Monday, March 27, 2006

v for very facile


Went to see V for Vendetta. It was overblown and tumid, anti-Bush / Republican propaganda. Not that I am a ravenous Bush supporter... But this movie was retarded. A real triumph of superficial half-wittedness.

There was an amusing scene in the end where "V" (the Guy Fawkes / Ninja protagonist) slaughters the Karl Rove character and his henchmen and blows up the Enlgish parliament in an ocean of blood and fireballs.

Apart from that, I give it six thumbs down.

11 comments:

Seppuku Kid said...

WB,
The graphic novel behind this story was written in the early to mid 80's. Surprisingly, the movie sticks surprisingly close to the book. The changes that were made for the movie were typically either eliminating sub-plots or updating it for a 21st century audience (For example the angry TV show host/ex-general was originally a radio host/ex-general). I'm not sure why so many on the right believe that making a movie about a totalitarian government is "anti-Bush/Republican."
Was Orwell's 1984 too anti-Bush for you, too?
SK

cjdm said...

blessed wb:

i think that V is a pretty good movie. in fact, i have seen it twice. it has problems...of course...but i wonder if the puritan anti-royalism is what bugs you...

saints preserve us!

love , -c.

father wb said...

You're right, SK. It was a timeless classic. As applicable to all the other gay-hating, xenophobic, muslim-fighting, Christian fundamentalist, Iraq-attacking administrations down through history as to the current one.

There's absolutely no basis for all of the media reviews that hail the movie as "timely."

father wb said...

cjdm --

What irks me is the ability (and the licence) assumed by the makers of comic books and comic book movies (excuse me for not making a distinction between a comic book and a "graphic novel") to comment meaningfully on contemporary politics. The lack even of a pretense of nuance is really tiresome. Isn't it the RIGHT who are supposed starkly to reduce the world to moral black and white?

I'll grant you, apart from the political subtext (or more properly: the political TEXT... there wasn't much "sub" to it), I had few formal grievances with the movie. Except that it was not as action-packed as I had been led to believe. But that too is probably due to the fact that the makers of the movie spent their energy bloviating in a rather grotesque, Bill O'Reilly-ish way.

Pop Culture political commentary, by the way, annoys me wherever I find it. From Eddie Vedder scrawling "Pro Choice!" on his arm on MTV Unplugged, to The Rock's absurd attempt to declaim importantly at the 2000 Republican National Convention.

J-Tron said...

As applicable to all the other gay-hating, xenophobic, muslim-fighting, Christian fundamentalist, Iraq-attacking administrations down through history as to the current one.

How refreshing to see you making such an unabashedly political stand.

father wb said...

JT --

No political stand here, unabashed or otherwise. I'm just taking a stand against facileness masquerading as profundity, or mere meaningfulness. See above re: Eddie Vedder and The Rock. Its not about politics. Its about the way people talk about politics.

Seppuku Kid said...

WB,
The "gay-hating, xenophobic, muslim-fighting, Christian fundamentalist" aspects of the movie were all in the graphic novel twenty years ago. I'm not sure to what you are referring as "Iraq-attacking," unless it is the eerie parallel between Evee being tortured and Abu Graib, but this was all in the graphic novel, as well.
Perhaps many find the novel to be "timely," but it was in no way changed to depict this administration.
To paraphrase the Bard, the right doth protest too much, methinks.
SK

Seppuku Kid said...

Also, WB, in case you are curious, the gay-hating, etc. administration that Moore and Lloyd had in mind when they produced the novel was that of Thatcher. Hence the setting in England.

father wb said...

SK--

From David Loyd about his involvement in the movie:

"To me, what it has become is like a political cartoon, like the sort of thing you see in a newspaper..."

From James McTeigue (director) on his talking about it with the Matrix Brothers:

"We got toward the end of the third films [sic], Revolution, and we started talking about how relevant V for Vendetta still was, how prescient it was and in some ways how timely."

Joel Silver interpreting the movie's pomposity as contemporary relevance and intellectualism:

"I don’t think that you can watch the movie without feeling something either way. Whether the bad authority in Iraq or compare it to how we can look at Nazi Germany, it’s a difficult time. But I think that it’s a smart movie. It’s that horrible word – intellectual."

There were several references in the movie to "the war" agaisnt Muslims started by America, and to several of the villains having fought in Iraq. That was added, presumably, to ramp up the movies "relevance" quotient, as was the double dose of thematic gayness with the addition of the Stephen Fry character.

Lastly, SK, I think Alan Moore disagrees with you about how faithful the movie was to his comic book: "I've read the screenplay," Moore says. "Its rubbish."

Seppuku Kid said...

WB,
I am aware of the opinion of the authors of the original novel. I agree with them that much has been lost in translation. Especially troubling is that much of the novel's hesitance to whole-heartedly affirm the actions of the main character is absent in the movie.
Concerning the references to the Iraq war in the movie, I didn't see the war as being judged positively or negatively in the film. I do remember now the references to many of the villains serving in Iraq, but, given that many of them have a military background (in both the novel and the film), it seems only logical that they would have served in that war (rather than, say Vietnam).
Concerning the addition of the gay Stephen Fry character, he replaces two characters who were omitted from the novel. One was a pimp and the other was a radio producer, who was gay. The only really new aspect of his character was that he collected fine art. Also, the slapstick routine was wholly invented for the movie.
I still see nothing added to the novel to make it anti-Bush. I thought it was an average movie at best, but to say that the screenplay was written with an eye toward writing the current administration into the script is to ignore the shape the story has had for 20 years.
SK

J-Tron said...

Especially troubling is that much of the novel's hesitance to whole-heartedly affirm the actions of the main character is absent in the movie.

Indeed, a good bit more of that would have helped to make this movie seem less overwhelmingly contradictory about the morality of what it promotes.