SELENE, A BEAUTIFUL VAMPIRE WARRIOR, IS ENTRENCHED IN A WAR BETWEEN THE VAMPIRE & WEREWOLF RACES. ALTHOUGH SHE IS ALIGNED WITH THE VAMPIRES, SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH MICHAEL, A WEREWOLF WHO LONGS FOR THE WAR TO END.
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If you enjoyed the stylish and moody atmosphere of Underworld's theatrical version and didn't mind the pacing, then you should be able to replace your original DVD with the extended and unrated cut. The 12 minutes of new footage includes a sexy subplot involving vampire Erika (Sophia Myles, who also figures into some of the recut footage), back stories on Scott Speedman's Michael character and the Lycans, and a new battle scene toward the end. And although this cut is unrated, don't expect to see more graphic violence or Kate Beckinsale out of her leather outfit. More than once director Len Wiseman offers the disclaimer that this is an extended cut rather than a director's cut because he felt some scenes needed to be cut for pacing reasons (and admits "a lot of stuff you're not gonna notice"). But he also loves some of the scenes that have been restored. His commentary with Beckinsale and Speedman (he leaves after the first half) may be a little less technically informative than the two commentaries on the original DVD, but it's useful for Wiseman's notes on the new footage, and it's just fun to listen to. Beginning with Beckinsale's zinger in the opening scene, the group has a good time. Other than those commentaries, the features of the original disc are included here. New additions are three featurettes, humorous outtakes, and "Fang vs. Fiction," a 47-minute documentary about werewolves and vampires. There's also a DVD-case-sized comic book adaptation of the movie by writer Kris Oprisko and artists Nick Postic and Nick Marinovich, the creative team behind the comic book miniseries that served as a prequel to Underworld. One can debate the wisdom of releasing an extended-cut DVD only months after the theatrical release, but this package does have a lot to offer. --David Horiuchi
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