Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doodle 002

I'm not really trying to make any commentary on The Sheen.  This is just what came out of my brain today.  Also, I cannot draw hands very well.  Working on it.

Click to make big-like.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Doodle 001

So I think maybe I'll just doodle for 15 minutes from time to time and put it up here.

Enjoy, maybe?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Greatest Movie Character of 1990-1999 004: Round 1, Heat 2

Mia Wallace Division - Heat 2


The Jesus, The Big Lebowski

This is very much like The Highlander. There can only be one Jesus in this tournament. I don't think I'm being over-confident when I say we all know which character named "Jesus" from the 90s is more memorable, so I'll save my big argument for closer competitions down the road. If Mr. Quintana can't win here, there wasn't much hope of his besting some of the truly memorable characters he'll meet in future rounds, anyway.

So I'll just leave you with this animated GIF

- Julius_Goat

Jesus Shuttleworth
, He Got Game

Man, what a tough draw. Up against the Jesus? I don't know how I could vote against the guy.

But I will give this my best shot... I mean the guy is a purple-suit-and-hair-net-wearing-pederast-with-a-long-pinkie-fingernail. Strangely, Turturro plays a college coach in "He Got Game," and he shares a scene with Ray Allen:

Category: Nickname
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Basketball Jesus
Jesus Quintana: "The Jesus"
Verdict: Ok, so we've got a guy named after Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, one of the most beloved street ball players of all time, and a guy who immortalized himself in cult movie history with the quote: "Nobody Fucks with the Jesus!"

Jake Shuttlesworth: "My all-time favorite ballplayer was Earl Monroe.
Earl the Pearl. Yeah, he was nice. See, everybody remember him from the Knicks,
you know, when he helped win that second championship. I'm talking about when he was with the Bullets down at Winston-Salem Stadium...
before that game, with points a game the whole season.
. ...
the whole season.
But the Knicks, they put the shackles on him, man, you know, on his whole game.
They locked him up, like in a straitjacket or something.
When he was in the streets of Philly, the playgrounds, [ Grunting ]
he was like-- [ Laughing ]
- You know what they called him? - What?
Jesus. That's what they called him-- Jesus. 'Cause he was the truth.
Then the white media got a hold of it. Then they got to call him Black Jesus.
He can't just be Jesus. He got to be Black Jesus.
You know, but still... he was the truth.
So that's the real reason why you got your name.
You named me Jesus after Earl Monroe, and not Jesus in the Bible?
Not Jesus of the Bible, Jesus of North Philadelphia.
Jesus of the playgrounds. That's the truth, son.
The way he dished, the way he, you know, he spinned.
You know how you do, coming off and all that. Taw"

Despite the great Spike Lee lines delivered by Denzel, I have to give this to the pederast.

1-0 Quintana.

Category: Job
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Basketball Player
Jesus Quintana: Unemployed
Verdict: All I'll say here is that I wish I played in the NBA.


Category: Best Line
Jesus Shuttlesworth: "Basketball is like poetry in motion, cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he's fallin' back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, "What?""
Jesus Quintana: "You said it man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus!"
Verdict: Again, Spike's lines go down against the mighty pen of the Coen brothers.

2-1 Quintana.

Category: Theme Music

Jesus Shuttlesworth: "He Got Game" by Public Enemy
Jesus Quintana: "Hotel California", Spanish Version, by the Gipsy Kings

Verdict: This is a tough one. I really love the the Gipsy Kings version of the Eagles horrible classic. But Chuck D came up with great lyrics over the Stephen Stills riff from "Something's Happening," and I have to give this one to Shuttlesworth due to originality.

Nothing to lose
Everythings approved
People used
Even murders excused
White men in suits
Don't have to jump

Tied up at 2-2.

Category: Clothing
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Outfit by Nike
Jesus Quintana: Purple bowling jumpsuit

3-2 Quintana. Let's just move on.

Category: Signature move
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Dunking on Denzel Washington.
Jesus Quintana: After bowling a strike, Jesus performs a little dance on the lane that can only be appreciated by watching it:

Ok, the Coens make Jesus's strike pretty impressive, but Ray Allen's dunks during his match with Denzel are pretty sweet. I definitely could bowl a strike but I can't throw down reverse jams against Denzel.

