Friday, January 27, 2012

FORCED PERSPECTIVE, Ep.9 – “OSCAR-MANIA”, Part 1



Join SportsGuy515 and Adolfo as they prepare for the biggest night of year in the world of film – the OSCARS. In the first part of a 3-part series, the duo recap the Golden Globes, discuss the Oscar nominations, and review Best Picture nominees The Artist, The Tree of Life, War Horse, and The Help. Plus, film class memories, “are the Academy a bunch of elitist snobs?”, and MORE!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Inception (2010)



Inception

Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange. 

The Stats

The Director:  Christopher Nolan
The Cast:  Leonardo Dicaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe
The Release Date: 2010
The Runtime: 148 Minutes

The Plot

Cobb is a thief. What does he steal? Information. You see, Cobb has technology where he can go into your dreams and extract information from your brain and sell it to clients. This time, it’s different. Someone has paid him top dollar to go into someone’s dreams and PLANT information. What’s this called? Inception.

The Lowdown

It’s official. With 2010 rapidly coming to a close, I will declare it: Inception is the best film of 2010. There will be zero argument on this. I don’t care what Oscar bait rolls around in theatres the next couple of weeks… if this film isn’t nominated for an Oscar, than I call “bullshit.” This movie has everything.

Let’s start with the direction. We’ve all seen what Christopher Nolan can do. This cat has not made one bad movie yet. Look at the credentials: Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Prestige. That’s a hell of a resume. This film does not disappoint either. Nolan is capable of blending awesome story-telling, with really deep themes and roll it all into an entertaining movie. This film takes a sci-fi concept, makes it into an awesome “blockbuster,” packs some heavy philosophy into it and then leaves you hanging with an ending that makes you go “Wait a minute….” (Don’t worry, no spoilers.)

Then you have the cast. DiCaprio has come a long way from his Titanic days, where, let’s face it, he kind of sucked. He used to be just a pretty face with no skill. Then he got some seasoning with a bunch of Scorsese movies, and what do you know… now the dude can fucking ACT. If you don’t believe it, just watch The Departed and tell me that dude isn’t convincing. Throw in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who believe it or not, plays a bit of a bad ass in this film, and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard and you’ve already got a strong cast. But on top of all that you throw in some Batman alumni like Michael Caine (Alfred), Ken Watanabe (“R’as Al Ghul) and Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow) and you’ve got yourself a well-acted movie. The only real acting weak-link is Ellen Page, who I’ve discovered unless she’s playing Juno, she’s nothing really special. But, still, she by no means distracts from the film.

I mentioned this was a blockbuster, and man is it. It’s got some really sweet action sequences, and Nolan takes advantage of the fact that most of the movie takes place in dreams, which allows for some bending of reality. Which leads to the special effects. I’ve said before that CGI is overused in Hollywood. Sometimes they use CG when they could easily have built a set or a costume, and in the end things end up looking fake. Most filmmakers use CGI as a crutch (hello, Michael Bay.) But Nolan uses CGI as a TOOL, which is what it is. He uses it when there is literally no practical way to film something. And when an entire city folds in on itself… THAT’S the time to use CG. The special effects, if you haven’t guessed, are freaking amazing.

You heard it hear first, folks. Inception: Best Film of the Year. Buy it. Rent It. Don’t care. Just WATCH IT.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rosemary's Baby (1968)



ROSEMARY’S BABY
Roman Polanski
1968 • 136 Minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Paramount Pictures

Cast – Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans
Screenplay – Roman Polanski based on the novel by Ira Levin
Producer - William Castle
Cinematography – William A. Fraker

Awards & Honors

Academy Awards
Winner: Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Ruth Gordon
Nominated:  Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - Roman Polanski

American Film Institute
AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills – Ranked #9


BAFTA
Nominated:  Best Actress - Mia Farrow

Director's Guild Awards
Nominated:  Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures - Roman Polanski

The Essential Films
The 100 Essential Horror Movies – Ranked #14

Golden Globes
Winner: Best Supporting Actress – Ruth Gordon
Nominated: Best Motion Picture Actress, Drama - Mia Farrow

Nominated: Best Original Score - Krzysztof Komeda
Nominated: Best Screenplay - Roman Polanski

Writers Guild Awards
Nominated: Best Written American Drama - Roman Polanski


He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son!

The Story:

Roman Polanski wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Ira Levin about a young couple by the names Guy and Rosemary Woodhouse who move into an old apartment building with a mysterious history.  Shortly after moving into the apartment, their elderly next door neighbors, The Castevets, quickly make friends with Woodhouse’s and Guy begins to spend an inordinate amount of time with the older couple.  After one of the residents suddenly and mysteriously dies, Rosemary begins to have wild dreams and hallucinations, followed shortly by a pregnancy.  While normally a time of great joy in a young couple’s life, Rosemary becomes increasingly nervous and perhaps paranoid of the Castevets unhealthy obsession with her unborn child.

The Direction

Roman Polanski, director of classics such as Chinatown, Repulsion and  The Pianist, directs what is considered one of the greatest psychological horror movies of all time.  The way the movie unfolds leaves you at the edge of your seat and in complete suspense.  Without getting into spoilers, the eventual mystery of what the unborn baby could actually be is so disturbing that the audience dares not to believe it.  He blends the atmosphere of the creepy apartment building (a typical horror movie-like environment) with the psychological horror of what is potentially happening inside Rosemary’s body… or her head.  This takes his previous work of psychological horror, Repulsion, and turns it up several notches.  Plus the final scene will leave you disturbed for the rest of the day.

The Cast

Mia Farrow carries the weight of the film as the titular Rosemary and she’s up to the challenge.  At first she is mousy and meek, but as events unfold she slowly falls deeper into depression and potential madness.  She knows there is something wrong with her baby, but no one believes her… a girl who cried wolf.  Her madness never gets out of hand, she never goes over the top, but you can tell that she’s ready to snap at any moment.  Her reaction to the truth of her baby at the end of the film is absolutely perfect.

