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Sunday, February 26, 2006
Russian Cinema Night
Santa Barbara is one of the few places that Nightwatch is playing in the US, so Pete and some friends and I took it in tonight. It's an interesting film, and worth watching for anyone interested in the fantasy genre on film. It's not quite a horror film, despite some of the early reviews. And it's certainly not a vampire film, despite some American reviews which seem to be obsessively focusing on something that's ultimately a minor aspect of the film.
Story-wise, the film is a very standard Apocalyptic Foresigns Of The Final Battle Between Good And Evil. There's an over-abundance of convenient coincidences, and the distinctions between Good and Evil are so murky that, when the subject of prophesy chooses a side, it's in casual, thoughtless manner that makes the distinctions seem even more causal and arbitrary.
The strongest appeal of the film is in the visuals. It's a very impressive looking film, and one of the best examples I've seen in film of using special effects as an integral part of the story and setting. Even the subtitles are presented in such a way as to make them work within the context of the scene, rather than your standard pale yellow letters superimposed over the bottom third of the screen.
It's not a perfect film, by any means, but well worth the time to see. And again, visually, it's an impressive and engaging film.