Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blade (8.21.1998)

Director: Stephen Norrington
Wesley Snipes, N'Bushe Wright, Stephen Dorff
Kris Kristofferson, Donal Logue
Watch for: Something better.
Editor: Paul Rubel
Would I buy it: Rent on occasion.

Vampires have it easy. Actually, they have it really easy, if you take a look around during Blade. This is what I noticed most out of the movie, is how effortless everything appears to be.
I don't mean physical feats and poorly staged martial arts, I mean how everything they need to know or do is just a breeze.

Head Vampire: "You'll never figure it out. It's a dead language."
It's okay, my fancy computer will do all this work for me. Click, click, deciphered.
The little things like that bother me in any movie.

The bad blood effects are quite outdated, but I'm sure they were considered somewhat impressive in '98, even if they were still very obviously an effect. The vampire death effect is a fun concept, but after it's used it quickly becomes the focus of every fight scene. Let's see how many cool ways we can kill a vampire by chopping off dissolving pieces one at a time.
I tell ya, it gets old.
The exploding vamps were a bit overboard. About as much as 'Pearl', the grotesque "That's gotta be pushing it, even for an immortal" character.

I don't understand why a film which has been shot so beautifully can be ruined so quickly by the little things that would've taken just a bit more planning to do right.
There's little moments like "the badass Blade" and his first fight, in which he remains the strong silent type, until he manages to throw a
second silver stake into the opposite shoulder of Donal Logue and gives the camera a hearty, well-posed "Yes!"
C'mon, boyscout. How many times must you have done this before? Let's not waste time patting ourselves on the back.

Then there's the 'car chase', which actually is "Driving, fast-forwarded". I can't believe this is a legitimate sequence they thought would look normal to the average viewer. Grandma could tell you not to speed your footage up. They had so many stunt fighters in the movie (so many thugs, omg), you'd think they could afford a stunt driver for the chases, too.

Blade seems to exist in the era where they weren't quite taking everything to the computers yet. There was a lot of CGI for bits of fancy vampiric destruction, none of it that great, but everything else, sets, stunts, etc., seemed to be good old fashioned live-action, sometimes with a touch of compositing, such as Blade's leap from the hospital.
Trinity (and a couple Agents) do this much better about a year after he pulls this stunt. Grow as we go, I suppose.

All in all, it's not a
terrible film. The villain struggles to use the f-word in a convincing tone, the story has several gaps and takes it's time to explain a few things that the tagline on the poster has already told us (Duh, he's a vampire. That took you what, 40 minutes to get to?), the spins aren't surprising (or even all that exciting) and some of the action is poorly edited and hard to follow (or just looks plain stupid), but it's alright.
Definitely not something I'd watch again and again, for the little things tend to drive me up the wall, but hey. I'm picky.

I wish I could define somehow the look of the movie. Older cameras or film stock, perhaps. It has the lighting and look of something shot in the mid 80s rather than late 90s, which definitely works for me. It helps with the tone they've attempted to set, but there's just too many poor moments to make up for the rather standard good ones.

I delayed
Daredevil yet again so I could catch up on my chronological order a bit. Spider-Man came out just after Blade II, so it'll either be that or DD coming up. I think.
We'll see.

1 comment:

*_*Antoine*_* said...

You only discussed one or two "bad moments". Make your argument more legitimate and don't just reference the "bad moments" but give evidence to them as well. For instance, plot holes, where are they?