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V for Vendetta

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**NOTE: There will be spoilers, oh yes, there will be spoilers.**

 

Figured we should have a thread just for people to discuss the merits/drawbacks of the film. (save the poster, dvd, and other related talk for the other thread; this should be just for dissecting the movie, etc.)

 

I know Hagren is anxious to debate it......

 

Something to get him started....

 

the fact that Moore had his name removed from the picture is telling. Of course, he might have done so merely as a protective measure: after all, in “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” he’d already seen how botched film adaptations of his work could be. If so, he was quite foresighted: “V” isn’t appreciably better than those first two debacles.

 

So Mr. Moore showed himself quite prescient in at least one respect. Whether one agrees with his vision of the future or not, you have to admit he was right to see that “V for Vendetta” would turn out wrong. That’s three strikes, Mr. Moore. 

 

After reading this review and several others (they range from giving the movie an "A-" to the above review which gave it a "D+") I'm now not expecting much.

 

A couple of the more negative ones (but from critics I generally trust):

Manohla Dargis (NY Times)

Scott Foundas (LA Weekly).

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The reviews are mostly good, though. Which is USUALLY an indication that a movie is at least decent. However, I'm not expecting any kind of genuine Alan Moore adaptation. THat will be the day! But standalone, it might well be quite good.

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Well, be sure to let us know what you think when you do see it, I always look forward to your takes on films, being a fellow film major and all (you were a film major, right?).

 

And you're right, the average grade has been a "B." It got 2 thumbs up, which should motivate many Americans to go see it. But reading various reviews, it seems the political message is muddled, and Moore's voice lost..... So unless the film sways me otherwise, I think Moore was justified in his "petulant" behavior.

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In me no one trusts? :(

:)

I want to debate it yes, but only after enough folks saw it, i didnt think about that earlier.

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Well, be sure to let us know what you think when you do see it, I always look forward to your takes on films, being a fellow film major and all (you were a film major, right?).

 

And you're right, the average grade has been a "B."  It got 2 thumbs up, which should motivate many Americans to go see it.  But reading various reviews, it seems the political message is muddled, and Moore's voice lost.....  So unless the film sways me otherwise, I think Moore was justified in his "petulant" behavior.

 

I think Moore wou'dve been justified in his 'petulant' behaviour even if the movie had been a perfect adaptation. After LXG, From Hell and Constantine I wouldnt blame him at all for losing his head and preempting the repetition of those three disasters.

 

And yeah, every informed opinion seems to indicate that Moore's original ideas have been bastardized. However, as I said, it still does seem possible that this will be a decent movie.

 

And btw, I'm a film minor (no film major at my college unfortunately) and an English/Sociology major.

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Well, it surpassed my expectations for sure

 

The good - Hugo Weaving as V

John Hurt as dictator

Some visually impressive sequences - the bombings and domino sequence for instance...

The lesbian love story was done fairly tastefully I thought

A good if all too brief depiction of Larkhill

Stephen Fry in a role that was a little more substantial than I first imagined

The guy who played Finch, shame he didnt get more screentime, the whole sequence where he goes to Larkhill is basically brushed over but he has a nice bit of dialogue at that point in the film...

The more verbiose lines of dialogue kept to a minimum, where they were used it was kinda amusing, V introducing himself to Evey and her reaction got a few chuckles...

I suppose this is a given considering who was involved in the production, but the fight sequences held up pretty well on film I thought

 

The bad - Natalie Portman's engliosh accent - not the distraction it was made out to be in most of the reviews but still, not great either

The story - basic thrust of the plot is intact, but a lot of the side-stories are gone and most of the supporting characters are given no back story

The state - its hardly given that much film time to illustrate just what s screwed up country it is...at least I know in the future I can still buy a Dell computer :)

The look of the film - far too shiny and futuristic given the grimy and sombre tones of the source material, more of a taste preference I guess...

 

Umm, that's it for now, more later if anything occurs to me, like I said, it exceeded my expectations, I get the feeling that there was more filmed in certain parts that was actually used for certain scenes, wonder if there'll be a director's cut....

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Spoilers a go go.

 

Dont want to sound like a film stuck record here but...

It was worse than i initially thought it would be.

 

I went with an intersting group of comic and film friends, some who had and had not read the comic.

 

It starts off quite promising-scaringly.

Perhaps a bit crudely, but they grasp the metaphor of the opening sequence, inwhich both V and Evey get dressed/prepared to go out into the night.

