Featured In Issue 148, May/June 2010

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong bloody violence, language and brief nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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The Spierig Brothers
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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"Daybreakers" follows researcher Edward Dalton (Hawke) in the year 2019 when an unknown plague has transformed the world's population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with the Spierig Brothers and Steve Boyle, BonusView storyboards and animatics, a four-part making-of featurette (HD 02:01:38), the directors' short film "The Big Picture" (SD 13:51), a poster art gallery, the theatrical trailer, up-front previews, Lionsgate Live functionality, BD Touch and Metamenue Remote enabled, and a digital copy of the film.

The 1080p 2.35:1 AVC picture is extremely stylized with greatly desaturated, greenish characteristics and bold splashes of reds. Thus, it is virtually impossible to judge color fidelity and one must accept the hues exhibited in the stylized cinematography. During human contact scenes the color palette appears naturally hued and real. This dramatic contrast in visualization is very effective. Contrast is good, with deep blacks and well resolved shadow delineation. Resolution also is excellent and revealing of fine facial features and object textures, which enhances the suspension of disbelief. The ending scene is horrific and dramatic. This is a powerfully visual escape. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is excellent, with the additional channels proving a larger holosonic® presence, but the added side channels are positioned to the back sides of the sweet spot listening position, not to the sides as they should be. Thus, unless you switch outputs, the normal surrounds in a 5.1-channel mix will be at the sides, not to the back sides. Unfortunately, the creative community, the studios, and the equipment manufacturers, have not dictated a spatial loudspeaker setup standard. Our preferred 7.1-channel setup is a perfect circle, with each full-range loudspeaker location equidistant from the sweet spot and equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the 360-degree circle. In this arrangement, the added mid-left and mid-right surrounds convey added surround envelopment and dimensionality. Unfortunately, some 7.1-channel soundtracks are produced with the added channels not at the sides but behind the sweet spot listening position, which then creates positioning problems for normal 5.1-channel presentations, with the surround loudspeakers located to the back sides of the prime listening position, including for surround music reproduction. The sound design is at times intense, with system-threatening loud SPL in all channels. Sound effects are effectively positioned in the surround channels and often panned for dramatic effect. The entire soundfield from time to time is fully energized, with sound effects directionalized. Bass extension is deep and solid, extending to well below 25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel. The haunting orchestral music score is well recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that wraps around into the surrounds. The sound is impressively dimensional and layered, as well as directional. The music is percussive and dynamic. Dialogue is nicely presented with good spatial integration and dimension. This is an exciting soundtrack that sounds dynamic, with effective low-level atmospheric sound effects that enhance the holosonic envelopment. (Gary Reber)