Monday, 14 September 2009

Top Five Movie Characters

Continuing the countdown from my previous post, I present my top five movie characters.

It seems the boys liked my choices of ten through to six, as did a couple of girls, but I wonder if the final countdown will be as well received.

*I should again warn you of adult language*

Five

Léon played by Jean Reno in Léon

The rifle is the first weapon you learn how to use, because it lets you keep your distance from the client. The closer you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the client. The knife, for example, is the last thing you learn.

This is a tremendous film, assassination, corruption and some very questionable relations between a fucked up girl, and a man that kills for a living. But is he living? Léon is very strange, totally withdrawn, as you might expect from your expert shoot-to-order marksman. However he warms to Matilda, and saves her from her terrible plight at the hands of her drug dealing parents, and the corrupt cop played by Gary Oldman (who is also a brilliant actor). He is such a bad ass, but I couldn't help thinking he knows right-from-wrong, and ultimately plays the maximum penalty to save a girl he has no duty to at all.

Four

The Narrator / Tyler Durden played by Edward Norton / Brad Pitt in Fight Club

This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

I think Norton is absolutely superb in this, as he is in a lot of his films. Brad Pitt is no slouch either, and I particularly like his 'pikey' in Snatch, but I favour Norton in Fight Club. Blessed with many demons, and an incredible ability to repress them for the sake of IKEA furniture, this china is proper wound. Visiting crash sites and applying a formula of product recall cost versus likely compensation for fatally wounded customers, would drive me the same way. He really signifies the nasty side of the corporation, and the greed machine. He manages to create a self he aspires to be, and becomes that self, without even realising it, whilst wrestling terribly with the whole concept, certainly towards the end of the film.

Three

Melvin Udall played by Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets

You make me want to be a better man.

That is a killer line, in a killer film. This serious ailed character is constantly battling with his thoughts, his fears and general loathing of everything that exists. That is apart from Carol, the 'greatest woman on earth', Verdell (the dog), and eventually his yga neighbour, played by Greg Kinnear. Melvin is brilliant at one liners, ignoring everything put to him, and offering a different, and often unwelcome opinion, at any given opportunity. His noodle salad monologue during the road trip has me laughing before he finishes it. And the way he cuts his female fan down in the publishers lift is also top class. I used to refer to the better man line, as a compliment to my late wife, and I still do. As even after her passing, she makes me want to strive to be that better man. Killer line. Killer film.

Two

Gordie Lachance played by Wil Wheaton / Richard Dreyfuss in Stand by Me

Suck my fat one, you cheap dime store hood.

This was a very close call for the top spot, and that says a lot about Gordie Lachance. I love this kid, totally underestimated by everyone apart from his three close friends, and especially Chris, who sees everything he could be. His family, grieving from the loss of their all-action college hero football eldest (played by another awesome actor in John Cusack), virtually ignore Gordie, and his 'different talents', and the fact that he has lost the most important person in the world to him too. This kid is strong, strong as an ox (that dude lived to tell the tale of a leech on his cock), and not to be fucked with. Brave, but not stupid. He values his friendships, makes the right call all the time, and acts beyond his years, while still being able to enjoy himself as a kid. His story craft, of the pie eating contest, is a marvellous little side track, in what is an absolute masterpiece for me.

My number One

Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill in Star Wars (Episodes IV, V & VI)

It's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

Luke has seen some shit too, yet he is still ridiculously optimistic and beautifully naive. I mean he is an orphan, or thinks he is any way, his adoptive parents treat him like a slave, then they get murdered too, but still, moments later, he's blindly putting his faith in Old Ben Kenobi, and a Force he knew little of, only hours before (I may be taking that straight from the Family Guy version). It's a good job no one told him his twin sister was fostered in to a life as a Princess at that point, but he never even appears pissed when he learns of that news. He does appear a little miffed when he learns that indeed he is not an orphan. “On the plus side Luke your father is alive, on the downside, it's Darth Vader, you know the fella you're bringing your best shit against, yeah him, don't know if this is good or bad news really.” He is borderline crazy positive. And do you know why? Why? Because none of it matters when there is a Empire to defeat. Luke only deals in shit like that. Sure, there are way cooler characters in Star Wars, way funnier too, but are any of them real heroes? Luke is selfless, and instantly loyal and trusting. Plus his leather jacket at the end of Episode IV, when he is receiving his award for destroying the Death Star, is quite simply a must have. I have even modelled my haircut on him. The force is immense in this one, and he's my number one.

I have really enjoyed putting this list together, so a thanks again to Dan the Man. And I think I would like to pass this challenge, and hopefully enjoyment, on to the following;

Avitable = Because I'd love to read his list, and frankly, he needs stuff to do.
SciFi Dad = Because I think I know what his number one would be.
Violet Posy = As she causes me so much pain, about time I returned some (and as she's injured at the moment, this will definitely give her some).
Joner = To she if she lists the entire cast from Weekend at Bernie's.
Kevin Spencer = As he agrees with me, so it will be a simple cut and paste job.
Zoe's Dad = Because this might push him closer to getting the movie queue wotsit.
Dumdad = Because he thought of the ones, that I am pissed I missed.
Jeff = Because like the previous, he was daft enough to comment on part I.
The Jelly Monster = Because she volunteered, and I am sure we will enjoy reading her choices.

My insincere apologies if you've done this before, detest being tagged or can't be bothered. I look forward to reading your lists.


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