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Underworld region 2 DVD Triple Bill!

 

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Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1514
Registered: May-05
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What can I say about "Underworld: Evolution" is that it was on par with the first a high octane of pure adrenalin rush none stop action with a white knuckle punch, and jaw dropping visual effects with more bite that sucks its predecessor dry!

I said I was going to do an A&B evaluation of the two, well after seeing or rather listening to the first one some 5 or 6 times, once projected in the cinema, but in the home cinema arena it left a more and everlasting impression on me!

Sound and visuals all come together with devastating impact with "Underworld: Evolution" starring Kate Beckinsale all dressed to kill in some tight black leather once again with Scott Speedman beside her as mutation of half Lycan and Vampire, battle against high odds, this is a not to be missed action adventure with stylistic visuals that are accompanied with a terrific six-track Dolby Stereo Digital soundtrack with quaking and riveting and a mirage of weaponry firepower!

The soundtrack was more felt than heard, the customary sound effects and Foley design was top notch with body punches, score was by "Marco Beltrami" this marks the fifth time now that I have heard some of his works, and this one was a clash of low end that was noticeable throughout the films running time, with a few shrilly highs to breakthrough the blaze loud sound effects, and keep the viewer on the edge of the seat, or in my case I was gripping the seat, as this would have blown we out of the seat!

Now I usually take caution with the dbA weighting and this one had peaks at the sweet spot, with 90dbA just +5db more than I would normally allow, now if I where to run this for a second viewing I would take it down by -5db from 0db THX reference level, the low end had ample to spare and will not diminish the films impact, not with the JBL control 5's three-screen where localization was constantly moving and keeping the film highly active.

Split-surrounds are made up by a huge array of JBL control 1's down the sidewalls and on the back walls, had clear sounds placed in discrete parts of the left and right sides, while centre back surround had me looking solidly to the back while keep one eye still focused to the screen this was very apparent at the opening of the film, and throughout as well.

Sub bass extension and LFE.1 was via the JBL 4645 modified, the lows in this film where reaching down to 25Hz with peaks in excess of 115dbc weighting, truck sounds helicopters and explosions, not to mention the storm of Foley effects that where forceful and hard hitting, with slam kick depth and crunch!

So there must be small cult following of fans hare on this site that enjoyed this film, and its predecessor, but for me it was just that, a film with bite for every single frame, an indispensable sequel!

Picture 9/10

Sound 10/10

Overall 10/10
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1515
Registered: May-05
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The First Underworld was a bite full surprise of cinema who will win and which side would you chose, I didn't have the first clue until the mid way point in the film, where the war between the Lycan and Vampires was reviled to Selene, and was later unearthed in Underworld Evolution, the style of fast paced action scenes is the norm for today's action films, with faster film editing techniques CGI technology and good assemble of stunt performers give the deathliest stunt believability has come a long way since the early days of cinema.

Wires can now be digitally removed giving the final scene a flaws move, it's a pity they can't use this technique on other films where wire can be seen visibly that would be a real bonus.

The imagery on this film is dark, which sets the tone of the story very well, for some they might find it distracting but that is the wish of the (DP) and the director, this is wild comic book fun, with each film receiving an (18) certificate or ® in the USA, for language and violence and some brief nud*ity, this is all good entertainment value.

Classy and full of bite full action, that would suck other vampire moves dry!

Image rating 10/10

Sound rating 10/10

Overall rating 10/10
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1516
Registered: May-05
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A few weeks back I purchased the Underworld, special edition on region 2 DVD and was rather surprised with the differences between the first edition of Underworld, on region 2 DVD and this version where the director has inserted certain scenes back into the film which flesh out the character and plot development of the film further.

Now I have done compressions tests of the two features Underworld and Underworld Evolution, and noted the huge dynamic range on the Underworld was deep and very raw with biting low end that will make a small sub bass speaker chock!

The dynamic range on this special edition was a around --3db less in the A weighting range when measured acoustically, and --5db in the C weighting when measured acoustically this was a surprise.

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Image was framed as seen in the first edition, and lighting was the same as well, except the newly restored scenes, where Michel Corvin, saves Selene after the car has plummeted into the water! And late we see Selene, crawling away when the sun starts to rise!

So what do I think about this version, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'll rate it has good 10/10 for more bite but when it comes to the six-track Dolby Digital presentation I have to give it an 8.
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1517
Registered: May-05
Underworld deep bass

Much of underworlds sound design relies more on bass, heavy low end that is felt mostly for scene for scene, this can be too much for taking for some but it is the overall quality of this rich sound mix that takes the viewer into this story which is darkly lit has most of the action takes place in the night.

Footsteps body punches have lots of felling and emotional ques that add continuity and flexibility to the fighting action scenes. where Selene, deals with one of the Lycan's by placing her foot on the wounded beast, that is placed in the centre channel the feel of her foot stamping down on the chest seems realistic enough to believe it's actually taking place on the set, but it is nothing more than good Foley effects work that gets the task accomplished.

