on 26 February 2011
I dont see many blu-ray reviews here so I thought I would address that imbalance.
This is top notch entertainment. The film can be interpreted on many levels. It can be seen as an action flick with many amazing set pieces with gunfire, explosions and gory violence. Or it can be seen as a deep political statement with strong relevance to the uprisings happening currently in the middle east and north africa. The recurring message of mass popular acceptance of a dictatorship which is corrupt, violently reactive to any form of criticism and outrageously favouring cronies could have been referring to any one of the regimes now undergoing revolution. In Tunisia a man set fire to himself and provided the stimulus for people to wake up and use their collective power to overthrow their totalitarian government. In Egypt a Facebook page was the initial stimulus. V only exists because the fascist state experimented on him and his wish is to be the spark for a British revolution. It is a complex story of government manipulation of media, the deliberate creation of an atmosphere of fear where the populous feel a need to depend on the government. The parts are played beautifully. The lengthy verbose utterings of V are given life by Hugo Weaving who also plays small side roles. Natalie Portman doesnt quite pull of an English accent but still gives a deeply moving performance which completely drew me in and made me believe. John Hurt plays a psycho-nutter-fascist prime minister very well too.
Is it worth buying the blu-ray if you already have the dvd? Well, hmmmmmmm, sort of. I didnt see much improvement in the picture quality. But the soundtrack is a completely different story. If you select the DTS-HD soundtrack, which is not the default, your expensive sound system will treat your ears to a feast of amazing zinging explosions and gun battles. The music, particularly at the climax of the film, will just about lift you out of your chair. For me, it was worth the money just to repeatedly sit through the 1812 overture with synchronised sub-woofer assisted explosions coming from all corners of my tv room.
on 20 January 2007
Having just read some other views I'm greatly suprised that anyone should dislike this film but I think as someone has already commented perhaps it is a film that you'll love or hate. I've certainly never seen so many reviews about one film on Amazon before, and whether peoples responses are positive or negative it's certainly got them all talking. I've not read the original comic book, and have not read 1984 since school which it was partly based on. However I still found this a very original, incredibly thought provoking film which blew me away. Hugo Weavings acting was absolutely spectacular and although I thought him a good actor I never realised he was a great actor. To make you feel for a character who's facial expressions you can't even see as they wear a mask all the time is no mean feat. I also thought despite some other peoples reviews here that Natalie Portmans performance was definitely her best yet and I thought her rather good and that she has potential to be a vey good actress.
My partner and I could not miss a second of it and had to pause it for toilet breaks and couldn't sleep for hours afterwards talking about it. After I'd watched it I had a similar feeling to when I'd first finished reading Lord of the Rings that I had just experienced something brilliant, the like of which one only experiences a few times in your life.
If you love brainless, mindless action films then this film probably isn't for you, if you want a film which will sit you down and make you think about your life and the society you live in, then this film is for you. My only other thought is that when I was young I might not have appreciated this film so much, but older and much wiser about the world and free of the rose tinted views of my youth, I think made me appreciate it much much more. Well done all involved in producing it. I feel compelled to got out and do my part to help improve the state of the world.
on 31 May 2007
This film stands as strong as the Matrix did in its day. Being loyal to the Matrix film, V for Vendetta is also decieving until the end. At first the film seems to be a comic book action film (similar to the Matrix) but by the end it asks some challenging questions about the nature of our reality and I believe there are many truths in this film. Notice the government logo is a doublecross and this is not by accident. The film asks the question, 'who are the real terrorists?' - and I think it is a viable question since this film is based in a fascist England with the gagging of the media to fabricate the news and the imprisonment of those who do not fit within the regime.
Evey's parents were imprisoned and died after becoming political activists when their son died of a virus outbreak and Evey realises that there is something wrong with their country.
In many ways this film paralells real life, many have said that the media is controlled, the government using covert means to control its people.
I completely fell in love with 'V' played by Hugo Weaving, and I must say is acting in this is flawless. I found that I could not entirely connect Hugo with 'V' as his accent was wonderful and his portrayal of 'V's character was a lot different to characters I have seen Hugo play before. 'V' is such a lovable character, there is one scene where Evey walks in on him play acting and he is embarrassed and doesn't know what to do with himself which I found hilarious.
But as with many characters 'V' has a tragic background which has sort him to exact revenge on others. The film doesn't patronises the audience by showing the wrongs of violence, instead it gives us 'V's point of view that sometimes violence is needed, and although we find ourselves grappling with the argument that it is not, I believe that the audience knows that the violence is wrong, that 'V' is wrong, but you can't help being sympathetic to his cause as he has also been wronged.
