Bit of a random update, because I bought Heat and read the TV mags in the shop, and that always sets off
1. MORE WTD??? I love the show, really, but every week I keep thinking ‘ah, it is finished and I can relax and only have to recap one show a week’ and then NO. I really hate the BBC schedulers at the moment.
2. Oooh, new detective series! Obviously we’re moving through the decades, as Foyle was the 40s, obviously, and now Robert Lindsay is the 50s (and he’s called Jericho, apparently). I predict I will love it lots.
3. 407 on BBC 3 tomorrow. Am not going to watch it as I have not even watched 406 properly yet. Having much fun recapping 405.
Now, Night Watch (the arsing site won’t work on my work computer, bugger it):
Oh my. First off, when I bought the tickets, the woman asked me if I knew it was in Russian. Am I unusual in knowing stuff about a film before I go to it? I bought the tickets, anyway, and Dear bought the jumbo popcorn and maltesers yum.
Then when we got into the screen, there was only us. So we were all squee! We can talk! And WAH THIS IS CREEPY! And then some other people came in and ruined our fun. Only five of them, mind.
So, there was a whole sodding ice age of adverts, and then woo trailers! Loads, too, not just two like you seem to get more often than not these days. Highlights included Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (it looks funny and Dear is a mad Robert Downey Jr fan), Flightplan and Transporter 2 (!!!!!!!! YAY is all I’m saying, also Dear has not seen the first one so will try and find it on Sky for her to watch this weekend). Also there was Saw 2:
‘Ooh, let’s go and see –‘
‘I’m not going to that one.’
‘I cannot sit through that kind of thing again. Am. Not. Going.’
And the frankly SHITE looking Into The Blue, which Dear said looked good, despite having godawful dialogue just in the *trailer*. Possibly because Paul Walker was in it, I don’t know.
Incidentally, here’s a website with some really good pics, including a load of ones showing how they did the effects. It’s all in Russian, though, so here are links to the individual galleries. The covers one is also worth a look :D
Cut for people who haven’t seen it yet BUT YOU SHOULD. And, er, this was a review but it turned into a recap-review hybrid thing. Oops. Rambly.
So, onto the film. Was GREAT. Somewhere along the line, with the 50 million articles I read, I’d got the idea that it was going to look fab but have not much in the way of plot. Was very pleased to discover there was an actual interesting plot, so yay. We both got confused at the beginning (‘so he’s light, so he’s part of the nightwatch, or is he dark because of what he did I DON’T UNDERSTAND’) but that sorted itself out. Loved Anton, partly because he was a but crap, LOVED Olga (and how creepy was *she*?).
Dear was not impressed that Svetlana had cursed herself. It did seem a bit strange.
Dear and I were very amused at one point when the subtitles came up and said ‘You know, the usual way.’ Because in one of the Eddie Izzard shows, there is a sequence about monkeys learning sign language. Imagine Eddie faffing about with his hands, and turning one way and t’other to indicate two people (well, one person and a monkey):
‘So, you’re a monkey.’
‘Yeah, yeah, I’m a monkey, yeah. Can I have a banana?’
‘There are no bananas. On this day.’
‘Well if you haven’t got a banana, I’m not fucking talking to you’
‘So, how does the, ah, monkey community, interact?’
‘Oh, you know, the usual way. Now give me a banana. Give me a fucking banana.’
…Oh, go watch all the Eddie Izzard shows. It’s on one of them (probably Circle) and it’s really good…
Sorry, back to the film. So, Anton is a bit crap and spends his days doing not very much. And then at night he goes and gets himself beaten up by vampires (I loved Geser’s ‘And take the right bulb this time…’). He’s part of the Night Watch, who are the ostensible good guys, and they are run by a guy called Geser from the City Light Company. The bad guys, the dark, are run by a guy whose name escapes me right this second (ah, Zavulon), but who really likes pissing off the good guys. He also likes playing computer games featuring simulacrums of himself with more hair and harassing popstars.
Anton kills a vampire by accident, which should get him arrested by the night watch for breaking the truce. Didn’t mention the truce, did I? Well, the forces of light and dark had a big old battle, but they were so easily matched that all that would happen would be total obliteration. So, truce. As far as I could tell this means: anything goes, just don’t kill each other. The Light ones (the night watch) get to license the Dark ones (the day watch, though quite how they can be a day watch when most of them are vampires, I don’t bloody know) to turn humans into vampires. One of the characters makes a fuss about how it’s not the other way around, but what would they license them to do? And if you’re a vampire, do you have to be dark (seeing as Anton gets a bit vampy at various points)?
