Let me start by saying, I am one of the few fans of the original theatrical version of Daredevil. I also enjoy Evanescence and their particular brand of what I call "drama rock." Then the director's cut came out and addressed some of the problems with the original, but it still wasn't ideal. Finally along comes Uncanny Antman with "Daredevil: Man Without Fear." If Marvel or 20th Century, whoever owns the rights to this film currently, were smart they would enter into negotiations with UA in order to release this cut as a "for profit" venture on DVD. It is that good. The editing, music editing, credits, and effects were as professional as any movie I have seen.
I will say this movie, the way it was cut by UA may have those not already familiar with Daredevil scratching their heads a little bit, thinking they are missing something. But if you are familiar with DD, you are in for a real treat.
my below comments contain some spoilers.
The handling of the murder of Jack was much better with him being shot, presumably by Falcone instead of having Kingpin do it (too on the nose). The interactions with Foggy were left mostly intact. I always felt the back and forth between Matt and Foggy was well played in this film. I liked the insertion of Matt's nun mother and Stick in short dream sequences, revealing glimpses into Matt's past. UA effectively ditched most of the bad wirework and CGI from this cut, leaving the action with a pretty gritty feel. All of the added soundtrack was great, but I was also happy to see some of the Evanescence tracks left in place. The rearrangement of the scenes was very well thought out and the film flowed very well. I was very happy with most of the material cut, including the subway killing of Quesada. All of the credits were incredibly professional looking and the placement of the opening credits was well thought out. It was good to see S.H.I.E.L.D. get due credit for its assistance in the making of this film in the end credits.
Now as far as nitpicks go, I would say I could have done without Matt's vision of the murder of Lisa Whatsername. Also, I am maybe the only guy on earth that prefers seeing Matt stay with Electra instead of running off to beat some people up. To me it makes him more human and gives their relationship along with her later feelings of betrayal and shock more impact. Finally, the showdown with Kingpin loses its connection and meaning due to the story rearrangement. It kind of leaves the viewer wondering why Matt is so pissed off at the Kingpin when 'twas Bullseye that killed his lady love. No real solid evidence is left in the film that Kingpin ordered Electra's killing. To me, the Kingpin comes off as a profit motivated gangster who will eliminate anyone in his path, but any connection to Electra's killing is merely circumstantial.
Technically, this cut seemed perfect. I didn't detect any problems at all with the video or audio edits. I've only seen the avi so far, so I can't comment on the menus and special features.
It took UA a long time to complete this edit and it took me a very long time to get it downloaded, but by God it was definitely worth the wait. UA, I seriously think you could do film editing for a living (if you don't already). What is the release date for Daredevil: Return of the Kingpin? It looks like a great sequel.
Uncanny Antman has done something I never thought possible: gotten me to watch Daredevil again. I have always considered this particular Superhero movie to be an unsalvageable garbage film; then I read halfway down the cutlist for this edit and decided to give it another shot. So much has been done that the finished product is almost unrecognizable. And that is a very, very good thing. This is some seriously professional editing work, flawless in-scene cutting, perfect transitions, lots of subtle tweaks that didn't give themselves away even on second viewing, and some really well-thought-out and effective repurposing of footage. The new structure works great, the new songs were all terrific additions, and that Marvel Knights logo at the beginning was killer. The only thing that didn't really work for me was Elektra. Without the atrocious playground fight, there's nothing to suggest that she's a martial arts master, so when that Evanescence song kicks in and she starts doing her crazy training routine, it comes out of nowhere. Between this sudden shift and the song (oh, that song), I couldn't take it at all seriously. That's my only real issue, though.
All of this is not to say that I consider Daredevil: The Man Without Fear a good movie. I do not. There are far too many thinly written characters and loose threads when the credits roll. I wouldn't change anything though, and here's why: Daredevil is NEVER going to be turned into a decent movie; the script and the direction are just not good. However, this does feel like successful feature-length pilot for a Daredevil television show, and an above-average one at that. Were this meant only to introduce the main players and set the tone for an upcoming series, the fact that many of the characters (Urich, Bullseye, Elektra, Kingpin) don't have fully formed arcs wouldn't be a problem at all. The only character we would really need to understand would be Daredevil, and by the time the end credits roll, I feel like we do. Another factor that led to this conclusion is the way it looks. The director , Mark Steven Johnson, lifted his style whole-sale from Alex Proyas, but he has neither the skill nor the budget to pull it off effectively, leaving Uncanny Antman to tone town these stylistic choices whenever possible. Divorced from the zany angles and poorly-rendered special effects, the remaining film has a rather flat, low-budget look that wouldn't be uncommon on television. And if that is the first place we saw Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, I believe we would be looking back fondly on a decent (but likely short-lived) Daredevil series instead of one of the worst superhero movies ever made.
I highly recommend this fanedit, if only to marvel at the editing skill on display. I watched the SD AVI file, which looked and sounded just fine for what it was. It came with a trailer for an imaginary sequel which Uncanny Antman has put together out of completely unused footage, which was also great.
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Certainly the best way to watch Daredevil. The editing was smooth as butter on both the video and audio side. Had I not known it was a fan edit or already seen the original I wouldn't have suspected a thing.
The main plot points were all hit, and there were only a couple of areas that were VERY slightly jarring due to cut footage, and it was so minor that I'm not sure I would have really noticed had I not known something had been skipped.
I loved pretty much all of the rearrangements and stylistic edits (no cheese-ball narration!).
All in all a mediocre flick was transformed into something I actually enjoyed watching quite a bit. Well played, sir. Well played.
