|V - The Original TV Miniseries [VHS]
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In its day, V was a monumental event that for one generation remains a pop-culture touchstone. Close Encounters of the Third Kind may have reassured us that perhaps we have nothing to fear from alien visitors and E.T. introduced us to a benign extraterrestrial who only wanted to go home, but Kenneth Johnson's 1983 television miniseries knew better. Visitors who claim to come in peace are revealed to be nothing but human-looking reptilians on human conversion and conquest. As in the dark days of fascism, some collaborate with the enemy; others form the resistance.
At the time, the epic scale of this production was unprecedented. Those 50 motherships that hover over Earth's major cities anticipate Independence Day by more than a decade. The special effects and makeup are still awesome. Less so is the often-hackneyed dialogue. But thanks to their signature roles, the mostly no-star cast, most of whom would be reunited for a sequel and subsequent television series, have ensured themselves standing invitations to sci-fi conventions. Marc Singer is cameraman-turned-freedom-fighter Mike Donovan. Julie Parrish is a medical student-turned-rebel. Richard Herd is the aliens' supreme commander. Jane Bradler is Diana, the ravishing but ruthlessly ambitious alien science officer. Leonardo Cimino lends dignity to his heavy-handed allegorical role as a Holocaust survivor. Look for a pre-Freddy Krueger Robert Englund as one of the aliens.
The DVD is presented for the first time in widescreen format. Supplemental features include an amiable and enlightening director's commentary and a brief "making of" segment. --Donald Liebenson
- Remember the one where the lady swallowed the Guinea pig?
Unfortunately, that's one of several reminders I throw out there whenever I'm trying to find out if someone has ever watched V before.
Eating live rodents, harvesting humans for food, and stealing the earth's water supply are not usually the big plot items that turn people onto a TV show or movie. And yet in 1983, everyone was glued to their television sets to watch V. (And even those who weren't were joining the throng of fans a year later for V: THE FINAL BATTLE.) Perhaps, it's because, although most people are not science fiction fans, they will watch a science fiction show (or movie) that has a non-sci-fi element as its primary vehicle. For instance, there are the mythological and mystical aspects of the STAR WARS saga. Many feel that there's a theological theme to the MATRIX trilogy.
In the same vein, V is undoubtedly a World War II/Holocaust allegory. The Visitors' emblem looks very similar to a swastika. They post propaganda posters all over the place. They establish the Visitor Friends Group in every major city (equivalent to the Hitler Youth). The Visitors require all scientists and their families to be registered; these same scientists (with their families) are often the target of outrageous persecutions and false accusations of conspiring against the Visitors.
V is the quintessential cheesy 80s melodrama. There are no fabulous performances in V, and none of the principle actors went on to bigger and better careers. The special effects, though unremarkable by today's standards, were way ahead of the game 25 years ago. (And many of the special effects sequences are recycled not only throughout this series but also throughout V: THE FINAL BATTLE and V: THE SERIES).
The unique thing V does offer is fun, exciting, intriguing, and action-packed family entertainment. And this kind of entertainment was delivered at a time when family entertainment was, unfortunately, going rapidly out of style....more info
- I loved it then and I still love it now!
Unfortunately, when aired as a miniseries, I was in my early 20s and didn't spend a lot of time at home, so I missed about 25% of it. I bought it so I could fill in those blanks. I enjoyed it just as much on DVD as I did 20 years ago. Of course, the suspense of "not knowing" isn't there now, but it's still a very good movie. I, like others that reviewed this, wish there would have been some trailers, however....more info
- V - Dvd of mini-series
Upon receiving the DVD of V the tv mini-series, I was delighted and even more so after watching it.
Thank you so much for the prompt service and the excellent quality of the DVD....more info
- Beware! This DVD is "fake" widescreen!
For those of you who are into "original aspect ratio", I reget to announce that this DVD (and the one for "The FInal Battle") have had a "fake" widescreen effect applied to the picture.
The two mini-series were shot (and, importantly, broadcast) in fullscreen 4:3 mode. Warner Bros, apparently with Kenneth Johnson's blessing, have "matted" (i.e. covered up part of the top and bottom of the picture) to make this fit widescreen TVs.
Johnson claims he shot the first mini-series with a theatrical aspect ratio in mind (which doesn't explain why "The Final Battle" was also matted), but that's not the point: it was shot primarily for TV and therefore, should've been presented in its original 4:3 ratio....more info
- Inappropriate Letterboxing!
The 1 Star rating is for the dreadful DVD presentation, not for the very worthwhile miniseries. This was a TV SHOW, not a movie, and should NOT be presented in letterboxed format. I compared the picture with my old VHS copy taped from TV, and sure enough they simply cropped off the top and bottom of the image in order to give us this INCOMPLETE picture. I don't know who they think they're trying to fool by letterboxing it, but don't think that they are giving you more of the picture than was seen on the TV screen--you are getting LESS! The same thing applies to the second miniseries released on DVD. Thank God they didn't do this to the recently released Complete Series as well!...more info
- Brings Back Memories!!!
