From Panel to Screen: Blade II.

For over a decade now, comic book movies have been some of the highest grossing films to come out from Hollywood. What started out as a fad has become it’s own genre. Over the next  few months, I’m going to be delving into each movie individually to try and find out what it is that’s made them a mainstay in modern Hollywood.

blade2Title: Blade II

Release Year: 2002

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer:  David S. Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman & Norman Reedus

 

 

New Line Cinema followed up Blade with a sequel in 2002. David Goyer, the writer of the first film, returned to pen the sequel, with Wesley Snipes returning in the lead role.

Sitting in the directors chair this time around would be Guillermo Del Toro. Guillermo Del Toro is a popular name amongst cinema fans because he’s had a successful run of both commercial and critical acclaimed films. Blade II would be his first foray into the Hollywood spotlight and would set him up to make future cinema classic Pans Labyrinth and eventually see him returning to the comic book movie world with both Hellboy 1 and 2.

The movie opens with Blade on the hunt for his old friend and mentor Whistler. Believed dead at the end of the first movie, Whistler is in fact still alive and has been captured and experimented on by a group of vampires. The decision to resurrect the character was probably made when the filmmakers decided they wanted to have Kris Kristofferson back in his father figure role to Blade.

After saving Whistler, we’re then introduced to Blades younger version of the character Scud, who is played by Norman Reedus. Reedus would eventually spring to fame amongst comic book fans in his role as Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead TV show. In Blade II, he’s basically already playing that character. He chain smokes throughout the entire film, has a grunge-South American look to him and gives attitude to everybody. What I liked most about his character, though, is that he’s wearing a Hellboy t-shirt throughout most of the film, and given that Del Toro would go on to direct 2 Hellboy movies after this, it’s pop culture foreshadowing at its best.

Blade, Whistler and Whistler junior form an uneasy alliance with a team of Vampires named The Bloodpack, in order to take on a ‘Reaper’ vampire who are a threat to both humans and vampires. The Bloodpack is lead by Ron Perlman (who will later become Hellboy for Del Toro) and is made up generic stereotypes like a red head, an Asian guy, an Irish fellow with a lot of facial hair and a bald guy with a face tattoo and larger hammer. None of the Bloodpack really stand out that much. They’re mostly just fodder for the Reapers to kill throughout the film. There are a lot of good scenes between Perlman and Snipes, though. The two bounce off each other really well, as they rival throughout the film. Perlman will often try to get the upper hand on Blade, only to be equally matched with an added Snipes grin. It’s similar to what we saw in the first film with Snipes and Donal Logue, but better because Perlman is pretty brilliant with what he’s given.

What was good about the first film is that it’s action was well paced and it didn’t try to be too overly complicated. Blade II does the same, but it does what good sequels do and adds to it. Thanks to the inclusion of The Bloodpack, there’s more variation with characters in action scenes, and it’s not all put on Snipes. We never really care much for the team though, but it’s Blade and his commitment to sunglasses in sewers that we’re here for anyway.

Del Toro is also an avid user and believer in practical effects over digital effects. With the expedition of one his later films Pacific Rim, a lot of his monster work is done with makeup and props. Sometimes it’s a little too noticeable that it is makeup (Perlmans character has burn scars for part of the film, and it doesn’t look too great), but it does add a good quality to the film. The downside though, is when it’s cut in with digital effects. When Blade first meets two members of The Bloodpack, there’s a sword fight. Most of this was done with stunt doubles and actors, but there are a couple of shots of characters jumping around that, were done digitally, that look shockingly poor. Granted, this film is 12 years old, and time is never kind to digital effects. But the scene would flow better without the addition of the digital effects shots.

Another thing that I found really distracting about the film was the poor ADR work. ADR is when dialogue is re-recorded and then added over in editing (or post production). This is usually done when a director doesn’t want to use an actors original voice (Darth Vader in Star Wars) or when the sound from recording can’t be used. It seems like nitpicking, but it is something that could have been avoided with a little more time spent on editing. Things like this, along with bad special effects, distract you and bring you out of a film.

