Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day Watch (Timur Bekmambetov, 2006)

The bottom line on Day Watch (and the first movie in the trilogy, Night Watch, to a certain extent) is that it took me a long time understand what the hell was going on, but it was still a trippy, gorgeous ride. The story picks up where Night Watch left off, and, in fact, you pretty much need to see the first movie to understand anything at all about this one. There's none of the recapping that goes on in so many (every) Hollywood sequel, and for that, I'm both grateful and a little frustrated. I saw Night Watch in the theater way back sometime in 2006, so the details were a little fuzzy, but they came back (more or less) as I watched this movie.

Anton is back, working for the Light Side in upholding the truce between Light and Dark. He's joined by Svetlana, the woman from the end of Night Watch, who is now a trainee under Anton, but destined to become a great witch. They are also in love with each other, but won't admit it -- the ways in which it's revealed are clever and void of sentimentality, and I won't ruin it for you, but it involves people switching bodies and a shower scene. Anton's son Yegor has become the most important piece of the Dark side, and he is the one that could break the truce and start a war that could end the world.

I'm a sucker for a wrapped-up ending, and this movie definitely has it (how are they going to make a third?). The visuals are often beyond amazing, and most of the reason I recommend seeing this movie. Plus, it doesn't have any of those gimmicky subtitle tricks that Night Watch had, which I'm grateful for. This is the highest-grossing movie in post-Communist Russia, and even though it's really confusing and problematic, I only wish Hollywood made more awesome looking movies like this.


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