Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nochnoy Dozor (2004; Timur Bekmambetov)

Why do I use the original Russian title? Because that is the first title I heard when I first learned about this movie, and I believe it sounds a lot better then "Night Watch". There is nothing wrong with the English title, I just think Nochnoy Dozor steps up the bad ass..ness? (ity?) one more notch.

So the supernatural world in split into two halves, the bad guys and the good guys. In order to end the constant war they fought, they decided to reach an agreement. The bad guys would set up the Day Watch, which would regulate the good guys, and the good guys would set up the Night Watch, which would regulate the bad guys. I use the terms "good guys" and "bad guys" loosely, because a main theme... oh wait... I am supposed to save this for later. I am too impatient with this step, time to speed it up. Modern day, fighting, something, movie ends.

Alright, now, I use those terms loosely because a portion of the film feels dedicated to showing that just because their titles might try to imply their motives, you can never be too sure.

The entirety of this film has a very fresh and unique feel. Aspects of certain mythical creatures (Vampires, for example) are created to add a new depth. A new world for the supernatural is created (with it's own cinematography) to explain the movies own mythology. The construction of the supernaturals entering and exiting the natural world feels smooth and understandable. The characters are not dressed up all pretty (sorry, no mall goth heart throb vampires) as to the point of being ridiculous.

The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. We trace through the wires of a doorbell as it rings, we follow a bolt as it falls from an airplane and ends it's trip inside an apartment of one of the important characters. The camera shifts between steady mid-range dialogue shots, to shaky, almost natural, face shots.

One part of this movie that is very uncharacteristic of me is the fact that I enjoy the computer animations used in the film. Computer animations play a large role (due to the subject matter) but the effects never kill the mood and tone that is already set.

If I had to find a weak point in the film, it might be that while genuinely enjoyable, most people would find the cluster of new ideas to be a little too chaotic. Chaotic to the degree that some aspects of the film lose a lot of the impact that was intended. While this flaw depends largely on the person and can be corrected with a second or third viewing, a movie deserving a ten should not have to defend itself with more then one sitting.

Score: 4/5

Notes: Naked Owls, Supernatural Abortion

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I lied. I did have time to read them.

and why only 9/10... tsk tsk