• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Elektra

TITLE: Elektra

YEAR: 2005

GENRE: Superhero/Comics

It never ceases to amaze me when Hollywood writers believe that they have the right to change the creative work of others to their bidding. This is especially true in the comic book genre, where the die-hard fans know the history of their favorite characters better than their own family members. Back in 2004 when the film Elektra was being filmed another Marvel superhero film Daredevil was released to less than critical fanfare and more than enough fanboy scorn. The back-story to the character Elektra was included and the movie Elektra was originally intended to be more or less a sequel to Daredevil, but due to the poor returns the studio attempted to claim ties into the more lucrative X-men franchise although Elektra did not have many ties to the comic book until 2010.  Despite this obvious gaffe, the actual movie Elektra was a tepid and uninspired superhero effort despite a commendable performance by Jennifer Garner in the title role.

Elektra Natchios (Garner) has been resurrected from the dead by a blind martial arts master named Stick (Terrence Stamp) to learn the art of kimagure, an ancient martial arts technique which gives its students the powers to resurrect the dead and see into the future. After learning the technique she harnesses her new skill in becoming a mercenary and an assassin for hire for a group called The Hand. During one of her work assignments Elektra meets and falls in love with Mark Miller (Goran Visnjic) only to discover that he is the intended target of her contract. She decides to protect Mark and her daughter Abby (Kirsten Prout) even when The Hand sends alternate assassins to take the family out of commission, and it is up to Elektra to take on The Hand’s leadership (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawi) to save the family from being hunted for the rest of their lives.

The biggest problem with Elektra is the fact that the story had five writers and it seems none of them were on the same page. Everything involved in the story was terribly predictable and there was not very much offered in terms of character development. It also did not help that the movie did its best to eliminate any connections to its predecessor Daredevil including editing out a cameo from Daredevil star Ben Affleck, which more or less deleted all the back story and history of Elektra. Garner does give a pretty good performance considering the lousy material, although the scene with her swimming in a fairly small bathing suit was solely for the eye candy factor and shows the film’s immaturity level. Stamp also could have been better, but then again he did not have a lot to inspire him considering the material. In addition, the fight scenes also lack more intense choreography and it seems like every actor in Elektra phoned in the fight scenes as they are an uninspired mess. On a positive note, the special effects are more than adequate but then again pretty much every superhero film since 2002’s Spiderman have met that criteria.

Comic book fans have been longing for a truly great comic book film with a female lead for a long time: Catwoman, Ultraviolet, and Aeon Flux were all duds and a Wonder Woman adaptation has been shelved until 2015. I like Garner as an actress and I believe she has more than adequate thespian chops, but then again inspiring material is necessary in order to raise the actor above their limitations for above and beyond character definition. Elektra just does not offer the quality scrip or storyline that raises superhero films above and beyond the crop. Elektra is not recommended with the exception of Garner’s performance.

* 1/2

–Mark

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