Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Greatest Movie Character of 1990-1999: 01 - Introduction

Cross-posted at The_Goat_Speaks.

My wife tells me I have a rich internal life.  That's her far-too-kind way of saying "why do you think about all this random nonsense when you're not even sure where you're going or why most days?"

For instance: Have you ever wondered to yourself, Hey, I wonder who the greatest movie character of the 90s is?  I mean, you just went through the 90s year-by-year to figure out which movies were likely to enter the cannon of Great Cinema, or, failing that, Enduring Entertainment.  But what about, you know, the characters?  Could Hannibal Lector survive a match-up with Col. Nathan Jessup? Is Forrest Gump still a player?

Just me, huh?  Oh well. Moving on . . .

We're going to do something about this, people. We're going to discover who the best of the best of the best.  Here's what I plan to do.

We're going to do this March Madness style. I, along with three others, will hold a draft to choose 64 movie characters. First pick will be first seed, second pick will be second seed, and so forth.  We'll then pit character against character, each of us writing an impassioned case for why our chosen character is the better movie character. Any criteria is fair game: enjoyability, iconic stature, importance to film culture, hair, whatever.

Then, all of you go vote at FilmChaw for the character you wish to see win.  Winner advances. Loser hangs him or herself from the HOLLYWOOD sign.

So now you're probably asking yourself (if you haven't stopped reading already, that is) when will it happen?  When will the draft take place? When will I do this?

Do it? Readers, I'm not a Republic Serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I've already done it.

Voting starts sometime this week.


Ahem. Anyway. We gonna do this like Brutus, cause we knew 'dis.

Obviously, I needed to find three other crazy people. This was not hard.


HDouble is a part of the poker-blogger bedrock. If poker bloggers were hockey teams, he'd be one of the original six. If poker bloggers were elements, he'd be Helium. If poker bloggers were pizza toppings, he would be cheese. This guy was around back when the Blogfather was only a Blogbrother. Not only that, but he wrote a series of film posts comparing poker to various movies that are must-reads.


1)     Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption
2)     Phil Connors, Groundhog Day
3)    The Dude, The Big Lebowski
4)    Morpheus, The Matrix
5)    Ghost Dog, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
6)    Mike McD, Rounders
7)    Herman Blume, Rushmore
8)    Dignan, Bottle Rocket
9)    Barton Fink, Barton Fink
10)    William Blake, Dead Man
11)    Jesus Shuttleworth, He Got Game
12)    Truman Burbank, The Truman Show
13)    Marge Gunderson, Fargo
14)    Bernie LaPlante, Hero
15)    Neil McCauley, Heat
16)    Raoul Duke, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas


Astin has become one of the prime FilmChaw contributors (though nobody can touch The Real Dawn Summers), and possesses one of the more refined film palates out there. Also, if you listen to some people, he is me, which makes this praise more than a little suspect.


1)     Jules Winfield, Pulp Fiction
2)     Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects
3)    Ash, Army of Darkness
4)    Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
5)    Austin Powers, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
6)    Eric Draven, The Crow
7)    Agent Smith, The Matrix
8)    Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense
9)    John McClane, Live Free or Die Hard
10)    Mr. Blonde, Reservoir Dogs
11)    Brodie Bruce, Mallrats
12)    Jean Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg, The Fifth Element
13)    John Malkovitch, Being John Malkovitch
14)    Happy Gilmore, Schindler's List*
15)    Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas
16)    Darth Maul, Star Wars Episode I: The Death of Hope

*Citation neeed


Riggstad is a closer, and is therefore allowed to drink some of the coffee. He can handle the truth. Come with him if you want to live. You're a daisy if you do.


1)     Tyler Durden, Fight Club
2)     Col. Nathan R. Jessup, A Few Good Men
3)    The Terminator, Terminator 2
4)    William Wallace, Braveheart
5)    Little Bill, Unforgiven
6)    Forrest Gump, Boys On The Side
7)    Mona Lisa Vito, My Cousin Vinnie
8)    Cpt. John Miller, Saving Private Ryan
9)    Doc Holiday, Tombstone
10)    Malcolm X, Malcolm X
11)    Micky Knox, Natural Born Killers
12)    Ace Ventura, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
13)    Nicky Santoro, Casino
14)    Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, Scent of a Woman
15)    Roy McElvoy, Tin Cup
16)    Will Hunting, Good Will Hunting


Julius_Goat is me. I'm pretty old, I guess. Estimates range as to how old. I reckon some day I'll get those carbon dating fellas out to my flypaper shack in the Ozarks to test me and then I'll know for sure. Then I'll shoot 'em because I hate trespassers and Nosey Nancies. I keep my teeth in my mouth, but I'm thinking about getting them into a Roth IRA or maybe a hedge fund. I am tall enough to ride all the rides at Seven Flags. I am omnifragrant, which means that I smell of everything, and, therefore, nothing. In my spare time, I catch eagles with my bare hands. You just need plenty of patience, and bare hands. And a gun. In seven years, I've caught 0 eagles. Someday I think I'll catch one, if I just stay positive. Today's the day!


1)     Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs
2)     Blake, Glengary Glen Ross
3)    Tommy DeVito, Goodfellas
4)    Milton, Office Space
5)    Dr. Evil, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
6)    The Jesus, The Big Lebowski
7)    Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story
8)    Drexel, True Romance
9)    Derek Vinyard, American History X
10)    Annie Bates, Misery
11)    Karl Childers, Sling Blade
12)    "Double Down" Trent, Swingers
13)    Dirk Diggler, Boogie Nights
14)    Wooderson, Dazed and Confused
15)    Donald "Sully" Sullivan, Nobody's Fool
16)    Red, The Shawshank Redemption


Keep watching this space -- Round 1 begins soon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Julius Goat is a monster

I'm so sorry, you guys, I won't be able to do any movie reviews for April. I've been too busy working and socializing with people in...society? Ha! I got you! April Fool's!

I totally got you! Admit it! Admit it! No? You weren't fooled? Was it the socializing part? Like if I had just stopped at "busy working" would that have been more credible? Or was I fine right up until I wasn't sure where exactly all the socializing takes place? *shakes fist*

Okay, let's get on with the show:

My universe is a weird place sometimes. I start watching Dexter like a week ago, and then, this movie, which I probably put on my Blockbuster queue two years ago, comes and it stars the Dexter lady! Not the really annoying one with the lisp and blond hair, the mostly annoying one with the lisp and the black hair. The movie is good. Not a traditional horror movie, it’s more in the “Blair Witch Project” genre of we follow the “terror” through the cameraman’s lens. But it gets scary. There’s good gore and you’ll scream at the end cause you hella won’t see that shit coming.

The Tourist
This movie proves to me that Angelina Jolie ruins everything for everybody all the time! Her and her stupid face. There are two types of people in the world: people who think Angelina Jolie is beautiful and people who aren’t crazy and blind! And it’s not even like I hate her, sometimes she works, but literally she spends this entire movie with pouty lips and clothes that are too tight going “ blah blah blah.” And the worst part? She completely detracts from the awesomeness of Johnny Depp. Do you understand how difficult a thing that is? Whoa…actually, I saw lots of Johnny Depp movies this month and this is the only one where he can’t save a whack ass script and horrible plot failures. Boo. BOO. BOOOOO! I’m tempted to tell you the twist so you don’t bother. But I won’t, but seriously, don’t bother. Not worth it. Also, for an actor born in Kentucky, Johnny Depp does a terrible American accent.

How do you Know

So, I have developed certain movie truisms through these years of watching and writing about hundreds of movies. One of them is that no movie title with a question mark is ever good. How do you Know tries to trick you by leaving off the punctuation, but it can’t fool me. I hear the question a mile off and even though there are some good moments between Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon is cute as a button, this movie about a love triangle and "woe is me, where is my life going" thirty somethings, bit. Hard.

Children of the Corn (1984)

I thought this movie was going to be terrifying… in general vegetables, children, the Terminator lady COME ON… but nope. It was so tame and often lame. And complete and utter nonsense. I’m still not clear on what happens or why it happens or frankly how children take over a town and the feds don’t jump in. Bah.

One Missed Call

Again, I had high hopes for this horror movie about people who get a call and then die. To be honest, I was looking for scientific support for my perennial refusal to answer the telephone under any circumstances. Instead, I got sucked into this crapfest about poltergeists who kill people through the phone lines…even though cell phones don’t have lines. Eyeroll. And the calls aren’t even missed! The idiots pick up and hear the call and then they die. It should be called “And this is why Dawn doesn’t answer phone calls, idiots.”

The Fighter

Sigh. Every year after the Oscar’s, I grudgingly add the Oscar nominated movies to my queue and every year, as they trickle into my mailbox, the one following the other, I just know I’m in for two boring hours of “cinematography” crap. The Fighter starts off strong and ends strong, but there’s this 95 minutes or so in between where you just wish the movie were in 3D so one of the characters’ punches could hit you square on the jaw and knock you unconscious until it gets good again. Oh, the movie is about two Boston brothers who fight. One of them ends up a crackhead and the other one is Marky Mark.

Don Juan DeMarco

Johnny Depp! Good, beautiful, unspoiled Johnny Depp. Not exactly clear on what was happening in this movie, but Johnny Depp is beautiful and charming and has a lovely Spanish accent and um…*claps*!

Um… okay, this movie is about a psychic who quits psychicing because his whole life started to become about death. I thought I was going to hate it and then I did for a while, but the beginning of the end was so poignant and wonderful that I actually liked it, but then the end end was terrible and trite and predictably hackneyed that I didn’t like it anymore. So…all in all. I didn’t hate it.

The Switch

I thought I was going to hate this movie too, because, well “Starring Jennifer Aniston.” God, she’s so irritating that it makes me go “I’d leave you for Angelina Jolie too,” and you all know how I feel about her. Jason Bateman plays a stereotypical whiny hypochondriac. I hate the way movies portray hypochondriacs, like they’re crazy and paranoid. These are real people, with real feelings who may or may not have the only modern day case of leprosy. You don’t know! #rude Where was I? Oh, right. So he and Aniston are best friends, she decides to get a sperm donor to have a kid, he’s sad, gets drunk and switches the sample. Voila seven years later she is saddled with a whiny hypochondriatic kid and can’t for the life of her figure it all out. It’s not bad. Jeff Goldblum is gold, Jerry, gold.

This movie has a lot of the Rock. He is often shirtless. He doesn’t speak much and there is a lot of fast car driving and bad man killing. In short, Dawn gives this film 19 thumbs up and watched it twice. The Rock is puhrty. And he has muscles. Lots and lots of rocky muscles. And a face. *claps* Oh, I think it’s about a guy getting revenge on the bad men who killed his brother…or a dude that knows his way around a gym.

Morning Glory
This movie was great! I know I know…crazy right? It looks so dumb… wait, is Jeff Goldblum in this too…let me check? Yes! And he’s great in this too! Wow! Get that man a TV show…wait…they tried that, didn’t they? Anyway, it’s about a floundering thirty something who lives with her mom who gets a job on a dead end morning show that everyone wants to see fail (that’s why she’s hired to run it) but she turns it all around. Harrison Ford is a delightful curmudgeon and Diane Keaton plays that character she’s been playing since Annie Hall…except with menopause jokes.

This movie did not suck. And funny enough, though I usually love musicals, I didn’t like this movie for the music stuff, the music stuff was weak. I liked Christina for the… um…cough…acting. She plays a small town girl who moves to LA to make it as a whatever young girls try to make it as in LA, but she ends waitressing at a failing Burlesque bar and eventually gets her break on stage. She then uses her cunning to save the bar! You’ll laugh, you’ll cr…no, you won’t cry. But it’s not the worst movie in the world.

From Hell
Johnny Depp! My wonderful Johnny Depp, who cannot be brought down, not even by Heather Graham’s terrible terrible accent and acting. You see? Only Angelina Jolie can destroy him! So, this movie is about Jack the Ripper. Johnny Depp is the lead investigator trying to catch him. He would have too if it weren’t for those meddling kids! Or something.


Ben Affleck as a pedophile? Okay, I’ll bite. The My name is earl guy plays a slacker layabout who hangs out in malls all day. It’s okay. Some of the dialogue is good. But this is definitely a movie for people who live in suburbs and know who Stan Lee is. That’s not me. However, I totally empathize with the guy who keeps staring at the magic picture and can’t see the sailboat. That’s so me.

Nothing But the Truth

If there is anything more hilarious than a terrible movie populated by actors who think they are starring in the second coming of Citizen Kane, I don’t want to know about it. This movie is a dramatization of the Judith Miller goes to jail for her principles case. All the actors think they are making an “important film.” You can tell this by the way Kate Beckinsale dyes a single strand of her hair gray to demonstrate the gravitas of her character. Also by the way Ross from Friends crinkles his face to show his wife that principles are fine and good but he needs to have sex right away! Instead, the movie they made is not even fit for Lifetime. Every performance is laughable. The dialogue is laughable, the sets are a joke, oh man…terrible, but you can totally tell they were all practicing their Oscar speeches between takes!

Love and Other Drugs

Um. This movie wasn’t the worst. But I didn’t really know it was about a terminally ill woman getting into a relationship with a commitmentphobe drug rep going in…so…I dunno. It wasn’t what I expected, so I was thrown for a lot of it, but it wasn’t good enough to watch again.

Due Date

I’m probably not the first to opine that this is a modern day Planes, Trains and Automobiles, right? Cause if I am… dibs! You all owe me a dime for every time you’ll think that thought while watching Due Date. The premise is preposterous, execution is painful to watch most times, but I like Robert Downey Jr, so I watched the whole thing.

It's Kind of a Funny Story

You know who I do not like? Zach Galifianakis! I want to hold him down with a razor and figure out what he’s hiding under there. You know what’s not kind of a funny story? A movie about a suicidal 15 year old. Oh, and you know what else is not a funny story? How the black girl gets rejected for the psychotic blond. Eyeroll. Fucking Hollywood. #races

Personal Best (1982)

Don’t know how or when this got added to my queue. It’s a weird movie about two ladies in love but then they both want to compete in the Olympics and the coach makes them breakup and then they marry men. But they stay friends. I dunno. It’s weird and has that 70s movies look.

The Contender
This is another movie where you could tell the actors thought they were making this huge statement about women in politics and they thought they’d change the world. It’s about a lady Vice Presidential nominee who gets saddled with a sex scandal and she refuses to deny the accusations because “sex is private.” Eyeroll. Bullshit. Which pretty much accurately describes this whole movie.

Absolute Power

Clint Eastwood plays a 70-year-old cat burglar. I feel like I should stop there. But no, it gets better. He witnesses a crime. By the President of the United States! Eye fucking roll. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

The Butcher Boy

Julius Goat
is evil. He writes up these “delayed Oscars” posts and makes you go all “hmmm…that sounds interesting, let me rent that,” and then you spend 80 minutes watching “The Wonder Years,” but with an Irish accent, a lot of yelling and no cute Winnie Cooper young love story. And then, just when you cants stand no more, there’s this awesome 12 minutes that almost makes the movie worthwhile. Almost. Sinead O'Connor is in this, didn't recognize her though.

Lost Highway
Again, Julius Goat? Satan Incarnate. Why? WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WOULD HE RESCUE THIS HEAPING PILE OF DUNG BEETLE CRAP FROM THE DUMPSTER OF MOVIE HISTORY? David Lynch doesn’t even admit that he had anything to do with this awful awful awful…okay, I can’t tell you what the movie is about…no really, I can’t! I have no fucking clue. The main actress plays two characters that are exactly the same, but have different names and aren’t the same. The main actor changes into another actor halfway through the movie without explanation. I…I…no words. But then, because Butcher Boy was also terrible for 90 percent of it, I kept watching and watching and then when the car drives away down the dark highway and the credits roll, I kept watching. And then when my TV went into screen saver mode, I kept watching. And then I vowed bloody bloody vengeance upon the head of one Julius Goat.

I love David Tennant. He stars as Hamlet. So I rented it. I used to think Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet was the gold standard, but I haven’t seen it in 15 years, so I should probably rent it again before I change my mind about that. But I verily enjoyed Tennant’s performance.

Glorious 39
This movie was also billed as starring David Tennant. So I rented it. DAVID TENNANT HAS LIKE NINE LINES in the whole THREE HOUR movie! And some of those are repeats in memories after he’s killed in the first ten minutes. DIRTY FUCKING POOL Glorious 39! I swear, I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for his character to have a twin brother who comes to town or something. But no. This movie is dumb. Don’t bother. DIRTY POOL!


This movie is the fascinating story of a woman born in Apartheid South Africa to white parents, but she has dark skin and coarse hair, so she is deemed to be “colored” and shunned from white society. The parents sue and the government decrees that all children shall be designated the race of their parents. Leading to one of the greatest lines uttered in a movie ever: “Thank God! She’s white again!” LOL. Of course, she still looks the same and well, it’s interesting what happens to her being not quite white, but being an outsider to the black community. Definite rent.


An update on the old children's tale about the girl with impossibly long hair. This movie is cute, but the songs are terrible, it steals the ending of Shrek Forever, and I'm pretty sure it's that Nerd Herd dude Chuck singing...which is just creeepy. But it hits the right chords and manipulates you into caring.