My husband and I sat through this series saying, "Oh, remember that..." and "This is the part where..." When I was a young thing (12) "V" was high-tech. Now, the effects are pretty cheesy, but "Hey!" for a trip down memory lane, I'll watch it over and over again. Still have a crush on Marc Singer. Plus, having done "Private Life of the Master Race" by Brecht in high school, I enjoyed the scene with the mother and father frantically trying to decide if their son, a member of the "Friends of the Visitors" (SS Youth?), was going to turn them in. I played the mother in the Brecht version. For all you children of the 80s, you'll love this movie. Nostalgia! Nostalgia!...more info
- Best of the 80's
As a child of the 80's, I was priveleged to have witnessed the era of great tv miniseries. I hope to never loose the fond memories of watching V.
There was such anticipation in waiting for each evening--I couldn't finish my homework fast enough. And after a nightly episode, it was all the talk at school the next day. What fun!...more info
- V: Is The Best Of Sci Fi Movie's
V:The Original Miniseries is truely on of the best Sci Fi movie's i have ever seen. And i am not that big of a Sci Fi fan.
But created by Kenny C John truely did a great job on this film.
I remember watching this on NBC-TV back in 1983 i was only 9 then. And i told my mom one day i have to find that movie well i got it both on VHS and DVD and it is my favorite!!!!...more info
Excellent - just showed it to my kids and they fell in love with it as I did when I was a kid. You get the point right away and it doesn't feel preachy at all...more info
- 80's sci-fi classic
The hay day of the mini-series was the 1980's and they usual told complex stories that couldn't be told in a one night tv movie. But this one was different from the rest. This was the only sci-fi I remember from the era in this format.
It was well done. A good story, an intriguing plot and good acting. Viewing this again, I see that the underlying tones were about Nazi invasion and the resistance fighters against them. A view that might have been missed by younger viewers at the time. But there is much for sci-fi fans as well. An alein species coming from another world pretending to bring peace, but instead they came for other reasons. Controling the elite, the government and the media they used people of this world to do their bidding of robbing it of its resources. Those that didn't believe or turned a blind eye were part of humanity's distruction, while everyone else turned to being a freedom fighter.
This is an excellant dvd. Despite being made for tv it is presented in widescreen so we can see how the show was really shot. It also has comentary from the creator and a making of documentary. A must have for sci-fi fans....more info
There are four kinds of sci-fi:
(1) People go to the stars (Star Trek etc)
(2) Aliens come to earth (V etc)
(3) Aliens interact with other aliens (Dune etc)
(4) Earth of the near (Mad Max) or distant future (Time Machine).
The V mythology developed the second category in important ways that impacted both kids and big people, too. Without V would we have had Independence Day? Or Men in Black?
V also made an impact overseas. In September 1985 in Florence, I heard a street vendor who was fatigued with the surge of tourists sigh: "Visitatori!" His analogy was very well taken.
V-Fans hope for another sequel. The projected "V the Second Generation" sounds a lot like Star Trek TNG. There are other possible names: V-Files, V-Men, V-Hur (aliens attack ancient Rome in a prequel), V-zilla (aliens attack Japan), V-Ventura (aliens abduct rich Italians on a desert island but nobody cares).
One star was taken away because the DVD producers have masked the top and bottom of the image, but the director commentary is a big plus....more info
- TV's Best Miniseries
The title just represents my opinion, but this is without a doubt, one of the best if not the best of the TV mini-series. This was followed by the all-too-short regular weekly series (also available on dvd) and V - The Final Battle. And that's the order you want to watch them in - that way everything ties together and you aren't wondering what went on and why something in The Final Battle is happening.
The original though, is still the best. "Friendly" aliens come to Earth in need of water (supposedly)and we find out they aren't what they seem and it makes for gripping viewing even if you've seen it before. It even features a young Robert Englund (Freddy Kreuger in Nighmare On Elm Street 1- 102)as a "good" alien.
There are shades of Nazi Germany and the persecution of the Jews running rampant through the series - showing perhaps that what happened once can happen again and it doesn't have to be a madman who's responsible for the genocide taking place.
While it came out over 20 years ago (1983), V is just as gripping and exciting today as it was when it first came out. ...more info
- V- series 1-2-3
I seen the the 3 series of V when shown on TV from 1983-1985 i was 9yrs old at the time and i loved it.
I have now bought the original mini series to go with the final battle and the V complete series.
I bought them because i enjoyed them and i thought my 12yr old daughter would also like them and she does.
I rate rate V 1 to 3 a 10/10 for each one.
I to was disappointed by the croping of this movie so it could be displayed on widescreen mode for this made for TV movie.