John Cassavets, praised more for his work as a director than as an actor, turn in more than a capable supporting performance as Guy Woodhouse.  Woodhouse is a struggling actor that would do anything for a shot at greater fame.  Cassavetes plays the role with enough charm that on the surface appears genuine, but with a subtle sinister quality that makes you question him just as Rosemary does.

The real star of the show is Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevets.  What’s wonderful about the performance is that Gordon plays the role completely straight… all she appears to be, objectively, is a nosy, overly concerned little old lady next door.  There is nothing about her actions that would make you think she is anything other than what she says and presents herself to be.  However, Rosemary’s perception of her leads the audience to question her motives as well. Gordon’s work in this film is truly deserving of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress that she earned.



Friday, January 13, 2012

The Matrix (1999)





The Matrix

You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind. 

The Stats

The Director:  The Wachowski Brothers
The Cast:  Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
The Release Date: 1999
The Runtime: 136 Minutes

The Plot

A computer hacker learns that his reality isn’t real, it’s just a computer program designed to keep him docile while machines feed on his energy. He “wakes up” and the revolution begins…

The Lowdown

OK, if you’ve never seen The Matrix, please hand in your Man Card. It’s been officially revoked.

Seriously, though… we have all seen this movie. If it wasn’t for the putridly terrible Phantom Menace, it would have been the biggest movie of 1999. The thing is, it’s been years since I sat down and watched it. Why? Well, we have those crappy sequels to blame for that. Those movies left such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn’t want to pick up and watch the original again.

But recently, I re-watched it. And I’ll be damned if it isn’t just as good as when I first saw it in theatres 11 years ago. It definitely holds up.

Seriously, everything about this movie works. It takes the man VS machine aspect of sci-fi and improves it. Its special effects and CGI STILL hold up all these years later. In fact, I dare say most current CG doesn’t even hold a candle to The Matrix. If that wasn’t enough, the Wachowski brothers were so revolutionary in their filmmaking, that when they realized they couldn’t get some of the shots they wanted with the technology of the time: THEY FUCKING INVENTED NEW TECHNOLOGY. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s awesome.

On top of the that, you have probably the greatest fight scenes ever recorded on film. Go out of your way to re-watch this sci-fi action classic. Just pretend the story ends here and never watch those sequels again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Godfather Part II (1974)


THE GODFATHER PART II
Francis Ford Coppola
1974 • 200 Minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Paramount

Principal Cast:  Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert DeNiro Talia Shire, Morganna King, John Cazale, Marianna Hill, Lee Strasberg, Michael V Gazzo
Screenplay:  Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
Producer:  Francis Ford Coppola
Cinematography:  Gordon Willis

Awards & Honors

Academy Awards
Winner:  Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Robert De Niro 
Winner:  Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Winner:  Best Director - Francis Ford Coppola 
Winner:  Best Music, Original Dramatic Score - Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola 
Winner:  Best Picture - Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos 
Winner:  Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material - Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo 
Nominated:  Best Actor in a Leading Role - Al Pacino 
Nominated:  Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Michael V. Gazzo 
Nominated:  Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Lee Strasberg 
Nominated:  Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Talia Shire 
Nominated:  Best Costume Design - Theadora Van Runkle 

American Film Institute
#32 - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
#11 Villain - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains - Michael Corleone
#58 - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes - "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
#32 - AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - 10th Anniversary Edition
#3 - AFI's Top 10 Gangster Films

BAFTA Awards

Winner:  Best Actor - Al Pacino 
Nominated: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music - Nino Rota 
Nominated: Best Film Editing - Peter Zinner, Barry Malkin, Richard Marks 
Nominated: Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles - Robert De Niro 

Directors Guild of America Awards
Winner:  Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures - Francis Ford Coppola 

The Essential Films

Golden Globes
Nominated: Best Director - Motion Picture - Francis Ford Coppola 
Nominated: Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated: Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama - Al Pacino 
Nominated: Best Original Score - Nino Rota 
Nominated: Best Screenplay - Motion Picture - Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo 
Nominated: Most Promising Newcomer - Male - Lee Strasberg 

National Film Preservation Board
Inducted to National Film Registry: 1993

Writers Guild of America Awards
Winner: Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium - Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo 





"I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart." 

Michael Corleone has succeeded in making his “family” a top force in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and he seeks to expand his empire to pre-revolutionary Cuba.  Meanwhile, the early life of his father, Vito Corleone, is chronicled as he rises to power in the 1920s.

The first Godfather was ambitious.  The second film in this legendary series is even more so.  With Part II, director Coppola decides that a sequel to his Oscar Award-winning movie just isn’t enough.  No.  Instead he decides to make a sequel AND a prequel and turn them into the same movie.  The film follows Michael Corleone after he has risen to power and moved his operations to Lake Tahoe.  From there he must maneuver his way through a web of Mafia politics that include an old co-hort of his father’s, Hyman Roth, and his own brother.  On top of this he also survives an attempt on his life, deals with betrayal, escapes Cuba during the revolution and even appears before Congress.  This story would have been plenty to keep fans of the original film happy, but Coppola adds another element.  He juxtaposes the story of Michael’s father, Vito Corleone and HIS rise to power.  We see Vito as a young boy, then a man living in a poor Italian neighborhood in New York.  A chance encounter leads him into a life of petty crime and then, ultimately, ascendance as Mafia kingpin.  The movie jumps back and forth between both stories and the audience is never bored… despite the fact that the film has a run time of over 3 hours.  Coppola intertwines both stories expertly and the result is compelling.

Much like the first film, the acting is off the charts.  Pacino returns as Michael Corleone, instead of rising to the top of crime world, he now sits upon the throne.  Pacino plays him cool, collected and calm.  The performance is so effective that the moment he finally loses his temper, it’s shocking and terrifying.  But more effective than rage, Pacino really delivers a very understated grief-driven performance.  His blood family falls apart while he tries to keep his criminal family together.

