Day breakers (Lionsgate, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 98 min.). The year is 2019, a short time after a plague has turned 95 percent of mankind into vampires. That means the supply of blood is running out, and that is not a good thing because vampires without access to human blood turn feral and devolve into Subsiders, which are the more Nosferatu type, albeit with wings.

Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a hematologist working for Bromley Marks Corp. He is trying to develop a substitute for human blood, but the corporation head (Sam Neill as Charles Bromley) rushes him into too-quick trials (vampires in this film explode in a mess of flesh and blood when they die, unless they die from burning in the sun). The company also, a la “The Matrix,” runs a mechanical human farm in which captured humans are constantly drained of their blood until they die (got to sell 25 percent blood in those lattes). Edward’s brother Frankie (Michael Dorman) is a soldier who hunts humans, and the vampire who turned Edward.

After an auto accident, Edward makes contact with a human, who later leads him to Lionel “Elvis” Cormac (Willem Dafoe — talk about looking vampirish), who apparently has stumbled on a cure (not to spoil the film, but the implications of the cure and how it can be administered are pretty wild when you think about it). The film relies a little too much on action and the ending feels a bit rushed, but writer/director twins Michael and Peter Spierig have created a unique vision that is worth checking out. Let your mind go where the film does not.

Blu-ray exclusive extras include a digital copy, script-to-screen comparison, BonusView storyboards and animatics; a 121-minute making-of documentary (it starts by all the actors saying they are not big fans of horror films) and the brothers‚ 13-minute “The Big Picture,” a wonderful little film in which a woman is able to view her whole future by pressing the remote on her television (I did see the ending coming though). Both versions have commentary by the directors and creature designer Steve Boyle. Grade: film 2.75 stars; extras 3.5 stars

Edge of Darkness (Warner, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 117 min.). Director Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) refashions his British mini-series of the same name into this action film that has Mel Gibson in his first lead role since “Signs” in 2002. Gibson is good as no-nonsense Boston police detective Thomas Craven, out for answers and revenge when he realizes the shotgun blast that killed his daughter (Bojana Novakovic as Emma) as they exited his home had not been intended for him. His daughter, it turned out, worked as an intern for Northmoor, a defense contractor headed by Jack Bennett (Danny Huston). Northmoor is deeply entangled in politics and money and Bennett has a deadly way of making problems go away.

Lending intrigue to a rather standard, but well executed plot is the wild card played by the excellent Ray Winstone. His character, Jedburgh, is usually the guy who makes problems go away for the likes of Northmoor — kind of the guy you turn to if the CIA cannot help you — but he takes a liking to Craven and wants to see what the policeman can turn up, with a little bit of help from Jedburgh. It adds another layer of mystery and suspense to the story.

It is nice to see parts of Boston and the surrounding area in crisp Blu-ray. DVD extras very brief looks at the original mini-series and adapting it for this film; a profile of director Campbell; a look at Gibson’s return to action; and some deleted and alternate scenes. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 2 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include the Korean disaster film “Tidal Wave” and four Robin Hood-themed films from 1946 through 1960.