Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Elektra Lives Again!

I'm sure Frank Miller will never forgive me for attaching one of his titles to a post about the film version of his assassin extraordinaire, but it was just too good not to use it.

What it refers to is the brand-spanking-new Director's Cut of the film that was released on DVD yesterday that I only found out about today while reading through my daily news.

As some of you may know, I was so impressed by what had been done to improve Daredevil with the Director's Cut that I am one of the few people on the planet who not only went to see Elektra while it was still in theatres, but also bought the DVD (albeit sverely discounted) to set next to DD on my overcrowded movie shelf. I mean, in its defence, I believe that Elektra is truly a stronger movie than the theatrical cut of DD ever was (which to many is not saying much) and despite its many flaws it still remains an entertaining little picture for me.

Now, one of my greatest pleasures is to sit down with the DVD of a flawed movie that I enjoy and listening to the director chat about the movie that could have been, thye mistakes that were made and whatever else he or she wants to talk about. Many a movie has been redeemed for me through this very process so it was terribly disappointing that the Elektra DVD had no commentary to speak of and only a few brief featurettes on the making of the film.

I refused to purchase the movie when it first came out on those grounds, and with the expectation (hope?) that, like its predecessor, an expanded Director's Cut would follow in a matter of months. I knew that the movie absolutely bombed in theatres so I was skeptical that 20th Century Fox would support such a move, but seeing as most movies only make money once they hit DVD these days anyway, I held out for the better set whether it came or not (and just for the record I did break down a few weeks ago and bought a reasonably priced previously viewed copy of the first release - it was under $10 CAN).

Anyway, to try and make a long story shorter, FOX surprises me by firing this baby out onto the market and, according to Rob Bowman, this is the way he would rather see the movie presented, given a choice and with the material they had. The cut on this set is unrated (they added some of the more intense fight scenes back in) and apparently moodier than the one some of us saw in theatres. As Bowman states in the interview I linked to above, music cues have been changed, colour has been reworked and the sound mix has been totally redone for this release. Something like 14 weeks was spent 'restoring' the movie but, unlike the DD Director's Cut, Elektra has very little footage added to the new release. Mark Steven Johnson added, like, 30 minutes to Daredevil and it drastically changed the movie from a piece of crap to a pretty good Daredevil movie. As much as I enjoyed Elektra's theatrical cut, I would've liked to have seen something that, story-wise, was a little more rounded out.

Still, there are a lot of bonus features to dig into with this one including a commentary track by Bowman and a few documentaries so I'll probably be picking this one up despite some of the bad reviews I've been reading about it.


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