8 Movie Props I need. Like, right now.

Oh, dog hat from Seven PsychopathsOne day, you will be mine!!!!

A week or so ago, the good folks down at invaluable contacted me about writing an article about my favourite movie props. Being overjoyed that somebody was aware of my existence, I accepted.

I don’t know if you could tell by the fact that a shot from the anime sequence from Kill Bill is my Twitter and Gravatar profile picture, but I’m kind of a giant nerd. One of the actions of nerd-dom that I fully embrace is collecting random shit that has to do with the pop culture that I love.

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As the three hundred dollars that I’ve spent on amiibos will testify to.

As of right now, I have a fairly sizable collection of movies, music, Nintendo merchandise (See above) and comic books. What I would love, though, is to possess an actual prop from an actual movie (As opposed to from a fake movie, I guess???).

Though a prop from Argo would be really cool.

So, because content pays the bills (I wish) I’ve rattled off a list of movie props that I want. Like, desperately. If anyone possesses any of these props, e-mail me at pleasekillthemessenger@gmail.com so that we can arrange a hand-off. I’m down with paying for it too, as long as you don’t mind me tracking you back to your home, murdering you, and taking all your money after the transaction is complete.

It’s a wonder I’m single.

…Yeah… let’s do it!

The CPU (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

Played in Terminator Genisys by Matt Smith. I know, it’s a stupid, stupid movie.

When most people picture the one device that could cause human extinction, chances are you picture something like a massive nuclear bomb, or maybe something magical like the One Ring or the Infinity Gauntlet (Two more props I want, by the way). In the Terminator franchise (By which I mean, the two movies worth mentioning), the tiny CPU that contains the consciousness of SkyNet, the all-knowing A.I. that will eventually wipe out almost all of humankind.

Nah, too easy.

Don’t let the fact that it looks kind of like a Kit-Kat knock-off fool you. Leaving this device in the hands of somebody with even the of best intentions (Hello, Miles Dyson!!!) could result in everybody you know, don’t know, love or hate dying via nuclear fire.

And I want to use it as a USB stick! So, you know, sleep easy Planet Earth.

A tooth from the animatronic T-Rex from Jurassic Park

“Hullllllooooooooo!!!!!!”

Dinosaurs are amazing. That is not an opinion. It is objective fact.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park is also unquestionably incredible. not only in terms of the inherent awesomeness of T-Rexes, but also because it’s a seamless combination of animatronic and CG special effects. Obviously, I’m not fitting the whole animatronic in my house without a Batcave (Although, if anybody has a spare Batcave lying around…), but it would be almost as awesome to have even one of the teeth on my shelf.

That or a Velociraptor claw I actually just want something to threaten children with.

Sam Neill has truly been an inspiration for me.

Star-Lord’s helmet

The jacket or gun would work as well. or a life-size statue of Chris Pratt.

Fun fact, this is more or less what Peter Quill’s alter-ego looks like in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics.

Some costumes just don’t translate all that well.

Anyways, a badass helmet that doesn’t give you hat hair? I’m so in.

Hit-Girl’s detachable sword

Tune in for the sequel to watch her be a cheerleader!!!…Or some shit.

I don’t talk enough about Kick-Ass, which is a shame, because it’s one of my favourite movies of all time. My favourite character from this mildly unappreciated superhero dark comedy is Mindy MacReady, the preteen mass murderer known as Hit-Girl.

In her first scene as her masked alter ego, she effortlessly wastes a room of scumbags with a weapon that looks like a detachable, dual-edged naginata. Watch it yourself, It’s fucking awesome.

The drumsticks from Whiplash

This would make a great poster or publicity photo, I think.

Why do I want Miles Teller’s DNA, you ask? Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.

Hattori Hanzo Katana

Hey guys! Check out my giant moustache!!!

Ask any nerd what the coolest reality-based sword is, and odds are, he or she’ll probably say “the katana”, with little to no hesitation, and nobody has exploited the use of the samurai sword better than Quentin Tarantino.

Besides, like, actual Japanese people, I mean.

The Bride is an awesome hero, and she deserves an awesome weapon, so it’s only fitting that she receive a special weapon from the brilliant Japanese, uh, swordmaster (?) Hattori Hanzo that, by the end of the movie, claims the life of O-Ren Ishii and a metric shit-ton of Yakuza members in one of the greatest fight scenes of all time.

The scorpion jacket from Drive

Look at it. It’s…glorious…..

Also, it looks really cool with blood splattered all over it, so that’s definitely a plus.

The suitcase from Pulp Fiction

Fun fact: Pointing a gun at Samuel L. Jackson is the leading cause of death in the continental United States.

What was in the suitcase? Money? Diamonds? Drugs? Marcellus Wallace’s soul? In many ways, I hope I never find out, but regardless, this would be an awesome to possess such an enigmatic piece of film history.

Second only to John Travolta’s hairstyle.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

Godammit, do I ever love lists!!!

