I viewed the Daredevil Major Motion Picture Saturday with my friend Rick. I say viewed for a reason, which I’ll get to shortly. Sigh. I broke my New Year’s resolution of never going to a theater again. I knew I eventually would – there are way too many interesting-looking upcoming films I want to see in the theater/don’t have the patience to download. And the afternoon started off so well. We arrived at the Cinema with almost twenty minutes to spare, plenty of time to purchase a snack and find a proper seat. There was no line to speak of, so we we were in the doors within a minute of walking up to the ticket booth. So far, it seemed that THIS would be the one cinematic experience which would make up for all the other Dante’s Inferno scenarios I’d been through in the past.
HAHA! SEE, THAT’S HOW THEY GET YOU! And by ‘they’, I mean the Invisible Goblins which scamper around and about our Nation’s Beloved Chain Movie Theaters. They also make you have to go pee at the exact same moment you almost catch a glimpse of Jennifer Garner’s very athletic nipples, ruining the whole Daredevil experience for your boys. But that’s not what I’m complaining about.
We wandered over to the Concession Stand to load up, and it was eerily desolate, as if we’d stepped through a dimensional portal to the Galaxy Of Pleasant Film Viewing. Alas, this was not that to be. One guy in line, and he’s paying for every snack separately, with what appears to be Confederate Scrip. Of course. Finally, a nice young lady behind the counter is touched by the divine hand of healing and overcomes her catatonia long enough to notice that she ought to be running her register, and waves me over. Large Coke, Medium Popcorn, please, half the ice, no butter. For some reason (Goblins, I swear to God I saw one crawl across her hand) the drink cup explodes in her grasp, showering her with the contents of the tissue-paper thin cup. I understood the resulting delay, and felt a little sorry for her, but on her third trip around the counter showing all her Concession Stand Compadres the spill and squealing ‘OMIGOD! D’YOU SEE THAT?!?! OMIGOD IT’S SO COLD! OMIGOD IT BLEW UP ON ME! OMIGOD!’ I began to get a little annoyed. Now I know why they load up every Teen Comedy I’ve ever seen with Loud Wet Farting Noises – it doesn’t take much to amuse kids today. So, I finally get my popcorn and drink, and it’s one minute past Movie Time. Already I can feel my pulse slam from my temple down the side of my neck, and I figured a sure cure for that blood pressure ailment would be a generous helping of the heavily-salted and entirely free Popcorn Flavorings on the counter. There was White Cheddar, Orange Cheddar, Parmesan and Garlic, Ranch, Sour Cream and Onion (and a couple others I can’t remember) to choose from. I picked Sour Cream and Onion and dumped half the contents of the container into my bag, shaking it vigorously with my free hand as I followed into the dark theater, where I almost tripped and broke out all my front teeth on the first step. So far, so good! Thumbs up!
WONDER OF WONDERS – empty seats, right in the middle of the theater! We spread out like Gangsters and covered each end of the aisle, effectively blocking anyone else from stealing the coveted slots, and ensuring our buttocks would be gently placed into seating of the finest sort. Oh, yeah, baby, nothing but the best for these ass cheeks, you bet. We’d only missed the first preview, it seemed. Ahhhhhh. Better. Now that we were seated, nothing could go wrong!
Then, the previews:
Head of State – Chris Rock runs for President. I wonder if all the Republicans in the film will be presented as Evil Scheming Hand-Wringing Darth Vader Types, trying to ruin the country, laughing at poor people and minorities, while they smoke cigars and fan out their graft money around a dimly-lit table like melodramatic character heavies from 1930’s morality movies. No, Chris Rock wouldn’t be in a movie that obviously clichéd, would he? Will they give a shout-out to the Democratic Party and Chrysler in the ‘special thanks’ section of the credits?
Phone Booth – Shouldn’t this be on CBS on a Saturday night, for free? Colin Farrell looks to be to movies what Colin Quinn was to Saturday Night Live.
Willard – I’m so glad Hollywood is finally learning how to properly utilize Crispin Glover’s mental problems. Any film with R. Lee Ermey screaming obscenities (which would be all of them, I think) is worth at least a peek.
Bringing Down The House – It’ll be funny, see, because Steve Martin is SO White, and, like, Queen Latifah is SO Black! She’ll say all kinds of ‘Gangsta’ stuff that he won’t even understand because he’s SO white! He’ll try to dance Hip-Hop and twist into funny shapes, bringing back fond memories of The Jerk! She’ll finally teach him how to properly dance in a comical way because she’s SO Black, and they’ll bond! In the end, they will have learned a great deal from each other’s ‘Worlds Apart’ lifestyles and a touching tune will be tinkled out on the piano as they tearfully part ways forever!
X-Men 2 – Nightcrawler has a nice design except for his coat, which appears as if he borrowed it from Kate Hudson in Almost Famous. I’ll dork out all over this movie, with all the mutant ‘cameos’ that are rumored to be scattered throughout the film. Speaking of cameos, you know what would be REALLY cool? If they cut Halle Berry’s part down to one.
