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July 25, 2010
Daybreakers Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
5/1/201017/5/2010Sony PicturesMichael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1MA15+Ethan Hawke

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Sam Neill in the 2010 movie Daybreakers.

Vampire mythology has always been a subject that Hollywood loves to cover, from Blade to Underworld audiences tend to clamor to any vampire film. Ever since the phenomenon Twilight came out there are vampire stories seemingly popping up on everything, from books to television to feature films (I'm personally loving the TV series True Blood, it's superb - Dave). Well, Daybreakers is another movie that focuses on vampires, but the movie is much more than just a vampire tale.

Daybreakers throws a few vampire conventions on its head. The film is set in 2019 and the human population is close to extinction due to a pandemic disease. The dominant breed is now vampires and human numbers are dwindling, which means that the supply of blood is also dwindling. Humans are captured and harvested and blood is a controlled market.

The film essentially tells the story of humans trying to survive and find a cure to turn people back into humans and it succeeds... mostly. There are a few flaws that keep the film back from being a must see (even for vampire fans); the storyline can be a bit haphazard at times and while the acting from Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe is acceptable, it was difficult to feel too involved with the movie and the characters in it.

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Visual effects are pretty impressive.
Overall Daybreakers is an ambitious vampire film with some redeeming qualities. If you're a fan of vampire movies then it is worth watching the movie, but those who were expecting an extremely intelligent, thought provoking film (as is the direction the film is heading in at the beginning) will be left a little disappointed.

Daybreakers is unsurprisingly quite a dark film and the visual style of the film is very distinct. Our review PS3's video bitrate hovered around 16-20Mbps throughout the majority of the film, with occasional spikes. The blacks are clear and objects stand out well. The few colours that are in the film look good, there are a few times when the picture isn't to a brilliant standard and the transfer doesn't rival Avatar in quality, but overall viewers should be very happy with the transfer of this movie on Blu-Ray.

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Daybreakers is out now on Blu-Ray.
It must be said that the audio in Daybreakers really is impressive. The film has a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track which is a rarity on Blu-Ray discs, but very much appreciated. The film has an excellent audio mix that will utilise every speaker in your home, from subtle noises that just keep the atmosphere intense to the loud shots of the tranquilizer darts. The vampires are very softly spoken, which does mean you'll need to listen to the film very carefully though.

This disc only contains the English audio option. As well as that there are English and Spanish subtitles, but that is unfortunately all, which seems very limited.

The special features on the Daybreakers Blu-Ray are quite impressive. First off, we should note our surprise at the advertising on the main menu of the film. There is a little black strip just above the menu options which scrolls through advertisements for upcoming DVD and Blu Ray releases. It's just a little text, but it's not particularly appreciated. We have begun to tolerate advertising at the beginning of a film and when putting a disk in (I haven't, I think it sucks hairy balls and any additional trailers should be under the Extras Menu only - Dave), but not on the main menu.

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Naked people strapped in machines, but why?
Audio Commentary with the Spierig Bros. and Steve Boyle: As this is the first feature film that the Spierig brothers have done it's actually quite interesting to hear some of their thoughts, it also does give you a bit of an insight into why certain decisions regarding the plot were made.

Bonusview Storyboards / Animatics: This featurette actually starts the film and allows you to watch some of the differences between the storyboarding and the final film. It's interesting, but we would have rathered choosing a few select screens rather than launch into the whole film.

The Making of Daybreakers (121:38/HD): This is the crown jewel of the special features. The Spierig brothers have documented every single thing they have done while making Daybreakers and this featurette is an extremely meaty look at the entire process, and with a runtime of over 2 hours it's even longer than the actual film itself. It is possible to just select the parts of development of the film to focus on too, rather than having sit down and watch the entire making of.

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Seems someone, or something, has lost its head!
The Big Picture – Spierig Bros. Short Film (13:51/HD): This small film isn't related to Daybreakers but it's an entertaining watch anyway and does demonstrate that the directors do have movie making experience.

Poster Art Gallery: It's possible to view seven theatrical posters on this special feature.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21/HD): I had actually never seen the trailer before so it's quite an interesting look at the film in a short snippet.

Daybreakers isn't the type of film that warrants numerous viewings, but those who have a passing interest in Vampire films are encouraged to check the movie out. They may enjoy what they see.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.