V for Vendetta – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: James McTeigue

Cast: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Roger Allam

Synopsis: Set in the not to distant future, London has survived global devastation that has crippled former world powers such as the United States.   The government has a dictatorial stranglehold on the populous, however, in which anyone caught with a dissenting view tends to disappear.   This story follows the goals of freedom fighter/terrorist V, who seeks to inspire the people to rise up against this government.

I freely admit that this week the only thing I have been posting about in the last week is Supanova, but I hope I can be forgiven for this given the amazing time that was had at Sydnova by all, and as such I found it an event much worth of promotion.   As I type, Perth Supanova (or as I have seen it written on the Supanova Facebook page, SuPerthNova) should be in full swing and I hope all in attendance have a blast.

For my last Sydnova related post, I am going to connect it back to my cosplay for the event.   Such a brilliant film needs more than just photos taken of a guy trying to be the title character.   For a film that sells itself on action set pieces and Natalie Portman having gotten her head shaved for the role, there is much more to the film than these popularised elements.   As I type this, the film sits at 180 on the IMDB Top 250 list, and I would suggest that this is largely due to the film being a very thought-provoking piece.

Alan Moore was behind the original graphic novel on which the film was based.   This is the same creative talent behind From Hell and Watchmen.   However, being dedicated to the medium of comics, he did not permit his name to be listed in the credits for the film.   The story itself though is extremely intelligent, and it is very easy to miss certain connections if one does not remained focus.   One of the incredible moments of cinematography in the film is not necessarily an action set piece, but an intricate collection of dominos that is set falling.   More than being just really cool, this image appropriately represents the film.   V has manufactured a series of events, that rely on a keen sense of intelligence, observation, and intuition into knowing how people will respond to his stimulus.   He truly weaves a tapestry, one that the end result is not obvious until the final thread is put in place.

More than an extremely intelligent plot, V’s ideals themselves, and how he expresses them, are thought-provoking.   There are many phrases that he utters that are imbued with power and inspiration.   A few personal favourites include “People should not be afraid of their government.   Governments should be afraid of their people”, “A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, blowing up a building can change the world” and “What I am is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof”.   This is a film about knowing that something is wrong with the world, and that somebody needs to stand up to do something about it.   One person alone is not enough however.   One person may start the wind of revolution, but without a cause people can and will rally behind, change may not be possible.   The story really does highlight that the line between freedom fighting and terrorism is really very fine.   How is it defined?   The audience supports V’s cause, as his motives are justice and an attempt to end oppression.   His deeds themselves however, are not necessarily admirable… killing party leaders and blowing up buildings by themselves are dastardly acts, and the film title admits that part of his motivation is also revenge.   Perhaps this is the strength of the character however.   He is not a typical unambiguous hero type.   The story does not flinch from addressing this, Portman’s Evey indicating at one point that what was done to him has actually made him a monster.   Regardless, his methods do not change, but he does at least acknowledge by the end that it should not be he who decides how the final events should unfold, redeeming the character from his former path.

The film comes together from incredibly strong performances.   Portman is as always brilliant, which may excuse her top billing, though that choice does strike me as a marketing ploy to promote the film where Weaving’s  recognition in the US was not high enough.   Portman amazingly portrays two sides of the same character though, her story arc taking her from constantly frightened to a reserved but forceful bravery by the end of the film.   The transition is really quite remarkable, and certainly took more than a radical haircut to achieve it.   The film really does belong to Weaving, though.   This is a performance that never once has the mask removed.   Despite this, he displays a range of emotion that is evident without the facial cues that many actors would normally rely on.   The fact that he also has an amazing voice that articulates the script and gives already powerful words an even greater gravitas really brings home that a special quality of actor was always needed for the role.   In this case they had it.   All the supporting actors are all on similarly fine form, I could continue this essay at great length discussing each one, but I have let this particular stream of consciousness last too long already.   Suffice it to say, as far as performances go, this film has no weak link.

There is something about the work of Alan Moore that gets me overly analytical, and has my reflective reviewing style more go into absolute overdrive.   Those familiar with my Watchmen review observed the same essay style of review as I have presented here.   The fact is however, that the films based on his source material, let alone the source material itself, are brilliant, original, thought-provoking stories.   Do yourself a favour and delve into his world further.

