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The Philodoxer
Thoughts on writing and publishing, and the various sources of entertainment...
A weekly column by Abel G. Peña, best known for his Star Wars work.

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THE PHILODOXER for 03/26/2006
V for Vindicated

Finally, the first movie of 2006 worth watching.

V for Vendetta

Worth watching twice, actually. That's how many times I've seen V for Vendetta since it opened last weekend. After the travesties that were the film versions of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, comics author Alan Moore's work finally gets its cinematic due. V is one of the best films based on a non-superhero graphic novel since Road to Perdition and Sin City. Sure, it's not as glossy or splashy as Sin, yet what V succeeds in doing is bluntly but tastefully reminding us of the single most important discovery of human existence. Some of us have forgotten it, some of us know it but no longer feel it, and some of us have still to experience it. It is the same secret THX intuited, that Napoleon Hill spent his life systematizing, and which we suspect every day.

Fear is the parasitic enemy of life. Fear of failure, fear of death, fear of pain, fear of mere discomfort. As the Western world's leaders act like the vatos from the old hood, using fear of our mortality to scare us into submission, and as bin Laden uses absolutist Islamic scripture to scare potentially reasonable Middle Easterners into fear of abandonment by God, no message can be more relevant.

The Wachowski Brothers, veterans of the self-actualization complex, did a terrific job adapting V. James McTeigue, who made his bones as first assistant director on the Matrix trilogy as well as Attack of the Clones, makes a startling directorial debut. Extra kudos go to McTeigue for not showing V's face, and especially to Hugo Weaving for not succumbing to vanity. V's unembodied voice is hypnotic.

Predictably, listening to Natalie Portman talk in a faux-English accent immediately made me wonder if Keira Knightley could've played this role just as well. But one look at little Natalie in her lollipop outfit and that thought melted away quicker than cotton candy melts in your mouth.

Adios folks! See ya next week!

-- Abel

<< 03/19/2006 | 03/26/2006 | 04/02/2006 >>

Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum and at Pop Culture Bored.
Also, visit my website at www.abelgpena.com.


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