Speaking of his blood family, John Cazale’s role is Fredo is given a huge increase in screen time.  Fredo is the idiot brother that can’t seem to do anything right, and as such was passed over for leadership of the Corleone family.  This leads him to make some questionable decisions that lead to him betraying his brother.  Obviously, this has disastrous consequences.  But Cazale plays him so earnestly and with so much pathos that the audience forgives him… even if Michael does not.

The film is filled with other great performances from Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall, reprising their roles as Kay Corleone and Tom Hagen, respectively, as well as Michael V. Gazzo, a new character known as Franke Five Angels.  But the performance that steals the show is Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone.  This is one of De Niro’s first major film roles, and what intimidating shoes to fill… a character previously portrayed by Marlon Brando?  But De Niro completely inhabits that character WITHOUT doing a Marlon Brando impression.  That kind of talent is amazing to behold.  Even more impressive is that DeNiro only had a few lines in English and did most of the movie speaking Italian.

Godfather Part II is one of those rare sequels that manages to take what worked in the original and then exceed your expectations.  It adds to the legend and the mythos instead of watering it down.  It has to be paired with Part I to get the complete story (let’s ignore Part III), you can’t watch or own one without the other.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)


THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
David Fincher
2011 • 158 Minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Columbia Pictures, MGM

Principal Cast - Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff
Screenplay:  Steven Zaillian from the book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Producers:  Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin, Søren Stærmose, Ole Søndberg
Cinematography: Jeff Cronenweth

Awards & Honors

American Film Institute
Official Selection for 2011

Academy Awards
Nominated: Best Achievement in Cinematography - Jeff Cronenweth 
Nominated: Best Achievement in Film Editing - Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter 
Nominated: Best Achievement in Sound Editing- Ren Klyce 
Nominated: Best Achievement in Sound Mixing - David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Bo Persson 
Nominated: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Rooney Mara 

BAFTA Awards
Nominated: Best Cinematography - Jeff Cronenweth 
Nominated: Best Original Music - Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor 

Director's Guild of America Awards
Nominated: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures- David Fincher 

The Essential Film Awards
Nominated: Best Actress in a Leading Role - Rooney Mara
Nominated: Best Screenplay - Adapted Material - Steven Zaillian
Nominated: Best Film Editing
Nominated: Best Music - Score - Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor

Golden Globes
Nominated: Best Original Score - Motion Picture - Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor 
Nominated: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama - Rooney Mara 

Writer's Guild of America Awards
Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay - Steven Zaillian (screenplay) - Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts





 I want you to help me catch a killer of women. 

David Fincher has done it again.  The director of such films as Se7en, Fight Club and The Social Network has once again crafted a dark and compelling motion picture featuring an engaging plot and a misanthropic lead.  Of course, Fincher’s new film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a remake of the 2009 Swedish film of the same name, which in turn was an adaptation by the novelist Steig Larsson.  Comparisons are bound to be made… with die hard loyalists claiming the original film is better.
I would disagree.

That is not to say that original is a bad film.  Far from it.  The original is an excellently made piece of cinema.  Fincher just does it a little better.  Storywise, it’s pretty much exactly the same movie:  Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger to investigate his family. Why? Because Vanger believes that his beloved niece, who disappeared 40 years ago, was murdered by a member of his family.  The titular girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salender, is an outcast computer hacker that Blomkvist employs in helping him solve the unsolved murder of Harriet Vanger.

The differences in the two films come down to one major point:  Style.  The original 2009 film was presented almost as a procedural… kind of like a “Law & Order” episode.  The 2011 remake, however, shows off much more of Fincher’s trademark visual style.  Everything from the set design to the cinematography to the direction made this film feel unique.  In fact, even though I saw the original first, I forgot I was watching a remake.  This is truly its own movie.

Daniel Craig plays the male lead, Mikael Blomkvist.  It’s nice to see Craig do something other than James Bond, which admittedly, is all I believe I’ve seen him do.  He plays a convincing detective/journalist in search of the truth.  Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger is well-cast… Plummer always classes up the joint, you really can’t miss with him.  Even in a bad movie, he’s good.  Stellan Skarsgård and Robin Wright round out an excellent cast with their contributions.  However Rooney Mara, a relative unknown, steals the show.  

Mara is best known as Erica Albright from The Social Network, otherwise known as the girl that dumps Mark Zuckerberg in the opening scene of the film.  Mara also had a roles in Youth in Revolt and the dismal Nightmare on Elm Street remake, but she really shines here as the title character.  Angsty, full of rage and wickedly smart, the Lisbeth character could easily become a caricature in the hands of a less talented actress.  Mara is also careful not to copy or imitate the iconic performance of Noomi Rapace from the original film.  While Michelle Williams is scooping up all the Oscar buzz for My Week with Marilyn, I would place Mara as a strong contender for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
If there is one place the original succeeds where the remake doesn’t is the ending.  The original was far more efficient and economical in how it wrapped up the loose ends, while the remake took more time to do so.

That said, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a must watch film this year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kick-Ass (2010)

This post was originally published as part of the DVD of the Day series at Superfriends Universe on July 30, 2010.



Kick-Ass

With no power, comes no responsibility.

The Stats

The Director:  Matthew Vaughn
The Cast:  Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Clark Duke, Nicholas Cage
The Release Date: 2010
The Runtime: 117 Minutes

The Plot

Comic book nerd Dave Lizewski wonders why exactly no one ever tried to be a superhero. So he makes a costume, grabs some weapons and becomes Kick-Ass! But when he enters a world filled with gun-toting vigilantes, gangsters and foul-mouthed deadly little girl… he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

The Lowdown

Kick-Ass is the, err, well, kick-ass movie based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar & John Romita, Jr. Superman. Batman. Spider-Man. All great characters with great movies dedicated to them. (Granted not all of them are great, but still.) But how many of them actually kick ass? Yeah, if Batman actually existed he’d probably make me shit my pants… but there’s still some unbelievability in the character.