Point to Shuttlesworth. 3-3 in a close call.

Category: History
Jesus Shuttlesworth: All-American
Jesus Quintana: Pederast

8 year olds, dude.

4-3 Shuttlesworth.

I feel I'm up against Johnny Cochran here, and my poor defendant is going to the chair no matter how good my argument is. It's going to be difficult to vote against one of the most memorable characters in the Coen brothers' profilic library of original personalities. But hey, at least I've got Basketball Jesus ahead on my scorecard.



The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The beauty of this character is his transition from bad guy in part I to savior in part II. It really puts the “like” factor of this character into a relm of unexpectedness. It’s nice to witness such an almost unbeatable villain finally come back and actually be on your side. The shock and eventual relief that little John Connors shows in the hall way of that mall after realizing that the bad guy was actually on his side resonated throughout the viewers and all adrenaline levels shot up knowing that you now have said badass on our side. Cause that what it was… Our side. Not John’s, not Sarah’s.. . Ours.

The Terminators growth throughout the movie was almost a little campy, you know… feelings, emotions, caring… but he still got the job done with always the most vicious and creative displays of violence as possible, and never failed to disappoint by dispatching of the bad guys, over and over and over again. Something to be said about persistence. Terminator II rocks. A’sta La Vista Baby.


Bernie LaPlante, Hero

A tough matchup for me here.

I debated a long and extremely subtle joke involving the Terminator's housekeeper, but I was never good at that type of humor.

I don't know what anybody could write that would convince somebody to vote for a cynical Dustin Hoffman character against Arnold in one of his best performances. Does it help that Mariah Carey's most famous song was written for this movie?

The truth is, I picked Bernie Laplante late in the draft because I thought it would be interesting to see if:

1. anyone would vote for him and liked this movie as much as I did

2. I could persuade some people to see the film.

So what is so special about Bernie? Nothing really - he's the everyman who is able to act heroically when the situation arises. He's the "unknown hero," symbolizing all the heroic people out there doing good whenever they can. A hero who doesn't even think about what the word means (until he figures out that he can get a million bucks for his heroism).

But honestly, now that I'm trying to figure out what to write about Bernie Laplante, I can't come up with anything spectacular enough to defeat Arnold in Terminator 2. Terminator 2. We'll forget the fact that the original character was a relentless killer and featured young Arnold who embodied the word "fierce," and that the second version, who actually protects the hero and becomes a "good guy." Seems like a character from Wrestling... anyway, Bernie Laplante was a good reluctant hero who shows the value of living a good life -- robots who use time machines to fight other robots somehow seem less heroic, but I'm definitely biased towards humans. But maybe my guy has a shot against a watered-down version of the character from the original film in 1984.

What wouldja say if I toldja I ran
into a burning plane an' saved a
buncha people, Chick, an' risked
my goddamnlife?

You mean like Bubber? The hero?

Yeah, like that. Same thing.

Well... I mean... what am I supposed
to say here, Bern? Is this a riddle
or what?

I mean, if I said it, wouldja
believe me?
Ya wouldn't, would ya?

It's a character thing, Bernie.
I mean, you wouldn't do it. No
offense. Me neither. I mean, a guy
like Bubber, he's a certain kinda
guy. Heroic. You and me, we're
not... heroic. It's not our nature.
It don't mean we're bad or nothing.
We're just not so inclined. What
about it?




Mona Lisa Vito, My Cousin Vinny

Forget about the fact that Marisa Tomei is a top five hottest chic on the planet. Forget that she won an Oscar for her performance. The gal nailed this role and made this movie. Her dedication to her man, her unbelievable background, which she makes very believable to the audience in her portrayal, and her overall cuteness factor makes her one of the best characters of the 90’s hands down. The writers did a fabulous job tying her skills into winning the case. Marisa playing this character was hands down her best role of her career. I kinda liked when she got all naked in When the Devil Knows You’re Dead, but that’s just cause she goes full frontal.

What makes this role perfect is her stubbornness, her badassedness, and yet her ability to show that she’s still a woman. Her frustration for wanting to be married, have a child, and taking matters into her own hands so that her man can finish the job to obtain what SHE wants.

