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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.
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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.
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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.
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on 18 May 2006
Having been a fan of the graphic novel for many years I was interested to see how exactly the Wachowski's intended to translate Moore's early 90's view of the future into a believable concept for the twentieth century. Despite what most of the purists may say, Moores original view of totalitarian britain has aged somewhat, and an exacttranslation of the graphic novel onto the silver screen would have been far too esoteric and inaccessable for those who had not been previously introduced to the material. What we have here the is an adaptation of the original concept of the novel, with some of the plot points rearranged and characters redrawn, in order to fit a movie format, and to better explore the intricacies of this fascist police state. Whereas moore portrayed a world where the government is in complete control, both of the nation and the hearts and minds of the citizenry, the Wachowski's have altered this somewhat. What we have now is a government that controls through deception and spin, by creating fear in the populace and presenting Anglo-christian based national socialism as the cure for all ills. This is in contrast to moores vision where the government rules by intimidation and violence, the citizens of britain are brow beaten dogs utterly submissive and incapable of thought, in this movie the populace have simply been kept in the dark and are awaiting someone to turn the light on. Enter V.

What makes this film such a triumph is it's assertion that no matter how entrencehd a governments control becomes, there are always going to be people who question them always people who look at the world and sense something is wrong. People know when they're being lied to, know when spin becomes outright lies and are perfectly capable of standing for their own rights. Of course V's attacks act as the catalyst for this process ut the ultimate act of herosim is performed by the public.

Yes there are better action films, yes there are better films that question the world we live in, but very few do both with such style and grace. This time the wachowski's managed to of their message without recourse to big black coats and rage against the machine music. Rebellion isn't just for angry teenagers- it must be for everyone.
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on 20 March 2006
I have to say I was a little apprehensive before watching this film. I'm not normally into 'political' movies but it turned out to be very different to what I expected.
The USA has erupted in civil war. The previously most powerul nation on earth has collapsed and begs Britain for aid. Britain, on the other hand, has emerged as a dictatorship run by a Conservative chancellor. Every matter of 'security' within Britain is done for the 'protection of the citizens'. There is something very wrong with Britain, but no one knows quite what it is.
No one, except V. We never find out V's real name, or in fact anything about him. We never see his face but we do know his philosophy. That the people should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of its people. Guy Fawkes knew it, and died for his beliefs. V is merely trying to free the people from the hold of the government.
On November 5th, he takes control of the British Television Netwok and broadcsts his message. One year from now, the people should unite and meet in parliament square and show the government that they want change. They do not want a dictatorship.
V's transmission causes gradual chaos....and exactly one year on, Novemberr 5th, the plan will arrive at its explosive climax....or will it...?
The cast in this film are incredible. Who can argue with John Hurt as the chancellor? We only really see his face and huge screens or TV as he projects his message to the people. Stephen Fry also appears as a BTN presenter who protects the heroine of the film.
Hugo Weaving, is as always, cast perfecly as the elusive yet fascinating V. He posesses outstanding fighting and knife skils and well as a mysterious background. A background we are never fully told about, although we can piece together clues from flashback of V's life and what he tells Evie (Natalie Portman). V is a good character, who hides behind a Guy Fawkes mask for the whole film. His methods are twisted in some instances but in others, his compassion for those who done him harm is touching. He never wavers from his plan, and yet he is gentle in some of his actions. The way he dealt with the experiment doctor of the detention centre I found particulary moving, and I decided that V was a good character despite his actions.
Natalie Portman puts in an excellent performance as Evie, or e-V as V happily notices. It seems her destiny was meant to be on V's side. Her life is drab, a normal officer worker until the day V saves her from government forces. From then on, the viewer can see their ralationship would intertwine throughout the film.
The music in the film, particulary the use made of Tchiakovski's work made me grin for a good long while after the film came to its satisfying ending. We are left hanging onto whether V's plan will go ahead or not, and what the outcome will be. However, the ending was visually amazing and coupled with the musical score, fantastic.
From what I have heard it does differ very slightly from the Graphic Novel. I haven't read it myself but my OH has so if you're looking for a complete copy it may not be 100% loyal to the novel. As far as I know, the only noticable variations are some of the dialoge and parts of the ending.
All in all though, this is one excellent film. I will definately be buying this when it comes out becuase I don't think I can possibly take in everything from watching it first time around. Even if I could, it's worth buying just for the ending.
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on 17 November 2006
Firstly let me make one thing perfectly clear - the fans of George Orwell's 1984 MUST see this film. If you were in any doubt at all about the poor 1980's reproduction of such a brilliant piece of modern literature, this film will confirm it. I was amazed that I had to skim read 29 previous customer reviews to find any mention of 1984.

The environment within which this film is based is that of a society ruled by a republic (although God Save The Queen/King is still heard throughout the film) and a Chancellor who rules the hearts and minds of the public with an iron fist. The entire flavour of the film is a fantastic re-creation of Orwells bleak vision. The Wachowski Brothers even pay ultimate dues to the original 1984 film by casting John Hurt as the Chancellor!