So, it’s that time of the year again. The time when we groggily emerge from our holiday hangovers and start getting back to the drudgery that constitutes our everyday lives, be it through working at a dead-end job, slaving away at school, or being a parent. The fact that, with January now here to stay for a bit, we don’t have much movies to escape to, doesn’t help either.

Unless you’re really looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door.

But, tumultuous first months of the year aside, there are still a lot of movies to look forward to in 2015. The following are the ones that I’m looking forward to the most (And, by extension, the ones you should be looking forward to the most).  Just a heads-up, any movie that did not have some form of North American release in 2014 is not included on this list. With that out of the way…

10. Chappie

If the robot dies, I’m going to be a total fucking wreck.

Neill Blomkamp is one of the more promising sci-fi directors working today, having released the great apartheid commentary that was District 9, which ended up overcoming its August release date and sci-fi label en route to a Best Picture nomination, and Elysium, which… Was a comedown, for sure, but it wasn’t bad, despite Jodie Foster’s best efforts.

English? French? South African? Hell if I know.

 Chappie definitely looks to be a touch more… Spielbergian than his other movies, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it means that the movie ends up feeling more like E.T. and less like A.I. The movie is based on a short film directed by Blomkamp named Tetra Vaalis written by Blomkamp and his wife, Terri Tatchell, and boasts an impressive, eclectic cast, comprising Wolverine, Ripley, Slumdog Millionaire, two members of the South African rave group Die Antwood, and frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley as the eponymous robot. It seems to have everything going for it so far. Here’s hoping District 9 wasn’t just a fluke. I, for one, have hope.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2

What? You expected Divergent?

A lot of people didn’t like the first Mockingjay movie. I am not one of them, although I did feel like it suffered from being split in half. Hopefully, all the tense build-up in the first movie leads up to something, because if it doesn’t, man is that ever going to make a lot of the pacing problems in the first movie less forgivable.

It’s probably gonna be better than Divergent 2 or whatever. At least we can all agree on that.

Fact: I’ve never read a book in the Divergent series, and I haven’t watched the first movie, so don’t mind my snarkiness, I’m just being a dick.

8. Jurassic World

The face of highly-intelligent, avian-descended, scientifically inaccurate terror.

This.

7. Spectre

 

“Now there’s a name to die for.”

Fun fact: The first James Bond movie I ever watched was Quantum of Solace. Yeah. Even then I knew that shit sucked. But then I watched Skyfall and Goldfinger, so I think that cancels it out, at least mostly.

So, why am I excited for this movie, despite not being a huge James Bond fan? Well, Christoph Waltz, mostly, but also Cristoph Waltz. However, one must not forget about Christoph Waltz, Christoph Waltz and Christoph Waltz. And don’t even get me started on Christoph Waltz.

6. The Peanuts Movie

Pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebe goodpleasebegood…

Huh. Two Pixar movies coming out this year, and the animated movie I’m most looking forward to is a movie from Blue Sky Studios.

Need I say more?

I grew up with the comic strip and the old cartoons, so I really hope that this movie can do justice to Charles Schulz’s legacy, and the trailers were pretty awesome, contemporary pop song notwithstanding. Then again, the only good movie that Blue Sky Studios has ever made is Ice Age way the hell back in 2002, so forgive me if I’m still a little nervous.

5. Ant-Man

View image on Twitter

Pre-Guardians of the GalaxyAnt-Man!? What the fuck. Marvel’s running out of ideas, this is fucking bullshit!!!” Post-Guardians: “Ant-Man? Seems legit.”

No Edgar Wright? No problem!

Okay, in all seriousness, the problems behind the production of Ant-Man are a little worrying, and the trailer wasn’t as mind-blowing as… Another one, but at this point, I think that Marvel’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

4. The Revenant

Combined Oscar wins: 0. Combined Oscar wins in a perfect world: All of them.

For my money, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman was the best movie of this past year. The same director with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy doing his bidding? I’m getting manic just thinking about it, and we’re only at number four.

3. The Hateful Eight

I can already feel my bloodlust overwhelming me.

Quentin Tarantino is my favourite director and screenwriter, so if I was manic for The Revenant, you can bet your ass that I’m balls-to-the-wall insane with application for this movie.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I’ve got no strings to hold me down… From seeing this movie!!! Play me off, Johnny!!!

You may have heard of it.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I know, shocking right?

Wow. It’s 2015, and we’re going to get a new Star Wars movie. Who’da thunk it?

With my luck, it’s going to end up even worse than the Phantom Menace.

DEATHMATCH-Episode 1: Battle of the Tarantinoverse Villains (Part 2 of 2)

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

So it’s come to this. One week after I posted my mildly in-depth analysis of the contestants, it’s time to quit discussing angrily amongst yourselves and learn which Tarantinoverse villain is the deadliest of them all. If you don’t know what the Tarantinoverse is, go read my last article. If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet…..Go watch them!?!?! Also, that’s your spoiler alert. I personally think that movies that’ve been available to watch for as long as these ones don’t merit a spoiler warning, but I dunno, I feel like a nice guy today.

