Friday, June 13, 2008

The Incredible Hulk (6.13.2008)

Director: Louis Leterrier
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt
Co-Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell
Watch for: Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Robert Downey Jr.
Editor(s): Rick Shaine, John Wright
Would I buy it: Hoping for an extended cut, but yes.

what Ang Lee's Hulk would've been like if you removed the entire storyline regarding Bruce Banner's upbringing, and shortened the origin to be contained within the opening credits, and you'll roughly have the same plot as The Incredible Hulk.
While this is surely a summer action movie, with some very impressive visuals and a style that's very easy to get into, I found myself lacking any sort of pull for any of the characters. I didn't really learn anything about them that the two-minute trailer didn't already tell me.
Banner is the Hulk, and wants to cure himself of it. Betty Ross is the girlfriend, who is ready to do anything to help him. Her father is the general who is after the Hulk, seeking to regain military property, and Tim Roth is an aging soldier, who after learning of the Hulk's powers, is unwilling to allow himself to remain as another normal person.
And that's about it. In the opening credits we see a nice twist, in that Hulk severely injured Betty during his first transformation, and though we don't realize this until later, she has never actually seen what he's like during the change. They really didn't tell us that at all, until we get a line from General Ross to the effect of "Now she'll see him". I was like "Oh, wait. She hasn't yet? Weird."
Tyler and Norton's interaction throughout the movie is awkward at best. While their characters have been apart for a while, if they were anything like my friends from my hometown, no matter how long we spend apart, when we meet back up again we always fall right into the same familiar groove. I'm not sure what was missing here, but I didn't feel any sort of strong emotion from either side.
When they start leading into "the sex scene", I basically thought to myself "Well, this is completely necessary." They ended it with a humorous note though, rather than taking it too seriously, so I suppose that makes up for it.

Hulk himself does look pretty good. I think the CGI was better in the last film, which may be attributed to its larger budget, but I do like the more lean, grittier styling of the character. There were some amazing close-ups of him, not even necessarily of his face (i.e. when we see his massive arm sitting next to Betty in the cave), that really sold it for me.
I think I ruined some of the movie with expectations, as I thought I had read somewhere that the Hulk/Abomination fight was like twenty minutes long. I don't think it was even five. It was cool, nice seeing these two brutes pounding on each other, but I really wanted more action out of this movie.
They did chop out a few shots from the trailers that looked kinda rushed, and that makes me wonder if maybe those shots were just for the trailers since they easily show the versions in the film (like what Hulk does to Blonsky at the end of their second encounter, or Banner's fall from the helicopter).

The BIG thing I was looking forward to with Hulk was the Marvel tie-in. While
Iron Man pushed the limits by bringing in Nick Fury, that's a character who doesn't currently have a running series. It's a nod to the universe, but not something previously established. Right before the credits, we get a scene with Tony Stark, as played by Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man.
I was so. Freaking. Happy. It's not even a big important scene, but the simple fact that the Marvel universe is finally tying into itself in the film world is a very big step for comic movies everywhere. I have high hopes for where they're going with this. In the opening credits, the "Stark Industries" as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. logos appeared over tech screens showcasing blueprints, among other things. Very nice.

The Incredible Hulk did reference a lot of it's own history as well. Edward Norton has a brief scene with Lou Ferrigno (who played the Hulk when he'd transformed in the old TV show), where they have a cute exchange with something along the lines of "You're the man." Then there was a moment featuring a nod to the TV show's old theme as well. What I didn't realize until today when I looked it up on IMDB is that Betty Ross' boyfriend in the movie is 'Dr. Samson'.
Doc Samson is a supporting character in the Hulk storylines, I think sometimes helping him as well as fighting against him. This is probably equivalent to featuring Dr. Connors in the Spider-Man films. You just
know they'll get to the Lizard later.
I was looking forward to a Hulk film with the Leader, but I believe that a storyline could easily feature the both of them if they wanted.
EDIT: Wow, I totally missed it. I was reading Wikipedia, and going from topic to topic, as it's done there. Through a line of Marvel topics, I found the Leader's page... and I totally forgot the moment with Samuel Stearns, Mr. Blue, being infected with Banner's blood. His head swells.
Well, given that I only have a basic understanding of the Leader, I didn't realize Samuel Stearns was his real name.
Excellent. I can't believe they just slipped two of Hulk's future villains into this movie. Excellent work, guys.

