Tuesday, December 13, 2005

V for Very Anticipated

I like comic books.

There. I've said it out loud. That's not as hard to admit as it used to be. In recent years, comics have begun to shed their reputation as literature's red-headed stepchild and have come to be recognized for what they are: a vital, vibrant medium of expression that is singular, powerful, and capable of greatness.

And in terms of greatness, there's no writer more worthy of acclaim and genuine admiration than Alan Moore.

Moore is the writer of Watchmen, one of Time magazine's 100 greatest works of fiction, From Hell, a meticulously researched, phone-book sized exploration of London during the Jack the Ripper murders (amde into a decidedly-average film starring Johnny Depp) and V For Vendetta, amongst many others.

Next year, the Wachowski Bros. (creator/directors of the Matrix) are releasing V for Vendetta, an adaptation of Moore's "graphic novel," into theatres. As of now, it's the film I'm most looking forward to seeing in the new year.

V for Vendetta is an uneasy, politically charged story of terrorism, revolution, and governmental corruption. You may have seen a trailer for the film playing earlier this year. It's the one where some guy looking like an over-sized Henson puppet walks into a government building with a bomb strapped to his body. And he's the "hero."

Moore's work is powerful stuff, and for people raised with the notion that comics are supposed to be about men in tights and the young boy sidekicks who love them, it's strikingly spandex-free. It's also quite brilliant.

Over at AICN they have the first full review of the film, which was scheduled to open this fall until terrorist bombings in real life threatened to render the movie an easy scapegoat for media pundits who like to blame the ills of society on things like television and heavy metal. If you haven't read the original work, the review is full of "Spoilers," which you'll want to avoid if you want to be surprised. Below, I've excerpted a few spoiler-free passages to stoke your interest.

If you want to be unspoiled about the film and the story, I'll say this: I think this is an extraordinarily important film, but the ad campaign that the WB is presenting at this time will make the film really hated by a lot of people.

For those having not read the book, V FOR VENDETTA is a brave film that tries to find the truth in our confusing times - what is our role in our government? And how much can we stand up to oppression before it becomes terrorism?

I think that if people let it, V FOR VENDETTA could change lives. And at the same time, I am afraid of how wildly misinterpreted it will be....V FOR VENDETTA's subject matter will be very uncomfortable for a lot of people. Let's start with the word "terrorist." How does one define a terrorist? Does their motive have anything to do with it, and are their motives for violence an excuse for their actions?


At 10:56 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

This movie will totally tank, but I'm really looking forward to it. Never read the book. Do you recommend avoiding it until I've seen the movie?

At 12:31 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

It depends on whether or not you like graphic novels, I suppose.

It's a great read, but personally, I'd rather see the film first. That way, there's no "aww...the book was so much better" reaction.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Oh I love graphic novels (only exception being Sin City, wasn't particularly impressed by either media with that story).


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