With several close range gunshots to the head of the Lycan, with Selene's, eyes transposing to a blue colour is a sign of relief, an adrenalin rush so to speak! That she has killed one of many more Lycan's, the gunshot is deepness is mostly played over the LFE.1 where reinforcement is needed with authority! Now if you think the opening wasn't deep enough it gets better as the film unfolds.

I must have seen this film so many times now on DVD, with one less than perfect projected screening at the cinema, the fault wasn't in much of the sound system but down to designing it around and within the auditorium itself, which can really benefit from this as with most home cinemas having less budgets than commercial cinemas, which are falling apart in many areas of the final presentation. The deep bass is more felt in the home than it was in the cinema, thou I could hear the frequency spectrum rising and lowering with different ranges of sound pressure level (SPL) and thou the it is very easily sad than done to get it has near cinema quality as possible without contributing to much to the loudspeakers where damage to the one of many of the drives is possible.

Audio limiting the range and setting the amplifiers along with the master fader level setting at (0db) where anything approaching or exceeding the (0db) level will be relaxed, this keeps the amplifiers at a more safer playing level based upon there input signal where (clipping) will drive them into distortion and eventually shutting down the amplifier as well as damage to the loudspeakers. Playing the peak dbA level back with an (85dbA) in the centre of the room does have slight peaks over (85dbA) within (±3db) it's not always peaking over this level due to the summing of the three-screen fronts and the surround array adding to the intensity of the action taking place on the screen.

Summing up the sound pressure levels (SPL) is whereby two loudspeakers add around (3db) so for example if one loudspeaker is playing at (80dbA) and if you where to add another loudspeaker playing the same sound source has the first one, the two will sum there level as (83dbA).




Multiple use of surrounds have to be controlled with x8 JBL Control 1 employed for the use of surround information and with a sensitivity of 87db there sunning will be around (93dbA) per surround channel and that's just for the split-surrounds mode this doesn't included the centre back surround, so the total summing of the split-surrounds is (102db) now that is way to loud to play without calibrating the level for safe human consumption which is around 8 hours and so the level has to be adjusted for a peak level of (85dbA). There is range to be taking into consideration here as the level reaching the sweet spot is just over 4ft 2" where the SPL normally drops off be several db per foot and the required amplifier power that is needed doesn't need to be huge.

There are lots of off screen surround effects going on in the film where the Lycan's come crashing though a rear window the sound of the breaking glass shattering in the rear distance is not to loud in the mix although I'm rather near to the surrounds it's within the mix and where the camera is looking towards too, so when Selene, looks back down towards the corridor and with three Lycan's approaching her along the sidewalls she opens fire with several Lycan's falling to the floor and with several coming in there is no possible way for retreat! Looking down towards the floor and without much hesitation she fires into the tiles this punches it's way though the floors fixings with her whole body tuning around so that she can cut a circle out, which eventually gives due to her weight and the fixings being shot to pieces!

The loud thundering slam has the flooring and herself land on the floor below is quite something now in reality I'm not too sure if something like that would work, but nothing seems to impossible for films no matter how crazy it looks or seems to be, however it is a very impressive action scene where all the loud weaponry fire and roaring Lycan's, it is an immense and tense loud scene.

The showdown between Viktor and Michael, now as the (hybrid) of half Lycan half vampire, is now on Viktor's ground of fighting level and strengths having the power to almost to defeat him, but with crashes and bodies being slammed into concrete walls and though walls with pounding dynamic range! The score magnifies the scope of the showdown has Selene, comes to Michael's, rushing aid she acts swiftly and forcefully with hand to hand combat snapping necks with crunching feeling breaking legs and arms, flipping the body over, and all with high dynamic range that thunders furiously though the whole room with super evasive authority.

With the final curtain being drawn the score comes to slow steadiness sound effects are relaxed as well to give the ear the time to adjust to the hyper ambience. This is an action film that can I suppose be watched over and over a few times, it does have a few flaws here and there but it has never taken my attention away from the storytelling or the fantastic six-track Dolby stereo digital surround mix that engulfs you, wraps around you from the opening to the end.

Underworld is a trill ride, heavy locomotive that never lets up!
 

Gold Member
Username: Basshead86

Google is your Friend, FL

Post Number: 4669
Registered: Aug-05
wow....awesome reviews andy!

i have yet to see Evolution. maybe i will pick it up:-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1527
Registered: May-05
MuDDy

You will not be disappointed. If you like Die Hard or Predator or any of the films Alien films, the sound mix on Underworld and Underworld Evolution is on par with the rest of the competition.
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1528
Registered: May-05
And our Kate, in black leather is very sexy!

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Gold Member
Username: Basshead86

Google is your Friend, FL

Post Number: 4781
Registered: Aug-05
indeed^^^:-)
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