Moriarty Takes A Minor Ass-Kicking From BLADE TRINITY!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I think it’s safe to say that the BLADE films occupy a unique corner of the Marvel movie universe. For one thing, they firmly embrace the R-rating, filled with violence and gore and foul, foul language. Also, each film seems to adopt a totally different style, which is unusual when building a franchise. With X-MEN or SPIDER-MAN, you can see how carefully Marvel is establishing a sense of continuity. With the BLADE films, even though David Goyer’s been the primary screenwriter, there have been three different directors involved now, and that’s made every film feel very different. Steven Norrington created a great industrial vibe, very sleek, very cold. Guillermo Del Toro embraced a more gothic Grand Guignol style, emphasizing the horror more directly. This time out, Goyer’s directing from his own script, and the film he’s made is both funnier and more of a flat-out action film than either of the first two. What surprised me is that Goyer does a better job as a director than as a writer with this one, so he makes himself look better even when he manages to let himself down a bit.
The film kicks off with a team of vampires searching the desert. They find an ancient temple where something is buried, something they’ve been searching for. What they dig up is only seen in quick glimpses, something powerful and monstrous that kills several of them. It’s a damn good way to start the film, and it introduces Danica Talos (Parker Posey) as the queen bitch of this film. She’s such a strong personality, playing this spoiled, evil, decadent Paris-Hilton-with-fangs, that it seems like a miscalculation to reduce Dracula (or Drake, as the film calls him) to mere human form. When he’s resurrected, he’s pure monster, but then he quickly shapeshifts into human form and we end up with our 44,500th variation on “Eurotrash Dracula.” I wish Goyer had left Danica as the human face of the vampire world and let Drake exist as an evil that was larger than life. He’s a really cool monster, and we don’t get enough of him. I never saw the TV series JOHN DOE, but Dominic Purcell got some nice reviews for it. He doesn’t make much of an impression here, and that’s because he’s surrounded by so many outrageously outsized personalities. In addition to Posey, he’s playing opposite Triple H, the pro wrestler, who plays Grimwood, one of Danica’s main henchmen. Simply put, the guy’s got charisma to burn, and Goyer makes good use of him.
The same sort of imbalance exists among the good guys in the film. Kris Kristofferson is in and out of the film so fast he barely registers. Wesley Snipes can be, and has been, a very good actor when he is engaged by the right material. I still think of his work in THE WATERDANCE as a high point in his career. As an action star, Snipes has a particular gift: he strikes perfect comic book poses. He does most of his acting with his body, with the looks he gives people, with his presence. Unfortunately for him, this time out, Goyer has written two far more interesting roles for Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds as Abigail Whistler and Hannibal King, the Nightstalkers. They’re the B-team, so to speak, trained by Whistler and kept on the sidelines to step in if Blade should ever fuck up. And he does, pretty spectacularly, when the vampires set him up to kill a human in a public place. They videotape the incident and turn the FBI loose on Blade. It’s up to the Nightstalkers to step in, set Blade loose, and help him stop Drake from helping the vampires complete their endgame: turning all of humanity into livestock for the vampire nation.
I cannot say enough good about Biel and Reynolds. They are the reasons you must see the film. She is a credible action lead, gorgeous but not at all fragile. She handles herself with real poise and presence, and she carries the dramatic side of things. Reynolds, on the other hand, has the most fun job I can imagine. He gets to stand nose-to-nose with Blade and make savage fun of him for most of the film, and there’s not a thing Wesley can do about it but watch the guy steal the franchise out from under him. I would like to hire whoever it was who trained Reynolds physically for the film. They’ve taken this lanky Chevy Chase-style doofus and transformed him into Brad Pitt in FIGHT CLUB. The guy is impossibly chiseled in the film, and somehow, he still manages to come across as an ordinary guy with a sharper-than-average tongue.