So, basically the things I like about this film are the action, though it could have had more, the style in which it was presented, and the Marvel universe tie-ins.
What I want out of it is more story. What they showed us was interesting, but it wasn't really anything along the lines of character development. It was more like watching them move through a situation.
From reading the net, I learned that the "Edward Norton cut" of the movie was close to three hours, but his much-rumored dispute with the filmmakers lose out, and they chopped it down to a much more managable two hours.
There were several shots and even scenes from the trailers that were not present in the final screening. I think that releasing an extended cut to show us exactly what was missing would be a very wise decision.

My guess is that this is where all of my character development went.
Oh, and before I forget, one of my absolute favorite things about Hulk was his voice. Lou Ferrigno also supplied that again for this movie. In
Hulk we only hear him speak a couple times, "Puny human", and "Take it all!!". While there aren't many more lines in The Incredible Hulk, I have to say that the first time he speaks just plain gave me chills.

"Leave me alone."

No way, Hulk. You're coming back for more.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Punisher (4.16.2004)

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton, Rebecca Romijn
Co-Starring: Eddie Jemison, Ben Foster, John Pinette, Laura Harring
Watch for: Roy Scheider
Editor(s): Jeff Gullo, Steven Kemper
<-- The version I own.

Where the style
of this film comes from, I am not really sure. A small part of it feels like an old gangster movie. One man against the mob, everything's personal for him while it's business for everyone else. Then there's elements of comic, such as the two hitmen we see attempt to take out our hero. With the one's guitar playing antics, and the others Dick Tracy villain-esque transformation right before his death, I couldn't help but think of noir satire as an inspiration. Then there's everything else, which simply put, is plain good old fashioned action movie. You'll see a lot more practical effects than CGI here, that's for certain.

So Marvel made an R-rated film, which was allowed to be released that way. When I first heard of this movie back in the day, along with it's rating, I instantly had confidence in it. The Punisher is not a character you water down for the middle schoolers.
Actually, we still got complaints of this from the good old internets:
"Why would he torture Mickey with a popsicle? The REAL Punisher would've actually tortured him."
There's two reasons this works.
A) If you actually torture a guy, getting him to help you out in with your plan for revenge prolly isn't going to be a very welcome request. If you reveal to him you simply wanted information, and have no problem with him (outside of a dark sense of humor), he'll prolly take your request with a little more finesse.
B) Take this, skeptics. I haven't read it, but the Punisher did torture someone with a popsicle in the comics, in a storyline from Chuck Dixon (Thank you, IMDB).

So, suck it. Anyway, the scene worked for me.
The movie as a whole seems to take the source material very seriously. It's a cliche story by now, man loses his family and seeks revenge, but their manner of portraying it kept me interested the entire time.
Granted, there are a few moments that cause me to step out and feel as though they could've done better ("We are blessed." Ugh), but overall I was sucked into this.
John Travolta, who I've been paying attention to since I saw Grease in my pre-teen years, just makes for such a good villain. Even watching Battlefield Earth was semi-alright during his scenes. I won't go into the rest of it. And while his character is very formulaic (well, all of them are really), including your 'mob boss who references famous historical figures/events before he kills a supporting character' scene, it's still very enjoyable. (I still have a few shallow idea of who Jim Booey (sp?) was, but whatever. Cool monologue.)
Thomas Jane, who apparently is usually blonde or something, made for the perfect moody "good guy that kills" character that the Punisher is. Sure, he busts into a club and slaughters a bunch of people (Is it me, or was the guy who got the arrow through the neck just a waiter who was on duty that night?), but you're sitting there rooting him on.

And also, we do get a couple of comic-like moments that help ground us in that sort of reality. You won't see John McClane bullet-proofing his car, or inserting all sorts of last resort gadgets into his house. It's a shame none of Castle's little innovations to his home security system worked out too well for him.
Ex: Emergency door worked, but the grenade flies back in through the window.
Or there's the gun tray, but unfortunately the Russian was strong enough that he was able to render the gun useless.

There's not too much to say about this one, it mostly explains itself. This is the first time I've had to wait a day after watching it again to write a review. I just couldn't think of anything to say, short of giving a moment-by-moment commentary.

Whatever emotion surges through you when you watch this, sadness, humor, whatever, I'm right there with you.
Well, as long as it's not some sort of vile hatred for the film's cast and creators. You start thinking like that, and I may just have to go load up and throw on a half dozen bullet-proof vests. Then we'll see what's up.

