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V for Vendetta - review thread

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V for Vendetta - review thread

Old 01-13-06, 09:27 AM
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V for Vendetta - review and discussion thread

Have any of you been fortunate enough to see a screening of this yet? It looks like the studio has started to screen it. What did you think?

Jeffrey Wells saw it a couple of days ago and here are his thoughts if anyone is interested:

****Possible Spoilers****

Vendetta Days

If one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter (depending on one's political perspective), the notion of a "good terrorist" should be an exploitable subject for a Hollywood film...no? In any case it's now the basis of a very smart big-bolt action drama, and from the makers of The Matrix yet -- the brilliant, very crafty, vaguely oddball Wachowski Brothers.

V for Vendetta (Warner Bros., 3.17), which I saw Wednesday afternoon, is a genuinely rousing and serious-minded thriller that's fairly throbbing with political metaphor. Anyone over the age of 10 or 11 will be able to connect the dots. And it's probably safe to assume that V will anger a few rightie jerkwads, but that's fine -- March can be a boring month and the arguments will be fun.

V for Vendetta is Fight Club-plus...it's Fight Club strapped to a missile...or should I say a fertilizer bomb?

Based on Alan Moore's early '80s graphic novel and set in a fascist England in the near-future, it's about revenge and revolution from the point of view of an anti-fascist rabble-rouser provocateur named "V" (voice-acted by Hugo Weaving, whom we never meet in the flesh). And about a growing relationship between V and Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), whose parents were crushed for anti-fascist activi- ties and, like Neo at the beginning of The Matrix, is looking to add something vital to her life.

Spoiler:
She certainly acccomplishes that before the film is over...along with thousands of others in London who join in overwhelming the police in front of Parliament...each one, like the hero all through the film, wearing a grotesque Guy Fawkes mask... bonding fast against tyranny.

Okay, so it has a pie-in-the-sky, fairy-tale ending. I think that's allowable in some cases.


Most readers probably know that Fawkes was one of a group of Roman Catholic conspirators who attempted to blow up London's Parliament building (or perhaps just the House of Lords) in 1605, but didn't quite succeed. He and his co-conspi- rators were caught and was executed for treason. The anniversay of Fawkes' failed attempt (which happened on November 5th) is celebrated as Guy Fawkes Day.

V for Vendetta is a futuristic myth, a fable...designed at every stage to entertain but quite obviously aimed at our world and time...portraying what happens when people get scared about potential enemies and give a pass to rightwing brown- shirts who run roughshod over basic freedoms. If you don't see the parallels to the political tendencies and tensions of 2006 then I don't know what.

What this is, curiously, is a heavily-budgeted, Joel Silver-produced actioner that works as a kind of companion piece to Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight. Jarecki's film is pure exposition, of course, but it paints a riveting portrait of some crafty politicos who did what they could to exploit citizens' fears after 9/11 in order to expand and strengthen their power base...and that's exactly what the bad guys have been up to in Vendetta.

So the film is nervy as hell and will most likely enrage people like Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, who will probably say it endorses terrorism or some such hooey. It doesn't, of course...I mean, not actually...but watch the righties go to town.

Vendetta may not have the stylistic visual pizazz of the Matrix films, and in fact feels a tiny bit flat-footed during the first 15 minutes or so, but this concern quickly falls away because once the film gets rolling it becomes more and more pointed and complex by the minute.

In my book V is one of the most politically audacious mainstream Hollywood films ever made because it really lays it on the line -- there are dark echoes of 9.11 and 21st Century neocon power dreams and hard-right fanatacism all through it, and yes...the good guy does blow up a building or two.

And yet -- trust me -- this is a film that says and stands for all the right things. Which is why it's going to get attacked.

Look at all the inflammables...a terrorist hero, a sub-plot about a deeply-in-love lesbian couple (this plus those hot lezzie scenes in Bound tells you the boys definitely have a thing for girl-on-girl action), plus a huge fertilizer bomb under Parliament and that '03 sex-change operation...forget it, the right's going to have a field day.

The bottom line is that V isn't some simple-minded action flick trying to glorify the struggle of a lone terrorist against a repressive right-wing regime. It's using a story that follows the contours of an action-thriller to push an allegory about some very real and threatening tendencies in our society today.

James McTeigue "directed" V, but it was basically a Wachowski show and there's no point in getting picky about this. But it's probably fair to credit McTiegue for the fact that the actors are excellent from to bottom -- Weaving, Portman, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry, Sinead Cusack, et. al.

I assume Warner Brothers marketing will be handing out Guy Fawkes masks at press and promotional screenings between now and March 17. How could they not be? Can I have mine early so I can be the first one on the block?

In any case, the Wachowskis are back after a two-year hiatus, and bully for that.

For most of us, the legend of Larry and Andy began nine years and three months ago with the release of Bound, a brilliantly designed indoor crime drama. Their rep was double-certified and cast in industrial steel with the release of The Matrix in March 1999, and it grew from there. For the next four years the Wachowskis were as mythical gods.

