Daybreakers

Well, I wasn’t really sure what to think of this one going in. The trailers had intrigued me with the interesting twist on vampire movies, but then the first reviews came out and they weren’t very good at all. So I figured for a matinée price it was worth seeing for myself.

First off, the premise of the movie. It is far in the future and vampires are the majority of the population and there are very few humans left, which means low food supply. Edward Dalton, played by Ethan Hawke (Gattaca), is a vampire with a remorse for killing and happens to work as a scientist trying to invent an alternate of synthetic blood to be used as a food source. He happens upon a Lionel Cormac, an ex-vampire, that has changed back to the human side. Of  course this is the answer Dr. Dalton has been looking for and the answer to the vampire problem, simply change back. Tho only problem, there are business men like Charles Bromley that is in their best interest to stay a vampire.

As far as performances go, there is nothing to write home about. Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Dish) plays Bromley who has ownership in the lab. Willem Dafoe (Shadow of a Vampire, Last Temptation of Christ) plays Lionel (Elvis) who is the magic link to putting humans back on top.

So, what did I think of this film, after reading the bad reviews? Actually I thought it was a very entertaining film. I really liked seeing the society that the vampires had created, complete with subwalks to walk during the day, cars with video to the outside so vampires can drive cars during the day, even the Starbucks that opens up at dark and offers a variety of coffee, complete with blood stirred in. The film did get a bit cliché in the end with typical monster shoot em up gore, but other than that, I was never bored with the movie and thought it was better than the harsh reviews I had read.

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Sherlock Holmes

What an onslaught of Holiday movies. Sure Hope I can keep caught up. The first film to cross off the list is Sherlock Holmes. I wasn’t sure what this film would be like with Guy Ritchie at the helm of a mainstream film. Better known for his edgy indie films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, you wonder if he can pull off appealing to the masses for a holiday big budget film. Surprisingly, he does just fine! He still carries a lot of his “indie” style into Sherlock Holmes, especially the way he reveals information in the story and his way of cutting the fight scenes together.

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Wonder Boys) is a perfect choice to play Holmes. The seeming brilliant, yet spaced out with an over active imagination, is right up Downey Jr.’s alley, having already played a similar confident egotistical crime fighter in Iron Man. Another great choice in casting is Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gattaca, Road to Perdition) as the level-headed sidekick, Dr. Watson. Law’s demeanor plays well off the sporadic off-the-wall ramblings of Holmes. The one casting move I didn’t really care for was that of Mark Strong (Body of Lies, RocknRolla)  as the villanous Lord Blackwood. Although he looked menacing, I wanted a little more from the character and maybe a  could have brought that. Rachel McAdams (State of Play) is also in the film, but to me was really a non factor in the film, really not offering too much when she was on-screen, but not taking anything away either.

In all, I would recommend this film. It is worth seeing for sure. Robert Downey Jr is wonderful to watch, having already been recognized for his performance with a Best Actor nomination for a Golden Globe. I would have liked a bit more information during the film, more of the Sherlock Holmes studious observations as they took place rather than leaving most all of them for trying to make a clever reveal later on. Still, if that is the only complaint, it is a very good film and good holiday movie fun. Next holiday film on the list, Up In The Air!