As I wrote last summer, I was cautiously optimistic about the movie of V for Vendetta. We saw it over the weekend, and it was neither as good as I had hoped (nor as the book) nor as bad as I had feared. It’s gotten very mixed reviews, which are justified, because it’s a very mixed bag of a movie. Parts are taken directly from the book — not just word for word, but frame by frame. In other places, there are significant changes, some to justify the violence, some to simplify the (admitedly extremely complicated) plot, and some just becuase it’s Hollywood. But the changes include some of the strongest parts of the movie as well as some of the cheesiest bits. Except for about 10 minutes, I enjoyed the movie, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.
We saw it at the Old Town Theater, which I walk by at least 10 times a week, but this was the first time I had been inside. It’s a neat space, with a ceiling that must be 30 feet high. Because of the way the seats recline, and the decoration, it’s possible to get the feeling that the screen is below you. It’s a very different feel than the multiplex. The "lobby" is about a foot and a half deep. You buy your tickets on the same line as the concession stand, and there aren’t any previews, let alone ads. Before the show, the owner stood up and urged people to consider buying memberships, because he’s trying to pay off the debt and turn the place over to a nonprofit trust.
On another note, T and I also watched The Maltese Falcon on video over the weekend. It’s been a while since I had seen it. Does anyone else think that the whole movie makes more sense if Effie (the incredibly efficient secretary) double crosses Spade? She certainly has more of a chance to switch the bird than anyone else. Maybe, like Tiptree’s Ruth Parsons, Effie Perine "doesn’t want to be memorable."