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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Horror > Thriller > Monster > Supernatural > Vampire > Werewolf > Underworld: Blood Wars (2017/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Underworld: Blood Wars (2017/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Picture: A-/B+ Sound: A-/B+ Extras: C+ Film: C+

The fifth installment in the Underworld series, Blood Wars (2017), brings back Kate Beckinsale in her most iconic role as the skilled leather-clad Vampire fighting for the survival of her race against the never-ending war with the Lycan clans. While nothing groundbreaking in terms of storytelling, I find the Underworld franchise a guilty pleasure and wonderful to look at. Blood Wars isn't quite as entertaining as the previous installment, Awakening, yet features some fun moments and plenty of gore to keep fans of the series happy.

Directed by Anna Foerster, Underworld: Blood Wars also stars Theo James (Divergent), India Eisley, Bradley James, Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien 3) and Tobias Menzies. Curiously, series creator Len Wiseman (who directed the first film and was until recently married to Miss Beckinsale) is merely a producer on this film and doesn't seem to be at the reigns of the universe as he was in its inception. Though after his flops Live Free or Die Hard and the so-so Total Recall remake, that might not be the worst thing.

Her lover dead, her daughter on the run and wanting nothing to do with her, and constantly on the run, Seline (Beckinsale) has lived for centuries and is merciless to those who oppose her. After their evolution, the Lycans are growing even more powerful, with her former allies, David (James) and his elderly Vampire royalty Thomas (Dance), she goes up against two faced vampires, powerful Lycans, and Ancient Beings.

If it wasn't for the gore and language, the Underworld films would defiantly be PG-13, much like the Resident Evil franchise, these "January movies" are packed full of lackluster digital effects, slow motion sequences of sexy people firing guns, stories that are pretty cookie cutter, and moments intended for 3D that don't translate as well in 2D. In addition, Blood Wars runs at a short 91 minutes and some of that time is devoted to a heck of a lot of flashback and recap sequences and an ending that you can see coming from a mile away.

While nice to look at, its hard to wonder how much better this film would have been with a villain that's actually a match for Selene, who is basically now invincible, and that deviates from the formula of what we've come to expect with these films. I'm never in fear when she gets hurt or punched too hard, because someone will always come along and give her a wrist full of blood to gulp down but hey, at least this time, they deviated from the Romeo and Juliet sub-plot romance and didn't give Seline another boring love interest!

Thanks to Sony's new Ultra HD format, the film is presented in 2160p 4K with HDR (high dynamic range 10-bit color) high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 with stunning detail that exploits the blues, blacks, and grey color palette similar to Sony's recent 4K release of the first entry in the series (see below). The most noticeable improvement are in some of the film's darker scenes, where a few fight scenes take place, that are far more distinguishable on 4K as opposed to the 1080p high definition transfer of the Blu-ray, which is still up to standards and by no means awful. Both discs share the same audio tracks both in Dolby Atmos 11.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 that sound fantastic with plenty of action packed moments of sound design that are sure to give your speakers a workout.

A digital UV copy of the film is also included.

Special Features:

- Official Movie Graphic Novel*

- Four Featurettes:

"The Evolution of Selene"

"Building a Blood War"

"Old & New Blood"

"The Evil Evolved"

I enjoy the Underworld films as horror/action popcorn movies and nothing more so in that regard, Blood Wars met my expectations. Hopefully, we will get to review the second, third, and fourth installments on 4K UHD soon as the look of the films is constantly spot on and impressive, especially on this new format.

The original film from 2003 was just reissued in the 4K format and you can read more about it at this link...


- James Lockhart



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