Read-A-Thon Hour 11, Mini Challenge #9

Welcome to hour 11!  I can’t believe that we’re almost to the halfway point!  Hopefully those of you following along haven’t gotten sick of us yet!  This hour’s mini challenge deals with a character you may or may not have thought a lot about: the anti-hero.

Ah, the anti-hero.  Lurking in the shadows, typically not caring about the spotlight, the anti-hero doesn’t care who he/she offends or who what laws he/she breaks in order to exact revenge or obtain a personal goal.  While all of us are familiar with a typical hero, swooping in to save the day, most of us overlook the general awesomeness of an anti-hero.  In this mini challenge we’ve been tasked with describing our favorite anti-heroes.  Kim and Todd will go first, then I’ll tell you my pick.  Without further ado, here they are:

Kim and Todd:  Our favorite anti-hero would have to be V from V for Vendetta. (Kim’s review is here)  A strong and mysterious character, V embodies all that is revenge and destruction.  Taking a page from the book of Guy Fawkes, V aims to destroy the government that has oppressed him for his entire life and enlighten the residents of post-apocalyptic Britain on exactly how little freedom that they have left since this government has taken over.  The best part of V’s character is that he unapologetically charges forward with his mission, not caring who he takes down in his quest to avenge the life he suffered at the hands of the government many years ago.  This is, we feel, the best part of an anti-hero.  While heroes may be concerned with acting as “the nice guy” throughout their work, the anti-hero can really get the job done without pomp and circumstance.

Adam: My favorite anti-hero seems to most to be pretty villainous, but I see some good in him despite some major flaws. The character is Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams’ classic play A Streetcar Named Desire. He has some huge character flaws in that he’s loud, obnoxious, misogynistic, and extremely crude in the sense that he rapes his wife’s sister. However, he does have some redeeming qualities in the fact that he loves his wife and has a genuine affection for her and truly would do anything within his power to protect her.  Maybe I am basing this off of Marlon Brando’s performance of him, but I feel that he is able to bring a human level to this character as well as a likability to the character.  This makes him such an enigma of the character and despite his actions, you still want to like him.

Well, that’s all for now.  Stay tuned for hour 12 (the halfway point!)

Life And 100 Films – Charlie’s Film Review of V For Vendetta

V for Vendetta is a 2006 dystopian thriller film, based on the graphic novel of  the legendary Alan Moore and David Lloyd.  The film was directed by James McTeigue and produced by the infamous Joel Silver and the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix), who are also responsible for the screenplay.

In a non-specific future, London has turned into a totalitarian dystopia.  SEXY AS HELL, Natalie Portman (who shaves her head for this film, and still manages to be as hot as ever) stars as Evey, an average working citizen who is saved by V (Hugo Weaving), a freedom fighter fueled by revenge.  V saves Evey from the secret police and realizes that she might make an amazing ally in his fight against this regime.  Using terrorist tactics, the two are soon under investigation by a detective (Stephen Rea), who is assigned to take on the case to stop V from doing any more damage.

A very interesting fact about this film is that Alan Moore, who was disappointed by the film adaptations of some of his other works (From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), decided that he would not view the film upon its completion.  He subsequently distanced himself from the project, going so far as to remove his name from the project entirely.  Personally I think this is bullshit, but whatever because this film is FUCKING AWESOME.

Seen by many political groups as a model of government oppression; V For Vendetta has been effective propaganda in furthering their causes.  The hacker sect “Anonymous” has taken to using the Guy Fawkes mask that V wears as their “mascot” when they appear in public.  The mask and November 5th Guy Fawkes Day are being used in the Occupy Wall Street Protests, as well as the official symbol of International Bank Transfer Day.

 

As a comic book fan, this movie is one of the best I have ever seen in the genre.  Its tone is very dark and mature, which puts it on a much more serious playing field than say something like Spider-Man.  If you are a fan of the genre, or even movies that make political statements (this one has many, especially subtle ones reflecting the time it was made), then this is for you.  Even though you may not agree with what the film is trying to portray about society and its messages, it’s still an entertaining piece of work.

I highly suggest you check this film out if you haven’t already since it has been around for quite some time. It will be a good comparison piece for you readers, as it has many differences from its graphic novel equivalent in which it’s based on, as this is a more modernized take. (Kim’s review of the graphic novel can be found here) If you enjoy this, then you should check out in both print/film Alan Moore’s critically acclaimed Watchmen, which many say is the greatest graphic novel of all time.