I found myself really enjoying Blade II though. It’s more of what was good about the first, with additions like Norman Reedus and Ron Perlman to spice things up a bit. The villain never really stands out much (which is why I’ve barely mentioned it), and there isnt too much to the plot. But it’s a good R rated movie based on a comic book character. The success of the first film probably meant that Del Toro had some leniency from the studio when making this film, allowing him to work in his passion for monsters and horror more. And if Del Toro can turn a David Goyer script into a good film, you know you’re onto some talent.

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From panel to screen: From Hell.

For over a decade now, comic book movies have been some of the highest grossing films to come out from Hollywood. What started out as a fad has become it’s own genre. Over the next  few months, I’m going to be delving into each movie individually to try and find out what it is that’s made them a mainstay in modern Hollywood.

from hellTitle: From Hell

Release Year: 2001

Director: Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes

Writer:  Terry Hayes & Rafael Yglesias

Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm & Robbie Coltrane

 

 

 

When I was talking to one of my friends about From Hell being the next comic book movie review for my blog, he seemed genuinely surprised that I was writing about it. He was surprised because he didn’t think it was based on a comic book. In his defence, it is only very loosely based on Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s graphic novel From Hell, mostly taking its name, characters and a few themes and turning what is regarded as high mark for the graphic novel medium into a generic Hollywood movie.

From Hell is a take on the Whitechapel Ripper killings. Inspector Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp) is tasked with capturing the ripper and solving the case. But what he discovers along the way leads to a much larger secret than he expected.

From Hell was the first of Alan Moores works to be adapted by Hollywood into a film. It’s also the reason why he would stay as far away as he could for future films based on his books.

The simple reason is: he doesn’t consider it a faithful adaption of what he wrote and he hates the movie.

Authors not liking films based on their work is not uncommon (Stephen King hates Kubricks The Shining), and it does change significant parts of what Alan Moore wrote.

This is mainly due to the filmmakers decision to leave the reveal of the Ripper until the final act of the movie, essentially making this film a ’whodunit’. Now, I know a film should be judged on what it actually is, and not what you’d like it to be, but this could have been a more interesting film if we’d have known the killer from the start. We’d then have more time to get inside his head, which is what the book does, and it could have been more of a psychoanalytical take on Jack the Ripper rather than us following a doped up Johnny Depp for a few hours as he tries to solve the case. Hollywood always get cold feet when they’re adapting works of Alan Moore, and they play it more safe to cater for the mass Hollywood audience, therefore often completely missing the point of Alan Moores books. His books are not safe. They’re bold and complex stories that aren’t always easy reads and they weren’t written with the intention of one day becoming a film.

Alan Moores books are always painstakingly researched and planned. A single panel will be several pages of script. Comic book writers often refer to his scripts as ‘how not to write comics’, because of how overly detailed they are.

The Ripper in the film is Sir William Gull (Ian Holm). Gull was a former physician to the Queen who had to give up practicing medicine in an official capacity due to illness. In the film, he’s actually played rather well by Ian Holm. He always has that slightly shifty look about him, like he is a man hiding something. The motivation behind the ripper killings is After his revel, when we finally see him ‘turn’ he plays the insane madman as someone who is trying to cling to something he’s lost. It’s like the Ripper inside him

It’s the lengths they also go to to keeps his identity hidden from us that becomes rather bothersome. Whenever he’s in shot, his face will be blacked out and silhouetted, while his voice will be dark and low. The film also likes to keep you guessing, dropping several hints along the way that various different characters might be the Ripper. There’s a recurring shot of coach steps dropping, the sound effect of which is the overly cliche ‘slasher’ sword. Each time the steps drop, a different character steps down them. It’s good to keep the ‘whodunit’ going for film audiences, it just doesn’t allow the film to hold to future watches.

There’s also much more going on, as Gull is a member of the cult group The Freemasons, and the Freemasons are a part of covering up Gulls involvement in the killings at the risk of exposing themselves. But this is all left until the final half hour of the film. It can’t decides what it wants to be, which only makes it an average film and nothing overly remarkable in the long term. It’s not even the best film based on an Alan Moore book.

I should also note, that as of writing this blog, I haven’t yet finished the book, so I’d be interested to hear what fans of the book make of the film.

From panel to screen: Ghost World.

For over a decade now, comic book movies have been some of the highest grossing films to come out from Hollywood. What started out as a fad has become it’s own genre. Over the next  few months, I’m going to be delving into each movie individually to try and find out what it is that’s made them a mainstay in modern Hollywood.

GhostworldposterTitle: Ghost World

Release Year: 2001

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Writer:  Terry Zwigoff & Daniel Clowes

Starring: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi.

 

 

Ghost World is an indie comedy drama from 2001. It’s based on a comic by Daniel Clowes, who collaborated with writer and director Terry Zwigoff on the films screenplay. It follows the lives of two mopey teenage girls, Enid and Rebecca, who have just graduated high school and must now move onto the next part of their lives. Along the way Enid, played by Thora Birch, befriends a recluse music collector Seymour, who is played by Steve Buscemi. What starts out as Enid taking pity on Seymour turns into a close friendship as the two discover that even though there’s a considerable age difference, they have more in common with each other than their peers.

I’ve never read Ghost World. I checked to see if it was available on ComiXology so I could read it before writing this, but it’s not on there. So I can’t fairly comment on the differences between the comic and the film. I’d also never seen the film until watching it for this blog.

It’s a pretty good film, and what you’d expect from a coming of age indie movie. The main focus to begin with is the friendship between Enid and Rebecca. Rebecca is played by a rather young looking Scarlett Johansson, who turns out to be the more sensible one of the pair. Enid seems more stuck in her adolescence. She struggles with keeping jobs because she doesn’t want to work for “the man”, and even goes as far as dying her hair green for a 1976 punk rock look. It’s little like that view you have as a teenager when you think you know everything about the world, but you don’t because you haven’t quite grown up yet. You’re still viewing everything through the clouded safety of adolescence. Rebecca manages to keep her job and pesters Enid throughout the movie to move out and get an apartment with her. She seems more comfortable with letting go of her high school teenage years and moving into adult hood.

GW girls store

And then the two discover an advertisement in the paper from a lonely man trying to reconnect with a woman he once had a short lived moment with. Seymour is played brilliantly by Steve Buscemi, who is at his ‘given up on life’ best. He struggles socially and spends most of his time collecting old music records.

Enid and Rebecca decide to respond to Seymour’s advertisement in the paper and set him up on a blind date. From then on, at first out of pity, they follow him around and become a part of his life.

It’s Enid who becomes close to Seymour. She feels like she’s losing Rebecca since finishing high school, so Seymour becomes her new friend. And then the film just plays out their relationship together. Enid tries to set Seymour up on several dates until she eventually realises she feels something for him herself.

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I think the film as a whole captures really well that time in your life when you’ve just left high school and you’re moving into adulthood. It never tries to be too over ambitious, instead it’s a more quiet approach to things. It doesn’t have the pop music soundtrack that most films like this have. Music is used very little for the soundtrack. When it is used, it usually reflects the taste of either Seymour and Enid. Seymour is into old style Jazz, while Enid is currently going through a punk phase.

It’s a cute film with a few moments of quirkiness to it, but it became more a cult film than a box office hit because it doesn’t have that main stream appeal to it (This happens a lot with comic book movies that don’t have superheroes in them). I’d never seen it before I watched it for my blog (and as I said at the beginning – I nearly forgot about it).

It’s available on Netflix in the UK and should be easy enough to find on DVD.

 

X-men.

For over a decade now, comic book movies have been some of the highest grossing films to come out from Hollywood. What started out as a fad has become it’s own genre. Over the next  few months, I’m going to be delving into each movie individually to try and find out what it is that’s made them a mainstay in modern Hollywood. 

x-menTitle: X-MEN

Release Year: 2000

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: David Hayter

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin.

 

 

Two years after Blade had been a hit for New Line Cinema, X-men was released by 20th Century Fox. Unlike Blade, X-men were a pretty well known brand before they took off as a movie franchise. Marvel had had a lot of success with the X-men comics in the 90s thanks to a new number 1 issue by star creators Chris Clearmont and Jim Lee (the first issue sold millions of copies because it was part of a boom comics were going through in the 90s. This would later lead to the medium struggling and eventually lead Marvel to bankruptcy and selling off their properties to movie studios, which is why fans today constantly complain about Marvel studios not having the movie rights to Spider-man and the X-men), there was also the animated cartoon show, which, like a lot of Marvel stuff, is where I first remember discovering them. So the film itself wasn’t as much a risk for the studio like Blade was, but comic book movies could still go either way at the box office.

