Blade: Trinity (2004)

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Released 17-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Menu Animation & Audio
Alternative Version-Theatrical Version
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Audio Commentary-David Goyer (Writer/Dir/Prod), Ryan Reynolds & Jessica Biel
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers'
Featurette-Making Of-Inside The World Of Blade: Trinity
Interviews-Crew-Goyer On Goyer - The Writer Interviews The Director
Alternate Ending
Outtakes
Gallery-Visual Effects Progressions, Weapons
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Blade 3 Soundtrack Listing And Preview Of Animated Short
Trailer-Million Dollar Baby, Constantine
Easter Egg
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 117:20 (Case: 123)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:43)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David S. Goyer
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Wesley Snipes
Kris Kristofferson
Dominic Purcell
Jessica Biel
Ryan Reynolds
Parker Posey
Mark Berry
John Michael Higgins
Callum Keith Rennie
Paul Michael Levesque
Paul Anthony
Françoise Yip
Michael Rawlins
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $34.95 Music Ramin Djawadi
RZA


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (384Kb/s)
English dts 6.1 ES Discrete (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Greek
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Greek Audio Commentary
Greek Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, for Apple PCs and iPod
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

    Welcome to my 250th review, and I'm happy to say that it's for an absolute corker of a film! Marvel's mutant, day-walking vampire hunter, Blade (Wesley Snipes), is back in the very explosive and fun third instalment in the Blade franchise, Blade: Trinity. Okay, so Blade: Trinity isn't a movie for overly serious film critics or Academy voters. Blade: Trinity is an unapologetically fast-paced, showy, adrenaline-soaked, action/horror flick, and as far as this type of movie goes, it's wonderfully entertaining and exhilarating. Apart from a rockin' high-energy film, the two-disc DVD set is also sublime, with an excellent widescreen transfer, dts 6.1 ES audio, and a great collection of extras. Welcome to one of the best DVD releases of 2005!

    Blade: Trinity opens with a small team of fanged soldiers, led by the deliciously vamp-camp, Danica Talos (Indie Queen Parker Posey), searching for a toothy Messiah. With the help of a tractor-sized vampire, (WWE superstar Triple H), the soldiers find and capture a horrific monster hiding underground in a desert in Iraq (very subtle). The monster turns out to be none other than the original vampire, Dracula himself (Aussie Dominic Purcell).

    From the outset, I must admit that I found this last aspect of the story a little strange. Why include the Dracula, if you're not going to do anything with the Dracula legend? Rather, in Blade: Trinity, Dracula assumes a new name, Drake, and occasionally transforms his look from open-shirted, fashion model/Goth rocker, into a lumpy Predator-looking beast, with bad skin, and a worse attitude.

    Anyway, Danica has been hard at work, and apart from resurrecting the Big D, she also cleverly arranges for Blade to be arrested by the FBI. He might have slain almost 1200 vampires, but apparently Blade's no match for US Government law enforcement.

    However, Blade is quickly rescued from captivity by the Nightstalkers, a secret society of human vampire hunters, which brings us to the new characters that enliven Blade: Trinity, and turn this movie into a fun ensemble piece. The gorgeous Jessica Biel of 7th Heaven joins the cast as the Buffy-like Abigail, the daughter of Blade's mentor, Whistler (an even more grizzled and tired Kris Kristofferson). Upon Whistler's death (although didn't he die in an earlier Blade already?), Abigail inherits his vampire-slaying duties, and happily takes over the family business. Comedian Ryan Reynolds of Two Guys and a Girl co-stars as the hilarious Hannibal King, a reformed vampire, and now resident wisecracking sidekick.

    Also, adding a geek element to the Nightstalkers team is Sommerfield (Natasha Lyonne), a blind scientist working on a more permanent solution to the vampire problem. It seems that the vampire slaying geek has devised a virus that, if properly unleashed, will kill off all vampires once and for all. I assume that this is what the Nighstalkers need Blade's help for -- that bit of the story never really gets explained.

    Interestingly, with Blade disappearing from view for long stretches of this film, it is the new hip and exciting characters, Abigail and Hannibal, that take centre stage. Normally sidelining the main titular character in any movie would be a terrible error, but with the now tired, dull, and surly character of Blade, and the uncharismatic performance by Wesley Snipes, this new approach actually comes as a very welcome relief.