One of the previous reviewers is an error on the fact that this movie was shot an widescreen, the 16/9 format did not exist when the movie was made.The tech group that formulated the 16/9 format was brought together by the goverment, consisting of individuals from the broadcast, computer, and the electronics industry. It did not convene until the second half of the 80's. It is very desturbing to see movies like Rear Window, from the 1950's, being altered for the 16/9 format. The change of format is being done by croping, or the second method of Anamorphic alterations.
- V for Victory
*V* was my favorite sci-fi mini-series when I was kid. It was wonderful to get the DVD and stroll through the memory lane of my childhood. Despite the outdated technology (special effects, etc.), *V* remains a classic.
Life is the usual around the world until 50 gigantic motherships hover above 50 populous cities. The human-like visitors claim to come in peace. However, animals are behaving erratically. Scientists are mysteriously disappearing or arrested.
There are resistance groups forming, believing that the visitors are not whom they claim to be. Meanwhile, there is a resistance group, Fifth Column, among the aliens who disagree with their own people's agenda. Once the ball gets rolling, the visitors show their true colors. The question is, who will win?
There's been talk of Kenneth Johnson reviving V, after more than 20 years since the TV series was canceled. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed....more info
- good fun video
Good fun mini-series as the earth resistance fights for freedom with the secret help of some of the invaders. Story idea based on Nazi Germany's take over of Europe. Will not win any acting awards but good fun video for the family to watch together at a good price....more info
- One of Best Sci-Fi for Humanity!!!
I love the V series. And now that it is on DVD its perfect for going back in time to a wonderful television period. This is a Magnificent DVD for all movie fans......more info
- Aliens Conquer the 1980s
Nostalgia aside, "V" is still surprisingly good. Set aside the dated fashions and styles. And fast-foward through the more excrutiating bits of 1980s melodrama (especially any scenes involving children and teenagers).
Set aside those things and it holds up surprisingly well as a suspense story in the "alien invasion" sub-genera. Even the sound and visual effects are reasonably convincing (perhaps because they did not try to do more than the available technology and budget would allow)....more info
- This mini-series is still awesome after 21 years!
After seeing this again, after 20 or so years, I still love it. Truly it is one of my favorite pieces of film of all time. It was way ahead of it's time in 1983. The storyline, special effects, and acting were all excellent, and the ending is climatic. Although it is 10 hours long, I didn't want to stop watching it, then or now. It really parrallels life, and hopefully will continue to open people's minds. I've now showed it to my children and pointed out how it is reminiscent of the holocaust in many ways. I definitely recommend that if you have never seen this, you do, and if it's been awhile, check it out again. It's fun the second time around....more info
- For all you Jane Badler Fans
Reading the many reviews in all the "v" series categories, People asked why
very little was seen of this lovely lady after the series finished.
Well i may be able to shed a little light on this . As far as i am aware Jane has been living in Melbourne, Australia (are'nt we lucky to have here here !)since the early 90's after travelling here to make episodes of Mission Impossible. More recently she has forged a career on the stage starring in the one woman show Shakin' the Blues. She has appeared in various tv shows & guest slots also, and i think happily married to a local Lawyer. Go to Google and you will see lots of pics & info...more info
- Buy this now!
I loved this as a kid and still do. This brings back so many great memories. I was wondering how this would hold up and it still rules. This must have been digitaly remastered because it looks so colorful and vibrant. Buy this if you are a science fiction fan....more info
- V THE ORIGINAL TV MINISERIES
I USED TO WATCH THIS WHEN IT WAS ON TV, WHEN I SEEN IT ON HERE I JUST HAD TO BUY IT. AND I'M GLAD I DID IT WAS IN PERFECT CONDITION, STILL IN PLASTIC. DVD'S WORKED VERY WELL I WAS VERY PLEASED....more info
- Worth it
Brings back memories.. was not allowed to watch it as a kid. Plus in Q8 once the censor board gets through it there is hardly anything left to see.
I would getting this DVD was worth it....more info
ES LO MEJOR QUE ME HA SUCEDIDO, CAMBIO MI VIDA DESDE NI?O, QUIEN NO SE CREYO DONNOVAN O TUVO SU?OS MOJADOS CON DIANA?
- V-The Original TV Miniseries
I remember watching this miniseries when I was 10 or 11 years old, and totally loving it. I'm not a good writer or reviewer, so I'm keeping this short and sweet. If you like sci-fi and the 1980s, buy this series, it's pretty awesome. ...more info
- From profound to medicre
V the mini series and it's sequel V the final battle are great SF. Tough the special effects are not up to today's standard, this is more than compensated for by the interesting storyline (a parable about the naziregime) and protagonists who are real people with real faults and doubts. Some become collaborators, some become heroes against their will, but there are no black and white characters all good or all bad, except for Diana (a Dr.Mengele-like character only with real power, not a follower like Mengele was).
