Saturday, February 2, 2013

20 Years of Cinema-Watching Part 5 - A Whole Lotta Favorite Characters

So, I can't pick just 20 favorite characters. I just can't. It cannot be done. Many of them are from the same film. It was tough enough to choose select characters from stuff like Star Wars, Back to the Future and The Big Lebowski. In fact, I had read a blog that had indeed said fuck it and added the entire cast for The Big Lebowski and Glengarry Glen Ross (while I don't feel the same sentiment for the latter, if I could and had all the time I would definitely put the entire cast of the former).
It was tough enough to narrow those. You ask me cut down and I'll cut something else, I promise you...

...Now that that mental breakdown is behind me, I will begin explaining about this... I didn't just want to make this unorganized... Especially when I was afraid this was going to end upwards of 100... I can't tell, I don't want to count. I'm too scared. So I grouped them in a very cliche and gimmicky manner, but one that would be somewhat satisfying to read this list by. I mean, yea, this good and bad thing sounds a bit... mocky... like Donnie Darko says in that 'Fear and Love' moment... You can't just group things like that, there is more to these characters than meets the eye. I'm certain I've made a couple of mistakes in this struggle of categorization.

And that's part of the beauty of these types of characters. I regret that I only credit the director and whatever or whomever was portraying the characters listed, but it's the entirety of the movie's effect that builds up the best characters... like the editing, the make-up, the writing, the backdrop... The mood, the atmosphere, the character is ethereal, it's a part of this world we inhabit... he or she can't exist outside of it, so we emulate what we love to take it's example into perspective or fight the little signs and reminders so the horrors aren't re-enacted.

In the end... I'm basically saying I really love movie characters. I like paying attention more to movie characters and visuals than I do the plot. So what, big whup, wanna fight about it?

THE GOOD 'A man oughta do what he thinks is best...' -Hondo
When a moral center occurs in a story, it's a comfort. He doesn't have to be perfect entirely. He just has to have his or her heart in the right place. Maybe the right guy in the wrong place. Maybe a person who holds at least one thing close to the chest, if only to keep the world intact in their lifetime. No matter why, the end result is the same. These are the brave ones. And they let us know others in the world can be brave.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) from Aliens (Cameron, 1986)

John Milner (Paul Le Mat) from American Graffiti (Lucas, 1973)

Jim Malone (Sean Connery) from The Untouchables (De Palma, 1987)

Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) from Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) from Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Lucas, 2005)

Jeff 'The Dude' Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) from The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, 1998)*THIS IS MY FAVORITE MOVIE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME

Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) from The Mummy (Sommers, 1999)

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) from Iron Man (Favreau, 2008)

Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004)

Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) from Lost in Translation (Coppola, 2003)

Spike (animated character) from The Land Before Time (Bluth, 1989)

Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) from Serpico (Lumet, 1973)

H.I. McDunnough (Nicholas Cage) from Raising Arizona (Coen/Coen, 1987)

Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Akroyd) Blues in The Blues Brothers (Landis, 1980)

The Prospector (Charles Chaplin) from The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925)

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) from Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981)

Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) from Big Trouble in Little China (Carpenter, 1986)

George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) from It's a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946)

Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) from The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) from The Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991)

Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) from Sling Blade (Thornton, 1996)

Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) from Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)

Fezzik (Andre the Giant) from The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987)

WALL-E (Voiced by Ben Burtt) from WALL-E (Stanton, 2008)

Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) from The Crow (Proyas, 1994)

Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellan) from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, 2001)

William Munny (Clint Eastwood) from Unforgiven (Eastwood, 1992)

John McClane (Bruce Willis) from Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988)

THE BAD 'Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an horrible cunt. Me. -Snatch.
Self-indulgent. Aggressive. Violent. Distant. Not exclusively bad traits, we all have our flaws. But what you do with yourself is what really defines you. You could be a man who has no care or value for others lives, indiscriminately raping and maiming and killing. You could be a harbinger of chaos. You could get away with it. But there's no denying what your affiliation is... It's nature.

Darth Vader (David Prowse; Voiced by James Earl Jones) from Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)

Dr. Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesinger) from The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)

Vincenzo Coccoti (Christopher Walken) from True Romance (Scott, 1993)

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country for Old Men (Coen/Coen, 2007)

Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) from Back to the Future (Zemeckis, 1985)

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) from The Shining (Kubrick, 1980)

Brick Top (Alan Ford) from Snatch. (Ritchie, 2000)

Lloyd (Joe Turkel) from The Shining (Kubrick, 1980)

David Lo Pan (James Hong) from Big Trouble in Little China (Carpenter, 1986)

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) from The Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974)

Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) from Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992)

Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) from The French Connection (Friedkin, 1971)

Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Zemeckis, 1988)

Alex De Large (Malcolm McDowell) from A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)

Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro) from Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)

Elliot Blitzer (Bronson Pinchot) from True Romance (Scott, 1993)

Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) from Schindler's List (Spielberg, 1993)

Tommy De Vito (Joe Pesci) from Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990)

Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) from Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986)

