Underworld / Underworld: Evolution

Here’s a pair of movies that are so relentlessly tedious in their presentation that it only makes perfect Hollywood sense that a franchise was born out of the simple notion that vampires and werewolves would make a kick ass combo if they were beating the crap out of one another. Admittedly, the idea has a sort of kitschy appeal on paper; in practice, however, it leads to one repetitive fight scene after another, broken up by some of the absolute worst dialogue to be heard coming out of center channels in years. There isn’t an insightful or clever word uttered from even a single fanged mouth, which is a huge shame when you’ve got fantastic actors like Bill Nighy, Derek Jacobi and Michael Sheen thrown into the mix. There’s also Scott Speedman as the male protagonist, who is the blandest leading man ever to stream through a movie projector, and yet the dialogue manages to sound quite right as it tumbles from his lips (go figure). The real star of the “Underworld” movies, however, is Kate Beckinsale’s ass covered in tight black leather, since it’s the only thing that you can’t take your eyes off of during the proceedings. That ass will unfortunately be absent from the upcoming prequel, “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” (probably to be replaced by Rhona Mitra’s posterior, and all things considered, that isn’t such a terrible trade-off). If someone is going to drag you kicking and screaming to what’s sure to be yet another misfire, you might impress them by beefing up on your “Underworld” history by picking up this affordably priced repackaging of previous releases (or, alternatively, use your experience with the set as the reason you don’t want to go).

Click to buy ” Underworld / Underworld: Evolution”

  

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10 Vampire Films That Should Be Made In The Wake Of The Success of “Twilight”

“Twilight” is shaping up to be a full-fledged film phenomenon…and whenever there’s a phenomenon, you can count on Hollywood trying to reproduce it quickly and in sub-par fashion, so prepare for a huge glut of new vampire-themed movies in the very near future.

The good news in this case, however, is that there’s a lot of great source material out there already, so let’s hope at least a few of the suits have good taste when it comes to buying up the rights to adapt certain books to film form…but since we have a really bad feeling that they don’t, we figured we’d throw a few suggestions their way for vampire flicks we’d like to see made. And, yes, we know that our #1 pick isn’t a book, but it’s so far ahead of the pack when it comes to the must-make vampire movies that we put it there, anyway.

(P.S. The movie adaptation of Darren Shan’s “Cirque de Freak” is finished and due for release in February 2009, or else it’d be on this list for sure.)

10. “Bloodsucking Fiends,” by Christopher Moore. Not only is this a solid mixture of horror and humor, focusing on a hot young redhead who moves to San Francisco, is promptly bitten by a vampire, and has to learn to adapt to her new lifestyle, but it already has a sequel ready to roll. Better yet, it’s called “You Suck”!
9. “Fevre Dream,” by George R.R. Martin. Are you kidding? I’m a fan of pretty much anything written by the guy who created the “Wild Cards” series, but this novel about vampires on a steamboat has earned reviews which feature the phrase “Bram Stoker meets Mark Twain,” which is high praise by most people’s standards.
8. “Lost Souls,” by Poppy Z. Brite. Maybe it’s just because I enjoy pretty much any film revolving around a band, but I’d love to see the adventures of Lost Souls? make it to the big screen.
7. “Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire,” by P.N. Elrod. It’s set during the American Revolution, with Barrett on the side of the British. Surely the success of HBO’s “John Adams” has made history cool again, and what better way to make it even cooler than to add vampires to it?
6. “Riley Jensen, Guardian,” by Keri Arthur. A half-vampire, half-werewolf in Australia who works for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races. “Underworld” meets “Torchwood,” anyone? I’m sold already.
5. “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter,” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It’s already got a huge fan base between the sixteen novels and various comic books, but for those who don’t know Ms. Baker, she can re-animate the dead, licensed vampire hunter/executioner, and she has a lot of sex. I’m simplifying, of course, but, hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?
4. “They Thirst,” by Robert R. McCammon. The dastardly Prince Vulkan, master of the vampires, is hell bent on taking over Los Angeles as part of his quest to transform the entire population of the planet into the undead. Their opposition? A police captain, a comedian, a reporter, a junior high school student, and a Catholic priest who’s a former heroin addict and has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
3. “Carrion Comfort,” by Dan Simmons. Actually, this is such an epic tale that it might warrant a full-fledged mini-series rather than just a film.
2. “Vampire Academy,” by Richelle Mead. Rose Hathaway is a half-vampire / half-human teenager who’s simultaneously finishing high school and training to fight evil vampires determined to destroy the Moroi vampire race, a.k.a. the good vampires. Bonus superhero-ish aspect: each Moroi can control an element, either fire, earth, water, air, or – on rare occasions – spirit.There are two other books in the saga, with a fourth set for release next year. Surely someone has already started work on a script, because it seems tailor-made for a film.
1. “Angel.” Come on, Joss, you and I both know that the time couldn’t be more right. The kids love the vampires, and although David Boreanaz is on his fourth season of “Bones” and has now officially escaped permanent typecasting, he ain’t getting any younger, so if he’s going to play the immortal undead, it’s time to make your move and make an “Angel” movie. In fact, while you’re at it, you might as well go ahead and make it a big ol’ epic that incorporates “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as well. We’re really excited about “Dollhouse,” Mr. Whedon, but, c’mon, it’s Fox. Your schedule will be free and clear within a few weeks of its premiere, so let’s go ahead and get this ball rolling right now.

  

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