All in all I found it an enjoyable film, slightly slow at first, speeding up towards a crescendo ending. If you love films which challenge our view of reality then this is a film for you.
on 4 November 2007
Wow, this movie was such a wake-up call ! It really goes to the core of the issue : we, the mass, the populace so much despised by our elite, have been hypnotised to think that WE needed THEM to carry on with our lives, that we need THEM to show US the Way. The truth is the opposite, counter-echoing Chancellor Sutler's claim : "THEY need US". The Elite need the People to be maintained in power, that's why they feed us lies and brainwash us, dumbing us down, making us living in fear so that we won't revolt against their domination.
This wonderful movie shows us what would happened if people suddenly woke up and realised they've been deceived and manipulatesd by their governement. The deviant elite would be done, over, good bye, sayonara.
In this movie, it's V who plays the role of the wake up call. In real life, here and in a not so distant future, who will take on that role ? Will there be another V, hundreds, thousands of V's all shouting in One Voice : ENOUGH !" ? Or will we need something more powerful, like a kick in the butt in the form of Nuclear war and World fascism ?
We still have the choice, not for long but we still have it.
It's up to all of us.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November...
on 3 November 2007
This is truly a fantastic film from the Wachowski brothers, and everybody must get a copy and watch it. It conveys a stark and terrifying message that is eerily similar to the changes in society and government we're seeing today; though that is one of the main themes: are we truly seeing them, and if so, what are we going to do about it? As the saying goes, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. As another reviewer said, we need to all find that part of ourselves that is exemplified by "V" and to stop living in a dream world of denial and complacency because these are the very attributes that have been the fertiliser - as well as the innocent lives lost - for totalitarian repressive regimes.
Informative and inspiring, and should go hand in hand with psychological literature by authors such as Martha Stout, Robert Hare, Andrew Lobaczewski, etc. It can only stop when we get to the very root of the issue, and that is pathological deviance in all its dark hydra-like forms.
on 5 November 2007
V for Vendetta needs to be seen at least three times as the depth of plot and subtle details are too much to grasp first time through - and it shows in the reviews.
Many other reviews give excellent synopses of the film so I'll not repeat them but look at the films core message - People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. A message for our times!
The government is totalitarian, has total control of the media (and therefore people's minds), has a system of arbitrary arrest and detention (rendition), almost total surveillance of the populace (total information awareness), used the deliberate spread of a virus and the resulting mass death to gain power and wealth (eerie parallels to WMD, avian/human flu, US and UK corporations). If these parallels to our present don't get up and slap you in the face then you clearly haven't been paying attention.
This is where the heart of the films message lies. However in order to deal with totalitarian government people have to be informed and to care enough to do something about it. But to do this they have to overcome their fear. The need to overcome fear is portrayed as V torturing and imprisoning Evey so as to break her of her attachment to the illusions of everyday life. Only through caring enough about the future of us ALL over and above our individual safety can we lose our fear.
When we are without fear we can achieve great things. The ability to affect change is within us all, we don't need an external V to show us the way when we have our own internal V.
A great, thought provoking movie for our times. If you care about real freedom I highly recommend this film.
on 2 March 2007
Another film from the Wachowski brothers - the guys who did The Matrix and directed by James McTeigue also from the Matrix crew. The story is about alienation, loneliness, intolerance, repression but ultimately hope and is set in an England of sometime in the near future.
Following a nuclear war between the USA and continental Europe, the USA is paralysed by it's almost total destruction. England, which had escaped the nuclear confrontation is suffering from the after effects of mass outbreaks of deadly virus. It now has a right wing fascist government lead by a nasty Chancellor played very nastily by John Hurt. He's surrounded by the usual elements of a dictatorship: government controlled media, thugs with the lovely name of Fingermen who are lead by Tim Piggott-Smith who gives a great performance as a horribly corrupt Creedy. Natalie Portman (Evey) becomes accidentally embroiled in the acts of terrorist or freedom fighter (depends on your view as always) enigmatically named 'V'. Despite wearing a Guy Fawkes mask for the whole of the film Hugo Weaving (another former Matrix actor) manages to portray emotion only by voice and body. As the film progresses we learn that V is a former prisoner of the régime and has been used for medical experimentation which has altered him mentally and physically. Mentally he's full of revenge, physically he's more than normal with wonderfully enhanced reflexes and strength. Stephen Rea plays the good copper who while investigating V's merry spree of revenge killings also uncovers why V is so enraged and the real secret of the corrupt régime.
Like the Matrix films there's a hefty lump of fancy karate tricks, knife throwing, bangs and flashes but unlike the second and third episodes of the Matrix the story flows nicely without the need to strain the brain.