   

    According to Hollywood gossip, Snipes wasn't too happy with his new backseat role, and promptly declared this was to be his last Blade film. Apparently not getting along with the new director or cast, Snipes did minimal promotional work for the movie, and you will note that he's missing from the audio commentaries, and most of the extras.

   Written and directed by David S. Goyer, Blade: Trinity is undoubtedly more action-driven than character-driven, and is definitely not as sombre or gritty as the first two Blade films. Goyer was not only the writer of the first two films, but a comic book writer himself, and he brings a kinetic energy to this comic book brought to life. Compared to the first two Blade films, there is also now much less CGI-based work, and far more martial-arts fisticuffs. After all, Blade: Trinity goes for all-out action and thrills, with an endless series of explosive confrontations in which a small army of vampires are colourfully incinerated.

    I also particularly liked the fact that Blade: Trinity never takes itself too seriously, and largely thanks to the Hannibal character there's great humour and punchy one-liners throughout. Furthermore, the film's production design, sets, costumes, props, photography, stunts, fight choreography, visual and sound effects are all top notch. The use of CGI and compositing is seamless, and very fortunately it's never over used.

    One annoying point: While most product placement in films goes largely unnoticed, Blade: Trinity has some of the most obvious and annoying product placement that I have ever seen. Unfortunately, whole sections of the film are merely an Apple PC or iPod commercial.

    The DVD cleverly offers two versions of Blade: Trinity via seamless branching. The theatrical version runs for 108:18, and the (unrated) extended version is a little longer, at 117:20. The extended version has a few moments added here and there throughout, with the only significant difference being in the ending, which is slightly altered from the theatrical version. For the purposes of this review, I watched the extended version, and all times mentioned below refer to that.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The quality of the transfer is brilliant, and I enjoyed watching this film with both a widescreen television and a projector.

    The widescreen transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is beautifully sharp and well defined throughout. For example, consider the detailed and well delineated shot of the tile mosaic at 45:10. The black level is excellent, with true, deep blacks. There are many dark scenes, and happily the shadow detail is great. For example, look at the detail in the shadowy shot in the underground tomb at 3:05, or the dark meeting room at 40:45.

    While the overall picture is purposely a little dark throughout, through what I assume to be digital grading, the colour remains excellent. There are many scenes with themed and stylised lighting and/or colours, and there is a perfect palette of well-saturated hues on display. The skin tones are accurate.

    There are absolutely no problems with MPEG, film-to-video, or even film artefacts throughout. This is a pristine print, with a expertly authored transfer to DVD.

    Sometimes there appeared to be very slight edge enhancement, but it never drew attention to itself.

    English for the Hearing Impaired, Greek, English Audio Commentary 1, English Audio Commentary 2, Greek Audio Commentary 1, and Greek Audio Commentary 2 subtitles are all present on this DVD. The English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a two disc set. The first disc houses the feature and is a Dual Layer disc, with the layer change placed at 58:43.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The sound design for Blade: Trinity is truly awesome, and the DVD's sound is an audiophile's treat.

    Originally released theatrically with a choice of Dolby Digital, dts, and SDDS sound, there are five audio options for the feature on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (384Kb/s), English dts 6.1 ES Discrete (768Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Surround (192Kb/s), English Audio Commentary 1 Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s), and English Audio Commentary 2 Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s).

    The dts 6.1 ES discrete track is only available on the extended version of the film, and is by far the superior choice. While both the Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and dts 6.1 ES Discrete audio options make wonderful use of your home theatre speakers, the dts track demonstrates a greater range, with a lot more presence in the bottom end. So use the dts track - your subwoofer will love you for it.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine on both the English Dolby Digital and dts audio tracks.

    The film's music features a funky fusion of heavy metal, thrash, Goth rock and plenty of hip-hop, with the very cool addition of some classic Velvet Underground. The original score is credited to traditional orchestral composer Ramin Djawadi, who helped score Pirates of the Caribbean, and rapper RZA, the man behind Wu-Tang Clan, who also helped score Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2. The music suits the look and feel of the film, and certainly underscores the action.

    Boasting Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and dts 6.1 ES Discrete audio tracks, Blade: Trinity has a very high level of surround presence and activity, which is both agressive and immersive. The opening scene of the helicopters over the Syrian desert announces very early to listeners the film's excellent sound design, and use of the rears. The rear speakers are used extensively throughout to help carry the score, and for ambience, such as during the basketball game at 70:32. There are also a few clever panning-between-speaker moments, such as the series of explosions at 25:10. The sixth surround channel is used noticeably, and there are some great moments when it really made a difference, such as during the frantic chase throught the traffic at 57:10 or in the extended fight scene starting at at 92:30.

