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Underworld: Awakening 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=244537&d=1335356720
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

92






Studio and Year: Screen Gems - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 88 minutes
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Theo James, Stephen Rea
Directed by: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Music by: Paul Haslinger
Written by: Len Wiseman & John Hlavin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 8, 2012







"Vengeance Returns"



Film Synopsis:

When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.



My Take:

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back, and let me tell you, the corset and skin tight black leather still fits. Starting off where 2006s Underworld: Evolution ended, we find Selene escaping from a 12 year cryogenic sleep to a world where the underground society of Vampires and Lycans (werewolf's) have been discovered by the human race and been made all but extinct. She must not only fight the humans looking to kill her and all remaining Vampires, but she must lead a fight against a new breed of "Super-Lycan".

This installment of the franchise is stripped down and lean. Full of all out action, brutal clashes and plenty of Werewolves, Underworld: Awakening is a less than 90 minute roller-coaster ride that sure was enhanced by some of the best 3D I have yet to see. The plot is fairly simple and doesn't delve much into the world and lore created by the first three films in the series, though it does feel like a new beginning to a possible second trilogy. This is a continuation of Selene's storyline where we see how and what she has ended up as, and we see how important she is to the survival of the Vampire race. Fans of the franchise might be a bit angry with its lack of character development and plot, but for me its simplistic story arc worked well as a vehicle for some extreme eye and ear candy. 3D, 7.1 lossless and Kate in tight clothes. Nothing to complain about there.



Parental Guide:

Rated R for strong violence and gore, and for some language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 96



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


3D Presentation: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Underworld: Awakening comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.6 Mbps.

This is one of the most dazzling 3D experiences I have had on Blu-ray. The film is shot mostly in the evening and in dark locals, however, this was never a detriment to discerning what we happening on screen in 3D as well as in fine and shadow details. The depth of field was stunning with objects popping off screen, as well as multi layered foreground to background imaging, all in the same shot. Colors were the standard cold/bluish quality shared with the other Underworld films. Flesh tones seemed properly pale and black levels were nice and inky. I usually have a hard time settling into a 3D flick, but this one was easy and by far one of the best you will see.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is in a word, amazing. Dynamic and aggressive with pin-point accuracy, I was wowed by its depth. LFE shook my room with the fierce stomping and growls of the "Super-Lycan" as well as some pretty intense explosions. Surrounds were used in perfect abundance, sucking me right into the on-screen action. As bombastic and unrelenting as it was, it was also quite articulate. Every bit of dialogue, every click and clank, gun shot and footstep, was as clear as day. This is an absolute reference track.



2D Video Quality:



Video: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Underworld: Awakening comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23.8 mbps

The 2D presentation is striking. Black levels are outstanding and really help things pop as most of the on-screen imagery is dark with a cold bluish tone. The fine and shadow details are apparent throughout the gradient of black, and when mixed with the occasional splash of color, make for one of Sony's finest. People complain about the look of Underworld: Awakening's CGI, and its weaknesses are more apparent in the 2D version, as the 3D was a bit more forgiving. However, the score cant and should not reflect the artistry behind the animation, as every detail does stand out here. Flesh-tones are life like whether the cold pale face of a vampire or the warm blooded police with a darker tone. I really cant say enough about this one. This is absolutely reference, and combined with the superb soundtrack and top tier 3D, it is is a winning proposition.




attachment.php?attachmentid=244538&d=1335356720

Bonus Features:


  • Filmmakers' Commentary

  • (HD) Previsualization Sequences

  • (HD) Selene Rises

  • (HD) Casting the Future of Underworld

  • (HD) Awakening a Franchise, Building a Brutal New World

  • (HD) Building a Better Lycan

  • (HD) Resuming the Action

  • (HD) Blooper Reel

  • (HD) 3D Trailers: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, MIB III, The Amazing Spiderman, Resident Evil: Retribution

  • 2D Version

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy


Final Thoughts:

Underworld: Awakening is a decent, but not the best entry in the Underworld franchise. It's fast, lean, full of action and gore, and for better or worse, a little less on plot. Sony delivers a stellar 3D, 2D and lossless 7.1 DTS-HD audio track that is one of the best A/V experiences I have had in my theater. Included is a decent amount of extra features, a digital copy and some cool 3D trailers. This comes as a recommended Blu-ray.








attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-X45 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MK S-150MKII LCR
MK S-150T Tripole Surrounds
MK MX-350MKII Subwoofer
Xpand X104 3D Glasses
post #2 of 47
Ahh I thought this one had very cheesy cgi. From her porcelain skin, to the early 2000s style animation of the werewolves. This film is Nlno where near the new bond interest of audio mixing, effects, and dynamics. Color me disappointed that it recieved a 90+ score
post #3 of 47
What about the 2D video quality?
post #4 of 47
Saw this one in the theater awhile back. I agree with your review, I very much enjoyed the movie and look forward to adding it to my collection. I know I didn't leave thinking the 3D was the best I have seen but I was pleased with it. Maybe will look better from the H9500BD then the movie theater.
post #5 of 47
Im looking forward in adding this to my collection, though it will be in 2D.
post #6 of 47
I haven't seen this one, but the Underworld franchise is a guilty pleasure for me, must be Kate Beckinsale in tight leather...........:-)
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

What about the 2D video quality?

I agree Lee would you be doing a 2D review?
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rr6966 View Post

I haven't seen this one, but the Underworld franchise is a guilty pleasure for me, must be Kate Beckinsale in tight leather...........:-)

Hard to argue with that statement.
post #9 of 47
This is the second glowing review for the 3D on this BD. Will purchase for the 3D (and Kate) alone!
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lou99 View Post

This film is Nlno where near the new bond interest of audio mixing, effects, and dynamics. Color me disappointed that it recieved a 90+ score

Huh?

The BD doesn't street until next Tuesday, so how can you critique this review?

All the other reviews out there agree with Lee's assessment of both the 3D quality and the soundtrack.
post #11 of 47
I actually liked this and would put it on par with the last Underworld. I mean Kate kicking some serious butt here.

Definite buy!
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lou99 View Post

This film is Nlno where near the new bond interest of audio mixing, effects, and dynamics. Color me disappointed that it recieved a 90+ score

Greetings,

I screened this before sending it off the Lee. In my opinion his remarks echo my thoughts regarding the 3D presentation and audio quality.

Regards,
post #13 of 47
I read in some thread this has great bass, so I'm taking it was a bit over blown over the thread..No pun intend.
\\

Djoel
post #14 of 47
I saw this on the HMZ-T1 and it's pretty decent concerning the 3D, specialy when they are driving, you rally get depth perception there, the 3D is the only reason I finished the movie to be honest, because I hated it.
post #15 of 47
I can see the CGI is not that great. Some of it looks really fake. But I will watch it to pass my time.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhne View Post

I saw this on the HMZ-T1 and it's pretty decent concerning the 3D, specialy when they are driving, you rally get depth perception there, the 3D is the only reason I finished the movie to be honest, because I hated it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

I can see the CGI is not that great. Some of it looks really fake. But I will watch it to pass my time.

I'm seeing this more and more in the forums here. Either some shops are selling BD's before street date, or posters are using downloaded rips. Pretty sad.
post #17 of 47
The Blu-ray.com 3D review was graded much higher than this one.

But again, who knows what kind of AV equipment they use.
post #18 of 47
When watching this in theaters, did anyone else think some of the special effects looked like old school stop-motion animation? Especially the car chase scene.

I'll probably get this when it comes out since I have all the others in the franchise. I'm pretty sure it'll be a much better presentation in my own HT than the lackluster presentation at the theater I went to.


Max
post #19 of 47
I love the franchise so this was a pre-order for me from the beginning--2D version though.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

I'm seeing this more and more in the forums here. Either some shops are selling BD's before street date, or posters are using downloaded rips. Pretty sad.

I think a more likely case is that they saw it in theaters.
post #21 of 47
CGI is not that great. Good wolf movie and good gal-power action movie. Something like Resident Evil.

Movie is rather short too.

Looks like another part is coming.
post #22 of 47
Did we every get a score for the 2D version.

I still cannot get into the 3D. Give me amazingly clear 1080P HD and some HD sound and I'm set!
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgillyjcu View Post

Did we every get a score for the 2D version.

I still cannot get into the 3D. Give me amazingly clear 1080P HD and some HD sound and I'm set!

Greetings,

I mentioned it to Lee and he plans to update this review. Hopefully time will allow him to get to it prior to street date.

Regards,
post #24 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgillyjcu View Post

Did we every get a score for the 2D version.

I still cannot get into the 3D. Give me amazingly clear 1080P HD and some HD sound and I'm set!

Then you should grab this on tuesday as 2D and the sound combine for a score of 95 out of 100. Enjoy!
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post


Then you should grab this on tuesday as 2D and the sound combine for a score of 95 out of 100. Enjoy!

Good to know thanks
post #26 of 47
Looking forward to this! First blind buy in a while. I have enjoyed this series and people are raving about the Awakening low end in the bass thread. Throw in the 3d and it sounds like it will be a great HT experience.
post #27 of 47
Well, at least this film continues the trend of Underworld having an amazing soundtrack.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

I think a more likely case is that they saw it in theaters.

Not so. The one I quoted even stated the device he watched it on.
post #29 of 47
Possible word is that the standalone 2D transfer and the 2D transfer that comes on the 3D disc have entirely different transfers (2D disc looking better). Can anyone confirm or deny this? Would this be an odd occurrence?
post #30 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urlacher5454 View Post

Possible word is that the standalone 2D transfer and the 2D transfer that comes on the 3D disc have entirely different transfers (2D disc looking better). Can anyone confirm or deny this? Would this be an odd occurrence?

I only have the 3D/2D, so I don't know. I read what your are referring to and popped mine in. It looks fabulous in 2D here and her black suite is inky jet black against the normal bluish tone that has been a staple in the series. It seems they were complaining of the blue in the black. I didn't perceive that as problematic but an asset as it made blacks like her outfit really pop. I also didn't notice a lack of detail or crush in the blacks. However, I am interested to see if there is a difference in the two encodes.
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