Director Timur Bekmambetov has received well deserved praise for his American film debut, "WANTED." But, the FOX blu-ray releases of his earlier films, "NIGHT WATCH" and "DAY WATCH," further substantiate this guy's always been great.
"NIGHT WATCH" introduces the audience to its world of "others," made up of various characters of the supernatural world, vampires, witches, and warlocks. There are "light" others and "dark" others who've come to a truce after an age old battle where neither side could win. The "dark" others wish to destroy mankind and the "light" others wish to protect it. The cease-fire they've reached allows for any "other" to choose sides, and for both sides to monitor the others to keep the truce, with one side "night watchers," the other, "day watchers."
A central character, "Anton," is an ordinary skeptic, seeking a witch to find a way to get his wife back from another man. After some huge surprises manifest, he becomes a believer and joins the "night watchers." As years pass, and "Anton's" experience with the "Night watchers" grows, he comes upon a young boy, being tricked into what will be a horrible trap that will break the cease fire. This particular encounter happens in a subway station, and the choreography and effects within this sequence are spectacular, but just a sample of what the film series brings to the audience over and over again, with equal entertainment and "wow" factor! During the subway sequence, "Anton" meets Svetlana, a woman that holds the secret to a prophecy that will sway the power of "the others" in an Apocalypse-like setting. Everything that follows is fascinating and leads perfectly into the sequel, "DAY WATCH."
FOX has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 release. Unfortunately, the "international" version, provided here, doesn't include the special subtitles that were included in the dvd version for the film. There are english subtitle options of course, but this other dvd version offered subtitles that were created in a brilliant way, allowing them to literally enhance the film's atmosphere even more, by either seeming to breathe, yell, or have other changing characteristics during a given scene. The subtitles here are fine, but it's a shame viewers can only view the other subtitle option on dvd only.
The transfer is flawless! It's one of the cleanest, most detailed blu-rays we've ever seen. Color and contrast are consistently beautiful. The CGI effects blend seamlessly with the rest of the action and every scene offers depth that one wishes more blu-rays could offer!
As impressive as the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix was on the dvd, the DTS-HD Master Audio mix of the blu-ray, blows it away. Perfectly balanced, whether the scene is quiet or filled with deep bass and discrete effects, the immersive experience makes this one of the best sound mixes of 2008. Dialogue, ambient effects and music are presented with incredible dynamic range throughout.
A commentary with the director, deleted scenes(some quite worthwhile) and more are included.