Overall, she is a fun, interesting character that helps defines the movies main character. Without her, he doesn’t play out so well.


Annie Bates, Misery

This seems cruel. Not only do we have the previously-pointed-out paucity of female characters in our list, but one of them has to go in the first round.

And not only that, but do you realize that only eight of all 64 of these characters are Oscar winners for their roles? Do you realize that not only is this the only matchup between two women in the first round, it's also the only matchup between two Oscar winning roles? It could be argued that this is the most competitive match in the whole sheebang, at least until we get to the later levels.

Here's the thing. Mona Lisa Vito may be a hot mama, and very funny, but she's going to be neither pretty soon. Because Annie Wilkes is going to ride right over her cockadoodie dirty birdy skirt with a rider mower and then bury a sledgehammer between her eyes.

Annie Wilkes -- Arguably the purest cinematic characterization of a Stephen King creation.

Annie Wilkes -- For those moments when she goes from exuberant to dead-eyed, vacant, truly terrifying.

Annie Wilkes -- One of the most iconic names in cinematic thrillers.

You're thinking about voting for Mona. But you'll vote for Annie. You'll do it because you're scared not to.

- Julius_Goat


Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, A Few Good Men

You have that luxury… you have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiagos death, while tragic probably SAVED LIVES. And my existence, which is grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, SAVES LIVES. Deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you WANT me on that wall… you NEED me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a lifetime spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a person who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom which I provide, and then QUESTIONS the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just say Thank You, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. EITHER WAY, I don’t give a GODDAMN… WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE ENTITLED TO!

I didn’t even recount the most famous of lines, or most commercial I should say, which is of course, YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Nor did I recount the funniest… “Tom, get me the president, we’re surrendering our position here in Cuba”… Or how about,” What I want is for you to stand there in your faggety white uniform, and with your Harvard mouth, extend me some fucking courtesy”.

No, don’t really need to. The beauty of this character, so eloquently portrayed by one the most talented and revered actors of our time, is how he convinces the viewer of how terrifying a man he really is, and at the same time how necessary he is. Not because he is inhuman, but because it is his JOB. His total disregard for one human life, or several, in order to do his job, which is to save thousand as he sees it, is evident in his stance as a Marine. The fact is, men like this (ok, women too you liberal feminist fags), NEED to exist. Jack shows why and more importantly HOW, with his portrayal of Colonel Nathan R Jessup. (insert cheap shot at competing writer) Leave it up to a Canadian to not understand that. After all, what do they ever need to defend. A country? BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

OK, kidding about the Canadian thing… I think… As a movie character, aside from the fantastic acting, the writers make this character. Jack is nothing more than a talented vessel. The writers really try to show the horror of this maniacal, egotistical narcissist who in the end makes you believe that his existence, although grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, really does need to exist. See a sane person knows that it is necessary. A liberal, humanist can keep their head in the sand until another tower falls I guess.


Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas vs Jack Nicholson. Yah, I know it says "Col. Nathan R. Jessup", but let's be honest here - did ANY of you remember that was his name? No. He's "Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men." A middling movie remembered for ONE line. The character isn't memorable, the scenery chewing from one of the greatest actors of the 20th century is. But we aren't here to debate actors or their best quotes. No, we're here to find the best CHARACTERS.

But MY Jack? Why he's ALL character. Do you know who does his voice? Nope. Sure, you can look it up, but that's not necessary, because you remember Jack Skellington, not Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman. Yah, that's right - TWO people were needed to bring this walking, singing, dancing saviour of Halloweentown to life. Skellington is a case study in character growth. Starting out as the toast of the town, putting on the best Halloweens every year, we see that this soul is lost. Having feared that he can't top himself, he wanders and discovers a world he just can't comprehend. His good intentions lead to the Christmas from hell, and through this journey he discovers not only the old "meaning of Christmas", but himself. This leads to him bringing righteous retribution down on the villains of his town, while begging for forgiveness for those he was wronged. Find me one other character from the 90's that can be as joyful, lovable, misguided and terrifying as Jack Skellington. He GROWS, he IS the movie. He doesn't just show up for a cup of coffee and a good yell at some pretty-boy Scientologist, he elevates what could have been just another holiday special to a classic.