Together these two form an epic story of real interest.
Unfortunately the formula was milked into a television series (V The complete series) wich has deteriorated to mediocre or less. The stories have become childish, the characters have flattened out to two-dimensional. Shots of entering shuttles and the docking bay are recycled endlessly etc. The ending is very unsatisfying, because it doesn't really end but an opening is left for a sequel of the series which fortunately never came to pass....more info
- An awesome mini-series that holds its own even today
A loose "modern-day" fictionalization of the events leading up to and including the Holocaust of World War II, "V" demonstrated just how easy it is for people to ignore the events transpiring around them ... and how desperate simply living can be when oppressed by a superior enemy.
While this series contains a lot of 1980s "cheese" ... from bad hair, so-so acting and special effects ... the ideas and the manner in which they were presented to the audience were unique and powerful.
Everyone wonders if we are alone in the Universe ... and it is a frightening thought about what would happen if a more powerful race of beings "arrived" at our planet ... would we fight? Would we survive? Or would we follow the path of so many terrestrial cultures ... that vanished after the arrival of a more powerful, or advanced one?...more info
- Awesome sicfi story
Grew up watching this series and had to buy the DVD. I would spend a while lot for it, but definately a good show. ...more info
I've seen this series again now after 15 years. The first time I saw it on TV, and today I was surprised on how much tension it still creates and how much impact it still has. It is not outdated at all and very fascinating....more info
- V - The Original TV Miniseries
WOW memories flood back when this one was aired in Australia in the 80's
This is one of the series make me into the sci-fi addict I am happily am today, Poor effects, sloppy acting, lizzards and hunky actors fantastic spaceships. What more can you want?.
A top series in my book. Glad It became avaliable on dvd
- No trailer found by me
I have been a fan since the original airing.*1 pic quality on dvd - great*2 sound - great*3 comentary - great*4 documentry (20 min+) - Great*( ) (was looking forward to the trailer(s), I found none ( if they are there i missed them!!) So no 5th *...more info
- Old, but still an excellent movie
Just as good as I remember. It is good to know the movie was originally shot on 35 mm film....more info
- Laughable 80s Mellodrama
The graphics were good for it's time but the storyline gets silly - invaders claiming human scientists have a conspiracy against them, and the acting is basically what you would expect from a bad made for tv movie. It's basically a sci fi soap opera. It isn't terrible. But hard to take seriously. I'm a big sci fi fan, but this is a silly movie with second rate writing and acting. I can't complain for $10, though. I'm just disapointed....more info
- V The Original Miniseries was a new start for NBC
It is about time that they FINALLY came out with the V Series.
I was about 11 or 12 at the time that they had a miniseries called V that rocked the pants off of NBC executives. Then they brought out V: The Final Battle.
Then they came out with a TV series called V.
The problem is that what you could do with a mini series was harder and more expensive to do with a WEEKLY TV Series.
Therefore, main characters were written off in unexplained plots.
NBC moved the series around so much that when the TV Series Finale came about a lot of NBC affiliates didn't even air it.
V: The Original MiniSeries A+
V: The Final Battle A+++
V: The TV Series C+
- Even After Two Decades...
Even though the original "V-The Miniseries" aired over 20 years ago, I still find myself watching it over and over again. Yes, I recorded it from broadcast TV years ago, and wore out those tapes, and, yes, I then purchased both "V-The Miniseries" and "V-The Final Battle" when I found them on VHS. I have since bought both of them in DVD format, and will definetely buy the whole series when it comes out this month on DVD.
Many people were not aware that "V-The Miniseries" actually had a "conclusion" miniseries air a year later. While the original was awesome (with then-unheard-of special/make-up effects that totally outshone other shows/series of its time), I was very disappointed when it ended the way it did... Which is why I was thrilled when "The Final Battle" was later aired on TV. I also enjoyed the series that followed. However, although the series never captivated me as much as the previous miniseries did, I still will definetely add it to my DVD collection.
Even many people who were not sci-fi fans enjoyed these miniseries, as there are some definite parallels between the aliens coming to Earth (and trying to defeat the humans in the manner they did) and the Holocaust (and the propoganda "war" and virtual enslavement of the Jewish community that the Nazi regime created). Although I do remember some people freaking out over the idea that something like that could happen in the "present day" (of course that's the early-80's).