Then the film started proper, and as I stated earlier, I viewed it. I say this because I certainly didn’t hear any of it. No, what I heard was the constant babbling chatter of Four Teenage Girls EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED SECOND THE FILM WAS SPOOLING THROUGH THE PROJECTOR. Let me perform an America’s Least Wanted reenactment for you:
FIRST MADE ME THINK WASPS WERE IN MY BRAIN GIRL: Ewww, his eyes are all gross. Why would they do that?
SECOND REASON CONDOMS MAKE GREAT CHRISTMAS PRESENTS GIRL: I guess he’s supposed to be blind or something.
THIRD FUTURE OF AMERICA SO CONSIDER PRAYER GIRL: That guy is FAT. He’s, like, REALLY big and fat.
FOURTH HORSEMAN OF THE MATINEE-PRICED APOCALYPSE GIRL: What’d he just say?
FIRST MADE ME THINK WASPS WERE IN MY BRAIN GIRL: He said – “insert line of dialogue they all missed by talking here” -
OVER. AND OVER. AND OVER. AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT’S OVER – OVER AGAIN.
The following is a list of the few times it is acceptable during a movie to speak – and even then, ONLY in a low whisper:
1. “God, that looks like it’ll suck.” During the previews – Go ahead, get it out of your system, it’s allowable since I know some of you can’t stand it unless you can act like you’re in the comfort of your living room instead of in a Movie Theater at least ONCE during a night out at the movies.
2. “Hey, isn’t that the guy/girl from that Movie/TV show/Magazine/Porno we Rented/Saw on TV/Bought/Stole?” Once this is either confirmed or denied, IMMEDIATELY SHUT YOUR FLAPPING HOLE.
3. “Nice tits/ass/muscles.” Again, once appreciation is expressed, CLAM UP.
4. “I think I maybe just had a stroke.” SILENCE WILL HELP YOU THROUGH IT.
I considered lodging a complaint with the management, but Rick said they’d only shift from talking shit about the movie to talking shit about us after the Usher left, and apparently their Parents didn’t give a damn about their children having consideration for others (SEND THEM TO IRAQ! SEND THEM TO IRAQ! OH PLEASE GOD, IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME, YOU WILL TELEPORT THEM ALL TO IRAQ IN A GOLDEN BALL OF FLAME!), so it was pointless.
A couple of times during the film I couldn’t stand it anymore and said (loud enough for them to hear) “I wish you all would shut the Hell up! You’ve been running your mouths nonstop!” But they didn’t hear me. Why? They were talking when I said it.
THE ACTUAL REVIEW (Spoilers, maybe – I don’t know, I really can’t remember a whole lot about it to be honest)
I was going to make a really mean, short comment along the lines of: The one good thing about Daredevil being blind is at least he didn’t have to watch his own movie, but it wasn’t THAT bad. It was just…digestible, I’ll say. This is really a series of observations, both good and bad, in lieu of a complete rundown of the film.
1. BEN AFFLECK AS DAREDEVIL – He wasn’t too bad. You could tell he really dug the comic and character, so he tried, at least. It was a nice surprise that he pulled off the whole ‘Sighted Actor Playing A Blind Person’ routine better than just about anyone I’d ever seen in a film. The milky eyes were a nice touch. Neat things in the script like Matt Murdock having to sleep in a Sensory Deprivation Tank to filter out all the noise, and having him chew painkillers like Chiclets after a night of getting the shit beaten out of him by thugs.
2. THE ORIGIN – Let’s be honest: There is no way to make a Comic Book origin less Nerdy. You simply have to accept the fact that, when Toxic Waste splashes across the face of young Matt Murdock, instead of softball-sized tumors exploding from his eyeballs, burrowing into his brain, and killing him in an agonizingly slow fashion…it gives him all the powers of a Fruit Bat mixed with The Bionic Man. David Keith is decent as his father, and plays Jon Voight’s part from The Champ admirably. Hey, while we’re on the subject of bats, did you know that the screenwriter(s) of Daredevil pulled the same sort of Hollywood Symmetry crap the screenwriter(s) of Batman did? In almost the exact same way?
3. THE COSTUME – Eh. Whatever. At least it was red and not just drawstring sweatpants or something. But the headpiece – I’m telling you, when he slipped it on his head automatically gained thirty pounds. Without it, Affleck looked somewhat slim and sleek – with it, Affleck resembled a hand-rolled meatball with a generous dollop of marinara sauce cascading over the top.
4. THE ‘RADAR VISION’ AND OTHER ENHANCED SENSES – Nice effects on the radar sense, and not overdone. There’s a ‘sonic ping’ touch, and that was worth a chuckle. The other senses are barely touched on. Speaking of touch, do you know how they explain all the flips and twists and dodging bullets and swan-diving off of forty story buildings without dying? Because he has an enhanced sense of touch. Yes, you read that correctly: Daredevil can grab things really good, which naturally leads to better flipping and leaping. Yeesh.