5 stars out of 5


V for Vendetta on IMDB

V for Vendetta on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTlgpnNQYmg]

Supanova “Lost Girl” preview – A Review by Film Nerd

Created by: M.A. Lovretta

Cast: Anna Silk, Kris Holden-Reid, Ksenia Solo, Richard Howland

Synopsis: Bo lives a life of secrecy due to the fact that she hungers for sexual contact, yet consumes the life-force of any sexual favour.   The first two episodes of the series, shown at the preview night of Sydnova in the main theatre and at the SciFi stall throughout the weekend, is the story of Bo learning she is one of the Fae, more specifically, a succubus.   Yet she remains alone, refusing to choose whether to join the light or the dark faction.

A review by Film Nerd.

As mentioned in my Summary for Supanova, I was one of the lucky few to catch this special screening in the JB Hi Fi theatre on the preview night.   I feel sorry for those that missed it, as I found it a really entertaining experience.   I would summarise the feel of the show as a Buffy style show for fairies.   Bo is a kick arse leading lady, very independent, facing up against other supernatural beings, while maintaining a friendship with a quirky side-kick.   All of this has the capacity to travel too far down the path of pandering to an audience, but there is enough darkness to give the episodes seen some gravitas.

The first episode was a little full of exposition, but what pilot of a series ever escapes this fate.   Relationships are established, inner conflicts are hinted at, and settings and themes established.   This type of stuff can be a bit overloading, but thankfully at the same time, it remains interesting throughout.   Having a cool action set piece towards the end of the first episode also helped though to show something of what the show hopes to achieve with time.

The second episode settles into the story much more quickly, and though the story at first appears slight (Bo is helping a Fae recover his stolen treasure), it is told with a good mix of humour and drama.   It was not without faults, with pacing being one issue, but there is a lot to like, and hopefully when the writers have settled in a little bit more than they can pull together something spectacular.   The first episode hinted at some season-long, and potentially series long, story arcs, so when this juicy stuff happens, these early episodes make me want to see it.

One problem, I don’t have Foxtel in this house.   My parents may see me a little more often come July….

3 stars out of 5

Lost Girl on IMDB

Lost Girl promo

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd4sN7bPakU]

What we wasted our money on at Supanova 2011…….

1. Spiderman Snuggie (Gifts for the Geek):

Its dorky, in questionable taste, and probably the only thing that we can say makes us both warm and cool at the same time (hehe). And it was the last one so of course I had to grab it!!! There was also an elmo version of this for sale too.

2. William Shatner “Shat Happens” Tee (Gifts for the Geek):

Probably sums up Shatner’s attitude to the fate of his latest television venture “$h*! My Dad Says

3. Dr Who sonic screwdrivers (Popcultcha):

Ok I think I know what film nerd is planning for his next costume……..

4. Potty paper rolls (Global Gear):

Ok my main reason for buying this is to keep guests occupied while they are…umm..occupied, therefore preventing the inevitable peek through our bathroom cabinets. Ok I’m kidding, really I thought they was funny.

5. Pop tarts in cherry flavour (Kings Comics [we think]):

(no picture available…. long since consumed)

Mmm artificial goodness……..ok still too sweet for me, but like an addict, I can’t help buying some whenever I see them on sale. Maybe a psychological response to my mother denying these to me as a child? Who knows?

6. 4 pack of Tru Blood (Popcultcha):

This stuff just tastes goods, bought before, will buy again.

7. Batman – Year One:

A graphic novel Film Nerd has wanted for some time… was sold out by Sunday morning!

Ok, that is it (aside from photos)!!  Time to start saving for next year!

Film Nerd’s Sydnova review

I promised a post of my Sydnova review by today, and though there are only 40 minutes left to this day, I have delivered.   Bride of Film Nerd will be posting soon (she has been a little busy helping me improve this blog), but until then, please read and see pics of my Sydney Supanova experience!!

Film Nerd’s Summary

Supanova Melbourne 2011 – Fourth Verse Report

Melbourne!

The events that led to me visiting Melbourne for the first time for Supanova can truly be labelled as the epitome of ‘impulsive’.  About a month ago, I was talking to fellow PhD colleague KB about my experience at Armageddon 2011. To keep it simple, the conversation eventually led me to check out the Guest Star line up for Supanova, and lamenting about how the Guest Star line up for Melbourne was always infinitely more awesome than Sydney – and then –

I saw two names:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

This was my face:

And this is roughly what happened afterwards:

FV:  Oh. My God.

KB: What?

FV: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will be at Melbourne!

KB: Let’s go to Melbourne!

FV: Done!

KB: It’s going to an adventure!

FV: An Adventure to spend our Sparkling Time of Youth!

KB & FV: *arms in the air * WHOO HOO!

Within days, our tickets were all booked and ready.

