Game of Thrones- Season 5, Episode 3: High Sparrow

“OH, COME THE FUCK ON!!!”- Sansa Stark, at this exact point in the episode.

Why do I insist on spending an hour staring at my laptop screen, trying to come up with an opening blurb? It’s not like this is an actual review or anything, I’m basically just saying what happened and swearing a lot.

Eh. Let’s just get going.

SPOILER ALERT… OBVIOUSLY

King’s Landing

Margaery Tyrell bags her third king, hoping to have a husband that isn’t gay, murdered by his brother, sadistic, or murdered by her family. Knowing that Cersei is her mother-in-law, the possibility of this marriage ending in anything other than the worst way possible is pretty slim, but hey, maybe third time’s the charm.

Margaery and Tommen consummate their marriage. which is actually pretty disturbing, but admittedly, as a heterosexual male, I can’t be too grossed-out about any scene that involves Natalie Dormer in near-nudity.

How non-shallow of me, I know.

As she does, Margaery tries to manipulate Tommen into having his mom go back to Casterly Rock, where she convinces Tommen that Cersei will be happier. Tommen, bless his heart, tries to do so, but Cersei immediately sees this for the Tyrell manipulation that it is, and declines, shortly before heading off to confront Margaery. While Cersei has always had at least a semblance of authority over Margaery in previous verbal duels, that authority is pretty much gone now that Margie is Queen, and Cersei is Dowager Queen, as the former points out not-so-subtly in this encounter. Also, not that I feel sorry for PsychoBitch in any respect, but it was kind of shitty of Margaery to rub her son’s horniness and ability in the sack in her face.

….There’s definitely a less icky way to phrase that. Anyways, I’m betting Margaery doesn’t survive much longer.

Later, in the illustrious King’s Landing Brothel, the High Septon (Like the Pope of Westeros, I guess) is engaging in a fetish of his in which he fucks a/some prostitute(s) dressed as one of the Seven Gods of Westeros. Yeah, it’s weird, but Margaery’s a pedophile, Cersei and Jaime fuck each other, and that Wildling creep fucked his daughters, so you’ll excuse me if this comes off as somewhat tame to me.

Dear god, what has this show done to me?

Anyway, before he has his way with a particularly creepy-looking god known as The Stranger, he is interrupted by Lancel Lannister and a few of his cult buddies from the Sparrows. Calling him a sinner (Of all people in that fucking city) they strip him naked and parade him through the street. Enraged, the Septon demands that the Small Council find the High Sparrow (The head Sparrow, obviously) and execute him. Oddly enough, Cersei not only does not do this, she imprisons the High Septon, ha a pleasant chat with the High Sparrow, and appoints him as the new Head of the Faith.

Interesting….

Meanwhile, in Qyburn Mengele’s lair, Cersei tells him some boring shit about sending a letter to- OH MY FUCKING GOD THE MOUNTAIN’S CORPSE JUST MOVED!!!! OH SHIT!!!!

Frankenstein just shat himself.

In the North

As Reek looks on in growing horror, Bolton & Son continue skinning dissenters in Winterfell with psychopathic glee. However, Reek overhears them talking about how the Lords of the North do not recognize Roose Bolton as Warden of the North, and how they must forge alliances through marrying off Ramsey. Roose mentions that he’s found the perfect bride for his son, and the camera pans to…

Oh….Oh no….

GODDAMMIT LITTLEFINGER, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!!!!

Help may be on the way, though, as Brienne and Podrick are following Littlefinger and Sansa to Winterfell (It’s nice to be see Winterfell again, skinless corpses notwithstanding). We get some nice backstory from the two of them, which is always welcome, but I personally wouldn’t mind skipping to the part where Brienne lops Evil Elijah Wood’s head off.

Don’t tell me you don’t see the difference.

