Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Elektra: Unrated Director's Cut

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Jennifer Garner as Elektra
Goran Visnjic as Mark Miller
Kirsten Prout as Abby Miller
Will Yun Lee as Kirigi
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Roshi
Terence Stamp as Stick
Natassia Malthe as Typhoid
Bob Sapp as Stone
Chris Ackerman as Tattoo
Colin Cunningham as McCabe
Hiro Kanagawa as Meizumi
Mark Houghton as Bauer
Kurt Max Runte as Nikolas Natchios
Nathaniel Arcand as Hand Ninja #1
Aaron Au as Hand Ninja #2

Special Features:
Commentary by Rob Bowman and Kevin Stitt

Relentless: The Making of Elektra: Production and Post-Production

Elektra in Mythology

Elektra in Comics

Showdown at the Well: Multi Angle Dailies: Take 3, Take 5, Take 7, & Take 9

Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary by Rob Bowman and Kevin Stitt): Sai Approach, "Come Back To Me", Rounding Up The Troops

Alternate/Extended Scenes: Alternate Opening (with optional commentary by Rob Bowman and Kevin Stitt):Young Elektra Throws Coin Into Wishing Well, Young Elektra Buries Sais, Sais Out Of Ground, Alternate Elektra & Abby, Go Game

Galleries: Costumes, Production Design, Weapons, Unit Photography

Storyboards: Elektra in Pool, Mark's House, Alley / Hawk, Abby in the Woods, In the Maze, Kirigi's Death, & Natchios Estate

Theatrical teaser

Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 99 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"More eye-popping action, added visual effects, and a rocking sound remix for the ultimate home theater experience make this unrated Director's Cut of Elektra a must-own Collector's Edition DVD! Packed with hours of in-depth extras, this 2-disc set includes an all-new audio commentary track, production and mythology documentaries, deleted/extended scenes and much more.

Jennifer Garner "electrifies" as the sexiest action hero ever to burst from the pages of Marvel Comics. Restored to life after sustaining mortal wounds in Daredevil, Elektra now lives only for death as the world's most lethal assassin. But her latest assignment will shape her final destiny in the climactic battle between good and evil!"

The Elektra: Unrated Director's Cut is not rated.

The Movie:
You can read my review of the first Elektra DVD here. I'll just use this space to review the Unrated Director's Cut of the film.

I'll be quite honest with you Ė I couldn't tell what was added to this movie. I watched it in theaters and on DVD, but when I watched this version I had no idea what was new. I thought it might possibly be some footage of Elektra as a child or a little more banter between our heroine and McCabe, her "agent". Whatever the case, the new footage doesn't modify Elektra enough to make it noticeable. In fact, the movie is only 3 minutes longer than its previous release. So if you're only buying this movie for the extra footage, you're probably better off passing on it.

The Extras:
The only real reason to buy this DVD is for the extras. This is everything that really should have been included on the first DVD. Starting things off is your standard commentary by director Rob Bowman and editor Kevin Stitt. However, the commentary is almost made redundant by the documentary "Relentless: The Making of Elektra". It is broken up into two parts, Production and Post-Production, and it very thoroughly covers the making of the movie. In the Production part, the cast and crew talk about the development of the script, the casting, shooting in Vancouver, and more. There is a ton of behind the scenes footage here and director Rob Bowman discusses what you're seeing, his directing style, and the reasons behind what he's doing in the footage. It ends up being a very personal look at the making of the movie with Bowman himself ushering you through the process. I actually visited the set of Elektra in Vancouver and this documentary really captures what it was like to be standing on the sidelines and seeing everything happening. You see Jennifer Garner clowning around, Bowman occasionally getting frustrated, people practicing on the sidelines, and more. (I and my fellow geek press are actually seen for a half second in one part. I was unfortunately scratching my nose at the point, but it looks like I was picking it. So much for my brush with stardom!) The footage also shows alternate versions of a battle between Elektra and one of The Hand. In the second portion, the post-production is highlighted. They discuss editing, scoring the film, and more. You really begin to appreciate the effort that goes into every detail as Bowman agonizes over the opening credits of the film. Overall, this is a really great documentary.

Next up is "Showdown at the Well: Multi Angle Dailies". You can watch footage from several cameras that shot the final fight between Elektra and Kirigi. You hit the angle button to toggle between cameras. There are then three deleted scenes with optional commentary by Rob Bowman and Kevin Stitt: Sai Approach, "Come Back To Me", Rounding Up The Troops. These were seen on the earlier Elektra DVD. However, a second batch of Alternate/Extended Scenes offers up some new footage. One features an alternate opening sequence in which we see Elektra being revived and then training with Stick. (This footage was used elsewhere in the film.) A couple of other scenes feature the young version of Elektra throwing a coin in the wishing well and burying some sais. Most interesting is a final scene in which we see Stick and the leader of the Hand playing a board game, thus implying that everyone in the film was a pawn in the battle between good and evil. It's an interesting twist on the events of the film.

There are two other large documentaries included. The first discusses Elektra in mythology and literature. A scholar discusses the namesake of the comic character and her appearance in ancient Greek plays. If you're interested in the history of the character, this will be right up your alley. The second documentary discusses Elektra in comics. It features interviews with Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, and others involved in landmark stories featuring the character. Miller discusses her origins, his thinking behind the character, and more. This is a great documentary for comic fans.

The bonus features are rounded out with standard extras like Galleries (featuring Costumes, Production Design, Weapons, Unit Photography), Storyboards, and trailers.

The Bottom Line:
If you already own Elektra, this version is not worth buying unless you really want the extras. Fans of comics, Jennifer Garner, and the movie should really be pleased with the bonus features that are quite good.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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