DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Day Watch, Blu-ray (2006/09)
Published on January 13, 2009
Starring: Konstantin Khabensky
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio: Russian DTS-HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio; English DTS 5.1; Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin
Special Features: Audio commentary by Director Timur Bekmambetov; “The Making of Day Watch” documentary; TV spots; theatrical trailers; Fox Blu-ray previews; D-Box enhancement
Feature Length: 146 minutes
Movie Rating: ***1/2 Video Rating: ***1/2
Audio Rating: **** D-Box Motion Rating: ****
In this sequel to “Night Watch”, “Day Watch” finds protagonist Anton Gorodetsky now a veteran agent of the Light Others. He is in charge of training a new agent named Svetlana, who not only is in love with Anton, but she also happens to be a powerful ‘Great Other’. Anton’s son, Yegor (who is also a Great Other), remains a Dark Other, but deep down yearns for the love of his father. As the story unfolds, Anton is framed for the murder of a Dark Other. This frame-up appears to be part of a concentrated effort by certain Dark Others to destroy the long-standing truce between the Light and Dark factions. Yegor and Svetlana are at odds with each other over Anton’s love and this friction further disturbs the balance between good and evil. As apocalyptic war looms, it seems as though only a mystical object called the Chalk of Fate can restore order.
I liked “Day Watch” much more than “Night Watch”. “Day Watch” was easier to understand and the production values were noticeably better. While neither of the two films can compete with similarly-styled American films such as “The Matrix” or “Underworld”, they were successful enough to afford Director Timur Bekmambetov the opportunity to direct the big budget U.S. movie “Wanted” starring Angelina Jolie. If you are a fan of the frenetic pace of “Wanted”, then you might want to check out “Day Watch” as well.
The high definition video quality of “Day Watch” is good. Images are somewhat soft at times, but otherwise clean with decent detail. Black levels are deep throughout the film. Colors are dark and accurate with nicely-saturated hues. Other than some film grain, picture defect mastering is solid with no major flaws or compression artifacts. The overall audio quality is very good with the English DTS 5.1 track. The soundtrack aggressively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix. Dialogue is natural-sounding and properly positioned in the center channel. The surround channels are moderately active, utilized for ambient sound effects and the music score, plus split rear effects. The low frequency effects channel is tight and powerful.
“Day Watch” is compatible with the “D-BOX” Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the compatible D-Box equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your seating. About twenty percent of this movie has motion effects and/or vibration present. Motion effects take the form of such things as fights, vehicle chases/crashes, and a variety of explosions. Two particular D-Box moments stood out for me in this movie. The first occurs in Chapter 8 when one of the Dark Others whips her red Mazda sports car around the city streets and then drives right up the side of a building. The motion generated here nicely simulates the revving of the powerful engine and the side-to-side swerving motion of the car. The second moment occurs in Chapter 36 when the apocalyptic war between Light and Dark has commenced, courtesy of the yo-yo of the apocalypse. There is a lot of action packed into this chapter of the movie including among other things, the thumps of the hand-to-hand combat, the impacts of the destructive little spheres that perforate everything in their path, and the rumbling of the Ferris wheel that comes crashing down on the streets below. Overall, I would rate the D-Box motion/vibration quality for “Day Watch” as very good.
- Calvin Harding Jr.