Blade Collection: 4 Film Favorites (2 Discs) (Widescreen) product details page

Blade Collection: 4 Film Favorites (2 Discs) (Widescreen)

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It took a quarter-century, but the Marvel Comics vampire-slayer created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan finally hit the big screen, and it was worth the wait. Wesley Snipes is terrific as the half-vampire Blade, fighting the undead legions with the aid of a high-tech arsenal manufactured by his crusty partner, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Stephen Dorff is equally memorable as the villainous half-breed Frost, planning to usurp the more genteel purebred vampires in order to destroy and enslave the human race. But he needs Blade's blood to call an ancient vampire-god first. The action scenes are dynamite, Greg Cannom's bloody special-effects are suitably outlandish to match the comic-book tone, and there are some nice bits by cult favorites Udo Kier and Traci Lords along the way. It's not a straight horror film, as its numerous fight scenes and hyperbolic mythologizing make clear, but -- despite its comic-book roots -- it is still another of 1998's releases to push the "R" rating to its limit with blood-soaked violence. Viewers with strong stomachs and a yen for a very dark take on the Mortal Kombat-style of filmmaking should, however, be extremely pleased. Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

Wesley Snipes was robbed out of a fitting third entry in the successful Blade series with Blade: Trinity, a film that was so obviously made to set up another franchise that Snipes is basically relegated to a co-starring role in his own film. Joining him in this very non-horror outing are the heavily pumped up Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds, complete with his own nonstop imaginary laugh track. To say that director David Goyer decided to go the jokey route with this one is a major understatement. Funny enough to slay most eager-to-please audiences, Goyer has written and cast a high-adrenaline action comedy with fight scenes thrown throughout the picture -- none of which are exciting or filmed with the sure hand that the character's fans are used to. The style of the series has been ground to a halt here as well, with sets and lighting schemes that leave little to be desired, making the viewer hunger for even a hint of the panache that was so abundant before. As far as the music goes, the trip-hop soundtrack is severely overused as are the numerous slow-mo walking scenes that are there for sheer "cool" factor. The casting is a problem as well, with the king of all vampires, Drake (Dominic Purcell), coming off as beefed-up runway model trash, while Parker Posey slums it up with her usual quirky shtick that falls flat in almost every scene. Many will find Reynolds to be the saving grace of the film with his Kevin Smith pop-culture-tinged dialogue keeping things light and airy, but they tend to forget that this is a Blade movie, not a reverse Rush Hour In fact, there's something disturbing about a creator who takes a series away from his main actor -- but then audiences wouldn't be able to get all hot and worked up over a young Hollywood starlet as she loads up her iPod with official soundtrack clips to kill bloodsuckers to, would they? Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide

Wesley Snipes remains the perfect incarnation of the comic book vampire hunter Blade in this intense, bloody sequel that marks a new advance in the world of special effects. Director Guillermo Del Toro (Mimic, The Devil's Backbone) has a strong record in the horror genre and he manages to avoid the many traps of doing a sequel due in large part to David S. Goyer's strong script. In smartly resurrecting the half-human, half-vampire hero's seemingly dead partner, Whistler, Goyer has brought back actor Kris Kristofferson, who delivers a gritty, blue-collar performance that gives the steely, impersonal Blade a colorful foil. From there, Goyer's story puts the duo, along with a new helper (Norman Reedus), in an uneasy alignment with the vampire race against an almost indestructible super-breed of vampire. This straightforward setup allows Del Toro and his team (including noted Hong Kong fight coordinator Donnie Yen) to focus on the choreography of the film's plentiful fight scenes. The result is an action-packed hybrid of horror and martial arts that is easily one of the most exciting and most impressive displays of monster and special makeup effects to hit the screen since John Carpenter's 1982 creature extravaganza The Thing. The hundreds of effects shots reflects a collaboration of multiple effects companies doing visuals, prosthetics, makeup and CGI -- all of which come together in a seamless, visually stunning package. Throw in a fully charged club soundtrack and a Snipes performance that combines a ton of toughness with just enough sensitivity to make him (somewhat) human, and you've got a fantastic genre sequel that has style and cool to spare. Patrick Legare, All Movie Guide

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