Underworld: Blu-ray (2003)

by | Sep 26, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Underworld, Unrated, Blu-ray (2003)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Erwin Leder, Bill Nighy
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9, 1080p HD
Audio: English and Italian uncompressed PCM 5.1, English, French, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Italian
Extras: Audio commentary by director Len Wiseman and actors Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman; “Fang vs. Fiction” documentary; seven featurettes (“The Making of Underworld”, “The Visual Effects of Underworld”, “Creature Effects”, “Stunts”, “Designing Underworld”, “The Look of Underworld” and “Sights and Sounds”); outtakes; storyboard comparison; Finch music video
Length: 134 minutes
Movie Rating: ***1/2      AV Rating: ****1/2

For several centuries, a war has raged on between the Lycans (werewolves) and the Vampires.  These two immortal clans will kill each other on sight and both have taken full advantage of modern weaponry in their efforts to eradicate one another.  Lucien, the leader of the Lycans, is searching for a human mortal named Michael whose genetic composition holds the key to victory in the war.  Selene, a beautiful vampire and deadly assassin, becomes aware of the Lycans’ interest in Michael and she sets out to rescue him from their capture.  ‘Underworld’ is a heap of escapist fun.  There is as much action and gunplay in this film as in any John Woo-directed action flick.  Throw in an attractive female heroine (Beckinsale) who gives Lara Croft a run for her money and you ultimately have a film that will keep any sci-fi/fantasy fan thoroughly entertained for two-plus hours.  Recommended.

The high definition video quality of this Blu-ray DVD is very good.  Images are razor sharp with superb detail.  Blacks are consistently dark throughout, although they can be overwhelming at times to a point where some detail is lost.  While the film has a deliberate blue tint, colors are otherwise accurate and rich with saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is solid with no major flaws or digital compression artifacts other than some occasional film grain (which seems to be more of a stylistic choice rather than any mastering flaw).  The overall audio quality is excellent with the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all the discrete channels into the mix.  Dialogue is natural-sounding and properly positioned in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for both ambient sounds and the music soundtrack.  Split rear channel effects are discernable.  The low frequency bass is deep and palpable.

 – Calvin Harding Jr. 


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