MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “UNDERWORLD”

I love stories like this. Vampires versus werewolves just sounds too cool and the addition of the ever-so-lovely Kate Beckinsale has made this a must see since I saw the first commercial. I don’t consider myself an ultimate geek, but supernatural or fantasy stories, when well done, just leave me wanting to explore more of the back-story and mythology of that world. I’m pretty excited going into this one.

00:01 – Kate’s not hiding her British accent. This is a good thing since to me that accent just makes her sexier.

00:02 – And there’s the scene of her dropping off the building from the trailer. It seems to me like there are some movies where certain scenes are shot specifically for the trailer and later inserted somewhere sort of appropriate in the movie. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the great trailer to crappy movie ratio.

00:04 – Seems like the vampires die pretty easily in this reality. Most other stories make it at least somewhat difficult to kill one, but this guy just died from a gunshot wound.

00:05 – Apparently you’re not required to take marksmanship classes in order to become a Death Dealer. Kate and her friends have fired off about 20 clips worth of ammunition and the only thing they’ve hit is the wall.

00:09 – Kate just killed a werewolf and I think she’s getting some sort of sexual charge off it. I’m completely all right with this.

00:11 – I never really collected X-Men comics, but I had a few. I was always more of an Avengers guy. Even before X-Men became “The Big Thing” I always sensed I wasn’t cool enough to collect X-Men. Then again there wasn’t a whole lot I was cool enough to do.

00:14 – Vampires being presented as being noble is a pretty cool concept. Outside of “Angel” I really can’t think of where this has been done before.

00:15 – A very long shot here of what is, apparently, a sacred manhole cover.

00:19 – I paid eight dollars at a theater in downtown Chicago to see “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.” At 74 minutes, that comes out to about nine cents per minute. That was in 1994 and I’m fairly afraid of what a movie in the city costs almost ten years later.

00:20 – Still can’t get a bead on whether this is taking place in New York or London. Scott Speedman and his doctor friend have American accents, but everything about the set design screams London. This is going to bug me until I see either Big Ben or the Empire State Building in the background.

00:22 – The vampires apparently live in Wayne Manor. That’s OK, I guess, since Bruce Wayne has admitted to not knowing certain rooms exist. Now I have this whole image of the vamps scurrying behind chairs and curtains if Wayne walks into a room. Great.

00:24 – Kate Beckinsale should be required to wear tight-fitting clothing in all movies she’s in. I would have no problem being the one in charge of enforcing this rule.

00:27 – Backwashing is not all right, especially when it’s blood. This is just a rule. Shouldn’t even have to say it.

00:29 – If nothing else, all the characters seem to be sticking their landings pretty well. That will make the difficulty of their routine all the more important, especially to the German judge.

00:31 – So the only real power the vampires have is immortality? They’re not real fast, they don’t seem to have super hearing and they cast reflections. Am I missing something? Do they have the ability to get supernatural discounts on the lunch buffet?

00:37 – I love it when Mr. Burns on “The Simpsons” threatens to release the hounds. It’s especially funny when he gives his visitors a warning that he’ll do so in five minutes or something. It’s just such a casual thing. Being able to say this is the main reason I want to one day own a compound.

00:39 – Kate is using marble statues for target practice. This brings to mind two things: 1) They should only fight statues, and 2) They should move from Wayne Manor to Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu. He’s got a buttload of useless statues up there.

00:41 – Wolves and vampires working together seems as unlikely as Bears fans and Packers fans getting together to plan a Sunday brunch.

00:44 – I never got tired of the “Hulk” TV show. Every week it was the same basic plot outline (Banner stumbles into town. Happens across poor soul being abused. Helps out. Hulks out. Has to leave), but it never seemed to get old. I can still watch this show and it works pretty well.

00:46 – Kate’s visiting the sacred manhole cover. Wonder if Ed Norton works down there? RIP Art Carney.

00:46 – Thank goodness Rubik’s Cubes are no longer quite the fad they were in the ’80s. I can’t think of another mass-market toy that seemed so specifically designed to make you feel like an idiot. Was that just me? Wasn’t there a Rubik’s Cube Saturday morning cartoon? Was it on around the same time as the Pac-Man cartoon? Did it air before or after Menudo?

00:48 – Vampires don’t dust in this world. Part of me is really enjoying the story not playing to every vampire stereotype, but the other part of me has certain expectations. Interesting at least.

00:52 – When it comes to the first time I got drunk, I feel similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Total Recall.” I’m sure I have a memory of it, but it’s only with help of those who were around me that I’ve been able to piece it together. I’m fairly sure I didn’t travel to Mars or meet a three-breasted woman, but I haven’t asked those questions specifically.

00:54 – How come no one has remade a movie of the “Swamp Thing”? Are we doomed to a future with only the Adrienne Barbeau version?

00:57 – Sorry, but werewolves using guns is just no fun.

00:59 – The color design of this movie is so blue I keep waiting for Papa Smurf to wander across the screen. Have you ever put three apples on top of one another to see how tall a Smurf would actually be? It’s not that small.

Let’s pause for a brief intermission. The ramblings continue in part two of MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “UNDERWORLD”>>>




Posted on February 4, 2004 in Features by

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