As an action director, I like Goyer quite a bit. I had the opportunity to work with Goyer on a project just before he went off to start work on BLADE TRINITY. Never got off the ground, but we had a chance to spend a fair amount of time together, and I know he spends a lot of time working on story. That’s why I’m a little puzzled by this script. Maybe it was the fact that he was splitting his attention for the first time ever, but this feels undercooked. There are good ideas introduced and abandoned, set-ups that don’t quite pay off, and the entire notion of Drake as the real figure behind the legend of Dracula is barely explored. There are quite a few touches in the film that I think do work really well. The vampire dogs are hilarious, there’s a great scene in which Danica outlines a plan for Hannibal King (who’s been captured) that is quite chilling, even if it never comes to fruition, and the action scenes really do deliver a certain level of bone-crunching intensity that fans are going to enjoy. Patton Oswalt is introduced as a weapons expert for the Nightstalkers, and if I have any wish for the DVD, it’s that we get to see all the footage you just KNOW has got to be on the cutting room floor, since his part’s obviously been trimmed back. As much as I want to see more of him, I could have stood even less of Natasha Lyonne, the worst character and performance in the film. She’s some blind computer expert working for the Nightstalkers, and she looks like she was rounded up from a crack binge and shoved in front of the camera by an annoyed A.D. in every scene. She’s been an uninteresting performer for a while now, but she keeps getting thrown these plum roles. Perhaps it’s time to stop.
The end of the film feels oddly small-scaled, and that’s a bit of a problem. There’s something introduced that seems like it could be the end of the struggle between humans and vampires once and for all, but the way it’s actually handled onscreen, it’s unclear. Did it just affect one building? Will it spread? Did the plan work or fail completely? And the actual visual execution of the idea feels like a letdown. It’s not nearly apocalyptic enough. On the other hand, there are some great fights, and all the hand-to-hand stuff is really good. I think I would have preferred that it just feel more conclusive, one way or another. And I would have enjoyed seeing a final scene in which we establish what the Nightstalkers are going to do next. I know one was tested, and I think the film needs it. People are going to love Abby and Hannibal, and it’s a mistake not to end on them.
Overall, BLADE TRINITY is a bit of a mixed bag, but the good outweighs the bad considerably, and like the first two BLADE films, this one is fun. If you’re already a fan, buckle up, because this one should satisfy. And even if you’re not, give it a try, because it’s always nice to see not one but two new action stars emerge. Now I want to see Goyer move on to something of his own creation, something where he can really cut loose. I think he’s earned it with this one.
It’s been a busy weekend. I’ve published my reviews of ONG BAK, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, LAYER CAKE, THE INCREDIBLES, and THE POLAR EXPRESS so far. And there’s much more to come before the holiday. That LEMONY SNICKET preview, my reviews of HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, and the biggest installment of the DVD SHELF column ever!
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Nov. 22, 2004, 3:41 a.m. CST
I said it before and I'll say it again, no matter how slick-o or cool this movie may be (and it did have a nice preview. "Forgot my sword") I still think its gonna get creamed. Though I could be wrong, there is room for 2 movies in the marketplace making cash, just like National Treasure & Spongebob did this weekend.
Nov. 22, 2004, 3:49 a.m. CST
The one that was screened a few months back did in fact end with the Nightstalkers facing off against another kind of monster, giving them an introduction to their own spin-off (which is what Goyer had in mind right from the start).
Nov. 22, 2004, 4:28 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
And I love sequels that feel totally different from their predecessors. The Star Wars movies do this!
Nov. 22, 2004, 4:42 a.m. CST
by Logo Lou
And so is her current/former boyfirend Adam Goldberg. I don't get it. And don't say she was good in "Slums of Beberly Hills" because she that sucked in that too.
