Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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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 suck?

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 to make.


I love watching documentaries, the Discovery channel is my friend but do you think the big screen is ready for a documentary about penguins?

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 in.


V FOR VENDETTA and MARCH OF THE PENGUINS are in cinemas now.


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