Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Mind Blindness

I usually like to think I have decent taste in films. Brainless popcorn movies are kept to a minimum, pure schlock avoided at all costs. In this day and age with resources like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatos at our disposal, there’s really no excuse for seeing BAD films. Unless you want to. Which I did last night. Enter Daredevil AND Elektra.

I was excited about the prospect of a Daredevil film when the idea was first floated some years ago, he’s a great character and wouldn’t require all the super-power CGI like most comic-book adaptations. At first Kevin Smith was attached and I was, “okay, he did alright writing the comic, this could be alright”. Then the bad news – Smith left, Affleck was cast… Dread grows. I tried to keep a postive attitude till the trailers and reviews started coming out. Then it was abandon all hope time. Still, I was curious for a couple of years about just how bad it could really be? Finally I know. Pretty bad.

It’s an old film, so I won’t discuss too much – just go point form. The costume – what the hell. More than the obvious Daredevil as bondage fetishist concerns, I was confused by the collar which was always upturned Fonzie-style. That made the cowl look utterly ridiculous – it made me nostalgic for the black outfit Rex Smith wore in The Trial Of The Incrdible Hulk… What else. The horribly cliched narration. The compression of almost every bit of action into the last half hour. Jennifer Garner as the most un-Greek-looking Elektra possible, a Ben Urich who looked more like a paparazzi than an investigative reporter, the idea that Daredevil would spend time writing out his logo in gasoline on a subway platform with perfectly square lines… It was just bad. So very bad. But at least it was fun in that incredibly cheesy sort of b-movie way. The same couldn’t be said for Elektra.

Elektra was just boring. Straight out, stone cold dull. Everyone looked bored, the story was boring… it’s hard to single out particularly intense moments of boring-ness to focus on. It was a pretty across-the-board snooze-fest. Did I mention that the story has the supposedly bad-ass assasin protecting an annoying tween girl who fights with a friendship bracelet from hordes of ninjas? Imagine how bad that could possibly be, now imagine it worse. You’re pretty much there. It boggles my mind that director Rob Bowman is talking sequel. Anyone with any power in Hollywood should make it their personal mission to prevent such a thing from ever happening. It’s just not right.

The biggest crime with these films, besides the waste of celluloid, is the fact that these were two perfectly good, interesting characters who could have been translated to film quite well if anyone involved with the production had any clue, and now the opportunity has been wasted, the characters tainted. I think Ben Affleck claimed he was a big Daredevil fan as a kid – what’s his excuse? Shame, Mr Aflac. Shame. Still, I knew what I was getting into when I rented these, so I’ve no one to blame but myself, I suppose. I am now going to read Born Again to get the bad taste out of my eyes.

And as a way of apologizing to Dirty On Purpose for using one of their song titles for the title of this post, I’d like to direct you to their MySpace page. They’ve posted a demo for what I can only assume is a track that will appear on their debut full-length, due out sometime next year. Sounds good. Sorry guys. You’re better than Daredevil AND Elektra put together.

Have I linked this page of My Bloody Valentine videos before? I don’t think so. I may have linked the site, but I don’t rightly remember linking (or even seeing) the videos before. I don’t know. I forget things sometimes. Either way, here you go.

JAM! thinks the vocals of Doves’ Jimi Goodwin are “sugary”. JAM! needs to get a dictionary.

Mogwai have completed recording their new album. And they’re disgusted with the state of the world. They may be calling their new record Mr Beast, to properly articulate their disgust.

Ex-Ride frontman Mark Gardener will be at Lee’s Palace on December 7 to promote his debut solo album, These Beautiful Ghosts. You can stream the album in its entirety here. Whlie I’ve been bitten badly by post-Ride projects (hello Hurricane #1, The Animalhouse) so I’m a little wary of this record, but if I’m feeling nostalgic around then, I may well turn up at this show. His first solo acoustic tour a couple years ago was quite good, but it was probably a lot Ride-heavier in the setlist than this outing will be. Silly boy thinks he’s going to move on creatively? Not if I have anything to say about it.

np – Rogue Wave / Descended Like Vultures

By : Frank Yang at 11:53 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Chris Cartwright says:

    I grabbed "These Beautiful Ghosts" used at Sonic Boom a few weeks ago and it is quite good actually, and from what I heard about his performance opening for BRMC a few weeks back it was well worth the price of admission. Definitely going to this show, thanks for the heads up!

  2. Rachel says:

    Have you seen Mirrormask? Great. Best opening credits ever. Beautiful visuals. Good story. Well directed and acted. Color me impressed.

  3. Karl says:

    Had I known you were planning on Daredevil, I would have told you to watch with the director’s commentary, wherein he kinda explains how the studio wrecked the movie. I think there’s a "making of" that also goes into the hours of meetings where studio hacks debated the proper color for the costume.

  4. Frank says:

    I had actually heard the director’s cut was much better than the theatrical release, but I couldn’t find it to rent. Hell, I had to settle on the fullscreen version since two video stores didn’t even have the widescreen edition.

    Oh well.

  5. graig says:

    All your points are valid, but still I unapolagetically enjoy Daredevil, having bought both the directors cut and the original 2-disc theatrical release (for less than $20 for the pair mind you). It’s got flaws and lots of them, but as a non Daredevil fan (I had read maybe a handful of DD comics in the past, I’ve since picked up much of Bendis’ run in trade) it was pretty enjoyable. It’s just a comic book movie in the purest sense. Lots of bad guys, stylish direction, some neat sequences (with exception of the church organ fight I thought they were fun to watch), and I liked how they portrayed his sonar vision.

    It’s not Godfather II, hell it’s not even better than Matrix: Revolutions, but it’s one of those movies (likely since I’m not a DD fan) I can just sit down, shut my brain off and enjoy (and have done so three or four times).

    The directors cut fills things out a little more but it doesn’t necessarily improve things.

    Elektra was just a completely wasted opportunity.

  6. Frank says:

    I just realized that thanks to an unclosed quotation mark, a good 30% of my Daredevil review was hidden from view. whoops. Glad y’all are keeping an eye on my posts…

    Graig – I find my brain shuts off two or three times a day without any prompting. The last thing I need to do is encourage it.