Monthly Archives: April 2014

V For Vendetta

VV For Vendetta (2005)
Starring:
Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Sinéad Cusack
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, this tense thriller tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as ‘V’. Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

10169179_705962786132773_1048676149_nHE SAID:
This unusual superhero movie is an adaptation of a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. It tells the story of a dystopian United Kingdom set in a near future. With a reasonably small cast and relatively small budget, the film was a commercial success and its a movie that splits opinion.

It is very definitely a movie that I love. In fact, this could be the Marmite of the movie world, you either love it or you hate it. I think there is just something very unique about this particular film, V For Vendetta.

It’s writing is excellent and the way lead actor Hugo Weaving delivers the lines is truly sublime. he has many self indulging soliloquies and he makes every word of them count. the other thing I liked about the movie is of course we don’t see Weaving’s face for the entire film.

Set in a Britain where the entire political system is tyrannical, this movie about the cause of one freedom fighter’s plans to overthrow the Government with the help of the people is very Orson Welles’ 1984 in its style, but I think it does a better job at making the audience understand its point. I found 1984 much more high brow and sometimes I think that some movies should try to be more on a level with the audience, but still convey an intellectual message. V For Vendetta did that for me

The movie is written by the Wachowski siblings (as one is now of the opposite sex), and I think it is probably their best offering to date. I mean I liked The Matrix and it was original, but this take on the Guy Fawkes character being responsible for the overthrowing of the Government is excellent. They manage to blend the two storylines together extremely well and the cast is the glue that keep them together. As I said, Weaving is the highlight of the film, but his supporting cast members are really good as well. Natalie Portman plays Evey who feels that she can help in some way but she has to really believe that nothing can scare her enough to back down.

The rest of the supporting cast includes Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, Roger Allam and Tim Pigott-Smith and they all do very fine jobs to make the fringe storylines an integral part of the main story in the end. I would really give this a whirl if you have been undecided on it thus far. I think if you are a fan of the history of Guy Fawkes you might enjoy this, but I just love the way its brought right up to date with a new set of characters, but the same storyline of blowing up the Government in some way. Weaving puts on a truly stupendous performance and for that alone its worth it. V For Vendetta makes you ask questions about our own Governments past and present and what might happen if the British people rose up against the powers that be in a similar way.

Fun Fact: The reason the secret police are called “Fingermen” is because the New Order was arranged on the model of the human body. The Chancellor was the Head; the television station BTN was the mouth; visual and audio surveillance were the Eye and the Ear; Inspector Finch was part of The Nose, the police force, and Creedy’s secret police were the Hand.

577722_10152754455665386_1459513467_nSHE SAID:
There are guy films and there are girlie films. Guy films usually feature comic book heroes, guns, explosions, and a sexy female. Girlie films, on the other hand usually have music by Abba, make you cry, and star someone like Ryan Gosling. Women don’t expect men to like girlie films, so men shouldn’t expect women to like guy films.

I don’t tend to like girlie films. Unless they star Ryan Gosling, I mean, come on, that guy is hot! Did you see him in The Notebook? I cried my eyes out and he was completely dreamy!

Sorry, I got kinda carried away there – it happens when Ryan Gosling is in the picture.

Anyway, I’m a woman who tends to like guy films. I love a great action sequence and I’ve always been a bit of a comic book geek. Furthermore, I LOVE Alan Moore’s work. So, why don’t I like V For Vendetta?

It’s a puzzle, really. On the surface of things, it should be a movie I love – it has everything I usually look for in a good movie – great cast that reads like a who’s who of British talent (come on, Stephen Fry is in it, and that man is never wrong!); an excellent plot that is equal part intrigue and espionage; a dark, exciting atmosphere; and faithfulness to the spirit of the source material. Still, I just never liked this film very much.

I think it’s largely due to Hugo Weaving essentially repeating his performance from The Matrix (1999), which, incidentally, I also dislike immensely. The way his voice drawls is almost identical to his portrayal of Agent Smith in the movie trilogy that started six years before V For Vendetta being released. It felt like a total cop-out from a very talented performer and sounds like he’s chewing his own face off every time he drags his heels over one of those damned soliloquies, so right off the bat, I was disappointed. Perhaps it’s also because there was a spate of dark, dystopian comic book movies released around the same time (Sin City was also released in 2005, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name – another one I didn’t like very much – what on earth is wrong with me?), and I was reading a lot of dystopian fiction at the time, so maybe I was just all dystopianed-out.

