DVD Night Watch [DVD] [Checkpoint; Dual Side; Lenticular; Sensormatic; Widescreen] (DVD 35627),
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Night Watch [DVD] [Checkpoint; Dual Side; Lenticular; Sensormatic; Widescreen]
Region 1 USA/CA (
The first part of a trilogy, NIGHT WATCH is an old-fashioned good vs. evil parable that relies on some thoroughly modern special effects to ensnare its audience. Set in present-day Moscow, the movie begins with a quick skip back through the centuries to inform us how a delicate truce was struck between the forces of Light and Dark. These forces still exist in Moscow, with both sides keeping a close eye on each other as they attempt to disguise themselves from the earth's mere mortals. NIGHT WATCH's central character is Anton Gorodetsky (Konstantin Khabensky), who is defined as an "Other" by the legions of Light and Dark. Anton and his cohorts live as vampires, and await the arrival of a virgin who will announce the resumption of hostilities between the forces of Light and Dark; as the film progresses, it becomes apparent that an epic battle is just around the corner.
One of the biggest films of all time in its native Russia, director Timur Bekmambetov's NIGHT WATCH positions itself somewhere in between THE MATRIX and BLADE in the pantheon of CGI-fueled sci-fi flicks. Although the plot is mind-boggling and occasionally verges on the incomprehensible, Bekmambetov is presumably using this first part of the trilogy to lure viewers into his wild cinematic world. Impressively, Bekmambetov's film was shot on a tiny budget, but it belies its meager origins. Even the English subtitles are integrated into several scenes, with words zipping across the screen and melting into the action as a heavy-metal soundtrack thumps away. Knowing he is set to film two sequels, Bekmambetov leaves his audience hanging as NIGHT WATCH nears its climax, with his second installment (DAY WATCH) promising further FX-laden feuding, and, in an intriguing twist, an English-language climax to the trilogy with DUSK WATCH.
- strong violence, disturbing images, and language
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2254204
Vladimir Menshov, Konstantin Khabensky, Valery Zolotukhin, Maria Poroshina, Galina Tunina, Victor Verzhbitsky
"A spirited mishmash of horror notions, special effects and plot elements recycling everything from NOSFERATU to STAR WARS, NIGHT WATCH makes for splendidly diverting Saturday-night entertainment."
Sight and Sound
3 stars out of 4 -- "Bekmambetov delivers a manic shocker that grows more compelling as it increases in ridiculousness..."
"[T]he story has been stylishly brought to the screen....It bursts with a sick, carnivorous glee in its own fiendish games."
New York Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "Whip-fast, bonkers and sometimes completely incomprehensible....[A] stylish riff on vampire mythology..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] cryptic but giddyingly inventive Russian fantasy..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "A milestone in Russian cinema....Energetic..."
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