Anyways, before we get started, I should point out that, while each character is allowed a signature weapon (For example, Mr. Blonde gets his razor blade and his pistol) they don’t get any objects that aren’t weapons (Stuntman Mike doesn’t get his car). Also, the fight takes place on what I deem to be neutral ground (In this case, a warehouse reminiscent of the one in Reservoir Dogs, except loaded with stacked crates of cocaine, because cover and, also, Tarantino.

Right, now that that’s out of the way…

Again, it’s like this place, but, y’know, there’s cocaine everywhere.

In an unnamed warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles County, all is silent. Until out of nowhere, nine notorious people from different points in the history of the world materialize: Notorious thief and murderer Vic Vega, noted drug dealer Drexl Spivey, bloodthirsty assassin O-Ren Ishii, older bloodthirsty assassin Bill, sadistic serial killer Stuntman Mike, SS turncoat Hans Landa and vicious slave owner Calvin Candie. 

Oh, and some Mexican lady is dressed in lingerie, and some guy dressed in bondage gear. That’s…. Really fucking weird. Who brought them here?

Not that I’m complaining. It’s just weird, is all.

 The gathered villains glare warily at each other, silently, as you would do if a bunch of these freaks suddenly materialized around you in a location that you found yourself in for no goddamned reason at all. 

After a good five minutes of staring, the gimp shrieks loudly, for no particular reason. Mr. Blonde gets a wild look in his eye and shoots wildly in the gimp’s general direction. Everyone else escapes to cover, but the gimp, sadly, takes a ton of lead straight to the torso and falls, having shrieked his last shriek. 

It was an act of mercy, really.

The scantily clad Mexican, while still behind cover, seems oddly fascinated with the bleeding gimp. 

Raise your hand if you ever thought you would read that sentence in your life. 

Stuntman Mike, hungering for a Big Fat Kill, runs through No Man’s Land, somehow not managing to be nailed by any of the bullets that Mr. Blonde sprays at him before he runs out of bullets, and sidles up to the morbid Mexican lady. Trying to take advantage of the situation, Drexl Spivey makes a break for the warehouse doors. However, he doesn’t count on Hans Landa squaring him up in the sights of his outdated German pistol and blowing three holes in his torso. Which he does. 

A scream is heard from behind the cover that Stuntman Mike has disappeared behind. Everybody assumes that Stuntman Mike has satisfied his need for murdering women. These sad, sad fools have no idea what’s coming next.  

Calvin Candie, being batshit insane, takes the opportunity to pounce on Landa, beating him with a brick of cocaine that he had pulled out from a crate. Landa manages to pop off a shot, but it merely grazes Candie’s arm, causing only a slow trickle of blood. 

Meanwhile, Vic Vega has decided to make a break for it, but runs into the legendary Cottonmouth, O-Ren Ishii. Itching for a kill himself, Mr. Blonde smirks and takes out his straight razor, starting to advance towards O-Ren. 

O-Ren, on the other hand, does some smirking of her own and pulls out her katana. 

Mr. Blonde stops smirking. 

As Cottonmouth slices Vega into bits of man-sushi, Candie is about to deliver the finishing blow to Landa when he hears a bloodcurdling shriek. He turns to see the head of Stuntman Mike being hurled away by what looks like Nosferatu with a skin condition. In a bikini. 

Again, I can’t stress enough how weird it feels to type that out.

Before Candie has a chance to react, the vampiress(?) pounces on him and tears the innards out of his throat. Landa takes the golden opportunity to limp off to find cover while the vampire enjoys her meal of delicious, delicious slave driver.  

The other white meat.

Bill, inactive until this moment, leaps into action, slicing furiously at the blood sucker with his katana. The vampire, distracted by her meal, doesn’t notice the pristine Japanese steel impaling her black heart until it’s too late. 

As Bill examines his deceased paranormal victim, Landa emerges from behind his cover and dispatches Bill, execution style. 

At least it’s quicker than having your heart blow up, apparently.

However, as has been the case throughout this whole Deathmatch, Landa’s downfall is his lack of foresight when things aren’t going according to plan, and as he leisurely begins the reload of his pistol, he turns to see the poised Asian woman in an aggressive stance, a katana pointed precariously at his forehead. He tries to get a word out to convince her to let him be, but can’t before O-Ren Ishii drives her katana straight through his forehead. 

THE WINNER: O-REN ISHII

In the end, I decided to go with Kill Bill‘s Cottonmouth, because not only is she one of the foremost assassins in this twisted universe that Tarantino has created, she also has the least amount of flaws. Sure, she gets cocky in her fight against the Bride, which leads to her death in that movie, but she only really does that when she thinks she’s got no shot of losing. In this fight, she sees that Landa is dangerous, so she wouldn’t waste any time in wasting him when the opportunity presents itself. Hell, watch that scene in Kill Bill when she decapitates the Yakuza boss who insults her. Maybe she isn’t in any direct physical danger from this dickhead, but she realizes the threat of having her lofty position undermined, so she doesn’t waste any time chopping his noggin off.