Not totally convinced by Natalie Portman but it's a small irritation overall. Hugo Weaving is excellent and Stephen Fry puts in a very good performance although in a fairly minor role. All in all an entertaining flick - 7.5 out of 10. Enjoy the film but get the book as it's much better, 'longer', a more sustained and interesting plot and better characters.
on 5 September 2006
I wanted to hate this movie because I love the graphic novel and I knew Holliwood would destroy the film so I watched with the intention to pick flaws for the first 30 minutes... After about 45 minutes I started to actually enjoy the movie - and it's pretty faithful. The film also takes some risks - the book (if you haven't read it) has a seriously dodgy plot device half way through which Alan Moore carries off ... just. I couldn't see the film doing the same but well ... you'll see.
My only gripe is the intro bit about Guy Fawkes which manages to be both historically inaccurate and patronising at the same time - maybe American's don't know who Guy was but if so either carry on regardless or at least be reasonably accurate.
on 24 April 2015
4.5 out of 5
In the late 2020s, the United Kingdom is the only last stable government in the world and is led by the oppressive Norsefire party. Under such a tight regime, the people are controlled at every turn. The exchange? Bow down and you’ll live in peace and safety.
From out of the shadows rises V (Hugo Weaving), a Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing caped activist who has a thorough plan meant to topple the present government and, over the course of a year, expose the Norsefire regime for what they really are and inspire the people to be free.
After being saved by V from an attempted rape, Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) goes into hiding in V’s lair and learns not only of V’s plans for the UK, but also about herself, her fears, and what it will take for her to rise from her own ashes to help him on his quest.
This movie was based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
Hugo Weaving is insane in this. His acting is through the roof! I mean, come on, the guy had a mask on the entire time. You don’t see his face, and yet with every nuance of every word, every expressive tone, every bit of body language, you didn’t need the aid of a face to sell you on what he was saying or why he was saying it. No small feat and was truly amazing. And that “V speech” when he introduces himself to Evey? Go. Watch it. Now. Awesome.
Natalie Portman is the bomb as Evey Hammond. I love her in nearly everything she does and her performance in V for Vendetta is no exception, especially when her character starts going through the wringer and she starts to break down. That scene where she gets her head shaved? That happened in real life. That was really her hair and was a one-take deal shot with three cameras, and a very poignant scene in the film. Her journey from start to finish is the audience’s on-screen link to V and his quest, and by the end, you’re with him one hundred percent.
While there are some differences between the movie and the graphic novel, they by no means take away from it, in my opinion. There will always be differences when adapting books to film.
V in this flick is a kind of Robin Hood-meets-Zorro figure, but instead of having the people behind him, he’s on his own with only Evey at his side. However, over the course of the year the story takes place, and as V unfolds his plan, the people start to get behind him, first in their hearts and then in their actions.
Speaking of action, I love V’s fighting in this, spinning his swords and holding his own against multiple opponents. Some of the trickery he uses to evade capture also reminds me of Batman-like tactics.
The movie is a strong one, interesting from start to finish, and one that not only inspires, but makes me grateful I live in a free country like Canada and not in a fascist state.
V for Vendetta also spilled over into the real world—our world—inspiring folks to wear Guy Fawkes masks during public demonstrations, like Occupy Wall Street. If that doesn’t show the impact of a movie, I don’t know what does.
This is a superhero movie with depth and is an important addition to any superhero fan’s library.
on 6 August 2013
First off there is 5.1 audio in English, Castilian Spanish, French, German & Italian.
Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Latin Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese & Swedish on the movie and selected features.
Genre: Political Thriller (I'd say)
Starring: Hugo weaving, Natalie Portman.
Director: James McTeigue
Now that that's out of the way onto what it looks like on Blu ray, visually this movie is not exactly Avatar, its quite dark at times with dark alleyways, sewers and prisons. So you don't get a lot of color until blood is spilled. Not a lot of scenic shoots is how I'll put it. BUT it certainly is London in HD, this is V, not Alice in Wonderland after all. But for the scenes with light and color in them it really does show a wonderful contrast to the dark world portrayed in V for Vendetta.
Also the audio is just fantastic, the movie has great dialogue and a lot of explosions and classical music that are shown off greatly on Blu-ray. The smart menu is pretty cool too.
As for the Special Features, the highlights for me were; England Prevails: V for Vendetta & The New wave in Comics and Designing the Near Future.
There's also a cool Director's Notebook that compares the comic to the movie as you watch if you so wish to enjoy.
Overall its a great movie that makes you think, great comic too by the way. The cover design looks really great compared to a lot of Blu-ray covers, it looks very clean. Makes me want to pick up a Steel book version of it too. I didn't get a slip cover with mine but whatever still cool and something that you will watch probably more than a few other movies in your collection at a nice price.