Nov. 22, 2004, 5:38 a.m. CST
It really sounds like Moriarty is trying hard to like the film -- and the reference to Goyer's previous projects, particularly the one M co-operated on, just adds to the feeling of an apologist -- despite the fact that all the actual events mentioned make this seem like a non-Blade film. Having a film about a strong central character, heck, *named* after the guy, and then introducing two very strong characters that take the limelight away, is a sure-fire way to kill the main character. If Goyer doesn't *know* this, he's not much of a writer or a director. If he *does* know this, then he's simply flipping us Blade fans the bird. So what happened? It seems to me that his first stint as a major Director was just too much for the guy: he didn't get enough proper constructive criticism on his story or his script, and this being the third film in the trilogy, well, the studio doesn't really care too much what's produced, they're not making any more anyway. A great shame, since the first two were great films, even del Toro's masturbatory piece. NetSlut
Nov. 22, 2004, 6:31 a.m. CST
by Drunken Fugitive
I did have high hopes for Blade 3, but this does sound like they want to kill off a previously entertaining franchise. Guess i'll still see it just for a bit of Blade kickin' ass.
Nov. 22, 2004, 7:52 a.m. CST
SPOILER WARNING SO DONT BITCH--- Psyclops, the new ending just ends with Drake granting him the gift of assuming the form of Blade so the police would lay off and with Blade riding off into a fast moving street as Reynolds does a sort of "The War will never end..." type of speech. End of spoilers
Nov. 22, 2004, 8:09 a.m. CST
I simply can't wait. If this is to be the send off for Blade it should have been taken more seriously and made more personal to Blade as a character. Instead we get a lot of personalities chewing up scenery. With Parker Posey, Triple H, and Ryan Reynolds, how much of a story can there really be?
Nov. 22, 2004, 8:21 a.m. CST
And this is the last film Snipes will be in that is realeased in theatres. His career is now stright to video a la Van Damme and Seagal.
Nov. 22, 2004, 9:04 a.m. CST
Trust me, i never would have thought that the douchebag from Van Wilder would ever be good in a movie but the man made everyone in the thatre crack up. Yes, he spits a little too many one liners but he's more hit tham niss and holds his own impressively, especially in the fight scene with Triple H.
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:03 a.m. CST
Did he not read the script before he signed on? You'd think he'd have noticed, "Hey, the focus isn't really on me this time. Maybe I ought to complain now, BEFORE we start shooting." Or was the focus taken away from Blade in the later stages of production?
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:24 a.m. CST
by Lost Skeleton
...for a great time at the movei. I can't wait to enter the "Kingdom of Ass- Kicking" again. Now, all we need is a review by Neil Cumpstein.
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:34 a.m. CST
by I Dunno
I knew as quickly as I read the rumor that the third Blade movie would start with the world being ruled by vampires that it was bullshit and the next film would be the same run of the mill crap. So the difference with this movie is that they have a young Chevy Chase (or Jason Lee wannabe) and some chick added to the mix. This franchise suffers from the same Alien/Predator syndrome. There's a potential for a really interesting story but instead they take the easy way out and just end up with the good guys being chased by monsters for 1 1/2 hours.
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST
...as long as Reynolds portrays the Wally West Flash. After the footage I saw at San Diego Con this past summer, I'm convinced that he is going to steal BLADE: TRINITY right out from Wesley Snipes. On the flip side, I can't see ANY role that will make me like Triple H...
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST
by Mr. Profit
I love it when a 'Star' emerges seemingly out of no where. It's like Jennifer Garner, Jessica was in notable roles before, but she has finally broke through and got everyone's attention. Biel made Texas Chainsaw work because you actually felt as if she knew she was going to die. She made the violence seem real. And it's still the only horror film I saw in the theater where people did not curse at her character, and cheered when she cut off Leatherface's arm. People were on her side, rooting for her to live. And that's rare, because I'm always in the theater like 'Kill The Bitch'. She also has one of the best bodies in Hollywood. She looks strong, healthy, and has some nice curves. Unlike my former crush Geller who seems to have missed 1095 meals last year. And Fuck Wesley, if he is acting up and wants to end Blade (The only movie's he seems to be doing anyway, what else has he been in lately?) then they should hand over the franchise to the Nightstalkers if they are as good as people keep saying. I heard Wes is not doing any press for the film. Why would you do that? Screw the pretentious Oceans Twelve, Oceans Eleven was overrated anyway. I'll be watching Blade 3 on December 10th.
