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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Daybreakers [Blu-ray]


(Michael and Peter Spierig, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Lionsgate

Video: Lionsgate



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:48.696

Disc Size: 45,640,017,658 bytes

Feature Size: 23,463,585,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.06 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 11th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 5431 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5431 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, Spanish, none



• Audio Commentary with the Spierig Bros. and Steve Boyle
BonusView Storyboards/Animatics — (picture-in-picture)
The Making of Daybreakers (2:01.38 in HD!)
The Big Picture — Spierig Bros. Short Film (13.52 in HD!)
BD Touch — untested Network activated to access feature using iPhone etc.

• Poster Art Gallery (7 in 1080p)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:27 in HD!)

LionsGate Previews
Digital Copy — for use with portable devices





Description: Fresh from the success of their inventive take on the zombie genre, UNDEAD masterminds Michael and Peter Spierig direct Ethan Hawke in an ambitious tale of a futuristic Earth populated entirely by vampires, and the efforts made by the creatures to ensure that their food supply doesn't run out as humankind is faced with extinction. The year is 2017, and a vampire plague has turned most of the planet's human population into bloodsucking ghouls. As the population of mortals fast begins to dwindle, a resourceful team of vampires sets out to capture and farm every remaining human while simultaneously researching a consumable blood substitute. Just when all hope seems lost, a secret is discovered that may provide the key to saving the human race.



The Film:

Among the many pleasures of “Daybreakers” is its reminder that vampire movies can function as more than just metaphors for teenage celibacy. Written and directed by Peter and Michael Spierig (the Australian twins who brought us the ebullient 2003 zombie caper “Undead”), this impressively styled thriller envisions a world where vampires rule, and humans run. Those who don’t are likely to find themselves transformed into Ready Meals and stored in a giant corporate larder: a futuristic Costco with only one product.

But with the undead outnumbering the living, starving immortals must find a blood substitute or mutate into crouching, bat-winged marauders. Enter Edward (Ethan Hawke), a vampire hematologist with human-friendly goals and a weary-undertaker wardrobe.

Convincingly cadaverous, Edward is thrilled to encounter a small band of humans whose leader (a rangy Willem Dafoe) professes to have found a cure for vampirism. Now all they have to do is convince the bloodsuckers that immortality is a long time to be counting calories.

Excerpt from Jeanette Catsoulis at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

With the whole vampire thing we aren't going to have a lot of sunlight and bright colors - certain filtering may have been used in certain scenes (green, blue and brown were notable) and the bottom line on the Blu-ray image is that it looks quite good. Set pieces with still corpses, decapitated heads in the shadowy darkness tend to look the best in terms of detail and depth. The colored eyes are a big feature in close-ups.  This looks about as good as you require - contrast exhibits rich black levels. Grain is evident in some of the darkest scenes. Art direction in Daybreakers is very good and it brings a certain style to the film that works well. The visuals aspects can be as intriguing as the plot.

















Audio :

As far as the video portion goes above and beyond - the audio, a mammoth DTS-HD Master 7.1 at an explosive 5431 kbps, has moments that are reference. What I appreciate is that it is not all aggressive effects that are pushed through overtaking the rest of the soundstage - it's the subtleties that essentially give the more abundant bass and high end comparative reference to their range. The audio can sneak up and violently punch out of the mains and rear speakers encompassing the entire room. Head turning seemed to occur on a few occasions in my basement and this is surely state-of-the-art in terms of aural transfer.  There are subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

No stone left unturned. While the audio commentary with the Spierig Bros. and Steve Boyle can give you more production information that many would require the star here is the 2 hour "The Making of Daybreakers" in HD with input from just about everyone. It's nice to see the passion involved - it's like a movie within a movie. The Big Picture is a Spierig Bros. short film running about 15-minutes - love, a voyeuristic, future -reading TV on a rainy night. We get a picture-in-picture feature - BonusView with Storyboards and Animatics, an HD Poster Art Gallery with 7 examples, a Theatrical Trailer and some LionsGate previews plus the disc is BD-LIVE enabled and there is a second disc Digital Copy — for use with portable devices.



Okay, so the vampires are everywhere - they go to the coffee shop and get blood in their beverage instead of non-dairy creamer - they drink blood out of wine glasses commenting on the vintage <sigh>. I'll lighten up - for those into the genre this seems to push all the right buttons. The set design is excellent - performances adept and it's a genuinely good adventure tale - if you can suspend your disbelief to the higher level. I admit - I got into it for a while - it has some connection to film noir and they may have peaked my interest enough to complete my viewing. The Blu-ray is one of Lionsgate's best - solid image, exuberant audio and some exhaustive extras. If this is your bag - you'd have to be entertained and devotees of lossless audio may wish to pick-up for qualitative demo purposes. 

Gary Tooze

May 7th, 2010



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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