- Featurette "La Magra", including the original ending
- Featurette "Designing Blade"
- Featurette "The Origins of Blade"
- Featurette "The Blood Tide"
- "House of Erebus", information about the different vampire houses
- Pencil sketches through production designs
Special Edition, DVD Video
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The power of an immortal. The soul of a human. The heart of a hero. Sworn to defend humanity, although not entirely human ... Born with the cunning and superhuman power of a vampire, but able to stalk by day as well as night ... Wesley Snipes stars in this action-packed thriller as the immortal vampire hunter Blade. Awakened to consciousness--and pain--before birth by the bite of the undead vampire that kills his mother, a young boy grows into a mythical warrior bearing a blood-curse: An almost insatiable desire for blood that he must fight every moment of every day. Blade uses his awesome power to battle the vampires led by his mortal enemy, the omnipotent vampire overlord Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff). The undead have infiltrated the corridors of power intent on conquering all mankind; now, against an army of immortals, one warrior must draw first blood.]]>
The recipe for Blade is quite simple; you take one part Batman, one part horror flick, and two parts kung fu and frost it all over with some truly campy acting. What do you get? An action flick that will reaffirm your belief that the superhero action genre did not die in the fluorescent hands of Joel Schumacher. Blade is the story of a ruthless and supreme vampire slayer (Wesley Snipes) who makes other contemporary slayers (Buffy et al.) look like amateurs. Armed with a samurai sword made of silver and guns that shoot silver bullets, he lives to hunt and kill "Sucker Heads." Pitted against our hero is a cast of villains led by Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), a crafty and charismatic vampire who believes that his people should be ruling the world, and that the human race is merely the food source they prey on. Born half-human and half-vampire after his mother had been attacked by a blood-sucker, Blade is brought to life by a very buff-looking Snipes in his best action performance to date. Apparent throughout the film is the fluid grace and admirable skill that Snipes brings to the many breathtaking action sequences that lift this movie into a league of its own. The influence of Hong Kong action cinema is clear, and you may even notice vague impressions of Japanese anime sprinkled innovatively throughout. Dorff holds his own against Snipes as the menacing nemesis Frost, and the grizzly Kris Kristofferson brings a tough, cynical edge to his role as Whistler, Blade's mentor and friend. Ample credit should also go to director Stephen Norrington and screenwriter David S. Goyer, who prove it is possible to adapt comic book characters to the big screen without making them look absurd. Indeed, quite the reverse happens here: Blade comes vividly to life from the moment you first see him, in an outstanding opening sequence that sets the tone for the action-packed film that follows. From that moment onward you are pulled into the world of Blade and his perpetual battle against the vampire race. --Jeremy Storey
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For having a movie I can't get on demand from my cable company and not from redbox
Year: 1998 | Rating: R | Runtime: 2 HRS
Aspect Ratio: 2:40.1 | Video Resolution: 1080P
Audio: Eng 6.1 DTS-HD MA, Ger. DD 5.1, Ita. DD 5.1, Rus. DD 5.1, more | Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Czech, Dutch, Russian
Director: Stephen Norrington
Writer: David S. Goyer
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N'Bushe Wright, Donald Logue, and Udo Kier
Film Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Video Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Audio Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 Stars
Overall Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
Blade has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a long time. Its not high art, it hasn't aged particularly well, and it stars Wesley Snipes who ranks just above Steven Seagal on the "I actually own movies starring this guy" embarrassment-meter. Nevertheless I'm a fan of comic book films, vampires, and R-rated action films and Blade delivers the goods and is a lot more fun than it deserves to be.
Wesley Snipes is Blade; a human-vampire hybrid that hunts his blood thirsty cousins with the aide of his hillbilly pseudo-father Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Blade is feared by the vampire population but a particularly bloodthirsty vampire named Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) has an ambitious plan to destroy Blade and enslave the human race.
If you go into Blade expecting Interview with the Vampire you're going to be disappointed. Even though Blade deals with vampirism at heart it's an action-kung fu picture and it isn't apologetic about it at all. The film is filled with non-stop action; there's plenty of hand to hand combat, sword play, and shootouts plus more than enough vampire gore to keep things interesting. Wesley Snipes has never been known for his superior acting ability but he's near perfect in a role that requires him to treat his B-movie starring role with deadly seriousness. The plot is very silly, Stephen Dorff is a villainous ham, and quite a bit of the CGI has aged extremely poorly but in spite of its many flaws Blade is a memorable time waster.
Blade simply looks and sounds great on Blu-ray. This release is a drastic improvement over the nearly 14 year old standard definition DVD. Black levels are much improved and I saw no signs of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction). There is a nice layer of film grain present that is only distracting on several CGI shots where it looks out of place. Color accuracy is good and the abundant amounts of blood really pop against the somewhat monochromatic color scheme.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack is even more impressive and is an even greater improvement over the DVD. The Blu-ray sports a 6.1 channel DTS-HD MA mix versus the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track and the added surround channel isn't wasted. Surround activity is constant but not gimmicky and the LFE channel is impressive but not out of control. Gunfire has more `oomph' to it than the DVD and dialogue is more distinguishable during the film's more frantic moments. The signature acoustic moment in Blade has always been the opening Bloodrave sequence featuring the Pump Panel Recon Mix of New Order's Confusion. That sequence alone was demo worthy in the early days of DVD and on Blu-ray it continues to give me goosebumps.
Unfortunately Warner Brothers has not included any new supplemental materials for Blade. Instead the same Special Features package created for the 1998 DVD release is recycled here and it feels anything but special. The audio commentary is still worth a listen and the "The Origins of Blade" featurette is an interesting watch mainly because of how far comic book film adaptions have come since Blade was originally released. Otherwise most of the extras are forgettable (try watching the alternate ending... yikes). I would have loved to have seen a documentary with new interviews with the cast and crew but Blade continues to be treated like the `red headed stepchild' of successful comic book adaptions.
Blade isn't a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination but its juvenile strengths far outweigh its dramatic weaknesses. If taken too seriously Blade can be easily picked apart but if you're just looking for a fun vampire action flick then you shouldn't be disappointed. The video and audio are both fantastic and are noticeable improvements over the old DVD. The supplement package is disappointingly just a DVD carryover and doesn't contain any new material which is a shame. With that said, Blade is still an easy Blu-ray to recommend so go ahead and sink your teeth in.