SONY has released the recently in theaters live-action adaptation of a popular Japanese animated film, "BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE." While the image of a young schoolgirl, mastering martial arts and wielding a sword, was semi-titillating in "KILL BILL," there's little of that here. Saya is a vampire hunter, and similar to "BLADE," she's half-vampire/half human. Working with a secret organization known as "THE COUNCIL," she's seeking vengeance towards Onigen, the vampire who murdered her father. Her assignment to pose as a student in a high-school at a military base near Tokyo, finds that vampires have already been fixed at the school, and saves Alice, the daughter of a US General. The rest of the film follows Saya and Alice, as she moves towards her goal of retribution.
While there are some intriguing scenarios offered within the narrative, they're never fully developed. Vampires in a high-school setting? It's worked before, why not now? But, these scenes, which should be great, are only slightly entertaining. Many of the action scenes go on so long, they seem redundant. "BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE" manages to offer some visually stunning moments, only to have them usurped by mediocre special effects. While certainly not a horrible film, "BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE" just falls short of being anything special.
SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. Colors are generally solid and, in spite of a few soft spots, the detail is typically fantastic! There are a fair share of dark sequences, but detail and color levels are perfectly maintained. Blacks are inky, allowing for the stunning detail to shine in the darkest moments. Plenty of jump-off-the-screen type of depth-filled imagery. GREAT!
SONY has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. WOW! This mix is certainly "reference quality!" From the opening sequence along a subway and through the end credits, the 360 degree listening environment makes for one of the most energetic mixes we've heard all year on blu-ray! Bass and discrete effects are aplenty, but even the more subtle ambient effects are impressive. Destined to be one of the most impressive mixes of 2009!
SONY has provided some extras, including a nearly twenty minute "THE MAKING OF BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE," with cast and crew reflections, behind-the-scenes footage and clips. "Battling DEMONS: BEHIND THE STUNTS," looks at the special effects(None were too impressive!). Also, a storyboard gallery is offered in 1080p, while the other featurettes are only 480p. Various theatrical trailers for other SONY releases are available in 1080p.