X-Men 1 coverThe X-men comic itself struggled to find an audience when it was first published in 1963. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the original lineup consisted of Cyclops, Beast, Ice-Man, Angel, Jean Grey (who was then known as Marvel Girl) and lead by Professor Xavier. Sales weren’t as high as Marvel would have liked, this could have been down to Lee and Kirby working on other Marvel titles at the time and not giving the X-men their all, since their run on the book isn’t as long as, say, their run on the Fantastic Four. In 1969, Roy Thomas and Neal Adams took over as creators on the book and introduced some new characters, but the book was cancelled around issue 66. So Marvel decided to relaunch the title, with a new line up and new creators, which helped give the title the boost it needed to make it one of Marvel Comics most successful franchises.

What also makes X-men brand as successful and good as it is, is that Mutants themselves are a metaphor for people who don’t feel like they belong in society. In both the comics and the films, mutants represent those people who are on the outside, and it’s a metaphor and theme that’s pretty much timeless. And it works across the board, from racism to bullying to sexual preference. Over the past 50 years, at one point or another, these have been addressed in the comics, and if there’s one thing that Hollywood loves – it’s a good metaphor that audiences can latch onto.

The theme of oppression is very apparent in X-men, as the main plot of the movie involves a plan by Magneto to turn the leaders of the world into Mutants. Magneto is the first character in the movie we’re introduced to, as the film opens in Poland 1944 – a Nazi Concentration Camp. We see a young Erik Lehnsherr be separated from his parents, but what we’re actually witnessing is his super villain origin. It’s what starts his hatred against human kind, made all the worse as he gets older by the way humans treat mutants. I think we start with Magneto so we can sympathise with him, and believe in his cause more. He’s not wrong in what he wants, which is equality for mutants, it’s his methods in gaining what he wants that makes him the villain. He’s willing to use a machine, which he knows will have bad effects and will lead to death, on humankind to turn them into mutants. I’m not sure I’d go as far to say he’s a political activist in the sense of someone like Martin Luther King, but there are certainly parallels there.

(Side note: we’ll see more of his backstory much later in X-men: First Class)

Going against the original lineup in the comics, the core team in the movie consists of Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Rogue. Lead, of course, by Professor Xavier. There are also other well known mutants in smaller roles, most notably Ice-Man, who will have more to do in future movies. There’s also cameos of Kitty Pryde and Pyro.

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The main focus of the movie, and nearly every X-men movie to come after it, is on Wolverine. This is for the simple fact that he’s the most popular character in the X-men franchise. Even though he wasn’t in the original lineup, since his debut in the mid-70s, he’s had several of his own on-going series, been in a multitude of different X-men titles, and more recently, he’s been a main character in The Avengers. We’re introduced to him at first as a cage fighter. He’s making use of his mutant ability to heal (and also his adamantium laced skeleton) to make a living, and because he’s a bit of a lost cause when we first meet him. It’s here he meets Rogue, who ran away from home after discovering her mutant power from her first kiss (she sent the guy into a coma for 3 weeks because her mutant ability is to drain a persons energy, or if they’re a mutant – their ability). When the pair are out on the road, they’re attacked by Sabertooth, who we later find out is part of Magnetos Evil Brotherhood of Mutants. They’re saved by Cyclops and Storm, which sends Wolverine and Rogue to Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters, which brings all of our characters together.

x-men-eric-and-charlesWhat I like most about this film, and what I think helped it become as big and successful as it is, is it’s cast. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are perfectly casted in the roles of Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively. Two classically trained Shakespearian actors in two of the most iconic roles from comics. What’s also great about these two actors in these roles is that they’re actually best friends in real life. The relationship between Xavier and Magneto has been an important part of X-men since it first launched, and the fact that these guys are friends off the screen as well adds a whole extra layer of subtext to every scene they’re in. You can feel the history between them whenever they have scenes together. From the first time we see them together at the UN meeting, to the final scene of the film when they’re playing chess.

