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Blade 2
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Blade 2 order
Director:
Guillermo del Toro

Actors:
Wesley Snipes
Kris Kristofferson
Leonor Varela

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Serial vampire killer Blade (Snipes) teams up with his worst enemies to take on a new strain of bloodsucker that attacks both the old vampires as well as humans. Chaos ensues as he leads an elite team of vampires against the new killer. Since this very team has been training in the past to kill none other than him, interesting situations arise...to say the least.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Where to begin? I guess this film will not stray very far from expectations. If you're looking for some high-flying, ass-kicking, silver bullet shooting fun, then you'll get a kick out of this flick. It's your basic shoot 'em up action gallery, complete with funky weapons, very evil people and more special effects, some good, other bad, than you can wave a stick at. There's a very high body-count, a very high level of noise and a very high quantity of footage featuring Wesley "always bet on black" Snipes kicking people in fast-motion and if you keep with the logic that any film is only as good as its bad guy, then you'll be well served with this one as you have a bad guy that attacks vampires. How evil can you get? That's like having a guy Barbie-whip Mike Tyson. How much of a bad-ass would that dude be!

Unfortunately, one of the things there isn't a lot of is a logical plot. The film has that basic, yet annoying, flaw of having an overly convoluted plot for which the objectives could have been reached in far simpler manners and at some points in the movie, you literally just scratch your head and think :"Well yeah dude! Why didn't you do this 10 minutes ago?" The film also suffers from some pretty nasty clichs. One in particular is the "80's Ninja movie" clich, in which 25 guys stand around Blade while attacking him one at a time. Kill the fucker already!! Gang up on him!! You're vampires for cryin' out loud!! Playground rules don't apply!! It also features the most overused new clich in cinema: the "guy getting split in half vertically" shot. You never saw this a couple of years ago but it seems nowadays, every other flick has a poor sucker who gets cut open from head to crotch. Maybe it's a weak-crotch epidemic, I don't know... Oh, yeah, there's also a vampire eating blood jell-o although my mom always said jell-o was good for the articulations and since vampires also have knees and elbows, I guess it's ok.

Overall though, the film was pretty fun to watch. There weren't any real lengthy lulls in the action and even though I ragged on the pot a little bit, I doubt the film was made with logic in mind but rather with ass-kicking and it does deliver on that. I've never been a really big fan of Snipes but he was pretty good and Kristofferson was his usual cranky old ass self. The rest of the cast was also good and the Bloodpack, the team of vampires led by Blade had a little hottie in charge (Varela) of them. If all vampires looked like her, I'd carry raw steak in my pant pockets! So, if you can get over the plot holes and suspend your brain activity for a couple of hours in order to see people beating each other up, then it's go for launch on this sucker!
THE EXTRAS
What else can be said about this package except that it has everything the DVD medium was made for. Fun stuff, informative stuff, interesting stuff and all kinds of other stuff make this 2-DVD set one of the top dogs in the business.

DISC #1

Feature-length commentary with director Guillermo del Toro and producer Peter Frankfurt: I can't say as commentary tracks are usually my favorite type of feature, just because so many of them end up very boring, pretentious and self-serving. This, on the other hand, encompasses all the good of commentary tracks. These two guys are informative and interesting and fill their time with a lot of neat little stories and things, but most of all...they're just plain entertaining. These dudes are funny as hell and are just a blast to listen to. They crack jokes, make fun of each other, make fun of every one else on the project and sound like two dudes just doing what they love. Del Toro in particular is just one entertaining fellow and his habit of referring to every one as "motherfucker" is disturbingly charming.

Feature-length commentary with writer/executive producer David Goyer and star Wesley Snipes: I can't say as I've ever been a huge Wesley Snipes fan but the guy's ok in here even though the overall commentary is a bit monotonous. It sort of sounds like a Snipes interview conducted by Goyer and one particularly non-stellar sequence consisted of Goyer peppering Snipes with a dozen questions about his training regimen. Ok dude, we got it. Blade has abs of steel. What about the movie? I'm being a bit harsh though, but I think it may be because I watched it right after the first commentary.