5. THE FIGHT SCENES – Hey, God, when you’re done transporting that family of Assholes to Iraq, could you zip back in time and destroy all prints of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix, wiping the memory of these movies from future generations of filmmakers? Thank you. One fight scene in the whole movie is worth a damn, the first one in an Underworld Bar (populated by 70’s Cop Show Stereotypical Criminals). It’s frenetic, brutal, crazy, and helter-skelter – with knees to the temple and lots of shoving and scrambling under tables, just like a real bar fight.
6. JENNIFER GARNER AS ELEKTRA NATCHIOS – First of all, yes, that’s her name in the comic and in the movie. When you say it out loud it sounds COMPLETELY stupid, though. Just about the whole theater erupted into laughter the first time her name was uttered. Comic Book names don’t translate well into spoken language, as a general rule. Don’t believe me? Think Comic Book names are sexy and cool? Name your kid Elektra Natchios, then; just don’t be surprised when she wakes you up one night to kill you with a golf club after having been tormented one too many times by her classmates.
In the comic book Daredevil, Elektra is an assassin. In the movie Daredevil Elektra is a College-Age chick who happens to know all kinds of fantastic gymnastic martial arts for no apparent reason, and thinks The Sai is a suitable crime-stopping weapon for the modern fledgling rooftop vigilante. She’s in the movie for one reason only, which I won’t spoil.
7. COLIN FARRELL AS BULLSEYE – This is one of those performances that magazine critics love, and point to as the ‘saving grace’ of a mediocre movie. Like Jack Nicholson in the first Batman film. Let me state my opinion for the record: Jack Nicholson SUCKED as The Joker in Batman. Remember how he ragged all over Caesar Romero in interviews before that movie came out, only to end up being exponentially hammy himself? The only differences between the two being Romero didn’t kill anyone in the Batman TV show, and didn’t have a tub of guts spilling over the belt of his Joker costume? Well, Farrell is playing Jack Nicholson starring as Caesar Romero impersonating Mel Gibson from the 1980’s. Actors love these kinds of movie parts, because they think there’s no WAY they can be called out for overacting in such a role. COLIN FARRELL, I’m calling you out. Comic nerds can screech all they want about how cool and perfect he was in this part, but that won’t help scrape the filmy layer of crap off your tongue as you walk out of the theater.
8. JOEY PANTS AS BEN URICH – Not in it enough to even matter in the slightest. So what? Cash that fat Daredevil paycheck, Joe – you have earned it through many other cool roles and great performances which didn’t net you a dime over scale.
9. MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN AS THE KINGPIN – another critical darling, from what I’ve read, with apologies for an underwritten role. Bullshit. The screenwriters could have had the DNA essence of Dashiell Hammett injected and fused directly into their brains, written reams of hard-boiled dialogue for the Kingpin character, and Duncan still would have been just as lame. This is the most non-threatening villain I have ever seen in a Motion Picture. Redd Foxx would have made a better Kingpin – oh, God, one last favor? Bring Redd Foxx back to life and use him to replace Michael Clarke Duncan in this movie, okay? “Daredevil, you big dummy, I’m gonna mash your face in some dough and make Gorilla Cookies.”
10. STAN LEE AS THE OVERACTING OLD MAN WITH AWFUL TOUPEE CAMEO ROLE – Stop giving Stan Lee bit parts in Marvel Movies. He only has about ten seconds of screen time, and manages to completely blow that by wildly flailing his arms and exaggerating his facial expression as if he’s in an Old-Timey Minstrel Show. Which, at least in his own mind, he probably is.
11. THE SCREENPLAY – Blew, for the most part. It’s a Comic Book movie – all the screenplays blow, for the most part. Awful dialogue, stilted plot, one or two memorable moments. I guess the reason a lot of this is allowed to pass for quality scriptwriting is: Action figures don’t need screenplays.
12. THE SOUNDTRACK – Someone go break all the fingers of Nickelback‘s band members, please. With one of those restaurant meat tenderizers.
IN SUMMARY: There’s a scene in the film where Bullseye discovers Daredevil’s weakness – loud noise. He then proceeds to delight in torturing him. Upon leaving the theater, Rick and I agreed that, had Bullseye really wanted to torture Daredevil, he would have reached into a hidden passage and produced those Four Teenage Girls.
FILM GRAIN GOBLIN GIRLS: “EEEEEEWWW WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR EYEBALLS?!?!? WHY IS YOUR COSTUME SO WEIRD?!?!?! DO YOU WORSHIP THE DEVIL?!?!?! WHY DO YOU LIKE THAT ELEKTRA, SHE’S GROSS!!!”
DAREDEVIL: “Okay, man, I give up. Make the noise stop. Seriously, make it stop. Bullseye, please make the noise stop. I’m putting down the Billy Club, so let’s call it even and make the noise stop, okay? Bullseye? Did you leave me here alone, you asshole?”Powered by Sidelines