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Blu-ray Review: Elektra: Unrated Director’s Cut

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In 2003 Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Colin Farrell, was released. It was a moderate hit although reviews were mixed; I am one of those (along with my wife) who liked the film and think the director’s cut is even better.

The character Elektra was given her own spinoff film, starring Jennifer Garner, in 2005. While the movie sounded like a good idea at the time, the execution was lacking.

Elektra appeared to die in Daredevil; however, anyone who watched the film knows that’s not true. We learn that Elektra was resurrected by a blind sensei named Stick (Terence Stamp) who comic fans know trained Matt Murdock aka Daredevil as well. But Elektra was too powerful to train so he kicks her out and she goes to find her own fortune. She accepts a contract on an unknown targe. While she’s awaiting further instructions, she make friends with a 13-year-old girl named Abby (Kristen Prout) and her father, Mark (Goran Visnjic). Things then get sticky when her assignment turns out to be Mark and Abby.

Elektra has a change of heart and decides to protect the pair from a group of killers who have taken over the job Elektra has refused. These killers are part of a sinister organization known as The Hand. The group is made up of Stone (Bob Sapp), whose skin is as tough as stone; Typhoid (Natassia Malthe), who can kill with a kiss; Tattoo (Chris Ackerman), whose tattoos come to life when he touches them; and Kirigi (Will Yun Lee), their leader who has the ability to see into the future, and has magical sword skills.

My wife and I are big Jennifer Garner fans — we both loved Alias — but the film strays too much from the source material and just isn’t interesting. When I heard there would be a director’s cut, I thought that like Daredevil it might be a somewhat different movie and would be improved upon. Sadly this is not the case; there are about three minutes of new footage which includes more violent fights (which were originally cut for ratings) and hints that The Hand and Elektra possess time-warping powers. While interesting, these brief additions don’t do much for the film or give the character the film she deserves.

Video: The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio. Elektra looks good; the colors are lush and vibrant, especially the red of her costume. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

Audio: Elektra: Unrated Director's Cut's 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is very good; it never overpowers the dialogue, nor interferes with it. You can understand each actor’s lines, and can distinguish each of them.

There are a plethora of extras on the disc, however they are all ported over from the standard DVD and don’t include anything new. There’s a commentary with director Rob Bowman and editor Kevin Stitt. The duo talk about the new scenes, but there’s some bitterness in the commentary and Bowman sounds like he’s blaming the audience for the film’s failure!

There is a two-part “Making of Elektra” featurette which clocks in at over two hours and runs a bit too long. It looks like the producers chose quantity over quality.

"Showdown at the Well: Multi-Angle Dailies" shows the raw footage of several takes from the multiple cameras covering the fight. This featurette allows the viewer to toggle between them or watch a split screen of all the shots concurrently.

There are several deleted scenes as well as some alternate/extended scenes with an option to have commentary from Bowman. Highlights of these scenes are an alternate ending, an explanation of how Elektra was able to use weapons at the end of the film, and a dream sequence with a cameo by Ben Affleck as Daredevil.

“Elektra: Incarnations” is probably the best thing about the DVD and has a number of comic creators including Elektra creators Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, as well as Bill Sienkiewicz, Brian Michael Bendis, and Greg Rucka talking about her origins and more in the comics.

"Elektra in Greek Mythology" has Dr. Katarina Zacharia, a professor of Greek Studies at Loyola Marymount University, explaining the differences in the Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides versions of the Elektra story.

The only thing that’s missing is the Jennifer Garner introduction to the crowd at Comic-Con.

Elektra: Unrated Director's Cut had potential, but the script wasn’t true to the character. While some of the extras are cool, this is a double-dip with nothing new added. Unless you don’t have it in your collection or can find it dirt cheap I would pass on this edition.

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