Monday, November 12, 2012
"A Great Movie Ruined By Cropped Aspect Ratio."
I remember being an eight year old child in the year 1998. It was about a month before my ninth birthday when Blade came out. Sure, most children wouldn't be taken to see an R-rated action film like this. But, my parents taught me from a young age that what I saw on screen was not real. That was essentially one of the things that got me to really like filmmaking. So, by the time I was five or six, I saw Species. And I was seven years old when I watched An American Werewolf in London, Alien, and Evil Dead. Point being, I was exposed to stuff most parents probably wouldn't dream of in this day and age with political correctness. And I am sure most would probably place Blade in that category.
Blade is based off of the popular Marvel comic story of a half-human, half-vampire who goes around saving the world from the vampire underworld. A vampire by the name of Deacon Frost sets to bring about a vampire God known as La Magra. While Blade sets out to stop Deacon, he has a young medical examiner named Karen held captive as she was bitten by one of Deacon's henchmen. While in Blade's care, Karen believes that she has found a cure that could possibly end the vampire plague.
This was a childhood favorite. An example of what action was to me as a child; we see Snipes as Blade busting up an underground vampire dance club causing a full vampire slaughter. Snipes was great as Blade and the same goes for Stephen Dorff as Deacon. We see how ruthless our protagonist and antagonist get to their goals. And the final battle is nothing but badass. I give this film a 5/5 for being nostalgic reasons.
Alliance brought Blade to Blu-ray years before WB made their initial release in 2012. I picked up this Blu-ray in March 2011 as a local grocery store I frequent oddly carries Canadian DVDs and Blu-rays in their cheapo bins. This transfer is pretty bad; it is cropped from 2.35 to 1.78 and there is a major amount of image cut off from the sides of the screen and everything is pretty much dead center of the image. The main thing that I learned from my film classes is that you want to keep the audience's eyes moving around the screen. The eyes don't move that much with this transfer of the film.
While cropping is the biggest offender on this release, I couldn't find any real print damage to the film. The details are okay. Seeing this cropped version, I didn't realize that Frost's eye glow red when he's covered in backlighting towards the end of the film. I am giving the video a 2/5, only because of this bad crop job that the film has.
Alliance has given us three audio tracks for the film; English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. I have listened to the film dubbed in French, since it's my third language. For a French dub and for an audio track, it sounded ok. The Dolby Digital in English sounds tame and you have to manually switch over with your remote to the DTS-HD MA track as the DD is the default. The DTS-HD MA track sounds pretty good. I have no real complaints towards it. 5/5 for the sound presentation.
None. The movie has a screen that will tell you that the movie will begin and that's it. 0/5.
Blade remains a childhood favorite of mine. For us who got this Canadian release, it's a shame that they decided to release this film cropped. The visual presentation is hands down the biggest thing for me when it comes to watching movies. Seeing stuff get cropped from it's original aspect ratio to, like, 1.33 like Howling 3 and McLintock! is a damn shame, especially in this day and age. And that applies to movies being cropped from 2.35 to 1.78. This release does not deserve the score it gets. 3/5.