Thursday, July 14, 2011

Favorite movie characters

The Warrior is at it again, this time challenging his fellow bloggers to list their favorite movie characters.  This one's a little harder than choosing favorite movies, because there's a heck of a lot more characters running around, and the awesome ones sometimes show up in movies about which I would have otherwise forgotten.  So for my list, I'm not going to determine a number of characters to feature or promise any form of order or completeness, because no matter what I do I'm bound to forget someone.  But as far as this post is concerned, you'll get at least a general sampling of my tastes.  Here we go!

Edward Bloom
Big Fish

Edward Bloom is just one heck of a guy, and the kind of person I want to be more like--not the town hero, like he is, but simply someone who treats every problem like an opportunity, and approaches everything with an idea, no matter how well it might work out in the long run.  Because of his attitude, Edward lives a life rich in unique experiences and lasting friendships with the most unlikely people.

Princess Mononoke

I can count on one hand how many people I've actually gotten to watch this movie with me, and none of them expressed any desire to see it again (haha) . . . which is really a shame because of how cool Ashitaka is.  This guy is suffering from a demonic curse that is set to kill him, and yet all his efforts throughout the movie remain selfless.  He gets caught in the middle of a war between industrious humans and the gods of the forest, and rather than seek healing and immortality through the disembodied head of the Forest Spirit (or so is the humans' belief regarding the creature), he instead fights to bring peace to the opposing factions, using his curse to demonstrate to them how very dangerous hatred truly is.

Lemuel Siddons
Follow Me, Boys!

I've got nothing but respect for Lemuel.  The new guy in a small town, he organizes a Boy Scout troop and leads the boys for many years, becoming a hero to them and the rest of the town.  He reminds me very much of my own Scoutmaster, who led our troop for more than forty years and to me embodies everything Scouting is about.  These are the kind of people who truly make a difference both in the world and in one's own life.

Elder Calhoun
The Best Two Years

Elder Calhoun is the quintessential green missionary, and I think it's safe to say that anyone who's ever been on a mission could relate to him at some point.  At least, I sure had my fair share of Elder Calhoun moments on my mission.  As far as movie characters go, this guy's as true to life as they come.

Return With Honor

While we're on the subject of missionary movies, I've got to mention Corbin--the best friend of a newly-returned missionary.  It's been said that a missionary's third year is his hardest, and for me that's quite true.  Coming home after two years isn't easy, and good friends are what have gotten me through.  Life kept moving while I was away from it, and with it, so did the people I care about.  But those who have had the patience to let me try to catch up have no idea what huge difference they have made.  That's what Corbin does for his friend in this movie, and I have to really appreciate a character like that.

Vincent Valentine
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

I've got to be honest: Vincent makes this list simply because of one line.  This movie is a sequel to the Final Fantasy VII video game.  The game's characters have mostly gone their own ways, but they keep in touch via cell phones--well, except for Vincent, who doesn't have a phone.  As the movie approaches its climax, the old team comes together again to fight off a gigantic demon beast thing that's attacking the city Midgar, and the whole scene is packed with action as one-by-one the crew joins the fight.  One rides in on a motorcycle, some drop down from an airship . . . and then there's Vincent, who walks in coolly like it's just another day.  His gun isn't even out yet, and before he starts kicking butt he has only one thing to say.

"Where can I buy a phone?"

Super Mario Bros.

Wait . . . what?  Okay, Luigi's on here pretty much for the same reason Vincent is: he does something so crazy awesome in one scene that I have to love him.  Mario and Luigi are in an elevator when all of a sudden it fills up with a bunch of bad guys.  How are they gonna get out of this one?  Watch the video on YouTube and skip ahead to 1:32 to find out!  You may feel dumber after watching it . . . but it's so worth it.

In addition to the awesome dance party, Luigi's attitude also wins him some points as a character.  Throughout the movie he reminds Mario that things may be improbable, but never impossible, and that rings well with me. 


I like Mater because he's so relatable.  I believe everyone has a little bit of Mater in them, and I can see quite a bit of myself in him.  And there's so much we can learn from him, really--namely his positive, energetic attitude about life.  Perhaps one of the best Mater lessons comes from Cars 2 (don't worry, I'm not giving away any sensitive plot points here), when someone tries to "fix" his dents.  Mater protests, claiming that each of his dents is important to him, because he got them with his best friend.  I think that's a very relevant point for us, too.  It's the hard times, our mistakes, our scars and our bruises, in addition to the people we care about, that give so much meaning to our lives.


Heimdall was always my favorite character in Norse mythology, and I was pleased to see an adaptation of him in this movie.  In Marvel's Thor, Heimdall is kind of like the cool waiter who gives you free drink refills when other customers have to pay, and says with a wink, "I won't tell if you won't tell!"  Of course, with that statement also comes the waiter's unspoken caveat:  "If my manager finds out, I'll spit in your food next time."  To be clear, Heimdall's not in the business of keeping secrets or serving food--but he would sure be good at it considering his awesome performance as watchman of the Rainbow Bridge.

Davy Crockett
The Alamo

So far I've steered clear of historical figures, but I just couldn't pass this one up.  Facts aside, I really like what Hollywood did with Davy Crockett here, and I feel that Billy Bob Thornton gives a masterful performance.  His Crockett always keeps a cool, level head, and because of that he's one of those people I wouldn't mind having with me in the heat of battle (or anytime, for that matter).  I feel emotionally invested in the story every time I watch this movie . . . though of course I think most of the credit for that would go to my mission in San Antonio.  But you can't argue with good acting, either, and I'm pleased to feature Davy Crockett on my list of favorite movie characters.


The Warrior said...

Hahaha! You know, I often like to sit back and think how close we are as friends and just laugh at the same time. For someone who knew nothing about us, to read each of our lists and then to be told we were such strong friends would only make them scratch their heads. I love it!

...I haven't seen a one of these movies. Er....

olde.fashioned said...

LOL and amen to Spencer's comment!!

I haven't seen any of these movies, either, but I did watch your Super Mario Brothers clip...and you SO owe me for that!!! (Just one question? What the HECK is a "goomba" and why on earth are they wearing metal slippers??)

Never did get around to watching The Alamo because the casting was downright frightening; as an honorary Texan, how much of a travesty was it?

Nathan said...

@ olde: Haha. Goombas are those lizard-man things they were with in the elevator, but in the video game they're just these little guys:

As for the metal slippers, or whatever they are... I think they make them jump higher? Not sure. :-P

And actually, I really liked The Alamo; as far as Hollywood is concerned, I think they did a great job telling the story. Granted, it's not gonna be 100% accurate, but then again it would be monumentally difficult to portray what happened at the Alamo anyway because so much of it is shrouded in legend. There's a puzzle piece here and a puzzle piece there, but compared to legends actual surviving facts are few and far between. So I don't particularly mind a few creative liberties being taken, because with the Alamo it's not so much what actually happened that's important to Texans: it's what it inspired that really counts, and I feel the movie at least hit that nail right on the head.

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