Watching it again, I remembered that I really do love this movie. The fact that Thomas Jane turned down the role of the sequel, claiming it 'is not a worthwhile story', tells me I prolly shouldn't expect anything quite like this in the near future.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

X2: X-Men United (5.2.2003)

Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan
Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Bryan Cox, Alan Cumming, John Allerdyce, Kelly Hu
Watch for: Mutant cameos, characterized and listed.
Editor(s): John Ottman, Elliot Graham
<-- The version I own.

Sequels should
always be better than the original. Granted, sometimes this is difficult to pull off, or maybe even if it is "better", fans will always hold the original in higher regard simply for being the first.
X-Men 2 has been highly regarded as the sequel the original film deserved, better than the original. Great story, more action, interesting dynamic between all the characters, along with a good progression for them as well.

It was a big deal when it came out, especially for Wolverine. Bryan Singer "finally explained Wolverine's origin". Y'know, I read a few X-Men comics in my day, watched the kid's show in the 90's, and while I never really read anything about Wolverine's past, I still felt like I didn't really learn anything new about him. We'd known he was a government experiment who set free, which he was. The only difference is that in this film Logan gets to see where this happened, and meet who was responsible. It works, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't seem like they really told us anything we didn't know. I'm not sure what role Stryker played in the comics, maybe that's what the big deal was.

There are a few things that bother me about this movie. One thing is Storm.
Ms. Berry, you know I love you, but where the hell did your accent go? One of the great things about X-Men back in the comics, and even the show, was the different nationalities of all the characters. Rogue was southern. Nightcrawler was German. Storm is African. I think Rogue keeps her accent in this one, but Storm just sounds like a regular American, and I think her role suffers for it. She definitely sounded more interesting in X1.

Oh well.
Another thing that gets to me is the "out-of-nowhere" saves. A couple come to mind, like when the jet nearly avoids getting hit with a missile and begins crashing and Magneto just happens to be standing in a close enough region to catch it before it lands.
I guess that prison of his must've been fairly close to the mansion.
Then, Rogue manages to clumsily fly the Blackbird to the location to pick up all of the mutants that escape the underground base. I mean, it's possible that the X-Men's comlinks have tracking devices which the jet could pick up, but we don't even get a quick shot or line to explain how she knew she had to get there in order to save everyone.

Those are small detail, however. Plenty of movies have last-minute saves like this that aren't explained, so it is forgivable as convention.

I'd say the thing I like about the first X-Men is the style. The first half, like I said. Nice, quiet drama. There is some good action present, but once you see X2 you realize the action in the first was them trying to really get their feet wet with this sort of thing. They definitely stepped it up, even with the first scene and Nightcrawler's amazing assault on the White House.
I didn't pay close enough attention when I saw the trailer, originally I thought he was going to be in the X-mansion helping fight off the invading forces.

Which brings me to my next point. That scene, where Styker's men take over, is just plain awesome. There is something amazingly creepy about watching the villain walk into the hero's secret base when nobody's home, like Styker walking into a dark Cerebro. Bone-chilling.

In this scene, we also get some good mutant cameos from the comics. We see the film series' second Shadowcat, along with Siryn and Colossus. The sound they came up with for Siryn's sonic scream just makes me so happy. It's excellent. I did want to see more of Colossus, but they got to him in the next film. It was a nice touch though, early in the film where they show him as having a flair for the artistic, as he did in the comics.
I think Lady Deathstrike was probably the biggest departure from the original character. I'd heard about her before the movie, had her trading card I believe. She does have some adamantium enhancements, but the big thing about her is that she was a cyborg. I don't believe she was ever a mutant before, but I could be wrong.
Still, watching her early on in the waiting room, cracking her knuckles, you can just picture her segmented talons shifting inside her fingers. Nice.

They definitely were familiar with their source material for the first two films. I could go on and on, and praise every scene, but I think I'll keep it short for this one. Only a few light problems with it, but it's a lot of fun. Very high on the list of good superhero films, for sure.

It's unfortunate they rushed X3 and gave it to Ratner, and kinda screwed up the series after that. I'll have more on this later, I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hulk (6.20.2003)

Director: Ang Lee
Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliot
Josh Lucas, Nick Nolte,
Watch for: Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee
Editor(s): Tim Squyres
<-- The version I own.

The bold move
of creating a film based off of a comic book franchise which focuses on the drama more than the action is the reason this movie gets so much crap. Reading about the internet, I see these complaints "We don't even get to SEE him for the first 40 minutes", or "What were those stupid transitions for?", "More fighting less talking", or whatever.

