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V for Vendetta (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2006)

The 2-disc Special Edition of the 2006 film directed by James McTeigue.

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"Remember, Remember the Fifth of November"

  • Dec 22, 2008
Rating:
+5
"The people always have some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. . .
This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector."

-Plato

In the 1980s comic books took a revolutionary turn (one the likes of which had not been seen since the `60s and `70s) and became politically and socially relevant again. These were the days of conservative and consumerist values, when Ronald Reagan was president and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. A Cold War was being fought and the lines between freedom fighter and terrorist, democracy and imperialism were quickly dissipating. It was in this political climate that David Lloyd and Alan Moore created V for Vendetta, a highly intelligent graphic novel series. V for Vendetta was brilliantly written and illustrated and helped to prove that comic books weren't just for children; they were literature. The film V for Vendetta is based upon the graphic novel and was written by the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix Trilogy).
V

"As in private life one differentiates between what a man thinks and says of himself and what he really is and does, so in historical struggles one must still more distinguish the language and the imaginary aspirations of parties from their real organism and their real interests, their conception of themselves from their reality."
-Karl Marx


In a bleak totalitarian future, Britain has become a cesspool for corruption, conformity and brutality. People's civil rights are being severely violated by the government, under the leadership of Chancellor Sutler. The people are misguided, apathetic, and fearful of the harsh regime that rules over them but that's about to change. One night a young woman named Evey is caught by corrupt police officers after curfew. They intend to rape her but astonishingly (or predictably, if you're a comic book expert) she is saved by a costumed vigilante, who wears an antiquated mask of guy Fawkes. His name is V and he has a deep hatred of the current government, a hatred that was born when he was tortured and experimented upon.
He invites Evey to join him on the rooftops fro a "concerto" which he will conduct himself. Reluctantly she agrees to go and there she watches in shock and amazement as V detonates the Old Bailey. The next day a police squad is sent to obtain her for questioning but V shows up and saves her... sort of. He takes her back to his underground lair where he makes her breakfast and asks her to join him in his revolution. She agrees but only does so with the intention of escaping. V uses Evey to gain access to his targets but she manages to get away. Soon she is caught and arrested. She spends months in a small gloomy cell being tortured and interrogated before she is released and learns to master her fear. Meanwhile Chancellor Sutler increases his power over the population by overwhelming them with misinformation in the media. He utilizes scare tactics and military force to keep any dissidents in line but the people grow quietly more rebellious. V has promised them a revolution will commence on November the 5th and he has planned to liberate them and avenge those who have been wronged. But is he a lunatic or a hero, a guerrilla freedom fighter or a monstrous killer? Maybe he is all of those things as well as being the only hope for ending Chancellor Sutler's wicked regime... and yet at what cost?


"One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

The film is skillfully directed by newcomer James McTeigue and features an amazing cast including Hugo Weaving as V, Natalie Portman as Evey, and John Hurt as Chancellor Sutler. Other cast members include Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, Roger Allam and Sinead Cusack.
V for Vendetta (2-disc Special Edition DVD)
V for Vendetta is a disquieting film, a film that is thought provoking and questions authority. It daringly asks questions about the world in which we live but it leaves us to find the answers. The film is understandably controversial, especially in the age of terrorism, distortion in the media, genocide, biochemical warfare and rampant political corruption. The story shows us the dangers of combining religious fanaticism, puritanical thinking, and social intolerance while handing the government complete control. The film certainly won't appeal to many conservatives or centralists. It's an extreme film that attacks extreme problems. Even creator Alan Moore disassociated himself from it, feeling that the screenplay was not faithful to his story*. Yet despite the film's many flaws it remains very relevant to the issues we face in modern society.

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
-Malcolm X

* For an interview with Alan Moore about his disapproval of the film adaptation, check out the following sites:
http://www.mtv.com/shared/movies/interviews/m/moore_alan_060315/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX7ehbE1vc0&NR=1/
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/12/movies/12itzk.html/
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/12/movies/12i.http://www.lunch.com/?pagewanted=2&_r=1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3650...-C-for-controversy.htmlV

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December 15, 2010
EXCELLENT review, this is one of the best I own.
December 15, 2010
I adore the book and I was one of those people who wish that the filmmakers had stuck with Alan Moore's original story and characters more, but having said that, I love this film. It has the perfect combination of action scenes, revenge melodrama, superhero concepts, and political intrigue. And the cast is just damn near perfect.
 
August 28, 2010
So here is the difference between the film and the comic. The film is about freedom, heroism, the power of people and I feel it is a very American film (representing values and beliefs American society believes in, no offense) The book represents V as more morally ambiguous, the society as darker, the plot more about anarchy, and the ending much more open ended and not as cheerful. It is about England, as 1984 was, as other utopias were. It feels familiar at England. That being said, if you watched the film, read the book. If you read the book, watch the film, I understand Moore, the film is not a good representation, but it is a good work on its own nevertheless.
August 28, 2010
Yes, the film tried too hard to address current political issues with Bush's presidency rather than focus on the issues of Britain as addressed in the book. Moore summed it up quite nicely when he said that his novel was about England in the '80s, about Thatcherism, racism, and anarchy versus fascism. With the film, it's more about the Bush/Cheney regime, fear tactics in America, and democracy versus fascism. As I mentioned in the review, the essence of "V" was captured in the film, but the changes that were made were significant. As will always be the case, Moore's works can never be captured on film in the same manner that they are on page. Part of it is that the characters can't internalize or express themselves non-verbally in films the way they can in graphic literature, plus there's the element of motif and visual symmetry (more noticeable in "Watchmen" than in "V") that doesn't translate to the screen.
 
August 09, 2010
Agreed-- despite the inevitable flaws on screen, what a splendid story, as I love dystopias, from the safety of my chair.
August 09, 2010
As do I, whether they are written by Orwell, Bradbury, Dick, Huxley, or Moore. Filmed versions of these masterpieces tend to vary in quality and faithfulness to the original, but still manage to entertain. This film for me, despite its many departures from Moore's graphic novel, was very impressive and it packed quite a punch.
August 10, 2010
I tried reading "Watchman" and it seemed to take hours for me to barely get into it a few pages, as the visual information was so dense. I did not dislike it, but as a non-reader of graphic novels as a rule, I felt like there was a learning curve. Would you advise one to watch the film without finishing the book first?
August 10, 2010
I almost always suggest reading the books first because so often the movies reference specific elements, plus it gives you greater insight into the world of the story. However, unlike a lot of comic book and graphic novel fans, I don't recommend "Watchmen" as the first book in the medium that you read. Like with any medium, I always suggest starting off with the basics (generally, more simple works) in order for the reader to become acclimated to the art form. If you're new to comics and graphic novels, I'd start off with "Maus" by Art Spiegelman. It's a more basic layout and the art isn't as flashy (it's in black and white), yet the story is very involving and well-written.
August 28, 2010
Maus is a good recommendation. Both V for Vendetta and Watchmen are visually really complex. About watching the films and reading the books, I prefer to watch the movie first, so when I read the book and realize how much more amazing the book is, I do not end up hating the movie, for I ahd seen it once and appreciated it for its own sake. For when I am watching the movie with the book in mind I am like "they left off that, they changed that, I hate my life" but if I watch a movie a second time with a book in mind I think of what they left out, but also what they did well too.
 
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More V for Vendetta (Warner Bros. H... reviews
review by . August 20, 2006
I've never read the graphic novel, but I don't think you need to read it to appreciate the movie. There are some that will, upon seeing this film, say that it was akin to Andrew Lloyd Weber attempting to make a political statement: overly dramatic. These people would be well served to remember that the symbol of drama is a mask, which certainly begs one important question- Why, if you are so put off by an overtly dramatic motion picture, would you choose to see a movie that stars as the (anti)hero …
review by . August 04, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Though the packaging of both the theatrical release and the DVD suggest that V FOR VENDETTA is yet another action hero comic book foray, nothing could be further from fact. James McTeigue has directed this Wachowski Brothers adaptation of Alan Moore's comic book into a story that is intelligent, frightening, spectacularly produced and acted and the result is a fable for our minds to consider.    Swooping out of the time in England in 1605 for some background as to the mission …
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"Remember, remember the fifth of November," for on this day, in 2020, the minds of the masses shall be set free. So says code-name V (Hugo Weaving), a man on a mission to shake society out of its blank complacent stares in the filmV for Vendetta. His tactics, however, are a bit revolutionary, to say the least. The world in which V lives is very similar to Orwell's totalitarian dystopia in 1984: after years of various wars, England is now under "big brother" Chancellor Adam Sutler (played by John Hurt, who played Winston Smith in the movie1984), whose party uses force and fear to run the nation. After they gained power, minorities and political dissenters were rounded up and removed; artistic and unacceptable religious works were confiscated. Cameras and microphones are littered throughout the land, and the people are perpetually sedated through the governmentally controlled media. Taking inspiration from Guy Fawkes, the 17th century co-conspirator of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5, 1605, V dons a Fawkes mask and costume and sets off to wake the masses by destroying the symbols of their oppressors, literally and figuratively. At the beginning of his vendetta, V rescues Evey (Natalie Portman) from a group of police officers and has her live with him in his underworld lair. It is through their relationship where we learn how V became V, the extremities of the party's corruption, the problems of an oppressive government, V's ...
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Details

Director: James McTeigue
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: March 17, 2006
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006
Runtime: 132 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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