UNIVERSAL DONOR
REVIEWS THE WORLD
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V for Vendetta
dir. James McTeigue
I dug this movie, but the only other person I've talked to who admitted to liking it is my physician, which is a bad sign. Because she has terrible taste in movies. Ha ha! But seriously, folks,I did enjoy this movie. Like many people who ventured out to see this the night it opened, I enjoyed the comic on which it was based. Alan Moore demanded his name be removed from the credits and all promotional hoo-hah, so full credit for the movie's source material went to the artist, David Lloyd, which is weirdly dishonest, if unavoidable.
     You can't blame Moore for dissociating himself from a movie of his work. His excellent comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was turned into an absolutely fucking retarded action flick (whose posters hilariously showed the acronym LXG executed in a futuristically beveled (whatever) ingot of brushed steel, even though the story takes place in Victorian England) that ranks with the worst of the millennial spate of comic-based movies (Catwoman, Fantastic Four, and the so-bad-I-can't-look-away-must!-look!-away! stillbirth called Daredevil).
     The movie of his comic From Hell wasn't bad at all, but it took some rather drastic narrative and historical liberties for the sake of entertainment value, including a gripping final scene in which Prince Albert Victor corners Jack the Ripper in the bell tower of Big Ben, whereupon The Ripper reveals himself to be the tenth descendant of Oliver Cromwell, (raised, like the eight generations before him, in a fearful, self-imposed, and monastic exile) come to London to exact his family's revenge on the monarchy and restore himself to the Lord Protectorate; however, Jack (aka Oliver XI) and his plan were sidetracked when, confronted for the first time with the decadence and wickedness of contemporary urban life in London, he felt compelled to enforce a philosophy he calls Extreme Puritanism (E.P. for short) which involved pure thoughts, bland diet, and the disembowelment of whores. Jack is about to rip Prince Albert in a similar fashion when Queen Victoria appears out of nowhere just in time, lifts Jack over her head and growls: "We! Are! Not! Amused!" and flings him from the tower into the Thames.
     Whoops! See what happens to me?
     Back to the review at hand. The film was a reasonably faithful adaptation of a fairly cinematic original, though neither is what you'd call action-packed, both being less concerned with kicking ass than with making readers/viewers think about totalitarianism. I believe this is an important thing for art to do, and maybe it clouds my critical faculties. The dialogue is unquestionably silly at times, as are some of the plot points. But Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman were both really fucking impressive, expecially because you forget that the former is wearing a mask almost immediately.
     I know this review is late, so it may only help you decide whether to see it on DVD or whatever, and I'm sorry about that. I thought it was definitely worth it, and many people who I talked to who didn't like it seemed to be overly grumpy, impossible-to-please fanwads. They can always suck it. See the movie with people who like movies.
.: . . . . : .7.8. . :
4/27/2006 • link

9 comments:


Anonymous Stu said...

Ahem.
*cough*
*cough*

You seemed to dislike it rather strongly when you came out of the movie.

Or were you only agreeing with the nearby overly grumpy, impossible-to-please fanwads (*cough*) because you were afraid we would hurt you otherwise?

4/27/2006 5:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait... you're serious?

You liked this spewing, choking, heavy-handed bastardization?

Golly.

4/27/2006 5:26 PM  

Anonymous Stu said...

Anonymous (Or should I call you Joe Klein?), I would probably go with "melodramatic, bombastic, cliche-ridden, only sporadically interesting bastardazation that managed to hemorrhage the massive stockpile of goodwill I went in to the theater with" over "spewing, choking, heavy-handed..." but, oh well. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

4/27/2006 5:31 PM  

Anonymous ConfusingWizard said...

I liked V for Vendetta and I told you that like... 2 months ago. Apparently our conversations aren't as memorable as the ones you have with your physician.

Anyways! I think what I liked most about it is that I saw it in suburban/almost-kinda-rural Texas and the theater was packed with slack-jawed pigshit-dicked um... Texans expecting The Matrix 4. And what they got was like 20-30 minutes of action spread throughout a bunch of storyline that, as UD put it, makes the viewer think about totalitarianism.

I have a feeling a lot of the audience I watched it with maybe didn't think as much about totalitarianism as they did about "where's da 'splosions at?" (until the end, that was quite a 'splosion). But MAYBE some of them MAYBE saw some of the parallels to modern issues and the current administration and blah blah... MAYBE they were ...converted? or something. I don't know.

So maybe I liked the situation I saw the movie in more than the movie itself. But I DID like the movie itself somewhat...I think? Yeah, I did. And I'll watch it again sometime when it's out of theaters.

4/27/2006 6:39 PM  

Blogger Universal Donor said...

Oh poop, Stu. I liked it when I walked out, and was a little puzzled that both you and the group of acquaintence-peeps at the front of the theater thought it was so bad. But neither you nor they were the fanwads to which I referred -- I was mostly talking about web reviewers.

It seems like the key to the complaints is, as you and fucking Anonymous* say, "bastardization," which to me implies overconcern with the text's parentage.

I'll add something after this comment when I get home, But I may have to review Starship Troopers. If you read this comment before I get back, Stu, please refrain from making public derogatory remarks about ST. You'll see why after ther review comes out.

* Sign comments, please. Use the "Other" option if you

4/28/2006 6:49 PM  

Blogger Mike said...

Starship Troopers is one of the most brilliant, underrated movies I think I've ever seen. It drips satire and parody from every pore, from the script to the casting to the Nazi-style uniform they put on Doogie Howser (Hauser?).

But anyway. V for Vendetta was entertaining and I never read the comic book, so I don't have to be morally outraged about how it didn't live up to the vision whatever Alan Moore something travesty etcetera.

4/29/2006 11:58 AM  

Anonymous stinkeefresh said...

I like V too. Mostly I liked that moment when (uh... wait a sec... SPOILER! That's it.) Queen Amidala has just gotten out of her torture cell, all fearless and shit. Then she realized she's been punk'd and starts to appropriately freak.

And Agent Smith is all "hold on to your fearlessness! Most important moment of your life! Etc!" And then she does and it is. When I saw them entering that moment the armchair director in me said "yikes! That's one tough 'beat' to pull off." But I thought they did it pretty damn well.

Anyway- my fav part.

5/02/2006 2:31 PM  

Anonymous stinkeefresh said...

UD, will your SS Troopers review include the way in which the film is like, say, one of those little hardcover Edward Gory books? You know, the whole 'artifact' thing? because that's even more interesting to me than the fascism.

5/02/2006 2:34 PM  

Blogger Constintina said...

I saw V For Vendetta in a mall in Tampa so it was xtra good. The part where Natalie Portman reads the lesbian movie star's autobio made me weep. I left the theater giddy as a schoolgirl hopped up on cherry coke. I mean, enjoying the movie requires suspension of disbelief above and beyond what is reasonable to ask of an audience, but I knew what I was in for. It's (ideologically muddled) anarchy porn, and it is not reasonable for me as an audience member to ask certain things of porn. There's an unspoken contract--we ignore the implausibility of much of the plot and are rewarded with pretty explosions and bizarrely hitch-less people's uprisings. If the moneyshot isn't your bag, I can see why the film would just annoy. But if you go in for that sort of thing, wtf are you complaining about?

I never read the graphic novel, so I cannot speak to that particular set of concerns.

6/16/2007 1:25 PM  

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