Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics! Number 1: The Blade Trilogy
He clearly wasn’t taught enough of a lesson by the Birthday Series. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from this in that Just Pillow Talk is back, and this time he’s taking on the entire Marvel Series. He’s clearly not thought this out properly (Elektra!) so it should be good for a few chuckles on our end. He’s launching with the Blade series, which is the equivalent of training to fight Tyson by beating up a 9 year old.
Anyhoo, that’s me done, here he is:
Welcome to Pillow’s Marvel Mayhem Tour of Funny Book Movies!
Since I just wrapped up my mind numbing birthday series, Jarv and Droid were very eager to launch me into yet another miserable foray of cinema. When Jarv mentioned Marvel movies, I immediately latched onto that suggestion thinking it would be a “breeze”. What my pea sized brain neglected to remind me of is that there’s a fair amount of shit to wade through. So, what are my parameters for this series? I will only review those movies either that I own (like the three films in this first review…yes, even Blade Trinity…completion bullshit excuse) or that Netflix has available in their library. I will not tackle this in any particular order, and I think I may bundle them together (Blades, X-men’s, FF’s, you get the fucking idea) and do one review for each funny book. Since I’ve seen almost all of them, I’m not going to tackle the ones released this past year until the end of this trek once I’ve gotten to viewing them a second time to see if they hold up. I haven’t read comics in well over twenty years, so I will not hold the films to a strict rule of adherence to the comic books. I’m just looking to see if they get the characterization of our heroes right or not. With that in mind we journey in the world of vampires and a fellow dressed in black and a penchant for killing those things: Blade. Before the movie came out, I knew nothing about the character so this is looking at each movie on its own merits instead of comparing to a comic.
To begin with, I’ve always been a fan of Wesley Snipes. He has a screen presence, and most importantly considering the majority of films he makes, I believe he could kick ass. He hasn’t always made the best movies, and suffering from money troubles, hasn’t been in many ‘big’ movies in a while now. It was good to see him in Brooklyn’s Finest, which was a decent movie, and he actually got to act in it. That being said, the character Blade fits the dude like a glove. All menace, little talk, man of action. That is what Snipes was meant to do!
The opening of this movie is great, simply put. A vampire underground club, music blaring, complete with a sprinkle system of blood. Every vampire is covered head to toe in blood, including a poor sap lead down there by a vampire, thinking he’ll get lucky. He’s crawling on his hands and knees, trying in vain to be anywhere but there. And who is standing in his way? Blade…dressed all in black without a drop of blood on him. The vampire’s part like the red sea before him in fear and the kicking ass begins. That scene establishes that vampires are indeed among us, they have a society structure in place, and Blade is not to be fucked with. One thing leads to another and one of the vampires Quinn ends up getting taken to the hospital (Blade pinned him to the wall and lit him on fire) when the cops show up after his little encounter with Blade at the club. He ends up attacking a doctor (Karen) and bites her thereby infecting her. Blade decides to bring her back to his hideout with Whistler, giving us the 3rd party look into the world of vampires and how there are those who bring the fight to them.
Stephen Dorff plays the vampire antagonist to Blade, and to the vampire establishment. He thinks that the vampires should be ruling the world and not allowing the humans to coexist with them. He has plans of unleashing the blood god (just becoming really powerful) upon the world thereby eliminating those pesky humans and any vampire cunts that are too wussy to start eliminating said humans. The key to the ceremony of unleashing that god is Blade’s blood, of a day-walker. Oh, and twelve vampire saps to become mince meat. Now, don’t all raise your hands up at once to volunteer.
Suffice to say Blade is able to thwart Frost’s plan and save the day. So what is good about the first Blade? Wesley Snipes like mentioned above. He plays intense…real good I’d say. He’s also given come cracking good lines like summing up his relationship with Whistler: “He makes the weapons, I use them.” Or after he’s in the midst of offing Frost: “Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate up hill.”
Stephen Dorff seems like he had a great time playing Frost, and he’s a great villain here. Someone who wants to be a greater vampire than what the vampire establishment qualify as a “true blood”, of which Frost is not since he was bitten, not one of birth. As much as he despises the humans, he also uses them in his network (called familiars) to handle tasks that a vampire cannot, especially during the daytime. You can also tell he respects Blade’s powers, but thinks he’s wasting his talents by protecting the humans. Frost and Blade finally come face to face,
Frost tells Blade that the humans will never accept him, they are afraid of him because “You’re an animal. A fucking maniac”. He delivers it with some zest.
Issues with the film? I find it surprising that the 12 council members succumb to Frost so easily, I mean, shouldn’t they have some peeps to back them up like Frost has? Seems a bit strange to me. The other thing that bothered me was the inclusion of Blade’s mom in Frost’s circle. Turns out, Frost is the one who bit Blade’s mom and “created” Blade. Much like we’ll find in the Spider-Man series, there’s no need to tie the villain and hero so intricately. He’s bad, Blade is good, there’s your conflict. The fx is okay for most of the film; spotty in others particularly in a few parts involving blood where it’s clearly cgi’d and does not look good.
