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30 DAYS OF NIGHT ($30) is a graphic novel adapted to film, which maintains the graphic novel flavor throughout its running time. There is a sparseness to the storytelling that makes one feel as though the are moving from panel to panel in a graphic novel, but of course the entire thing has been fleshed out with movement and some enjoyable action sequences. I have not read the 30 DAYS OF NIGHT graphic novels and do not know how close the movie comes to the source material. However, I do like how the film has captured the sense that one is a part of a graphic novel. Than being said, and as someone who loves both vampire movies and graphic novels, I can honestly say I totally enjoyed 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.

Set in Barrow Alaska, the most northern point in the United States, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT tells a tale of a place where once annually the sun goes down and does not come back up for a full month. Sure, this is not a wholly accurate depiction of the real period of darkness that occurs in Barrow Alaska, but it does set the premise for a story where vampires come to town, and take advantage of the lack of daylight for a full month to suck the town’s populace dry. As you might expect, a small group humans do manage to stay alive, but with increasing difficulty as the month drags on. Of course, things get the most desperate, just before the dawn, with the vampires and humans both going to extremes. The cast of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT features Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall, Amber Sainsbury, Manu Bennett, Megan Franich, Joel Tobeck, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Nathaniel Lees, Craig Hall and Chic Littlewood.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made 30 DAYS OF NIGHT available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The transfer is excellent, offering terrific sharpness and image detail. Colors are stylized, sometimes appearing nicely saturated and completely stable, and sometimes desaturated. However, human flesh tones are accurately rendered throughout. Both the blacks and whites are on the money, while the contrast I stop of the line for SD. Shadow detail is fairly impressive. The film elements are free from defects. A grain structure is mildly noticeable in some of the darker sequences. Digital compression artifacts keep a low profile.

30 DAYS OF NIGHT comes with a kicking Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Aggressively mixed, all of the discrete channels are well deployed throughout the movie. The action and vampire attack sequences rock, plus there is atmosphere to spare during the quiet moments. Also, the sound designers never miss an opportunity to add creepy sound effects to the track, which ups the ante in terms of suspense. Fidelity is excellent- creating convincing sound effects, as well as a strong musical component. The bass channel is percussive and weighty. Voices are natural sounding, plus the film’s English dialogue is always completely understandable. A French 5.1 channel track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. A running Audio Commentary with actors Josh Hartnett and Melissa George, plus Rob Tapert starts things off (subtitles have been included for the commentary track). Featurettes include Pre-Production, Building Barrow, The Look, Blood, Guts & The Nasty #@$&!, Stunts, The Vampire, Night Shoots and Casting. The eight featurettes can be played individually or all together for a total running time of fifty minutes. A twenty minute Episode One preview of the animated series BLOOD is also featured. A ton of trailers close out the DVDs supplements.

As I stated above, I totally enjoyed 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Sony’s DVD looks and sounds great. If you love vampire movies, you’ll want to spend the evening with 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Recommended.



30 Days of Night (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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