There are a few things I think about every time I watch this movie:
1) Hulk looks amazing.
2) This is an artistic film, not afraid to try something new.
3) God, I love Jennifer Connelly.

Considering her previous body of work, you can probably tell early on that this isn't going to be your standard summer action-thumper. We get an interesting intro with the credits, which establishes the visual 'comic book' style as well as takes a semi-unique approach to Hulk's origin, stating it wasn't just the gamma radiation which causes his origin. It helps make up for Stan Lee's "gamma sounded like a cool word" approach to the science in the past. I mean, God bless him for it, but people are pickier nowadays.

I wonder if the reason this movie pulled in less than it cost to make is because of Ang Lee's style, and the word of mouth surrounding it, or if the character just isn't as interesting to the public as some of the others.
Admittedly, I never really watched/read the Hulk before this movie, and I still don't really, but this movie is interesting. I love the story, the transitions, everything.

In fact, while this is unconfirmed, I do wonder if it's a mixture of Dick Tracy's colorization and Hulk's kooky transitioning shots that we received the equally less-than-popular Speed Racer this year. It's a theory, I dunno. I get into these things, I guess.

Is it me, or could you take Josh Lucas and the guy who played Dr. Doom, swap the actors, and still have the roles feel fairly similar? Josh Lucas does have a couple good angry shouting fests later on, but they really seem like they could be partnered as uber-slimeballs.

Ignore the story and the style for a bit, which you basically have to sit and watch (with an open mind) to understand why I enjoy them, and let's cut to the action.
Walking out of the theatre, my friend said to me "It got kind of boring watching bullets bouncing off him all the time".
I do agree that as a superhero, "being really strong" does leave it difficult to bring something fresh to the table. Just look at Superman Returns, and all the really big action moments being centered around lifting something heavier and heavier each time. And he has several other powers which Hulk does not.
As many have said before me, it's the Jekyl/Hyde aspect of Hulk, which any hero with a secret identity has to face in some way, which makes him so interesting. The one thing that Ang Lee did which I'd never heard of before, for only a moment, he showed Hulk looking calm.

Right before those spiffy helicopters (Comanche?) pop up behind the plateau, Hulk is sitting and looking at a plant, thinking about something... and he seems calm. Perhaps if the helicopter hadn't arrived, he would've dissolved back into Bruce. Like with Betty later on, right before the dogs arrive... maybe he would've shrunk down then, too.
Or maybe it takes a while to calm down enough that this change occurs. It's hard to say. I guess it's not just an on/off switch.

That reminds me. My friend wasn't exactly right. While Hulk does get his fair share of bullets fired in his direction, we do get a couple of super villains as well. The trio of dogs, for one, which was just plain creepy at times. Then there was his father, who I still don't know who he was supposed to be in the comics. Seems like a familiar concept, being able to shift into any form of matter he touches, but I can't put my finger on who it is.

The way the military attacks actually presented another theory to me. Like, General Ross seems to want to test him as much as he wants to destroy him. I doubt this is what they were going for, but the big Hulk action scene in the desert feels like a really good example of escalation in order to show us just how powerful he is.
It starts indoors, with small weapons fire including machine guns (and one hilariously misused shell-launcher), which pretty much do as my friend said.. the bullets bounce off, occasionally making him bigger and stronger.
As soon as Ross says "show him the way out", and Hulk gives him this look through the monitor demanding this, that's when it seems like a test.

So he breaks outside, and soon comes up against tanks, which he handles pretty amusingly.
Then comes the aircraft, using the top-of-the-line Comanches and their slick manuverability, which he more or less outruns and dodges all of their weapons fire.
Then we even get an F-22 taking shots at him, which he has one of his few actual heroic moments, in saving the pilot from crashing into the bridge.

That's one thing that separates Hulk from the other Marvel films. Hulk spends more time dealing with himself and the people after him, rather than setting out to save people. It's a different situation, sure, but I wonder if seeing more of Hulk = hero in the later films wouldn't be such a bad thing.
I know in Ultimate Hulk, something went nasty and he wound up killing like 800 people, but things like this are the reason I hate the Ultimate series. I don't know if that ever happened in the older storylines, but meh.

Hulk may be angry, but he's hardly a monster. He took deliberate actions in his battles to avoid killing people, like dragging the helicopter to the ground, or spitting the tip of the missile at the tail of another. He did throw a tank into a mountain, but we do see that at least one member of the crew seems (amazingly) unscathed.

