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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stuff from the Old Blog: Daybreakers DVD Review

"We're the folks with the crossbows." Yeah, I can see that.

A decent vampire movie that stays true to the genre but sags in the middle.
Daybreakers is not a vampire movie for the Cullen-obsessed masses. It has violence and blood and gore and cursing (oh my!), which earned the film it's R-rating. Taking place in a world where most of the population is vampire, the film focuses on the dwindling human blood supply and the effects running out will have on the vampire race. Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton (EDWARD!), a vampire hematologist with a conscience who is searching for a blood substitute to save the endangered human race. He plays his role well, and while he isn't as dreamy as Robert Pattinson, he is a good lead for the film. The other characters were fairly unmemorable, including Sam Neill's creepy corporate vamp Charles Bromley. The only other stand-out performance was that of Willem Dafoe as Elvis Cormac. I may be biased about his performance (he is my old-man-crush), but all of his dialogue was interesting and funny in all the right places. He stole pretty much every scene he was in, which Mr. Dafoe is very good at doing.

The story starts off really awesome. From the opening sequence, you are sucked into this strange future world. The day to day life of this vampire civilization is so interesting that you can't help but want to learn all about it. I mean, blood coffee creamer?! Come ON! The aesthetic is dreary and disturbing, just how you want a vampire movie to be. It seems like it's going to be the best vampire film of the Twilight times. But then they sort of lull. The story really lags after the human  resistance is introduced and really doesn't pick up till the very end, where the whole thing comes together in a bloody mess and almost everyone eats each other. You do leave the story with hope for the characters, but not so much for a sequel.

The special features on the DVD are pretty nifty, but limited. When you pop in the disc, you are given a choice of Vampires or Humans. Each choice has a different menu interface: for Humans, there is a message urging you to call for help with the transition to vampirism and pictures of the human characters from the film with each menu option, as well as a underground broadcast message to "ignore vampire propaganda"; for Vampires, it shows a kind of vampire life management interface, with a sunrise timer, blood bank rations counter and "news reel" with a few scenes from the movie. Cool idea, but the coolness kind of stops there. The special features menu has a commentary with the directors/writers (which is pretty standard), a "Making Of" feature, a poster art reel, and the theatrical trailer of the film. The "Making Of" clips are pretty interesting and have interviews with the cast and crew about the whole creation of the film, from the early writing of  the script to the special effects. That's about as interesting as it gets for the extras.

All in all, Daybreakers is a pretty good movie and worth a rent. The extras don't merit a purchase for me, but you should check it out.

3.5 out of 5

Available on DVD and BluRay

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