Friday, March 17, 2006

V is for 5, which times ten equals 50

Welcome to my 50-post spectacular.  I thought about doing a nice little montage of some of the great posts that I’ve put up, but I think I’ll just let you scroll down through the page instead.  50 Posts!  That averages out to a post every 1.3 days.  Not too shabby considering nothing ever happens in my life.  It’s the blog about nothing.  

Instead you’re going to get my latest movie review: V is for Vendetta.  In an attempt (successful I might add) to avoid studying I went to a sneak preview last night.

I thought this movie was fantastic.  You should take that review with a grain of salt since the last movie I saw in the theater was Underworld Evolution, which I’d give a “Very Good” rating, at least pertaining to its genre.  But V gets a straight out fantastic, regardless of your movie preference.

You can read about the plot elsewhere so I’ll skip that mandatory step of a film review.  I thought the acting was great.  Hugo and Portman were great as you’d expect.  Sure Portman was bad in the Star Wars films, but not worse than EVERYONE else in those movies.  She seems to have a great record in non-Star Wars films.  My only critique of her is that she seems to weigh about 13 pounds.  I have no idea if her exceptionally thin frame is natural, but she does appear to be one of the smallest humans ever.  Otherwise she’s great.  Hugo similarly never disappoints.  He conveys V extremely well despite having his face covered the whole time with the moderately creepy Guy Fawkes mask.  Of special note is the supporting cast, mostly Brits, who are great across the board.  They really sell their roles as bureaucrats and revolutionaries.  

The story is extremely interesting and very pertinent to current political issues.  Although it has obviously applicable criticisms of the Republican party (primarily to conservatives and the religious right) and the current presidency, I never felt it was doing so unfairly.  I support both the Republicans and President Bush, but read the movie as a cautionary tale of how their actions could go too far.  I took it more as an anti-big government film, not an anti-our government film.  And personally, I felt it was Pro-American.  V’s similarities in actions and ideology match very much with revolutionaries that started our country.  Although the 1812 Overture, featured prominently as part of V’s plan, had nothing to do with America when it was written, I think it’s been accepted as a national anthem of sorts.  

The effects were great as you’d expect from the production team of The Matrix.  The only commentary needed here is that stuff does indeed blow up and it looks awesome.  

The movie isn’t without flaws.  V, though a sympathetic character, is by no means a perfect one.  He redeems himself for the most part, but he goes through some reprehensible actions to do so.  Additionally the film uses homosexuality as its symbol for an inalienable right that the evil government condemns.  I admit that I couldn’t think of any other single issue to use as a symbol of personal freedom that’s been unfairly seized, but they hit up homosexuality several times throughout the movie, almost to the point of making it seem part of a specific political agenda.  The final criticism I had was that the film was pretty heavy handed.  Not only do the themes and political messages lack any semblance of subtlety, but the visual imagery is also pounded into your head.  The movie is beautiful, but they do go out of their way to show you EXACTLY what each scene is harkening back to.

So not a perfect film, but extremely good.  If you can handle Holocaust imagery, throat slashing and British cursing I’d highly recommend it.  Hurray for comic book adaptations actually being good!  Now if only video game movies could figure out how it’s done.  

Song of the moment: The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky.  


Amy-Alisa said...

I'm pretty sure I won't ever see this movie, but I always like knowing my sibs opinions of movies so even if I don't see them, I can always have something ready to say about them. I did notice that it got a tomato and not a splat on Rotten Oh, and Happy 50th Post!

ellie o said...

Ok, I know this may get me banned for life here but what is with this R rated movie stuff? I wondered about Coke, but I KNOW there has been specific counsel against watching them--how does one reconcile that? That was something I had to consciously address in my life as I made changes. I am genuinely curious as to the thought process in the justification. (yes, I realize I sound a bit naggy and self-righteous, both of whicfh may be worse offenses in themselves.

too_intensified said...

I pretty much agree. I liked it, but a bit heavy handed. As for the homosexuality, they played that up a lot, but did you not notice that almost everyone was white? In addition to homosexuals, the government had persecuted other minorities as well. They just talked about homosexuals more than anyone else.

It seems unusual to me that this film is being catered to the mainstream crowd-- it seems like the themes this film addresses are usually in subversive films in independent theaters. Which is a good thing... it's just pro-revolution which doesn't seem like it usually gets a big budget. But I guess you can do that when you remove the situation to a different country and the future.