(And yes, Tom Felton of Draco Malfoy fame was also there but – meh.)

It was going to be a no- brainer anyway – the Melbourne Guest Star line-up was very impressive. In addition to Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, there was of course Tom Felton and also a very nice lineup for Fantasy fans, with amazing authors Isobelle Carmody and Robin Hobb being there.

Plus, I just wanted to go to Melbourne.

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I know this blog post is about Supanova so I’ll keep my waxing poetical about Melbourne to a minimum, but I have to say -something- because it’s impossible not to mention anything about this lovely city.

On the first night, KB and I took a tram (a tram!) into the Melbourne CBD and took a walk along the Yarra River and enjoyed the sights. The night lights were beautiful, with even a ferris wheel in the distance.  I was looking longingly at the various banners promoting the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which had kicked off a week prior.

During the three days I was there, I did a bit of everything – I  walked through the Royal botanical gardens, saw flinders st station,  went to the famed Rockpool Resturant, ate an Spanish doughnut, saw the Lord of the Fries store, walked everywhere. Went to chapel street, visited the arts centre Sunday markets. It was quite a bit stuffed into technically two days.  The city is such a place of heritage, and was beautiful. There were also still horse carriages operating, which induced a childhood glee in me.

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SUPANOVA! (9th April)

Yay!

Me being the duffer that I am, I told KB that Supanova started at 9am (It was actually 10:00am). So we were up at 6:30 and were at the gates by 8:00, in Arctic like winds.  I felt terrible but in hindsight, it worked out fine, considering how the line absolutely exploded at 9:00 and there was limited entry into the Simon and Nick event. After hearing about UrbanFantasist’s unfortunate experience at the Brisbane Supanova, I was a bit apprehensive as to I knew from the Star line-up there was going to be more people.

It was a lot of chaos and confusion in the beginning, but that was more the issue from Security, who refused to open the massive gate of the Melbourne Showgrounds to let the volunteers to organise us into lines. The Melbourne volunteers did a wonderful job controlling the crowds. If you guys remember saying that Supanova Sydney had an -anaconda-of a line? Well, Melbourne was a virtual -leviathan-of a line. Even after 12, there was still a line that stretched out into the distance.  It was insanity.

These are pictures from when I was already inside the grounds:

The line goes on and on and on.


I think I would have coped with being in the freezing winds a bit better if there wasn’t 5 pre-teens who were quite clearly Tom Felton fangirls right behind me. Look, generally I have no problems with fans AT ALL. There is something quite special being part of a fandom and sharing that love with other people. There’s nothing quite like the geek-out moment of sharing fav movie scenes or even wax poetical about the wonderful performances by certain actors/actresses.  I do it ALL THE TIME (I regret nothing! XD)

BUT when those girls who did NOT stop squealing into my ear for two hours:

Fangirl 1: OMG, I saw him at the game (AFL) last night he had his hair down. It was slicked back in Brisbane, I like it better down. He was sooo hot. SQUEEEE

Fangirl2: I am going to show him my nails! (I saw: It was D and M alternating on each nail…)

Whenever the line moved an inch – they were screaming and almost hyperventilating. I do understand their enthusiasm, but… my god… ahaha.  There was so much more moments but I’ll spare you. I do have to thank them for making this visit unforgettable.

It was awesome though– and I had the greatest time. I wore my technicolour Rex T shirt with pride. Sample: is it NOT AWESOME. Come on, T-Rex breathing rainbows.

The highlight:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Exclusive Q & A PAUL session

For those who are not familiar with whom Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are, they are two best mates who are co-stars in the popular ‘ZOM ROM COM’ ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, prior, they starred in the series ‘Spaced’, which was a popular series with frequent movie homages and references. Both are also self-confessed geeks. Yeah, that’s it, and they get paid for it. Lucky sods.

Nick and Simon’s roles in the aforementioned media have cemented them in the Sci-fi/ geek fandom as major popular figures. Come on, Zombie movie with Queen music, you MUST be a genius. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is easily one of my top 5 movies, and ‘Hot fuzz’ is hilarious. They play off each other easily, and the humour is very natural – it also helps when said co-star is your best mate and also a ‘ex roommate’.Simon Pegg is probably more known in general from recent blockbusters as ‘Scotty’ in the new ‘Star Trek’ Movie (Reboot universe) and also as the voice of Reepicheep from ‘Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader’.

They were in Oz to promote ‘Paul’, a movie about two alien geeks who meet a real alien during their road trip.

