Who are your most memorable movie characters?
I’ll tell you a few of mine (in no particular order). Share yours in the Comments section….
-Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in “Tombstone”
This most be one of the most outrageous, hilarious, and ultimately tragic characters ever played. He’s an true Southern gentleman (including the accent!), faithful friend, gambler, and sharpshooter who’s unforgivingly cynical of everything, including himself. Unforgettable…
-Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in “Malcolm X”
Every Denzel performance I’ve seen is a masterpiece, even in movies that are not. This movie was one that was. He essentially plays three characters: Malcolm “Red” Little, the country-go-lucky hustler and convict; Malcolm X, the spokesman of reactionary hate; and El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, the enlightened statesman who died too soon. He makes all seem so real that I still have to stop myself from imagining El-Hajj Malik with Denzel’s face.
-Kenneth Branagh as Benedick in “Much Ado about Nothing”
The facial expressions, the accents, the mood swings and hilarity- he completely outdoes himself in this one. He really brought the best out of this hilarious plot. Shakespeare would have been proud…
-Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett (& Will Smith as Mike Lowry) in “Bad Boys I”
Martin really steals the show, but feeds off of Will Smith to pull it off. He’s this chip-on-his-shoulder cat who can’t get a lucky break in one high-strung hijink after another in a movie that has me falling on the floor every time I watch it.
-Al Pacino in “Godfather II”/“Scarface” & “Devil’s Advocate”/“Two for the Money”
There are two sides to this guy: the brooding manic-depressive and the outrageous extrovert. “Godfather II” & “Scarface” are the best examples of the first side. In “Godfather II”, he spends half the movie in this long-faced funk that gets so severe his eyes start drooping, and it’s still interesting. In “Scarface, he’s either mumbling incoherently, á la Marlon Brando (i.e. method acting) or in maniacal outbursts.
“The Devil’s Advocate” captures some of the best spiels he’s ever unwound, while in “Two for the Money”, with his faked death and crashing of a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting, he outdoes his usual outdoing of himself.
-Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessep in “A Few Good Men” and as Melvin Udall in “As Good as it Gets”
In both, he epitomizes the misanthropic personality type with a malicious wit and a detached near-stupor. It’s not that the character is likeable (well, almost so in “As Good as It Gets”); it’s just that he makes it so real. Wonder what he’s like in real life…
So… who are your favorites?
– Lin Chi-Ling as Xiao Qiao in “Red Cliff”
At first, I was thinking “This chick is weak.” She was just floating around with a dazed smile talking about peace. But then she won a major battle with a cup of tea. I was blown away, the surprise of the film. It’s rare to get surprised by a film with the stock plots they keep recycling. The best part about it was, she showed that a woman can win, not by a man’s rules, not by exploiting herself to the top, but with her intelligence, and, yes, a little (actually a lot of, sorry honey) beauty.
– Khulan Chuluun as Börte in “Mongol”
Another great female character. She’s Genghis Khan’s wife, and she gets ’bout it to save her man, killing, travelling far and wide. He gets persecuted, and she gets persecuted because of him, but they never let go….
-Stephen Baldwin as Michael McManus in “The Usual Suspects”
A sociopath with a funny side, it’s hard to describe, but this guy cracks me up.
-Will Smith as Tim Thomas in “Seven Pounds”
His facial expressions and speech mannerisms make the character seem so real, and you genuinely feel his pain as you slowly begin to learn what ails him. Never has a movie this depressing been this compelling, and he’s why…