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July 2006

V for Vendetta

By Kam Williams

V for Vendetta

Cast: Natalie Portman, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Stephen Rea, and Hugo Weaving
Director: James McTeigue 
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: R
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006
Run Time: 133 minutes

DVD Features:
Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
"Freedom! Forever!: Making V for Vendetta" – The cast and crew of V for Vendetta reveal the intense filmmaking process
Theatrical Trailer
The Two-Disc Special Edition features these exclusive supplements:
"Designing the Near Future" - A look at the artistic process of creating the frightening future world of V
"Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot" - The history behind the story of Guy Fawkes
"England Prevails: V for Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics" - The origins of the original V story is illuminated
Cat Power Montage – Cat Power song played under images of the film
Easter egg: Saturday Night Live digital short



Spirit of Guy Fawkes Invoked in Subversive Sci-Fi Flick

Set in the not too distant future, this sci-fi flick unfolds in a rather shadowy England beset by a totalitarian repression of Orwellian dimensions. Subjected to the constant surveillance of Big Brother-like scrutiny, the entire populace has seemingly been conditioned to kowtow to Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt), a despicable despot who rules with an iron fist.

This master manipulator’s regime achieved absolute power by promising protection from the threat of terrorism in return for the citizenry’s surrender of civil rights. Sound familiar? This is only the first of a flurry of parallels the picture presents between the Sutler regime and the Bush administration. Hope for humanity rests with V (Hugo Weaving), a swashbuckling swordsman who lives in a subterranean hideaway. Like a cross between Zorro and The Joker this wisecracking avenger always wears a mask and leaves a “V” instead of a “Z” behind as a calling card after dispatching bad guys. Exhibiting a good sense of humor despite having been burned beyond recognition by government researchers in a badly botched scientific experiment, this rebel without an epidermis is quick with the clever quip while doing his best to shake the masses out of their doldrums.

Because his flick’s script was written by the Wachowski Brothers, fans of The Matrix expecting state-of-the-art fight sequences will undoubtedly be disappointed by this relatively cerebral adventure. For this is an adventure where preachy dialogue, social statements and character development have been exalted at the expense of balls-out action and technical wizardry.

Finally, since V for Vendetta transparently expects the audience to root for a protagonist’s with an anti-establishment bent, be prepared to check your politics at the door, at least if you tend to lean to the right of center.

Excellent (4 stars)