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Blade - horror/sci-fi DVD review
BLADE rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, Donal Logue
Director: Stephen Norrington   Studio: New Line Home Video
DVD release: 22 December 1998   Runtime: 120 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English), Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Commentary (Snipes, Dorff, writer David S. Goyer, cinematographer Theo van de Sande, production designer Kirk M. Petrucelli, producer Peter Frankfurt & composer Mark Isham), 4 featurettes (inc. original ending), "House of Erebus" (info about different vampire houses), Pencil sketches through production designs

With a script by David S. Goyer, Blade stars Wesley Snipes (Passenger 57, Murder at 1600, U.S. Marshals) as half-vampire, half-human Eric Brooks/Blade. Known as "The Daywalker" by other vampires because of his ability to move around in daylight, Blade is the quintessential anti-hero, torn by the very nature of being both human and vampire - having almost all the benefits of a vampire with none of the limitations, minus the cravings for blood. The movie opens with Blade's pregnant mother being rushed into the hospital. She is pale and has a terrible gash in her neck from a vampire bite. She dies, goading Blade to seek revenge on all the evil vampires. Blade's friend/mentor, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), aids in his quest to protect the human race from complete extinction by preventing the diabolical Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorf) from getting Blade's unique blood to unleash the blood god, La Magra.

This movie successfully combines several elements (direction, music, special effects, etc., etc.) to elevate this from being a forgettable run-of-the-mill action/horror movie. Wesley puts in a cool, solid performance as Blade, and Stephen Dorff (Cold Creek Manor, World Trade Center) creates a believable evil villain; he really is a prick, but that's what you want in a bad guy. The martial arts fighting sequences are fantastic, as well as the deaths of the vampires: they simply turn into dust. CGI is used sparingly but to good effect. In this film, Blade's weapons are basic but still good enough to get the job done onscreen and excite an audience; in later films, his arsenal grows.

Overall, Blade makes you feel like you've gotten your money's worth, whereas some other comic-to-film adaptations don't leave you satisfied, let alone with a desire for more. Blade II went on to be a successful sequel with Guillermo del Toro behind the camera.

The DVD is stacked with commentaries from the actors, writer, and cinematographer. There are also featurettes: "The Origins of Blade," "Designing Blade," "The Blood Tide," and "La Magra." There are even some pencil sketches of the production designs. If you're a fan of all three films - Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity, you might want to check out The Blade Trilogy, a 5-disc box set containing all three films.

reviewed by Bobby Blades
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