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Movie Characters You Want On Your Side. Always. Part Three!

Well folks, 2012 is drawing to a close.

It’s been a wonderful year here at DVD Critics Corner,  a year full of movies, and…stuff.

Remember when that thing happened? Wow. What fun that was, huh?

Okay, I’m not good at looking back nostalgically. What I am good at is making lists featuring movie characters I think are cool. Characters you would want on your side when the spit hits the spam; who will watch your back when the bad guys have you cornered. Characters who will avenge your death because you’re probably the weakest link in the supergroup you’ve assembled, and will probably buy it during battle.

Sorry. You’re just not a badass.

Anyhoo, here’s the last list of movie characters you want on your side for 2012. Pardon me while I wipe away a tear.

hansoloNames: Han Solo and Chewbacca

Occupation: Intergalactic smugglers, Princess Rescuers

As Seen In: The Star Wars  movies, Episodes 4-6

Pros: Not afraid to shoot at Sith Lords. Cons: Chewie always wants off on Life Day.

The Deal:  When restoring freedom to the galaxy, you need three things – some Jedi, two droids, and a couple of guys with a ship. And not just any ship mind you, we’re talking the Millennium Falcon, with 0.5 lightspeed capabilities, quad laser cannons, and a sweet holographic chess table in the lounge. And who pilots the fastest ship in the galaxy? Captain Han Solo. A man who sees an asteroid field and hits the “hell yeah” switch. And let’s not forget his right hand Wookie Chewbacca: ace co-pilot, master mechanic, and fur covered badass. I’m not saying Han and Chewie could overthrow the entire Galactic Empire by themselves, but they could overthrow the entire Galactic Empire by themselves.

Shining Moment: Not flushing Threepio out of an airlock while trying to avoid capture in The Empire Strikes Back. Threepio was one whiny robot.    

Batman-movie-ps01Name: The Batman

Occupation: Caped Crusader

As Seen In: A bunch of movies with Batman and/or Dark Knight in the Title.

Pros: Unsurpassed detective skills, master of hand to hand combat, filthy rich. Cons: Bit of a loaner, always sounds like he has laryngitis.

The Deal:  Nobody tops Batman when it comes to laying a beatdown on criminals. Why is Bats so awesome? Aside from having the sweetest costume in the Justice League (sorry Apache Chief), Batman has the coolest stuff in the biz. From grapple guns to the Batmobile, the man has it all the best gadgets. He’s like a Sharper Image catalog, minus the stupid air purifiers.

Shining Moment: Keeping Gotham City safe even when Joel Schumacher ran the movie franchise into the ground.

rambo_18392Name: John J. Rambo

Occupation:  Honorably Discharged U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier

As Seen In: First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo

Pros: He kills. Period! Cons: He’s moody. Period!

The Deal: If you’re short on cash and can’t hire an army for your secret covert op, don’t worry, because Rambo is all the army you need.  Rambo is deadly with firearms, a helicopter, a bow and arrow and of course his giant survival knife. Man was that thing cool. It had a compass in the handle, and it was hollow so could store things in it; important survival stuff like string and one of those foil blankets I guess. I’m not much of a survivalist. I burst into tears when I can’t find my car keys.

Shining Moment: Shooting up the computer command center at the climax of First Blood Part II. You suck, dot matrix printing technology!

The Avengers Black Widow Scarlett Johansson wallpapers 480x800 (06)Name: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow

Occupation: Assassin, Covert S.H.I.E.L.D. Operative

As Seen In: Iron Man 2, The Avengers

Pros: Highly skilled secret agent and killer. Cons: Dude, there is no way you’ll ever score with her. Just put it out of your mind.

The Deal: If you look up femme fetale on Wikipedia, there’s a good chance a photo of Agent Romanoff killing some bad guys will pop up.  Well, there will be a photo of her there when I get done editing that page. Romanoff held her own alongside Captain America, Hulk, and the other good guys in that huge battle with the Chitauri the end of The Avengers, and without a high tech armored suit or a hammer from the Gods to protect her exquisite fanny, so she gets mega props in the bravery department. And since she’s practically second in command at S.H.I.E.L.D, she can probably hook you up with a ride on the helicarrier. I wonder if they have a pool on that thing?

Shining Moment:  Singlehandedly beating the crap out of a hallway full of armed guards in Iron Man 2. She can pummel me unconscious any day. Sorry, I’m into things like that.

1971dirty-harryName: Harry Callahan

Occupation: Inspector, San Francisco Police Department

As Seen In: Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, The Dead Pool

Pros: Have you seen the size of his gun? Cons: His partners have the life span of a counselor at Camp Crystal Lake.