Overall, I highly recommend watching the entire thing (both "V-The Miniseries", and "V-The Final Battle") together, or else you miss so much. I have to admit that some of the acting lagged (although I really did like Michael Ironside's character), but the plot and the overall quality of the movie more than made up for it. Some people have complained that the DVD release is a "fake widescreen", in that they cut off the top and bottom of the film to make it that way, but if so, I didn't really notice it. If you've never seen it before, you'll really enjoy it. If you've seen it several times, you'll really enjoy seeing it brought back to life in its new format!!!...more info
- Sci-fi classic
If you have never watched "V" hit "purchase with one click." If you have, its the same thing you watched on TV 20 some odd years ago without the commercials, no extras....more info
This tv mini-series is one of the most amazing science fiction events I have ever seen. It is on par with a hollywood movie in its scope, notably "independence day",a film which blatantly ripped off some of the ideas from this miniseries. Being from the 1980's, this film still retains an awesome level of special effects, while actually retaining a brilliant story that draws you in. The only part about this series that is annoying is the constant corny one-liners. An example is a guy says to the woman "They come from Sirius." and the woman responds "You need to get SERIOUS." The script abounds with cheesy one-liners and cliche expressions. although even with these failed attempts at "comic relief" the script features many touching moments that confront issues of class, culture, holocaust survivors and a biting allegory of modernity. It brings an important question that is today more important than ever, if a new fascist movement movement totally subverted the populations of the modern world, who would fight back and who would naively support it? ...more info
- "Do it Right.....V.......For Victory"
Sure the hair, Ferrari Sunglasses, and fashion scream 80's! The opening montage of the movie's stars pictured with thier names is straight out of any cheesy "movie-of-the-week" opening. But that is where "V"'s comparison to other made for TV movies ends. Look beyond all of that and you will find an engrossing story. A true underdog story that everyone will enjoy. Sure, "V" is basically a science fiction retelling of the Nazi takeover of Europe, but it is also much more. When I was a kid and this Mini-series first aired, me and my buddies couldn't get enough. Now watching it 20 years later, I wasn't sure how it would hold up. My wife who had never seen "V" figured I had just doomed her to another evening of "rubber" alien suited actors chasing half clothed women who are stupid enough to seperate themselves from the hero/heroine. But after about half an hour, "V" captured her imagination and attention as well. If you have never seen "V", then try not to find out too much of the story, and get this disk. Let if unfold for you the way it did for me back in 1983, and for my wife just the other night. You will be swept along on a journey that will not disappoint. The special effects hold up well, considering this was done before computer animation (which usually ends up looking worse than a guy in a rubber suit). The acting is okay too (I mean let's face it, "V" stars the Beastmaster guy and one of the students from The Greatest American Hero, plus a few scenes with Freddy Krueger), but it really is just the basic story that is so gripping. And now that this DVD is around $10 you just can't go wrong....more info
- V: the review
I was curious as to what "V" is about since it ties in with the great conspiracy theory that our planet is in truth secretly (or not so secretly) ruled by lizards from outer space ... I missed the original broadcast while serving in the United States Navy and secretly (or not so secretly) fighting our own aliens in the military. Could there be some vital clue in this series to the overall conspiracy that I missed?
Well, if bad acting and hokey scripting is a part of the scheme ... V has it covered. Yet, V has a certain 80's charm. The 80s was a decade of difficult transition from the disco-wild 70s to the super-fueled cocaine-driven business savvy seriousness we all ended up with. While the population crawled over each other for upward mobility it seems popular culture suffered more than ever before. Fashion, popular music (not punk), television and film reached all-time lows of absurdity and lack of creativity. So, what we're left with are some of the shows that still hold charm during this wacky decade.
Marc Singer is a big part of V's charm, but only because he seems to wholly sum up the bad acting of the time--with his chin held high. We know he isn't a great actor, but he seems like a damn nice guy, so what the hell--you like him anyway.
We also get a somewhat heartfelt performance out of Robert Englund as one of the nicer aliens and a chance to witness Englund's softer side-before Nightmare on Elm Street.
I was a little disappointed with the abruptness of the series end. You get the feeling you've just watched the open act of a play as the curtains are drawn shut. Whether the producers already had the second mini-series in production or if they were actually shooting for an ongoing series--I have no idea, but the only way to really know the story is to continue, which I actually may do--so the series couldn't have been that bad, right?
Or maybe I'm just a sucker for hot babes that turn into lizards. I seem to remember at least one of those.
I give "V" a good solid "B."
- even better than I remembered
My siblings and I have such fond memories of this show. To this day, I call some cast members by their characters' names in V. "Tyler" (Michael Ironside's character in V) appeared in the "Top Gun" movie; "Diana" (Jane Badler), in later episodes of the "Mission Impossible" TV series circa 1980s-90s; "Kyle", in a Bionic Man & Woman spin-off; "Kyle's father", in "Lois & Clark" as Perry White; "Willie", in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies as Freddie Kruger,
When I saw a DVD of this in 2002, I instantly grabbed a copy and that of its sequel, "V - The Final Battle". :) I first saw them in my teenage years; lured by their their sci-fi themes and special effects, which were quite good for their time. Watching it as an adult made me better grasp the sophisticated subplots of duplicity, heroism, politics, war and prejudice. I salute the grandfather character for his courage in standing up to authority.
This time around, I had more praises for Faye Grant's acting. She was a reluctant leader who grew into that role. I also recall Sarah Douglas ("Ursa" in the Superman movies) had some screen time here, playing one of her trademark "cold and calculating villainess" personas. Although her character here is much less of a villain than Diana is. :)
I'm saving up for V the TV series. It ranks only "medium" to "low" in my wish list, though, as I have fewer recollections of it. ...more info
- A Classic TV Sci-Fi that Ages Very Well!
I remember it well the first time I saw this on television as a kid and I was totally in awe at just how great a drama this was. I would look forward every week for the next installment of how we would defeat the aliens that stole our water and ate our flesh. Even at that level I was able to thoroughly enjoy the entire series. It wasn't until as an adult while viewing this again on dvd did the Nazi analogy become obvious to me and although the effects lack the CGI touch of today, I'm still impressed at just how good they were even for today.
Few television series from my childhood age well and so I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I still enjoyed viewing this dvd after more than 25 years. "V" has even aged better than "Battlestar Galactica" for me which takes quite some doing.
The sound quality in Dolby Surround is also very good and although the picture quality isn't perfect as there are still spots and other imperfections, they are not very widespread and do not detract too much from the overall viewing experience. This is just half the story though as you will need to get the follow-up "The Final Battle" to see how it all ends.
Very good television sci-fi with a pertinent underlying message that is still relevant today makes this highly recommended....more info
- Not a complete piece
V is a rarity - a seminal achievment of classic sci-fi in a made-for-TV movie. This mini-series provides the groundwork, primarily the expository "these are the aliens, these people are the good guys, who's right and who's wrong" setup of the larger story. I remembered V very fondly from my youth, and was a bit dismayed to discover how seemingly incomplete this first mini-series was. When viewed with the now-available "V - The Final Battle" it's quite a satisfying ride. I would highly recommend buying "V" with "V - The Final Battle" and watching them as one. If you just buy this one, you'll be left wanting more.
Soon to be available? V - The Complete Series. A worthy continuation of the TV epic. At the time of its production, it was the most expensive per-episode TV series ever made. Now, a single cast member from "Friends" makes more per episode than an episode of "V" cost to make....more info
- You cannot go wrong...
Return with us now to those thrilling days of 1983, when network event television really was special. When these episodes were originally aired, they were the only topic of discussion at work the next day.
Yes, like all good science fiction, it's really about us. Marvel at the effects they were able to achieve on this budget. Speaking of budget, you can't beat this price for 186 minutes of entertainment. The transfer is beautiful. Among the clearest, truest picture quality of any of my many DVD's. Be awestruck by the huge alien ships hovering over our cities. Be mesmerized by the gorgeous but evil Jane Badler. Thrill to Marc Singer's adventures all over again. You will thoroughly enjoy yourself, and you just might learn something about what it means to be human....more info
I loved the '83 original V miniseries. I just want to know....where is the rest of the 6 hr. miniseries???? This item is only 196 minutes!!! We didn't even see the monster baby born. Please tell me that there is a disk somewhere with the rest of the series.........more info
- Loved it
I loved it when it came out, and loved watching it again. This is a wonderful example of the era--Reagan and the StarWars Program....more info
- The Belly of the Whale
"V: The Miniseries" captured the attention of the 80s. It was what American audiences needed after such success of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek", it was a new chapter of science fiction, and the marketing gurus behind it were ready to make history. Released in 1983, this short chapter is part of a bigger idea, but it was a powerful start to that idea. Randomly, what I invisioned a Tuesday afternoon, the sky is flooded with huge alien spacecraft ready to make contact. We are scared, the flush of the unknown is heavy, but as soon as we see that they look just like us - we are calmed. They want resources, talk of a dying planet, and even during a Cold War, we - the nations of the world - extend an open hand to them. It is the beginning of the end ... well, so to speak.
Nearly 26 years after its original release on television, "V: The Miniseries" is continually voted one of the top cult shows of the 80s, and one can agree - it is a poineering show for television, but the pressing question is - does it still hold up after all of these years? With CGI a staple in Hollywood, and the science fiction genre proving to be a lucrative endeavor, does "V" feel all-powerful, or is it just another hokie film masquerading history with reptilian creatures? Passivly, the responce is yes. "V" (excluding "The Final Battle") was a fantastic miniseries in the 80s, and continues to provide unparalleled entertainment today. What lacks in an elongated story pressured by history, it overloads with magnificent visuals. Consider "V" in the 80s to be the "Battlestar Galactica" of today -- thrilling characters, the idea of the unknown, and the creatures that will leave a lasting, and iconic, impression for weeks after viewing. Yet, a modern viewing will have to patiently wait for the reward as it arrives in waves throughout the entire three hours. A bold opening, the over-zealous spacecraft appearing in the skyline, the fear of the unknown, and the arrival of those red suits will pull you in, but then it slows as we introduce characters (both big and small), and further bring connections between 1983 and German influences in the 1940s. Patience is more than a virtue with this series, as it is important to watch through the ending, there are just small details that pull away from the overall impact of the show. The scientist elimination and discrimination was random - at first - having to readjust your concept of "why" - we are jolted from a sudden disappearance to a hatred from both the alien race and human. It was shocking to see how quickly one human could turn on another - but again - it was at that time when Kenneth Johnson was pushing the German/Jewish undertones. A stronger transition from alien arrival to a debunk of social standards would make the flow stronger, and allow modern eyes to adjust.
This said, "V: The Miniseries" is more than just your 8pm Wednesday science fiction, it is symbolic, hurtful, idealistic, charming, incredibly 80s, and pioneering for today's television. Between this and Lynch's "Twin Peaks", it is shameful to think "Lost" is that creative. "V" is a great show to watch, and from a personal standpoint, I loved watching everything Johnson brought to the screen. The posters within the film are as vibrant and vintage as when released. The visual of red spraypaint creating that V on the cartoonish prints are just as important as that of the first discovery of the reptile. It was a slice of my youth, but it is not a show that I could watch again and again. The intensity was high, the acting was mid-level, and the central story (outside of the action-packed intro and outro) was mediocre at best. I wanted to fall back in love with this show, but the middle drama was overly symbolic. I didn't need overbearing Nazi implications, I wanted to discover it for myself. Johnson, again, did a great job - just a bit too pushy with the message.
The DVD itself was not as sharp as modern discs, but it was an 80s TV show. It felt like it was coming on TV for the first time, complete with lackluster colors and over-budgeted special effects. I liked this style and release, and am highly excited about jumping into "The Final Battle". For this chapter, I liked what I saw - what I was re-exposed to - I just didn't love it as I did was I was 7.
Grade: *** 1/2 out of *****...more info
- A Real Classic
For sci fi fans this is a treasure. V is 20 years old, and special effects have certainly advanced. However, the direction is great, the only bad actors are the female villains (and they're terrible - and why British?) and the only clunker in the story and characterization is a one-dimensional teenage girl who gets herself knocked up by a lizard (and just exactly how? did the writers not know how lizards do it? she certainly would have noticed.) This is not a bad average for TV sci-fi. It is certainly better than the garbage that various networks are producing now.
V was produced with a conscious effort to comment on colaboration and resistence, and on how we are afffected by the media. The script is good enough to be serious. Watching the DVD recently prompted me to think about the Patriot Act, and just how far we can be lied to and led. ...more info
- Loved "V" then...Still Love it Now!
As a young child, I faithfully watched the first "V - The Original TV Miniseries, "V - The Final Battle" and the V weekly series on TV. I loved it then and still love it now. While some of the special effects are cheesy, (such as Diana eating the guinea pig) some of them still hold up even in 2006. That's the only reason why I gave the movie 4 stars, instead of 5. It's still fun to watch after all these years....more info
- Intelligent, entertaining, and meaningful, especially now
Inspired by the novel "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis, the original mini-series "V" deals with a race of aliens who visit Earth with the promise of technology and cures for disease in exchange for our aid in producing a chemical needed on their planet. But their true intent is to steal Earth's water, and people...for food. Their peaceful facade slowly disolves to expose their facist mentality. Scientists, who are viewed as a threat by the aliens for their potential to uncover the truth, are persecuted, not only by the aliens, but by the humans who follow the aliens like sheep (ironically).
The DVD also includes some behind-the-scenes footage, and an excellent audio commentary by creator Kenneth Johnson. Johnson is able to provide commentary during the entire 196 minutes without it ever becoming dull or uninteresting -- in fact, it's one of the best audio commentary tracks I've ever heard.
And as a side note: not to get political, but I was reminded of V during the 2004 presidential campaign, when George Bush the elder referred to those criticizing his son as "the intellectual elite". It just reminded me of the backlash portrayed in this mini-series towards the scientists....more info
- Cult Classic
Although outdated, V was truly one of the best movies on television. You got to love those ray guns that the Visitors used and the sound that they made. I wished they made them as toys, it would of been a great collectors item.
The movie is about aliens from another galaxy. They come in peace. On earth, when they arrive, they are known as the Visitors. The Visitors explain that their world is dying and they need Earth's help. Dressed in a red type of uniform with knee high boots (like what the motorcycle police boots) and dark thick sunglasses, the Visitors supreme commander, John played by Richard Herd, appeals to everyone on earth. They appeal to mans good will and are in desperate need of help. John explains that there world is much like Earth but is dying. Since they look like us, are they telling the truth? Are they hostile? Everyone goes about there lives but then people start to disappear. Doctors, scientists, anthropologists, archeologists and others who the Vistitors think will uncover there plan? But what is it? Hey, I'm not into spoiling it for those who haven't seen this movie. You'll have to watch it! :)
This movie stars Marc Singer (The Beastmaster) as Mike Donovan, a reporter, who makes startling discoveries on the mothership and soon the Visitors try to silence him...for good. Will he make it back to earth to warn anyone who will listen to him? Will he be turned in? Another good casting was Diana (Jane Badler who frequented the daytime soaps), the leader of the mothership who was excellent as the evil visitor hell bent on converting earthlings, using them for experements and getting what she wanted from Earth. And who loved Martin as one of the few vistors who helped the resistance. Martin (Frank Ashmore from Airplane!) was a member of the 5th column who didn't believe in their Leaders true intentions for earth. In the first original series, you meet Martin and Barbara as they help Mike Donovan escape Diana's clutches.
The movie moves in a good pace. Slowly you see scientists disappearing, unexplained deaths, humans joining the Visitor youth group, and people writing with "the wrong hand" which raises some suspicions. This is a classic sci-fi movie, and since the movie is over twenty years old it comes with aged special effects but if you notice, the mother ships resemble the ones in Independence Day. However the ones in ID4 are much much bigger but you can see the slight similarities. Anyone who owns a sci-fi collection or love alien movies will not want to miss this one. It would of been nice to see some extras on how they did the makeup as well as deleted scenes. You do however, get a lengthy commentary by the directory/writer Kenneth Johnson. He talks about how the movie was made, the special effects, and breif chats with some of the stars. Marc Singer and Faye Grant share their expierences in the movie. Kenneth Johnson coincidently is in the process of making another made for TV movie V called V: The Second Generation.
Sci-fi buffs while the movie is very old, it is one of those DVD collections that people will pick up and say, " Wow, I haven't seen this in a while," and watch it. If you like this one, pick up V: The Final Battle also. The 2 made for TV movies spawned a TV series but it didn't last long. The orginal series and V: The Final Battle are a great addition to anyone DVD library. ...more info
- 'Vulnerabilities are exploitable weaknesses!'
Jane Badler as the nefarious 'Diana' speaks the above line as she eliminates one of the Resistance Fighters. It is just one of the many 'zingers' that she, as the chief villain, gets away with. Her performance, along with those of fellow 'lizards' Andrew Prine and Sarah Douglas, are the highlights of this, a compilation of both the original 1984 miniseries and its sequel.
While Mark Singer and Faye Grant are passable as the two of the many 'heroes' in these films, the juiciest parts still belong to the bad guys or an anti-hero, in the form of Michael Ironside as 'Ham Tyler'. David Packer and Neva Patterson play 'Daniel' and 'Eleanor', respectively, humans that ally themselves with the invading 'friends'. The two obviously enjoyed portraying such disreputable characters.
The special effects are typical of the time but the story does not rely solely on them. As creator/writer Johnson planned, this is a tale about fascism and how easily it can rise in an orderly society.
Twenty-two years may have passed since the production of this miniseries, but the film has not lost its 'bite'.
It remains a careful, thought-provoking blend of science fiction, social commentary, and political machinations....more info
- V- The Original Miniseries.........
To those of us old enough to remember when V first aired, we can tell you that-for its' time- it was quite the event. Millions watched the special and wasn't disappointed in the least. It was talked about for weeks on TV.
The show begins with Mike Donovan filming violence in El Salvador when a spacecraft suddenly appears and draws near. Other ships start to arrive. Some worldwide. It isn't long before the commander of the craft invites the Secretary General of the United Nations to make first contact. Introducing himself as John, he states that their world is in the throes of an environmental catastrophe and that they need Earth's help to survive. In exchange for helping them come up with the materials they need, they will share their scientific knowledge with the people of Earth. Donovan and television reporter Kristine Walsh are selected to go aboard the massive mothership hovering over Los Angeles. There they meet the Visitor's second-in-command, Diana, and get a tour of the spacecraft. Donovan sneaks back aboard the ship when he makes a discovery and finds himself trying to find a way out as the Visitors try to stop him. The real reason for their arrival is made clear and the humans start a revolt against them. That's when things start to get exciting. I won't give it away but it is something you have to see.
It was written and directed by Kenneth Johnson, whom some of you may know was the man behind TV's The Incredible Hulk and The Bionic Woman. The movie starred: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Michael Ironside, Jenny Sullivan, Jane Badler, Richard Herd, Robert Englund(pre-Freddy Krueger, of course), Andrew Prine and Peter Nelson. DVD extras include: Audio Commentary by Kenneth Johnson, a 25-minute behind-the-scenes documentary and a cast and crew list. Not much but I'm not knocking things...at least they did have some extras.
It stands as one of NBC's biggest hits. It's a movie every SCI-FI fan should see. I highly recommend this. You'll love it.
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