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Wed, May. 3rd, 2006, 05:04 pm
Mr Wombat reviews:

Silent Hill (movie) - Overly long, rambling nonsense that did too good a job of mimicing the source material where there were also lengthy periods that lacked any sense of urgency regardless of the surroundings. That they had to explain the vast majority of the plot in flashback speaks volumes (which is *fine* in a game but when you're paying some git tens of thousands of dollars to adapt a story you expect a bit more) about how poorly it was written. Sean Bean was criminally underused throughout - his character should have had much more to do than act as an exposition point. All that said, the music, SFX and visuals were brilliant, though since they mimiced the game quite closely this is an achievement of the special effects folks rather than the director or producers. The creatures in it varied wildly, they made the mistake of mixing CGI and live actors so the CGI ones looked crap but the relatively simple costumes on the live actors did look creepy and convincing. Purists may be a little pissed about the choices of the monsters since they were seemingly chosen more for their "Kewl" factor than their relevance to the plot - attached as they are to the mindset of the protagonists in the various games.
The kid was great though, she was easily the best part of the film.

Three pairs of Radha Mitchell's breasts being prominently displayed all throughout the first third of the movie out of ten pairs of Radha Mitchell's breasts being prominently displayed all throughout the first third of the movie.



V for Vendetta (movie) Stylish, slick and brilliantly acted. My only gripe was with the ending so I can't say much about it but I have the same gripe about most comic books involving an anti-hero of the people and I might go into it more in the comments (where there will undoubtedly be spoilers people).

Nine Alan Moores getting over themselves and shutting the hell up out of ten Alan Moores getting over themselves and shutting the hell up.



Wanted (Comic book) - Juvenile, hateful, mysoginistic, racist, mastubatory thirteen year old revenge fantasy bullshit disguised as a "dark" comic about a world with only super villains. It starts by insulting the reader personally and then just goes downhill from there to insulting their intelligence with the drivel that pours forth from every page and then insults their sensibilities when they realise the cash spent on that book would have been better spent on cheap whiskey with which one could douse Mark Millar and set him on fire. Utter utter bollocks. Fanwank drivel of the highest order, I've honestly never read anything worse in terms of either quality of writing OR how offensively stupid and ignorant it is with regard to every aspect of the human condition. I sincerely hope everyone involved in the damned thing is abandoned by everyone they ever loved, catches syphilis from a rotten whore and dies alone, screaming and setting themselves on fire. There is irony there, this comic makes you into a worse person simply by reading it.

Absolutely no "dark" fantasy comics where the writer thinks racial slurs and unrealistic slides into desentisation are gritty out of ten "dark" fantasy comics where the writer thinks racial slurs and unrealistic slides into desentisation are gritty.



Superman: Secret Identity - The absolute opposite to Wanted in every respect. Beautifully and realistically drawn and written, convincing character development that covers a span of decades. Without delving into spoiler territory it deals with a young man called Clark Kent who lives in our own world - one where superman is a fiction. The story deals with what happens when he develops similar powers. Absolutely brilliant, I can't praise it highly enough.

Nine and a half wonderfully written stories about painful adolesence and internal struggles out of ten wonderfully written stories about painful adolesence and internal struggles. I only dock it half a point because the ending was a *tiny* bit schmaltzy and overly sentimental.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
m_nivalis: V for vendetta

My only gripe was with the ending so I can't say much about it but I have the same gripe about most comic books involving an anti-hero of the people and I might go into it more in the comments (where there will undoubtedly be spoilers people).

So, considering that I've only read the comic, and sneak-peaked in the novelisation/read reviews to see what they changed, what was your gripe with the ending?

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: V for vendetta

Okay, firstly for people who have not seen nor read V: SPOILERS AHOY!


At the end of the movie, as is the case with a great many (anti)hero of the people type movies and comics the (anti)hero is shown to lead a gigantic mass of people in revolution against (occasionally armed) government forces in peaceful protest at the acts of that government over the previous few years - rarely more than three or four but sometimes as much as a decade.
Unless I'm mistaken, this is bollocks - Ghandi did it certainly but that was a spiritual thing in the face of a violent occupying force and he was one hell of a wrinkled little dude. These days, even the most inspiring and charismatic of leaders (and bear in mind, our comic/movie heros are rarely all that inspiring) is lucky to lead a parade of a couple of dozen to lodge a petition with the local council and you're *guaranteed* that in that parade there will be three other factions trying to hijack the thing to their own ends and nine different leaders within each faction pulling it in different directions.
In essence, I can suspend disbelief regarding any number of bizzare ideas but that stops when I see people acting in direct contradiction to what I've seen in real life.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
bastun_ie: Re: V for vendetta

The Prague Spring - admittedly unsuccesful.

