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Daybreakers 4K UHD Review

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“Daybreakers” is an odd sci-fi-horror film

Released in the U.S. back in 2010, “Daybreakers” is a sci-fi-horror film in which vampires rule the world. Unfortunately, their reign is endangered by a blood/food shortage (AKA humans). Vampires are starving and some are even turning into deranged subsiders (vicious bat like creatures). Hematologist Edward is working on a blood substitution for a pharmaceutical corporation which harvests humans, but is conflicted about his work. Edward finds a new path in live, however, when he encounters a group of humans who have uncovered a way for vampires to turn human. Unfortunately, Edward and company have to fight off the military and the big pharm company led by the villainous Charles.

Out of all the 4Ks that could be released, “Daybreakers” seems like a random choice, but with Halloween approaching, I suppose it makes sense to release a vampire centric catalogue title. At any rate, this Spierig Brothers written and directed vehicle is a decidedly mixed bag.

The Australian directors (who crushed it with the little seen gem “Predestination”) definitely crafted an ambitious, gory and stylish movie to say the least. Visually, the movie is engaging and the script deserves credit for doing something new with vampire lore while also touching upon real world issues like class, capitalism and resources. Alas, the movie itself never quite comes together like it should due to dopey dramatics, dull characters and questionable character actions, dodgy CGI, clunky dialogue, weird scene transitions, and bizarre moments like Edward’s home being broken into twice in a row, a blood coffee shop, the broken bridge sequence, the ridiculous vampire to human revelation, and so on. It also would have been nice to see more world building, but that can be overlooked given the short runtime and budgetary constraints.

“Daybreakers” may boast 2 acting greats with Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe but they aren’t in their finest form here. Hawke looks awkward and out of his element as Edward while Dafoe is bonkers as the crossbow toting, car loving, one-liner spouting Elvis. Dafoe certainly makes many acting choices here that is for sure. Sam Neill probably fares the best here as Charles. He plays it straight and serious and seems comfortable doing so.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 2160p. How does it look? A solid but hardly revelatory 4K transfer.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The audio, on the other hand, gets a definite upgrade though with this layered Atmos track.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy and Digital copy
* “Daybreakers” trailer
* “The Making Of Daybreakers”- A thorough 4 part extra that covers development, pre-production, production and post production of the film.
* “The Big Picture”- A 14 minute sci-fi short film by the Spierig Brothers about a woman and her suitor that takes an unexpected turn.
* A dry but informative commentary by the Spierig Brothers and Steve Boyle.

September 11, 2019 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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