The Wall

Jon Snow declines Stannis’ offer of the name of Jon Stark, as his duties as Lord Commander are more important than helping a religious nut take over the kingdom. Stannis is unpleased with this and Jon’s suggestion that he does not want the army there any more, and reveals that he intends to attack Winterfell within a fortnight, which… Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Ser Davos tries to get Jon to reconsider, suggesting that the Night’s Watch would be better served taking the North than protecting the Wall, and bringing up the valid point that the North is suffering under the Boltons. Fair enough, but a) Stannis kind of sucks too and b) magical ice zombies so, no, stay at the wall, Jon.

Also, Janos Slynt is a whiny little shitheel. Now he has no head. Fuckin’ A!

Braavos

Not all that much to talk about here. Hey, at least she didn’t get rid of Needle!

Volantis

Oh, fuck me, not another goddamn Red Priestess!!!

Although the fact that this one is rallying the masses in support of Daenarys Targaryen, which is inter- OH, FUCK, TYRION NO!!!!

Overall: Yep, Game of Thrones still really freaking good, you guys.

Rating: 8.5/10

My thought exactly, good buddy.

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Daredevil (Season 1 Review)

This ain’t your, uh, slightly older brother’s Daredevil. Or something. 

In March 2014, I went with some friends of mine to take in what would eventually become one of my favourite movies of the year, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Like the rest of the world, I loved it, but I was kind of surprised by just how dark that movie was. Fools were getting assassinated, people’s necks were getting broken, others were getting shot in the face, and a post-9/11 allegory was violently drilling its way into the audience’s skull.

SYMBOLISM!!!! SYMBOLISM!!!! LOOK AT THE GODDAMN SYMBOLISM!!!!

 Being a bloodthirsty sociopath, I was a fan, but some of the parents who brought younger kids expecting a bright, colourful Avengers-style movie probably weren’t as enthusiastic about the grittiness as I was. Hell, I heard some kids break out in tears. In a movie where the protagonist wears an American flag, no less. After that experience, I was pretty sure the Marvel Cinematic Universe would get much darker.

Boy was I completely and utterly wrong.

Daredevil

Created by: Drew Goddard

Directed by: Phil Abraham, Adam Kane, Ken Girotti, Farren Blackburn, Guy Ferland, Brad Turner, Stephen Surjik, Nelson McCormick, Nick Gomez, Euros Lyn, Steven S. DeKnight

Producer: Kati Johnson

Written by: Drew Goddard, Marco Ramirez, Joe Pokaski, Luke Kalteux, Douglas Petrie, Steven S. DeKnight, Christos Gage, Ruth Fletcher Gage

Based on: Daredevil by Stan Lee and Bill Everett

Genres: Superhero, crime drama

Starring: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Ayelet Zurer, Rosario Dawson, Scott Glenn

Music by: John Paesano

Plot: After the events of The Avengers, much of the real estate in the unfortunately named Hell’s Kitchen district of New York City was crushed by alien invaders (Which nobody seems to be dwelling on. Weird.). Already a fairly decrepit, crime-ridden neighbourhood, Hell’s Kitchen is now even more of a crap hole.

Have no fear though, because Matthew Murdock & Foggy Nelson, attorneys at law, are on the scene! Well, actually, maybe have a little bit of fear, because they’re pretty small-time, having turned down a well-paying corporate job since, y’know, they have souls.

1x17 Justice is Blind (08)

Barry Zuckerkorn is more high profile than them. 

Interestingly enough, Matt (Charlie Cox), along with being a kick-ass lawyer, is also completely blind… Mostly.

Bullshit comic book science coming up!!!

See, when Matt was but a wee boy, he was walking down the streets of Hell’s Kitchen when he saw a man about to get creamed by a truck. Being the upstanding citizen that he is, little Matt pushed the old man out of harm’s way, taking the hit for hi. While Matt survived, the truck’s cargo, some kind of chemical something-or-other got into his eyes, blinding him.

And then the chemical shit leaked into the sewers, and that’s how the Ninja Turtles were born. The end.

However, when he lost his sight, his other senses were enhanced to superhuman levels to make up for his lack of sight.

Bullshit, I know. But it’s cool, so whatever.

Matt doesn’t sit idly by with his, uh, we’ll call it a gift, I suppose. A lawyer by day, he dons a kickass all-black outfit at night and goes out to beat the shit out of those who would prey on the innocent as a vigilante known as… Nothing.