There’s also Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He was originally the second choice for the role behind Dougary Scott, who passed on the role of Wolverine to star in Mission: Impossible II. It needs to be said: Hugh Jackman is great. He’s doesn’t always choose the best roles, but he always gives a performance his all. He’s also one of the few modern Hollywood actors who can sing and dance and be an action hero (and he manages to pull off the questionable hairstyle of Wolverine. See, this guy has talent!) I’ve always liked him as Wolverine. He gets both the toughness and soft side of the character right. And for all you ladies out there who like your eye candy – he spends a lot of time in this film without his shirt on.

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This film doesn’t waste any time in establishing the love triangle between Wolverine, Cyclops and Jean Grey, a love triangle that’s been an important part of X-men history. Cyclops is the clean cut, handsome frat boy, while Wolverine is rough, rugged hairy new guy. The banter between Wolverine and Cyclops (James Marsden) makes for some good comic relief in the film and helps add that extra tension to the team. They try not to make Jean Greys singular job being the object that these two guys have to fight over. She is given other stuff to do (like x-raying Wolverine in all the scenes that he’s shirtless in). She’s played pretty well by Famke Janssen, who plays her more like her early comic book character, were she’s still discovering some of her powers. She’s better than the other female member of the group, Storm, who literally has very little to do. This was before Halle Berry won her Oscar, so she wasn’t that big of a deal yet, but the character she’s playing is one of the first black female superheroes in comics. It was probably hard to give her anymore screen time, but she needs more to do. Her best scene is in the train station, when’s she’s being threatened by Sabertooth, and she straight up gives him a giant lightening bolt.

Several characters, most of which have good performances behind them, but what I noticed this time around watching is that we don’t get too into the origins. It’s probably because mutation is something you’re born with and develop around puberty, but the film doesn’t spend much time on how the characters got to this point. Wolverines is glimpsed briefly in flashbacks. Cyclops, Jean and Storm are introduced as the teachers of the school. It’s only in Rogue that we see an actual origin. But they’ll attempt origins later, and you’ll probably be wishing they’d never bothered in some cases.

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What stopped X-men from having too overly campy a look was the costumes. Gone are the colourful outfits comic book readers are used too. Instead, the film uses matching black lather jump suit costumes. They’re not that exciting as far as costumes go. The look of the film would later be replicated in the comics by artist Frank Quietly in New X-men. This is an early example of the movies having a knock on effect on the comics, something that would become more and more of a trend once Marvel began making their own movies.

 

The movie has aged pretty well. Their are effects there that look pretty dated, but they’re not overly done due to the modest budget the film had. They spent $70 million on making the movie. It would end up taking over $200 million at the box office, making it a smash hit. This is why X-men is often thought as as the beginning of the current trend in superhero movies. It had that appeal to both adults and younger audiences members which allowed it to take in a lot of money. It would also make Bryan Singer one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, and was the beginning of Hugh Jackman becoming a star (I wonder if Dougray Scott ever regrets not taking the role?).

Next time: I’ll be looking at Spider-man, which would end up being even bigger than X-men.

Blade.

For over a decade now, comic book movies have been some of the highest grossing films to come out from Hollywood. What started out as a fad has become it’s own genre. Over the next  few months, I’m going to be delving into each movie individually to try and find out what it is that’s made them a mainstay in modern Hollywood. 

 

blade_ver1_xlg

Title: BLADE

Release Year: 1998

Director: Stephen Norrington

Writer: David S. Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright and Donal Logue.

 

 

Blade always seemed like an interesting choice of character to turn into a movie. He made his debut in comics in the early 1970s, first appearing in The Tomb Of Dracula series by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. At first, he was a supporting character, and was created to fight vampires in the Marvel universe. He has had several of his own titles over the years, but none of them lasted that long, and he never really broke out like other supporting characters. I, personally, have been reading comics pretty steadily since I was 8, and I’ve read my fair share of Marvel comics, and I can’t recall Blade appearing in any of them. Even recently, in all the big marvel events like Civil War and Secret Invasion, stories that happened after he broke out as a movie star and when he was a little more well known, he was never used. Almost to the point were it’s like comic book writers don’t know what to do with him.

spiderman_bladeMy first experience with the character that I remember, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, is the character turning up in the 90s Spider-man animated cartoon show. They did a vampire storyline were the vampires never bit anyone, instead they drained the plasma from their victims through their hands. This was because the cartoon couldn’t have blood sucking vampires, so it had to make do with plasma draining vampires (and because children know what plasma is, right?)