The Orange Revolution - pretty succesful.

- The resistance to the Soviet 'August Coup' - also succesful...

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: V for vendetta

I should clarify - how many times has a predominantly western society been led to rebellion against a government that hadn't shat on them all that badly? The government in V wasn't too bad from a PR standpoint (flagrant comparisons to US current affairs and all that) and my other pet hate, the end of Transmetropolitan had the same problem. Equally, our heros have a tendency to just go "Hey! crazy protest party!" and the thing happens, no months of preparation for these guys. Its like... "Hey, I will lead you to a better place, against all the gun toting facists!" and everyone shrugs and says "Well, you *are* pretty badass"

Even with all that though, I'll grant you the orange one sort of fits the bill.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 09:39 am (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji: Re: V for vendetta

How many times has a predominantly western society been treated as badly as the government in V treated it's people?

As far as I know there's no documented (or even hearsay) evidence of any citizen of Canada, USA, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Japan ever being black-bagged?

So how often in the last 60 years has a Western Society been provoked into a popular bloodless revolution?

The Britain of V is a lot closer to Germany circa 1936 rather than the USA of today.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: V for vendetta

Oh I don't know, extraordinary renditions, voter disenfranchisement, domestic spying, guantanamo - granted the US isn't exactly rounding up the gays and shooting them in the head but the situation there has parallels - which was an intentional act by the folks behind the movie. I'm not talking exclusively about that particular type of government sponsored injustice either, look at *any* movement (particularly along the liberal axis) from bin taxes to torture flights through shannon to Gardai asking for an entirely justified pay raise - you'll have a tiny minority speaking out and they're ignored by the majority, or worse - derided. Folks don't give two hoots about a cause if they're doing well themselves.

All of those issues aside, (because they're largely hypothetical) ultimately, would *you* march against armed soldiers in protest at the things which have not actually hurt you? Would you let your kids? All of these people were, until days previously, afraid to speak out and the order had come down from on high that protestors were going to be killed and yet suddenly they all spontaneously decided to support a weirdo in a mask who went around killing people whose misdeeds were the best kept secret in the land?

Equally, given your point about germany circa 1936 (or later) how many massive protests involving hundreds of thousands of people occured? Given that it is currently a damned sight safer (since as you mention, no black bagging goes on in the western world by and large) here and now, why aren't there charismatic leaders at the helm of hundreds of thousands of people protesting the evils that governments inflict on the poor, the downtrodden and the foreign?

Anyway, without getting into a lengthy debate about the nature of humanity and whatnot, I just couldn't buy into believing the end for more or less those reasons.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji: Re: V for vendetta

" why aren't there charismatic leaders at the helm of hundreds of thousands of people protesting the evils that governments inflict on the poor, the downtrodden and the foreign "

Because the government inflicting the evil 'is' the people.

Western governments are democratically elected by majoriities and therefore the people have given tacit approval to anything their government does.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: V for vendetta

But the government inflicting the evil is no longer of the people when the goals of that government change - there was no tacit approval given by the people when they voted the party in V into power, or the nazis in germany or hell, Bush in the US, to go around killing people by the trainload. Governments lie all the time, to greater or lesser degrees, they change from their stated aims to something far more extreme, if not the exact opposite.

Their power comes from the barrel of a gun which is held by people who are trained for may years to put aside their personal beliefs in favour of the orders of the government and their superiors.
Or to put it another way, the GW Bush we have now is not (judging from approval raitings) the one people thought they were getting. The Nazis never (...godwinning myself here I know) said "Hey, if elected, we're going to abolish the democratic system and kill millions of people... including you if you get lippy" and the government in V ruled through fear and manipulation, not as a reflection of the wishes of their electorate.

Just because a government is elected does not mean that their actions are approved of by the majority of even the people who voted for them, be it in our more representative democracy or the straight up popularity contests in the US. Hell, how many dictators were initially "elected"?... come to it, how many elections are really a reflection of the will of the people these days, with easily tamperable E voting, judicial decisions and all the rest? I'm not saying that evil shits get into power by default but that it isn't as simple as "they're doing what the people want".

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji: Re: V for vendetta

But my point from earlier is that no matter how much people may believe our governments are like the government in V or like Nazi Germany 'They aren't'.

The extreme left-wing libertarians (of whom you come accross as one) have a terribble tendency to use hyberbola and just sound downright paranoid half the time. "with easily tamperable E voting, judicial decisions and all the rest?"

"Hell, how many dictators were initially "elected"?... " How many dictators have you seen in power in the developed West since the second world war?