The Deal: Punks and criminals had better run for cover when Inspector Harry Callahan is on the case! Actually, everyone in the greater San Francisco area should run for cover because Dirty Harry doesn’t mind wrecking a few cars, some stores and restaurants, and a few beloved city landmarks to bring the bad guys to justice. Hey, you want shiny, happy, destruction free justice, call those wusses at Law & Order! Think Jerry Orbach ever killed a guy with a harpoon gun? Heck no! That’s a signature Dirty Harry move, fella!

Shining Moment: I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Honorable Mention: Go ahead. Make my day.

Happy Holidays, punks!

Click here to read part two of Movie Characters You Want on Your Side. Always.

Click here to read part one. Punks.


Bigger Is Better!

In this continuing series, DVD Critics Corner looks at some really big things featured in some of cinema’s greatest movies. Your opinion of what is big will differ of course, but this isn’t about you. This is my thing. Can you let me have this please?

Part One – Huge Spaceships from Huge Movies!

A wise old Jedi Master once said “Size matters not.”

Poppycock. You heard me Yoda. Poppycock.

Face it, if you want humans to tremble at your feet, you don’t dispatch one itty bitty TIE fighter to hover menacingly over Washington D.C. And if you’re travelling halfway across the universe on a mission of peace, one of those compact Day the Earth Stood Still flying saucers might get better gas mileage, but they’re kinda boring to look at and I hear the headroom sucks.

When it comes to spacecrafts, you either go big or you go back to your weirdly named home planet.

Let’s take a look at some big spaceships from some big sci-fi movies.

Name: The Mothership

As Seen In: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Key Features: Tons of space, window shattering sound system.

The Skinny: Those little alien guys from Steven Spielberg’s classic film really knew how to travel in style!  This ginormous ship is a wonder to behold, but be sure to keep your sunblock and shades nearby because this ship is brighter than an M.I.T. valedictorian. And keep your distance from the occupants of this Mothership, because they like to kidnap humans and take them for really long rides.

Name: Huge Unnamed Spaceships

As Seen In: Independence Day (1996)

Key Features: Superior defense shields, frickin laser beams, no firewall.

The Skinny: While the happy aliens from Close Encounters came bearing gifts, the hugely pissed off aliens from Independence Day come bearing Armageddon in the form of a 15 mile wide ship with a death ray guaranteed to erase all of those unsightly blemishes from your skin and the skin of everyone else in your city. And state. Fortunately for the human race, these big skulled buggers didn’t count on two things; Jeff Goldblum’s amazing hacking skills and a flying Fresh Prince.

Name: Spaceball One

As Seen In: Spaceballs (1987)

Key Features: Ludicrous speed capabilities, Shopping Mall, Zoo.

The Skinny: Taking over 90 seconds to enter the frame at the beginning of the movie, Spaceball One is big. Seriously big. Perhaps President Skroob (Mel Brooks) and Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) are trying to overcompensate for something? I really can’t say, but I for one am happy with the size of the ship that God gave me.  Spaceball One’s greatest feature is its ability to transform into a robot maid, which marked the first time a giant transforming robot made an audience laugh. Then 20 years later, Michael Bay unleashed Transformers on the world, and we laughed even harder.

Name: V’Ger

As Seen In: Star Trek-The Motion Picture (1979)

Key Features: Twelfth-power energy shields, plasma discharge weapons, really big memory card.

The Skinny: Do you like your spaceships big and brainy? Well then have I got a craft for you! When it comes to big, V’Ger wrote the book. In fact, if V’Ger was a book, it would be a 32 volume set of the Encyclopedia Britanica sandwiched between a large print Websters Dictionary and a copy of the United States Tax Code. V-Ger is essentially a giant hard drive, storing tons of info on its quest to return to earth and report back to “the creator.”  And when V’Ger finds out the creator is William Shatner, it freaks out and explodes. That’s probably what will happen to me if I ever meet Shatner. He’s freakin’ awesome.

Name: The Executor

As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983)

Key Features: 5,000 turboblasters, room for 38,000 ground troops, meditation chambers for chillaxin’.

The Skinny: Boo-yah! When it comes to hugeness, nobody tops the Galactic Empire.  The Executor was the flagship of the Imperial Navy, and Darth Vader spared no expense in making sure his personal Star Destroyer was loaded with every factory option in the book. You want turbo blasters? It’s got em. You want ion cannons? It’s got em. You want a powerful deflector shield that protects the bridge from being destroyed by a dinky little rebel fighter? Um, I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you on that. Regardless of it’s design flaws, The Executor is one bad-ass bucket. If I was going to enslave a galaxy, it would be my choice of ride hands down. Never try to enslave a galaxy in a 1984 Datsun 210. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know.