REVIEW: BLADE: THE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Sticky Fingaz (Next Friday)
Jill Wagner (Teen Wolf)
Nelson Lee (Vacancy 2)
Jessica Gower (Winners & Losers)
Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Bill Mondy (I Spy)
David Palffy (Stargate SG.1)
David Kopp (Freddy Vs Jason)
P. Lynn Johnson (50/50)
Don Thompson (Red Riding Hood)
Randy Quaid (Kingpin)
Adrian Hough (X-Men 3)
Ryan Kennedy (Smallville)
William MacDonald (Slither)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Sonja Bennett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Sahar Biniaz (Watchmen)
Emily Hirst (Smallville)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Larry Poindexter (Sabrina: TTW)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Richard Roundtree (Alias)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
John DeSantis (The New Addams Family)
Tom Butler (Painkiller Jane)
Lauren Lee Smith (Mutant X)

Following the conclusion of Blade: Trinity, Blade (Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones) travels to his hometown of Detroit where the vampire nation is planning something big. Led by the wealthy and well-respected Marcus Van Sciver (Neil Jackson), The House of Chthon (one of the ten vampire houses) has begun development of a vaccine (Project: Aurora) that will cure them of all of their afflictions: silver, garlic and sunlight. It’s up to Blade to stop that from happening before it’s too late. Enlisting the help of computer whiz and weapon’s guru, Shen (Nelson Lee), Blade is ready for an all out assault to rid the world of more blood-sucking fiends.Doing her part in all of this is Krista Starr (Jill Wagner), a U.S. military combat medic who has just returned home from the war. Her welcome home celebration soon turns to sadness when she is greeted by the police, who inform her that her brother has died… or maybe he was killed. Convinced of the latter Krista takes it upon herself to investigate his mysterious death, which exposes her to the vampire world and leads to a meeting with Blade, himself. Banding together the two infiltrate Sciver’s inner circle, which results in Krista being taken and then turned into one of the undead. While Krista battles with the thirst and her unwanted transformation, she helps to feed Blade information from the inside. This information will allow the Daywalker to take down the vampire collective once and for all.The first half of this one and only season focuses a lot more on Krista’s character and less on Blade. That’s not a bad thing, actually. After going three films where Blade has been the dominant figure this show enjoys veering off and exploring other characters; giving us the chance to pick the side we like the best. Also, Krista’s character is very tragic. Losing her brother and then losing herself, so-to-speak, really laid the foundation for a woman who is torn between her human side and current vampire persona. Being a part of the sensual and romantic lifestyle that the vampires lead, it’s not easy for Krista to resist temptation. As she falls deeper into darkness, we see her crisscrossing between both of her personalities and watch her struggle to maintain some kind of balance. However, she unwittingly brings more of her family into this mess and that’s when things really begin to spiral out of control for her.The second half of the season gets down to business and shows us more of Blade, including the back-story of his childhood and life as a young Daywalker. In the episode entitled “Sacrifice” (probably the best episode of the season), we are shown Blade as a boy and experience the very first meeting between him and Whistler. You’ll get to see how Blade was treated as a child and even how Whistler got that nasty limp of his. In the episode “Bloodlines”, we are introduced to his former gang, the Bad Bloods, who are suffering from vampirism and are looking to exact revenge on Blade – or “Little Man” as they call him – for he was the one who turned them all into the creatures they have become. The gang hopes to wipe out Blade as a way to finally gain respect from the vampire houses and make their way into the collective, but Blade definitely doesn’t make it easy for them and does a bit of damage in his high-flying, kung fu way. There is also a secondary storyline where Blade meets FBI agent Ray Collins (Larry Poindexter). Prior to this meeting we watch this agent go on a bit of a trek of his own, tracking down cop-turned-vampire Boone (Bill Mondy). Now Boone makes an appearance in the pilot episode (as a “familiar”) and becomes almost the main focus in a few of the subsequent episodes until he’s gone for good. When that happens, the agent and Blade team up to try and take down one of the Purebloods, the very youthful Charlotte (Emily Hirst). This is a show that really knew how to cater to its predominantly male Spike TV audience. Blade hasn’t been toned down one bit and we are treated to tons of bloody kills and gruesome gore effects, along with quite a large helping of sexual content and nudity.Blade: The Series is still very much a Blade experience. Full of violence and gore, sex and f-bombs, this is a no-holds-barred action treat that, sadly, only lasted 13 episodes.