 

The film itself is also pretty significant because it’s one of the few R rated (or certificate 18, for English people) comic book/super hero movies. Movies like this aren’t usually made with that high of a rating because they need to be family friendly in order to make money. The majority of comic book movies are 12a (which is something I’m going to go into more when I write about Spider-man in a couple of weeks) in order for the studios to make back the money they spend on these things and turn a profit. But Blade got lucky, because it came out on the back of Batman & Robin, which was very much made to cater to the family friendly audience, and it ended up severely under performing at the box office (because, as we’re all well aware of – Batman & Robin is not a good movie).

Also, with Blade not exactly being a big household name, they had freedom to do pretty much whatever they wanted to do with the character and the film, which turned out to be a blood-filled action movie full of bad language. And what they did worked, because they spent $40 million making Blade, and it made over $100 million back at the box office and even went on to get two sequels and an unrelated TV series.

marvel_blade

Now, onto the movie itself. Blade is the story of a half human, half vampire who has all the strengths of being a vampire but none of the weaknesses. His mother is bitten by a vampire when she is still pregnant with him, and he is torn from her dying womb and adopted by Whistler, who decides to turn Blade into a vampire slayer. The films villain, Deacon Frost, wants to do away with mankind, and let vampires become the dominant species on the planet. In order to do that, he needs to unlock the secrets of an old vampire God La Magra. Blade must stop Frost before he can do this, and along the way he’s going to kill a lot of vampires, and make Donal Logue wish he’d have died in the first scene, because this dude goes through hell for Deacon Frosts cause.

I watched it again recently for the first time in years – and it holds up pretty well. Some of it is very dated to the late 90s, like the outfits and the underground club dance scene that opens the movie. But other parts hold up better, like Blades costume. He decides to go for the long leather coat and body armour look. He only works in black, and he still looks like a bad ass. I was also thinking that a lot of the costume design in this movie looks very inspired by The Matrix, but after some imdbing found out that The Matrix came a year later, so this is pre-matrix black leather.

Wesley Snipes is also pretty great in the lead role, and managed to help turn a supporting character from a comic into a movie star. They never give him much dialogue, the exposition is left to other characters, but in the action scenes he’s really solid.

blade

But even though this film isn’t as campy as other super hero movies, it’s still full of stuff that makes no sense. Like, for example, Whistler, who is Blades old and wise trainer, but still thinks it’s a great idea to smoke next to a fuel pump that’s in use (he smokes whilst filling up Blades motorcycle (I’m not making this up!). And then there’s Donal Logues character, who is Frosts main henchman. He is lit on fire right at the beginning of the film, has both of his hands chopped off and goes through a lot of rough stuff, He pretty much has the worst day you can have and still thinks he can take on Blade, before finally meeting his match against a zip-wire.

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And my favourite thing about this movie, which is another thing that I list under ‘making no sense’ is that, with the help of a little sun tan lotion, vampires can go out walking in the daytime. There’s a scene which is set in the middle of the day, were Frost is holding a little girl hostage. In a park. In the middle of the day. But he doesn’t burn up to a crisp because he has factor 50 on and he’s stood in the shade. So much for taking out the comic book campiness.

z0y2aZeqPIThe DVD also features an alternate ending. When Frost is possessed by the evilness of La Magra, he has one final confrontation with Blade. The ending that ended up in the final cut depicts Frost as being possessed by having extremely red blood shot eyes and looking very pissed off at everyone and everything, the alternate ending depicts Frost as a giant whirlwind of blood. They made the right choice in choosing their ending, because the whirlwind of blood would not have aged as well as the sword fight that’s in the film.

But the film is good in what it sets out to do – be a badass, vampire slaying movie. There’s plenty of it, the film rarely feels like it’s boring and dragging, which is also help by it’s running time being just under 2 hours.

So now a character that no one had heard of has become a huge commercial movie star, and Marvel have had their first taste at big screen success. But what came next was even bigger. Next time, I’ll be looking at Bryan Singers X-men.