    The subwoofer is also utilised throughout, as this is a very LFE heavy film. There are some striking moments, such as when a stone floor collapses at 2.05, or when the giant doors groan open at 67:14.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Blade: Trinity is released as a two-disc set, and there are a collection of genuine and interesting extras. I was very pleased to see that most of the extras are enhanced for widescreen televisions, and usually offered surround sound capability.

Disc One

Menu

    Animated with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Audio Commentary 1

    Presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s) audio, Writer, Director, and Producer David Goyer is joined by stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel for a chatty, screen-specific commentary. You will note that grumpy Mr Snipes is noticeably absent. There are a few anecdotes throughout, and it is a fairly casual and light commentary.

Audio Commentary 2

    Also presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s) audio, here Writer, Director, and Producer David Goyer is joined by Producers Peter Frankenfurt and Lynn Harris, Director of photography Gabriel Beristain, Production Designer Chris Gorak, and Editor Howard E Smith. This commentary is more serious, and far more technical, as the filmmakers discuss realising the vision of the script, and the techniques they used in making the movie. They also mention some of the talent working behind the cameras, and identify the odd homage to other films, and the cameo appearances by members of the crew.

Disc Two

Featurette- Making Of- Inside The World Of Blade: Trinity (106:39)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 Enhanced, with Dolby Digital Stereo Surround Sound, this is a genuine and meaty 'making of' documentary that comprehensively looks at almost every aspect of making this film, including the script, direction, casting, set design, costume design, music, and sound design. There are a number of interviews with key cast and crew, and a lot of behind-the-scenes footage. I particularly enjoyed the segment entitled Nighstalker Bootcamp, which looked at the fitness and fighting training that Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds went through for the film.

    The Chapters are:

Interviews- Goyer On Goyer - The Writer Interviews The Director (5:10)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 Enhanced, with Dolby Digital Stereo sound, here Writer, Director, and Producer David Goyer cleverly interviews himself using simple visual and sound effects. Goyer discusses the film in comparison the the other two, and what he was trying to achieve.

Alternate Ending (1:08)

     Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 Enhanced, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Fortunately, this pointless ending, probably designed to open the way for further sequels, was dropped.

Outtakes (10:31)

     A blooper reel, presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 Enhanced, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Gallery

     Divided into two sections, Visual Effects Progressions, and Weapons, this extra includes both a collection of computer animated tests, and a collection of captioned stills.

Trailers

Easter Egg

    This is pretty easy to find, and not that rewarding.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Blade: Trinity was released on DVD in Region 1 in April 2005. Apart from the trailers included, some DVD ROM bits and pieces, and subtitles, the two versions are pretty much the same (although the R1 does come with a Limited Edition Marvel Comic Book).

    Anyway, I will call it "even", but personally would favour the local release for its superior PAL image.

Summary

    I'm pretty sure that before you even see it, you'll already know whether you like this film or not by the title alone. Blade: Trinity was never destined to win the Best Film Oscar - it’s designed to provide a fun, rollercoaster ride of action and thrills, and in that regard, it certainly doesn't disappoint. I personally think it's the best of the Blade movies - low on exposition, high on action and entertainment.

    If you're a fan of the series or liked the comic, this is a must buy DVD!

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is also excellent.

    The extras are genuine and enrich the movie experience.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Just a side note regarding the product placement in this film. - Gordon Sumner
Comic Book Extra - James O
Don't waste your time! - Pendergast (Why not take a look at my bio, you might think it stinks.)
re Don't Waste Your Time - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
Goyer should stick to writting, not directing! First BLADE in DTS R3 Full bite rate! - Pendergast (Why not take a look at my bio, you might think it stinks.) REPLY POSTED
That Dracula guy was a joke - Vieira4 (deleted bio)
Absolutely, Vieira4 ... - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
Blade Trininty sux - G-man (read my bio) REPLY POSTED
oh it wasnt that bad - J Sebastian
You gotta be kidding?!? - Dodes
The bad reviews made me curious - Anonymous
Why didn't Dracula stay as the beast creature more ?? - Vieira4 (deleted bio)