Nov. 22, 2004, 10:55 a.m. CST
by Mr. Profit
He had to have seen the script, and was probably in agreement that the focus should move to The Nightstalkers, maybe he's mad that it came out too good. But either way, New Line treats Wesley very well.
Nov. 22, 2004, 12:55 p.m. CST
by Mr. Profit
I am a fellow Blade fan. I appreciate and liked both films. It's true I don't know what went one, but I know that Wes was reluctant to even be Blade after Blade 2. He signed on for 3 and I am sure he fully knew the intentions of Goyer, because we all knew before the start of production that this was to be a springboard for The Nightstalkers. I'm not mad, I say spread the vampire goodness around. But I don't like it when actors get too full of themselves that they abandon their fans. Wes should be game and out there and promoting his film. Promotion is key. Look at what promotion did for The Grudge. SMG was pimping the film everywhere. And Hollywood takes notice of an Actor's devotion to the tedious promotion process. Who is Wes fooling, in the end it's hit mug featured prominently on the poster, and the movie is called BLADE. So if it flops, it will be on his shoulders. And we should not even be talking about the end of Blade, because we should be seeing a continuation after Trinity. But Snipes (who is known for being difficult) is not keen on a 4. I say, get rid of his ass and hire Michael Jai White. Wesley is over anyway. And we'll see how his Black Panther movie will do.
Nov. 22, 2004, 1:46 p.m. CST
I saw a poster for Blade 3 Trinity at the local megaplex, and all it had was a white guy I didn't recognize, all armed and looking baddass. I thought "Gee, Wesley needs to get out and get some sun, wait, that's not Blade!". I can see why he's pissed. The movie has his character's name in the title, but he's being pushed aside. I go to Blade movies to see Wesley fuck up vampires, not to see some chick do it for him. I'm going to pass on this one and rent the DVD.
Nov. 22, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST
I saw the same screening Mori was at and this is just a rip off of a few episodes of Buffy, all done much better than this cliche ridden wannabe. Faith + Euro-Vlad + Bad Writing + Bad Directing = Blade III He raves about Biels. But she's just a very thinly veiled Eliza Dushku (i.e. FAITH for the Buffy challenged like Mori) wanna-be, right down to the same hair style...and yes, compound bow. And the Hannibal King character/actor is just a Xander meets Chasing Amy's Banky...and again, both are better done characters in their original interpretations. He does have a few of a funnier lines, but they are few and far between, and mixed in with really awful ones delivered as if they are funny...but aren't. I liked the first one, liked the second one even more (great look and feel to the action in particular)...but this one wasn't fit for bad TV. Not only is the script an exceptionally weak rip-off, but what kind of idiot director throws in an add-on Dracula (what a waste) and has a goth-style film take place almost entirely in broad daylight? There was nothing worth seeing about this film...
Nov. 22, 2004, 2:15 p.m. CST
I confess I rented the movie to see Helen Hunt's boobs, but I left impressed as hell with Snipes as a actor. He was also a strong male lead in "Waiting to Exhale" and funny as hell in "Demolition Man". Too bad he did Too Wong Foo. Playing drag queens killed Patrick Swazies career and hurt Snipes too. By rights, this man should be where Samuel J. Jackson is today. Instead, he's a prop in his own movie. Natasha Lyonne had potential, but she hasn't aged well. "Comic Book Villains" was her low point. I love those scenes in Blade where 200 guys attack him one at a time. I always wonder why stooge 146 thinks that he can take down Blade when he's effortlessly crunched everyone ahead of him in line. "I know, I'll kick him in the balls. He won't be expecting that!!"
