(2002/New Line/Warner Blu-ray)
B- Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Film: C+
disastrous Canadian Blu-ray release, Warner Bros. is issuing the entire Blade
trilogy on three separate Blu-rays and are especially focusing on Guillermo del
Toro’s Blade II (2002) which we
reviewed the U.S. DVD of a while ago at this link:
big fan of the first film, the one that finally allowed Marvel Comics to see
one of their properties done well on the big screen (and a film that made The Matrix possible), neither I or my
fellow writer we as impressed with it as Stephen Norrington’s first 1998 Blade, which we covered in a Region 2
Japanese DTS DVD import at this link:
first film was a real vampire thriller with blood, mortality and was
groundbreaking for its time, this second film decided to more or less start all
over, retaining Wesley Snipes in the title role and making it more of a action
graphic novel film with some fantasy overtones that will now remind one of True Blood or the Underworld series, while a sort of odd companion to del Toro’s two Hellboy films which I liked better (see
both on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site).
Blade has to save his mentor (Kris Kristofferson), meet up with the vampiric
Shadow Council and fight the dangerous Reaper breed, who
are an advanced version of a vampire. Of
course, there are secrets involved and sadly, it is more predictable than
expected. The overuse of digital effects
were poor then and have not held up well, but they also serve to negate the
mortality of blood and flesh, rendering that part of the film into the dated
videogame realm and this overall approach killed a potentially long running
series as Snipes only did one more film (also now on Blu-ray) and a bad TV
series followed that was quickly cancelled.
because the first film was pretty important and it all slowly imploded. However, the film has its followers
(including del Toro fans) and continues to be popular, thus this high profile
back catalog release on Blu-ray.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the film along
with my problems with its digital effects, with some footage looking poorer
than it should and not as good as when I saw it in 35mm film during its
original theatrical run, but this is better than the old DVD version just the
same. Director of Photography Gabriel
Beristain did deliver a new look for the film versus the first film and lensed
David S. Goyer’s Blade: Trinity
(2004) as well. Outside of those
effects, this has character and atmosphere this Blu-ray captures pretty well
most of the time.
impressive is the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix, which is the
biggest news for fans of the films as this was originally a DTS-ES 6.1 film and
this new mix really shows off how great it is even versus the previous DTS DVD
editions. A DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1
lossless mix has also been included (ES should work well enough on it) but the
7.1 mix still sounds state-of-the-art on the film’s 10th anniversary
and is demo material for the best home theater systems. Even if you do not like the film, you might
want this as a sound demo even if it is just to try it out.
include two feature length audio commentary tracks by del Toro worth listening
to after seeing the film (one solo, the other with Goyer, Snipes and Producer
Peter Frankfurt), Director’s Notebook interactive feature, Blade II: Blood Brothers
featurette with writer Goyer, The Blood Pact collection of
documentaries on making the film and Deleted/Alternate Scenes that show they
were trying to make a good film.
can visit or revisit it in a superior Blu-ray edition and see for yourself.
- Nicholas Sheffo