CATEGORIES DVDsIt's the end of the world this week as vampires and fallen angels overrun the Earth in 'Daybreakers' and 'Legion,' respectively. 'Daybreakers' chomps down on the neck of the genre by postulating a universe in which humans are outnumbered by the living dead and are harvested for blood; in 'Legion,' God is angry at the mess we've made of things and sends a host of angels (not devils, mind you) to destroy us. Also out this week is 'Edge of Darkness,' which postulates a hell on Earth due to greed, corruption and sociopathic politicians. Read on (in alphabetical order). 'Daybreakers'
What It's About: The year is 2017. A mysterious plague has swept over the earth, transforming the majority of the world's population into vampires. Humans are now an endangered, second-class species -- forced into hiding as they are hunted and farmed for vampire consumption to the brink of extinction. But a vampire researcher -- who refuses to feed on human blood -- comes up with a perfect blood substitute that might sustain vampires and spare the few remaining humans, and a battle breaks out for the new serum.
It's Kinda Like: 'Blade' meets 'Underworld' meets 'V'
What the Critics Say: 'Daybreakers' scored a 47 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, with Variety critic Dennis Harvey saying "The script doesn't wring many surprises or much character involvement from the premise, and the ... helming, while slick, is short on scares, action setpieces and humor." On the other side of the fence, Peter Rainer of Rolling Stone said "Highbrows will condescend to this movie like nobody's business. But there are a few of us left out there -- junkies for smart exploitation -- who will relish this stuff. You know who you are." Most reviews did give high marks to the acting chops of Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
'Edge of Darkness'
What It's About: Mel Gibson plays a Boston cop whose 24-year-old daughter is murdered on the steps of his home; everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous, looking-glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and corruption, and murder -- and he soon begins to take the law in his own hands.
It's Kinda Like: 'Death Wish' meets 'Payback' meets 'Get Carter'
What We Say: As revenge flicks go, this one is pretty disappointing and unsatisfying. Gibson tries to imbue his role -- a grieving-father-looking-for-answers -- with some semblance of humanness, but the script and direction keep tripping him up, turning him into caricature of the same type of father he played so well in 'Ransom' (1996). In the end this outing is mean-spirited and nasty and certainly disproves the idiom that "revenge is sweet." | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
What It's About: In this supernatural action thriller, an out-of-the-way diner in New Mexico becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in Humankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany). Their mission: protect a waitress and her sacred unborn child from the relentless, bloody siege of the demonic legion.
It's Kinda Like: 'The Mad' meets 'End of Days'
What We Say: The movie starts out with a bang and ends with a whimper. After the build up to the arrival of rogue angel Bettany -- with an unforgettable demonic old lady and ice cream truck driver from hell -- the battle to save the world devolves into a messy slaughter of innocent people possessed by bad angels. Soon the action bogs down as the film segues into discussions of morality, faith, love vs. hate, trust and redemption -- and the darkness and weariness takes its toll on the viewer. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
On Blu-ray this week:
'The Karate Kid I & II'
'History of the World: Part I'
'Robin Hood: Men in Tights'
Other New May 11 DVD Releases:
'Billy Owens and the Secret of the Runes'
'The Legend of the Tsunami Warrior'
'Malice in Wonderland'
Check out other new May 11 DVD releases at OnVideo.