Hans Landa, Bill, Santanico Pandemonium and Calvin Candie were all fairly strong candidates, but they each have their fatal flaws. Candie may be batshit insane. but he isn’t all that smart (He isn’t even really the main villain for the last bit of the movie. That would be Stephen). Santanico Pandemonium is vicious, but she’s also very killable (Vampires in From Dusk Till’ Dawn tended to do their best work in group or surprise attacks anyway). Bill is sixty goddamn years old, and Hans Landa leans on his intelligence, not so much his strength, or combat proficiency. When I think back to Inglorious Basterds, I’m pretty sure the only person he actually murdered himself was Diane Kruger.

…The bastard.

Well, that was the first episode of Deathmatch and, while there’s still some tune-ups to be done, I had a lot of fun with it. So, until next time, I leave you all with three pressing questions:

1. Did I get it right? Who do you think would’ve come out on top?

2. What Deathmatch would you like to see next? 

3. What did you think of the Terminator: Genisys trailer? Personally, I still can’t get over the fact that they can’t spell fucking “genesis” right. 

“You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you?” 

DEATHMATCH-Episode 1: Battle of the Tarantinoverse Villains (Part 1 of 2)

Ooooo….So edgy….

Wow, maybe I should finish up that Star Wars series I started forever ago. Now would be the ideal time, anyways. I’ve had more views in the past six hours than in the entire past week. Quentin Tarantino is not on anybodies’ must-see list right now. It’s all Star Wars.

Darth Maul officially looks like a pussy now.

 But hey, this wouldn’t be Please Kill the Messenger if it wasn’t hopelessly irrelevant. So with that said, it’s time to get the first episode of Deathmatch underway!

As I mentioned in the introduction to this whole concept last week, this first part of the episode is more of an introduction to the participants, their strengths, their weaknesses and so on. It’s a doozy as well, with a whopping nine fighters representing their respective movies.

I should note for those not aware that the Tarantinoverse consists of select films written by Quentin Tarantino that all have shared elements, most notably characters (For example, Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega is the brother of Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs) and fictional brands (Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple Cigarettes) that seem to suggest that all these films take place in the same ultra-violent shared universe that split apart from our own after Adolf Hitler was assassinated by American forces in Inglourious Basterds.

Or when the KKK was destroyed in its infancy by its member’s fortunate inability to make hoods right. Pick one, I guess.

That said, not every Tarantino movie is part of this universe. Movies like Natural Born Killers and Crimson Tide don’t have enough evidence to link them conclusively to the other movies, and Jackie Brown, being based on a novel, is part of a whole different shared universe. So, the movies that will contribute a fighter will be Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Death Proof, From Dusk till Dawn, the two Kill Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!

(Also, consider this a spoiler alert for the previously mentioned movies. You’ve been warned)

Vic Vega (Mr. Blonde)

How the fuck is he seeing where he’s shooting?

Appearance: Reservoir Dogs 

Portrayed by: Michael Madsen

Best quote: “Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.” 
[He removes his razor]

“You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”

It only seems logical to start with the movie that propelled Tarantino to cult stardom, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. While this masterpiece is chock-full of memorable characters like Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Nice Guy Eddie, etc., the most memorable character, in my correct opinion, is Vic Vega. While on the surface, Vega (Who goes by the alias of “Mr. Blonde” throughout the movie) appears to be your typical strong, silent type, good friends with Nice Guy Eddie and, like the others, a professional criminal. However, not only is it revealed that Vega is not exactly the most respectable criminal, murdering several civilians in a panicked rush to escape the bank he robbed with the others and showing no real remorse for the deed, which is pretty heinous in the first place.

As if that wasn’t enough, after he is left alone with a police officer, he starts taunting, then torturing him, even going so far as cutting his right ear off with a straight razor and dousing him in gasoline, fully intending to burn him alive. In fact, the only reason he doesn’t do just that is because Tim Roth shoots him to death before he can do so.

Right away, we have a very, very interesting candidate for this battle royale. I mean, forget sadistic, this guy’s a fucking full-blown psychopath. He kills without any real remorse, tortures for shits and giggles…. I mean, when it comes to kill instinct, this guy is off the chain. This guy’s antics disgusted even some of the most dedicated filmgoers around back in the day.  Add in the fact that he’s handy with a razor blades and hand guns, and he looks like a strong candidate.

Hell, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that I can’t listen to “Stuck in the Middle With You” anymore without instinctively covering my right ear.

What’s the catch? Mr. Blonde is not particularly great under pressure, being cursed out by Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi for his violent outburst in the bank robbery. True, in a fight to the death that can be a plus, but not always. Also, it doesn’t help that he was taking so much pleasure in watching the cop suffer that he doesn’t notice that a bloodied and battered Tim Roth has woken up, pulled out his pistol, and aims to kill him before he can kill the cop.

Hey jackass! How about a little less white-guy dancing and a little more peripheral vision!?!?

Also, for a psychopath, he doesn’t seem particularly smart or cunning. Sure, he talks a good game when confronting Harvey Keitel, but, again, when you have a chance to save your ass by looking slightly to your left, and you don’t take it, you don’t come out looking so rosy in the “brains” department.

