Monday, January 23, 2006

Underworld Evolution

-a short note about niche films, reviews, reviewing, redundancy and then finally a word or two about this "R rated" tale of black latex and UV bullets. Ok, maybe I'll slip in a mention of "UltraViolet" the movie too!
Reviews + Redundancy: here is my example, which is of course time sensitive, as the virtual landscape will change some when the Dvd is actually released: "Dune, Extended Edition". I am interested in buying this, as "Dune" the book was not a minor part of my teen years. I can remember seeing the film when it first came out, and I was, of course, already a Lynch(director) fan. My recollection of my feeling about the movie is that I did not envy the task of bringing a world 8000 years in the future to life.
This was long before Peter Jackson actually captured an entire universe with "Lord of the Rings". I'm not sure Lynch has the interest to attempt a story this big for a second time. The new TV version(s) underline the complexity factor with their truly lesser efforts.
I have strayed some; I went online to get details about the Jan 31 2006 release of the film. 20 links or so paraphrased a short press release. Many of the "reviews" were not. In the absence of real knowledge speculation ruled the sites that did not just quote the press release. At the end of the day I learned nothing more substantial than the specs listed at every site preselling the Dvd within a dollar or so of the other site.
As for reviews of "Underworld Evolution"? Well, no press screening meant we got 20 sites mentioning that and cutting n' pasting in the usual "no screening = dog" mantra. I will suggest that press screenings of "niche" films is a waste of money. In order for measurement to be fair it is apparently important to use the same ruler. That methodology serves no one well here. Niche films like this have a built in fanbase rabid to see their hopes fulfilled, their imaginations fed. The real message of no press screenings is: "this movie isn't for you, mainstream", so stay home. It takes a budget like "King Kong" to tear the mainstream away from milk fed junior high comedy and spark a sense of wonder in an audience.
But I digress.
"Underworld Evolution" is the bigger, louder, sexier--and better--sequel to "Underworld". Doesn't make it a great film. It is more of a "film" than the extended TV episode "Serenity", but not nearly as well written or crafted. Its palette of dark blue, black, and shadow is a stylistic move in a movie packed end to end with style. This movie will convert no one. What it is one knows before (in a general sense) the trailers have finished promising "X-Men 3" this summer.
I will see this one again, its style worked pretty well for me. Maybe more Matrix-fu, but this fine piece of gloss was replete with action scenes, bombast and double dealing supernatual beings. It may hold me over until "UltraViolet" get's here.
+++++SPOILER ALERT+++++++++++
The very end of the film sees Kate and her twice resurrected wolfboy turning vaguely human in skin tone..has she gone mortal? Only the next installment will let us know for sure.

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