DVDs In Brief: May 12, 2010

DVDs In Brief: May 12, 2010

Semi-original ideas for vampire movies are hard to come by, but Daybreakers (Lionsgate) has a good one: What would happen if vampires really did rule the Earth, and humans were getting scarce? For the film’s corporate blood-suppliers, such shortages constitute a serious crisis, one with obvious real-life parallels to our oil dependency. But the Spierig brothers, Peter and Michael, are too distracted by ordinary horror/action mayhem to deliver on their premise…

How’s this for a curious public-relations move? Eight years and a major scandal removed from his last starring role, in 2002’s Signs, Mel Gibson returns in Edge Of Darkness (Sony) as a crazy-eyed vigilante hell-bent on avenging his daughter’s murder. Not exactly cozy, but familiar territory for Gibson, who’s been doings variations on this role for most of his career, from Lethal Weapon to Payback. Apart from Danny Huston’s enjoyably hammy corporate supervillain—the kind of guy who wears flowery silk robes while carrying a gun—it isn’t a comeback to remember…

Granted, God works in mysterious ways, and a vengeful God could be forgiven a little irrationality, but there’s no excusing the illogic of Legion (Sony), in which He chooses to wipe out humanity via the least efficient, least foolproof plan possible: By sending angels to possess people and then run amuck—occasionally with an Evil Dead-esque sense of cartoony humor, but mostly with a grim, dull bargain-basement version of horror. It’s unfortunate that a horror film this misguided couldn’t at least be entertainingly misguided…

In the lead-up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Nazis were looking for a show of power, so they supported a bid by two mountaineers, Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser, who attempted to conquer an infamous Eiger mountain face known as “the Murder Wall.” The fictional account North Face (Music Box) details their harrowing climb convincingly, but whenever it leaves the mountain, the politics and melodrama are thinner than the oxygen at high altitude.