Blade 4K Ultra

Featured In Issue 253, January/February 2021

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Strong pervasive vampire violence and gore, language, and brief sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Stephen Norrington
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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In "Blade," Wesley Snipes stars as Marvel's iconic half-vampire, half-human vampire hunter, Blade. With all the strengths of a vampire, and none of their weaknesses, the Day Walker uses his incredible gifts to hunt his enemies in his search for the one that killed his mother and turned him into the monster he is. Blade's fight leads him to Deacon Frost (Dorff), a rising force in the vampire world, set on raising a vampire God bent on destroying mankind. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, David S. Goyer, Theo van de Sande, Kirk M. Petruccelli and Peter Frankfurt; an isolated score with commentary by composer Mark Isham and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Arri Scope and Hawk Scope using the Arriflex 35-III, Moviecam Compact and Moviecam SL camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Digital noise reduction has been applied to smooth the film grain structure. The stylized picture looks terrific with revealing textures in clothing and objects. The color palette is at times tinted in a steel-gray blue filter while some colors are bold and pop, such as the crimson red in the Bloodbath, fiery reds, yellows and sunset orange. Fleshtones are both natural and unnatural in hue––warm or bloodless. HDR contrast is excellent, from the black nuances in Blade's fitted leather jacket and clothing to overall strong inky levels, revealing shadows, and bright white level spot lighting. Theo van de Sande's blood-spattered vampire cinematography nicely plays with light to heighten the imagery intensities. Resolution is excellent and revealing of fine detail in facial features, clothing, and objects, especially in closeups. This is a compelling visual experience in which Blade never look so good. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is nicely dynamic sounding with a robust Mark Isham score setting mood throughout, which extends to envelop the soundfield. The early propulsive, throbbing Bloodbath rave is a synthesizer rhythmic techno-infused hip-hop experience. Action sequences are intense and directionalized with powerful battle scenes between Blade and vampires, intense gunfire and other sound effects, and supported with dimensional atmospherics. Sound effects provide inter-channel panning and momentum well into the rear channels. The surround channels scatter disintegrating vampire ashes to the winds as well as all manner of sound effects. The proceedings create a wonderfully holosonic® three-dimensional experience. Deep sub-25 Hz bass is intense throughout and adds weight to the action and killing sequences, such as gunfire, explosions, body blows and impalements. Dialogue is generally intelligible with good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of aggressively loud sound effects that support action sequences and killings, with a transient impact, crowd sounds during the opening vampire dance killing event, murmured dialogue leakage, bullet ricochets, a subway train, thunder, electrical wave pulses, bat-like creature sounds and effectively a canopy of sounds that extend spherical dimensionality. Mark Isham's score also is extended effectively.

This is an exciting Dolby Atmos reference-quality soundtrack that gives new life to this thrilling vampire action adventure. (Gary Reber)