Here's a test. Jessup's famous line: "You can't handle the truth!" Now please, recite ANYTHING else he says in that speech.

A line from Jack: "There are children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads. They're busy building toys, and absolutely no one's dead!" You're welcome for the earworm.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but I'm sure you can handle it. Jessup doesn't qualify for this tournament since you don't recognize his name without the picture. 19 years after A Few Good Men, Jessup is good for a single line in Nicholson retrospectives. 18 years after Nightmare, Jack Skellington is still gaining fans, being seen in theatres in 3D, and causing people to hum songs about their confusion about snow. Truly great characters endure through time and become legends. Mediocre ones only survive through their best line.

- Astin

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Greatest Movie Character of 1990-1999 003 - Round 1, Heat 1

Mia Wallace Division - Heat 1 


Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

Dear Will,

If you're reading this, you've gotten out of South Boston. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. The name of the town here is Zihautenejo. I could use a good man to help my friend Red and I with a project. Remember Will -- hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

I always liked the smart guys who have some fight in them. It always seemed to me that you and Chuckie had something good. Seeing you two made me think of the old days and the time I spent with my good friend Red. One thing I like about you, Will, is that it seems like there are always people looking out for you. I didn't have too many people I could count on in my life, and I hope you appreciate your best friend and your psychologist -- finding people who truly care for you is difficult in this world.

Red was a good friend to me, but if I had a friend like Sean or Chuckie, things might have been easier. One thing that bothered me about you is that it seemed like you lost your hope for a while. I you had a rough childhood, but I really hated seeing you so close to giving up hope.

Even during the worst of times at Shawshank -- the Sisters, the Warden's tyranny, Tommy getting shot -- I always had hope. Without it, I would have been a dead man a long time ago.

Another thing -- can't you come up with some better lines? "How do you like them apples?" Seems like a smart guy like you could come up with something a little more poetic. I always thought that if I was in a movie, I'd have some pretty good lines. One thing I always say is "Get busy livin or get busy dying." That seems like something people could remember.

Your friend,


Will Hunting
, Good Will Hunting:

When we started drafting these characters it was during a weekend. I was picking and via the Iphone because I have a social life and was out and about NOT in front of a computer. Will Hunting was my very last pick and frankly didn’t even realize that he was available. Andy Dufresne was the very first pick of the draft if I recall (which was quite honestly a bit of a shocker to me). I think Will hunting was wrongly overlooked by all of us to have fallen to the last pick and frankly, was really even lucky to be picked at all if someone hadn’t reminded me about the movie.

Who doesn’t like Andy Dufresne? Really, who doesn’t like Shawshank as a top movie of all time? Good Will Hunting was a spectacular movie that made a huge splash in part because of the circumstances surrounding its success and such. Oscar awards, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck – both virtually unknowns, and a character based on some punk thug who happens to be the smartest person on the planet and happens to like apples. Great story line, although I think Psycho therapy is a crock of shit. Any who… oh right, I’m supposed to make a case as to why Will Hunting is a better choice over Andy Dufresne.

The only thing I have in that regard is that the circumstances of how and when they were picked in the draft should be brought to JUSTICE! No way Dufresne deserved a #1 pick and NO way Will deserved a last pick. Other than that… I got nothin’! So have at it and vote.



Captain Jim Miller, Saving Private Ryan:

