A vampire hunter chases down vampires in windy Los Angeles.
Directed by Stephen Norrington
Starring Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, and N'Bushe Wright
Review by Jon Kissel
Oddly important despite the presence of a monstrously obese archivist vampire, Blade is both a throwback and a harbinger. After the inter-species love of Howard the Duck and the license-preserving Fantastic Four of the early 90’s, Blade is the first earnest attempt at a movie based on a Marvel Comics character and its success would greenlight the X-Men, Spider-Man, and the big screen TV show that is the MCU, though the latter now also requires small-screen participation to stay up on everything. It’s also rich that first-out-of-the-gate Blade features a Black lead, a feat that would be recreated only twice in the ensuing 23 years. The culture moving backward in terms of onscreen representation is more galling due to the fact that Blade was both successful and pretty good as an action/horror flick. Stephen Norrington’s subpar and sparse career as a director notwithstanding, Blade provides a good deal of dumb fun.
There’s something about a long name that is a sign of quality in comedies. The Will Ferrell/Adam McKay subtitles, Borat’s broken English, Dr. Strangelove, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stoppin’ have a new member of their club in Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar, the best comedy since Popstar. This is a film laden with nonstop jokes, a parade of absurdity with zero dead spots. Written by and starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and directed by Josh Greenbaum in his feature debut, Barb and Star might not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.
Films released in 2015 had their share of eye-catching and cinematic moments, from the fiery sandstorm of Mad Max: Fury Road to the natural beauty of Clouds of Sils Maria. For all its numerous gifts and assets, Tom McCarthy's Spotlight wouldn't join that list. It's a thorough expose of a great crime, but it's not a cinematographer's film, as exemplified by what I found to be the key recurring image in the film; a stack of files. A bunch of papers contained in manila folders and held together by a rubber band doesn't exactly leap off screen, but the repeated shots of stacks and libraries of these folders indicate the vastness of the horrific crimes and cover-ups exposed by the heroic journalists that make up the cast, as well as makes the viewer wonder what other injustices are languishing in dark basements and lament the dwindling workforce necessary to shine a light on them. To watch Spotlight is to be morally exhausted, to be absolutely wrung out by not only the things that humans do, but the lengths humans will go to do nothing.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.
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