I blogged recently about getting Netflix. I’m still in my 30 day free trial and making the most of the thousands of hours of shows out there to watch. It’s all a bit too much to take in at once!
I’ve found some of my all-time favourite TV series such as Scrubs on there for later watching; but to start with I thought I’d watch all the movies I thought about going to see but never did. Here’s the story of some of my journey so far, and a mini review of what I’ve seen.
My journey started with Olympus Has Fallen.
Gerard Butler (of 300 fame) playing yet another overly masculine one-man-army hero. I didn’t seriously consider going to see it at the cinema at the time when it came out, but I made a small mental note that when it was in the DVD bargain bin it might be worth it.
I mean, the story is utterly laughable. A North Korean assault succeeds in capturing the White House and they take the US President hostage. Only Gerard Butler can save the day – whilst saving his tarnished reputation as a disgraced secret service agent.
So far, so standard action film.
Even worse, I couldn’t remember which was which between Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. Both films came out at the same time and had almost exactly the same plot. Not a good sign of originality if I’d gotten confused which I was actually watching.
Despite the fact the film is so rubbish on so many levels it was actually fun to watch. I fully expected to be fast forwarding through half of it, but the action was well paced enough to keep my finger from the button. That’s a good sign in an action film; which a lot of them seem to forget these days.
Gerard Butler is solid in the main role as well; not that he hasn’t had enough practice at these kinds of things already. Olympus Has Fallen is nothing special as a film, but it was never going to be. It was never trying to be more than what it is, it just tried to do it well; and there’s a certain honesty to that that I admire.
So all in all, considering it was essentially free to watch, Olympus Has Fallen wasn’t that bad. I’d give it 2.5 out of 5.
Second up was Daybreakers.
I had never even heard of the film, but the concept was strong enough to make me take a look. I expected it to be another film that took me 10 minutes to skip through to the end.
I was actually pleasantly surprised.
I give credit to the Twilight film series for my having never heard of Daybreakers. That series kicked off a little under a year before Daybreakers was released; and managed to do enough damage to the vampire IP to last a generation or so.
Sadly, the effects of Twilight have been far reaching. Even today there are series after series of crappy shows with the same over-used plots and themes essentially re-running the whole Twilight vibe of young love complicated by vampirism.
Daybreakers was a nice beacon of hope in the Twilight-hell that the vampire IP is currently suffering from.
Daybreakers is grim; as any good vampire film should be.
Daybreakers is also original. In this world, the vampires are struggling. Vampires are the alpha-predator after all, so it only makes sense that eventually they would become the masters and we (humans) their servants. In Daybreakers, vampires lead what we would consider human lives – while they farm the last remnants of humanity for blood. Trouble is, it’s running out.
Thats a solid concept there, and the world that Daybreakers creates is damn original and well executed.
The main problem with Daybreakers is the characters, who are all a little pathetic and predictable. They’re good enough to keep it going without ruining it, but they could’ve made it so much better. I’d of liked a little more of the vampire world before the blood shortage really started kicking in as well; but that’s just me being picky.
It even has a clever and satisfying ending, without feeling like a cliche. If it wasn’t for Twilight I think Daybreakers would’ve been a big hit. Sadly, vampires are going to take a long time to recover from those doldrums.
Daybreakers, perhaps in part as a reaction to Twilight, gets a 3.5 out of 5 from me.
That’s it for now. I’ve been watching some other things, but I’ll save those for another time. In the meantime, keep having fun!
Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com