Category Archives: Blog 5 (Jan 10) Fave Film Character

macho’s blog

I am a big favorite of serial killer and suspenseful movies. The movies that come to mind are the saw trilogies. The character John Kramer or his serial killer name Jigsaw is a man that is very sick with a tumor in his brain and doesn’t have much time to live. The doctors have told him that there is nothing that they can do to save his life and to just do what he wanted to be happy. So when jigsaw is told he is going to die he decides to start this crazy idea of what he calls salvation. Jigsaw designs these grew sum situations where he puts people who he sees are taking there lies for granted by doing things such as drugs, rapping, and other things. During one of these situations that jigsaw calls games; the victim has to make a choice to sacrifice something of their body or to put their bodies through something in order to live and with the hope that the test subjects would change their lives. I just think it’s crazy how someone can think of putting other people through crazy situations of nasty bloody killings and think that they are helping them for something better.

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slittle7

A film character that instantly comes to mind when thinking about the different types of heroism is Ian Flemming’s fictional MI6 agent, James Bond. Bond, who is played by a plethora of actors, has gone down in history for his enchanting adventures in both romance and his line of work. James Bond is a notorious British agent who works under the branch of MI6 as a field agent/assassin. Bond had always been a hero until relatively recent films in which depict a more gritty and guttural male figure. From what we have seen from the times of Sean Connery, Bond had never failed to save the World from ghastly organizations and masterminds.

Bond had always come forward to save people’s lives. Yes, the Bond character has had his dark side depicted in films but I thought that he had always been in check and that he knew who the good guys were, that is all we needed to know about Bond until now.

When Sean came out to play James Bond, he played the part of an epic hero. Whilst I do agree that the more recent incarnations of Bond have turned his heroic nature to a more tarnished and greyer scaled characterization of our character, I would agree with the anti-hero depiction towards Bond as a character on this count.

James Bond would most definitely be characterized as an anti-hero nowadays because he is not in league with other authorities and crosses boundaries to get his man; and while this certainly makes him a hero for trying to ascertain vicious criminals, he is also always on the run from the law. And lets not forget that he also kills people for a living. He is an anti-hero, just not in the sense that one would picture a traditional anti-hero like Batman, The Punisher, or numerous other vigilante type beings. While he does fight on the side of “good”, also his hamartia is also a major factor with him being a jaded agent. Bond is a dark, charming character that has all the qualities that describe an anti-hero.

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EClausen Heroes Blog 5

One of my favorite movies of all time is How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days starring Kate Hudson, also known as Andie Anderson. In this movie, I see her more as a love interest as well as the antagonist. Although one could argue that her co-star Mathew McConaughey, who plays Ben Barry is also the antagonist but because the story is being told through Andie’s eyes, she is the antagonist. Andie is extremely devoted to her work and wants nothing more than to succeed and impress her boss at the magazine she works at. Andie is also single, but feels as though she doesn’t need a man to complete her life. The audience would find it easy to identify with Andie towards the beginning of the film because they understand how she wants to get ahead in her job, but towards the end of the film the begin to understand more about her actions and see how her character has developed and changed over the course of the film. There is not much about her background other than she came from a somewhat poor family, but a strong family with high moral value. This is what drives her to do the best she can at work. She wants to follow her dreams unlike her parents. Andie wants to get a promotion in work so she is willing to pretend to date someone and see if they can fall in love with her in ten days and ultimately ends up getting the promotion and falling in love at the same time.

In the film, this character is portrayed as someone who works hard for what they get and knows that with hard work, they will be okay. The narration in this film helps to establish how Andie sees the world and, in a sense, how she prioritizes her life. It interesting how shes overlooks how her actions could effect someones life. For a character that focused so much on her friends and her relationships, it was interesting to see that she was willing to risk hurting someone just to write an article. This character is realistic because not only does she knows what she wants but she is also willing to go the length which I find typical of women. I also find it realistic because although she has intentions to just get information for her paper, she also ended up not being able to keep her true feelings out of it. Love was not a priority but it became one when she finally found someone to love. She is an extraordinary character and is so focused that she loses her focus at times, but she always seems to find her way back.

