We had a mini international film fest tonight. Night Watch is a Russian film about the ongoing and tedious battle between good and evil. It's based on the first novel in a trilogy. There's also a game. Some time in the past the two leaders of the forces of light and dark called a halt to the endless killing. A stable but tenuous truce has existed for centuries. A truce enforced by the Nightwatch and the Daywatch. These pseudo-police forces are made up of supernatural beings; seers, witches, vampires and shape-shifters. Two stories weave through the movie. One involves our main guy Anton, a vampire with some sort of visions, who's past decisions catch up to him. He gets stabbed a lot. I mean a fuck of a lot, sometimes by his own hand. The other story is about a woman who has a curse that is manifesting itself as a huge powerful vortex filled with black birds. It will bring devastation unless the curse is lifted. So you got a race against time and some people in jeopardy stuff. Luckily the goodish guys have a really fast van that shoots fire from it's exhaust pipe. They race around and things go from bad to worse, people die, things are broken. It moves a bit slow. There's a nice site called In The Gloom for this popular film. So popular in Russian it made more money than Lord of the Rings, at least according to the Wikipedia, almost 17 million bucks. I wonder what tickets cost in Russia. Oh, it's fairly cheap.
St. Petersburg, Russia (Source: Russian National Group; www.russia-travel.com)
- Movie ticket: $5.74
- Bus/subway fare: 45¢-53¢
- Cup of regular coffee: 93¢
- Bottle of local beer in a bar: Stephan Rasin, 68¢
- Moderate, three-star hotel room for two: $119.43
- Moderate, three-course meal for one, without alcohol or tip: $9.56
- $1=26.12 Russia Rubles
Our second feature was Hellevator: The Bottled Fools, which at Japanese theaters would cost 1800 Yen for a peek. Imagine how much a box of shrimp flavored popcorn would cost. Joe brought shrimp flavored french fry shaped chips but no one would eat one. Joe only ate one and reported it had nearly no flavor. The horrible smell when the bag was opened must have been the flavor escaping, and now it's on the couch, which is where I was not eating those chips. Hellevator is set in some sort of futuristic Japanese society. It's moved underground for some reason and people move about in large elevators. There are an odd bunch of characters in the car. Some come and go before the convicts get on. Rapist murderers. Chained to a wall in their orange jumpsuits, with a cocky cop, a school girl, the elevator operator, a woman, her baby carriage and a couple of guys. That's a group bound for disaster which arrives in the form of a stalled elevator. Now it's the Hellevator all right. I got this from a guy at work who hated it, as did a few people on the IMDB, a few really liked it. I don't think I hate it, I just don't care much and wouldn't buy one now that I've seen it. There's a lot of violence but it's people on people and not very interesting. It's mostly filmed in the green elevator with framing scenes in a blue room as a cop grills one of the surviving men. There's one of those crappy ambigious endings that I don't care for. What the hell was that? Some one needs to be locked in the elevator with a kick in the nuts.