But the aura started to fade with the May 2003 release of The Matrix Reloaded, which disappointed just about everyone on the planet except for David Poland, and then came the Really Big Crash of The Matrix Revolutions in November of '03, and everyone was saying "what happened?" The Wachowskis had let everyone down and all of that geek goodwill pretty much imploded.

The boys seemed to disappear for all of '04 and early '05. Then they began work on Vendetta last summer in London and here they are again with a film that some are going to call a work of genius, or at least a piece of revolutionary cinema.

Everybody loves a good comeback. Will V for Vendetta make big money or just good money? No telling...let's see what happens.


http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/
____________________________________________________________________________________

I know it's just one man's opinion, and many of you could give two shits about his opinion or anyone else's for that matter, but I am definitely more intrigued than I was when the movie was delayed last fall. Can't wait to see it (and Portman's bald head).

Last edited by B.A.; 01-13-06 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Thread title change to include "discussion".
Old 01-13-06, 10:47 AM
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Three... two...
Old 01-13-06, 11:14 AM
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Here's the one sheet I saw last week which reminded me of the fact that this was finally coming out:



http://www.movieposter.com/poster/MP..._Vendetta.html

Last edited by B.A.; 01-13-06 at 12:31 PM.
Old 01-13-06, 11:20 AM
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That's a cool poster.
Old 01-13-06, 12:14 PM
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I missed the V for Vendetta panel in San Diego, and they gave out V masks. I ended up buying two off ebay. I made a V costume for Halloween, it creeped a lot of people out, two people knew what I was supossed to be.
Old 01-13-06, 01:54 PM
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David Poland has seen V for Vendetta as well.

David's V for Vendetta column (possible spoilers)
Old 01-13-06, 02:11 PM
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Thanks for the link, zeke. I meant to get around to Poland's column sometime this weekend. Damn, Wells' AND Poland both thought it was great. That doesn't happen very often.
Old 01-13-06, 03:12 PM
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I'm going to make sweet sweet love to this movie.
Old 01-13-06, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by B.A.
Have any of you been fortunate enough to see a screening of this yet? It looks like the studio has started to screen it. What did you think?
Yep, and yep it was good.

-JP
Old 01-13-06, 04:45 PM
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This is finally coming out? SWEET!
Old 01-13-06, 05:08 PM
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man this movie looks sweet, can't wait for it to come out
Old 01-13-06, 05:19 PM
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I've seen it, I'm not one to write reviews, but it is great. I loved it.
Old 01-13-06, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Miyazaki
I've seen it, I'm not one to write reviews, but it is great. I loved it.
Yeah, I've grown far too lazy to write any reviews that don't garner me free DVDs.

-JP
Old 01-13-06, 08:03 PM
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I saw the trailer tonight and think it looks great. I hope it's excellent and delivers!
Old 01-13-06, 11:13 PM
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People from Texas give very brief reviews of films that they like.
Old 01-13-06, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by B.A.
People from Texas give very brief reviews of films that they like.
That's fine. Let's not ask for more, please.
Old 01-14-06, 01:25 AM
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Most of the reviews for VfV has been very positive, so it's good to know it looks we're finally getting a strong adaption of one of Alan Moore's many masterpieces. ("From Hell" was good, but still a poor adaption of the source; "Constantine" was only an average horror film; and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" was a dud.)

The source graphic novel is a modern classic, in a very similar to vein to other classics like "1984" and "The Handmaid's Tale."

And the movie posters I've seen for it awesome. (Please use them for DVD covers, okay?)
Old 01-14-06, 08:27 AM
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Glad the reviews are good. I'm hoping more reviewers will stick to the film as opposed to speculation about who it will piss off after each paragraph.
Old 01-15-06, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
That's fine. Let's not ask for more, please.
As opposed to your deeply helpful, articulate insight and critiques...which the people here are falling over themselves to get more of.

-JP
Old 02-07-06, 08:23 AM
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"Remember, Remember, the month of November" still has me pumped about this movie. I have heard about a different ending. Gonna have to Google this...
Old 02-07-06, 08:30 AM
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excited to hear that Warner Bros is releasing this to IMAX theatres as well.
Old 02-07-06, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gijon213
"Remember, Remember, the month of November" still has me pumped about this movie. I have heard about a different ending. Gonna have to Google this...
remember, remember, the fifth of november.
Old 02-07-06, 07:11 PM
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I saw a trailer during King Kong and my reaction was

"that is by-far the dumbest looking hero I've ever seen"
Old 02-07-06, 08:12 PM
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The trailer I saw for this before The New World has me very excited. The only lines I'm trying to read in reviews is whether they enjoyed it or not. I can't stand the majority of today's reviews because they'll more like summaries of the movie. I don't know the source material, so I'm going in pretty much blind.
Old 02-08-06, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommy Ceez
I saw a trailer during King Kong and my reaction was

"that is by-far the dumbest looking hero I've ever seen"

If you don't have a little knowledge of the source, it can look cheesy.

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