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Night Watch (2005)

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:02 am
by I am 138
Caught this today. It's a Russian take on vampires, which set box office records in Russia. It's kind of like Underworld, but good. Visual style to the extreme, kinda like Volcano High. A fair comparison would be Blade 2.

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think of the subtitles? I thought it was an interesting way of doing that, and at times enhanced the action, but others I got distracted by the subs.

For those that don't know, the subtitles are designed to work with the movie, so if a scene has flashing lights, the subs flash, things like that. The best ones, for me, were the blood ones. I thought that was cool. It'll be interesting how they work them into the DVDs...

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:54 pm
by Latte Thunder
I posted a pretty unsuccesful thread about this several months back when I imported the DVD. I haven't seen the American cut of the movie, so that subtitle thing sounds kind of cool. They did something like that in Man on Fire and I liked how that turned out.

As for what I thought of the movie, I thought it made absolutely no sense. I also got the distinct impression that I was watching a fragment of a much larger movie. The special effects were fantastic, there were tons of original ideas going, but with no explanation or back story to work with, I couldn't figure out what the hell was happening. Also, for a two hour movie, there was so much going on. I've heard rumors that it's really a small piece of the actual theatrical cut and that the actual Night Watch is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 hours long, but I really think that it's a misunderstanding since this is based on a trilogy of novels and the sequels are being shot now.

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:00 pm
by I am 138
I actually saw the Australian theatrical release. Where did your DVD come from? The subs weren't like that? A lot of them seemed pre-planned, and given that the narration is in English, I thought maybe the film had some shots designed just for the subs.

I actually missed parts of the crucial beginning scene with the witch, so I thought the ending didn't really make sense. Perhaps it really just doesn't entirely work, though. But otherwise I don't recall any other issues. You're right, it's a frantic 2 hour film, which is why I compared it to Volcano High, which just has SO MUCH going on.

There was a bit of back story about the battle between light and dark Others in the narration in the version I saw.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:41 pm
by Latte Thunder
As for the beginning, the set up is that there are two armies, since the beginning of time, the army of light and the army of darkness. You can tell which is the good guys and which is the badguys based on that alone. Thousands of years ago, they met on a bridge and faced each other down. Neither side willing to budge, this forces them into a huge, epic battle where they are perfectly matched. For each light warrior that goes down, one from the night drops too. They are at a stalemate when the leaders of both armies force it to halt and make an uneasy truce. Each army will be allowed to roam the earth without being messed with by the others. Each group will police the other and a balance will be maintained. Hence, the Night Watch and the Day Watch.

The part with the witch is about our hero when he was just this ordinary schlub. His pregnant wife is leaving him for some other guy so he goes to the witch to have her get rid of the child. Since neither army is supposed to mess with the regular humans, the Night Watch rushes to her pad to stop the ritual. Anton spends too much time in "the gloom", which is this mystical spirit place, while the Night Watch fights the witch and winds up stricken with features of the Night Watch. Hence the fangs and blood drinking.


My DVD was a region 5 bought off ebay. Probably some bootleg of the Russian release sold by the Russian mob, but it's the version that ran in Russia, so no subtitles needed on the theatrical print itself. Just the subs from the disc.

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:53 pm
by I am 138
Yeah, I heard later that the subs were done for the US release. They are pretty cool.

One last question, which is a spoiler:


I thought he went to the witch to get the wife back, and she said that the price would be the destruction of the child. I thought he didn't know it was his child? (I could have this VERY wrong because I was receiving important text messages at this point in the film, and had to try and sheild the screen so I didn't disturb the two other people in the theater). That was the one problem I had with the end, 'cause it seemed like it was his unfinished bargain with the witch that made him attempt to kill the kid. Firstly, I didn't think the bargain was finished (ie, he didn't get his wife back) and secondly, why wouldn't he attempt to kill the child as soon as he knew who it was?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:51 pm
by DylanDog
Watched this last week. I thought it was good, but a bit convoluted. My personal comparison would be to DCs line of Vertigo comics (at least up to when I stopped reading years back). Lots of magical mumbo jumbo and the like. Honestly, I was thinking it was more "Constantine" than Constantine, and better for it. I can't remember where the dvd i watched was from, but it didn't have any special subs either.

Heh heh heh...

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:21 pm
Latte Thunder wrote:For each light warrior that goes down, one from the night drops too.
Kinda sounds like The Dark Crystal! :p