I've been anticipating this edit ever since it was announced, and it did not disappoint. Uncanny Antman has turned what I originally thought a 3/10 film into a much more decent 6/10 film. Much of the cheesiness and poor CGI of the original is gone, resulting in a leaner, more serious superhero movie. Spoilers follow…
A/V Quality – 10/10 – I won’t comment here, because I compressed the DL down to an SL before watching.
Editing – 10/10 – Completely smooth. No complaints whatsoever. The color correction, soundtrack changes, and new credit sequence were all top-notch.
Narrative – 9/10 – For the most part, I absolutely loved the plot re-structuring. I didn't notice any prominent plot holes created by the rearrangement. In my opinion, there are a few flaws though: the pacing, while generally solid, is a bit too fast at both the beginning and the end. The removal of the Bullseye fight probably had something to do with the pacing at the end – it seemed odd that Daredevil never had a showdown with the primary villain. I call him the primary villain because, while Kingpin was behind it all, Bullseye had much more development as the antagonist and was directly responsible for the deaths of both Elektra and her father. It seemed incomplete when he wasn't brought to justice. A hint that Daredevil would hunt him down or something probably would have remedied this problem. Also, the sequence where Daredevil beats up everyone at the bar lost a lot of its meaning because we never see Quesada’s fate. It almost seemed like Daredevil was beating up all the patrons of a bar just for the heck of it, despite the further information we receive later. Finally, the after-credits sequence was a bit too direct in implying – or rather, confirming – Elektra’s survival.
Entertainment – 9/10 – Although I do have a few complaints about the narrative, this is overall a fantastic edit. Many of the original film’s myriad problems have been excised, from the painfully corny playground fight to the moments of laughably bad CGI. Plenty of cliché lines remain, but I doubt much can be done about it. Bullseye’s self-conscious “cool” factor always bugged the heck out of me, and it’s been toned down some here. The new musical choices result in some brilliant scenes. The plot alterations are inspired and are executed seamlessly. There’s even some surprising emotional depth made deeper by the editing decisions. DAREDEVIL can only be improved so far, and I think Uncanny Antman has done just about the best job possible of it. Bravo!
WARNING!!! This review WILL contain SPOILERS!!!!
First off, I am one of those few who actually LOVES the Director's Cut of DAREDEVIL. For me, while a bit uneven (playground scene, poor CGI) at times, it is a very engaging and entertaining movie that is respectful of its comic book origins. Maybe this is why I am so forgiving of this movie, as it's heart is in the right place. Yeah, the CGI action is crazy, physics defying, over the top but it is still tame to the regular ninja acrobatics of the monthly comic.... and for me, I guess that is the point, this is a comic book universe, not the real world, and this is what I want out of most comic book movies.
With that said, welcome to the Daredevil universe as envisioned by the Uncanny Antman! It is a dark, gritty, dangerous place filled with great character development, polished action scenes and tighter, smarter storytelling.
Where to begin? So much good stuff, so foregive me if this review is very random....
The SHIELD Briefing Menu design is inspired! LOVED it!!!
Great bonus materials!
The new opening credits that hint as Matt Murdock's training to become Daredevil (something the original movie never explained) was brilliant. I love the use of Stick from the Elektra movie and clever use of footage from the Forbidden Kingdom.
The post-end credit scene was spot on and fits nicely with the other Marvel movies.
What struck me most about this fan edit is it does not just try to fix things, it actually subtly and cleverly changes the tone and dynamic of many key scenes and thus creating a very different story from the original or director's cut. The relationships Matt has with characters like Urich, Fisk and Bullseye are all very different. Urich is no longer trying to unmask the vigilante or even suspects Matt. Bullseye, while still psychotic, is more professional and has no vendetta against Daredevil (no "you made me miss") and Kingpin is no longer the killer of Matt's father (or is he?). And it all works wonderfully. The tone and mood it creates is completely unique and adds a freshness to the story where I was actually uncertain what was going to happen next.
I really liked how Antman has sculpted the story to be truer to the comic source material from the cutting of Subway killing scene to the keeping of Matt's mom the nun. For me, in terms of character, this felt much closer to the Daredevil I used to read. Thank you for that Antman.
The biggest change is the removal of the final confrontation between Daredevil and Bullseye and I gotta admit it, this one shocked me. But in the new context of the story, it makes sense. Bullseye is just a paid hitman who has vanished into the darkness. How is Daredevil going to find him? Besides he knows who is ultimately responsible for Elektra's death -- Kingpin. And being the most powerful man in New York, he is easy to find. So yes, it works and makes sense but I must admit it left me feeling a bit unsatisfied that justice had not been fully done. I kept hoping there would be a post credit scene with Daredevil confronting Bullseye... alas... no....
There is so much amazing editing going on in this edit! I loved the recut of Daredevil jumping off the roof and kicking Bullseye off the motorcycle!!! In fact, Antman has made the best possible use out of the many poorly rendered CGI fx -- he uses just enough to suggest the action without it seeming to be laughable. Great stuff!
The new audio work is exceptional! All the new music worked very well for me, it never felt injected or forced. Bon Jovi, eh?
The only scene that felt a bit too awkward, is the last one of Matt returning to his apartment after defeating Kingpin and touching his Dad's boxing gloves. I love the idea of it, but I wish the scene could have held and lingered somehow a few moments longer... it just felt almost too brief to be a proper scene thus the emotional impact does not quite have time to register.... but maybe that is just me.
Overall, this edit is MARVELOUS! It is an exceptional achievement both technically and artistically. Antman proves himself to be a master storyteller. Stan the Man would be proud!
I could go and go and praise this edit, but honestly, no words I have will do it justice. One just has to sit back with a bowl of popcorn and hit play on the remote and let this movie entertain you as all great movies do.
Again, thank you Antman for an absolutely FANTASTIC FAN EDIT!