Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Top 10 Movie Characters

Lee did this meme a few days ago, and while he didn't do any tagging, I thought it was an interesting exercise and I thought it was worth doing myself. The only problem with me doing stuff like this is it is supposed to be some quick thing, and what ends up happening is I end up thinking about my choices like they are chess moves. Case in point, I started doing this thing on Tuesday, and I just couldn't narrow down my choices until I had given it some thought.

The basic premise as you've likely gathered from the title, is that I am supposed to choose 10 characters from movies which really resonated with me. If it was just a matter of picking one, well, this would have been up on Tuesday, but making me choose more than that leads to problems.

But enough yakking about me and my meme neuroses... it is time to look at the list.

1. The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) from Leone's Dollars Trilogy. A man of few words, but huge actions. Very grey in terms of morality, but generally his actions end up having a positive outcome... a great anti-hero all around. I almost went with Tuco, but well, with The Man with No Name, you have the cinematic predecessors of a lot of action stars in the 1980's and 90's.

2. The Dude from The Big Lebowski. As a practicing Dudeist, this one is a given really.

3. James Bond. Do I need to explain this one?

4. Henry Hackett from The Paper. Now, this is an unusual choice I admit it. But the first time I saw The Paper, the character of Henry Hackett, played by Michael Keaton, really appealed to me. He is a man who was so anxious to break a story that during the middle of a job interview for a higher-prestige paper, he stole leads from the editor-in-chief's desk and had various other adventures while trying to do the right thing as a journalist. If there was a movie that I would have loved to have seen a sequel for, this was it.

5. Pai Mei from not only Kill Bill, but from a myriad of kung fu movies. I mean, the guy is bad ass, and as villains go, well, he is one of those figures that just transcends the genre, much like Dracula and Frankenstein have done in horror.

6. Snake Plissken from Escape from New York and unfortunately Escape from L.A.. Kurt Russell with an eye patch, kicking ass and taking names without saying a lot... what more do you need?

7. Grimm in Quick Change. There were a lot of Bill Murray characters I could have gone with, but somehow his turn as a first time bank robber who is stymied in his attempts to escape from New York, a problem which of course was a major stumbling block for another selection.

8. Danny Ocean from the Ocean's Eleven movies. George Clooney usually has that suave thing going, and given my penchant for scams, cons and frauds, especially perpetrated against bad people, well, I had to go with this choice.

9. Mitch Henessey from The Long Kiss Goodnight. Now, there were a lot of Samuel L. Jackson characters I could have gone with, but somehow, his turn as a low rent private detective who takes a job that has some really unexpected perils and some nice opportunities for some solid quips. He is a relatively unimportant man thrust into a situation which is really beyond his talents or experiences, and that's what makes it so great.

10. Robocop. Hmmm... Peter Weller playing a mechanized bad ass with a mind and soul. Yes, that is some compelling work, and given his experience with somewhat strange fantastical and science fiction movies, well, he really makes the character work.

Well, that's all from me on this topic. If you want to give it a whack, go for it... no pressure from me to do so.


Semaj said...

Which James Bond would you put on Top?

Pai Mei: great choice. So, he is the same character that shows up in other Kung Gu movies?

MC said...

Each of the Bonds has a quality which makes them unique... I like the realism of the newer Daniel Craig Bond movies, and I grew up on the Roger Moore movies. However, I do enjoy many of the Connery movies as much as the better Moore ones (and as an official Bond, he didn't make any true stinkers, which is something I can't say about either Brosnan or Moore). I know Timothy Dalton is my least favorite Bond, but that has more to do with his longevity rather than any deficiency.

And Pai Mei is in a lot of those movies... he might be called Bai Mei or Pak/Bak Mei or a host of related names, but he is the same dude. I found a Shaw Brothers movie with him in it, and you will see a move that you should be familiar with from Kill Bill.

Lee Sargent said...

Snake very nearly made my list but I was worried about having two 'Kurts'.

Great list.

Megan said...

No gals? :(

Arjan said...

speaking about the dude..check out this post

*posting the same link thingie over at QYDJ.

James Bond is a really good choice, no explanation needed as for the general choice indeed.

MC said...

Megan: Yeah, I deserve the burn for that one.

Lee: I used that rule too, because let's face it, there could have been more Sam Jackson.

Arjan: That is an awesome link.