Anyway, new Others get triggered by some big event, and have to make a choice between Light or Dark. Anton (in fabulously geeky clothes) goes to visit some witch woman in 1992 to get his wife back and then she says she can kill the baby she’s carrying, which witch woman says isn’t his. He agrees, and there’s a pretty horrible sequence with the wife screaming in pain and ew.
The Night Watch burst in – a guy called Bear, a woman called Tiger Cub and a freaky spider doll – and stop the witch woman killing the baby. They realise Anton can see them, and then we zip forward twelve years to what I was describing earlier. The word linear isn’t an intrinsic part of my vocabulary, I must admit.
The Night Watch are on their way, and they drive to where Anton is with the kid, and on the way they see Zavulon, who flips the truck they’re driving over 360 degrees, because either i) he’s that much of a bastard or ii) he’s that bored. So the truck lands and they’re all screaming, and then they drive off to the place. So, Anton kills the vampire by accident, and we’re back to where we were above before I wandered off the point. His new vampire girlfriend had been calling some kid to them, which was why Anton was there in the first place. The NVG gets burnt on her face with his torch (with the right bulb).
The night Watch arrive to help him out, or rather just shove him in the van and get him back to HQ (because the vampire he was fighting kept sticking him with scirssors, nice) and some guy from the day watch turns up in a nice Audi and tries to arrest him.
Geser has to fix Anton up A LOT because he’s very very injured. Anton tells him about some girl he saw on the underground with a vortex above her. Geser kind of reads his mind, and then there’s this really cool flicky book animated sequence about a girl who had a vortex above her and brought misfortune everywhere because she was cursed and first released the bad stuff into the world. And now it’s happened again, which is supposed to herald the coming of a great other, and whichever side he chooses will win.
Oh, and then Geser says he’s going to give Anton a partner, and he chucks him a stuffed owl. Fantastic. Sadly we don’t get any Castaway-type interactions with the stuffed owl because he chucks it back, and then Geser throws it (sorry, her) out of the window and woo, it’s a real owl.
Anton trudges off home and there’s a big flappy noise in the kitchen. So he goes and closes the window and then turns round and the owl is there. He tries to talk to it, and clucks at it, and then there’s big-noise-lots-of-feathers-screaming and someone telling him not to turn around. Then someone comes up behind him (we see her face in a mirror, fantastic use of mirrors in this film, btw) and asks where the shower is.
So this is Olga. He goes to get some clothes from his neighbour, who was friends with, but now they don’t like him because they’re vampires and he killed a vampire. Still, they lend him some clothes, but not without griping about him killing the vampire. (one of the odd things is that Anton has hardly any clothes in his apartment, and they all seem to be in dry cleaning bags).
Olga gets dressed, and keeps singing to herself (though she only knows the one song) and tells Anton he wouldn’t want to know what she did to be made a stuffed owl for sixty years.
Then my brain starts to go a bit fuzzy. Somewhere in there, there’s a popstar called Alice on stage who turns out to be one of the dark Others, and she gets sent by Zavulon to go find the NVG.
So, NVG is wandering down a motorway being hit by cars, and then Alice drives along holding a jar of blood out in front of her. Oooh, BITCH. She taunts NVG and then drops the jar on the ground, along with the boy’s goggles (he was swimming when we first saw him). So now NVG is going to go after Swim Boy.
Hum, now what? I think Anton and Olga go off to see Swim Boy, who turns out to be called Yegor, and whose mother has left him alone while she goes off to work because she can’t get a babysitter (did anyone get an idea of what she did? Look to me like a news reporter).
When they get there, NVG is already there (and this scene includes the bit that made Dear jump a foot high when we saw the trailer – Yegor looks out through the spyhole and there’s no-one there, and then OMG THERE IS. Her jump was just as funny this time, you’ll be pleased to know). When they get up to the floor, she has disappeared because, apparently she has gone into the Gloom. I have not explained what this is yet because I have no real idea. It confused me a lot (the vampires did it earlier on – some kind of other dimension where they can’t be seen by humans?).
So Anton and Olga go into the gloom to get into the apartment, and everything is all dark and grey (hence the name, I mean, what were you expecting, it’s not like it was going to be Fiji or anything). The kid is there, so they think he must be an Other. The gloom starts to take him over, and he goes all grey, and then Anton’s trying to resuscitate him, and *he* starts going grey, and then he has to really hack into his arm to get som blood which, apparently, distracts the gloom for a spell so they can get out. Yah.
