Sunday, December 7, 2008


The 2000's seem to be one of the top decades for vampires, werewolves and zombies in cinema. Underworld takes the first two groups here and pits them against each other in a centuries long war of the night. The vampires are the usual elegant class with mansions and gowns... and Death Dealers. Death Dealers are the militant members of the vampire world that spend their nights hunting down the likens (what they call werewolves). The likens are thought to be near extinction until the vampire vixen Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale) stumbles on a den living below the city that are somehow connected to a mysterious plot intertwining key members for both groups with hidden motives and alliances. At the center of this plot is a young human named Michael (reported dreamboat Scott Speedman) that the likens are trying to capture and Selene is now trying to protect. The longer the movie goes the thicker the plot gets and the bigger the betrayals become. Eventually, everyone is forced to chose a side and the battle gets brutal. Without further ado, let's review...

Original Release: 2003
Running Time: 121 minutes
Effects & Animation - $1
The special effects in Underworld are alright, but they didn't blow me away. The werewolf transformation was not as bad as a Sci-Fi Channel made-for-TV movie, but it didn't make me believe the man-dogs existed either. The best bit (and the one that the movie is partially known for) is Selene's leap from a building top to the sidewalk below with the graceful landing and the walk full of intent.

Critters & Creatures - $1
The likens/werewolves were alright here but were not tearing vamps apart as much as they could have. The vampires also do very little that would be considered vampy... at times feeling more "Matrix" than "mythical creature". They were both there, but not in a socks knocking way so I'll leave it at a buck.

Repeat Play - $2

I might need to get a second copy just to be safe... I watch this one a lot. Seriously. This is one of my top picks to have in the background or to throw in when I'm trying to take a nap. I've seen it enough that if I leave the room or fall asleep I'm not missing anything, but if I do keep my eyes on the screen I know I'm going to like what I see.

Hello Ladies - $2
I can't even count the number of illegal and deplorable things I would do to have a chance with Kate Beckinsale. She is smoking hot with a British accent and once in an interview referred to her nipples as "little puppies' noses". And don't you dare forget the sultry Sophia Myles... yowza!!

Action and Ass-Kickery - $2
The movie is about a war between werewolves and vampires... yeah. There are at least a few instances of fisticuffs. Come on people... there are guns and swords and claws and fangs, and they are all abundantly used. Love it.
Total Rating: $8

Underworld caught some flack when it came out for having too many resemblances to other big action movies... mostly The Matrix. But it still stood out enough on its own to be quite successful and lead to two sequels - the second coming to theaters soon, sadly without Beckinsale. It's dark and its a little violent, but it is a fun time dang it so get out there and give it a look!

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