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Posted 1/6/2010

Daybreakers Much to the chagrin of movie critics with a soft spot for ludicrous genre flicks squeeze-played into theaters during the January doldrums--see also: Taken, Cloverfield, Smokin' Aces, Hostel, et. al--this sci-fi/horror mash-up from the German writing/directing brother team of Michael and Peter Spierig responsible for 2003's Undead is opening cold. Too bad, because the trailer--and the premise--make Daybreakers look kinda effing great, in a dumb-movie sort of way. In the future vampires rule everything, making the humans-as-cattle blood supply low--and when a vampire goes without blood, he turns into some kind of new fangled creature that feeds on vamps and humans alike. And so Ethan Hawke's vampire scientist is looking for a cure when he runs into some vampire hunters, including Willem Dafoe. Could ultimately turn into crap, but this had me at Dafoe the vampire slayer. Opens Jan. 8.

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Elizabeth Taylor was certainly more beautiful and untouchable in other movies, but she has never been a better actress than in her Oscar-winning performance as the past her prime, slightly plump, and pyrotechnically belligerent Martha in Mike Nichols' excoriating 1966 adaptation of Edward Albee's 1962 play that turned the battle between the sexes into an actual war of words. History professor George (Richard Burton) and his wife Martha bring the new young professor Nick (George Segal) and his wife Honey (Sandy Dennis) back to their home for a nightcap, after they're all well into their cups. What ensues is two hours of George and Martha's real and imagined marital problems played out in front of--and sometimes with--Nick and Honey, with Taylor and Burton, married at the time, going at each other with feral claws and fangs bared. Everything is top-notch 1960s Hollywood here, from the extremely faithful-to-the-play script to Nichols' direction and Haskell Wexler's stark and unflattering black-and-white photography. But it's Taylor's delicious harridan turn that still wows here. (Bret McCabe) At the Charles Theatre at noon Jan. 9, at 7 p.m . Jan. 11, and 9 p.m . Jan. 14.

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