Category Archives: March Madness
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.
I’ll be honest with you. Part of me didn’t want to mention The Shining in our March Madness series. It felt a little too easy, do you know what I mean? The film is one of my favourites and I’ve written about it a few times on the site, most recently in a series of pieces on the work of director Stanley Kubrick.
But really, how can you talk about madness in pop culture without at least mentioning Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
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.
Kang the Conqueror is the archenemy of the Avengers. A case could be made for Ultron because his vengeance is personal, being an indirect member of the Avengers family. And there have been too many iterations of the Masters of Evil for any one group to qualify. But Kang is always there, lurking in the shadows of time itself waiting to strike. He fits perfectly in the theme of the month here at Biff Bam Pop! as Kang is quite mad. It’s that madness that makes him such an impossible and unpredictable foe.
Madness isn’t the only thing he’s got going for himself in the super-villain category. Kang is one of the few baddies who has won. That’s right, he’s defeated the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in combat, more than once. Kang has even conquered the entire planet Earth while it’s been under the Avengers’ watch.
The Walking Dead Season 2 has come to a close (what a crazy episode!) and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to go mad waiting for new episodes this Fall. But fear not! Or rather, continue to fear! Because the zombie hordes are coming in The Walking Dead: The Game.
IGN just released a taser trailer for the highly anticipated Walking Dead game based on the TV show (based on Kirkman’s graphic series). So far, the game is planned to be released in episode format for all major platforms. As you’d imagine, the game is essentially a first person shooter where you’re the star, forced to somehow survive the first days of the zombie onslaught.
Unfortunately the game doesn’t feature any characters from the TV show, but rather a new story line around someone named Lee. TV. But the trailer suggests a good layer of story building and atmospheric development, with graphics smooth enough to blend in to the background as you enter survival mode. Check it out below – what do you think?
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.