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Daybreakers (2010) – In a marketplace riddled with moronic vampire stories around every corner “Daybreakers” takes a stab at something original and intelligent.  While the screenplay is lacking in character dynamics and the reach of the idea is just out of grasp, the strong conceit, a good cast, Ethan Hawke, William Dafoe and Sam Neill, and some flashy execution get this high concept horror effort over the finish line.  “Daybreakers” takes the idea of vampires ruling the world to an interesting place.  They not only have turned the world upside down in no time flat, ‘No Parking from 2 A.M. to 7 A.M. Violators Will Be Towed’, they’ve harvested all the remaining humans for blood and decimated the population in the process.  With blood running out the vampire population is turning on itself in all kinds of freaky ways.  The analogy is quite clear and the skill with its executed is not insubstantial.  Hawke and Dafoe are playing to their strengths here, the first a vampire hematologist struggling internally with the dire situation while the later chews the scenery as an ex-vampire who loves flashy cars and Elvis.  All in all it could’ve been better in several places, but for a mid-budget effort from a couple of newcomers, it’s not bad.

Vivre Sa Vie (1962) – Arty French Film Alert!  Jean Luc Goddard, director of many pain-in-the-ass classics, is slightly less of a pain with “Vivre Sa Vie”, AKA “My Life To Live.”  While it’s made with all the hallmark touches of the snotty, French contrarian, “Vivre” manages to feel less like a chore than his other work.  The story follows Nana, a pretty girl with a life not coming together as she hoped.  To pay the rent she slips into prostitution.  The movie unfurls its story in 12 chapters which give passing, sometimes only fleeting, glimpses into Nana’s life.  The movie is incredibly shot and constructed with the eye of an expert, but there’s not a lot of surface emotion running through things and Nana, played by the achingly pretty Anna Karina, feels intriguing at times, but always distant.  Her succumbing to prostitution comes with only a passing harshness, followed by that which the French excel in, feigned indifference.  There’s a lot on “Vivre’s” mind to be sure but no one but the most die hard of French movie enthusiast will really jump at this.  It looks stunning on Blu-Ray.


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