Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blade: Trinity (2004) DVD, Directors Cut

Does anyone else see that hill over there?
Where are my ice skates?

Rating:  4 out of 5 Resurrected Dracula’s

Plot Synopsis:  Dracula has done come back and it’s up to Blade to ham fistedly end the trilogy.

The Good:

-Hey it’s Triple H and he showed up wearing his serious actor pants and he’s doing a pretty good job.  Why couldn’t that enthusiasm rub off onto Parker?

-The opening is slow but the talk show scene is pretty entertaining.  I was interested and found parts of it funny.

-The costume received a few tweaks, combining the best aspects of the costume from the other movies.  The vest is sleek and clean while the trench coat keeps the red lining.

-It’s best CGI of series, that’s for sure.

-The opening doesn’t pick up until about the 8 minute mark but then it gets a little action.  A big explosion followed by Blade ashing some chumps followed by a quick car chase.

-Weird Blade moment, he flashes a forced smile at Whistler.

-David S. Goyer returns and with it some elements of the first movie.  Blade is more serious with his occasional weird Blade moments.  He maintains the warmer colors of the last movie while occasionally draining the color out when it’s appropriate.  It’s most notable in the opening chase up to the point where Blade realizes he’s killed a human.  At that point the color becomes much more muted but still present.

-While Parker is probably the weakest point in this movie she certainly looks good and looks the part of a badass vampire CEO or whatever she’s supposed to be.

-Dracula, or Drake, has elements of both normal Vamps and Reapers finding a common ancestor of the two species which is a nice touch, a good nod to the last movie as well as tying together continuity.

-Blades facial hair in this one is top notch, probably the best version with the addition of the sideburns and a sort of goatee.

-Damn Jessica Biel showed up in shape and ready to get in the game!  She kicks a lot of ass as Abigail Whistler, the long lost daughter of the god damned grizzled mountain man.  She’s does a really good job with what she’s given.  She takes advantage of the few character moments she’s given, does a good job with the fight scenes she’s in, an all around solid performance.

-Hey, it’s James Remar, I always enjoy seeing him.

-John Michael Higgins as the familiar therapist, he steals a lot of scenes with his condescending therapist act.  Plus he’s fucking hilarious.

-You know what Parker Posey does best in this movie: slow mo walking.  Also being twitchy as hell and darting her eyes around.

-You know who else showed up in shape and ready to play?  Ryan Reynolds.  The dude is cut in this movie and in his role as Hannibal King single handedly changes the tone of the movie.  He brings the funny and the badass.

-The Tomb of Dracula comic Hannibal gives Blade is a nice little nod to Blade’s comic origin.

-Another good soundtrack partially produced by the RZA.

-Patton Oswalt delivers a brief but memorable appearance as the Nightstalkers Q.

-Drake shows up at a Hot Topic like emo kid warehouse.  He looks at all the stupid emo vamp merch and proceeds to kill the snarky emo cashier and the stereotypical hot goth chick.  If we could only all do that.

-Hannibal has a bullseye painted on the back of his body armor.  Pretty ballsy.

-Hey, shower scene.  Nice.

-The Blood Farm is awesome.  It looks amazing and is a great concept.

-This being the director’s cut there’s a lot more meat on the movie.  In the original Whistler just shows up out of the blue and it looks as though he’s just a ghost appearing as a herald of doom.  Here it’s actually shown to be Drake in disguise.  I like that better than the confusing ghost appearance in the original.  I’m usually good at inferring plot elements like this but in this case it’s better that it’s spelled out.  They do throw away the concept that Drake can shape shift but it’s an easy scene to forget.

-The Vamp Pomeranian is pretty cool.  A continuation of the genetic tampering from the last movie.

-I really like everything they cut out.  This uncut version is much better than the theatrical cut.

-Seriously Jessica Biel looks amazing: flat stomach, fantastic shoulders, tight, taut and in shape.  I really don’t like to reduce people into subjective “attractive” physical descriptors, but seriously, she looks awesome and listening to the commentary she worked really hard to look that awesome.  So I’m saying it.

-Hannibal and Triple H have a pretty brutal fight.  Several high impact wrestling moves, I would have loved to see Triple H give Hannibal the Pedigree though.  

-Alright, Ryan Reynolds looks awesome too, sculpted torso, defined arms and like those lines you get that define your groin area when you have a really fit core.  He worked just as hard to get that physique as Jessica Biel so I’ll give him credit as well.  In the commentary he does go on to say that it’s not worth it and it makes all your shirts fit funny.