Then Yegor’s alright after a bit, and I think there’s some chatter and they expain Others and he makes them some food, and then dun dun DUHN (sorry, I use that phrase a lot, I know) Anton sees a pic of Yegor with a woman who is Anton’s ex-wife. Well, damn. Yes, that turns out to be Yegor’s mother, and Anton gets all conflicted.
Then they have to leave because they want Anton to speak to Svetlana or something (woo, fuzzbrain!) and Bear and Tiger Cub take over.
Then there’s driving across Moscow and all of a sudden the driver (whose name I have forgotten) who must be a psychic of some sort turns the van around because Svetlana’s neighbour’s mother has just died. This is important because Svetlana has to tell him (which she does in a very brutal way, pretty much ‘hi, your mother’s dead’), and he works at the power plant, and the pressure on something important is high, and then his colleague buggers off to check on his exploding sausages or something.
So, then, he’s all stunned and the power blows and total blackout, dude. It was fantastic. Then I think driver guy says it’s too late, so they go off to the tower block where Svetlana and Her Ugly Glasses live, where the night watch has set up base. There, the computer guy (who may not have got a name) has frozen the family who lives there so he can work around them. He has a computer fuile showing all the people she’s come into contact with recently. Anton is on there and he reads his own file and finds confirmation that Yegor is, in fact, his son. Whoops. Why didn’t anyone tell him?
Then he goes into a room where Geser and Zavulon are chatting in the dark (as you do). Zavulon, for God knows WHAT reason, gives him a charm so he cannot be harmed by Zavulon. Then Zavulon buggers off with his scary dog.
Geser decides Anton should go talk to Svetlana and find out who cursed her. There possibly was a reason for this, but I can’t remember what it was (at elast now I know what a recap looks like if I do it from from memory). Off he goes, into the pouring rain. They tell him to pretend he is one of her patients (she works at Clinic No. 17). This is the worst cover story I have heard for a while (and I watch Spooks and Hustle, people), and yet Svetlana goes with it. They do things differently in Russia.
So Anton’s there talking to her, pretending he’s ill and then admitting he’s fine, and it all goes very weird, but not sf weird, weird in the sense that you go ‘ooh, I’m definitely watching a European film now’. He keeps trying to get her to talk to him, but doesn’t seem to be guiding the conversation towards ‘hey, y’know, who cursed you?’ Instead he gets on his knees and asks her for a drink. Hello, Anton! Time frame kind of urgent!!
So Anton gets out of Svetlana that she cursed herself, which no-one had thought of. Presumably because it’s a very confusing idea. Then she lifts it and the power comes back on and stuff (oh, and a plane that was going to crash doesn’t. but that bit was a whole new world of confusion, so I left it out), BUT over at the other tower block, TC is chasing Yegor as he goes up to the roof to see NVG. She doesn’t quite get him.
They get a call (can’t remember who took it) from TC saying that NVG has Yegor but the only person she’ll talk to is Anton. And I’ve just remembered another bit of plot, so I’d best go back and amend it.
Right, so then Anton gets over and tries to talk NVG into letting Yegor go, and he takes off the charm Zavulon gave him, so that was useful, wasn’t it? Er, then NVG gets very angry and makes some very valid points about how thw Night Watch aren’t actually as good as they like to think and go around acting like they’re all that usw.
Then something happens, but my brain has drawn a blank as to what, oh no, wait, I remember, Zavulon drives a lift through the roof of the building and everyone gets separated and rubble rains down on the Night Watch van (and why do the vampires get the cool cars?)
So, then it’s all dark, and Anton manages to get hold of a strobe light which is lit up all on it’s own, and he swooshes it around, and then Zavulon is there, and Anton, of course, is not wearing the charm. *sigh* somewhere along the line, though, the best and worst thing ever happens: Zavulon reaches behind himself and draws a sword from his back MADE FROM HIS SPINE. The reaction from your intrepid reporters.
‘That’s the mingingest thing ever.’
‘[shocked] That’s…it’s just not *right*.’
And then we focussed back on watching the film. There is a fight, and then Yegor comes over with the charm, and for some reason Anton grabs hold of him like he’s going to kill him, which I didn’t understand then and I don’t know. Anyway, it echoes Zavulon’s computer game from earlier in the film, and he uses this as leverage to get Yegor over to the dark side, which is a bit of a bugger as he’s the great Other from the prophecy. Anton looks something beyond gutted.
Then a voiceover says something about how the light ones weren’t going to give up, oh no, just watch this space…ah, but, if the prophecy is all doom and gloom for the side the Great Other didn’t pick, then can they actually do anything? Because they seemed like they believed it to me…
Cannot WAIT for Day Watch. Recap does NOT do this film justice. Go see go see go see!!