The Collector (Billy Zane) from Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight (Dickerson, 1995)

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from Scarface (De Palma, 1983)

Harry Lime (Orson Welles) from The Third Man (Reed, 1949)

Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988)

Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Silberling, 2004)

The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) from The Wizard of Oz (Fleming/Cukor, 1939)

The T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from The Terminator (Cameron, 1984)

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) from Carrie (De Palma, 1976)

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (... Puppets?) from Ghostbusters (Reitman, 1984)

Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) from Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)

HAL-9000 (Voiced by Douglas Rain) from 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) from White Heat (Walsh, 1949)

Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) from Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Glosserman, 2006)

THE GRAY 'You sure you're on the right side?' -X-Men
Sometimes it's a struggle to really choose between right and wrong. It's hard to tell what's best for us, because by the end of the day, we want to know what's good for the soul and what's good for our health... Since it's a more internal struggle involving ambition, thought, restraint and so many other things that aren't easily visual, it's a lot harder to understand characters like these. But we roll with it and come along for the ride... mostly...

Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) from Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)** THIS IS MY FAVORITE PERFORMANCE IN A MOVIE

Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt) from Snatch. (Guy Ritchie, 2000)

The Writer (Patrick Magee) from A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)

Tuco (Eli Wallach) from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)

George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) from Easy Rider (Hopper, 1969)

Sanjuro Kuwabatake (Toshiro Mifune) from Yojimbo (Kurosawa, 1961)

Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) from Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)

Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) from Frankenstein (Whale, 1931)

The Bride (Uma Thurman) from Kill Bill (Tarantino, 2003/2004)

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) from The Social Network (Fincher, 2010)

Jessica Rabbit (Voiced by Kathleen Turner) from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Zemeckis, 1988)

Seth Gecko (George Clooney) from From Dusk till Dawn (Rodriguez, 1996)

Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) from Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino, 2009)

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (Mickey Rourke) from The Wrestler (Aronofsky, 2008)

Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzmann) from Rushmore (Anderson, 1998)

Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) from Gone with the Wind (Fleming/Cukor, 1939)

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) from Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick, 1987)

Blondie (Clint Eastwood) from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) from Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962)

Diane Selwyn/Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) from Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, 2001)

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan (Bill Crudup) from Watchmen (Snyder, 2009)
Actually he's more blue than gray...
... Couldn't resist

Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) from Hesher (Susser, 2010)

Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) from The Chronicles of Riddick (Twohy, 2004)

Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) from Malcolm X (Lee, 1992)

THE WEIRD 'You met me at a very strange time in my life' -Fight Club
Sometimes, it's a tiresome effort to imagine what goes in the minds of people around us. Maybe they amuse, maybe they horrify us, maybe they fascinate us in the more extraordinary fashion. This genuine and gem-like ambiguity of our peers, when adapted to cinema in a seamless and unforced manner, create the richest of characters.

Quint (Robert Shaw) from Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)

The Jesus (John Turturro) from The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, 1998)

Da Mayor (Ossie Davis) from Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989)

Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) from The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, 1998)

Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) from Fight Club (Fincher, 1999)

Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Charles, 2006)

Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) from Bubba Ho-Tep (Coscarelli, 2002)

River Tam (Summer Glau) from Serenity (Whedon, 2005)

Steve 'Stevo' Levy (Matthew Lillard) from SLC Punk! (Merendino, 1998)

Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from Back to the Future (Zemeckis, 1985)

David Byrne from Stop Making Sense (Demme, 1984)

Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) from Re-Animator (Gordon, 1985)

Winston Wolf (Harvey Keitel) from Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)

Ashley J. Williams (Bruce Campbell) from Evil Dead II (Raimi, 1987)

THE UGLY 'You are one ugly motherfucker....' -Predator
A tribute and tip of the hat to the monsters, the make-up, the special effects that paste expression into the beasts we see, haunt our nightmares and bring to life an imagination we thought would die easy...

Kong (Stop-Motion Designed by Willis O'Brien) from King Kong (Cooper/Schoedsack, 1933)

Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) from Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)

C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker; Voiced by Ben Burtt) from Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) from A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven, 1984)

Dr. Satan (Walter Phelan) from House of 1000 Corpses (Zombie, 2004)

The T-Rex (CGI) from Jurassic Park (Spielberg, 1993)

Bruce (Animatronic Designed by Joe Alves) from Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)

Count Orlock (Max Schreck) from Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Murnau, 1922)

The Xenomorph (Bolaji Badejo) from Alien (Scott, 1979)

The Monster (Boris Karloff) from Frankenstein (Whale, 1931)

The Monster's Bride (Elsa Lanchester) from The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)

Marv (Mickey Rourke) from Sin City (Rodriguez/Miller, 2005)

The Monster (CGI) from The Host (Bong, 2006)

The Thing (Animatronics and I don't know all the fucking people who portray the creature, that's why he's scary!) from The Thing (Carpenter, 1982)

And that's all for now... I may or not indulge myself in an extra list of regrettable omissions...
Too OCD like that...

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