I love every character in this movie, by the way. David Banner just blows me away with his performance, he's so awesomely intense. He's like Magneto (in the comics). He always has a really long speech that sucks you in every time. Josh Lucas is intense also, but in a different, greedier kind of way.
And is it me, or do all the guys have a really raspy voice when they get angry? Awesome.
Then there's Jennifer Connelly, who is pretty much the girl you get when you need someone to play upset really well. Her "GET OUT!!" when the gamma's about to go off... wow.
And they're going to replace her with Liv Tyler. What a bloody freakin' waste.

There are some shots in this film which just blow me away. When Hulk ends his first rampage for a moment and his father puts his hand on his face... wow. He just looks so freakin' good. I have yet to see a shot that compares to this in the new film, but all I've seen is trailers so far, so we'll see.

One thing that bothered me about this movie was the fact that Hulk only spoke once. I'd swear I've heard that Hulk voice before, but I have no idea where.
He follows the traditional 'big strong guy' stereotype in the comics, and speaks dumbed-down, fragmented sentences... but I dunno. I'd like to hear Hulk talk. Hold a conversation. Taunt his enemies.

Maybe next time.
Overall, I'd say I watch this movie for the story, not the action. Don't get me wrong, I love the whole movie. The action is excellent, but I think that when they set out to make this, the story loomed large in their minds.

And you know what?
I applaud them for it. Too often I've seen movies like this getting caught up on the action side of things, and it feels like it's just another recycled story set up for a different character.
I mean, honestly. How many corporate hostile takeovers have we seen in the recent superhero flicks. Even Hulk mentions one, though they don't really focus on it.

I'ts like, c'mon, folks. Think harder. You'll be better off for it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Daredevil (2.14.2003)

Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Ben Affleck, Joe Pantoliano, Jennifer Garner
Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, Colin Farell
Watch for: Kevin Smith, and characters named after writers of the comics.
Editor(s): Dennis Virkler A.C.E., Armen Minasian
<-- The version I own.

My first date back in high school was an interesting one. I called her up one evening and asked her what movie she'd like to see, and while I still think she was trying to appeal to my tastes more than seeing something she wanted, her first choice was Daredevil. Of course I readily agreed, and so off we went.
The fun part about this that I never really pieced together until now is that this was a blind date. And we went to Daredevil.

Come on. That's classic.
However, despite the focus on the titular character and his loss of vision, the most impressive thing to me has always been the sound.
I forget who said it first, but it's stuck with me ever since. Daredevil is a rock anthem. We get so much good rock in this movie. The score, or the lyric-free tracks from the soundtrack's artists, I was definitely jamming during this movie. Plus we got the now-famous Evanescence performing their breakout track, "Bring Me to Life". On Friday, I saw the movie, on Saturday I bought the soundtrack.

This film has a very strong introduction. A nice and moody score accompanies 'cooler than Spider-Man' credit graphics (I love that the music goes evil for a second when we see "Colin Farrel as Bullseye"), leading right into an immediate comic cover homage with the very first shot of our hero.
If you're going to do an origin story, sometimes it can get a little dull waiting to see the hero. Flashing forward to him being already in trouble somehow works very well, though the melodramatic voice-overs always felt like a little too much. Obviously, he's not going to die. This is a potential franchise here.

Visually, I don't know what the proper term is for the lighting, grading, film they used, whatever, but this film looks just like a Daredevil film should. Even daylight seems dim and moody somehow. That's not a blind reference, I mean that Daredevil has always seemed to be the dark, noir (and sometimes abstract) counter-part to Marvel's flagship Spider-Man titles.

Well, he seemed this way once I started reading him, anyway. I didn't get into DD until after I saw the movie, but that's part of the reason we have these films, isn't it?

Matt Murdock, the boy, is excellently portrayed. He seems like one of the ones who was smart, fairly casual, you'd probably get along with unless you're a bully. Stuck in a bad part of town with his has-been father, but hardly a naive child.
The actor here is very convincing, I never once stopped and thought about his performance, I just accepted it. Well, except for one unconvincing move during his brawl with the other kids, and no, I don't mean the flip.

In one of my early film courses where we discussed story and shot elements and what they mean, I remember being taught that one of the possible meanings of a crooked angle is evil. Mark Steven Johnson seems to be familiar with this as well, as there are all sorts of thematic uses of camera angles, but most prevalent seems to be the evil angle.
"I'm not the bad guy."
Daredevil spends much of this film establishing exactly what kind of hero he's trying to be. There's a fine line between fighting criminals and brutally attacking them, and DD spends much of the first half of this movie on the dark side of it.
Red is also prominently displayed, though I haven't decided exactly what it stands for yet. Anyone who's watched bonus feature for The Sixth Sense knows that it meant something bad was going to happen, but in Daredevil I believe it has to do more with passion, or some sort of rooted emotion that you'd do anything to hold onto.
That's just my theory though.