Enter: Dave Lizewski. Lizewski is just a kid, he orders his entire costume and weaponry off the internet and he goes out and kicks ass. Well, really… he gets his ass kicked… a lot. And this is exactly what would happen in real life. Regardless, this film takes everything we love about comics and turns it on its head and shows us: “See how ridiculous this is?” But whatever… it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Dave’s storyline is an ultimate comic geek’s dream. He becomes a super hero, he fights the bad guy… and he gets [the ridiculously smoking hot] girl. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty simple male-fantasy fulfillment storyline. But screw it, so is James Bond. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

The supporting cast is awesome. You come for Kick-Ass… but you stay for Hit Girl. Hit Girl is one of the most bad ass characters to come out of movies in the last twenty years. The best part? She’s a 12 year old girl. And what a mouth on this little broad. Hi-fucking-larious.

And of course, how could we forget about Big Daddy? Big Daddy is what would happen is Batman taken to the absolute extreme. Hell, he even runs around with an underage sidekick. The best part is Nicholas Cage’s acting choices. He plays him like a fucked-up Adam West and the results are brilliant.

Kick-Ass gets released on DVD this Tuesday, August 3. Buy it. Don’t rent it. BUY IT. You’ll thank me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Inside Man (2006)





Inside Man

Fact is, all lies, all evil deeds, they stink. You can cover them up for a while, but they don’t go away.

The Stats

The Director:  Spike Lee
The Cast:  Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer
The Release Date: 2006
The Runtime: 129 Minutes

The Plot

Four masked criminals take control of a bank in the middle of New York City and it’s up to Denzel Washington to take them down. But what are they REALLY after?

The Lowdown

Spike Lee can be kind of an annoying little turd. There, I said it. Sometimes the shit that comes out of his mouth makes you want to slap him. But God damn it, he makes great movies.

Inside Man is a heist film. And we all love heist films, right? They’re a hell of a lot of fun. But this one is different. While the ultimate goal for these bank robbers is to make money, they’re also out to prove a point. What that point is, well, we’d enter into spoiler territory if I revealed that. Needless to say, this isn’t your average heist flick. In most heist flicks you see the “band” getting put together, you see the planning, and finally you see the execution. This isn’t anything like that. Spike Lee just throws you in the middle of this thing and the whole time you and Denzel are trying to figure out exactly what the balls is going on.

Which leads me to the performances. Denzel isn’t doing anything he hasn’t done before in his movies. He’s a cop with an edge, but he’s really charming and kind of a cocky douche. We’ve seen him do this multiple times. Clive Owen ain’t breaking any new ground either. Bad ass Brit with a gun that’s cool under pressure? Been there and done that. But you know what? It’s still entertaining as hell to watch them play off each other. The movie rounds things off with a good cast in Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer as well.

This film is fun as hell, and the whole time it keeps you thinking “How the hell are they going to get away with it?” And when everything is revealed at the end… brilliant.

Listen, don’t take my word for it. Go rent it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)




MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL
Brad Bird
2011 • 133 Minutes • 1.44:1 • United States


Principal Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist
Screenplay: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Tom Cruise
Cinematography: Robert Elswit


- Now remember: “Blue is glue!”
- And red?
- Dead. 


The fourth installment of the successful Mission: Impossible series has been released and it may be the best one yet. In this adventure, Ethan Hunt’s team is on the trail of Russian terrorist Hendricks, who is in possession of nuclear launch codes and plans to use them to kick start World War III. Making matters worse, the team fails at stopping Hendricks from taking the codes in the first place and blowing up the Kremlin… which IMF is then blamed for. The entire IMF organization is disavowed in an “all-else-fails” stratagem known as “Ghost Protocol.” Hunt assembles a skeleton crew to take down Hendricks once and for all.


Brad Bird’s filmography is impressive: Ratatouille, The Incredibles and The Iron Giant. But for the first time he tackles a major live-action blockbuster… is he up to the challenge? Yes. And then some. Bird’s visual eye is clearly just as well suited in the live-action world as it is in the Pixar animated universe. The movie speeds along at an riveting pace, never letting you rest while it throws action and thrills at you at every opportunity. The plot is just the right amount of complexity without sacrificing thrills, though the character development leaves something to be desired for a first-time viewer of the series.


The visuals are incredible, however. Several major scenes were shot in IMAX, and this reviewer highly recommends plunking down the extra cash to see the film on an IMAX screen. Most impressive of which is the much talked-about Khalifa Tower sequence set in Dubai. Ethan Hunt, through a series of events that can only happen in a film like this, must climb 10 stories on the outside of this structure, more than 100 stories high using a pair of sci-fi climbing gloves that stick to any surface. It’s absolutely breath-taking, and while some visual effects certainly aided this sequence, it is nonetheless impressive that Tom Cruise still rigged himself in a harness and did some of this stunt himself.

Cruise obviously returns as Ethan Hunt, IMF agent extraordinaire. Cruise doesn’t bring any surprises to the role, but he’s certainly very capable of playing the action hero and he does his job well. Also back is Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, tech expert-turned-field agent. Pegg always delivers in any role he plays. As expected he plays comic relief, but not to the point of a bumbling buffoon. The character knows what he’s doing and is a valuable asset to the spy team. New to the cast are Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. Patton plays typical “ass kicking spy girl,” and isn’t given much to work with. A revenge plotline for her character is introduced but resolved too early in the film. Renner is a fast-rising star, having played major Oscar-nominated roles in both The Hurt Locker and The Town as well as playing master archer Hawkeye in next summer’s Avengers movie. His character is highly intriguing throughout most of the film, unfortunately his story arc payoff is not quite satisfying enough. Michael Nyqvist of the original Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy plays the villain, but isn’t given a great deal of screen time which is a shame considering the actor’s considerable talents. The film lacks the great villain its predecessor, Mission: Impossible III, had in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s excellent portrayal of Owen Davian. That said, there are a couple of very fun “blink and you’ll miss them” cameos sprinkled throughout the film.