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Jordan Blog 5

Coach Herman Boone from Remember the Titans

Coach Boone is an African American football coach hired to coach the T.C. Williams High school football team. The story takes place in 1971 and the school has recently been integrated. The tension between the players, the staff and the city were at an all-time high.  By taking on this role Coach Boone puts himself his team and especially his family at a great danger. Throughout the movie the racial tension causes fights on the team, people throwing bricks at Coach Boones’ home and many other negative things thrown his way. In the end, Coach Boone gets the young men to gel and become a true team in fact, an undefeated team by putting them through some very strenuous training forcing them to bond. The men learn that they have many things in common from Coach Boones activities and the boys gain some genuine friendships many of the friendships with someone of a different race.

I like Coach Boone because he takes on a daunting and dangerous task in the height of civil rights era. He is strict and relentless when attempting to get his team to work together and coaches’ perfection. At the same time his tactics subtlety promotes racial equality and understanding for those who are different from you. Through his strict coaching methods the relationship goes from black against whites, to the team vs. Coach Boone, they do not dislike Coach Boone but they understand in order to make it through his football camp they must set aside their differences. His partner in the story would probably be Coach Yoast, he’s the former head coach of the team and is white so he acts at a mediator for the white players on the team as well as the white community. We sympathize with Coach Boone because he has a difficult task at hand and all the things his family is going through. We empathize with Coach Boone because we recognize the passion in which he tries to get the team to overcome the racial tension.

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JKelly 5

Have Little Priest

follow the link to hear the full song referenced in the post

Mrs. Lovette, played by Helen Bohem Carter, in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, is one of my favorite film characters. The film, adapted from a Broadway play, entitled Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, follows the return of Mr. Sweeny Todd to London in around the 1800’s and his revenge on the Judge Turpin, played by Alan Rickman, who ruined his life so many years ago. Mrs. Lovett is the owner of a [meat] pie shop, which she claims serves “the worst pies in London”, and knew Mr. Todd before he was sent away. As the movie progresses we learn that Mrs. Lovett has always been in love with Mr. Todd. Mrs. Lovett aids in Mr. Todd’s revenge by helping him dispose of his victims, by using them to make her meat pies. Ironically her meat pies become very popular with the city. In the end of the film it is her love for Mr. Todd that is her downfall.

The film uses the character of Mrs. Lovett as a foil to Mr. Todd, her compassion for him and unending desire to help him, no matter how questionable the activity, highlights just how crazy he really is. Furthermore, she also allows us some insight into the culture of the time period. Her use of Mr. Todd’s victims in her meat pies showcases how desperate the population of London was at the time. This movie is somewhat a musical, considering it was adapted from a broadway play this shouldn’t be a surprise, but has many songs that I think gives an excellent voice to under lying themes of the movie. For example, after Mr. Todd kills his first victim and is wondering what to do with it Mrs. Lovett begins to sing about using the people in her pies. Some interesting lines in this song are,

TODD: For what’s the sound of the world out there?….

TODD: Those crunching noises pervading the air!….

TODD: It’s man devouring man, my dear! So who are we to deny it in here…

TODD: The history of the world my dear, is those below serving those up above. How gratifying it is to know that those above will serve those down below.

Todd is obviously referring to the societal and cultural atmosphere of London. And how for once, the noble man (the ones able to afford a hair cut) will finally be served to, I mean, serving the lower class. The other line that is interesting to note is,
TODD: We’ll serve anyone, meaning anyone, and to anyone, at all!!

I just thought that was a nice play on words.

Sweeny Todd is definitely a dark and slightly gory movie with a lot of spurting blood and what not but its deeper meanings laced throughout the movie and key ancillary characters, like Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli a competing Barber (THAT’S BORAT AND YES HE CAN SING), Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, and Timothy Spall as the Police enforcer Beadle really aid is making Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Todd seem like they are actually doing the right thing. The scenes are very dark, with little lighting, except for those with Mrs. Lovett. One can assume that she is incharge of bringing color and life back in Mr. Todd’s world. While Mrs. Lovett is definitely not a perfect or even moral character, how can she be when she is suggesting to use priest in her pies, she is the obvious the conscious on Mr. Todd’s shoulder throughout the film. While you hope that Mrs. Lovett will have a good influence on Mr. Todd throughout the whole movie, in the end you realize that even after all Mrs. Lovett has done for him no one can save the demon barber of fleet street.