-The alternate ending is super bad-ass.  I would have preferred that ending over any version of the “official” ending.  In it the Nightstalkers hunt werewolves.  WEREWOLVES.  How awesome is that.  It’s an ending that wraps the series, teases a future and set’s up the series for evolution.  Instead of the confusing mess we get.

The Bad:

-Oh NOW they can be out in the sun light as long as they are totally covered.  Apparently camouflaged cloth is a better protector than black leather.

-Parker Posey, what are you doing here?  Don’t you have a fancy indy film to be in?  Aren’t you too good for this?  Also could you have put less effort into your role?  I know you’re a better actress than this, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, but you’re terrible here.  It seems like you just don’t care and are collecting a paycheck.

-This opening is terrible, it’s the least action packed and the slowest moving.

-Parker you murder every scene you’re in.

-God dammit, god damn Whistler isn’t god damn kidding, he is god damn super god damn serious and god damn doesn’t god damn want any of your god damn shit.  He’s a god damn caricature of himself from the previous movies going from grizzled Vamp hunting vet/father figure to Angry Old Man stereotype.

-Blade yelling into the night after Whistler get’s blowed up.  That looks pretty stupid, especially him sitting down and pouting after the cops surround him.  He looks like a little girl who had her tea party interrupted.

-Wait, there’s a cure to advanced vampirism.  There’s just cure now?  Why didn’t any one say anything?  There’s no explanation either.  Just Hannibal was a vampire and now he’s not.  He was given a cure.  No biggie.

-As king of the vampires I can’t wear a shirt that covers more than 50% of my muscled torso.  I prefer to have a neckline that goes to my naval.  Also, I’m from Prison Break.  He looks like a roided out Steve Carell.

-Yes Drake, yell into the sky and directly into the camera.  There, perfect.

-If Drake is such a bad ass why confront Blade just to run from him.  Either avoid Blade or confront him why go through the trouble of confronting him if you’re just going to hide behind hostages and run?

-There are some cheesy moments in this movie.

-I wish Jessica Biel had a better character, she comes off a little one dimensional but she’s kind of written one dimensional.  Her shower scene is, believe it or not, a good character moment but she doesn’t get a lot actual character moments that aren’t her beating up people or acting as a plot contrivance.

-Drake: “Mother fucker, I like that.” the Adam Sandler in me wants to say “You like fucking mothers?”

-The ending is super weak, pretty much from when the Hannibal/Triple H fight to the credits is just kind of lame.  Blades fight with big bad is really anti-climatic and how the film concludes is confusing with no explanation as to what’s happening or what will happen next.  It’s just kind of a mess of an ending.

The Ugly:

-There’s nothing really ugly about this movie.  There’s a green screen effect that could have been better but other than that it looks good.

-Do vampires have two sets of fangs now instead of one?

Final Thoughts:  This installment has the most flaws but is also the most fun to watch.  It’s on par with the original and even stands on its own pretty good.  What’s interesting is that all these films were written by David S. Goyer and two of the installments were directed by him but there is a huge tone change from one to three.  In a way you could look at it as the series evolving and in a way it is but it evolves from a dark, gothic tale into a high octane action comedy.

            This movie doesn’t really try all that hard, any character building that happened to Blade the last two movies is gone.  There is characterization but it’s mostly focused on the Nightstalkers and of them it’s focused the most on Hannibal, not that that’s a bad thing.  This is really Hannibal: The Nightstalker: The Movie co-starring Abigail Whistler with special guest appearance by Blade.  But Hannibal is by far the most fun character, he has the most depth, he has the most personality and while he doesn’t really go through a character arc we know the most about him and he’s the most likeable from beginning to end.  I would have liked to have seen more of Abigail but they played her as more of a quiet, stoic bad-ass as a foil to Hannibal’s more outgoing smart ass.

            Out of the trilogy this movie is the most watchable and the most fun with the least amount of investment.  To me that earns this movie an extra point.  I like movies I can put on in the background and tune into the good parts, do other things during the slow parts and not really miss much.  I can’t really do that with the other Blade movies, that doesn’t make this movie any less compelling but there aren’t so many minor plot points or characters I have to keep track of.  The plot is straight forward and you really only have five characters (Blade, Hannibal, Abigail, Drake and Parker) everyone else appears as a group.  Parkers group is always on screen together and if Parker is gone her cronies are a group.  Same with the Nightstalkers, if Hannibal or Abigail aren’t there they are pretty much in a group shot.  Plus they get murdered pretty early on.  It makes the movie nice and compact, which is a plus for me.  If it’s not for you then your results may vary.

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