Blade: Platinum Edition (1998)

Wesley Snipes is Blade, a half-human half-vampire hybrid who has declared war on the undead who killed his mother. Aided by his grizzled mentor and weaponsmith, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) and an unwilling hematologist (N'Bushe Wright), Blade must stop the machinations of Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), a young and ambitious vampire who plans to resurrect 'La Magra,' a vampire god.

Kinetic and gory, Blade draws upon martial arts films in its numerous action scenes; that, the clever use of lighting and CGI effects, and the dedication of Snipes, director Stephen Norrington, and all involved make Blade one of the best comic-book-into-films ever made.

The 2:35:1 Widescreen presentation of the film remains true throughout. On the Audio Commentary track, cinematographer Theo van de Sande goes on at some length to discuss his travails at producing a 'true black' in the film's color scheme. When simply leaving the exposed silver on the film was shot down as too expensive, he compensated with lighting. The daytime shots in Blade - and there are not many - look almost overexposed. Oddly, the New Line opening logo and the sound effects for the interactive menus have been recorded at a significantly higher volume than the film and featurettes soundtrack - if you like to switch back and forth, you might want to have your remote handy.

The first audio commentary track provides observations on the making of the movie by stars Snipes and Dorff, producer Peter Frankfurt, production designer Karl M. Petrucelli , screenwriter David Goyer, and Cinematographer van de Sande. Director Norrington is conspicuous by his absence. The second track is the isolated music score, with commentary by composer Mark Isham.

'La Magra ' is a featurette which contains cut footage, including the movie's original, more apocalyptic ending; 'Designing Blade' is composed of interviews with make-up artist Greg Cannom, and various pre-production and post-production personnel. Other extras include featurettes on vampire history and a piece on the 'dark' comic books that gave Blade his start; an entertaining but rather useless rundown on the various Vampire families; and the now almost - mandatory filmographies, theatrical trailer, and extras for folks with DVD-ROMs.

Blade: Platinum Edition packs a whole lot into its single disc. Fans of the movie would probably not mind paying a few bucks more for its pristine widescreen transfer; movie fans with a taste for what goes on behind-the-scenes will also find it worthwhile.

Dr. Freex, 4/15/00

Running Time: 120 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Format: Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Region: 1
MSRP: $24.98

Own It!