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REVIEW: BLADE II

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Leonor Varela (Monsterwolf)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Luke Goss (Hellboy II)
Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)
Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf)
Donnie Yen (Highlander: Endgame)
Karel Roden (Orphan)
Marit Velle Kile (The Girl In The Cafe)
Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution)

Ron Perlman, Wesley Snipes, and Danny John-Jules in Blade II (2002)Two years after the events of Blade, a pandemic known as the “Reaper virus” has spread through the vampire community. Infected vampires are turned into ‘Reapers’, a mutation of vampires, immune to all vampire weaknesses with the exception of ultraviolet light, who kill humans and turn any vampires they feed on into more Reapers. Unable to contain the Reapers, Vampire Lord Eli Damaskinos sends two emissaries, Asad and his daughter Nyssa, to seek the aid of vampire hunter Blade and his team, consisting of weaponsmith Abraham Whistler and Blade’s new assistant Scud. Blade has since recovered Whistler, who had been held captive and tortured by the group of vampires for 2 years (since the end of the previous film). Wesley Snipes in Blade II (2002)Whistler had been turned into a vampire by them, and after returning to their headquarters, Blade gives Whistler an anti-virus vampire serum to revert him back to human. After meeting with Damaskinos and his human familiar, lawyer Karel Kounen, they cautiously agree to help due to the danger of the Reapers’ uncontrollable hunger and rapid mutation. Asad then introduces Blade and his group to The Bloodpack; a group of vampires trained for the sole purpose of killing Blade. In addition to Asad and Nyssa, The Bloodpack consists of Reinhardt, Chupa, Snowman, Verlaine, her lover Lighthammer, and Priest. To keep them in line and after Reinhardt’s racially charged remark, Blade humiliates Reinhardt and plants an explosive charge on the back of Reinhardt’s head.Thomas Kretschmann in Blade II (2002)On Blade’s advice, the team starts by investigating a Prague located nightclub frequented by vampires. When they do encounter Reapers, they soon discover their weapons and powers are completely ineffective. Blade is forced to kill Priest after he becomes infected, Lighthammer is wounded (and infected but he keeps this to himself), Whistler deserts his post, and Scud barely survives a Reaper attack by using UV lights to scare them off. Jared Nomak, ‘Patient Zero’ of the Reaper strain, attacks and nearly kills Blade before a burst of sunlight forces him to retreat. Whistler appears, and says he has been tracking the Reapers to a central nest in the sewers. The dissection of a Reaper corpse which was trapped by an electronic hatch reveals that most Reapers tend to burn out within twelve hours if they do not feed, as well as having an additional layer of bone, which surrounds and protects their heart. Having learned of this ‘Achilles heel’, prime weakness, he and Scud create UV projectors for the team.BladeII1While searching for the nest, Lighthammer succumbs to the infection, killing Snowman and chasing Verlaine up a manhole ladder before both die of light exposure when Verlaine removes the manhole cover. Chupa turns on Whistler and attacks him, only to die when a group of Reapers attracted to his scent tear him apart. Whistler survives an encounter with Nomak only because he reveals the truth of his condition and situation to Whistler so he can inform Blade. Asad is ambushed, dragged underwater, and killed. Using a special UV emitter bomb pack, Blade kills all of the Reapers with the exception of Nomak and rescues Reinhardt and Nyssa, but is betrayed by Damaskinos and his people, who stun Blade unconscious.MV5BNGMyZTJkYWEtMzFjNi00ZGZkLTg3NTUtYTdjMDVhNTljN2FmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzExMzc0MDg@._V1_After Damaskinos’ betrayal, he reveals that he created The Reaper virus in order to create a new race of vampires based on Blade and that Nomak is in fact his son. Scud turns out to be a familiar loyal to Damaskinos, who also works with Reinhardt. Blade turns the table on Scud, saying he always knew of Scud’s true allegiance, and kills him with the bomb he had placed on Reinhardt, earlier. Damaskinos then orders his scientists to dissect Blade so they can learn how to replicate his abilities. After escaping his captors, Whistler brings Blade to a blood pool, where he regains enough strength to kill Reinhardt and his men.ghost-rider-2560x1440-agents-of-shield-season-4-hd-2271Seeking revenge, Nomak tracks Damaskinos to his private heliport and kills him. He then bites Nyssa, infecting her with the virus while drinking her blood. Blade confronts Nomak, and after a ferocious battle, defeats him. With his now-broken sword, Blade stabs it through the side of Nomak’s chest and into his bone-protected heart, slipping it through the bone plates on the side. Nomak then commits suicide to end his suffering by shoving the sword all the way into his wounded heart. Fulfilling Nyssa’s dying wish, Blade takes her outside, where she dies while watching the sun rise before she can fully change. The movie ends with Blade in London, where he kills Rush, a vampire he encountered earlier in the movie.blade-2-wesley-snipes-leonor-valeraOverall, Blade 2, for the fans of the first one, will not dissapoint them. It contains enough imaginativeness and gore effects to brighten the most down of horror film and comic book enthusiasts.