Y’know, because that would be silly.

Matt is only human though, and he struggles to reconcile his secret life with his job and his relationship with his friends, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). It doesn’t exactly help matters that a new criminal element has taken over every nook and cranny of Hell’s Kitchen, uniting the Bratva, Triads, Yakuza, and the shithead warden from The Shawshank Redemption into a dangerous cabal, led by the enigmatic Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).

It helps matters even less when you consider that Fisk is goddamn terrifying.

Daredevil is a well-respected Marvel property, but he hasn’t ever been done justice in movies or TV. While a fairly major character in the comics, he’s hardly an A-lister, though he was an Avenger for like, 3 seconds. He finally got a movie in 2003, but, long story short, that movie’s the reason why some people were so pissy about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, even though they had no real call to be that way.

While that movie had a dark, brooding atmosphere in the vein of the comics, it was pretty inconsistent (See: Murdock fighting Elektra in the middle of a fucking playground. During DAYTIME). This show, on the other hand, feels completely justified in it’s dark environments and bleakness. You FEEL the specter of doom and gloom looming over this version of Hell’s Kitchen rearing it’s ugly head, ready to swallow every and anybody in its way. It actually feels a lot like Batman Begin‘s Gotham City, which makes sense considering the two protagonists are so similar.

In every respect except wallet size.

Speaking of the protagonist, Charlie Cox plays Daredevil very, very well, and the character of Matt Murdock is handled ably by Cox and the writers (Who, I should mention, also provide the best justification for a no-kill policy that I’ve ever heard. From a religious perspective too. I didn’t expect that.). While the movie Daredevil just came off as a smarmy jackass (Insert outdated Ben Affleck joke here), Cox comes off as a little more grounded and disturbed. Sure, he’s witty and intelligent (Par for the course for Marvel heroes, admittedly), but he also has a dark side that refuses to go away even though he fights on the side of the angels. He frequently contemplates murder, he’s an extremely brutal, even possibly sadistic, fighter, he’s emotionally unavailable to his friends and he’s kind of a masochist.

This has nothing to do with anything, but this costume is pretty damn awesome.

The supporting characters are well-written and performed, if probably too much of a focus at some points of the season. Foggy starts off kind of grating, but he gets to be a necessity, nicely contrasting the show’s relentless cruelty with his offbeat sense of humour. Karen Page, while not terribly interesting, is a fine character as well. The only supporting hero that I feel was wasted is Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who, although portrayed super well, doesn’t appear all that much, and the scenes where he teams up with Karen are kind of the weak point of the season. Not that they’re bad, they’re just the scenes that made me miss Daredevil smashing the shit out of the Russian mob.

The other villains are fine as well, but the standout is Wilson Fisk’s faithful attendant, Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore), who is already the frontrunner for “Most punchable character of 2015”.

No Bullseye, though. Thank god for season 2, I guess.

“But Kenny, nobody gives a shit about these people! What about Kingpin!? WHAT ABOUT KINGPIN?!?!?!”

Alright, let’s talk about Wilson Fisk.

As enjoyable as the MCU continues to be, its villains have been surprisingly weak. Aside from Loki, Red Skull, Winter Soldier and almost certainly Ultron, we’ve mostly been stuck with mediocrity like Whiplash, Malekith and Ronan. Unlike these guys though, Fisk is more grounded a bad guy than the other schmucks, being neither an alien nor a superhero. Just a socially awkward behemoth with a god complex.

I fucking love him. You can keep Loki, this is the best MCU villain to date.

Don’t ever change, you beautiful boy.

In the comics (As well as the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon that was/is my life) Kingpin was a very tall, corpulent man who was highly intelligent, manipulative and collected. However, the backstory and portrayal of Fisk in Daredevil paint a much more deep, disturbing picture of a truly fucked-up, shy child trapped inside the imposing body of a very threatening man. Yes, he’s intelligent, manipulative and collected, but he’s liable to let his unstable emotions get the better of him, and he won’t think twice about beating you to death if you step out of line. D’Onofrio plays him perfectly (Albeit oddly) and I can’t take my eyes off the screen whenever he’s doing his thing.