In the comic this sets up their impending relationship, and hints at Evey replacing V.

Unfortunately it begins to get drummed in heavily.

They edit V's (unsubtle frankenstein) birth in flames to Evey's rebirth in the rain.

But it's really glaring.

A more tasteful edit has an edit between V finger triggering an alarm and Evey's

finger pressing the elevator button.

 

The Alliteration massacre of V's opening speech, is really reaally bad.

The dialogue was posted on the former thread before, and it's worse in execution.

 

It all goes down hill after a premature investigation into Larkin Hill detention camp.

Then the film's pace and rhtym truly go to shit.

 

A cringeworthy scene has the emotionally flat (unintentially) police speak to a doctor in hiding, who is meant to resemmble Alan Moore.

Visually linking Alan to V himself.

The doctor ofcourse turns out to be V, and this is done very patronisingly.

 

V's diaries and Evey's reading of Valery's letters are cinematically flat, and frankly boring. ( I like Malick, Tarkovsky and some other decrepit Russian filmakers, I dont bore easily)

 

V and Evey's relationship (now being soley a romance) doesn't work.

V's also a full on Superhero now.

 

The droves of V's (if i was drunk enough it would make for an intersting comparison to the third matrix's innumerable Mr.Smith's) underwhelm.

 

Hugo is solidish, but Natalie acts in sobs.

Stephen rea (and I'm a big fan) is asleep ( I dont by him being burnt out as an excuse either).

An abundance of his role's material is dropped, including all those great LSD V profiling/empathetic sequences.

Stephen Fry and his now fused role are terrible.

John Hurt hitlers fantastically-but then that's all his role is allowed to do in the film.

He is also just simplistically plain evil and has planned everything.

 

Knife-fu-time could have been done better, but didn't stink completely.

It's inclusion? One must entertain surely.

 

Less than by the numbers film score.

 

Merit goes to potraying V as quite the mass murdering terrorist too.

This ambivalence, i had not expected to be shown.

And some of the depictions of a media of fear.

 

Basically a nuance free adaptation that for all it's preaching and sometimes just cheap political provocations cannot surface from boredom.

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Of interest, is that the film is obviously politically intended for the here and now, rather than it's eighties inception.

 

The masses of V the film appear to be poised on revolution anyway.

They are disgruntled and quick to question the validity of the news broadcasts they receive.

They are a more "positive" mass, than the mass in the comic.

The children and the elderly are especially easier to inspire in the film and positively quicker to arms.

Ther's a crap scene where John Hurt progandas fiercely, and we see that there is actually no one in their homes listening to his rants.

They are all (yes every single one) out there marching on Parliment.

 

A simplistic us vs them? perhaps.

 

It is not Anarchy that prevails in the film but a (twee) revolutionary spirit that does.

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It is not Anarchy that prevails in the film but a (twee) revolutionary spirit that does.

Sounds very English then.

Yeah reminds me about a story of when Jean Luc Godard's film "One plus one" was to be shown at the NFT bound London Film festival during the late 60's.

 

Basically, Godard's film documents Rolling stones' "Sympathy for the devil" from apparent Studio conception to the final rough cut.

However, this only comprises a third of the actual film.

 

The producers cut it behind his back and added more Rolling stones footage. Finally, imaginatively renaming it "Sympathy for The Devil".

 

Outraged, that he couldn't amend the film or it's allocated screening.

At the box office or something he tried to persuade the present british audience to go and get refunds.

The refunded money was then to be donated to the Black Panthers!!!

But no one did!!

Godard was shocked at the lack of british revolutionary spirit!!!

 

Later he arrived on stage to accuse his producer of fascism and proceeded to punch him practically off stage.

Made all the more spectacular as he is a short unimposing man.

 

He apparently then led members of the audience to a seperate screening of his original cut he had hastily set up under one of the surrounding bridges.

 

Now that's a London film festival that's worth going to!

All the ones I've been too are positively dull in comparison.

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Well, I must say, I was surprised. I was going in, suspecting the worst, and came out surprised. It was far, far from the perfect adaptation. There were some cringe-worthy moments, and much of the plot and characters had been simplified. However, on the whole, I have to say, it was a good movie, and a competent adaptation.

 

I thought the atmosphere was suitably oppressive

 

Finch. The actor playing him was really good, and he did a great job with the character.

 

Stephen Fry was also very good as Deitrich. His role was much different, but he was very likeable.

 

The action scenes, while very quick, were enjoyable to watch.