This one I actually have something to write about. Saving Private Ryan is about the Character, albeit not the title character, more than the movie. The director does a lot to distract you from the point that the real value of this film, carried out by Capt. Miller’s character, is to take you inside of the war and its intended and known objectives and show you personal redemption. I mean we all loved the bombs and the brains and the guts. The special effects were so realistic and such a large part of the story. For the first time in Cinematic history, they had the ability to show the horror and gore of war as it really was. Not sensationalistic like movies tend to do but believable carnage. Captain Miller, a firm, disciplined soldier who does nothing to deviate from obtaining his objectives and to rally his men to stay focused on the same tasks, shows often why he prefers to be such a warrior. It’s not his training. It’s not blood lust. He’s not a career soldier. He’s a school teacher who is doing his job to the best of his abilities if for any other reason than to distract himself from the horror or insanity of why they are even there in the first place. He uses that tactic to focus on getting home as quick as possible and as sane as possible. He’s not in it to just blow shit up. He’s in it because he has to be. He finds the task of taking on the objective of saving one soldier, while risking the lives of his own men redeeming. Especially if it rewards him the opportunity to get home himself to see his family and return to normal life. In the end, he proves that his discipline in completing the objective outweighs his own desire to get home. A discipline born out of a desire to earn his way home from somewhere he had to be, not wanted to be. Truly a fantastic caricature of your not so average man accepting the fact that this is the world he lives in and will stop short of nothing to complete his objectives despite the consequences. No matter how dire they are.
Barton fink? Riiiiiiight…


Barton Fink, Barton Fink:

Pragmatist: Really, you picked Barton Fink as your 9 seed?

Idealist: Yeah, I guess I could have gotten him later, but for some reason I thought somebody might pick him.

Pragmatist: I thought you knew how to draft, you played fantasy sports and stuff!

Idealist: Fine, it was a stupid pick, he would have gone last in the draft, are you happy now?

Pragmatist: Yes.

Idealist: But you know, I'm a wanna be writer who hates LA, tries not to be pretentious, and Turturro is great! How many movies have a writer as the main character facing off against John Goodman as the devil??? Fuck Tom Hanks!

Pragmatist: Yeah I am sure everyone will vote for you with that line of thinking.

Idealist: Anyway, how do you think I should approach it? He's got some great quotes... I could focus on those... Whatever I do I have to get this in somehow:

"It just doesn't seem to me that Los Angeles is the place to lead the life of mind."

Pragmatist: Man, all you do is quotes!

Idealist: Yeah you're right. Got any better ideas?

Pragmatist: He's got some great scenes. Maybe you could pick some youtube clips and break them down?

Idealist: Yeah, I thought of that but it seems kind of like cheating. We're assuming people have seen these movies already and--

Pragmatist: Why didn't you pick Goodman's character? That would be a lot more fun.

Idealist: Look I made my pick already, can we just move on here?

Pragmatist: Just trying to help.

Idealist: How about the wrestling scene? I mean you have Goodman suplexing Turturro in a wrestling demonstration, I have to put that in there.

Pragmatist: What, as an example of how a writer suffers for his craft?

Idealist: Why the hell did I pick this guy? Ok, forget the wrestling. Is it worth mentioning that Faulkner wrote a wrestling script and inspired the movie?

Pragmatist: Ummm...
Idealist: Ok forget it. I'm going with the youtube clips. Without showing Turturro's face there is just no way I can explain how awesome Barton Fink is.

Pragmatist: Good luck.


I'm A Writer, You Monsters!

That "Barton Fink" Feeling

I'll Show You The Life of the Mind!

I Got Respect For Working Guys Like You

Barton's World


Ghost Dog, Ghost Dog, The Way of the Samurai:

Category: Nickname
Trent Walker: Double Down
Ghost Dog: Ghost Dog
Verdict: One applies to "what you should always do with an 11 except against an Ace", the other describes a Samurai who moves through Jersey City invisibly and with fierce determination.

Category: Job
Trent Walker: Aspiring Actor
Ghost Dog: Samurai Hit man
Verdict: I don't think I even need to comment here.

Category: Best Line
Trent Walker: "Vegas baby! Vegas!" and "You're so money and you don't even know it!"
Ghost Dog: "You know, in ancient cultures, bears were considered equal with men."
Hunter: "This ain't no ancient culture here, mister"
Ghost Dog: "Sometimes it is."

Verdict: I have heard both of Trent's lines about 1000 times in my life, so even though Ghost Dog has a better line, I have to give this one to Trent.

Category: Theme Music
Trent Walker: Jaws (while trying to pick up women at a bar)
Ghost Dog: Wu Tang's RZA
Verdict: The use of Jaws is witty, but Ghost Dog's theme, created by RZA for the movie, is one of the baddest theme songs for any character in any movie.