It also bears mentioning that Ayelet Zurer is terrific as Wilson Fisk’s love interest, Vanessa. Yeah, you heard me right, a fully developed romantic story arc for the villain (And not the hero!), you don’t see that very often, do you?

As you might expect (Because I straight-up told you), Daredevil is much darker than the other MCU stuff, which makes sense, considering the source material is very dark (In fact, grit-meister Frank Miller wrote the comic for a while, and also wrote some great, dark Batman stories as well as some cartoonishly bad dark Batman stories).

Send your angry fanboy rant to pleasekillthemessenger@gmail.com.

In terms of dark visuals, this show can’t be beat. It’s fucking beautiful. Not since Tim Burton’s Batman movies has there been a stylistically dark superhero story this, I dunno, appealingly flashy, if that makes any sense whatsoever. I dunno, just watch the damn show, you’ll see what I mean.

If you’re a fan of good action (Aren’t we all?), this show’s for you, being both well-shot and really, REALLY brutal, with folks getting heads crushed, impaled and/or otherwise maimed throughout the duration. This is the first MCU property to really say “screw the kids.” It’s beautiful, really.

The only real problem that I have with the show is that it can get kind of slow at times throughout the middle of the season, leading me to believe that it would’ve worked better with a couple less episodes. A minor complaint, but my only one.

Overall: Dark, ultraviolent, stylish and well-acted, Daredevil ranks among the better projects from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s not exactly faint praise.

Rating: 9/10

Seriously though, if Bullseye isn’t in the next season, we riot.

Game of Thrones- Season 5, Episode 2: The House of Black and White (Review/Recap)

Frustrating as she may be, at least Emo Sansa is still more badass than Emo Spider-Man.

It’s Tuesday, and we all now what that means…

That’s right! I’m two days late with the Game of Thrones post again! In the interest of getting right into it, let’s, uh, get right to it!

SPOILER ALERT….OBVIOUSLY

King’s Landing 

Cersei and Jaime, still reeling from Tywin’s death, receive a dire warning from Dorne, the southernmost region of Westeros, which has lost its prince, Oberyn Martell, to the trial by combat that plunged many GoT fans into unfathomable depression.

“JESUS H. FUCK, NO!!!!!!!”– Me, about a year ago.

Oberyn’s wife and daughters, the Sand Snakes, have a small viper statue with a necklace in its fangs. Cersei tells Jaime that the necklace belongs to their daughter (Gross), Myrcella, who was sent to Dorne by Tyrion in order to marry some prince, or whatever. Feeling a twinge of… something for Cersei, Jaime offers to go to Dorne in order to take her away from the beautiful climate, progressive attitudes towards women and general pleasantness of that country in order to bring her back to the squalor, corruption and flat-out misogyny of King’s Landing. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a good idea to me!!!

Where this scene gets real good, though is when we discover who Jaime’s travelling partner is….BRONN!!! I FUCKING LOVE BRONN!!!! OHMIGOD, JAMIE AND BRONN ARE GONNA BE TRAVEL BUDDIES!?!?!?! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER!!!!

….

One of them’s gonna die horribly, aren’t they?

Anyways, what’s PsychoBitch doing while Jaime and Bronn are having their playdate? Well, she’s attending to a couple of hunters who are trying to trick her into thinking that the head of some random dwarf they murdered is the head of Tyrion Lannister. God, Westeros is just the fucking worst.

Uncharacteristically, Cersei shows mercy towards the hunters (I’m sure the dead dwarf would appreciate that), and gives the head of the dwarf to Maester (Sort of) Qyburn, who I’m pretty sure is Westeros’ equivalent of Josef Mengele. During a Small Council meeting, she appoints Mace Tyrell Master of Coin and Qyburn Master of Whisperers (Much to Grand Fuckface Pycelle’s dismay). She tries to appoint her uncle Kevan to the position of Master of War, but he not-so-respectfully declines, calling the rest of the Council members sycophants and demanding that King Tommen appoint him himself. Fuckin’ A, Kevan!

