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Underworld
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: Indiana Sev
Underworld order
Director:
Len Wiseman

Actors:
Kate Beckinsale
Scott Speedman
Michael Sheen

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Vampires versus werewolves…cool! What’s even cooler is a sexy female vampire (Beckinsale) falling in love with a werewolf (Speedman) she’s supposed to kill! Throw Bill Nighy (the British rocker from LOVE ACTUALLY) into the mix as the vampire king and a couple of backstabbing vampires trying to stir shit up and you’ve got a recipe for a fun horror/action romp.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Before the androgynous Trinity from THE MATRIX series ruined females in sexy leather outfits for me, my life was good. Michelle Pfeiffer had set the bar pretty high in BATMAN RETURNS and most women who followed her managed to meet that quota of leather-clad sexiness. Well, my life is good again. In fact, the ass shot of the year (for me anyway) comes exactly 1h:01:m and 31 seconds into this film. Please enjoy…I sure did. Truth be told, I wasn’t even a big fan of Kate’s before this; to me, she was always a much cuter, much more talented English version of Lara Flynn Boyle, but not much more than that. Well, her acting, screen presence and ass (I’m not ashamed to say) impressed the hell out of me in UNDERWORLD. Well done, cutie!

The storyline was also fun and different enough for me to enjoy for the entire two-hour run of the film. Hardly any cheesy lines, no cheap laughs and almost zero noticeable CGI effects also contributed to that enjoyment. The fight scenes were great and the authentic look of the dark and rainy gothic city they all inhabit also added the necessary touches for a good vampire/werewolf flick. Big props go to Michael Sheen as well, for his fine job playing Lucian, the leader of the werewolves. Kraven, the interim leader of the vampire clan, pissed me off though. He was way too big a douchebag to lead these vampire badasses. I wouldn’t even appoint this prick as troupe leader for the Cub Scouts. Anyway, a few scattered complaints aside, this film still managed to be real, sexy, bloody and action-filled enough for me to give it a hearty recommendation. And Goddamn, Kate’s got a real sweet ass! Sorry, that was way out of line…I think there’s a full moon out tonight.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary by Writers and Director : This commentary track is pretty entertaining. Director Wiseman teams up with writer Danny McBride and actor/storywriter Kevin Grevioux (he plays the werewolf Raze in the film and does a mighty fine job at it too) as they talk at a relatively quick pace and have a great camaraderie between them. Worth the listen.

Technical Audio Commentary: This’ll get you going if you like the how-did-they-do-that side of things, but I rarely get into commentary tracks that don’t include either the director, actors or writers. Don’t get me wrong, the technical guys on the track do a fine job jabbing it up, it’s just not my bag.

The Making of Underworld : This is a 13-minute interview-laden featurette that works pretty well. It’s not too different from other making-of’s, but I really liked the fact that it included many of the stars in front and behind the camera instead of the usual featurettes that just have the main three stars and the director in it.

Creature Effects Featurette: A 12-minute creature featurette that takes you from the beginning to the end of the creation of the wolves & the vamps in the flick. Short enough not to be entirely boring.

Stunts Featurette : Ugh. 11 minutes of the actors training for their stunt scenes. This stuff bores me to tears. Although, I found myself entranced this time around. Kate Beckinsale training in tights can do that to a man.

Sights & Sounds Featurette : I thought this would be a feature on the sound editing and stuff (thank God it wasn’t), but it was basically a mish-mash of cool behind-the-scenes shots from the film and a few shots of the cast & crew goofing off – fun stuff. Kate’s in it too – *sigh*. J

Storyboard Comparison : Self-explanatory. See how close the shots from the actual film were to their drawn out conceptual form from before they shot them. For film students ONLY.

We also get a Music Video (Finch: “Worms of the Earth”) , TV Spots & tons of Trailers .
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is a rock solid rental and a mighty fine idea for a purchase as well. Sexy vampires, wild werewolves, a half-decent love story and some kickass extras make it hard to argue against you adding this to your DVD collection. Now, if you don’t mind I’m going to go try and convince my girlfriend that leather = good. Wish me luck…
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