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BY ADAM WAJNBERG
& JACOB ZHIVOV
APRIL 3, 2006
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I don't think art has to be meaningful. A painting doesn't
have to make you feel, a song doesn't have to inspire, a movie doesn't
have to have a message. The only thing art ever has to do is entertain.
That should be its only goal. That they will do other things is as
inevitable as it is subjective.
So what does this have to do with this movie? Well,
V for Vendetta makes all the usual mistakes of a lot of recent blockbusters.
The dialogue is dire, the soundtrack is obnoxiously loud and intrusive,
the direction is distracting and the plot is pissfuck, a new pejorative
I'm going to use right now. But all of these sins are forgivable if
it entertains. Vendetta does not.
Based on Alan Moore's 1985 graphic novel, V for Vendetta
takes place in a post war Britain that has turned fascist. High Chancellor
Adam Sutler (John Hurt) rules by instilling fear and xenophobia into
the populace through hysterical news media. Along comes V (Hugo Weaving),
a vigilante in a Guy Fawkes mask to shake up the system, with the
help of damsel in distress Evey (Natalie Portman). V blows up the
Old Bailey on November 5th, and as an encore, hijacks a state television
program and tells the population that he will blow up Parliament in
one years time. He invites everyone to join him. The film deals with
the manhunt for V over the year in between, the transformation of
Evey into V's protégé, and the uncovering of the truth
about the war that lead to the fascist government in the first place.
Sounds good, right? The movie stays pretty close to
the original book, which was an indictment on the excesses of Thatcherism
(anti-unionism, nationalism, central government). The movie updates
it's message, and is a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration-
the major players are part of a corporate inner circle that profited
hugely over the war (replace oil with pharmaceuticals), and the hysterical
news reports that keeps the populace in a constant state of fear are
standard Fox News boilerplate. That's all great, and the protagonist
is a charming, dangerous and charismatic figure- so why did this movie
It was booooooooring. As stated above, the dialogue
was woeful. "What is this place?/ This is my home. I call it
the shadow gallery./ It's beautiful". Oof! Try and stay awake,
I dare you. The action scenes were boxed in and filmed in the dark,
the same mistake which made Batman Begins such an eyesore. The acting
was sleepy and unconvincing. Hugo Weaving does the best he can behind
an immovable mask (see, that's cool in a comic, which has stationary
images- but a movie moves, for chrissake!). Stephen Rea is very good,
as the compromised investigator Finch. But Natalie Portman continues
to dry up all the goodwill she garnered as a young actress. Oh she's
bad. Not as bad as in those star wars films, but bad. Her performance
has the quality of standing water.
This was written by the Wachowski Brothers, who brought
you those Matrix films. And like the 2 Matrix sequels, this movie
takes some very provocative concepts and turns them into unwatchable
garbage. It fails to entertain, and so the interesting concepts and
worthwhile messages fail to penetrate. Go read the comic.
Having been burned by the past two Alan Moore graphic
novel adaptations I cautiously went into V for Vendetta. You see,
I really like his books but the movies have become such shit I expected
this to be the same.
Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed with this one. It
might be that this time comic book geeks wrote the script or maybe
because Sean Connery wasn't in it but V for Vendetta was a really
good film. Yes they changed it here and there and yes the dialogue
is a little stale at times but as with all good adaptations they kept
the main themes and only altered the story when necessary.
Many people are gonna harp on about how this glorifies
terrorism as it can show that one person's terrorist is another person's
freedom fighter, it all depends on the government's perspective but
in reality this film is just a good time with some interesting points
I love watching documentaries, the Discovery channel
is my friend but do you think the big screen is ready for a documentary
March of Penguins follows the mating ritual of Emperor
penguins in Antarctica. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, we follow the
long and somewhat dangerous path the penguins take in order to mate.
March of the Penguins is very interesting and a wonderful
tale of how these creatures live, survive and thrive in the harshest
climate on the planet. It is really interesting about what it really
takes for them to mate and then raise their offspring and the narration
allows you to really get an insight into what they are thinking and
educates you on the whole process.
However is it worth watching this in a cinema? For me
not really but I will say that seeing it on a big screen does allow
you to get a feeling of the size of the environment they are living
V FOR VENDETTA and MARCH OF THE PENGUINS are in cinemas