The Wall

Gilly is being tutored by Stannis Baratheon’s daughter, which is cool, whatever. Also, Stannis chastises Jon for mercy-killing Mance Rayder, andtries to recruit Jon to his cause, even offering to name him Jon Stark, which, all due respect to Cathryn Stark, should’ve probably been done ages ago. Being the badass that he is, though Jon tells Sam right before the election that he’s gonna decline Stannis’ author, because fuck Stannis, fuck the Red Woman, and fuck Stannis’ creepy wife, that’s why.

Also, Jon gets elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, which is probably going to end poorly, but hey, for the moment, Fuckin’ A Jon!!!

The Vale

The Dynamic Duo (Podrick Payne and Brienne of Tarth) trudge on, eventually ending up in some shithole pub where, surprise, surprise, Sansa and Littlefinger are also hanging out! Remembering her mission, Brienne awesomely confronts Littlefinger, who, being Littlefinger, acts like a giant prick.

My day isn’t complete without imagining Ned Stark wringing his goddamn neck.

Sansa, being Sansa, acts like a brat and rebuffs her, leading to Brienne murdering several of Littlefinger’s men and escaping with Podrick into the woods. Like the badass she is, she resolves to get Sansa out of the clutches of Littlefinger, whether Sansa wants it or no. Fuckin’ A, Brienne!!!

Braavos

The biggest Fuckin’ A of all goes out to Arya, because she is Arya fucking Stark, and she doesn’t have time for some pissant thief’s bullshit.

Dorne

Ellaria Sand kinda seems like a hateful bitch. I totally get being pissed, but killing Myrcella, of all people? Jesus.

Across the Narrow Sea

Tyrion doesn’t get much screen time this time around, but hey, I can’t complain.

Meereen

Noted Dickhead Daario Naharis finds one of the members of the Sons of the Harpy, the anti-Mhysa resistance movement who have been murdering the Unsullied. While emancipated slave Mossador suggests he be killed outright, Ser Barristan reminds Danearys of the behaviour of her shitheel of a father, and she wisely decides to let the Son of the Harpy have a fair trial. However, this being the Game of Thrones world, Mossador fucks it up for her, murdering the S.o.H. in his cell. When Daenarys executes Mossador publicly, the unwashed masses turn on her in a really terrifying fashion, and she was to flee back into her castle.

Boy, it’s hard to do the right thing in this show.

Finally, Dani sees Drogon (The giant black dragon) and tries to reconnect, but he flies away like the ungrateful little brat that he is. He’s Dragon Sansa, is what I’m trying to say.

Overall: Fuckin’ A.

Rating: 8.5/10

Game of Thrones- Season 5, Episode 1: The Wars to Come (Recap/Review)

Drunken cynicism has never looked so good.

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!!!!! IT’S BACK!!!!!!! PRAISE JEEBUS, IT’S BACK!!!!!

You may not have guessed, but I’m excited for Game of Thrones. It is probably my all-time favourite TV show, ahead of such masterpieces as Breaking Bad, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Pokemon: Indigo League.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I know I don’t watch enough TV.

Since the fifth season premiered on Monday, I’ve decided to do a fairly quick review and recap of each episode. Or, rather, every scene from the episode (Since I’m gonna be here all fucking day if I try to repeat what I did when I tried to review Gotham and Flash).

Also, this will have SPOILERS, so if you haven’t watched the episode or caught up, I encourage you to do so and will accept zero responsibility if  details get spoiled for you.

..Yeah. That’s it. Let’s get going.

25 Years Ago

A young blonde girl and her friend visit a fortune teller. But who is this mysterious girl? Perhaps her dialogue will give us some hint of – Oh, she’s being an entitled bitch? Then it’s probably Cersei.

Cersei demands to know her future (Which, as we know, always ends well), and, after a pretty bizarre ritual that involves a grown woman sucking on a 12-year old’s bleeding finger, the fortune teller tells Cersei that she will marry not the prince, but the king (Check), she will have three children while the king will have twenty (Check), and while all of her children will wear golden crowns, they will die in golden shrouds (I’m fine with 1/3 of that part coming true, frankly).

