Review: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

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“I have no wish to remove one shackle from around your necks, only to replace them with one of my own. You’ll have a choice: you can run and hide, or you can stay and fight. Any man who fights with me shall have his freedom and, if he wishes it; immortality.”
– Lucian

SYNOPSIS: An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8This movie was so good. Since the first movie I have wanted a more in depth history of the lycan origins. I mean heck, Lucian said in Underworld: “We were slaves once. The daylight guardians of the vampires. I was born into servitude. Yet I harbored them no ill will.” You just know there is so much more to the story. Rise of the Lycans totally delivered on all fronts.

The sets were back up to par in this one, and the movie was once again dark, dreary, and depressing, which totally captured the mood. I also think that the lycans still look absolutley awesome, and the costume design was good. Going back centuries to the origin of this blood feud was something I have been waiting for for ages. Again, the consistency in the storytelling is great, and the lore sticks to what they have give us so far, so credit where credit is due. The more you see of Viktor, the more reprehensible a character he becomes, no doubt about this.

This movie also did a good job in showing you the differences between the thoroughbred werewolves, and the stranger crossbreed of lycans. It was also difficult to watch how these lycans came about, and how they were treated. Their eventual uprising and fighting back was something I greatly admired, and I thought it looked fantastic. I mean come on, there was a castle siege. You all know how I get about sieges!

Lucian is such a great character, and exploring him more in depth was super rewarding, and I really liked seeing him and Sonja together, though I knew they were doomed. Even knowing what the outcome will be,  it does not change the fact that you wish it would work out differently. Man, not cool!

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Rise of the Lycans is a solid addition to the Underworld franchise, and gives us more history to chew on, and details about this ancient lycan/vampire feud. It looks good, sounds good, and is incredibly entertaining. I highly recommend this for a watch! Excellent prequel.

December Blind Spot Review: Love Actually (2003)

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“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
– Prime Minister

SYNOPSIS: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. – via IMDB

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GRADE 6.5Initially this was supposed to work out as my February Blind Spot (that was an age ago, right?!), but then everything was so damn Christmassy in here I knew it was not going to work out for that. Seeing as I don’t usually do holiday themed posts, I thought I would hold Love Actually over for December. Long holdover! Anyway, Love Actually is that typical soppy romance (though not nearly as bad as some can be), but in the long run it is a pretty forgettable movie. I am saying this based on when watching it, I remembered having seen scenes, though not how they play out. Some of the stories and characters could certainly have used a little more development and time (for instance, I love Martin Freeman, but his story arc seemed to be squeezed in every now and again, as well as Kris Marshall’s escapades and decision to check out the States). The performances all round were pretty good, and it was an impressive cast to pull together for this one. Had a good few giggles at Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy was a nightmare but also someone to laugh at, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster was just too damn adorable for words. I was very happy that I did not have to watch Keira Knightley for any length of time, I really don’t like her, and I really thought the whole thing going on between Juliet and Mark was just messed up. She married Mark’s best friend, they should both just leave it at that! The pacing was a bit of an issue at times, and naturally some stories were far more interesting and engaging than others, and I was not always a fan of the soundtrack. There are things that work and things that don’t work in this movie, but it is certainly not the worst movie of its kind that you could be wasting your time on and it is a very Christmas-heavy movie, but there we have it. I can at least cross it off my list and say I have seen it. People are always going on and on about this movie. Finally I am included in the conversation!