MusicManiac Posted October 13, 2005 Share Posted October 13, 2005 NIGHT WATCH (A Russian Horror Film.) It's like Harry Potter with a Matrix sense of style, only for adults. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this movie is that instead of coming from some big Hollywood studio, it comes from Russia. And while it most definitely remains a Russian film, its themes and its visual style are truly international. Night Watch is the highest grossing film in Russian history, beating even The Lord of the Rings. While it would take a miracle for that to happen here in the States, if it finds the right audience, at the very least it should develop a cult following. Visually, the movie is stunning. Without the benefit of a big budget special effects house like ILM, it still manages to create a highly stylized atmosphere with some great special effects. It's almost a certainty that you've never seen Moscow look like this. Gone is the stereotypical dreary, rainy day, grey look, replaced by a colorful world of night and shadow. And along with the new look comes a new sound in the form of a rocking soundtrack. ----------------------------------- NIGHT WATCH SYNOPSIS: In contemporary Moscow, the other-world battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness unfolds. For centuries, the undercover members of the Night Watch have policed the world's Dark Ones - the vampires, witches, shape-shifters and sorcerers that wage treachery in the night - while the Dark Ones have a Day Watch that in turn polices the forces of Light. The fate of humanity rests on this delicate balance between good and evil, but an ancient prophecy predicts that a powerful 'Other' will rise up and be tempted by one of the sides, plunging the world into a renewed war between Dark and Light. Review by Andrew L. Urban: Nothing less than apocalyptic forces drive the fantasy books that have spawned this film, the first of a trilogy coming our way from Russia's energetic and bravado filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. But the surprise is that the film is set in a contemporary Moscow, and the characters - even the Others - are ruggedly, defiantly human, often unshaven and never strictly beautiful. The filmmaking is highly seductive, from the stylish visual flourishes right down to the creative graphic treatment of the subtitles. Despite a slightly confusing story line, the cumulative effect of the plot, and the clear top and tail, provide enough involvement to engage and entertain us. While the overall achievement is original, the film does borrow from others, but that's more or less impossible to avoid these days. What does stand out, though, is the marriage of Russian national cinema and Hollywood commercial filmmaking; the latter invested in extra SFX after Russian production was completed, when Fox acquired distribution rights. The director's experience as a hot tv commercials and music video producer shows in his use of images, symbolism and pace; but there is also a solid anchor of gravitas from the source material, including themes of right and wrong within the conflicted characters who reside on either side of the moral divide. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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