Daybreakers appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Despite some inconsistencies, this usually came across as a positive presentation.
Sharpness became the main point of contention, as the image could occasionally seem oddly soft. While most of the movie looked well-defined, a few minor instances of slightly blurry material emerged.
I witnessed no instances or moiré effects or jaggies, and the film lacked edge haloes. Print flaws never materialized.
Although I won’t call Daybreakers the most teal-heavy film I’ve ever seen, it resides high on that list, as the palette leaned very heavily in that domain. Amber appeared in daytime scenes, and we got some straight green as well, but expect oppressive levels of teal.
These tones looked ridiculous at times, but I felt the disc reproduced them as depicted – God help us all. The 4K UHD’s HDR added a little zing to the hues, though there wasn’t much that could be done with all that teal.
Blacks could seem a little inky, but they usually showed good delineation, and shadows offered reasonable clarity. The HDR brought a bit more impact to whites and bright elements. Most of the film seemed pretty appealing, but it never became a great image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack boasted the expected violent impact. The mix used music as an active participant and also kicked into higher gear during its action sequences.
Those came across with a lot of involvement, as gunfire, various vehicles and other violent elements filled the channels. They showed strong localization and blended smoothly, with material that veered from one channel to another in a natural manner.
Audio quality excelled as well, with music that appeared vivid and full. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, and the lines lacked edginess or other issues.
Of course, effects stood out the most, and those elements demonstrated fine reproduction. They showed good accuracy and range, with tight, bold low-end when necessary. I felt satisfied with this above-average soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the original Blu-ray? Audio felt a little more robust, while visuals seemed a bit tighter and more dynamic.
That said, the source restricted how much growth the image could offer. A murky movie with low-budget effects, it came with inherent restrictions. The Blu-ray worked fine but don’t expect much difference from the Blu-ray.
As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary with writers/directors Peter and Michael Spierig and special makeup dffects designer Steve Boyle. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, creature design and various effects, editing, music, sets and locations, influences, and related domains.
Boyle and the Spierigs combine for an informative and enjoyable commentary. They touch on a nice array of topics and dig into the film’s creation with gusto to make this a very good chat.
The Making of Daybreakers runs two hours, one minute, 38 seconds. The program offers info from Peter and Michael Spierig, Boyle, executive producer Jason Constantine, producer Chris Brown, co-producer Todd Fellman, director of photography Ben Nott, costume/production designer George Liddle, visual effects supervisor Rangi Sutton, composer Christopher Gordon, and actors Claudia Karvan, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas and Michael Dorman.
“Making” examines the vampire genre and story/character areas, the film’s path to the screen and pre-production. From there we get into creature design and makeup, cast and performances, sets and locations, cinematography, costumes, stunts and action, editing, effects, music, sound, and the film’s release.
In other words, “Making” looks at pretty much everything. With two hours at its disposal, I expect a comprehensive overview, and “Making” brings that. It becomes a lively, informative and honest take on the production.
In addition to the film’s trailer, a short film called The Big Picture lasts 13 minutes, 51 seconds. It shows a woman whose TV shows her the future. Picture offers a sporadically engaging fable that doesn’t completely live up to its premise – and its shock ending feels stupid and gratuitous.
The package includes a Blu-ray copy of Daybreakers that provides some features not on the 4K UHD, and a Poster Art Gallery brings seven images. The advertisements are interesting enough, though we don’t get many.
If you select Bonusview, you’ll gain a picture-in-picture feature that accompanies the movie. It shows storyboards and animatics that correspond to the action on screen.
In this case, the visuals use a small box in alternating corners of the screen, and they provide images pretty much continually. This becomes a good presentation that works nicely, as the boards/animatics are there to be viewer when you want but they don’t distract when you don’t.
The Blu-ray opens with ads for From Paris With Love and Gamer.
As vampire movies go, Daybreakers winds up in the middle of the pack. While it comes with some positives, it doesn’t use these well enough to excel. The 4K UHD comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a nice roster of bonus materials. Expect a watchable but forgettable tale.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of DAYBREAKERS