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Miriamele
March 23rd, 2006, 04:22 PM
Has anyone seen this movie? If so what was your opinion of it?

I'm curious because from the previews it looks rather interesting, and I was thinking of seeing it. But my sister just saw it and very thoroughly hated it. She expounded for a good 15 minutes on its apparently infinite faults.

Now I am wondering, is she just crazy or is it really that bad?

kater
March 23rd, 2006, 04:38 PM
I think she's right, I didn't like it much either - I started writing a review about it for the site once I'd watched it, but the review was so negative I stopped. I like Alan Moore's comic/graphic novel version, to me it's a classic so that influenced a lot of what I didn't enjoy - if you haven't read it there's some things to enjoy about the movie, but I'm not going to recommend it :)

Evil Agent
March 23rd, 2006, 09:34 PM
Well, it has a pretty good rating over at Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com), which is IMO by far the best, most comprehensive website to check out movie reviews.

Bond
March 24th, 2006, 01:49 AM
Has anyone seen this movie? If so what was your opinion of it?

I'm curious because from the previews it looks rather interesting, and I was thinking of seeing it. But my sister just saw it and very thoroughly hated it. She expounded for a good 15 minutes on its apparently infinite faults.

Now I am wondering, is she just crazy or is it really that bad?

I enjoyed the movie but I can see how the movie can be pretty polarizing and lead others to despise it. There are times it gets somewhat weird and stretches credulity extremely thin.

What V does to Evey near the end for example could easily be seen as a "What the **** was that? kind of experience and hard to buy. Could someone seriously after a short tantrum just accept what happened like Evey did? Also the repentent doctor was maybe a little too accepting of her fate.

Conservatives might take offence at the way parallels could be drawn to the current situation and the reaction of people to terrorism although that could also be seen as a strength of the movie. In that sense it could draw reactions similar to that Michael Moore documentary.

I also didn't like the gay vibe I got from it. I don't like watching Christian movies that are too preachy. I don't like the flood of Jewish holocaust movies that harp on the horror of what they went through through WWII although I am probably more understanding of that. I generally don't like black movies that are pretty much all about being black. For the same reason I found it a little irritating when they put in the lesbian love story.

Also the kind of story overall has a somewhat stylized and surreal sci-fi comic book 1984 feel so it isn't exactly a comfortable movie in that regard either.

In general if there was something wrong with the movie I think it was because of overdose not because of dearth.

Miriamele
March 24th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Hmm, interesting thoughts guys, thanks. I think I will still see it but I'll definitely wait until it comes out on video. :)

Shehzad
March 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM
I actually liked it a lot. Though I have not read the graphic novel, I am somwehat familiar with its themes and it was evident that some of the subtlety of those themes had been lost in the attempt to cater to a broader audience. Having said that, I still feel that much of the story was carried intact and did have an impact.

It will polarize the viewers, for sure, particularly in view of the not-so-subtle digs at the Bush administration. But all in all, it was a good spectacle, and I for one am glad I got to watch it, and no IMAX too!

Ouroboros
March 27th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Saw this tonight before going to the gym.

I was presently surprised. Before viewing it, I deliberately avoided reading any reviews, whether in the mainstream press or in my beloved SFX magazine.

Briefly, this is a flawed but rather good movie, and is probably the best movie treatment of anything by Alan Moore to date.

On the plus side, Huge Weaving and Portman are adequate as leads. Weaving is curtailed to some extent by the nature of his role: Wearing an inflexible mask all of the time on-screen is a basic element of the V character, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to great visual drama ... Perhaps this is something that always worked better on the pages of a comic book, where there is always an element of statis about characters' faces.

I'm really quite fond of Portman as an actress, she has a strange effect on me, where I'm caught between protective urges (really is very small and fragile-looking) and thinking she is incredibly attractive. Maybe the two things aren't really all that mutually exclusive. Anyway, she is a solid enough as Evey, and her british acccent faulters only at a few points.

Arguably the supporting cast are stronger. Stephen Rea is excellent, albeit a little dry for some people's tastes. Stephen Fry is also pleasant, although there is a case to be made that here we yet again have him effectively being himselfand having it called acting. John Hurt I was less impressed with, for a change. He spends the movie as a face on a screen hamming it up and not really convincing as a kind of Christian-influenced uber-fascist.

Really, I enjoyed the movie as an adventure melodrama with some interesting imagery and devices plucked from Moore's graphic novel. I say plucked, as this is far from an accurate translation of the text. The Wachowski brothers have arguably remained true to the spirit and intent of Moore's work, but there are significant changes made also.

When the film is good, it is very good.

When Evey has her head shaved and is tortured, for example, I was genuinely uncomfortable in my seat. It was not pleasant viewing, although hardly graphic at all. Arguably it was in fact rather tame torture, as Portman's character seemed suspiciously pretty even at the end of it all. Nevertheless, it worked on me on some level.

Likewise, the final scenes, with a horde of ordinary citizens in Guy Fawkes masks descending on parliment, work very well, and fulfill the promise of the excellent TV speech by V at the outset of the movie.

With that said, there are also significant flaws and questions to be asked about what exactly this movie is saying.

The Wachowskis significantly dumb-down and only use Moore's original text selectively, and the result is that at times the V character comes across as a kind of cryptic buddha spouting little nuggets of half-nonsense and platitudes.

There are obvious comparisons being made between the movie's regime and the current American administration, and indeed one of the characters mentions something called "America's war" which subsequently led to civil war and disaster in the world of 'V for Vendetta'. In a broader sense, the War on Terror and media focus on violence and danger is also pilloried. Normally I am not a fan of the usual anti-Bush rhetoric which is mindlessly trotted out and passed off as intelligent commentary, so I am pleased to report that the movie can still be enjoyed if you can mentally put aside the ham-fisted politicking.

The politics of the movie are actually somewhat of a shallow veneer, indeed. I think the fact that the relationship between V and Evey was given a romantic element actually demonstrates that the Wachowskis didn't have total faith in Moore's original portrayal of the V character purely as a faceless anarchist terrorist, a tremendously dangerous iconoclastic force. They've made what was originally a solidly anti-thatcherite protest text into a ... well ... a bit of a mixed bag. Not necessarily a bad one, mind.

With that said, I think if you go into a Wachowski brothers movie for the insightful political commentary, then you're already barking up the wrong tree.

mrwizard
March 31st, 2006, 04:15 PM
Thanks, that was a good review!

I haven't seen it yet but was planning on seeing it this weekend - I heard it wasn't as action-packed as people expected it to be. I'm a really big fan of Natalie Portman, though, so I bet I'll like it.

Ouroboros
March 31st, 2006, 04:49 PM
Who's that in your avatar, mrwizard? I thought it was Patrick Stewart at first...

Evil Agent
March 31st, 2006, 06:24 PM
I believe that avatar is a picture of Mr. Wizard! I forgot about him. He had a tv show in the late 80's/early 90's, teaching kids about the basics of science, via cool little experiments (sort of a precursor to Bill Nye the Science Guy).