Monday, July 17, 2006

Nightwatch (Russian Horror/Fantasy) & Ultraviolet

Let me just say, that I expected Nightwatch to be reasonably okay and Ultraviolet to be pretty, but stupid. They both stunk.

There may be spoilers, so quit reading here.


This is a Russian horror/fantasy movie. For some reason the only version I could rent had only English, French and Spanish dubs and subtitles. There was no version of Russian with English subtitles, so that may be why it stunk, but I doubt it.

It had potentially cool elements. Many of the individual ideas were cool and seemed interestingly foreign. The werebear & weretiger being good guys and partners was cool. The chick who was being punished by being imprisoned as a frozen owl was cool too. The Russian style witch who got snagged at the beginning was good too.

The war between light & dark was fairly typical, but not necessarily bad.

Then there was the bad stuff. Which to me was primarily that it didn't know which plot to make the main plot and just was totally helter skelter in plot construction.
  • There is the 12-year old boy chosen one who is obviously the protagonist's child.
  • There is the stressing of the truce due to a vampire couple acting out of order.
  • And then there is this bizarre magical vortex around a chick who cursed herself that may end the world.

None of these is really emphasized much at all and they quickly hop between them and resolve them in like 5 minutes a piece. The chosen one in a rooftop stands off decides to choose the evil side because he is annoyed with his long lost father. He doesn't run away from all these weirdos and say, "Leave me outta this ya freaks!" like he should have. He seemed a decent kid and didn't seem like he'd join the evil side and so the decision is flippant and pointless to me.

Secondly, I am sick to death of the "chosen one" bull puckey that gets used over and over and over again. It's like we have this demented messiah complex that the world will be saved or destroyed by one special person, when the truth is we all play a part and that history happens because of movements, not one person as much. Sure, there are singular people that push have made the decisions, but they are usually just riding a crest of a movement and are not sem-divine. It leads to a kind of authority figure worship and is highly undemocratic in essence. But that's my pet peeve and not really that relevant.

The stupidest thing of all was the video game the bad guy kept playing designed with characters and events that later happen in the movie. Utter lameness.

Update - Just spoke to Mary. Videogames were supposedly plans & practice for setting up the dude so that he could get control of the chosen one. I still think it's incredibly lame. Sorry. Maybe if I can find the Russian version I'll give it another shot. It may also be because I don't believe in a black and white universe, but a more realistic world that runs from black to gray to white.

Rating: *


This movie is very pretty. This is the guy who made Equilibrium and suffered from the same exact problems. It is very pretty, but that's about it. What's funny is that it was more like Aeon Flux than the Aeon Flux movie was.

Anyhoo here are crits & praise in random order as I recall them.

Violet's costume and hair keep flipping colors for no particular reason and is very distracting. It is especially dumb as she should hold that in reserve to better lose the inevitable future pursuers. If they don't know she can flip colors, when she does so in a mall they may run right past her.

Fights were cool & gadgets were kinda cool.

Sets were way too blue screen and they felt like it. They didn't fool me enough, sorry.

No character development, really bad attempts at poetic/meaningful dialogue. Didn't care about characters at all.

Violet kept flipping between threatening the kid and saying she was his only defense. Be protective or not, dangit!

The bad guy was just the ultratypical uber baddy with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In otherwords a 2 dimensional waste of space. He and almost everything in the flick was a walking cliche.

The fights did not build up. They skipped most of the final battle getting to the big bad guy and so it felt like earlier fights were harder. Kinda anti-climactic.

Rating: *


Budd said...

I actually liked the change of hair/clothes color. it breathed life into the otherwise lifeless movie.

I just didn't care about violet or the kid. She killed off the head vampire way to easily. I fell asleep in the middle of action sequences.

I have not seen nightwatch so I will reserve judgement.

I have seen blade:the series. Pretty cool. They need a spiderman cameo at some point.

WuoWho said...

see the above blog bash in my addendum to the scanner darkly review

smite smite smite

(giggle giggle giggle)

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Anonymous said...

the russian version was on the other side of the disc