I liked this movie because of its interestingly twisted nature and of course all the singing; I’m a sucker for musicals. The world is not perfect and movies like this make us question what is good and what is evil. Mrs. Lovett also fills the criteria of being a woman in love and portrays the lengths in which some woman will go to in order to be with the one they love, no matter how psychotic the guy may be. But in the end we are reminded not everyone can be saved. I like Mrs. Lovett because she is a tough woman with a tender heart and a clever mind.

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JVonick Blog 5

One of my favorite actors from any movie is Matt Damon for his role as Francois Pienaar in Invictus. For those of you who don’t know, Invictus is about South Africa and what the country was going through before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It’s truly a great film, with Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela and Damon playing the role of the captain of the South African rugby team (the Springboks).  The movie focuses on the racial division in the post-Apartheid era and the story of how the Springbok team was able to unite the country.

Now this story’s narration is partially pre-set because the movie is based on a true story, but Damon does a terrific job showing the personality and determination of the team’s captain. Because the world is generally familiar with Nelson Mandela, it was an easier role for Freeman to play. Damon, however, had to portray his character well because his story was not that widely known before the movie came out. Therefore, whoever saw this movie before knowing the story made their assumptions of how Pienaar was as a person based on the movie. Pienaar is definitely one of the main protagonists because of his terrific leadership skills and his “super objective” was to win in order to bring the country together. Damon’s role in the movie is very similar to Gawain in the sense that his super objectives and main actions are not because he wants the fame, but because he knows it’s right and wants to make the world (and in his case, South Africa) a better place.

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JHarris Blog 5

I would say my favorite film character is Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. For those of you that have not seen this movie I would definitely recommend it! For a very, very brief summary this movie is the journey of Jack Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner as they try to save Elizabeth Swans who was captured by Barbossa and his Black Pearl crew because the has a piece of gold that they need. It turns out that Elizabeth stole the gold from Will when they were both young. Will wants to save Elizabeth because he loves her, but Jack’s motivation and alliances seem to change with every scene.

I would say that Jack Sparrow is a protagonist but also an anti-hero. As an audience member I felt empathy for him throughout the movie. He is inspiring, cunning, sly, rebellious, confident and adventurous but not in an annoying way. He provides comic relief throughout the film and at each moment you are waiting to see what his next move will be. Before the movie begins we know that Jack was captain of the Black Pearl before his first mate and crew left him on an island to die. His overall goal throughout the movie is to become captain again, however at times he risks this goal and his life to help others, and this selfless act is not one you would expect from a pirate.

Jack Sparrows appearance is originally unexpected. When I think of a pirate I imagine someone who is very strong, mean, and brutal. However, throughout the movie we learn Jack is more like Oedipus in that he relies on his brain more than his muscle. Jack has the unique ability to inspire others, or at least talk them into doing practically anything, even if it is not in their best interest. This part of his character relates to many audience members because it appeals to our inner adventure. Jack is also somewhat of a rebel; he doesn’t answer to anyone and just makes up his rules and plans as he goes along. There are many times throughout the movie where you are sure Jack will meet his end; however, he uses his wits, cunningness, and confidence to somehow change the situation to his advantage. Because of this, one could say that he is selfish, but his character is portrayed in such a way that we are always rooting for him and it doesn’t hurt that he is entertaining and sometimes sassy, in a manly way. He does have really weird body language throughout the film with the weird eyes and hand motions, but I think this is for a reason. Jack has a love for rum and these weird faces and gestures along with a slight drunk swag could make you think he is always a little intoxicated. This can play to his advantage because if his opponents think he is drunk they will underestimate him. When this happens they are unknowingly playing right into his sly plots. To conclude, Jack Sparrow is my favorite film character because of his personality and the way he is portrayed throughout the film.

 

For some Jack Sparrow favorite lines click here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCDA-m-TQdU

 

 

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jkaufman6 Blog Post 5

In the famous boxing movie Rocky, Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky in one of the greatest underdog stories of our time. The Rocky Series was born in 1975, when it was based off Robert Balboa, a Roman Catholic struggling to make end’s meat. Rocky develops the nickname “The Italian Stallion” do to his Italian-American heritage. Through each movie the legend of Rocky is constantly being built up until he is considered one of the toughest fighters of all time. In real life Sylvester Stallone is a tough looking and intimidating man, who brings a great presence to this movie.