Script issues aside, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is one of the top action movies of the year, and definitely the best in the series. A fantastic action thrill ride that’s a stark contrast to the family-friendly films and the award contenders usually released this time of year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

100 Greatest Movie Heroes

Much like our celebrated 100 Greatest Movie Villains countdown, we are kicking off the New Year with the 100 Greatest Movie Heroes!

Criteria:

A hero must be a character or group of characters that fits into one or more of these categories:


  • The hero(es) puts the needs of others, whether it is one person or many, before their own needs.  This can mean putting themselves in extreme physical danger or crippling emotional trauma.
  • The hero exemplifies bravery in situations where most wouldn't.
  • The hero's actions and/or character inspires others to do great things.
NOTE:  Anti-heroes are defined as protagonists of a story that lack traditional heroic values.  Some anti-heroes DO make the list, but only when they fall into one of the previously mentioned criteria.  Some heroes start as anti-heroes and redeem themselves through the film or series of films, and in the end do portray positive hero qualities.  Examples would include:  Han Solo, The Man With No Name or Rick Blaine.  These anti-heroes DO make the list (you'll have to continue reading to find out where).  Anti-heroes that are motivated by revenge, money, power or self-preservation do NOT make the list.  Examples would include:  Beatrix Kiddo, Danny Ocean or Michael Corleone.

And now... let the countdown begin...

100 - Daniel LaRusso

PORTRAYED BY:
Ralph Macchio

AS SEEN IN:
The Karate Kid (1984)

- Then why train? 
- So I won't have to fight. 

99 - John Rambo

PORTRAYED BY:
Sylvester Stallone

AS SEEN IN:
First Blood (1982)
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Rambo III (1988)
Rambo (2008)

Any of you boys want to shoot, now's the time. There isn't one of us that doesn't want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something. Your call. 

98 - Elliot Ness and The Untouchables

PORTRAYED BY:
Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith

AS SEEN IN:
The Untouchables (1987)

You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. 

97 - The 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team

AS SEEN IN:
Miracle (2004)

Great moments... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it. 

96 - Sgt. Alvin York

PORTRAYED BY:
Gary Cooper

AS SEEN IN:
Sergeant York (1941)

Well I'm as much agin' killin' as ever, sir. But it was this way, Colonel. When I started out, I felt just like you said, but when I hear them machine guns a-goin', and all them fellas are droppin' around me... I figured them guns was killin' hundreds, maybe thousands, and there weren't nothin' anybody could do, but to stop them guns. And that's what I done. 

95 - Maximus

PORTRAYED BY:
Russell Crowe

AS SEEN IN:
Gladiator (2000)

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next. 

94 - Robocop

PORTRAYED BY:
Peter Weller

AS SEEN IN:
Robocop (1988)

Dead or alive... you're coming with me.

93 - Walt Kowalksi

PORTRAYED BY:
Clint Eastwood

AS SEEN IN:
Gran Tornio (2008)

Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have fucked with? That's me.

92 - Léon

PORTRAYED BY:
Jean Reno

AS SEEN IN:
Léon: The Professional (1994)

You're not going to lose me. You've given me a taste for life. I wanna be happy. Sleep in a bed, have roots. And you'll never be alone again, Mathilda. Please, go now, baby, go. Calm down, go now, go.

91 - John Willoughby (John Doe)

PORTRAYED BY:
Gary Cooper

AS SEEN IN:
Meet John Doe (1941)

Why can't that spirit, that warm Christmas spirit, last all year long?


90 - Martin Riggs & Roger Murtaugh

PORTRAYED BY:
Mel Gibson & Danny Glover

AS SEEN IN:
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1999)

- You don't trust me at all, do you? 
- Well, I'll tell you what. You make it through tomorrow without killing anybody, especially me, or yourself, then I'll start trusting you. 
- Fair enough. 

89 - Ree

PORTRAYED BY:
Jennifer Lawrence

AS SEEN IN:
Winter's Bone (2010)

I'd be lost without the weight of you two on my back. I ain't goin' anywhere. 

88 - Lou Gehrig

PORTRAYED BY:
Gary Cooper

AS SEEN IN:
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

Today, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

87 - Frank Serpico

PORTRAYED BY:
Al Pacino

AS SEEN IN:
Serpico (1973)

The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry - it just gets dirtier.

86 - Shrek

PORTRAYED BY:
Mike Myers (Voice)

AS SEEN IN:
Shrek (2001)

Oh, you were expecting Prince Charming?

85 - Wyatt Earp & Doc Holiday

AS SEEN IN:
My Darling Clementine (1946) - PORTRAYED BY: Henry Fonda & Victor Mature
Tombstone (1993) - PORTRAYED BY: Kurt Russel & Val Kilmer

You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me? 

84 - Mahatma Gandhi

PORTRAYED BY:
Ben Kingsley

AS SEEN IN:
Gandhi (1982)

Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always. 

83 - Annie Sullivan

PORTRAYED BY:
Anne Bancroft

AS SEEN IN:
The Miracle Worker (1962)

 It's less trouble to feel sorry for her than it is to teach her anything better. 

82 - Jake & Elwood Blues

PORTRAYED BY:
John Belushi & Dan Akroyd

AS SEEN IN:
The Blues Brothers

We're on a mission from God.

81 - Guido Orefice

PORTRAYED BY:
Roberto Begnini

AS SEEN IN:
Life is Beautiful (1997)

- "No Jews or Dogs Allowed." Why do all the shops say, "No Jews Allowed"? 
- Oh, that. "Not Allowed" signs are the latest trend! The other day, I was in a shop with my friend the kangaroo, but their sign said, "No Kangaroos Allowed," and I said to my friend, "Well, what can I do? They don't allow kangaroos."

