By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Guardians are coming. No, we are not talking about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead, a Russian-based team of superheroes will appear at Wal-Mart on September 5, 2017! This film is landing in America courtesy of Shout! Factory and will debut as a DVD first, and a Blu-ray on December 5th. Both will feature the English dub and original audio track (Russian), but at time of press, an official trailer by this distribution company is not available yet.
No reason is given for the delay of the higher definition version. When considering some of the stylistic effects work seen in the trailer, the wait for the latter will be worthwhile.
Part of this film’s appeal is in how it makes use of all the visual tropes known to represent the symbolic history of Russia. The Guardians is Sarik Andreasyan’s (American Heist) answer to the X-men. Although this group is similar to the Winter Guard (both have feature a were-bear as part of the team), this movie is by no means a carbon copy. A few people may look at Kahn as this film’s version of the Winter Soldier (Captain America).
With one or two exceptions, this group’s creation comes from a secret organization who selected an elite group of individuals to genetically modify. During the cold war, they served their country proudly. Afterwards, they disbanded and are living a simpler life before recent events require them to get back together again. August Kuratov is this film’s mad scientist.
This movie is beautiful to look at and the production values high. The effects work borders on the same level as when Night Watch burst into the scene. However, not every Russian-made film in the category of fantasy get international notice. I will be excited to pick up the Blu-ray release. Shout! Factory deserves high marks every time they bring a product from out of Eurasia for North America to enjoy. While I know this Watch trilogy will never get finished, my interest in supernatural movies from this country is reignited. I cannot wait to look at what’s next. My only suggestion to Russian filmmakers is to increase the effects budget.
GUARDIANS Blu-ray™ and DVD special features:
· New interviews with cast and crew
· Character Profiles
· Image Gallery