(2003/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
A-/B+ Sound: A-/B+ Extras: B Film: B
the wake of the fifth installment of the series (Underworld:
being released into cinemas for January 2017, the first Underworld
film (2003) finds its way onto 4K high definition for the first time.
While a success in the box office, I feel that a lot of horror
cinema-goers scoff at the series and don't give it the love that it
deserves. While not exactly strong or groundbreaking in terms of
plot, there is a lot to like about the Underworld
series including its gorgeous cinematography, high-end special
effects, and undeniable gore that soak the frame of each installment
in the series. The first film, starring the jaw droopingly gorgeous
Kate Beckinsale, proves in this release that time has been kind to it
and that its a film that's definitely worth revisiting.
the dark alternate reality known as 'The Underworld' - the Vampires
and Lycans (Werewolves) have been at each other's throats for
centuries. While thought to have been defeated, the Lycans rear
their ugly heads again - this time targeting a mysterious young man
(Scott Speedman) - who carries the blood of both species. Interested
in protecting him and finding out more about his unique mutation, the
hardened vampire warrior Selene (Beckinsale) ends up doing all in her
power to protect him - only to ultimately fall in love with him and
cause more problems against the dueling society of monsters.
film has a strong cast including Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, and
Bill Nighy with direction by Len Wiseman (whose career has been hit
and miss with the 2012 Total
remake, the underrated 2009 thriller Whiteout,
and the 2007 popcorn-munching disaster Live
Free or Die Hard
on his resume). We've reviewed this film several times over the
years, but this is easily the version to own.
edition of Underworld
features the R-rated version of the film on 4K Ultra HD disc and the
unrated version of the film on Blu-ray. The 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR
(10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the 4K
version of the film is a sight to behold, with impeccable detail in
the blue and black world of the film that compliments the color mix
nicely. This was shot in the Super 35mm format, which for a scope
film, is not as rich, strong, detailed or as excellent as using
actually squeeze lenses, so it is not as good as 35mm film can look.
However, it helps the film hold up better versus how bad most digital
from the time was, with CGI effects used here and there. This was
mastered in 2K at the time, but this might be a new 4K master or a
widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 actually looks great in both
formats, with the 1080p high definition Blu-ray transfer not as
impressive, but not terrible either being so good looking from years
ago early on in the introduction of the format by Sony. The sound
mix is top of the line as well with the 12-track Dolby Atmos that is
flawless (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24 bit) core) track that finally
goes back to the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound 8-track soundmaster and
expands it. The older Blu-ray had a lossless PCM 5.1 mix that didn't
sound half bad either, but the Atmos is the better version finally
bringing out all the punch and detail of the SDDS master. A Digital
UV Copy of the film is also included.
commentary with director Len Wiseman, Kate Beckinsale, and Scott
Seven featurettes on the making of the film.
in all, I am a fan of the Underworld
franchise and am happy to now own the first film in the highest
quality possible. This is one of the more impressive 4K titles I
have seen, as I am simply a huge fan of the look of the film.