80 - Wolverine

PORTRAYED BY:
Hugh Jackman

AS SEEN IN:
X-Men (2000)
X2: X-Men United (2003)

Yeah. We're outnumbered. I'm not gonna lie to you. But we lost Scott. We lost the Professor. If we don't fight now, everything they stood for will die with them. I'm not gonna let that happen. Are you?  Then we stand together... X-Men, all of us.

79 - Forrest Gump

PORTRAYED BY:
Tom Hanks

AS SEEN IN:
Forrest Gump (1994)

I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.

78 - Spock

PORTRAYED BY:
Leonard Nimoy (1979-2009)
Zachary Quinto (2009)

AS SEEN IN:
The Star Trek series. Notably Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek (2009)


- Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh... 
- ...the needs of the few... 
- ...Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution? 
I have been and always shall be your friend.  Live long and prosper.

77 - Edward R. Murrow

PORTRAYED BY:
David Strathairn

AS SEEN IN:
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

No one familiar with the history of this country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. 

76 - Lt. Frank Bullitt

PORTRAYED BY:
Steve McQueen

AS SEEN IN:
Bullitt (1968)


- Frank, we must all compromise. 
- Bullshit. 



75 - The Magnificent Seven

PORTRAYED BY:
Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz

AS SEEN IN:
The Magnificent Seven (1960)


- What I don't understand is why a man like you took the job in the first place, hmm? Why, huh? 
- I wonder myself. 
- No, come on, come on, tell me why. 
- It's like a fellow I once knew in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, "Why?" 
- And? 
- He said, "It seemed to be a good idea at the time." 

74 - Shaun

PORTRAYED BY:
Simon Pegg

AS SEEN IN:
Shaun of the Dead (2004)

 Look, I don't care what the telly says, all right? We *have* to get out of here. If we don't they'll tear us to pieces, and that is really going to exacerbate things for all of us. 

73 - Father Flanagan

PORTRAYED BY:
Spencer Tracy

AS SEEN IN:
Boys Town (1938)

There is no such thing as a bad boy. 

72 - Philip Marlowe

PORTRAYED BY:
Humphrey Bogart (1946)
Elliot Gould (1973)

AS SEEN IN:
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Long Goodbye (1973)

My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains! You know, you're the second guy I've met today that seems to think a gat in the hand means the world by the tail. 

71 - Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert

PORTRAYED BY:
Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon

AS SEEN IN:
Apollo 13 (1995)

Houston, we have a problem.

70 - The Ghostbusters

PORTRAYED BY:
Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson

AS SEEN IN:
Ghostbusters (1984)

- Gozer the Gozerian... good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension. 
- That oughta do it. Thanks very much, Ray. 

69 - Simba

PORTRAYED BY:
Matthew Broderick (Voice)

AS SEEN IN:
The Lion King (1994)

Run. Run away, Scar. And never return.


68 - Lee

PORTRAYED BY:
Bruce Lee

AS SEEN IN:
Enter: The Dragon (1973)

You will not agree with what I'm going to do. It is contrary to all that you have taught me, and all that Su Lin believed. I must leave. Please try to find a way to forgive me. 

67 - Theo Faron

PORTRAYED BY:
Clive Owen

AS SEEN IN:
Children of Men (2006)

 I can't really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can't remember when anyone else did either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what's left to hope for? 

66 - Tony Stark

PORTRAYED BY:
Robert Downey, Jr.

AS SEEN IN:
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)

"Iron Man". That's kind of catchy. It's got a nice ring to it. 

65 - William Wallace

PORTRAYED BY:
Mel Gibson

AS SEEN IN:
Braveheart (1995)

Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

64 - Hawkeye (Nathaniel Poe)

PORTRAYED BY:
Daniel Day Lewis

AS SEEN IN:
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

After seven years indentured service in Virginia, they headed out here 'cause the frontier's the only land available to poor people. Out here, they're beholden to none. Not living by another's leave. 


63 - Neo

PORTRAYED BY:
Keanu Reeves

AS SEEN IN:
The Matrix Trilogy (1999-2003)

 I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. 


62 - Rooster Cogburn

PORTRAYED BY:
John Wayne (1969)
Jeff Bridges (2010)

AS SEEN IN:
True Grit (1969)
True Grit (2010)

Fill your hands, you son of a bitch! 

61 - Capt. James T. Kirk

PORTRAYED BY:
William Shatner (1979 - 1995)
Chris Pine (2009)

AS SEEN IN:
The Star Trek series (1979 - 2005)

Attention crew of the Enterprise, this is James Kirk. Mr. Spock has resigned commission and advanced me to acting captain. I know you are all expecting to regroup with the fleet, but I'm ordering a pursuit course of the enemy ship to Earth. I want all departments at battle stations and ready in ten minutes. Either we're going down... or they are. Kirk out. 

60 - Jason Bourne

PORTRAYED BY:
Matt Damon

AS SEEN IN:
The Bourne Trilogy (2002-2007)

I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab or the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?

59 - Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Gordo Cooper, Gus Grissom

PORTRAYED BY:
Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward

AS SEEN IN:
The Right Stuff (1983)

There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.

58 - Max Rockatansky

PORTRAYED BY:
Mel Gibson

AS SEEN IN:
The Mad Max Trilogy (1979-1985)

I'm beginning to enjoy it. Look, any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, a terminal psychotic, except that I've got this bronze badge that says that I'm one of the good guys. 

57 - The Iron Giant

PORTRAYED BY:
Vin Diesel (voice)

AS SEEN IN:
The Iron Giant (1999)

I am not a gun.

56 - Ash

PORTRAYED BY:
Bruce Campbell

AS SEEN IN:
The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981-1992)

I know you're scared; we're all scared, but that doesn't mean were cowards. We can take these skeletons, we can take them, with science. 


55 - Spartacus

PORTRAYED BY:
Kirk Douglas

AS SEEN IN:
Spartacus (1960)

And maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don't know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

54 - Father Merrin & Father Karras

PORTRAYED BY:
Max Von Sydow & Jason Miller

AS SEEN IN:
The Exorcist (1973)

Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don't listen to him. Remember that - do not listen. 

53 - Sherlock Holmes

PORTRAYED BY:
Basil Rathbone (1938-1946)
Robert Downey Jr. (2009-2011)

NOTABLY SEEN IN:
The Hound of the Baskervilles  (1938)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. 

52 - Zorro

PORTRAYED BY:
Tyrone Power

AS SEEN IN:
The Mark of Zorro (1940)

How could I refuse a man anything with a naked sword in his hand? 

51 - Tom Destry, Jr.

PORTRAYED BY:
James Stewart

AS SEEN IN:
Destry Rides Again (1939)

Oh, I think I'll stick around. Y'know, I had a friend once used to collect postage stamps. He always said the one good thing about a postage stamp: it always sticks to one thing 'til it gets there, y'know? I'm sorta like that too. 

50 - The Wild Bunch

PORTRAYED BY:
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates

AS SEEN IN:

We're not gonna get rid of anybody! We're gonna stick together, just like it used to be! When you side with a man, you stay with him! And if you can't do that, you're like some animal, you're finished! *We're* finished! All of us! 

49 - General Patton

PORTRAYED BY:
George C. Scott

AS SEEN IN:
Patton (1970)

Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. 

48 - Obi-Wan Kenobi

PORTRAYED BY:
Sir Alec Guinness

AS SEEN IN:
The original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983)

The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. 

47 - The Incredibles

PORTRAYED BY:
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Spencer Fox, Sarah Vowell

AS SEEN IN:

No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!

46 - Moses

PORTRAYED BY:
Charlton Heston

AS SEEN IN:
The Ten Commandments (1956)

The evil that men should turn their brothers into beasts of burden, to be stripped of spirit, and hope, and strength - only because they are of another race, another creed. If there is a god, he did not mean this to be so. 

45 - Marlin & Dory

PORTRAYED BY:
Albert Brooks & Ellen DeGeneres

AS SEEN IN:
Finding Nemo (2003)

- Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
- Dory, no singing. 
- Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim. 
- Now I'm stuck with that song... Now it's in my head. 
- Sorry.

44 - Robin Hood

PORTRAYED BY:
Errol Flynn

AS SEEN IN:
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

I'll organize revolt, exact a death for a death, and I'll never rest until every Saxon in this shire can stand up free men and strike a blow for Richard and England. 

43 - Sarah Connor

PORTRAYED BY:
Linda Hamilton

AS SEEN IN:
The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.

42 - Aragorn

PORTRAYED BY:
Viggo Mortensen

AS SEEN IN:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.


41 - Nick & Nora Charles

PORTRAYED BY:
William Powell & Myrna Loy

AS SEEN IN:
The Thin Man Series (1934-1947)


- I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune. 
- I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids. 
- It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.


40 - Sheriff John T. Chance

PORTRAYED BY:
John Wayne

AS SEEN IN:
Rio Bravo (1959)

Let's get this straight. You don't like? I don't like a lot of things. I don't like your men sittin' on the road bottling up this town. I don't like your men watching us, trying to catch us with our backs turned. And I don't like it when a friend of mine offers to help and twenty minutes later he's dead! And i don't like you, Burdette, because you set it up. 

39 - Ripley

PORTRAYED BY:
Sigourney Weaver

AS SEEN IN:
The Alien Quadrilogy (1979-1997)

God damn it, that's not all! Because if one of those things gets down here then that will be all! Then all this - this bullshit that you think is so important, you can just kiss all that goodbye! 

38 - Shosanna Dreyfuss

PORTRAYED BY:
Mélanie Laurent

AS SEEN IN:

My name is Shosanna Dreyfus and THIS is the face... of Jewish vengeance! 

37 - Frodo Baggins

PORTRAYED BY:
Elijah Wood

AS SEEN IN:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)


- There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins, and The Lord of the Rings by Frodo Baggins. You finished it. 
- Not quite. There's room for a little more. 

36 - Tom Joad

PORTRAYED BY:
Henry Fonda

AS SEEN IN:
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too.

35 - Sam Spade

PORTRAYED BY:
Humphrey Bogart

AS SEEN IN:
The Maltese Falcon (1941)

When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere.

34 - Judah Ben-Hur

PORTRAYED BY:
Charlton Heston

AS SEEN IN:
Ben-Hur (1959)

You may conquer the land; you may slaughter the people. But that is not the end. We will rise again. 

33 - T.E. Lawrence

PORTRAYED BY:
Peter O'Toole

AS SEEN IN:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are.

32 - Clarice Starling

PORTRAYED BY:
Jodie Foster

AS SEEN IN:
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don't you - why don't you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you're afraid to.

31 - The Terminator

PORTRAYED BY:
Arnold Schwarzenegger

AS SEEN IN:
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


- My mission is to protect you. 
- Yeah? Who sent you? 
- You did. 35 years from now you reprogrammed me to be your protector here - in this time. 

30 - Detective Virgil Tibbs

PORTRAYED BY:
Sidney Poitier

AS SEEN IN:
In the Heat of the Night (1967)

They call me MISTER Tibbs!

29 - Popeye Doyle

PORTRAYED BY:
Gene Hackman

AS SEEN IN:
The French Connection (1971)

The son of a bitch is here. I saw him. I'm gonna get him.

28 - Marge Gunderson

PORTRAYED BY:
Frances McDormand

AS SEEN IN:
Fargo (1996)

So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.

27 - "The Man with No Name"

PORTRAYED BY:
Clint Eastwood

AS SEEN IN:
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

26 - Ethan Edwards

PORTRAYED BY:
John Wayne

AS SEEN IN:
The Searchers (1956)

Injun will chase a thing till he thinks he's chased it enough. Then he quits. Same way when he runs. Seems like he never learns there's such a thing as a critter that'll just keep comin' on. So we'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as the turnin' of the earth.


25 - The Seven Samurai

AS SEEN IN:

This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourselves. 

24 - Capt. John Miller

PORTRAYED BY:
Tom Hanks

AS SEEN IN:
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

I'm a schoolteacher. I teach English composition... in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I've been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over here, it's a big, a big mystery. So, I guess I've changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I've changed so much my wife is even going to recognize me, whenever it is that I get back to her. And how I'll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ah, Ryan. I don't know anything about Ryan. I don't care. The man means nothing to me. It's just a name. But if... You know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, then that's my mission. 

23 - Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein

PORTRAYED BY:
Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman

AS SEEN IN:
All The President's Men (1976)


- So if the break-in was just one incident in a campaign of sabotage that began a whole year before Watergate... 
- Then for the first time the break-in makes sense. 
- This isn't so crazy. This whole thing didn't start with the bugging of the headquarters. 
- Segretti was doing this a year before the bugging. 
- And a year before, Nixon wasn't slaughtering Muskie, he was running behind Muskie, before Muskie self-destructed. 
- *If* he self-destructed!

22 - Jefferson Smith

PORTRAYED BY:
James Stewart

AS SEEN IN:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that. 

21 - Luke Jackson

PORTRAYED BY:
Paul Newman

AS SEEN IN:
Cool Hand Luke (1967)


Dyin'? Boy, he can have this little life any time he wants to. Do ya hear that? Are ya hearin' it? Come on. You're welcome to it, ol' timer. Let me know you're up there. Come on. Love me, hate me, kill me, anything. Just let me know it... I'm just standin' in the rain talkin' to myself.


20 - Chief Brody, Martin Hooper & Quint

PORTRAYED BY:
Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss & Robert Shaw

AS SEEN IN:
Jaws (1975)


- Jesus H Christ, when I was a boy, every little squirt wanted to be a harpooner or a sword fisherman. What d'ya have there - a portable shower or a monkey cage? 
- Anti-Shark cage. 
- Anti-shark cage. You go inside the cage?  Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark. 


19 - Detective Harry Calahan

PORTRAYED BY:
Clint Eastwood

AS SEEN IN:
The Dirty Harry series (1971-1988)

Go ahead, make my day.


18 - Shane

PORTRAYED BY:
Alan Ladd

AS SEEN IN:
Shane (1953)

A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that. 




17 - Rocky Balboa

PORTRAYED BY:
Sylvester Stallone

AS SEEN IN:
The Rocky series (1976-2006)

Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood. 


16 - Juror #8

PORTRAYED BY:
Henry Fonda

AS SEEN IN:
12 Angry Men (1957)

It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don't really know what the truth is. I don't suppose anybody will ever really know. Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we're just gambling on probabilities - we may be wrong. We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don't know. Nobody really can. But we have a reasonable doubt, and that's something that's very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's SURE. We nine can't understand how you three are still so sure. Maybe you can tell us. 


15 - George Bailey

PORTRAYED BY:
James Stewart

AS SEEN IN:

Just a minute... just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no businessman. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anyone else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was... why, in the 25 years since he and his brother, Uncle Billy, started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry away to college, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that? Why... here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You... you said... what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be! 


14 - The Tramp

PORTRAYED BY:
Charles Chaplin

AS SEEN IN:
City Lights (1931)


- Can you see now? 
- Yes, I can see now. 


13 - Atticus Finch

PORTRAYED BY:
Gregory Peck

AS SEEN INL
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. 


12 - Luke Skywalker

PORTRAYED BY:
Mark Hamill

AS SEEN IN:
The Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983)

I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you.


11 - Harry Potter

PORTRAYED BY:
Daniel Radcliffe

AS SEEN IN:
The Harry Potter saga (2001-2011)

How dare you stand where he stood! Tell them how it happened that night. How you looked him in the eye, a man who trusted you, and killed him. 


10 - John McClaine

PORTRAYED BY:
Bruce Willis

AS SEEN IN:
The Die Hard series (1988-2007)


-Who are you then? 
- Just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass. 


9 - Oskar Schindler

PORTRAYED BY:
Liam Neeson

AS SEEN IN:
Schindler's List (1993)


This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.  I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I didn't!


8 - Rick Blaine

PORTRAYED BY:
Humphrey Bogart

AS SEEN IN:
Casablanca (1941)


- We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night. 
- When I said I would never leave you. 
- And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.  Now, now...  Here's looking at you kid. 


7 - Marshall Will Kane

PORTRAYED BY:
Gary Cooper

AS SEEN IN:
High Noon (1952)

 I've got to, that's the whole thing.


6 - Han Solo

PORTRAYED BY:
Harrison Ford

AS SEEN IN:
Star Wars (1977)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Return of the Jedi (1983)

 You're all clear, kid, now let's *blow* this thing and go home! 


5 - Batman

PORTRAYED BY:
Michael Keaton (1989-1992)
Christian Bale (2005-Present)

AS SEEN IN:
Batman (1989)
Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Begins (2005)
The Dark Knight (2008)

You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen. 


4 - Peter Parker (Spider-Man)

PORTRAYED BY:
Tobey Maguire

AS SEEN IN:
Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: "With great power comes great responsibility." This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-man.


3 - Indiana Jones

PORTRAYED BY:
Harrison Ford

AS SEEN IN:
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

This site also demonstrates one of the great dangers of archaeology; not to life and limb, although that does sometimes take place. I'm talking about folklore. 


2 - James Bond

PORTRAYED BY:
Sean Connery (1962 - 1971)
George Lazenby (1969)
Roger Moore (1973 - 1985)
Pierce Brosnan (1995 - 2002)
Daniel Craig (2006 - Present)

AS SEEN IN:
Dr. No (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Goldfinger (1964)
Thunderball (1965)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Goldeneye (1995)
Casino Royale (2006)
The name's Bond.  James Bond.

PORTRAYED BY:
Christopher Reeve
AS SEEN IN:

Superman II (1981)
I'm here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way.