Underworld: Extended DTS Japanese Edition DVD Review
PictureMany had noted that the Matrix has a greenish quality to the picture. I reference this point due to the fact that this movie has a noticeable blue hue to it. Colours are generally muted, thanks to the blue tint and as it is also set at night, it is therefore rather dark looking. However, the print is absolutely spotless, with blacks being deep and dark, with the detail levels being unaffected. Since Selene dresses in black PVC (no complaints here), we see the suit shine with plenty of detail present, so much so you could almost see the grain of the leather bodice. No colour bleed is apparent, particularly when red blood is on the screen which isn't often. Skin tones are pale, but then vampires should be, but they also seem to have muted the other characters too, but this is more inline with the movies style as opposed to an actual fault or criticism. Compression artefacts and grain are not apparent and edges do not suffer from any noticeable enhancement. Nice!
SoundShould you want your speakers to have a consistent workout and upset the neighbours, you are in luck as this movie will do both! This is one aggressive soundtrack, from the gunshots fired by Selene in the railway to the end climatic battles, you are constantly aware of a dynamic sound experience. Dialogue is crisp and clear, with superb use of surround speakers both for ambient sounds and effects. LFE is given a thorough workout, from the stomping of the lycans to every single shot Selene shoots! It is however pleasant that the dialogue isn't eclipsed during the more engaging set pieces making this mix well balanced. DTS is certainly louder that the Dolby soundtrack with both being superb, in fact the DTS is so loud, I reduced my sound level by -5 to -8 DB. However, I preferred the DTS mix due to a more encompassing soundstage, but the Dolby mix is highly recommended too.
ExtrasDisk one features a commentary track as it's only extra, with the participants being Len Wiseman (director), Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman. Disk two however contains a plethora of material should you find your appetite in need of satiating. 8 featurettes detailing behind the scenes, from the set and costume designs to the stunts, are the main extras and are short enough to hold your attention and be interesting. One of these featurettes however is a typical PR type overview, so don't say you weren't warned! The other main feature is called “Fangs vs. Fiction”, a 45 minute documentary which goes into the mythology of vampires and werewolves, probing the actual likelihood of these being real and not myth, hence the pun in the title. It's not directly tied to the movie, clearly having been on something like the Discovery channel, but it's an interesting enough extra. Finally rounding the extras off are the trailers, picture gallery and outtakes.
VerdictI really wanted to like this movie when I first saw it and it failed totally, however on the second viewing, I actually warmed to it considerably more. I honestly feel that this is due to it being the extended version and therefore the extra footage makes it considerably more coherent than the original version. Picture and sound are hard to fault as this is a stunning visual and aural experience, but ultimately I don't think it's the movie it really wanted to be, but a poor second place. Still if you like action, vampires or both, give the original cut a miss and pick this up.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.03
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