Finally, the fortune teller foresees that Cersei will eventually be cast out by a younger, more beautiful queen, which is a bit Snow White-esque, but whatever, make it happen, Margaery!

Margaery Tyrell can cast me out whenever she wants. I don’t know what “cast out” means.

King’s Landing

In the Sept of Baelor, Cersei and Jaime Lannister pay their respects to their dead asshole of a father, who is sporting the always popular “stone eyeball” look.

Whatever. Joffrey wore it better.

Cersei chastises Jaime for letting Tyrion escape from prison, which, awesomely, led to Tywin’s murder. Jaime looks mopey, but doesn’t do or say all that much, as the writers probably caught wind of the fan reaction to his previous hijinks at a family member’s grave.

At the wake, Cersei meets her ex-lover/cousin, Lancel (The curly-haired little shit who was Robert Baratheon’s squire), who has joined a religious cult known as the Sparrows. During their conversation, it is heavily suggested that Lancel poisoned Robert’s wine under Cersei’s orders way the hell back in season one. Cersei denies this but, honestly, if Cersei isn’t at the very top of your list of suspects, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Elsewhere, Cersei’s fiancee, Ser Loras Tyrell hangs out with his boyfriend (There’s a hackneyed joke about marriage somewhere in there) and is maybe plotting with Margaery to kill Cersei? Sure, why not!!!???

Pentos

Tyrion Lannister and Varys arrive in Pentos after hightailing it out of there. Tyrion has looked better both physically and mentally, having sunk into a drunken depression (Admittedly, I’d feel pretty shitty about myself after strangling my traitorous ex-girlfriend after learning she was schtupping my dad, who I then murdered on the john). Varys reveals that he has been supporting Daenarys Targaryen’s claim to the throne, to virtually no one’s surprise. After much delicious verbal sparring, Tyrion agrees to go meet the Khaleesi (Is she still being called that?).

Slaver’s Bay

One of the Unsullied, expecting a nice, relaxing, uh, lullaby with a hooker gets his throat cut by said hooker, as a fucking creepy masked figure watches on.

“You. Reader. I can hear your flesh screaming to be liberated from your body.”

Meanwhile, Dani is taking a page from the ISIS textbook by destroying the giant idol on the city’s pyramid. That’ll probably end well for her.

To her credit, she denies the Masters of Yunkai’s request to bring back the fighting arenas. Then, she allows Recast McFuckface to change her mind after he gives her some sob story about him growing up there. Fuck Daario Naharis. I hope the creepy mask guy gets him next.

Full disclosure: I actually really like the “new” Daario Naharis actor. I just think Daario Naharis is a dick.

At Daario’s suggestion, Dani tries to reconnect with her two dragons, who she’s kept locked up in a dark, dank underground area for god knows how long. The reunion goes about as well as one would expect.

In the Vale

Ha. Robin Arryn fucking sucks.

Also, Sansa, Littlefinger, something something.

At the Wall

Melisandre  summons Jon Snow, although not for a creepy religious fuckfest, thank god. No, instead, she takes him to her pawn  liege, Stannis Baratheon, who commisions him to try to convince Mance Rayder, the imprisoned leader of the wildlings, to help him re-take the North from the Boltons. As one would expect, Rayder tells him to go fuck himself in the most respectful, yet also badass way possible.

Ciaran Hinds is fucking fantastic, by the way.

As is par for the course at this point, Mance is sentenced to be burned alive in a religious ritual that is pretty disturbing, given how much I came to care for the guy in the episode. Thankfully, Jon, being the beautiful, beautiful man that he is, grants him a quick, painless death via arrow to the heart.

Overall: If you’ve been following Game of Thrones since the beginning, you know that some episodes, while still great, are more or less only there to build up the events to come. This is one of them.

8/10

This kid better be the next one to bite it.