 

The Valerie/letter scene was excellent. One of the best bits of the movie.

 

Many of the visuals were impressive. The best of them being the domino scene.

 

V's monologue, while still pretty bad, was a lot better than I was anticipating. As it was played very tongue-in-cheek, it exceeded my expectations. While not good per se, it was much, much better than expected.

 

Him taking out Prothero and Surridge were all really good.

 

The Larkhill scenes were very well done.

 

The scene where Creedy "black-bags" Deitrich was very brutal, and very effective.

 

The Shadow Gallery was done well.

 

Good music.

 

The ending I liked quite a bit.

 

 

 

Natalie Portman's accent was pretty bad.

 

John Hurt's dictator was too over-the-top for my liking. He was a caricature.

 

V's blood being cultivated into a biological weapon was just silly.

 

The Bishop Lilliman scene, which was one of the best in the book, was not done very well here.

 

Creedy too, was one-dimensional. Although he wasn't much better a man in the book, at least he had other motivations and such.

 

Many of the scenes seemed a bit too over-the-top. And these weren't the ones with V.

 

I was a bit upset that Finch wasn't the one who killed V. That too was another one of the best parts of the book, and really made Finch a multi-dimensional character, instead of his more straight-arrow detective in the movie.

 

The population storming the government in V disguises was also very silly.

 

The editing seemed very choppy and unfocused. A lot of scenes would end with V looking off into space. It didn't flow too well.

 

The knife-time effects, while not as bad as I was expecting, was still pretty lame.

 

The V/Evey romantic subplot was bad. While a lot of my dislike comes from the fact that never happened in the book, and kind of ruin's V's character for me, it just was handled sloppily, I thought.

 

The William Rookwood plotline was needless exposition, and they could have handled it better (plus, it was so blatantly obvious that Rookwood was in fact V).

 

 

So yes, in summary, it is not the perfect movie. But I thought it was good by itself, and a decent adaptation. By far the best Moore adaptation yet. I would (and will) see it again.

 

And that's my two cents.

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Because no one said anything on the movie thread, i post it here too:

 

V for Vendetta.

 

Maybe it was the little screen, my bad feelings after the clips or my anger because of several factors before it, but im a bit underwhelmed (Though no, technical it cant be, because i saw WoW with only one speaker in Cinema and i liked it, and the clips also not, because i loved HP4 though i hated the clips).

 

Not in a "Oh my god this film is super-bad"-way, where i want my money, effort and time back or cant picture why other people do(nt) like it, but after the ingenious trailers, pics and storyboards/reviews and what design/atmosphere/message i saw in them, a bit disappointed. A mixed bag at least to the ubergenius comic- Though my sister didnt like it without the knowledge of the gn.

 

But didnt come out with a broken heart of cinema, because it has to be said there were quite a few superb scenes too (of course mostly the scenes taken from the comics in their almost entire purity, but i liked the changed ending as well), i just only felt so often underwhelmed between the film.

 

But lets get more torough (Spoilers most possibly ahead).

 

First the bad side:

 

1. In the comic, V is a lunatic terrorist, but still a personable and attachable person, and most of all, a very classy and royal one, with all his theatricality and wit, and a bit of fighting skills.

But, when the comic was humorous (like when he spoke to Lady Libertine), you didnt think of him as a quirky, but as very reasonable and likeable person, so you didnt laugh about him, but smile about his verbosity and intelligence. And while IMHO, in the comic, hes shown firstly as the understandable victim with high plans and only afterwards a man crossing a border, here its in the different order:

First his portayed as quirky, hyperactive crazy person, who talks too fast in overlong sentences, from which the quarter is bullshit to make you laugh, the other to make him sentient, and the third to tell you very important political things, then as the person i described above and wanted to see everytime.

The problem is only that you dont get most of it and after a while you hear just "blah blah" because as said hes coming like some bad joke and theres much repetition and blankness.

And, while the filmmakers claim that the film is about what can a person do to retain his rights, in the end it comes down to yes, the murders and bombings he made were good, because the people really stood up for him and themselves, hes portrayed like a hero with finch and evey agreeing with him and giving their hero the viking funeral.

In addition, theres a negative theatricality in him and the other actors (like Portman too) which is called overacting.

Because while in the trailer Weaving talks calmly and mysteriously, in the first part he talks like Mr.Smith in the Matrix Trilogy, what i didnt like as said.