Also “pistol and razor blade” isn’t the most intimidating arsenal to take into a fight.

Drexl Spivey

Oooohh… So THIS is who those “Stranger Danger” PSA’s were warning us about.

Appearance: True Romance 

Portrayed by: Gary Oldman (Obviously)

Best quote: “He must have thought it was white boy day.”

As the quote may have suggested, Drexl Spivey suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Alabama Worley mentions at one point that he tries very hard to be a black guy. What this is saying about black people is a little bit sketchy, but I so do not want to get into the topic of racism in Tarantino movies right now.

Anyhoo, Drexl is a Detroit pimp and a drug dealer who is Alabama’s pimp at the beginning of True Romance. When Clarence comes to intimidate him into letting her go free, he responds by taunting him and beating him up.

Then, Clarence shoots him in the face.

Going with the most memorable villain of the movie doesn’t always leave me with the strongest candidate, apparently.

I mean, Drexl isn’t a pushover, he’s smarter than one would guess, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty (He does have the balls to kill Samuel L. Jackson at the beginning of the movie), but he doesn’t have a weapon (He holds a shotgun for a bit, but he doesn’t use it as much as, say, Mr. Blonde uses his signature razor blade) and he’s not that smart. I mean, he let Christian Slater kill him, for Chrissakes. Weak candidate. Let’s move on.

The Gimp

The sooner we get Tarantino to psychoanalysis, the better.

Appearance: Pulp Fiction

Portrayed by: Stephen Hibbert

Best quote: *Unintelligible shrieking*

Once again, the “most memorable character” rule bites me in the ass. No way this guy’s not getting offed in the first round.

Santanico Pandemonium

Eh. Still less embarrassing than Grown Ups 2.

Appearance: From Dusk till Dawn

Portrayed by: Salma Hayek

Best quote: “I’m not gonna drain you completely. You’re gonna turn for me. You’ll be my slave. You’ll live for me. You’ll eat bugs because I order it. Why? Because I don’t think you’re worthy of human blood. You’ll feed on the blood of stray dogs. You’ll be my foot stool. And at my command, you’ll lick the dog shit from my boot heel. Since you’ll be my dog, your new name will be “Spot”. Welcome to slavery.”

From Dusk till Dawn is probably the strangest Tarantino-written movie, and holy shit, is that ever saying something. While it starts off in what seems like typical Tarantino fashion (George Clooney and Q.T. himself kidnap Harvey Keitel’s family and try to sneak over the border into Mexico, the second half spirals out of control when the motley crew get themselves trapped in a seedy Mexican strip club where, thanks to the well-known magic properties that come with a strip club being built on Aztec ruins, the strippers are actually vampires. It’s a twist that comes out of nowhere, it’s silly, and it’s really jarring.

It’s also super fucking cool.

The head stripper/vampire goes by the name of Santanico Pandemonium (A homage to the 1975 nunsploitation film, Satánico Pandemonium. Also, yes, nunsploitation is a thing that exists, and yes, it’s just as disturbing as you’re imagining right now ), and, until she transforms, she pretty much looks like, well, scantily clad Salma Hayek. Nothing that really stands out.

Uhh…You know what I mean.

But then, once she catches sight of some stray drops of blood from an open wound, she turns into a ravenous, bloodthirsty monster whose only real purpose is to consume the life essence of every human in her line of sight.

Women, am I right?

So, she’s got that going for her. The other candidates in this Deathmatch may have seen some freaky shit, but chances are, they haven’t seen a goddamn vampire before. And this is a bona fide vampire, by the way. None of that Twilight dreck here, she’s purely out to kill, kill, kill. Being a vampire, she has enhanced strength, speed, and  and her bite spells doom (Albeit, not instant doom)for anybody unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of it. Unlike the other fighters, she has no need for weapons to gain an edge. She is a weapon.

Problem is, while her offense is impressive, her defense leaves a lot to be desired. It is revealed during the movie that these vampires have extra-thin skin, making them especially vulnerable to bludgeoning and stabbing attacks. Being a group of villains that is not exactly short on bludgeoning and stabbing weapons, this could prove to be her downfall. It’s not like she’s gonna be a pushover, and again, none of these guys have seen a vampire before, but she has some pretty glaring weaknesses to be considered before crowning her the champion yet.

O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth)

Charlie’s Angels, this is not.

Appearance: Kill Bill: Volume 1

Portrayed by: Lucy Liu

Best quote: “As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you’re unconvinced that a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is… I collect your fucking head. Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now’s the fucking time!”
[pause]

“I didn’t think so”

O-Ren Ishii is so friggin cool.

