special effects.  The costuming of the characters was a fairly decent translation from the comic books, as well.  I liked Affleck’s performance, as well as Colin Farrell’s enormously intense scenery chewing as Bullseye.  It’s also a fairly dark comic book movie, and I think it was actually ahead of its time.  If this movie were made today, it would be of a higher quality with more attention paid to the darkness of the character, as modern audiences are more accepting of those themes than they were 10 years ago.

What I disliked: At times it feels like a comic book, and that’s not a great thing when it comes to the execution of the story.  Pointless scenes featuring action hero poses, and lighting choices that make no sense when you take into account the fact that the character is goddamn blind.  Some scenes are positively goofy.  There was also the sense that – much like Batman & Robin – the story was trying to cram in as much Daredevil history as possible which just led to it being somewhat scatterbrained.  If you’re doing a proper Daredevil movie series, you don’t introduce Elektra until at least the second movie.  Also, the music choices for the movie just reeked of attempted cross-marketing, featuring two flash-in-the-pan Evanescence songs.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sort of.  It is a decent enough comic book movie, but unlike the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, it doesn’t transcend the genre.  All that being said, it is still a guilty pleasure of mine.

Rating: 3 / 5

See?  Goofy.

See? Goofy.

The Good German (2006)

Look, before I sit down and type out a review about this black and white movie that was intended to be a return to the old Hollywood techniques, let me assure you that I have some idea of what I’m talking about.  I’ve seen Casablanca, and it is one of the most excellent movies I’ve ever watched in my life.  It is old-timey with a modern feel and how that was accomplished I have no idea.  You should only be able to go the other way, but lo and behold, Casablanca did it awesomely.

This Steven Soderbergh-directed movie though, does not.  Yeah it looks gorgeous, and it (mostly) adheres to the standards and practices of the old 1940s movies (aside from nudity and the fuck word being used) but it feels more like a gimmick than it does an actual part of the film.  It’s basically 3D, an unnecessary addition that at best is mildly impressive to either snobby film critics (5-year-old children and stoners in the case of 3D), and at worst is distracting enough to take you out of the movie and maybe, just maybe, not care about it at all.

I love film noir movies.  L.A. Confidential is one of my favourite movies of all time, and there’s a tone throughout the whole of L.A. Confidential that perfectly captured the era, without having to resort to black and white, decreased aspect ratio, boom mics, and all the other restrictions placed on the filming of The Good German.  I know Soderbergh enjoys experimenting in film, but this was just boring.  And casting Tobey Maguire as someone that’s sorta supposed to be a hardass is just terrible miscasting.  Maguire should be Peter Parker or the kid from Pleasantville for the rest of his life and that would be fine, because he is The Squeaky-Voiced Teen.  I cannot buy him as anything else.

It’s a great looking movie and features decent performances but so boring and uninteresting to me.

2 / 5