Subsequent viewings have done nothing to improve my opinion of it. I really can’t fathom why I dislike it so much – it’s one of those mysteries that I suspect may never be solved, but I just don’t enjoy V For Vendetta and I suspect I never will. I confess, every time I’m flicking through channels and see that it is on television, I cringe a little and pass it as quickly as I can whilst trying to suppress that internal shudder of revulsion.

In conclusion, V For Vendetta does not suck. It’s a slick, clever film with a great plot and it’s visually stunning. I just don’t like it.

THE VERDICT:Agree to disagree. One of us is destined to always watch this film without the other, as the other really cannot stand the thought of sitting through it ever again, despite being able to see that she should think it’s the biz.

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Glee

gleeThe popular television musical comedy-drama show about a group of ambitious misfits who try to escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club, where they find strength, acceptance and, ultimately, their voice, while working to pursue dreams of their own. Glee has been running on FOX since 2009 and opinions about it seem to be split…

577722_10152754455665386_1459513467_nSHE SAID:
When I first heard the Glee cover of Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, I cringed. I couldn’t stand what they had done to it, and at that very moment, I vowed I would never, ever, under any circumstances, watch such a travesty of a show that could take a classic rock ballad and sh*t all over it from a great height.

I am seldom so wrong!

In October 2014, I gave birth to our second son, and, as I did with our elder son, I was breastfeeding. This meant that I was up at all hours of the night and needed some entertainment. One night, while feeding our son, Glee came on, and I couldn’t reach the remote control without unsettling him, so I had no choice but to keep watching. I was very pleasantly surprised.

What I found were engaging characters, fun storylines, and some really great cover versions (and some not so great) of popular songs, old and new. I was pretty much blown away by their performances and I began to enjoy the show for the lighthearted piece of frippery it is. Night after night, I found myself tuning in as I fed our son, and inwardly cheering when his waking to feed coincided with an episode starting.

I’ve not seen all the episodes, not by a long shot, and I’ve not seen them all in order, but it doesn’t matter. I have come to love the kids of the Glee club, especially Kurt and Puck, and their trials and tribulations throughout high school. Some important topics have been covered – bullying, being yourself, alcohol abuse, gay and lesbian teenagers struggling with their sexuality, and with the death of one of the stars, Corey Monteith (who played Finn), the dangers of drug abuse and addiction have been highlighted for the young fans of the show. Hopefully his tragic death will make some of them think twice about dabbling.

Glee is one of those shows you can watch now and then without really losing the plot, and you can sing along to your favourite songs, many of which will have surprising new presentations or even be part of highly original mash-ups. The characters are quirky, the plots are fun, and the music is usually really, really good.

I have had to change my mind and decide Glee is a truly magnificent show!

I am proud to be a Gleek!

10169179_705962786132773_1048676149_nHE SAID:
Where do I begin? I HATE Glee. The whole concept of Glee Club in American schools is completely foreign to me. To then make it into a series for television is beyond comprehension! I suppose you could call me the Sue Sylvester of our family with our mutual hatred for Glee Club.

The first thing that turned me against this monstrosity of a TV show was the absolutely awful version of a true classic rock ballad “Don’t Stop Believin’” that almost made me physically sick, in fact I think I did have a little bit of sick in my mouth. Secondly, it’s the utter unrealistic-ness of the storylines. I’m sorry, but the “cool, bad boy” kid of the school does NOT end up going out with the “ugly, fat girl” of the school – it JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN PEOPLE! Then we have just about every minority represented in one TV show, the oriental girl, the lesbian (who happens to be Latina), the gay guy, the fat chick, the Jewish girl, the guy in a wheelchair. It’s just utter tripe.

THEN!, it gets worse…they happen to burst into song any opportunity. More times in a single episode than Jacob Black takes his top off in a Twilight film. (yes I know that’s hard to believe!) And it is always a watered down poppy version of a good song, or a really watery version of a rubbish pop song and of course, all fitting in the “moral of the day”. Watching Glee is like being force-fed Aesop’s Fables one after the other while being waterboarded.

Finally, the thing I hate most about Glee, other than the fact that my wife adores it is Kurt. It’s not the fact that he’s gay, I have no problem with that. It is his whole persona. The campness, the crying at every single damn thing – can’t gay guys be manly? at all? EVER? I sure there are some butch gay guys out there, but they never get a look in on television. Yeah, OK I hear you all screaming, but what about the football player in Glee, Karofsky ? Yes I agree, but not a lot of screen time there now is there? Also, Kurt appears to have no teeth… sinister if you ask me.

Do I like Glee? It would appear not 😉

THE VERDICT: At loggerheads! It’s doubtful we will ever agree on Glee. Although Kell would like it noted that for a person who hates it so much, Dale seems to have a pretty good handle on who all the characters are.