Studio: New Line
Film Length: 117 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
The Dark Knight Returns
Are you ready? I mean, are your really ready?
Because Blade 2 is going to pack more punch
in your system than any other DVD that has come
before it. I'll give you all the details in a moment.
In case you don't know it already, Blade
(Wesley Snipes) is half-Human half-Vampire. He
hunts the vampires, and is known as known as
'The Daywalker', as he has all of their strengths
and none of their weaknesses. All of this is
quickly reviewed via flashbacks during the film's
When we last left Blade, Whistler (Kris
Kristofferson), had been bitten by a vampire and
left to live to become a vampire himself. Blade
couldn't bring himself to kill Whistler, so he
left Whistler a gun. The last thing we heard was a
Well, apparently, Whistler hadn't succeeded in
suicide. After Blade rescues Whistler, they return
to find their lair infiltrated by two highly
trained vampire assassins, Nyssa (Leonor Varela)
and Asad (Danny John-Jules). They bring a message
from the vampire high council who wishes to offer
Blade a temporary truce in order to fight a greater
Blade meets with the vampire council and learns
of a new breed of Vampires called Reapers, the
product of the mutated Vampire virus. It's leader
is Jared Nomack (Luke Goss), and he's out to destroy
the entire vampire race. The Reapers are spreading
quickly and the vampire high council wants Blade
to head up an elite fighting team to erase the
Reapers. Blade has little choice but to join the
'Bloodpack' of vampires (originally trained to
kill him), in order to erase the Reapers.
Blade 2 takes everything from the first
film and puts it in higher gear with some of the
most intense and well-choreographed martial-arts
action (staged by Donnie Yen) seen in film to date.
It also qualifies as the gross-out movie of the year.
The only problem I had with the film was that there
was too much emphasis put on the fight sequences
that seem to go on forever.
How is the transfer?
DVD has a new standard.
Filled with wonderfully warm red and blue filtered
colors, this transfer can't be beat! With incredible
sharp detail and solid blacks, Blade 2 looks
tremendously smooth and film-like. With most of
the action taking place in the dark underworld
sewers of the city, one would expect the introduction
of film grain or other transfer flaws. Well, there
are no flaws. Even in the darker scenes, picture
level remains well balanced with no hint of grain.
The 6.1 DTS audio track is unlike anything you
have experienced before. It will totally immerse
you into the underworld, bringing you smack in the
middle of sound that not only encircles you, but
makes you feel part of the action. I have yet to
hear a mix that is so heart-poundingly aggressive.
From the moment the film begins, the entire sound
field comes to life with the rumblings of trains
inside a Prague station. Before long, bullets
begin to fly everywhere, whizzing past your head,
as Blade makes mincemeat of vampires. The guts
of the vampires, like thrown Jello, can be
distinctively heard as they pass through each
channel. The LFE channel packs every bullet hit
with pounding blows to the subwoofer. Nail
everything you have down, because the LFE response
is absolutely incredible from start to finish.
As part of New Line's highly touted Platinum
Series, Blade 2 is released in a deluxe
2-disc set that isn't stingy on supplemental material.
Disc One contains the film which can be
played with your choice of two audio commentaries.
The first is with Director Guillermo Del Toro and
Producer Peter Frankfurt. The second is with Writer
David Goyer and Wesley Snipes.
Disc Two contains the Special Features
that are divided into three main categories:
Production Workshop; Deleted and Alternative
Scenes and Promotional Material.
Let us start with Production Workshop...
The Blood Pack is an 83 minute documentary
on the making of the film. It ranges from production
design to costume to choreography to music. While
watching this documentary, a "glyph" icon will appear
that will take you into additional material via
branching. When that branched material is complete,
you are returned to the point of the documentary you
left off at.
Instead of watching the entire documentary, I
concentrated on Chapter 5, which dealt with the
design of the creatures. Director Guillermo del
Toro talks about the earliest designs for the Reaper
creatures and how these creatures evolved using
the features of other blood-sucking animals. We
get to take a look at some of the live actor makeup
tests as well as the many clay designs used for
each stage of mouth and jaw movement. Puppets
were even used for the Reaper attacks, and you'll
be amazed the first time you see one of these
realistic puppets in action. This is one of the
most thorough looks at creature designing I have
seen on any DVD to date.
Sequence Breakdowns is absolutely amazing.
Here New Line takes 5 of the best sequences from
the film and dissects the living crap out of it
by letting you first read the script as it was
written by David Goyer, then read it as the final
shooting script, then watch storyboard and visual
effects sheets map it all out, and then see the
action that took place on the set. Put it all
together and end it by watching the scene as it
appeared in the final film. For anyone interested
in how film is made from start to finish ought to
take great interest in this segment.
Visual Effects begins with Synthetic
Stuntmen The Digital Maw which takes you
through the CGI and digital maw process. Through
the film dailies, we watch as how scenes are
originally safely performed and filmed before
they go for CGI touch up. A montage from the
Tippet Studio shows exactly where live action
and CGI animation meet. In Progress Reports,
we watch the many videotape shorts that Makeup
Designer Steve Johnson sent Director Guillermo
to keep him apprised of his progress. From the
creation of embryos to a Dummy Whistler to
Reaper's heads, this progress report is a
fascinating journey through the creative process.
The Art Gallery is filled with dozens of
photos that are broken down into categories of
Sequence Concepts, Props & Weapons, Costume
Design, Set Design, Character Design and
There are two Notebooks included here.
The first is Director Guillermo's diary that
contains his personal ideas and thoughts that
are written down during the filming. A video
introduction from the Director warns that you
may be surprised what you read here, as these
notes are really personal. Using your remote
you can browse through the pages of text that
are often hard to read (don't even know if it's
English), but supplemented with some really neat
drawings. The Script Supervisor's Notebook
is a more interesting layout of text and Polaroid
photos which chronicle the making of the film.
Finally, there are three sections of unfilmed
script pages, including one of a scene that
takes place at a mini-Mart.
Now let's take a look at Deleted and Alternate
It's always funny to watch a video introduction
by a Director that refers to his deleted scenes
as "crap." Here for your viewing pleasure is
no less than 16 scenes of crap that never made it
to the final cut. Combined, there is about 25
minutes worth of material here presented in
finalized widescreen glory. You can opt to watch
these scenes with or without Director and Producer
Finally we come to Promotional Material...
Blade II Video Game Survival Guide is
nothing more than a 2+ minute commercial for the
Playstation & X-Box video game, walking you through
different levels and giving you tips on difficult
The Theatrical Press Kit shows you how
the film was promoted to distributors worldwide.
There are pages of text that take you through the
cast, filmakers and production.
The film's original theatrical trailer is
included as well as the short teaser trailer.
Finally, we get the film's music video that
features Cypress Hill and Roni Size in Child of
the Wild West.
A CD-Rom application let's you read the
film's script alongside the movie itself. There
is also access to the film's website that allows
you to download screensavers, desktops and icons.
You can also look at video footage exclusive to
the website, or, take part in the message board.
New Line once again keeps up its highest standards
that consist of quality transfer and abundant
supplements. You can literally spend hours going
through the supplemental disc which leaves no
When one considers the cost of paying up to $45
to go to a theme park and experiencing ride
sensations not found anywhere else, consider the
fact that for less than $25, you can have the ride
of your life in front of your home theater.
Blade 2 offers a visual and sonic experience
like no other DVD I have seen. Stick in the disc
and crank up your system to enjoy a ride like no
Release Date: September 3, 2002