My bangin' buddy Phileas Photon zapped into my lab yesterday with a trio of wicked cool blu-ray discs for us to watch. I say "zapped" because even though we contact each other through space and time via email to set up our monthly movie marathons (you'll have to ask Phileas how that works - I flunked out of Introductory Physics in High School), Phileas has the bad habit of just appearing at my crib out of thin air, which is always accompanied by this loud electrical zapping noise! I brewed up a pot of his favorite caffeinated beverage and served it to him black and strong - not the way he likes his women - but that's a topic for another blog.
Our first feature of the day was Legion, a film released to theaters earlier this year to almost universal suck ass reviews. If you aren't familiar with the concept of Legion, it purports to be about God losing his faith in humanity and sending a legion of his angels to destroy his children. His once favorite angel Michael disobeys orders and stands with a group of humans at a desert diner to protect a women who is pregnant with a child that has some sort of hidden destiny. Legion is best enjoyed if you turn off your brain and just groove on the the tasty visuals and kick-ass action sequences. Unfortunately, this freak often can't let sleeping dogs lie (Legion doesn't quite qualify as a dog -- maybe a lost puppy though) and although I enjoyed the mostly snappy dialogue, attractive actors and well choreographed action scenes, I kept wondering two things: Who was the father of the child and why was he so damned important to cause Micheal to side against God? Unless I slept through the answers to these questions they are never given a satisfactory explanation by the writers of Legion. I can only recommend Legion to those who don't care about biblical accuracy and like their ultraviolence without any meaningful reasoning behind it. I liked Legion, but only as a quick bite to eat at a fast food joint, where you're thankful afterwards that you didn't suffer heartburn.
Our second flick was Outlander, which had a very limited release here in the USA early last year. Outlander is a classic example of a film that - in the case of this country at least - the film company didn't know how to promote it. As a result, I don't tink it was given a fair chance to find an audience. Outlander is an odd blend of science fiction and historical fantasy. The plot concerns a human-looking pilot of spaceship crashing on Earth in Norway in year 709AD. He had a deadly monstrous passenger on board that also escaped the crash. Kainan befriends a local tribe and helps them to hunt down the alien creature that is attacking their village and feeding on its people. In the course of killing the creature, Kainan finds friendship, love and more with the tribe and decides to stay with them. This is a well told tale, with adventure, action, and drama galore! It has a wonderful cast that includes John Hurt, Sophia Myles, Ron Perlman and Jim Caviezel as Kanin, who recently starred in AMC's remake of The Prisoner. I urge anyone who likes science fiction, fantasy, historical drama or just a wicked good action drama to give Outlander at try. It won't leave you hungry, but very full indeed!
Our final feature for the day was Daybreakers, which coincidentally was released to theaters just two weeks prior to our first feature Legion. Daybreakers is similar to Outlander in that it combines two distinctly different genres: In this case horror creatures in a science fictional setting, the near future. I had become interested in Daybreakers when I found out that it was directed and written by the Spierig brothers, who had directed and self-financed their first feature, 2003's unheralded zombie film, Undead. I missed Daybreakers at its limited run at the theater, so I wanted to see the blu-ray release as soon as possible. The basic premise of Daybreakers is that in the year 2019, most of the human population has been transformed into vampires, which results in a shortage of human blood for the vampires to feed on. A mega-corporation is secretly harvesting human blood to sell to the rapidly growing demand and in the meantime looking to create a synthetic blood substitute to reap even more profits for the company. The head researcher for the synth-blood substitute becomes involved with a small group of free human rebels and helps them to bring down the vampire run population. This outrageous plot, once excepted, opens the door for many interesting ethical questions, which Daybreakers spends an adequate amount of time delving into. Much like The Matrix, Daybreakers uses the format of an action-science fiction film to help drive the plot and the message. As a fan of both the horror and sf genres, I recommend Daybreakers highly. Unlike the many mainstream critics, I don't think that this film sucks the lifeblood out of your need for intelligent storytelling or exciting action adventure!
With another zap and an additional pop, Phileas left through another time wormhole, taking his blu-ray films and leaving this film freak to await another time for watching more wicked cool genre movies in his multimedia laboratory. Until my next movie mélange, this is "Doc" Freak signing off.