A half- Japanese, half-Chinese-American living in Japan, O-Ren’s parents were brutally murdered by the Yakuza when she was little. Growing vengeful to an unhealthy extreme, O-Ren tracked the Yakuza boss down and brutally murdered him. After that, she trained as a hired gun, and by age 19, she was the top assassin in the world, eventually joining the Deadly Viper Assassination squad with the codename of “Cottonmouth.” After taking part in the assassination attempt on Beatrix Kiddo, she leaves the D.V.A.S. to pursue a prosperous career in the Tokyo underworld, during which she rises to be the Kingpin of Crime in Tokyo….Because when her parents were murdered by the Yakuza, she obviously decided that becoming the head of the Yakuza was the correct way to go about it.

That makes sense.

Anyways, O-Ren is probably the strongest candidate so far, if only because she has a katana as a weapon, and, as Tarantino has taught us, katanas (Along with Samuel L. Jackson) were created specifically for the purpose of smiting the weak and cowardly off of the face of this planet.

Seen here: The exact moment when everyone decided that Pulp Fiction was their new favourite movie.

In addition to her cool weapon, and her extreme proficiency with it, she is also a top-notch martial artist and an expert marksman (Although she won’t have a sniper rifle with her in the Deathmatch) and has no problem with killing other people. I wouldn’t say she slays people whenever she feels like it, because that’s not the truth, but she will execute if her life is in danger, and she is really damn good at it.

Case in point.

What’s her fatal flaw? Well, first of all, we see that she does use her Crazy 88 gang to tire out the Bride, but it’s not like she overly relies on them, she still does a lot of dirty work. Nah, her biggest flaw is the fact that she gets too cocky when confronting her enemies. In her final fight against Beatrix, she has her on the ropes, but takes too much time taunting the Bride instead of moving in for the kill. I mean, you can talk a good game if you know, 100% that there’s no possible way it could come back to bite you in the ass. Otherwise, you risk ending up like…Uh, that one part in the fourth season of Game of Thrones. Yeah, if you watch the show, you know what I’m talking about.

And you thought Tarantino was into liberally murdering his main characters.

Bill (Snake Charmer)

Man, he looks so badass until he talks, and you learn he has a lisp.

Appearances: Kill Bill (Both volumes)

Portrayed by: David Carradine

Best quote: “As you know, I’m quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology… The mythology is not only great, it’s unique […] Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.

He’s basically Christian Slater from True Romance, but a kung fu master.

The titular character of the Kill Bill movies, Bill, also known as “Snake Charmer”, is the leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and Beatrix Kiddo’s mentor and “special friend”, until she runs away. Jealous, Bill and the rest of the D.V.A.S. track her down and try to murder her, putting her in a coma in the process. This, upon Beatrix’s awakening years later, sparks the events of the two movies.

A lot of the praise that deserves to go to Bill also applies to O-Ren Ishii. Good with a sword, crafty, intelligent, yadda yadda yadda. Also, he’s less chatty than O-Ren, so that’s a point in his favour.

Problem is, he’s also in his sixties in terms of age. It’s very safe to assume that he’s lost a step or two. Also, he seems to rely more on his craftiness than sheer fighting technique (See the truth serum gun, or whatever), which can help him out, no doubt, but maybe not enough to get him that far into the Deathmatch.

Stuntman Mike

Hey, remember when Kurt Russell was the live-action face of Disney?

Appearance: Death Proof

Portrayed by: Kurt Russell

Best quote: Right, like anything was memorable about Death Proof.

Death Proof is easily the worst Tarantino film, in my opinion. It may just be that I have a built-in hatred for slasher and horror films, but aside from the performances and some of the writing, there really isn’t anything special about it. I mean, I guess the villain isn’t bad, and Kurt Russell’s good and… Eh, whatever, let’s get to Stuntman Mike.

Mike is a stuntman with a customised car designed to offer the best possible protection for the driver, but for anybody in another seat, it’s a death trap. Not the best thing to combine with Stuntman Mike, a sociopathic serial killer whose M.O. involves murdering young women with his car, whether it be through getting them in the car and driving recklessly enough to kill them, or straight-up ramming them with his car.

If Stuntman Mike were to have his car in the Deathmatch, this would be a whole different story, but he doesn’t as no matter what the NRA keeps saying, cars aren’t actually weapons. This means that he’s just a 50-something year old man with sociopathic tendencies. He’s screwed. Let’s move on.

Colonel Hans Landa

Sherlock Holmes wishes he had Hans Landa’s pipe.

 Appearance: Inglourious Basterds

Portrayed by: Christoph Waltz

Best quote: “Now if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast, it would be the cunning and the predatory instinct of a hawk. But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be that of the rat. If a rat were to walk in here right now as I’m talking, would you treat it to a saucer of your delicious milk? […]  I didn’t think so. You don’t like them. You don’t really know why you don’t like them. All you know is you find them repulsive. Consequently, a German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar, he looks everywhere *he* would hide, but there’s so many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. However, the reason the Führer’s brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me. Because I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.”

Quentin Tarantino has always written great, great villains. However, I think I’m not alone in saying that the character of Col. Hans Landa is not only the best character Tarantino’s ever written, but one of the best villains ever, period. Is he likely to go deep into this Deathmatch, though? I dunno, let’s see.