Nov. 22, 2004, 3:07 p.m. CST
Vampires that turn to dust with one swing of a sword? If only it were so easy. Dr. Hugo Pecos fvza.org
Nov. 22, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST
To really make this series worthwhile it needed an explosive third installment that would make the first two movies shine in retrospect.... Too bad Trinity seems pretty blah from everything I've heard.... It unfortunately seems to cement this series as firmly mediocre, which is too bad since the concept has always been solid.... oh well.
Nov. 22, 2004, 4:02 p.m. CST
Ron Artest. He has plenty of time now to start filming. Also has the time to promote his rap album.
Nov. 22, 2004, 4:37 p.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
Blade IV starring Ron Artest- now that's funny. BTW, anybody know where I can go on the web to find info about Snipes being upset about Blade III? I am a big blade fan but I've had reservations about Part III for awhile now. It would suck if Snipes got jerked in this one and was forced to play background. He deserves more respect than that, jerk or not.
Nov. 22, 2004, 7:13 p.m. CST
El Mariachi in "Desperado" was screwed in the third film, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." And now Blade gets backgrounded too? Sheesh. Anyone notice that almost every thing that geeks like always turns to shit by the end? It's like nothing can END on a satisfying note. Star Trek turned into crap with Voyager and Enterprise, and its last film, Nemesis, was vomit-inducing. Star Wars turned to crap. X-files final seasons were crap. Seinfeld and the Simpsons turned to crap. Ghost in the Shell 2 was a big let down for most GITS1 fans. I wasn't a fan of the Buffy shows, but I hear that show turned to crap by the end. Alias turned to shit with season 3. Hell, it extends into video games too. Deus Ex 1 begat the craptacular Deus Ex 2. Doom games turned into craptacular Doom 3.
Nov. 22, 2004, 11:34 p.m. CST
I think the problem here is that those of you who don't like here are too firmly rooted in your heterosexuality to appreciate her snarky delivery and tomboyish charm. She's also absolutely gorgeous, so that helps. Of course, if you only ever watch her in things like "American Pie 3" you won't like her, but try "But I'm A Cheerleader" if you aren't overly homophobic and want to see a cute movie starring Ms. Lyonne and one Ms. RuPaul NOT in drag. Now, this Blade- I hope it's better than the last one. If the quality drops any more, they might want to call it the end. The first one was very good, though.
Nov. 22, 2004, 11:40 p.m. CST
by The Founder
Both of the Blade filme were good. I'm sure I'll like the 3rd, but probably less, with Renoylds and Biel taking the lead. I mean jeez Biel is phucking human, nd she can go toe to toe with Vamps, who are supposed to be stronger? Give me a phucking break. Biel is not a good actress, and if New Line really think it's smart to dump Blade in favor of a cheesy Nightstalkers spinoff, then they'll be surprised come opening day, when the shy don't make the dollars that Blade did. blade built up an audience, and if they think force feeding some Nightstalkers shyt in order to swing us over, well they can forget it. Nightstalkers will not make the money that Blade did just wait and see all you love sick geeks over biel.
Nov. 22, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST
by The Founder
PHUCKING BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER!! A got d@mn Nightstalkers flick? New Line is smoking crak. A group of Vampire hunters or monster hunters, what the phuck ever. This is Buffy on the big screen. A phucking bunch on young white people fughting the supernatural. i hope this shyt flops.
Blade 2 was one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies I've ever seen.
Nov. 23, 2004, 9:18 a.m. CST
Anyway, I hope the reason they're booting Snipes from the series is because he's such a total jerk to work with, and not because they want to turn it over to a couple of white kids.