Category: Skills
Trent Walker: Understands Blackjack basic strategy, Decent Driver, Knows how to utilize Jeremy Roenick in EA's NHL Hockey on Genesis
Ghost Dog: Master of Samurai swordsmanship, Sharpshooter, Pigeon Whisperer, Inability to feel fear
Verdict: I love blackjack and I was also an expert with Roenick, but come on.

Category: Clothing
Trent Walker: Old school (slim) Vince Vaughn looked good in a black tie. Shark skin jacket.
Ghost Dog: All black leather jacket over a hoodie. Also rocks a blue suit with a black shirt.
Verdict: Although Trent's shark skin jacket is memorable, Ghost Dog's look is original, unique, and has resonance.

Category: Hair
Trent Walker: White man's high top fade
Ghost Dog: Corn rows
Verdict: Push

Category: Favorite Book
Trent Walker: Stanford Wong's "Winning without Counting"
Ghost Dog: Hagakure
Verdict: "Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase "Form is emptiness." That all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase "Emptiness is form." One should not think that these are two separate things." Nuff said.

Category: Favorite food
Trent Walker: Comped Treasure Island Lox platter
Ghost Dog: Ice cream
Verdict: Free Lox? Point for Double Down Walker.

Final score:
Ghost Dog 6, Trent Walker 2

There may be another character like Trent Walker someday, but I would vote for the only Jersey City Samurai Hitman you'll ever see.


Trent "Double Down" Walker, Swingers:

"Hey baby, what are you some kind of -- samurai gangster? That's literally So Cool, that's in right now, but not in a 'that's been done to death' sort of way, you know, more like a Wu Tang, old school, back in black sort of way, great all the babies will love it.  You're like a bear.  No, I mean it, baby, you're like a bear with these big f-- no . . . No wait, you're like the guy who KILLS the people who kill the bear, right? That's money. You've got this big sword and it's like you don't even know what to do with it, and I'm just this LA douche sitting here just BEGGING you 'cut me in half, cut me in half', and you're like, 'how? how? how can I cut you in half?' and you've got this GREAT BIG SWORD and you're like 'how do I cut him in half with this enormous fucking sword??'  Listen, baby, you know everybody's voting for me. It's not because my movie is the one more people have seen and remembered, and it's not because I'm the most memorable character from that movie, and its not because I'm Thin Vince and not Puffy Vince, and it's not because I get the best scenes, and it's not even because I made Gretzky's head bleed just for fanboy 99 over there.  Oh, wait. Yeah, it's totally because of all those things. ALL those things. You know how your code tells you to start each day with the knowledge you're already dead?  That's good advice, baby. Why don't you ask your ice cream buddy over there how to say sayonara in French? "

- Julius_Goat


Morpheus, The Matrix

It's rare to find a movie character who can believably pull off so many dimensions simultaneously.

Prophet, Mentor, Keeper of the Faith, Martial Arts expert, Hero.

As I was trying to figure out how best to show why Morpheus is a "better" character than John Malkovich, I ended up with a few approaches that all failed to capture the greatness of . So let's go straight to the source and break down my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

Morpheus's first lesson to his pupil is delivered with calm intensity, and explains in simple terms the way in which the "unexamined life" and materialism can imprison us. It's something an expert painter might say to an aspiring painter who has shown early promise. The speech also illustrates the painful reality of being a caring human being: we fight to save our enemies and open their eyes to a way of living outside the system.

Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?

The teacher continues his lecture, using a powerful simile to make his point. The "splinter" he refers to reminds us of those moments when we aspire for a more fulfilling life and a better world. In a world filled with depressing headlines, cynicism and sarcasm fill our mind with storm clouds that threaten apathy. With this speech, Morpheus offers us a ray of idealism that pierces the dark clouds.

Morpheus: Free your mind.
[Morpheus jumps from one building to another a long distance away]
Neo: Whoa

Like all great teachers, Morpheus first explains a concept, and then illustrates the concept by doing it himself. Just as Yoda lifts his pupil's ship from the swamp when Luke sees only the impossible, Morpheus forces his pupil to see beyond the limitations created by his mind. Sitting in the theater as a 22 year old, I remember sharing Neo's amazement at the sight of Morpheus's leap of faith.

How many Malkovich quotes do you remember? Do you remember his voice? Do you remember what he was wearing? Take the red pill.