An Austrian SS officer, Col. Hans Landa is notorious throughout Nazi Europe for his ability to round up and execute Jewish runaways, earning himself the nickname of “Jew Hunter”. However, Landa himself does not hold any animosity towards Jewish people, nor does he feel much love for the Nazi party. He just chooses to find and murder Jews because it is what he does best, and because he finds a sick sense of delight in it. An epitome of opportunistic evil, Landa would let Germany fall as long as he stands to gain something from it, whether it be money or amusement.

What does he have going for him? Well, he’s probably the smartest guy out of any of the candidates. He may lack the brute strength of, say, a vampire, but he could probably convince somebody to off themselves if he had enough time.

You silver tongued devil, you.

What’s the downside? Well, one minor detraction would be his use of an outdated German handgun, but I doubt that’ll affect him pretty much. A shot to the face is still a shot to the face.

As Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta will testify.

The only weakness of Landa’s that I can think of off the top of my head is his lack of real physical skill (Strength, speed, etc.), but something tells me that he could find a way to make it to the later rounds. Call him a Dark Horse, if you like, but I think he’s got a real shot.

Calvin Candie

“Go on. Say “count the Oscars” one more time. SAY IT, MOTHERFUCKER, I DARE YOU!!!”

Appearance: Django Unchained

Portrayed by: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best quote: “And if y’all wanna leave Candyland with Broomhilda, the price… is $12,000 […] You see, under the laws of Chickasaw County, Broomhilda, here, is my property… and I can choose to do with MY PROPERTY… WHATEVER I SO DESIRE!
[Candie rubs his injured hand and smears the blood all over Broomhilda’s face; she shrieks and moans in disgust and fear]

And if y’all think my price for this nigger here is too steep, what I’m gonna desire to do is…
[Candie causally sets his cigarette down; he suddenly but quickly picks up his hammer and violently grabs hold of Broomhilda’s hair, slamming her face on the dinner table and raising the hammer above her head. Schultz jumps while Django rises up out of his seat]

TAKE THIS GODDAMNED HAMMER HERE, AND BEAT HER ASS TO DEATH WITH IT! RIGHT IN FRONT OF BOTH YA’LL! THEN WE CAN EXAMINE THE THREE DIMPLES INSIDE BROOMHILDA’S SKULL! NOW… WHAT’S IT GONNA BE DOC? HUH? WHAT’S IT GOING TO BE?”

Long quote, I know, but I needed to get a quote that really highlighted Calvin Candie’s insanity. Yeah, Candie is probably the craziest of all the candidates. Well, I guess the Gimp might be crazier, but who knows, he could actually be a calm rational person behind that extravagant get-up.

He’s actually a family man, and holds a steady job as an accountant.

Anyways, Calvin Candie is batshit insane, even setting aside his racism. He’s a Southern Francophile plantation owner who enjoys watching slaves fight each other to the death in brutal “Mandingo” fights. Jeeesus.

Does craziness translate well to a Deathmatch such as this one? Well, in a fight where most of these people are armed with handguns and aren’t exactly bad shots….Probably not. He’s a great villain, don’t get me wrong, but in this context, he isn’t much more than a crazy racist dude. Nothing that isn’t too hard to dispatch.

Just ask Brad Pitt!

Welp, that’s it for the preview. The actual Deathmatch should be out sometime next weekend. After I finish recovering the hours of sleep that this post cost me. It’s really fucking long, you guys.

But! Before I sign off, I’ve decided that I’d like a little more audience input, as the only comments I get are mostly spam. So, I leave you fine people with two questions:

1) What Deathmatch should I do next?

2) What is your favourite and least favourite Quentin Tarantino movie?

Until next time.

 

Coming Soon to PKTM…

Whoever got the brilliant idea to start running back-to-school ads in July should be quietly executed.

Holy crap, so much for one hundred posts this year, huh?

In my defense, I’ve been kind of busy this past week what with starting my senior year of high school and working late for the last few days. And even worse, I don’t have a topic to rant about (At least, not one that hasn’t been rendered irrelevant thanks to procrastination on my part), or a movie on tap to review (Thanks to the fact that no interesting movies are coming out for a while).  However, far be from me to let some crappy education get in the way of my bitching about unimportant things. Here are some things coming up here at PKTM that I hopefully will not chicken out on actually writing (This is what is known as a “filler post”).

Movie Reviews: The most prominent feature of this blog isn’t going away any time, and, in fact is probably gonna get even more prominent now that I’ve discovered that public transportation is not merely a way for the mentally unstable to get from place to place. Fun fact: It’s also an effective way to get to movie theatres. Who knew, right?

I plan to do a lot more reviews for new movies, seeing them the Friday that they come out (And hopefully getting them out some time during the following weekend) or, failing that, as soon as I possibly can (Unless they’re horror movies, because 95% of horror movies suck). Some movie reviews that y’all should look forward to soon include (But do not exclude):

  • The Maze Runner
  • The Equalizer
  • Gone Girl
  • The Judge
  • Fury
  • The Book of Life
  • Fuckin’ Birdman!!!
  • Laggies
  • Interstellar
  • Big Hero 6 (If I can get into a showing devoid of small children)
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -Part 1

So yeah, I’ll probably get around to seeing those movies (Unless circumstances prevent me), and I’ll do previously released movies as well, but maybe not as frequently as before (Which wasn’t that frequent to begin with). Also, as was the case before, I’ll be reviewing any movies nominated for Oscars or Golden Raspberries. Hopefully, I won’t end up two movies short again this year.