4 out of 5 Stars

V For Vendetta (2006)
Warner Brothers Pictures
R, 132 Minutes

#72 A Review of V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

V for Vendetta

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot”

So begins the rhyme commemorating Guy Fawkes Day, when in 1606 Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the House of Parliament with multiple kegs of gunpowder.  He was subsequently caught, tortured, and killed, and to this day Britons remember this act by burning bonfires and effigies of Fawkes on the 5th.  Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to review an amazing graphic novel that deals with Fawkes.

Taking place in a post-nuclear war London of the 1990′s, Moore and Lloyd’s V for Vendetta follows the tale of a mysterious cloaked figure with a Guy Fawkes mask named V.  He comes to the aid of an Evey Hammond, who is surrounded by members of the totalitarian government’s police force, known as the Fingermen, who intend to rape and kill her.  After dispatching the officers, V takes Evey under his wing, telling her of his plot to overthrow the Fascist regime and create a government ruled by the people.  He takes her to a rooftop and displays a magnificent bombing of the House of Parliament, which he planted previously.  An inspector Finch of the local police force is assigned to investigate the bombing, and it is through his investigation that we see the aftermath of the death of multiple heads of government offices at the hands of V.  After a brief falling-out between Evey and V, she is captured and subjected to bouts of depression and torture, eventually breaking down and finding inner courage and strength that she did not know existed.  After this, she discovers that V engineered the entire event, to put her through a similar situation he endured in a concentration camp known as Larkhill.  Together, they plan to mount one final assault on the government and incite an uprising.  Will they succeed?  What will become of Evey?

The best way to describe this novel is that it’s one huge middle finger to political apathy.  V speaks to the people and holds them accountable for what they’ve allowed to happen; not only to their political system, but more importantly to their country.  He makes them realize what being apathetic has cost them: art, music, love, and most of all – freedom.  At times, he tells them they deserved their losses due to their stupidity.  They should be held accountable and made to WANT to make decisions. 

I already expected great things of Moore’s writing due to how much I liked The Watchmen, yet I was amazed at how he was able to fit so much political commentary into the series.  His between the lines commentary on Fascism and Anarchism is excellent, and it’s almost as if we’re reading two sets of stories: one about V and another about political uprisings that define a population that could have taken place in any country in the world.  It’s this dualism which makes the story great.

The graphics are outstanding.  Lloyd is a talented artist, conveying every emotion possible through his artwork.  When Evey is depressed and losing hope in her cell, you feel it.  When you see the people starting small uprisings and igniting hope, you feel it.  His art conveys the proper moods, setting the stage with dark colors and shadowed landscapes.  This allows the scenes in The Shadow Gallery (V’s home) to really stand out and make a statement.

The novel is pure genius, and in the political world we are living in today, one everyone should read.  If this book can force someone to take a stand against apathy, then it’s done it’s job.  Currently, with the “Occupy” protests taking root all over the world, this book is more relevent than ever, and we can all learn from the power of the collective masses.  We don’t have to stand by and take what is doled out to us by the 1%, we can choose to exert our collective power and be heard.

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my nineteenth completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
DC Comics (2009)
Paperback 296 pages

New Year; New Challenges

January 1, 2011.  It’s the official beginning of my new challenge!!  I have 365 days to read 100 books.  I’m partaking in two reading challenges this year (that I’ve signed up for so far) so 11 of those books are the Jane Austen mystery series and 20 of them will be historical fiction novels. I’m excited that I’m mixing it up this year and doing some reading challenges as well.  I think it will help keep me motivated throughout the year. 

I’m really looking forward to some of the titles that I’ve decided to read this year.  I have a very eclectic group to read so far.  Some of the titles include:

  1. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
  2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (It’s the 200 year anniversary of the book this year!)
  3. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
  4. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
  5. V For Vendetta by Alan Moore
  6. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  7. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
  8. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  9. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  10. The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
  11. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  12. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  13. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  14. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

I have a much bigger list than this, but I’m really looking forward to the specific books above!

So now that my new challenge has begun I would like to encourage you guys to do your own challenges.  You don’t have to read 100 books like I do, but you can do something similar to Todd and try for between 25 and 50.  You are always welcome to post on the blog thoughts about your own reading challenges or about specific books.

If you decide to do a challenge: Good Luck and Happy Reading!