Those nitpickings aside, it’s a solid 3 Pomeranians out of 4 and one of the better entries into funny book filming.
Blade II (2002)
After watching this again, my feelings have changed. By that I mean I always felt before that Blade II was better than the original, but after this viewing and watching them back-to-back, I have to amend that statement. The original is the superior film. Why? While Nomak is this film is the more deadly villain, Frost entertained me more. The villains in this film are not just your regular old vampires, no, there’s a new strain of vampires called reapers. How were they created? Seems the head vampire is searching to improve the genetics of the vampire race and turn them more like Blade, all of their powers, none of their weaknesses. The vampires decide they need the help of Blade and recruit him to join a vampire hunting group called the Bloodpack (including Ron Pearlman and Donnie Yen, who I will include in here and say was CRIMINALLY UNDERUSED) to track down the reapers and eliminate them.
To this day it still boggles my mind that they brought back Whistler, I mean, the dude shot himself in the first one after Frost and his boys got to him. Oh wait, no, just kidding. He didn’t off himself, and in fact was taken by the vampires. Blade rescues him and he’s back in the fold just like that. Poor decision.
Basically the movie is devoted to Blade and the Bloodpack in a couple of encounters with the Reapers, where one by one, the Bloodpack are taken out by the Reapers. It all leads to the showdown between Blade and Nomak, which I will say I thought was handled for the most part quite effectively. I say for the most part because the fx in this film is good and bad. The reapers themselves, the way their mouth opens and the way they are able to withstand an assortment of attacks are quite excellent. However, in some of the fight scenes they decided to fx it up, which totally takes you out of the fighting. By that I mean they spidey it up, fx’ing the leaps and jumps of each attacker making it look totally fake and plain awful. I’m looking at the Blade vs. two vampires at his hideout as the prime example of how not to use fx in a movie. The fighting in front of the lights looks hideous when they decide to use fx instead of the actual actors.
The atmosphere of the movie is great, which is due to Guillermo del Toro. You do get the feeling that these vampires aren’t long for the world against the reapers.
Snipes doesn’t have nearly the great lines he had in the first one, however, when surrounded by reapers he screams “You do not know who you are fucking with!” And then he promptly turns them all to ash. He’s clearly head and shoulders above any vampire, which takes away from any threat created by them. I mean, who doesn’t think Blade won’t whoop any vampire ass? Nomak, from a physical standpoint, poses a real threat to Blade, but he’s missing that pizzazz in my opinion that Frost possessed.
It’s still a worthy successor to the original; it just can’t quite match it. I give it 2.5 Pomeranians out of 4.
Blade Trinity (2004)
And now we come to the child no one wants to mention. If the first Blade is the honor student and the second Blade is good at sports, this one rides the short bus. How could it go wrong? For one, Blade works alone. Sure, he worked with the Bloodpack, but it was an uneasy alliance to say the least, and they really weren’t a ‘team’. He doesn’t need a team and while I like Ryan Reynolds, a Blade movie is not one where someone should be cracking jokes all the time. It serves as an annoying distraction more than anything else. Sure, Jessica Biel kicked ass, but I want to see Blade kick ass. It is supposed to be a Blade movie after all. Oh, Biel is Whistler’s daughter btw. Yup, isn’t that nice how it comes full circle?
The first two movies were never dragged down with boring ass scenes. What do we have in the third? A fucking TV interview with the chief of police and a psychiatrist discussing Blade and what is rattling in his head. WTF. Talk about a buzz kill. That has no business being in a Blade movie. I want to see vampires turning into ash for fuck’s sake. There’s another scene with the psychiatrist in the police station that seemed to drag on and added nothing to the movie. Oh no, he’s a familiar! Pah. We also have Whistler in the movie just so that we can see him die for real this time to speed along our meeting between Blade and the Nightstalkers.
The real stake in the heart of this movie is the horrible, and I mean horrible, villains. Parker Posey, Dominic Purcell, the wrestler dude, are all shit. I mean, was this a joke? Parker Posey as a vampire? Her acting is atrocious. The big bad scheme against Blade: launch a bad PR campaign against him…this qualifies as a great villain? Dominic Purcell is supposed to be the great Dracula, yet the script devotes zero time to establishing him more than a cardboard cutout of a character. He is uninteresting and has zero charisma. And lest I forget, they decided to go the Hulk route (ugh) and make vampire dogs. Out of a Pomeranian. Fucking stupid. The special effects take a step back in this installment as well, so there is nothing to hang its hat on.
The movie blows and I think one scene typifies it extremely well. When Blade and Whistler’s daughter get back to the Nightstalker’s hideout, they discover Dracula had wiped out everyone there. Whistler’s daughter is distraught over finding her blind friend dead and Blade is standing in the background watching, saying “Use it. Use it. USE IT.” Cue Whistler’s daughter yelling in anger. The way the scene plays out it just comes across very cringe worthy and just “off”. It doesn’t work in the slightest. The above pictures signify everything about this movie: shit villains, not enough Blade doing what Blade does best.
This is a zero Pomeranian film. The drop-off in quality is remarkable.