There are a couple flaws in the style of this film, as it does lose it for a few moments.
One thing I might've done differently is the Matt/Elektra battle early on is, well, not make it so ridiculous. While the first fight in the bar does feature quite a few flashy moves in an eccentrically lit environment, trying to pull this same style in a playground in the middle of the day doesn't really flow as well. The scene is trying to be playful, yes, but perhaps is just a little too playful.

DD's confontation with Quesada (a nice nod to one of the comic writers, btw) in the subway was excellently planned. From the shot of DD hoping onto the pool table, having his reflection show up in a puddle which he then jumps into, plus the slow stalking down into the tunnel, well. Wow.
I still get chills, it's just a good sequence.
You don't get the happy feeling one gets watching Spider-Man pound the baddies. I watch this scene and even without thinking about the ending, you just see that DD hates this man. This one man who did these bad things is all of DD's anger, vengeance, and I'm sorry to say it, but for this moment, his warped sense of justice, personified. And he unleashes it, without hesitation.

We see this again with the loan shark scene, who DD takes out his frustrations again, this time without realizing a young boy (the shark's son?) is sitting there watching the whole time.
"Please, please don't hurt me," the boy says, shaking in fear.
"I'm not the bad guy, kid."

Oddly, despite the higher stakes in the first battle with Bullseye, Daredevil does seem to be handling it with a little more finesse. Easily dodging a ninja star (man, look out behind him. We hear it hitting metal, but Bullseye so easily could've taken out Elektra or her father if they'd been standing at this point). Then with minimal effort, DD dismounts him from his bike. However, he seems to have underestimated his foe, and while he doesn't lose the fight so to speak, he does fail both himself and his new love, whether she knows who's under the mask or not.
Elektra somehow doesn't see Bullseye (or the bike's massive explosion, but eh. For all she knows DD blew up some random guy's bike) and assumes DD killed her father.

What I like about the ending of the movie is just how many fights we get here, without it feeling like it's running on. I mean, by the time DD realizes who the Kingpin is, there is a moment of "Wow, he's going to go do that now?" The boss fight at the end of a long level, I suppose.
It works for me though.

Aside from the fact that movie Elektra at this point feels like a rank amateur compared to comic Elektra, which might be the point, the fight are all just as visually interesting as the rest of the movie. I get sucked right into them every time.

Bullseye is just pure evil. Colin Farrel rocks, I don't care how much you (or I) didn't like Alexander. However, as evil as he is, the moment of him giving the 'padre' a warning to leave is a moment which showcases he's not entirely ruthless.

I'll have more to say when I review the Director's Cut, I was trying hard not to make comparisons the whole time in this review. I'll get to it later, I've got a few films that come up between DD and the Director's Cut, which was put out basically as a promo for Elektra.

I'm still waiting for my Daredevil sequel.

Sure, it hasn't been even talked about on any respectable news site in years, but I like to hope. It's a solid film, and doesn't at all deserve the crap it gets. I have friends who just plain hated it, and I turn and look them right in the eye and simply ask "Why?"
I think the biggest problem with this movie is that somebody thought it was a good idea to release it on Valentine's Day. If this was a mid-spring or even summer release, it would've done much better.
Just like Ghost Rider, but I'll get to that later.

What a good movie. There are days I'll even rank this above even Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins. This is by far one of my favorite superhero films.

Well well. Ask, and thou shalt recieve.
I was browsing the Marvel film list on Wikipedia today, and found out a very exciting piece of news.

Daredevil 2 has been announced!!
According to the article, Marvel Studios is waiting for the unused rights to revert to them, and then they'll get on it. I'm not sure how long this takes, but it's been around five years since the last film... so maybe that's all it is. Could be a few years yet, but I'm so excited to finally have some news on this.
The article also mentions Affleck has repeatedly said he's not interested, however Michael Clarke Duncan has expressed interest.
Mark Steven Johnson stated he'd also like to return, using one of Frank Miller's storylines from the 80's.

Sounds good to me. I hope they talk Affleck into it, but if not, I'm sure there's another Matt Murdock out there somewhere.
The fact that the director is wanting to come makes me feel safe that it'll be true to the first film in style, which is what I really want.