Friday, April 29, 2016

Night Watch (2004)

Original title: Nochnoy Dozor

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Writers: Timur Bekmambetov, Laeta Kalogridis, Sergey Lukyanenko

Composer: Yuriy Poteenko

Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuriy Kutsenko, Aleksey Chadov

More info: IMDb

Tagline: All That Stands Between Light And Darkness Is The Night Watch.

Plot: A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

Man, I was so excited to finally watch this.  That could have contributed to the problem.  It's not every day that a Russian horror film makes its way over to the States.  I've had the DVD of this one and the sequel DAY WATCH (2006) for years.  Anyway, it's got a good story with some good effects, acting and whatnot but it's too long and there's too much going on.  Maybe it takes a second viewing to really appreciate it.  Beats me but the first time through it felt like it needed to be scaled back a little.  When you boil the plot down to its basic elements it's really good.  I dug the Vortex thing and the kid's relationship to the story's big picture (and especially his fate at the end of the picture) but there were lots of little sidesteps the characters make that slow it down and drag it out.  Still, I liked the film enough but just shy of wanting to watch the sequel (there was a planned third film but it has yet to be made).  Say, that reminds me, I don't watch enough Russian cinema.  I've been meaning to tackle SOLARIS (1972) for years.  I need to buckle myself into the couch armed with some ice cold Red Bulls and take that sumbitch in one sitting.  The 20th Century Fox DVD of NIGHT WATCH has the film (in Russian and English dubs) in anamorphic widescreen along with some extras including an extended ending, a commentary by the director, four trailers and a subtitled commentary by novelist Sergey Lukyanenko.

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