http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0403358/ Or "Nochnoi Dozor" which means in Russian, "we could conceivably kick America's cinematic a** .
I was amazed, I had experienced a cinematic overflow that had both art and style. From a stylistic standpoint, it was done better than 97% of most American films. It is a sci-fi, horror, action-thriller and I imagine the only reason there wasn't a romantic scene was so that it could be introduced in one of the other two parts of the trilogy.
I mean, you have the heavy "Aleksandr Nevskiy" and "The Matrix" influences. Then there is a sprinkling of "Harry Potter," "Men in Black," a heavy Barry Sonnenfeld/Raimi kinesis, and a not too wonderful usage of "Star Wars." Yet, it doesn't seem all that derivative or at least until hours after the film, when you've finally digested this wonderful film stew.
The director borrows heavily from Sergei Eisenstein http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0001178/
and why not? The man has done more for modern cinematic editing than any other of his contemporaries, save for D.W. Griffith and Abel Gance. Not to mention that he was the most influential Russian director on the rest of the world.
"Aleksandr" http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0029850/ was a 13th Century Russian Prince that helped repel a German invasion and it's filming during 1938 was completely intentional. Its battle scenes are recreated in a tighter picture frame than Eisenstein, but it is a little more than a homage here and it works.
The effects were very good and almost up there with ILM in some places. The production design was better than most European productions. The soundtrack was up and down, a gratuitous Korn-sound alike were on two of the tracks, one of the songs sounded like "Blind" and really worked out. The other song was just average Nu-Metal. The Russians obviously know their classical music and I think even my friend Mr. C will enjoy that aspect of the soundtrack.
There was a good, but slightly predictable build up to the climax and then...ppbffft. An ending that kind of just petered out, though part of that was due to the fact that this is a trilogy. Still, they should have given the audience a little more bang and more convincing dialogue when someone switches allegiances.
My other problem with the film besides the somewhat flat ending was that after the initial euphoria wore off, was this a great film or a good film? This is an out of left field experience for me because I seen very little Russian cinema and none this side of the thirties. So I might have been twice as amazed that a country other than America, France, or the countries of and formerly of the British empire could put together something of this magnitude.
P.S. I forgot, the director even threw in a little of Fiona Apple's "Criminal" music video.