TFM VS AFI
No, not the punk-turned-goth/punk band
, but rather the American Film Institute, which earlier today released its lists of the top fifty heroes and top fifty villains
in movie history. Click on the preceding link to see the list, and then soak in my comments.
I've seen plenty of these movies, so I feel like I'm in a reasonable position to be hypercritical, hehe.
--Atticus Finch is a fine choice for #1, though in terms of pure movie transcendence he deserves to be leapfrogged by either Indy or Bond.
--There are two women in the top ten, Sigourney Weaver (Alien
) and Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs
), both very deserving, though I think Jodie could have been bumped all the way up to #4 if her counterpart in the movie wasn't the #1 villain. Still, it's interesting to note that neither of the women in the top ten played terribly feminine roles (and I mean, the two roles in question, both have run the gamut in their careers).
--I suppose Indiana Jones (#2) coming in ahead of the countdown's only Nazi (Oskar Schindler, #13) makes sense. Okay okay, that was bad.
--Prepare for two consecutive Star Wars
1) Three slots in the top 50 are occupied by pairs of heroes (Woodward & Bernstein, Thelma & Louise, and Buch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid), yet Obi-Wan (#37) and Han Solo (#14) get individual spots? Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars, and those are my two favorite characters from the trilogy, but I put fairness first. And by the way,
2) Is Han Solo really
a hero? He's an asshole, an opportunist, has a bad attitude, has issues in communicating with the opposite sex (particularly royalty), and has a knack for becoming frozen solid from time to time. Sure, he has more personality than the rest of the cast combined, but that doesn't add up to heroism. Silly and idiotic as he is, Luke is the hero. There, now on to other things...
--I know they're just movies, but I love the creative thinking that leads to Harry Callahan (#17) being more of a hero than Mahatma Gandhi
(#21). ("I have to ask you, British Viceroy: do you feel lucky?"
--Look, I know that Lassie (#39) was a good, good
dog. But can a collie really be a hero!?!?
--Finally, Andrew Beckett (#49) is a classy choice.
--The top three (Lecter, Bates, Vader) are no-brainers. There is no argument.
--There are six
females among the top ten villains, while there were only two female heroes in the top ten. What is the Institute trying to tell us???
--Alex De Large, Malcolm MacDowell's wonderful mascara-overdrive hedonist from Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange
lands at #12. Only problem is, he's the HERO!!!
Why is a hero a villain? Yeah, he does a lot of bad shit, but he's the one the audience is pulling for! Jeebus.
--The villain picks are a bit more abstract than the hero ones. The Queen from Snow White
, an animated character, comes in at #10, though I think Ursula from The Little Mermaid
is the more memorable villain. HAL9000 (#13) is a choice I approve of quite a bit. You may explore the connotations of man as the villain in Bambi
(#20) to your heart's delight.
--Ahh-nuld, as the Terminator, is both a villain (#22) and
a hero! (#48), how do you like that? And he still can't act!
--Jack makes it on twice, with The Shining
(#25) and as The Joker (#45), though I think his Shining
performance could be bumped up at least a few spots. I also nominate him as a villain for taking all that money to make me sit through Anger Management
--Finally, Verbal Kint of The Usual Suspects
is a frustrating pick at #48. What's the point of being evil if the audience doesn't know you're evil until literally seconds
before the ending credits? Laaame!
--Since Maximus slid onto the list at the very end (#50), I have to say that there's no excuse to put Maximus in and leave William Wallace out. Wallace was a better character, in a better movie, and he was so much more, how you say, human
, than Russell Crowe's stony Maximus was.
--Neo? Guess not for a while.
--Frodo? I know not all of the trilogy is out yet, but come on!
--Any number of Denzel roles, perhaps Malcolm X or Hurricane Carter.
--They got the cop from Fargo
in there, so I'm not too mad, but how bout the Dude? Too much to ask I guess.
--And, um, Michael Moore?
--Richard Dreyfuss in The American President
, as the Newt-ish Senator Bob Rumson.
--Going back to Neo, that's a questionable choice maybe, at this time. But leaving out Hugo Weaving was the wrong decision.
--Dr frickin Evil, please
--Edward Norton for Primal Fear
--The Birds . . . in The Birds
--Not one asteroid, crocodile, spider or anaconda to be found!
Well, there you have it. Bye!