V For Vendetta: Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Jul 31st, 2006

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Starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry, Rupert Graves, Ben Miles, Tim Pigott-Smith
Written By: Alan Moore (comic book), Andy & Larry Wachowski
Directed By: James McTeigue
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com link

I never got to see V for Vendetta in the theaters so I was anxiously waiting for this DVD to come out. I heard good things about this film, and I’m happy to say that the film lives up to the hype! I think the only thing I may not like in this movie is Natalie Portman’s fake British accent…but then again she does get dress up in a little girl’s outfits so the bad accent can be quickly overlooked..

V For Vendetta takes place in the not so distant future in London. The city is in a crazy totalitarian state with curfews, cameras & microphones all over the city, listening trucks driving by hearing people’s conversations, and all artwork & other unacceptable things are removed from society. Sounds like the United States in 3 years or even now…There’s some hard nose dictator named Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt) that looks like Hitler but thinks like Bush. It takes a so-called “terrorist” or freedom fighter, who’s code name is V (Hugo Weaving) to awaken the city and make them think for themselves and not to fear the government. His methods are a bit revolutionary but its to get the job done in the end. He dons a Guy Fawkes mask and costume and speaks calmly and is very intelligent. Guy Fawkes was the co-conspirator of trying to blow up Parliament on November 5th 1605. He was caught, and everyone involved with the gun powder plot was executed. The beginning of the movie follows Evey (Natalie Portman) as she’s walking through the city, passing the curfew of when you can be out on the streets and gets harassed by some cops, and is ultimately saved from V. She befriends the mysterious V from having to live with him in his underground lair, and finds out why he doing these things, but also discovers her true self and what she believes in. Besides going after the government, V has a personal vendetta to settle and goes after those people along the way. V and Evey have some difference of opinion on some subject matters but in the end, the two join forces together to take down the totalitarian regime.

I didn’t know what to expect from the movie but after seeing the film finally, I feel like watching it again just because it’s hard to follow at times. But because it’s also an awesome & intelligent action/drama that makes you think. Sometimes drastic measures need to be taken in order to shake things up and take down a corrupt government. I can see why the film was pushed back because of the London terrorist attacks, but also just what is said in the movie and what’s going on with the world today. Plus, the film attacks the current U.S. War in the Middle East. Someone who rises up against the government with some radical ideas and thoughts will never sit well with the overall public, but for me that’s why I like this movie so much. It’s sort of punk rock in a way, because it has that anarchy aspect of overthrowing governments and the graphic novel (aka comic book) was written around the time of the Margaret Thatcher era so i’m sure Alan Moore and co. wrote this, listening to some music from The Exploited and The Clash haha. But I can see both sides of the fence with the subject matter of V. His methods might effect innocent civilians like blowing up places, but his overall goal is something I admire. I guess those people can be considered collateral damage to reach his objective? But who is to say what’s wrong and what’s right? That’s like what’s going with all the crap in the Middle East right and has been for thousands of years it seems. But don’t feel like getting into all that here.

But as far as the film is concerned, it was very stylistic and I loved the look of the Guy Fawkes mask & costume. I believe I have found my next Halloween costume (and i’m sure tens of thousands of other geeks out there as well). Just everything in the movie was designed really well and gave it that cool retro look, even the “big brother” signs looked cool! When watching V for Vendetta, I thought of other movies like 1984 and Equilibrium. Though I think V for Vendetta is a more intelligent & better movie than Equilibrium; but who cares I still liked both. I loved the dialogue in this movie, even though it was hard to keep up with it sometimes. There are just so many V words out there that I never knew existed! That’s another reason why I have to watch this movie again, is just to rewind and have the speeches sink into my head. The speeches are so long, I can’t imagine how Hugo Weaving remembered all of that. But then again, he’s a theater guy so that kind of stuff comes natural to him.

His performance behind the mask was really remarkable; he really brought the character to life thru the that mask. At first I was wondering how they were going to pull that one off but they ended up making it work thru the dialogue, hand gestures, body movement, and the film score. Natalie Portman was on and off for me. I thought she was good in some spots but then the accent got distracting. It would fade in and out of British, which usually happens to all American actors & actresses when they try to speak British. Couldn’t they just say she was an American that grew up in London or something? Her accent in the movie was as believable as Madonna’s! The rest of the actors were good including John Hurt, Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry. It was nice to see Ben Miles in a movie because I think he’s a great actor and was funny as hell in Coupling.

The bonus materials are mostly on the second disc but there is a making of featurette on the first disc. That goes for about 18 minutes long and it’s just your standard making of featurette. Interviews with the actors, creators, producers and all of that lot. Missing of course are the Wachowski brothers (or brother if you will). I thought the actor that has the most interesting things to say throughout all the extras was Stephen Fry. He seems like he really took in this story, really believes in it and what is being said. The second disc has 3 featurettes, a music montage, and a trailer. I like watching the design featurette because that was what fascinated me while watching the movie. I also liked watching the featurette on Guy Fawkes and the gun powder plot. I never really knew about Guy Fawkes but I feel like reading up more about him because it’s very interesting! There’s a decent amount to watch but I was kind of hoping for something more in-depth if this was being considered a “special edition.”

I can’t really compare the graphic novel to the movie since I never read it and only just saw this movie. I liked how the film was dark (which I hear the comic is even darker & grim). I’m not sure the movie was dumb downed or not, but I thought it came off really well. The action was kick ass when it was there, but people expecting this to be some superhero action flick will be disappointed. It’s more like a political thriller with action in it. My only complaints for the movie were Portman’s accent & the character of V wasn’t developed fully. You don’t really get emotionally attached to his character enough to care if he lives or dies or not. But you do get to know that he’s an avant reader and exceptional cook. But he is a terrorist in some people’s mind and a freedom fighter in other’s minds. Who’s to say who he really is or not. The story is interesting but tends to get confusing or slow in some spots. Overall the movie is quite entertaining and makes you think at the same time. Definitely worth watching that’s for sure!

– Making Of
– Designing The Near Future
– Remember, Remember: Guy Fawks And The Gunpowder Plot
– England Prevails: V For Vendetta And The New Wave In Comics
– Cat Power Montage
– Theatrical Trailer

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: the first encounter with V was cool; the Old Bailey scene was fun, the fight scene at the end was awesome and the parliament and everybody wearing Guy Fawkes outfits was just as awesome! Oh yeah, Natalie Portman in a little girl’s outfit! haha.
Rating: R
Running Time: 132 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: