“Just saw V Is For Vendetta (Warner Bros., 3.17) at an A-list screening [in Manhattan] and you can tell the crowd thinks the conservative-values, government-allied network is Fox News,” a New York critic confides. “And the Bill O’Reilly stand-in gets it in the shower. The movie, for me, is a really great ride at the beginning and the end but there’s way too much in the middle. I don’t know what I would take out — the torture scenes are great even if the payoff is obvious — but there’s a lot of long exposition. And you have to agree what starts out as cool nods to anti-government sentiment, homosexuality, liberal thinking, etc., turns pretty ham-fisted by the three-quarter turn. The most obvious thing this movie proves is what a horrible Natalie Portman-director George Lucas is. A lot of V-heads will see this thing over and over again, but the rest of us? Not sure.”