Marvel's First Black Movie Superhero Gets 4K Blu-ray Release

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Blade 4K

Before Marvel had a "cinematic universe" into which it could debut Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Wesley Snipes was staking out his claim as a Marvel hero -- literally -- as the half-human, half-vampire Blade. He would go on to portray the character three times before the MCU even took its first baby steps with IRON MAN.

Blade's origin is succintly told. His mother was attacked by a vampire while she was pregnant with him. While being treated for the attack at a hospital, her son was born, possessing the traits of vampirism -- but the ability to walk in the daylight like a human. Found as a teenager by Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade was taught how to curb his preternatural thirst and seek out the ones who murdered his mother -- the many (many!) vampires living among us.

But the half-vampire's adventure takes a turn when he saves a doctor who specializes in blood diseases, Karen (N'Bushe Wright) from a vampire attack. She's bitten during the encounter, and shows signs that she'll be turning. But her research finds signs of a cure -- and also finds a way to make vampires go 'boom' if injected with another substance she develops, which comes in handy as Blade goes up against the ultimate bad guy, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), a "turned vampire" who seeks to raise up a so-called "blood god" to put the "pureborn vampires" in their place. 

it may not be great storytelling, but BLADE was full of dramatic poses, bloody fight scenes, and, for a 2004 film, some of the best CGI 1986 had to offer.Dorff chewed up every scene he was in, and Kristofferson was pretty much Kristofferson whenever he was on camera. The story does have an interesting plot twist that ties into Blade's origin, which could have been played up for a lot more poignancy and sacrifice, but the writers opted for a quicker disposition to the conflict, so as to bring Blade into direct conflict with a powered-up Deacon Frost. Blade also features Donal Logue (Gotham) as a vampire henchman who's always getting his arms chopped off, burnt to a crisp, or otherwise mangled for a slow and painful regeneration.

This 4K Blu-ray release (which also includes a standard Blu-ray and a digital code) comes with audio commentary from the cast and crew, and special features that delve into the origins of the badass superhero, and redesigning him for the big screen.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0