Blade (1998)
New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, Udo Kier
Extras: Commentary Track

Credited as one of the films that heralded in the recent Hollywood resurrection of comic book adaptations, "Blade" still remains as one of the darkest of the genre. New Line Home Entertainment has prepared this 1998 vampire tale for release on UMD, and I decided to take it for a ride.

The title character, Blade (Wesley Snipes) is half-human, half-vampire. Despite his requirement for human blood to live, he has a conscious and spends most of his time protecting humans from actual vampires. Yet the vampires, who have an unimaginable amount of control over society, are working to summon the blood god and have complete control over the humans. Only one thing is needed for the resurrection, and that's Blade himself.

Despite it's semi-cliché plot, this film is actual quite enjoyable, especially to those who are a fan of vampire movies or comic-book adaptations. With a great supporting cast, the star of which being Stephen Dorff as the villain, the film moves at a quick pace and offers plenty of action along with a pretty good intelligence level as well.
(Editor: Your mileage may very on this, though, as I for example think the film is a complete waste of time, poorly written, poorly acted and painfully derivative.)

New Line Home Entertainment does a great job with the UMD transfer, not making any sacrifices with the video. Presented in its original scope aspect ratio, the film looks great. The soundtrack also is clear, on both the film itself and the commentary. Unfortunately, the sound is quite muted during non-action sequences, so the use of either subtitles, which are presented in English and Spanish on the disc, or headphones is necessary to truly enjoy the film.

The special features include a cast and crew commentary which is an insightful into the film's creation while also remaining interesting and even at times quite humorous. The menus are nicely done and are easy to navigate. Finally, like other New Line UMDs, there are trailers for other films on the disc as well.

New Line Home Entertainment has created a name for themselves in UMD entertainment, providing consistently great transfers and special features on their discs, and "Blade" is no exception. If you're a fan of the film, I definitely recommend this disc.