Rocky Balboa is the protagonist of every series as he goes through his many obstacles and struggles by himself. As a character the movie does a great job of building up his interior character. He is an engaging, complex character with many unique qualities. Rocky works as a drama because his character is well-drawn, he has conflicts in all areas of his life and obstacles to overcome which seem insurmountable at times. Throughout the movie we are able to sympathize for Rocky and the world he lives in. One way he builds sympathy for his character is by highlighting the harshness of the world. In order to make money he is a debt-collector for a loan shark. One day his ordered to break the finger of a guy who does not have the money. However, Rocky refuses to do this and puts his job in jeopardy, which immediately grabs the audience on his side. Another great characteristic of Rocky is Stallone’s ability to humanize the character. In the beginning he presents himself as a hard streetwise debt-collector. As the movie goes on he turns the stereotype and becomes this loving and compassionate character. This is a critical component of the character because people are really able to relate to his flaws, vulnerabilities and compassion. Being presented as a victim of misfortune and ill-will, the audience is drawn to pull for him. Although he does not have any specific super powers, he becomes a hero by defining the odds and rising out of the streets. His fearless attitude and determination for success, is one of the reasons Rocky will always be considered one of the best true underdog stories of all time.

 

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Jlopes Blog Post 5

Anakin Skywalker from the famous movies Star Wars is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. There needs almost no introduction but Anakin is a slave who is found to have a high count of midi-chlorians (force energy lets say) and is trained to become a Jedi. He is the child of the prophecy but of course what no one knew was how he would fulfill his destiny. Of course Anakin becomes Darth Vader and the rest is history but how he becomes Darth Vader is brilliant. Anakin Skywalker is one of the best written antagonist/protagonists/love interests I think I have ever seen. His complexity and reason for going to the dark side is understandable. His mother, still a slave later dies as soon as he comes back for her, and Anakin is willing to do anything this time to save Padme, his wife, from death. Little does he know that converting to the dark side and trying to save her, actually leads him to accidentally kill her (OEDIPUS ANYONE?!) .

We feel sympathy and empathy for this character. Having lost his mother we understand that the next most important woman in his life must live, or he will go mad. Also in this movie we are informed he is the child of the prophecy, meant to bring balance to the force. However he does so when he is an old man, still fulfilling the prophecy, but millions and millions of lives were killed by his hands in the process. The factors that shape him are both interior and exterior. He battles his Jedi emotions and also looses his arm many times which makes him a bit mechanic and shows his partial transformation into the dark suit we all know and love. He (to me) is the most complete character and a much more modern Oedipus, except he kills everyone in stead of being banished.

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ABebout – Blog 5

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has powerful, evocative first-person narrative from a young teenager named Charlie. In the beginning scenes, the audience discovers that Charlie has an unnamed pen pal, whom he writes to about his life. The audience is exposed to the main storyline and the background of Charlie’s past through a voice over, which is assumed to be Charlie’s, reading the letters. This narration is used as a device to expose the deep internal struggles that Charlie is undergoing, and help the audience view him as a realistic, connectable character.

In the book, readers are given information about Charlie only through the letters to his pen pal. There is no descriptive narration of Charlie’s actions and how he responds to certain situation in the book. The movie does an excellent job of depicting Charlie’s emotions, given the nature of the media, and his behavior to conflicts in the book. An example of this in both the movie and in the book is when Charlie comes to his friend’s rescue. Patrick, Charlie’s gay friend, ends up fighting his ex-boyfriend, Brad, after Brad makes a homophobic comment to Patrick. In the book, Charlie blacked out when he was fighting against Brad and other football players, so the audience isn’t given much information to what happened. However, in the movie, the audience is shown at least the before and after events of the fight – even though they still don’t see the actual fight scene.

Charlie’s struggle with depression, abuse, and the death of his best friend is more evidently shown in the movie as well. Visually, the audience is able to see the slow progression of Charlie falling into depression. They are able to see the source of the depression, which is the abuse he experienced as a smaller child. The most beautiful aspect of the movie though is Charlie’s recovery from his ultimate downfall in the movie. He is depicted as an underdog hero because he has had to overcome so many boundaries – the death of his best friend, depression, and the abuse he endured as a child. Seeing him overcome these struggles only makes the audience connect with him and cheer him on when he finally reaches a better place. He is the hero that is not untouchable, but relatable.

Link of fight scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjvzEhVbYm8.

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