I was impressed with how everything was so well organised and coordinated. There was a separate line for the session, and the event was in a completely separate room with only one entrance. Only 3000 people were allowed in and they were led in through groups and were allocated seats.

After much anticipation:

TAH DAH!!

It was cool that we were all expecting them to suddenly appear onto stage and then they came running from the back suddenly. 🙂

The entire hour of the Q and A session was fantastic. In short – it was hilarious. Both didn’t hold back when answering questions and they were funny! It was rude at some points but I was loving every minute of it. Ahah, I know it seems weird to mention but yeah, they were funny.  They didn’t take shit from no one and weren’t afraid to rib the question asker a bit.

Especially when the questions began like this:

‘I have a question for Simon’

Nick: Ok fine I’ll F*** off then (shuffles to one side)

Then

‘So Nick just a question…’

Nick: Sticks finger up at Simon (Simon steps back)

There were a few people that asked questions who were just – odd to say the least. There was a person who was an ‘aspiring actor’, and one who reminded me of Sheldon A LOT started with ‘I’m a bit annoyed since my question was partially answered but I’ll press on anyway’ and another who said ‘I was thinking about how to make my question memorable so – PENIS’.

It’s quite clear that Simon and Nick are also fanboys and geeks who had managed to score the best job in the world and doing what they truly love.

There were a lot of funny moments which I’ll share called:

Simon getting asked who he would shoot shag or marry, two of them being Nick and Chris Pine.

Simon: Well, I could shag Chris Pine, because he’s so pretty, because you know, it’ll be worth it, plus, I’ve already done it with Nick.

Nick: Not all the way though, just fingers…

Simon and Nick’s favourite food on set

They looked at each other and Simon said ‘Together now, one two, three’

Both: SLIM JIMS

(I’m guessing it was a common question…)

How Simon knew Nick was going to be his best friend when they first met

Question: Um, can you please do the renactment of the mouse droid sound here?

S: Actually, there’s a funny story with that when I first met Nick, when I first moved in, we were there in a group of people just sitting around and then I started moving the salt and pepper shaker and making the noise the Mouse droid does from Star Wars and Nick was the ONLY ONE who looked at me, and said ‘I know what that is!’ And I knew that we were going to get along just fine…

Simon’s Guilty Pleasure

S: Hmm, hum… well, Nick once caught me drinking cream. No, I’m serious, it was the middle of the night and Nick came out and here I was at the fridge drinking cream with a straw (does hunched over deer in headlight impression over imaginary tub of cream). It was so… It would have been less embarrassing if Nick had caught me masturbating.

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The merchandise stalls were all very standard and were pretty much the same as Supanova Sydney.

The cosplays (Costumes) were a definite plus. In terms of numbers, it’s about the same as Sydney, but the variety was… o.0. I didn’t get as many pictures as I’d hoped because my camera decided to cark it.  But I got the ones I wanted most anyway. There was also a Flash cosplay that I wanted to take a picture of, but he was moving too fast. No, seriously. I went to get my camera and he was GONE.

Pictures!!!

Who is this through I see through the crowd?

It’s inspector gadget!

Including the gadgets~! Including a torch!

Aha the guy was like: Wait… there’s more!

Yoshi from game ‘Mario Brothers’

San from anime movie ‘Princess Mononoke ‘

Marluxia from the game ‘Kingdom Hearts 2’


Nina Sayers from movie ‘Black Swan’ – I was very impressed with this one. XD Very unique choice


Cinderella from the Disney Film


Red Ranger from ‘Mighty Morphin Power rangers’ – the original and BEST series. When i Saw him, I ran to him shouting ‘Red Ranger!’ and he stopped lol.


Pac Man + ghosts from the game

Cats  from the Musical ‘Cats’ I’m guessing?

The car from Back to the future!

The TARDIS from Doctor Who! This was my favourite, HANDS DOWN.


Two face and Joker from Batman

Supergirl and THOR from Marvel and DC.


Mad Hatter from the 2010 Film adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’


Na-vi people from the film ‘AVATAR’


Mine sweeper guy!

To finish off, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, signing autographs! Then they had to run off to do Filming for Good News Week, which is going to be aired like in…. 10 minutes… WHOO HOO!!

KB and I also had to see how long the Tom Felton autograph line was. It was insane. There were fans outside the cordon jumping up and down trying to see him.  We then walked around looking at various goodies and taking photos.

Melbourne is a wonderful place, and I had a wonderful time at Supanova. I wouldn’t have visited the place if it wasn’t for Simon and Nick, since the only selling difference to Sydney was the Guests. But the atmosphere was well worth it. Yes, even the fangirls, I can say that rabid fangirls do exist in RL.