REVIEW: BLADE

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Stephen Dorff (Brake)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
N’Bushe Wright (Dead Presidents)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Udo Kier (Ace Ventura)
Traci Lords (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Judson Scott (Star Trek II)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)
Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)

Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998)In 1967, a pregnant woman is attacked by a vampire while giving birth. Doctors are able to save her baby, but the woman dies of infection. Thirty years later, the child has become the vampire hunter Blade. He raids a rave club owned by the vampire Deacon Frost. Police take one of the vampires to the hospital, where he feeds on hematologist Karen Jenson and escapes. Blade takes Karen to a safe house where she is treated by his old friend Abraham Whistler. Whistler explains that he and Blade have been waging a secret war against vampires using weapons based on their elemental weaknesses, such as sunlight and silver. As Karen is now “marked” by the bite of a vampire, both he and Blade tell her to leave the city.Wesley Snipes and N'Bushe Wright in Blade (1998)Meanwhile, at a meeting of vampire elders, Frost, the leader of a faction of younger vampires, is rebuked for trying to incite war between vampires and humans. As Frost and his kind were not born as vampires and are therefore not pure-bloods, they are considered socially inferior. In response, Frost has one of the elders executed and strips the others of their authority. Upon returning to her apartment, Karen is attacked by a policeman, who is a “familiar”, a human slave controlled by a vampire. Blade subdues the familiar and uses information from him to locate an archive of vampire history. Later, at the hideout, Blade injects himself with a special serum that prevents him from succumbing to his desire to drink blood, which would ultimately turn him into a vampire. However, the serum is beginning to lose its effectiveness due to overuse.Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998)While experimenting with the anticoagulant EDTA as a possible replacement, Karen discovers that it explodes when combined with vampire blood. She manages to synthesize a vaccine that can cure the infected, but learns that it will not work on a human-vampire hybrid like Blade. Frost and his men attack the hideout, infect Whistler, and abduct Karen. When Blade returns, he helps Whistler commit suicide and arms himself with special syringes filled with EDTA.MV5BNGMyZTJkYWEtMzFjNi00ZGZkLTg3NTUtYTdjMDVhNTljN2FmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzExMzc0MDg@._V1_When Blade attempts to rescue Karen from Frost’s penthouse, he is shocked to find his still alive mother, who reveals that she came back that very night and was brought in by Frost, who appears and reveals himself as the vampire who bit her. Blade is then subdued and taken to the Temple of Eternal Night, where Frost plans to perform the summoning ritual for La Magra, the vampire blood god. Blade is drained of his blood, but Karen allows him to drink from her, triggering his vampirism. Frost completes the ritual and obtains the powers of La Magra. Blade confronts Frost after killing all of his minions, including Blade’s mother. During their fight, Blade injects Frost with all of the syringes, causing his body to inflate and explode, killing him. Karen offers to help Blade cure himself, but he asks her to create a new serum instead. In a brief epilogue, Blade confronts a vampire in Moscow.ghost-rider-2560x1440-agents-of-shield-season-4-hd-2271This film is superb! Wesley Snipes Plays Blade the vampire hunter with pure class, he kicks butt in such a fluid and violent way that would make Bruce Lee proud. The movie is a fast paced, thrill ride of action and superb stunts. Overall the film is sharp and stylish

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN (1994) – SEASON 1-5

 

 

CAST

Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Rodney Saulsberry (The Animatrix)
Jennifer Hale (Wreck-It Ralph)
Gary Imhoff (The Green Mile)
Sara Ballantine (Batman Year One)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Liz Georges (As Told By Ginger)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Joseph Campanella (Ben)
Patrick Labyorteaux (Yes Man)
Maxwell Caulfield (Alien Intruder)
Neil Ross (Rambo)
Roscoe Lee Brown (Babe)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Batman: TAS)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Cedric Smith (Earth: Final Conflict)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (Forever Knight)
Alison Sealy-Smith (You Kill Me)
Alyson Court (Beetlejuice TV)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek Generations)
J.D. Hall (Undercover Brother)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday the 13th – Part 8)
George Takei (Star Trek)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Courtney Peldon (Frozen)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Barbara Goodson (Power Rangers)
James Avery (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80s)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Dorian Harewood (Earth: Final Conflict)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jeff Corey (Conan The Destroyer)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
David Hayter (X-Men)
Roy Dotrice (Hercules: TLJ)
Paul Winfield (Star Trek II)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.

Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. Christopher Barnes is brilliant as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen’s oafish Hydro Man and Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat.

The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated  cues,  Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I’ve ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.

Some of the best episodes were – the three-parter, “The Alien Costume”- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part “Hobgoblin” are among the best in the show’s five-year run. “Night of the Lizard”, a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there’s an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case.

Animation from the 1990s doesn’t come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.