SRP $29.98 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL/ DTS 5.1 FOX

After a surprisingly lackluster performance in theaters, FOX is releasing “DAREDEVIL” as a “Special Edition” dvd, filled with extras! 

Ben Affleck stars as the lawyer-by-day, superhero by night in this latest comic book to film adaptation.  After being blinded by toxic chemical waste product as a child, his other senses overcompensate, providing him with “super” abilities.  While it’s certainly impressive to be able to defy gravity, the most powerful, poignant moments of the film depict his ability to “see” via a radar-like image. When he first views the female interest of the film, Jennifer Garner, her image projected via radar-like signals through the rain, is nothing short of staggering.

Garner is also terrific here, and it’s only disappointing that we don’t see more of her. While the romantic tete’-a-tete’s taking place in most comic book hero films are yawn-inspiring, the whimsical, action-oriented foreplay between her and Affleck is always entertaining. 

Colin Farrell is terrific in his over-the-top performance as “BULLSEYE”, a villain with the ability to turn anything into a flying weapon.  While the lack of his character’s depth pales in comparison to the pathos observed with Defoe’s Green Goblin, it’s still highly entertaining, and far less annoying than Carrey’s Riddler.

FOX has presented a wonderful transfer for this release. To begin with, the film has an intentionally dark look. How dark? Well, it makes “BATMAN 2” look bright!  Surprisingly, in spite of so much extra material included within this 2 disc set on each disc, there are only minor compression-related problems. Colors maintain their boldness, in spite of the production design, and contrast is nearly flawless, allowing for incredible detail in the darkest scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.

FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT began releasing various films as “DTS” special editions two years ago, but, thankfully, “DTS” is beginning to find its way on its more current releases.  “X-MEN 1.5” featured it, and now, so does “DAREDEVIL”.  A dolby digital 5.1 mix is also offered, and while both are extremely aggressive and fun, the DTS is clearly more impressive, with better bass and delineation.  There are plenty of panning and directional/surround effects, making this one of the best “Demonstration” discs in a long time!

While the first disc’s menu makes the viewer have to wait a little longer than necessary to get to a menu, there’s plenty of worthwhile extras.  There is an option for an “Enhanced Viewing Mode” wherein an icon allows the viewer to branch to several short segments focusing on various effects of the film.

There is also an option for “TEXT COMMENTARY”, offering captions detailing the comic book’s history as well as facts surrounding the cast, crew and production. 

Director/Writer Steven Mark Johnson and the film’s producer, Gary Foster, offer an audio commentary.  While it’s not very energetic, it does offer some insight into the film’s development and production for the film’s die-hard fans.

The 2nd disc offers two parts.  “THE COMIC” section offers various featurettes, still galleries and music videos.

“THE COMIC” section offers a worthwhile documentary, “THE MEN WITHOUT FEAR: CREATING DAREDEVIL”.  It’s fairly lengthy and offers interviews with such famous Marvel Comic names as Stan Lee and John Romita.

“THE SHADOW WORLD TOUR” delves into the main character’s superpowers, comparing as to how the film displays them versus the comic book.

“MODELING SHEETS” offers profiles of five main characters. Unfortunately, it offers far less depth than fans will have wanted. 

“THE FILM” section offers a lengthy documentary, “BEYOND HELL’S KITCHEN: MAKING DAREDEVIL”, including a variety of interviews and plenty of “behind-the-scenes” coverage. 

“HBO FIRST LOOK SPECIAL” is the same fluff piece offered in every other “HBO” special, comprised of rehearsed, no-substance interviews and fast editing. 

Another short featurette is offered, but the best supplement is undoubtedly the “screen tests” segment.  It only features Jennifer Garner, but gives a great look at what a reading entails. 

“THE HISTORY OF DAREDEVIL” is a general history of the character and the comic’s history.” 

All in all, even with some of the supplements being less than great, it’s still a great dvd, and highly recommended!