John Malkovitch, Being John Malkovitch

Some characters are incredibly one-dimensional. Others have some pathetic other side that is intended to add depth. Nowadays it seems everything is going 3D. But Malkovich? He's multidimensional, he's got dimensions you can't even imagine. Accessible through a small door on the 7 1/2 floor, you too can be this broad-based auteur. Thespian, tortured soul, puppeteer and puppet both, a man controlled by the whim of petty man-gods, with direct access to the side of the New Jersey Turnpike, Malkovich fights an ultimately fruitless battle against forces he can barely understand. Man vs Army of Senior Citizens inside his own mind isn't frequently visited territory for most actors, but John Malkovich lives it in a means beyond the deepest method actors. Rare is it that one can face oneself, let alone oneself lying on a piano reciting oneself's name. Morpheus nearly broke under the "duress" of being asked some questions by an Australian with an hearing aid. John Malkovich rebelled against a man almost literally pulling his strings. Also, he's best friends with Charlie Sheen. Morpheus is best friends with some dork hacker who refuses to accept the reality of spoons.

- Astin

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Your Weekly Dose of Crazy

We all have our talents. Some can draw, others are good at speaking in public, others are quite good at math.

This guy can sit in front of a member of Seal Team Six and make that Marine wet his pants in terror. Red contacts would complete the effect.

And now, to counteract the wrongness, here's a little sleeping bunny rabbit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Your Weekly Dose of Awesome

Remember, these are the good old days.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Greatest Movie Character of 1990-1999: 02 - Matchups

Cross-posted at FilmChaw.

So, it's been a while since I brought up this whole 'greatest movie character' thing, hasn't it? My apologies; I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say that massive technology tilt is a major culprit.

That's all through now. I haven't talked with my fellow caballeros yet, but I think we can get going this week. Look for us Wednesday. For now, I'll put up the various matchups of Round 1 so you can get a preliminary idea of how you'd like to vote.

A couple final thoughts first.

1) Those Left Behind. I knew from the beginning that this experiment was built for controversy. Unsurprisingly, most of the comments have included something along the line of "HOW COULD YOU HAVE LEFT OUT BEST CHARACTER EVER????" Frankly, I'm surprised as well. The choices that were made were not all choices I would have made, and I'm betting at least a few of my picks had the others scratching their heads. How can it be otherwise? What makes a character "great" is completely subjective. Suffice it to say, 64 is a very small group when you're talking about literally all movie characters of a decade. My last picks were agonizing as I realized just how many incredible characters were going to be left out of the big dance. So, yeah, you're right. It is crazy that ___________ was left out. I guess there's always the NIT.

2) This One Is For the Ladies. We chose 60 male characters and only 4 female. I know. Look, I know. What can I tell you? I've been thinking about this discrepancy, and I think it comes down to a few factors. First, I think we're dealing with four guys; there's probably a bit of identity politics at play. Second, I think a huge amount of what makes a character great (more even than the acting) is the dialogue. Great lines mean great characters, and this experiment's first lesson for me is just how many of the great lines go to the fellas. Lastly, we're competitive types, all of us playing to win. I can't speak for the others here (and I think HDouble is probably a notable exception to the rule), but I didn't really pick my favorite characters in all cases so much as the characters that I thought would get votes. To be clear, I love all the characters I picked, but I might have picked other more obscure ones if I thought the majority of potential voters wouldn't have just said, "who?"

Anyway, it's not much, but as some sort of nod to the fact that the nineties also had a ton of great characters of both genders, I'm naming the 4 divisions of this bracket after four female characters that I really think ought to be represented.

OK, let's get this going. My hope is that we run round one in groups of 8, one a day.

Mia Wallace Division, Day 1

Mia Wallace Division, Day 2

Clarice Starling Division, Day 3

Clarice Starling Division, Day 4

Trinity Division, Day 5

Trinity Division, Day 6

Tracy Flick Division, Day 7

Tracy Flick Division, Day 8

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Your Weekly Dose Of Crazy

I know, it's been slow around here for a couple weeks. It'll get better soon, I promise, I think, maybe.

Anyway, this should make your brain want to eject itself: