Monday, September 25, 2006

The Book Was Better

Hijacked from Piling Piling Pelikula. Some rather underwhelming movies ,one made from a comic book, another made by a comic book superstar , both given the proper thrashing.

V For Vendetta
(Directed by James McTeigue): Verbatim was never key to the book/movie schism for me,more knowing which bits carry fire when crossing milieus. My beef has little to do ,then,with things lost in translation - - -Natalie Portman as Evey does argue for miscasting and those limey nuances go over my Third World head anyway. But those Wachowskis amp the din so it crescendoes into broad-stroked polemic hyperbole. That's not only a dystopian no-no, it's an expressway to the ordinary, a stroke of bad judgment one or two of the sleek set pieces briefly relieve but ultimately don't. You miss the blasted despair, you miss the pathos and grime, you miss the claustophobic,imploded noir this should've been and the Matrix overlords should've known better to make. * *

(Directed and Designed by Dave McKean):
The makeover sequence is a highlight - - - McKean in full-on auteur mode unhinging from the anorexic story boxing his possibilities. Mckean unhinged is always a highlight. Also the point where the voices guiding him - - - Jan Svankmajer, the Brothers Quay , Jeunett-Caro, F.W.Murnau, Hayao Miyazaki - - - achieve total osmosis and invisibility. Also the point where it becomes apparent that scorer Iain Bellamy is the endeavor’s twin engine. The fairy tale’s immaterial ,of course - - - clunky like orthopedic shoes and you could see where it comes from and where it’ll go, unique only to the tragically shortsighted and pigheaded faithful. But the trouble McKean has in making the characters summon up something more resonant than leftover angst reheated is offset by the dense , intoxicating siege of imagery - - - orbiting giants, attacking sphinxes , riddling dog, temperamental books, traffic of fishes - - - he teases out of the little he has to work with. The emotional pay-off may be a mere awe for the cosmetic. But the cosmetic here runs poetic and deep. * * *

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