I wrote about Timur Bekmambetov's DAY WATCH in SHOCK CINEMA #31 as the biggest Russian blockbuster of its time, and it's no secret that I'm a fan of the WATCH series -- movies and books alike. So when Fox Searchlight announced the Stateside release of DAY WATCH, I jumped at the chance to see what they had done with the translation, and hey, to see it on the big screen! I bullied a friend into coming along with the added incentive of the pr department's cocktail hour post-show. I was curious just what Fox would do with the two-hour-plus epic sequel, since NIGHT WATCH had odd changes (I understand swapping out the Soviet cartoon for reruns of BUFFY, but on a plasma screen TV too posh for most American households, much less Moscow...?). I am happy to say that there were few edits from the Russian print short of a recap added to the opening. The running time seemed on par with my memory of the international release, putting all those negative rumors to rest at last. They even kept the entertaining credit sequence (I waxed poetic about it in my print review, I wont go on again). The translation was good and the animated subtitles worked really well with the production. Best subtitle of the night? A chunk of beef thrown at a wall spells "...bitch" as it slides bloodily to the floor. I'm also still mystified as to why people find the storyline so confusing, since it's far less convoluted than US-franchises such as THE MATRIX and LORD OF THE RINGS. Fox treated us well with previews of both JOSHUA (though I still can't get much of a feel for the film yet, short of a more violent BAD SEED remake) and SUNSHINE (looks brilliant, but I like director Danny Boyle to start with -- the more obscure the themes the better). They also provided us with nifty swag including a DAY WATCH shirt which now means I really do have a WATCH shirt for every day of the week. You know, not as if I would (heh, you can't tell but I'm wearing one now!).
While I'm at it, welcome to the official Shock Cinema blog. Sorry, but I must confess, chances are you'll hear more from me here then you will from Mr. Editor, but he has real work to do. And it evens out: I write minimally for the magazine, so you can handle a little more from me here. Right? Right?