Night Watch; Thank You for Smoking

DVD reviews from the Court’s newest reviewer, CBG.

Night Watch

Maybe you saw this movie and just didn’t know it. It’s the first of a trilogy which centers on the epic struggle between good and evil and an unfulfilled prophecy about the ONE who will change everything. Smartly shot. Cool Special Effects. Choreographed Fight Scenes. Yeah, yeah, yeah… what was it? The Matrix? No—that’s not it—LOTR? No, no, no . . . Star Wars? Wait a second, that had six parts. Regardless, if you like epics—see this movie. If you like vampires and shapeshifters—see this movie. If you like stuff that creeps you out—see this movie. If you like movies that pay a dividend when you pay attention—see this movie.

Yeah, it’s got a derivative plot line. Guy with special powers finally figures out he’s special—an “Other”—and gets swept up in the eternal battle between the forces Light and Dark, which constantly monitor each other during the night and day respectively (hence the title). But the film works. Originally shot in Russian (I was disappointed they only released the dubbed version), the post-Soviet, eastern bloc feel is perfect for this horror/science fiction/fantasy fare. It’s got a grimy, dark feel that builds momentum as it goes forward.

It’s got its rough spots—some of the special effects are cheap looking and the dubbing doesn’t always work—but this is definitely worth renting and would probably stand up to a second viewing. And this is the perfect time of year to check it out. Stay up late, turn off the lights and crank it up. You won’t regret it.

Judgment: B+

Thank You for Smoking

This is like eating a truffle. Tasty, but not that substantial. This movie has a lot to offer: snappy dialogue, great characters with great actors behind them, a healthy dose of cynical humor all wrapped up in a spiffy, well paced, post-Michael Moore mocumentary package.

Want to see what’s wrong with our culture (okay, SOME of what’s wrong)? Check it out. Want to know why? That’s not this movie. Keep that in mind. There’s nothing wrong with truffles, as long as you don’t eat them all the time.

Judgment: B+

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One comment on “Night Watch; Thank You for Smoking

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