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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

Elektra (Directors Cut) [Blu-ray]


(Rob Bowman, 2005)



Review by Leonard Norwitz



Theatrical: New Regency/Horseshoe Bay

Blu-ray: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment



Region: 'A' (B+C untested)

Runtime: 1:39:50.651

Disc Size: 47,793,528,115 bytes

Feature Size: 32,310,226,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.76 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray Case

Release date: May, 4th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video




DTS-HD Master Audio English 4039 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4039 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps



English, French, Spanish, none



• Audio Commentary by Director Rob Bowman & Film Editor Kevin Stitt

• Production – (87:00)

• Post-Production – (53:00)

• Deleted Scenes

• Alternate/Extended Scenes

• Elektra Incarnations Mythology (Marvel)

• Elektra in Greek Mythology



The Film: 5
In 2003, Elektra Natchios died at the hands of Bullseye. These two characters, created by Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell, and the dance between them were the best things about Mark Johnson's movie that reconnected Miss Garner to her future husband. Fox and Marvel figured they had a good thing going in this character who only needed to be resurrected for a spinoff. The resultant movie was directed by Rob Bowman (The X-Files) from a screenplay by Zak Penn, Stu Zicheman and Raven Metzner. They decided to create a backstory for what was, I gather, in the Marvel comic essentially a cold-blooded assassin. Jennifer, for better or worse, gave her a heart.

We know that because on one of her first assignments, she is unable to pull the trigger – or, in this case, let loose the arrow. The story, which takes place in mid-career, concerns that eternal struggle between the forces of evil and those of good – both of whom use deadly means to achieve their ends. Elektra has been summarily dismissed from the good graces of "Stick" (Terence Stamp) and must make her way in the big bad world on her own. She becomes an assassin for hire and, dressed in her trademark deep red, she gets to be pretty good at it.

In Marvel's incarnations Elektra has no superpowers, though she is one hell of an athlete. Here she is arrayed against several foes that do. It only makes sense to grant her six-billion dollar abilities, not that any of them actually level the playing field. Anyhow, back to her aborted assignment: Elektra is sent to dispatch a father and daughter (Goran Visnjic, Kirsten Prout) who live peaceably for the moment in a nearby cabin. As it happens, those evil forces we were talking about a while ago, known as The Hand, are about to descend on said happy family and send them to kingdom come. "Just who are you" Elektra demands as she fends off the evildoers. And does she get a straight answer? Not on your Sai!

Evidently Mark and Abby have in their possession something The Hand wants. It is known as "The Treasure" which, if you had been paying attention to the opening narration, you would know what it is in a heartbeat, though it doesn't take an advanced degree to guess correctly.

Image: 8/8   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale. The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Never having seen the movie in its theatrical release I can't vouch for how the Blu-ray compares, for, except for a wee bit of some edge enhancement, there aren't transfer issues of concern. Blacks are solid, though there is a good deal of crush going on. Some close-ups (see first two caps) show good texture; at other times there are the effects of what looks like push-processing. The grain can get pretty mean at times, but this could be intentional and might not indicate a problem with the transfer.














Audio & Music: 7/6
There's more going on here than meets the ear but, that said, the uncompressed audio mix supports the action quite well with plenty of punch, crunch, snap and crackle. Well, maybe not so much crackle, but the whoosh of arrows and flying spirits zooming this way and that is nicely realized even if they are not always exquisitely localized. Oh yes – and bass. It has that.


Operations: 6
Everything works but I still don't understand why the "Search" tab on the main menu? One tab for chapters and one for bookmarks, please!



Extras: 9
It happens every once in a while that the extra features are better than the feature film, but in this case (none of which are new) that difference only makes the movie seem that much worse. This is particularly true of the two-part production features (totaling almost two and half hours) hosted by Director Bowman, who is forthcoming and candid about his work. There are two Mythology features, the one from Marvel that deals with the various incarnations of the character and the one hosted by a professor of Greek Studies who describes the various stories by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Needless to say, the latter offers only the name to the present comic book figure.



Bottom line: 6
Elektra is not a bad movie. It's just forgettable. The girl (Kirsten Prout) is nice, and she has a sly smile. She and Jennifer have it for a brief scene. Kristen holds her own, considering. Image quality is inconsistent (which may not be the fault of the transfer.) The audio does a good job at pumping up the action. The Extra Features are super.

Leonard Norwitz
May 8th, 2010


About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.

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