I’ll definitely visit Melbourne again. I’ve already vowed to go back for the Melbourne Comedy festival, another event, which I have watched religiously and taped on my dodgy VHS for 6 years on TV in Sydney and also there’s a Tutankhamen exhibition on now till November.

Not that I’ll need an excuse to go back to Melbourne.

FourthVerse

Supanova Brisbane 2011

To say my experience at Supernova Brisbane was disappointing would be a slight exaggeration – quite frankly, I wasn’t there long enough to experience anything other than pressing crowds, sweaty nerd-boys with no concept of personal space and moronic Americans.

We got to the venue about two hours after the doors were supposed to open and proceeded to stand in line for half an hour while we waited for our chance to get in. We thought we were being smart by pre-paying. If we had paid at the door, we would have got in much sooner, not that it would have made any difference.

Once in the door, the crowding of the venue was felt in full force. There was nowhere to stand out of the way just to check out the program and see what was on, or even the map to see what was where. So, I relied on my fellow geek, J., to try to direct me through the hordes of people. Considering he has about 8 inches over me in height, I didn’t that was too unreasonable, but apparently nerd boys have got taller when I wasn’t looking and we were both navigating blind.

I know there were booths around me, I could see their tops, but what they were selling remained a mystery. We would have had to commit ourselves to standing by each booth for ages just to see what wares were on display. So we attempted to just see what companies were on show and they were pretty much the same as there was at Armageddon. It was a shame I couldn’t spend more time at the alley for the local artists, but to stop was to feel like you would never move again.

There wasn’t a whole lot of air circulation with all those bodies and as a result, everyone got a bit sweaty and, in order to win some kind of pissing contest only they knew about, some chaps took it upon themselves to just push past anyone who stood in their way, completely heedless of the children that were in our midst (I’m talking toddlers here), the fact there was no where for anyone to go really, or that no one’s sweat is that amazing that we want it rubbed all over us. As I told one guy, seriously dude, not cool.

One kid had the best idea though – he sat atop his dad’s shoulders and fired a plastic gun at people’s heads. I told his dad that he had the right idea, but I think he thought I was talking about the shoulder thing and not the gun thing. I’ve never wanted a gun so much in my whole life.

Being the costuming guru I am (HA!), I’d love to be able to tell you how good or bad the costumes were. Sure, there were some truly bad ones I saw while we were in line (and confirmed my theory as to why they have to be ‘family friendly’) and the best one I saw on the convention floor was a Predator, but the rest passed by in a blur of humanity.

The press of people got so much that, after thinking about checking out the Madmen booth then giving up, we had to leave, but there was no going out the in door. So it was once more into the breech where we proceeded to stand for a good three or four minutes while many people tried to either come back in or leave via the side doors.

 

Picture taken at Supanova Brisbane 2009. Not unlike what we experienced, but the pedestrian flow went both up and down.

 

And this is where the American came in. She tried to go down the up stairs. Was told repeatedly by the volunteer at the door that she couldn’t go down those stairs, she would have to go down the other stairs. Still, she couldn’t grasp the idea that she couldn’t go down the up stairs. Her friends tapped her on the shoulder and tried to steer her away but she didn’t want to have to join the rest of us sorry sods waiting to go downstairs.

“They’re all stopped. Are all those people just standing there of their own volition?” I kid you not, those were her words.

I won’t repeat what my response was, but it was unfortunate that she was probably too far away by that point to actually hear what I said, more’s the pity.

We were finally free of the coral of humans and gleefully made our escape to an awaiting Mr. Whippy van where I proceeded to mostly wear severely watered down ice cream. It was then I looked at my watch and realised that we had been inside the venue for as long as we were in line to actually see it – about half an hour. We didn’t see any seminars, glimpse any stars or take any photos. I missed Tahmoh Penikett, Katie Sackhoff, Tom Felton and Clare Cramer, my main reasons for going. Strangely, I wasn’t sorry to be leaving.

I did strike up a conversation with a lass on the flight home who cosplayed as some anime character I’ll never remember the name of. She said she had a great time, that the whole thing was fantastic. And J read some forums where the crowd apparently thinned after 2pm, but there was no way either of us could have persevered for an extra hour. Too many humans in not enough space. I’m still convinced they broke fire safety laws by allowing so many people in, but other than to vow never to go there again, there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.

Supanova in Sydney last year was much better and Armageddon (again in Sydney) could be even better, once it gains popularity and pulls in bigger stars.