Dec 212016

Underworld is a rather dated sci-fi horror film that took a lot of influence from the then fresh Matrix yet there’s still some entertainment value and Kate Beckinsale makes the most with the material she was given… and it’s never a bad thing seeing her in tight clothing.




Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Thriller
Sony | PG13/Unrated – 121 min. / 134 min. – $34.99 | December 27, 2016

Date Published: 12/21/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Len Wiseman
Writer(s): Kevin Grevioix and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride (story), Danny McBride (screenplay)
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Billy Nighy, Wentworth Miller
Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K UHD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (UHD): English (Dolby Atmos), Italian (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Audio (BD): English (PCM 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (PCM 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.35 (UHD); 1080p/Widescreen 2.35 (BD)
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Italian
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Note: Portions were copied from my original 2009 Blu-ray review.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: In the Underworld, Vampires are a secret clan of modern aristocratic sophisticates whose mortal enemies are the Lycans (werewolves), a shrewd gang of street thugs who prowl the city’s underbelly. No one knows the origin of their bitter feud, but the balance of power between them turns even bloodier when a beautiful young Vampire warrior and a newly-turned Lycan with a mysterious past fall in love.

The action packed werewolves vs. vampires’ saga, Underworld, never really appealed to me even dating back to its theatrical release in 2003. I thought the then relatively unknown Kate Beckinsale looked absolutely fetching in the skin-tight Matrix-line of clothing, and for her part, Beckinsale didn’t do too bad of a job but the story was stretched a tad thin. However, I should give the screenplay/story – by actor/writer Kevin Grevioux (played Raze), director Len Wiseman and writer Danny McBride – is more involved than I had expected, so at the very least the writers’ didn’t just slouch and rely on vampire movies of the past.

As I said before about Beckinsale, she fills the main role of Selene quite well with a certain strength and vulnerability while her love interest/co-star Scott Speedman was acceptable as the man caught in the middle of the Underworld war. Personally, I’ve never though much of Speedman as an actor, given his brilliant turn as a government agent in the classic action flick, xXx: State of the Union (although one could argue he gave the better performance of that entire cast).

Overall, Underworld is a mildly entertaining movie that does kind of meander through a story that probably could’ve been told better, but between Beckinsale’s hotness and a nice, though too short, appearance by Bill Nighy, the movie might be worthwhile for fans of these dark vampire stories (I still prefer “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” myself). However, this being now my third time seeing it (theaters, DVD and BD), I still couldn’t really get into it as much as I had liked. That said, I still can appreciate some of the visual flair and Matrix influences, so it’s not a complete loss.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All these features are on the Blu-ray which is the same disc as the previous release.

First up is a lively and informative Audio Commentary with director Len Wiseman and stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman (who leaves before the end). The track is actually not bad especially because Wiseman and Beckinsale are married and they delve a little into the personal relationship in regards to Beckinsale and ex-husband, Michael Sheen.

Fang vs. Fiction Documentary (47:18; SD) – This is a look at the real life possibilities of werewolves (including interviews with those who purport to be real werewolves), vampires and the historical look at their rivalry.


  • Making of Underworld (13:02; SD) is pretty good when they’re not showing long clips in between the cast and crew talking about the plot or their characters
  • Visual Effects of Underworld (9:56; SD) tackles the effects used on the film
  • Creature Effects (12:30; SD) on making the Lycan monster costumes and getting the movements just right
  • Stunts (11:42; SD) covers, well, the stunt work done on the film
  • Designing Underworld (10:46; SD) is about the movie’s production design
  • The Look of Underworld (19:11; SD) is about the visual gritty design/style
  • Sights + Sounds of Underworld (9:07; SD) is just some random camcorder video on and off the set

Also included are some Outtakes (3:43; SD), Storyboard Comparisons (6:42; SD) and a Music Video (2:45; SD).


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Sony Pictures releases Underworld onto the new-ish 4K Ultra High-Definition format and like other catalogue titles, I’m strongly suspicious that this isn’t true 4K and instead it’s culled from a 2K restoration and upgraded to 4K. Even so, this still features strong and bold dark levels (as the majority of the film is darkly lit) while colors are generally drabbed or outright toned down, thus it doesn’t have the blast of colors that take advantage of the UHD format. Detail is decent with some softness here and there.

Note: The UHD disc contains only the Theatrical Version.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

One of the bigger upgrades from the Blu-ray releases is where the Blu-ray has the old Uncompressed PCM track, this UHD disc comes with a new Dolby Atmos track which takes full advantage of both the over-the-top action scenes, such as the opening subway sequence, to the music from Paul Haslinger’s score to the rock-centric soundtrack (which admittedly I still have on my iPod).


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Underworld is a rather dated sci-fi horror film that took a lot of influence from the then fresh Matrix yet there’s still some entertainment value and Kate Beckinsale makes the most with the material she was given… and it’s never a bad thing seeing her in tight clothing. This 4K UHD release by Sony is basic with some good video, great audio and has the original Blu-ray disc with some nice bonus material.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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