The Blade Trilogy (Mighty Marvel Movie Month)

“So give them blood, blood, gallons of the stuff,     give them all that they can drink and it will never be enough…”

You may or may not have noticed, but vampire fiction hasn’t been doing itself that much favours as of late. I’m sure I don’t need to really get into the Twilights of the world, as, by now, we’ve all done our respective shares of ragging on the influence behind the literary  masterpiece that is Fifty Shades of Gray.

….. Nope. No joke here. They’ve all been made at this point. Moving on.

With all the crap that the genre has had to got to lately, it’s easy to forget that movies like What We Do In the Shadows and Only Lovers Left Alive have come out recently. Hell, we’re barely a decade removed from one of the more celebrated vampire sagas in recent memory.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Obviously.

Just kidding. Boy, you’d think Mel Brooks would be chomping at the bit for some form of redemption after that movie. No, I’m talking about the Blade trilogy, you guys.

Blade was the the second major Marvel release after Howard the Duck, and, if you’ve read my review of that goddamn atrocity, you know that Blade looks like friggin’ Citizen Kane. Is it as good as that? NO. But, audiences seemed to enjoy it, and it got two sequels, Blade II and Blade: Trinity, with the former being the best-received (Marginally) and most profitable of the three.

The three constants throughout the trilogy are: Writer David S. Goyer (Of the Dark Knight trilogy), Wesley Snipes, in his best known role as the title character, a half-human, half-vampire force of nature who specializes in killing the evil cabal of vampires that control the world, and Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler, Blade’s mentor and partner in vampire killing.

The first movie was released in 1998, and, y’know, it’s alright. The basic premise has Blade an Whistler meeting a woman (N’Bushe Wright), who was bitten by a vampire, and who needs to find a cure ASAP. In addition to that, Blade fights against the aforementioned vampire illuminati…

OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES, SHEEPLE!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!

… As well as a dangerous individual within this sinister cabal named Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), who is making a power play that would essentially be game over for humanity.

Any discussion of the Blade trilogy has to begin with Blade himself (Or Eric Brooks, as he is called once in the first movie), Wesley Snipes. I’m not exactly a Snipes connoisseur (The only other movie I’ve seen him in is Major League, which he was great in), but man, did he really bring it to these movies, not so much in acting ability (Although he’s not bad), but in sheer badassery.

If you question why he’s wearing sunglasses indoors, he will shove his boot so far up your ass that he’ll end up kicking the inside of your face.

I have no idea how big a fan Snipes is of the original character, but I think he would have to be, considering that he not only stars as Blade, but also helped produce every movie of the trilogy, and worked as a fight producer for the first two movies. And if you’ve ever seen one of the fight scenes from either of the first two movies, you know that the latter credit is especially impressive. If only he put half the effort that he put into his fight scenes into paying his goddamn taxes.

When it comes to the performance on its own, Snipes is a pretty solid action star which, honestly, is all that’s really needed. Kris Kristofferson is also good as Abraham Whistler, playing more or less your average gruff, tortured older mentor. Nothing to write home about, but it works. Stephen Dorff is a lot of fun to watch as the villain, which is good, because the character himself isn’t all that interesting (None of these characters are, really).

The Goyer-penned script is solid, action movie generic, and while I have to dock it some points for being so unspectacular, it works fine when you really get down to it.

Where this movie comes apart is when a couple scenes that don’t make a whole lot of sense occur. One of the two examples that spring to my mind is the scene where Blade and Frost are confronting each other in a very public place, and Frost is holding a child hostage. During this standoff, they are talking (Rather loudly) about vampires and the extermination of the human race…. And none of the many people who walk by, clearly within earshot, react at all. That’s… Really fucking stupid. This isn’t the Dream World in Inception, real people react to shit like that. Especially when it evolves into a full-blown action scene. That scene was bullshit. It took me right out of the film.

There’s also a scene involving an interrogation of a morbidly obese vampire, and I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something unpleasant about it. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, I know, but something about that scene really rubs me the wrong way.

Also, N’Bushe Wright is really, really fucking boring.