The other actors did that too, plus with the music it was way too dramatic without you taking it seriously (This whole first point is only about the first two scenes, the Guy Fawkes one and the first bombing and some others until the middle of the film- They dont tell too much and theres no build up. And V isnt that person as i saw him in the comics here).

2. Sutler (aka Susan).

Stereotype, of a very annoying and useless kind. Maybe it was intentional, but on every scene he appeared (Most are when he talks big screen with the investigators, which is also somehow annoyingly made) you want to take a knife and cut his troath, really.

He just screams and raves and theres not that failed man backstory in it as in the comic, where he didnt get between the tighs of a woman and therefore falls in love with Fate, what was just so good.

3. Stupid TV shows with all people watching (What you also have to see).

I know i know, surely totally intentional. Still, you get sick from it.

Just this happy little average guys watching telly while go trough all the emotions a TV can deliver. Yuk. Like when they show how people think about this or that superhero in an interview in a SHfilm.

4. It was quite boring.

In the whole film there were ca. (Though, quite good) 5 actionscenes (2 bombings, 3 knife-throwing, plus some real (?) scenes of people rioting/war) and those were very short, not enough. I did not expect an action-film, but though it is important and political, it should be also enjoyable. That that works is proveable with films like Lord of War. I wasnt super-bored, but when the investigators flashed back or mentioned things you already knew, you felt a bit dumb. It was like it wouldnt hold too much content in actual happening.

5. The music wasnt so good. Im very fond of good music and i didnt feel it somehow appropriate for the film, i wanted more classical songs like when the last bombing happened, but maybe i just dont know the songs and they were supposed to be in there.

6 aka nitpickings:

-Evey loving V and trying two times to kiss him- Thats why i liked Constantine, because im sick of connecting everything with love.

-The changed V speak on the TV thing, because he just talked, without mentioning history with pictures. Missed opportunity of things people normally dont know and should. Or with textfields in the end or beginning.

-Death-sounds of investigators in the last fight- destroyed the otherwise superb action a bit.

-Overdone English words like "Bollocks" or "Bloody hell"

-Too much concentration on Eveys backstory

-scenes i wanted to see werent included

*Lady Libertine speech

*Burning the dolls

*Vicious Cabaret

*Finch taking the LSD-could be such a good horror element

*V controlling fate

*Other backstories like attempt to kill Sutler, Families of the involved etc.

 

 

Now to the good sides:

1. V in the second half.

Now thats what i wanted to see: A slow and intelligent speaking, stylish mysterious romantic guy- all this speeches in this section (Also from Fincher) were very good as well. Though his bodyacting is in the entire film constantly good, the outfit too.

2. Two action scenes (At the TV station/In the tunnel)- They kept the violence from the comic, and also some swearing.

3. Intact scenes of the comic which added depth, drama, romance and political statements, like all Larkhill segments, the two endings of the film, Evey imprisoned, Bombing of the parliament, Vs death, V killing the priest with Evey as bait, Domino etc.

4. Added scenes like V talking with Finch as an alter ego, Finch sees in the past, present and future, Vs at the Radio Station/at the parliament, V sending out masks, Stocks out of pharmaceuticals for deseases they let out, fearmaking, Eveys relationship to a tv-host (Changed to its comic source, but still good) etc

5. And of course all the political things, you know, totalitarian state what comes with it, why its not good, Terrorists not only bad, Violence spawns counterviolence, Rolemodels, Followers, Media-mirrorbending etc etc etc

 

+some Visuals

+Finch, Evey and another guy going trough changes in personality

 

 

So in sum i came out convinced of the movie thats its not a bad film and also not a bad adaptation, but it could have been easily even better and while it ran i often felt wrong.

Those who dont stand even the slightest change shouldnt see it, but if youre interested in its actors, visuals, changes or political statements etc, go watch it. Because maybe im wrong.

At least it was sometimes very well made, in dialogue, information, visual, style or being faithful to the gn; spawning political discussions, thoughts trough hints.

Its just not so over-superb what i thought it will be. Hope it doesnt happen with X-Men 3 too.

But i will watch it again sometime, maybe alone, with subtitles to really understand everything.

Because its of course much better then Garfield, Daredevil, LoeG, Hulk, Fantastic Four and all this crap (Of course!).

 

(And i also have to say, Chris, was Constantine really so bad? I mean you enjoyed F4, what was a fun but bad film, and LoeG was only bad without being fun!

And you Adrian, did you watch it again? Because back then you were a bit positive about it

For me its still one of my favs with Hellboy, the X-Men and Spiderman films)

(just to keep it all in one place Hags, with respect)

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Tesotsterone: thx :)

I tried my best to review it. Though funnily i felt Grinning Fellows comments to be nearer to me than yours, and he liked it quitely, while you didnt (I found it average) :)

 

Thx to you also, soldier. I will then delete it from the other threads :)

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I just read over your review right now, Hagren (I didn't want to read it last night, as to keep myself safe from potential spoilers), but I too think it's a very solid assessment of the film. While I personally don't agree with every point on it, I think you summed things up very well.

 

I'd also like to echo my dismay at the lack of "This Vicious Cabaret", which was one of the most brilliant moments in the book. Even if it were added into the score or something in the background, I would have been satisfied.

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I despised the romance angle and Portman brought her George Lucas inspired acting to the table for this film. She was a horrid choice for this film. I thought changing her reason for being out at night at the very begining undermined her character.

Hugo did a fantastic job but like many have stated before the lack of back story for the main characters and the hurrid pace of the film ruined it for me. However, on the plus side it is the best adaptation of a Alan Moore comic.

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Two questions:

 

*Is the bollocks V monologue in the film? The one where everything begins with a "V"? Is it followed by Evey saying "are you, like crazy?"

 

*Does anyone say "eggy in a basket"?

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Two questions:

 

*Is the bollocks V monologue in the film? The one where everything begins with a "V"? Is it followed by Evey saying "are you, like crazy?"

 

*Does anyone say "eggy in a basket"?

Yes, someone please inform us!

 

I think the answers to those two questions are what will make my decision to see this or not.

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The "V...V...V..." monologue is definitely in there - I've seen it mentioned in several reviews as the low point of the film. Dunno about Eggy In A Basket, but I have been repeatedly told that it presents a very "Hollywood" version of English culture.

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The "V...V...V..." monologue is definitely in there - I've seen it mentioned in several reviews as the low point of the film. Dunno about Eggy In A Basket, but I have been repeatedly told that it presents a very "Hollywood" version of English culture.

I believe the eggy in the basket is.

But what's worst is how it is used in the film's narrative.

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Both are there, yes.

SPOILER

The speech is right after he killed the fingermen, in a fast-paced, breathless, funny way. Many people laughed.

But of course i didnt like this presentation.

(I think Evey says "Are you what, like a crazy person?)

 

The eggy in the basket is in there twice, once cooked by V, once by Gordon, where he says the name, V dont. Evey asks V how he made it or something, and tells Gordon that her mum made it when she was younger and that its good.

 

GR. Fellow: Thx. Youre review was good too, close to my viewpoints imho.

The Vicious Cabaret could have been easily done in the middle of the film or even at the end, somewhere near the credits, as some music-video kind.

Or yeah, as a Wurlitzer-played-song.

 

Lyra: Yeah, they should have Eveys and Vs background/relationship leave as it was, i also didnt like this Love thing.

And while i dont think she was so bad, she was a bit annoying and far from her lovely Garden State character.

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In typically hollywood fashion that they neutered V's only love competition by making the comedy host gay.

The flashbacks to the camp with hugo letting out primal scream almost made me laugh. It is the blank stare he gave the doctor after he emerged from his cell that kept the doctor up at night.

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The comedy host was gay?

I didnt get that (I think)!

 

Yeah i also found that funny.

I mean silence is scary. Growling and howling isnt.

Kroenen was also because of that such a good villain.

 

They should have made it like in the comic, where he just looks at her blankly and turns his back on her.

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After V's monologue Evey says "So you're like a crazy person."

 

Stephen Fry mentions the eggy in a basket. I think Gordon was made to be gay because Stephen Fry plays the role, typecasting in reverse.

 

Three of my friends, non-comic fans, went to see it last night. Two of them liked it and want to read the comic book now, the other one didn't really get it and shuddered when Prothero was featured half naked :lol:

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The comedy host was gay?

I didnt get that (I think)!

 

Yeah i also found that funny.

I mean silence is scary. Growling and howling isnt.

Kroenen was also because of that such a good villain.

 

They should have made it like in the comic, where he just looks at her blankly and turns his back on her.

He mentions he needs to invite young girls over to his pad to keep up appearances because he can't be who he truely is. Portman realizes he is a homosexual once she sees his Mapplethorpe like fetish photograph collection in his secret room.

 

 

Like you said the blank stare would have worked better. They could of done some really neat special effect with it if they wanted to add emphasis anything but an incredible hulk scream.

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