Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover didn’t give me much hope for what I was expecting to be a kick ass sequel to a cool movie from a couple of years ago. It’s a Russian movie, right? So what do they do? They try to mimic all of the Hollywood DVD covers that I hate so much. It’s boring and it doesn’t really do the movie justice. The menu is pretty much the same way. After seeing the packaging I was bracing myself for a bit of disappointment with the movie inside (luckily I was wrong!).
- The Making Of Daywatch Featurette – This is a pretty good behind the scenes, even if it’s got a touch of overly-produced flavor. It might be one of those things they slap on TV to promote a new movie on the Russian HBO or whatever. I like seeing how they do some of the stunts, and special effects, as well as getting to see the slightly different tone of their cast and crew vs. American or British. Yes, people around the world are different from each other…trust me on this. Even if they are trying to emulate some Hollywoodness, they are still wonderfully unique with their Russianness.
- Trailers – It’s always fun to see how movies are promoted in other parts of the world. Sadly, they are all starting to look like tinsel town offerings.
- Russian TV Spots – I would call most of these teasers, and the rest are just pretty standard promo trailers.
- Audio Commentary By Director – I love a cool Russian accent so this is good listening for me, not to mention he gives a lot more background information about making the movie, and the story.
The Movie: 7/10
I’m a sucker for an accent. In a previous life I was married to a Turkish accent. Now, for the rest of this lifetime I’m married to a British accent. What does this have to do with a Russian vampire movie? Well, come on, what accent, what language is more mysterious and cool than Russian? (oh well, British accent of course) This is like a dream come true. I love watching movies that are from other places. After seeing Night Watch, the first of the planned trilogy, I was hooked on the Russian language, and everything that comes with it.
Let’s be honest, we are all becoming a little bit more homogenized. No matter how much our individual nations’ fashions, trends, lifestyles, ideas, and everything else spread around the world and take root, we still hang on to our own cultures, myths, and style of doing things. That’s what I’m diggin’ about this series of films. Night Watch was first and I was blown away. It was extremely cool, well made, exciting, and we were lucky enough to see it with the integrated, animated sub titles. They took what they see as the best of big Hollywood blockbusters and selectively put it in this modern day vampire thriller.
Day Watch is the second one to come along, and it’s just as exciting. I will say right off the bat that seeing this one without the first one might not be the way to go. I would go find Night Watch and see them both, one after the other. Seriously, it’s worth the effort. You will get to know the leading man from the beginning of his journey into this bizarre world of vampires and the whole dark side of life in this new age fairy tale.
What do the names mean? Night Watch are the good guys and gals. They are the society who watch over the vampires and the dark others who want to feed on humans and generally cause the world a load of grief. Day Watch are the bad guys. They are the ones who want chaos and killin’ and blood drinking. They have had a treaty for a 1000 years and it’s precarious at best. They have leaders who keep them both in check, but someone always has to break the peace.
In Day Watch, there is a murder and our leading man is accused of crossing the line and breaking the treaty. This is not only punishable by his death, or termination, but it is also the justification the bad guys need to start their new war on humanity to take over. There’s the chalk of fate, the son lost to the dark others, a love interest, witches, and a chick who drives a sports car up and into a building….pretty cool.
The special effects and stunts are excellent. The story isn’t 100% original, but then again, what story is these days? The performances are all really good. They take it seriously, but with a certain sense of fun as well. There are a lot of funny parts, a touch of gloom, romance, transgender body swapping, and a very cool bad guy.
I know, I had you at ‘vampire’, but there is more to this movie than those little bloodsuckers. This DVD version won’t have the extremely cool animated subtitles the first one had, but it’s still no problem to read through each screen. The action outweighs the dialogue most of the time. If you insist on watching with English or other language dubbing…don’t. It sucks. Just watch and read and get used to the wonderful sounds of the Russian language.
If you are going to get Day Watch, you need to get Night Watch and someday, when they make it, the third in the series. If you are just curious, rent them. You are looking at about 20 bucks a piece, so unless you are a hard core international vampire film lover, the rental might be the cheaper alternative to broaden your foreign language horizons.
Overall Score 7/10