After the success of Blade, it’s only natural (Well, natural in Hollywood) that a sequel was released in 2002. Goyer, Snipes and Kristofferson were on board, but the director, Stephen Norrington, was replaced by an upstart Mexican director who was making his first American movie.

The director’s name? Guillermo del Toro. I fucking love Guillermo del Toro.

In the sequel, Blade and Whistler are forced to team up with a team of vampire warriors (Led by Leonor Varela and Ron motherhugging Perlman) in order to stop a new breed of monster that feeds on both humans and vampires.

While del Toro wasn’t ever going to do much to overcome the average dialogue and uninteresting characters and motivations, he brings a lot to the action scenes and, while he’s a lot more restrained here than in, say, Hellboy  and Pan’s Labyrinth, he does bring some notable creativity to the character and monster designs.

Aside from that, I’m not that sure why I liked Blade II so much more than the first movie. The script is just as mediocre, the characters are just as underdeveloped (Albeit, memorable. I’m looking at you, Ron Perlman), and while the action is better, it’s not by a huge margin.

I guess it comes down to the fact that, while they’re essentially the same movies, I bought into the world of Blade II a lot more, if only because Blade II didn’t have the unnecessary scenes (And one super boring character) that plagued the first movie.

Actually, let’s be honest. It’s all Ron Perlman.

Two years later, the inevitable third movie was released, titled Blade: Trinity. This movie has Blade facing off against the baddest vampire of them all, Dracula (Dominic Purcell) or “Drake”, as he is called for some stupid reason. In order to do this, he unwillingly joins up with the Nightstalkers, a group of vampires led by Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds.

Out of the whole trilogy, Trinity was the one that was the most harshly criticized of the trilogy, but I was still optimistic, as it’s not like the first two movies were critical darlings, and I like the first one fine, while I just about love the second one.

As it turns out, my optimism was sorely misplaced. This movie is a dumpster fire.

Much of Trinity‘s problems can be traced back to the fact that this movie had a very troubled production. Guillermo del Toro didn’t return as director, so the writer, David S. Goyer, took on double duties as writer-director. Snipes wasn’t too happy about this. Understandable, considering  Goyer’s spotty track record (Which remains spotty today). However, instead of handling it in literally any other fashion, Snipes decided to handle it by holing up in his trailer when filming was supposed to be taking place, smoking weed literally all the time, and generally being a giant dick, calling Ryan Reynolds a cracker (Unironically) and choking out Goyer, at one point. Yikes.

In actuality, Snipes was a time traveler who was trying to stop Green Lantern from ever happening.

Snipes was absent for so much of the filming that they actually had to use body doubles to a ridiculous extent. I guess I’ll give them some credit, I didn’t figure that out until I read about it later, so that’s a point in its favour, I guess.

Also, Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds, which is awesome. Otherwise, Trinity is trash.

It’s obvious that nobody cares in this movie. The acting is bad, the action scenes are poorly done (Thanks to Snipes not being on set, I’m guessing), and the script is really, really bad.

Also, that is not Dracula. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it.

Even Snipes (Who is high) and Kristofferson are really bad, and the latter is phoning it in to a pretty serious degree, which doesn’t surprise me, considering he’s in it for around a collective ten minutes throughout the whole damn movie.

Logical fallacies like the ones found in the first movie abound, and as you would probably would guess, there isn’t near enough good stuff to distract me from the flaws.

For example, the action in this movie is kicked off by Blake’s murder of a Familiar (Human servant of vampires), which apparently garners interest from the police. That’s weird. The hundreds of Familiars that he killed in the first two movies didn’t garner any interest at all.

Also, there’s a scene where Dracula (Sorry, “Drake”) sneaks into the Nightstalker’s base, and, since he can shape-shift, turns into somebody who I’m not going to reveal, but it doesn’t make any sense.

God, this movie is so stupid. At least it’s still a better story than, you know, that other vampire series.

Overall: The first two Blade movies are good fun, perfect for action and horror (-ish) fans everywhere. The third one can go die in a hole.

Blade: 7.0/10

Blade II: 8.5/10

Blade: Trinity: 3.5/10

Huh. Tim Curry in Legend got ripped.