Isolated Score: Did I mention the sound quality is excellent and the soundtrack is exciting? I think I mentioned it in these exact words in the Audio section. This is gold if you're into the heavy techno metal thing and you have a kick-ass sound system. You can shut off the TV and blast this stuff till the cows come home. Even the regular non-techno shit is pretty effective.

DISC #2

This second DVD is also packed with loads of stuff. In all, there were about 6-7 hours worth of footage on it so make sure you either have the time or you're not planning to watch the whole thing in one straight shot.

Production workshop

The Blood Pact: This is an interactive documentary on the making of Blade II and contains all the usual stuff you have in one of these: cast & crew interviews, locations footage (the film was shot in Prague, in the Czech Republic... nice town.). You also get some talk about costumes, makeup, effects and the likes. It's interactive in the sense that once in a while, you get a little icon that pops up and if you click your remote, you branch out into a more specific little segment about the topic at hand. The entire thing is very well presented, as you get an index of the branching segments and can access them individually. You get about 2 hours of fun on this one.

Sequence Breakdown: This cool little number focuses on 6 specific scenes in the movie. If you click on any specific one, you can access info about it, such as original and shooting scripts, storyboards, on-set footage and some other neat stuff. They picked the scenes very well, as they're some of the most exciting in the film.

Visual effects: This segment of the production workshop is divided into 3 different parts itself. It begins with a little documentary entitled "Synthetic Stuntman". In this, you can see some of the effects used to create a "fake" Blade, in order to complete some of the wild sequences in the film that even a stuntman couldn't do. Strangely enough, the computerized Wesley Snipes seemed to have more personality than the real one (had to). Following that is another documentary on the CGI used in the film, this time displaying the wizardry behind the disgusting mouth appendage of the Reapers. "The Digital Maw" shows how live footage, prosthetics and computers unite to make a sick little fucker with a mouth that'll suck the blood out of a dead man. Last but not least (definitely not least) is an hour long series of "Progress Reports" that walk the viewer through the prosthetics shop were they made most of the twisted effects at various stages of completion. These are tapes that were used by the shop during production to give the director status reports on most of the stuff he was probably waiting impatiently for. You get to see some ghastly vampire models and an even ghastlier Kris Kristofferson model.... ohhh... the whole section will last you about 2 hours and again, you can access each section independently through the magic of indexes.

Notebooks: This is a text and photo based feature displaying some of the pages of Guillermo del Toro's production notebook and the Script supervisor's notebook as well. They both contain some pretty cool illustrations and photos. You can also read through some unfilmed script pages.

Art Gallery: Here, you can check out still photos and conceptual work, from different aspects of the film, all accessible through categorized menus. Very cool stuff is included.

Deleted and Alternate scenes

This DVD has it all but the best thing it does have is director Guillermo del Toro. If by the time you get here you've already listened to the full-length commentary track, you'll be begging for more and lucky for us, the man obliges once more by commenting through 16 deleted or alternate scenes. If you listen to the one scene entitled "Damaskinos with hair", you'll know what I mean when I say this dude is hilarious. The rest of the scenes are also quite good and they do offer some pretty candid commentary (producer Peter Frankfurt is also present) on most of them, not stopping short of saying some of them sucked. So pile them in and give them a go, because even though some are only mildly different from the released version, the two talkers make it worth your while.

Promotional Material

Blade II video game survival guide: Not much meat in there. I figured this would be a cool little section where gamers would get some tips for the video game (which looks pretty decent from what's shown in here) but it pretty much turns out to be a commercial for the game, without any tips or tricks.

Theatrical press kit: You navigate through text information handed out with the original press kit at the time of the film's release. Nothing really spectacular, as it's some glossy, manufactured info about everyone involved.

Trailers: You'll get treated her to the teaser trailer as well as the theatrical trailer. They're both pretty neat.

Music Video: "Child of the wild west" by Cypress Hill and Roni Size is the featured artist. Not really my kind of shtick but if it's yours, then have a blast.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I can't say that the film itself will go down as one of my favorites, it was a bit cliche-ridden and too "popcorny" for me, but it does entertain and you have little chance of getting bored with it. The DVD package, on the other hand, was fantastic and if you like the movie, then it's a definite must-have
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