"how many elections are really a reflection of the will of the people these days? " All of them! As you said yourself the main thing that people care about is themselves. I'm all right Jack! most people just want their politicians to be civil servants and beuracrats. The Idealogy wars are over. Social Capitalism won the economics war and Liberalism has won the arts war.



Centrism FTW!



Thu, May. 4th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat: Re: V for vendetta

Well, first off I consider myself fairly centrist by virtue of the fact that I subscribe to both left and right wing ideals (generally speaking: Far far left when it comes to the rights of the individual and consenting adults to stick what they want where they want so long as it immediately affects no one else. Fairly far right when it comes to crime and punishment - I believe in incredibly harsh punishments for rapists, child abusers, drug dealers that only *start* with having their genitals ripped from their bodies with rusty pliers). Fundamentally I suspect the major difference in ideologies is that you have more faith in human nature than I do. So, that established, lets move on :)

Though I do admit to a fairly high level of paranoia when it comes to government policies allowing them greater access to information and democratic process but thats a failing in my faith in the human nature as much as it is an innate distrust of politicians.... ... again, really moving on this time...


I'll grant you, governments reflect the vague will of the people but only in a very ephemeral sense.... the "ends" effectively. How the government enacts the "means" is where things tend to fall apart. Taking the US as an example, the people, by and large, as evidenced by the re-election of Bush, want to feel "safe" from terrerist attacks, regardless of how you feel about the guy, that much is a fairly undeniable desire held by pretty much everyone and it just happens that his "blow the hell out of them" policy is more popular than Kerry's "Stop annoying them to the point where they try to kill us" method. The "means" used however are an entirely different matter and quite obviously (as shown in Bush's dips in popularity following revelations regarding domestic spying and outing of a CIA agent as political payback to a whistleblower in an effort to keep potential troublemakers quiet in future) are *not* reflecting the will of the people who (i'm guessing) wanted to have the terrorists dealt with without it impacting their daily lives.

Regardless of all that, what it boils down to is, as you said, the "I'm all right jack" attitude held by most people. Everyone who marched at the end of V was, by definition of still being alive, "all right Jack". Sure, they might have lived in fear and so on, but thats the price of safety isn't it? (devil's advocate there) So, like I said before, the idea of hundreds of thousands of people who were all right marching on armed soldiers to mark a protest by a crazy man in a mask who likes to blow people up and kill bishops and beloved TV personalities.... I don't buy it.

In short, I don't buy the notion that people will march on armed guards instructed to execute dissenters in V (or as per your comparison, sort of like Germany in 1936) but they won't do so en masse in Washington where there is nothing *remotely* like the same climate of fear. Pant wetting terror of a painful death does not increase the odds of there being a protest.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane: Re: V for vendetta

The Idealogy wars are over. Social Capitalism won the economics war and Liberalism has won the arts war.

I'd see V for Vendetta as being as much an it-could-happen as an exaggeration of what's going on at the moment. It seems a bit naive and worrying to me that people might think that we've reached the end of the road in terms of political evolution, that everything's worked itself out and we're at the point of no further change. We might not be firing AK-47s at the government troops in order to bring about a Communist revolution or anything but that doesn't mean that there aren't quite different ideals metaphorically battling for the details. Actually not just metaphorically - there are dead abortion doctors, ethnic minorities, schoolkids to attest to that.

Pre-Nazi Germany wasn't so massively different. Fascist parties had a go and failed to catch on in a lot of countries, just like lots of things. But in a small number of places they did get there, and the people in those places were no doubt very much of the opinion that "it can't happen here". But it could. And it still can.

I would think and certainly hope that the reason the western countries are so cagey about letting any situation get close to the Nazi one is because we can see how it CAN happen, it happened there and could happen here. We have the benefit of hindsight to inspire vigilance, but we do not have the benefit of it having happened once and therefore being able to ignore the possibility of it happening again.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
m_nivalis: Re: V for vendetta

Yeah, that ending made me want to scream. I much prefer it in the comic, where the struggle is assumed to go on after the massive explosion/V's funeral, with Evey-as-V taking in a young man as her protegé. Stupid stupid Hollywood clichés.

I think me seeing V for vendetta will be a bit like last New Year's Day, when we were watching Ivanhoe, and turning off the tv just after Ivanhoe kisses Rebecca (Show's over, folks. Nothing more to see here...).

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 09:42 am (UTC)
ulaire_daidoji

My only gripe with V was the stupid plot device of the government conspiracy as a way into power. It'd be much more powerful if the government just came to power. Evil prevails when good men fail to act, sort of like the resurgence of parties like the BNP...

Fri, May. 5th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)
m_nivalis: V, again

You might want to check out Bookslut for another critical review of V for vendetta. Yet again, I would probably relate more to it [the review] if I had seen the movie. But I do find myself agreeing with the reviewer.