That aside, this film is entertaining and wonderfully shot. V's dialogue tended to be a little over the top in places and the plot maybe stretched the plausibility senses once or twice but overall I was very satisfied with the end result. I must add that I have never read the comic books, so this review is based purely on the merits of the film.

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 9 August 2015
What we have here is one of the most far-fetched films ever made. BUT, not in its core premise, which is that power corrupts, completely. So that people in positions of power reach a point where they will literally do anything - anything at all - to hang on to that power. The propaganda machine that the "government" in V For Vendetta use to manipulate the citizens, is very similar to what goes on in the mainstream media right now, it is just a notch less overt. But not far off at all in intention and execution, just more nuanced and subtle.

The far-fetched part is the way that "Anonymous", or "V", is able to carry out the things that he does in the film. To hijack the media or to use a tube train full of explosives to destroy the Houses Of Parliament. But of course all of that is not literal but symbolic, a metaphor. Therefore it serves to make the film entertaining and also convey the larger message.

The origin of "V" and the sub-plot of the way that humans were unwittingly used as guinea pigs for drugs, or worse, intentionally poisoned or compromised health-wise, has indeed happened on numerous occasions in numerous countries. It is not fiction at all - it is exactly the kind of abuse of power, and corruption, that I referred to at the beginning.

Hugo Weaving's voice, which he delivers with a soothing lilt, is perfect for the role of V, Natalie Portman also is excellent. Tim Pigott-Smith is very menacing too. Very enjoyable film that is still relevant, I hope in 10 years time it is out of date because the rotten system has been dismantled by then, I hope and suspect we are progressing in that regard.
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on 15 July 2013
A film for all times, perhaps unfortunately. Speaking a truth through entertainment, what is subtle in life becomes overt here for us all to see. We are to be entertained but hopefully it provides a spark in the mind that will stop us blindly agreeing to whatever we are spoon fed by the media and governments, which while it sounds paranoid you only need your memory to last a month to start seeing contradictions in newspapers and quotes from politicians.

The chancellor is a flat out copy of George Orwell's Big Brother from the excellent book 1984 which by the way should be read by anybody who enjoys this film. The film charts a year in the delicate creation of a Marxist type rebellion, the building of a symbol which can unite the masses. It is all about the complete overcoming of fear, the fear that makes lies truth, that squashes freedom under foot and from the chaos the future is born.

It is of course a film which demands repeated viewings you will get more out of it but besides that it is a good watch however many times you watch it especially with the verbose V who is an always enchanting orator which shows us the power of language and its preciseness in complexity when used properly.

V for Vendetta seems to have had an unbelievably small budget, highlighted by the fact that one of the props looks like a book light with the bottom trimmed, still in spite of the apparent lack of cash the film is not dulled and its message is no less sharp, if anything it adds to its power.

The film builds to a magnificent crescendo worthy of the best piece of music. Watch and learn and be humble.
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on 4 May 2013
One word - Wow. I read the back of the DVD case and it says the lead female character, Evie has to decide if V is villain, or hero, and after watching it, granted it is not real, but V is a hero in my eyes. It genuinely is a fantastic storyline. A Britain totally ruled by the government, with it's curfews, everywhere watched by security cameras "for your protection", all seen over by a high chancellor, who even says what music the people should listen to. Then comes V, saving a young woman from what the lawmen promise to be a vicious rape. He takes her to a building, over looking the Old Bailey and as 5th November comes in a series of explosions destroy the court. The government cover it up, saying it was a planned demolition. Next V attacks the news centre, where, after delivering a message to the people, he kills police officers, as well as dressing people up as himself. Later that night, news reports state that the terrorist has been killed. He kills a man known as "the voice of London," as well as a member of the religious fraternity with a penchant for young girls, and finally a doctor. After witnessing a co-worker killed, as she hides under her bed, Evie is apparently prisoned and freed by V when she says she'd rather die than betray him. Fast forward to November 4 one year on, and V's plan nears fruition. A figure wearing a V costume runs down a road and is shot dead by a law man. Her murder incites a riot. On the eve of Bonfire night, V kills the high chancellor and a group of police officers sent to kill him, but he is mortally wounded in the attack and dies. Having given Evie the choice whether to blow up the houses of parliament, she decides the country needs hope, and with V laid in state on a train, packed with explosives, she completes his mission and starts the train. A huge crowd watch the destruction of the parliament building, each one dressed up as V. A police officer asks Evie who V was, and she replies "He was my father, mother and brother; he was my friend; he was me, he was you, he was all of us." I myself was slightly disappointed by the thought that Evie might not use the lever, and also that V's true identity was never revealed. Apart from that, it was an excellent, enjoyable movie experience. Very Highly Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2014
The film follows the story of the graphic novel by Alan Moore very closely.

Evie Hammond is a young woman in a dystopian world where Britain is ruled by the Norsefire Party, a neo Nazi dictatorship that rose in the response to political weakness. One night she falls victim to The Finger after curfew and is saved by the shadowy character V who takes her under his wing and awakens her to the wrongs in society.

A powerful film which asks very hard questions and in which Alan Moore restates the point made by Jefferson that governments should be afraid of the people as that is what we mean by democracy.

A superb film, watch it on November 5th.
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