Nov. 23, 2004, 9:27 a.m. CST
by Lone Fox
Sounds like Wesley's got other plans anyway... Check out the link on superherohype.com
Nov. 23, 2004, 12:03 p.m. CST
by Mr. Profit
We fucking get to see more vampire movies written by Goyer and released by the only major studio that doesn't shit on Fanboys. And the Buffy comparisons. Buffy was a great series and had a way different tone. If Joss Whedon made a Buffy film it would be different from the Blade series. Blade is more action, and I'm sure the Nightstalkers will follow suit. You cant fault New Line for coming up with a back up plan for the demise of the Blade movies. If Wes doesn't want to do it, at least New Line is giving him the respect that he deserves by even making a 3rd film. They are giving him a send off, and they are not dicking him by recasting the role. They are ending it with him. What's the problem? Had it been WB we would have had Omar Epps as Blade for Blade Trinity. Hollywood is quick to cut you loose when you have a reputation for being a dick.
Nov. 23, 2004, 1:33 p.m. CST
The first Ocean's remake matched the original with its breezy-ring-a-ding style due to Soderbergh's immense talent. Although Clooney is by no means Sinatra. Not even close.
Nov. 23, 2004, 1:45 p.m. CST
You people can bitch all you want to about Blade 3, but there's one good thing about it. It's rated R. In an age where more and more sequels to R-rated franchises are getting PG-13 (for example, Scary Movie 3, Chronicles of Riddick, and Alien vs. Predator) it's nice to see the Blade franchise won't go soft on us. You bet I'm going to see this movie, if only to see some great no-holds-barred vampire killing action.
Nov. 23, 2004, 6:15 p.m. CST
by Flea Circus
"As an action director, I like Goyer quite a bit. I had the opportunity to work with Goyer on a project just before he went off to start work on BLADE TRINITY. Never got off the ground, but we had a chance to spend a fair amount of time together." stop right there. this review is no longer an unbiased opinion. this review is like spin alley after the debates, goyer did a great job, can you believe what a competent director goyer is? c'mon, be honest and stop trying to postion yourself on his next project. the only clear picture i'm getting on this movie is that they're trying to get rid of blade(wesley snipe) from the blade series so the franchise can live on via two pretty white people. hey harry if you're going to review a movie get someone to review who doesn't has a vested interest in the outcome.
Nov. 24, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST
by Mr. Profit
It just seems like the 1st Oceans Eleven,(which I enjoyed and own on DVD) was a cool crime caper that was well directed, written, and acted. And this one seems like it has a different, too cool for school, almost showy kind of vibe. Like if you don't like our movie, it doesn't matter cause we're rich and you suck. I dunno, the trailers are very underwhelming. I hope it's good, but I will probably see it in theaters depending on the reviews. But I am most def going to catch Blade 1st. I am a genre nut 1st and foremost. I love me some horror, action, or sci fi. All the other shit is secondary.
Nov. 24, 2004, 9:45 a.m. CST
You're an idiot sparklecopy.
Nov. 24, 2004, 10:49 a.m. CST
I agree with sparkelcopy. "The Nightstalkers" is a rather trite, self-important name for a duo who supposedly do such important work protecting humanity from vampires. Wouldn't it be better if they didn't name themselves? Sort of stealth killers that people outside their group give names to? I know in the comic this is what they were called, and I respect that, but it really is a silly name. I, for one, couldn't say it with a straight face.
Nov. 25, 2004, 12:08 a.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2004, 2:13 p.m. CST
Hey...works for me morty baby (You know of whom I speak!). Go up to some swinging dick in the 160th Nightstalkers and tell him what a stupid sounding name it is. G'wan ya mooks...I TRIPLE DOG DARE YA! Oh yeah, nice review Moriarity but I think I'll wait until this comes out on DVD....just like the other two.
Nov. 26, 2004, 3:22 p.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric
...and this one won't either. If the story is trite...who cares? I just want to see a bunch of vampires get dusted in a variety of ways.
Nov. 26, 2004, 4:21 p.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2004, 4:27 p.m. CST
Let the name-slinging continue.
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