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post #156
bio: jen
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3/1/2006
14:57

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Night Watch


I was going to write a two-sentence movie review of Night Watch, but true to the Russian epic roots of this film, more and more sentences and ideas kept spilling out. This film overwhelmed me. If I attempt to do it in two sentences at this point, I probably will sound very obtuse and (oh gosh, I dare not speak the word) pretentious.

I leave the two sentences to smarter people and give myself space to spread out. I can't write this review in a shoebox studio apartment. I need land, lots of land.

Night Watch is the first film in a Russian Vampire epic trilogy where the forces of light and darkness battle it out in modern day Moscow.

That was going to be my first sentence. I thought I was doing good at that point. I had basically set up the film, the stakes, the setting. I was encouraged. Onto sentence two. . .

With rapid editing and some wacked out computer effects (the journey of the bolt from the airplane to the coffee cup is quite spectacular), the director was trying to work in a mainstream Hollywood way but fortunately moves beyond the shallow standard fare with strong acting and a willingness to accept that vampires are a little absurd but really like everyone else---painfully human.

Okay, it's a bit long. Did I capture it all? Uh. Nyet. Shit. I'm in trouble, big trouble.

I wrote on hoping to find something better. . .

Could this be the Russian Lord of the Rings? I am also reminded of those great Hong Kong costume action movies from the 80s and 90s. Bride with White Hair especially comes to mind.

Ugh. I suck. I'm referencing other movies to make this movie seem so important. It's not important. It's just a movie. What if I set up a little bit of movie going context?

We are now in the midst of the yearly studio dump. What's that smell? Oh yes, it's crappy movies---one after the other. In the teeming sewer of new February film, one can sniff the deep perfume of a Russian vampire movie.

Nah, too defeatist. Too negative. Too darkness. Besides, you can't smell movies.

However, this movie did have the distinct whiff of vodka or was that the guy sitting next to me?

The lead actor, Konstantin Khabensky, is really cool. He plays Anton Gorodetsky who thinks his life fighting vampires is peachy until he winds up in the middle of a major tragedy with classic undertones. The Greeks couldn't have done it better. Yep, this is definitely the country that gave us Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and those other deep epic guys with soul.

After watching Night Watch, my movie going companions walked me to my car. After all, we were right by the 405, and they had to protect me from the forces of darkness.

‘Guys,' I wanted to say, ‘it's just a movie. We're not in Moscow.'

Still, I give them props for chivalry. Such gestures make me all woosey inside. Awww.

I actually did some internet research, and if you want to see the whole movie in 2 and ½ minutes, go here.

I eagerly await the second film, Day Watch, and the third film, Dusk Watch, as well as the cheesey bikini spinoff, Bay Watch.



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