June 21, 2010

Justify My Netflix: Daybreakers

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Daybreakers

Today's movie: Daybreakers, 2010 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because I had been quietly hearing good things about this vampire action movie from people I trust, reports that it's actually much better than its forgettable low-budget status; plus it stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, which when added together is pretty much all the excuse I needed to add the title to my wait list.

The reality: Believe the hype! Oh, and it's always such a nice thing when a movie like this lives up the hype being said about it; because much like the early work of Guillermo del Toro, writers/directors Michael and Peter Spierig here turn in a much sharper and smarter script than a low-budget vampire flick like this really deserves, plus make inventive use of physical special effects in order to produce a highly entertaining, often gruesome speculative tale, concerning a time in the future when nearly the entire human population has now been turned into vampires, and what this society does when realizing that their sole source of nourishment (human blood) is about to go extinct, providing a nice yet light metaphor for the "peak oil crisis" we in reality are about to face soon. I mean, yes, the film definitely does contain a lot of the silliness you would expect from a production like this -- just for one good example, I'd love to know why whenever there's an apocalyptic event in a Hollywood movie, society for some reason always reverts to an Early Modernist fashion sense of double-breasted suits and wide-brimmed fedoras -- but for a film with such a ridiculous concept, the Spierig Brothers go to a lot of trouble to bring at least a semi-plausible internal logic to it all, including a solution at the end that actually kind of makes biological sense. Funny and gross yet never insulting, this is just the ticket for intellectuals in the mood to let their "Ain't-It-Cool-News inner child" run free.

Strangest piece of trivia: The Spierig Brothers are the same filmmakers taking on the Dark Crystal sequel I mentioned here a few weeks ago, which I didn't realize until doing research about them for today's write-up.

Worth your time? Yes

Filed by Jason Pettus at 5:02 PM, June 21, 2010. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |