Did you get a chance to check out Glenn Walker’s piece about the legendary Avengers time travelling villain Kang from earlier this week? It’s turned into quite the conversation starter out there on Twitter and quite honestly, gave me a whole new insight into one of Marvel’s most notable villains. It also got me thinking about some of the other characters out there in the pop culture world that have had their own obsessions with time. After mulling it over, I put together a list of some of my favourites:
Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Give a hand to the amazing Linda Hamilton – she knocked it out of the park when she went from mouse to lion for her role as Sarah Connor, trying to protect her son John from anything that gets in their way as she prepares him for Judgement Day and Skynet.
A Clockwork Orange: I won’t bother summarizing the plot. If you haven’t seen this magnificent film by Stanley Kubrick (or read the less-than-magnificent-but-still-pretty-good novel by Anthony Burgess), stop reading this column right now and head to your local video store/shop/torrent site, get a copy, sit down with a glass of whisky, and dedicate two hours to absolute brilliance and jaw-dropping horror. Seen it? Good. Now we can continue.
Alex: a morally empty young man whose leisure activities include opiate-laced lactose, theft, battery, bloodletting, and rape. Like Frank Castle, the subject of my previous post, the man is a sociopath. He lives outside our laws and levels of moral behaviour because he considers himself above them; he is a law and force unto himself, and he revels in his self-imposed position. He’s not psychotic: he doesn’t break into fits of uncontrolled rage or mania; everything is cold, calculated, and considered. He’s fully aware of his actions; he simply doesn’t care.
Even by Charlie Kaufman’s standards, Synechdoche, New York is a weird movie.
Charlie Kaufman made his big splash writing Being John Malkovich for Spike Jonze, and followed that up with the even more bewildering meta-movie Adaptation, a movie about writing a movie based on a New Yorker article. Adaptation featured a device wherein Charlie, a character in the movie based on the writer, grapples with his (possibly imaginary) brother Donald’s much more “mainstream” sensibilities, even as the movie itself veers in the direction of Donald’s inclinations to normality.
Synechdoche shows no such compunctions.
Some people just aren’t good at their jobs, are they? I’m sure you work with people that make you roll your eyes when they walk in the room, or who just can’t get their stuff together. They may even be nice folks – friendly and kind, but just sort of inept. It doesn’t make them bad people, just simply incompetent. But when these people keep making the same mistake over and over, you start to wonder, are they a little…mad?
There are a few pop culture characters that come spring to my mind when I think of hopelessly inept and more than a little crazy. One has an unhealthy obsession with birds and is seriously in need of speech therapy. The other is an inventive yet sadistic maniac who is continually chasing the same, elusive enemy, often with horrific and painful results. And then there’s The Hunter. Or would be hunter, for in all his years brandishing a shotgun and hat, I don’t believe he’s ever managed to nail his pray, regardless of what season it is.
So, in honour, of March Madness , I present to you, Sylvester The Cat, Wile. E. Coyote and Elmer Fudd.
That’s all, folks.
As far as the Marvel universe is concerned, I think there are few characters as mad as The Punisher. Sure, we’re led to believe that Frank Castle was pushed over the edge when his daughter, son, and wife were slain in a mob hit gone wrong, but the truth is, Frank Castle is a killer and always has been. He just happens to be on our “side”, which lends him an air of acceptability when we read about his exploits. The man, however, is an utter sociopath. He cares for nothing but the kill.
David Haller is a young boy trapped in the body of a man and lost in a maelstrom of emotions he can’t understand. He’s been described as autistic and schizophrenic. However, based on the documented evidence, he suffers from a multiple personality disorder. What makes this case so unusual and interesting is that David is a mutant and can spontaneously generate and associate powers with these personalities.
If I’m making a list of my top 10 favourite films, there’s one that always nabs an appearance and when mentioned, is received with a bit of shock. For some reason, amongst the company of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds doesn’t really appear to be a natural fit. But in my mind, it’s one of his best. Great effects, a solid script, a moving performance from Tom Cruise and an absolutely batshit crazy cameo from the one and only Tim Robbins.
Fans of the Silent Hill series of games rejoice, Silent Hill: Downpour hits the shelves today!
In it, players take the role of Murphy Pendleton, a convict who – while being transported to a new prison – ends up in a crash that leaves him in (you guessed it!) the small town of Silent Hill. You don’t really know why you’re there, but throughout the game, you find news bits and pieces of evidence that aid you in discovering exactly what’s going on.