Movie Review – V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

Directed by James McTeigue

Starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, and Rupert Graves.


I love dystopian tales. I think it all goes back to high school English class, and I read the granddaddy of all dystopian tales, 1984. What can I say? High school is our own personal dystopian tale for most of us, so I really took to it. I adopted it as my all-time favourite book, and ever since then, I always read the latest dystopian tale that crosses my path. When I saw the first trailers for V for Vendetta back in the summer, it looked all nice and dystopian, so I ran down to the library and read the book. I did enjoy the book, and started counting down the days to the movie.


In a dystopian London, of the not-too-distant future, we meet young Evey Hammond (Portman), who’s accosted on the street one night. She’s saved by the mysterious, enigmatic and theatrical V (Weaving). It’s not too long before Evey is drawn into V’s grand scheme: bringing about a revolution and ending the tyrannical government. Also drawn into this tale is Detective Finch (Rea), who has the unenviable task of bringing in V.

What I Liked

Hugo Weaving. That guy just rocks. Hearing that voice come out of the character of V was just geek-tastic. Natalie Portman was pretty good, too. And, as I said, I’m a fan of those dystopian tales, so I always love it when characters start going into “Fight Big Government” monologues that come straight from Orwell. Some have complained that the book’s core message was changed too much, but I think just enough of it remains to still make the message effective. And plus, I like the irony of having John Hurt play the Big Brother-ish dictator. (He played Winston Smith, Orwell’s counterpoint to Evey, back in the 1984 adaptation of 1984) And there’s some really good special effects and big explosions.

What I Didn’t Like

Well, just the same complaints I always have with literary adaptations. “Why did they cut out this character?” “Why did they get rid of that subplot?” They made a few tweaks to Evey that I didn’t like. I think they turned V into too sympathetic a character. The book was more subtle and vague…the film is more black-and-white.

Final Assessment

All in all, very entertaining, but, as in most cases like this, the book is better.

3 Nibs

Untold Tales of Japan: Nagano – Part II

Chaos in Print

Day 3

Truly, one of the highlights of any Winter Olympic venue are those wonderful, magnificent ski jump towers that they build. I even distinctly remember the ones for Nagano because, as a kid at Augustana in 1998, I was just discovering the Internet. And, the Nagano ski jumps had that wonderful innovation known as a webcam on the roof. I watched so many images from that webcam that I just had to go see the real view for myself.

As is also becoming a growing custom in the Winter Olympics, the ski jumps – in fact, a lot of the skiing venues – aren’t in the host city. Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of Olympic-level ski hills in most metropolitan downtown areas. Instead, they are at a small ski village a short bus ride from town. And Nagano was no exception. The ski jump towers were in a small village called Hakuba. On this day, I would venture deep into the mountains to Hakuba.

Continue reading Untold Tales of Japan: Nagano – Part II

Untold Tales of Japan: Nagano

Chaos in Print

I’ve loved the Olympics. I have for a long time. And all those Olympic host cities always seemed in such distant, exotic locations. When I first set out from Omiya to Kumagaya, I was stunned at the name of the rail line: the Nagano Line. The Nagano Winter Olympics were a mere 4 years earlier, and they were still fresh in my mind. And now, to be living in a city so close to them, just a quick ride on the bullet train, it blew my mind. After I spent my first week in Kumagaya and got settled into the new job and my new apartment, I made a solemn vow. I would go to Nagano.

It was a sentiment easier stated than done. I thought I would do it on a long weekend. Head out on the Saturday, see the sights on the Sunday, and come back on the Monday. But, with the way my hours were arranged, long weekends were few and far between. And for my big vacations – whole weeks off – I decided to waste those going to the farthest reaches of Japan. But I knew that, before my time in Japan was done, I’d be going to Nagano.

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Good Evening Madame Chairman, Honourable Judges, Ladies and Gentlemen

Chaos in Print

Do you know what the number one fear is among Americans? No, it’s not death. Death is number two. Number one is public speaking. Do you know what that means? At a funeral, more people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy. – Jerry Seinfeld

My parents, upstanding citizens of the community that they are, are currently in the throes of judging the local 4H speech competitions. I guess speech giving is a big part of 4H. As my parents sit over the dinner table and compare notes about the weekend’s speeches, it’s gotten me to reminiscing about my own time taking part in speech competitions. It makes me go down to my room and dig out the one and only award I’ve ever one for my speeches.

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Rest Stop

Chaos in Print

It’s kind of weird what we associate happy childhood memories with. We could be cleaning out our closets and come across some raggedy old piece of clothing and suddenly we’re having a scene right out of a chick flick where we remember that incident from that summer. Having once been a child myself, I do have my fair share of childhood memories. And there’s this one I’ve been having quite often of late. Working in the oilpatch with my Dad, I end up driving by it many, many times. Of course, we don’t stop in anymore, mainly because our business takes us elsewhere, or the lure of the greater services in Edson just causes to keep on driving. I’m talking about the Edson Rest Stop.

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