Hey man, you try figuring out what the hell to take away from The Great Beauty.

Other Movie Stuff: Ever wondered who would win in a fight to the death between the great Quentin Tarantino villains? No? Not even a little bit? Well, screw you guys, I want to figure that out.

Also, with a bizarre Dynasty Warriors/Legend of Zelda crossover coming out later this month, I ponder how one could adapt the video game phenomenon that is The Legend of Zelda to the big screen. If it should  be adapted at all, I mean.

And, with Disney following up the all-conquering juggernaut of a movie that was Frozen with Big Hero 6 in November, I count down the Top 15 animated films of the 21st century. Hopefully, I get around to finishing that.

An Introduction to Canada: I really hope to get back on this, because I really had fun doing the articles on geography, which is coincidentally the most fun I’ve ever had with anything geography related in my life.

Instinctive Rants: Poorly thought out, rushed and usually overly vulgar. God, I love ’em.

TV Reviews: More on this later, but long story short, I’m going to be reviewing TV shows (And the MLB playoffs, because why the hell not?) starting with Gotham later this month. Stay tuned, people.

Top 10 Movie and TV Anti-Heroes Part 1 of 3: 10-8 (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Anti-Hero: a leading character in a film, book or play who lacks some or all of the traditional heroic qualities, such as altruism, idealism, courage, nobility, fortitude, and moral goodness.

It seems like the concept of the anti-hero is a recent invention among movies and TV. Just thirty-some years ago, the defining hero of my mom’s generation was Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi, and about as noble a human being as one can be. This generation’s hero is a fifty-something drug dealer who poisons children and murders anybody who looks at him funny. Talk about a generation gap. If Breaking Bad had aired in the sixties, it would have caused a riot of WASPy parents that would have made the anti-music backlash of the eighties look like a calm and reasonable discussion.

It might have even gone a ways towards making Tipper Gore look like a halfway competent politician.

In reality, the concept of the anti-hero has been around since the beginning of storytelling. The ancient Greeks had a crapload of them. In the ancient legends, Hercules may have been a great hero, but he was also a poster child for anger management issues, having killed his music teacher, Linus, with a lyre, for whatever reason. He was also an extreme womanizer, (As well as whatever the gay equivalent of womanizer is) and who would have put Hugh Hefner (And Freddy Mercury) to shame, with at least thirty different male and female conquests, spread out between (And during) four different marriages. Also, instead of in the Disney movie, where Hercules beats the hell out of Hades (See what I did there?) and ends up hooking up with his sassy, unnecessarily well endowed companion, Megara, Hercules leaves James Woods alone, but is driven mad by Hera (Who’s not his mother,  and hates him, unlike in the movie) and, um, murders Megara and their four children.

Run, bitch! RUUUNNN!!!

So yeah, the concept of a slightly or largely amoral hero kicking ass and taking names isn’t a new one. It was just buried under the idea of classical heroism promoted by American propaganda during the depression (Superman, Batman),World War II (Captain America) and the Cold War (Iron Man). The anti-hero made a comeback around the seventies in movies, TV and comic books, thanks in large part to the anti-authoritarian ideals of those years,  and is going strong to this day in the same three mediums.

Anyways, the following lists are the result of my quest to find the ten best anti-heroes in movies and television. There are several criteria for inclusion on this list though:

  • I have to have seen their show/movie.
  • They have to be the main protagonist of at least one movie (Which means that Hit-Girl and Severus Snape are not included).
  • They can become a villain (Walter White), or start off as a villain (Tony Montana), but they have to be likable and adhere to a moral code (Which means that Daniel Plainview and that freaky kid from A Clockwork Orange are both out.)
  •  No, Batman is not an anti-hero. he does not lack altruism, idealism, courage, nobility, fortitude or moral goodness. Well, maybe not when Frank Miller writes him, but we’re not on comic books.
  • A lack of a no-kill policy isn’t necessary, but it helps.

Anyways, let’s get this party started:

10. Wolverine 

Appearances:  X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class (Cameo), The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of the Future Past

Portrayed By: Hugh Jackman

Real Name: James “Logan” Howlett

Occupation: Adventurer, X-Man, former mercenary

No-Kill Policy?: No

A mutant with a tortured past, claws protruding from between his knuckles, a skeleton laced with indestructible adamantium and a healing factor that makes him damn near impossible to kill, this Canadian badass translated all too well from the comic book to the big screen, with Hugh Jackman using his natural Aussie charm to transform the character from short and ugly to tall and, well, gorgeous.

It’s the magic of Hollywood!!! (And diet pills)

Born James Howlett, the most famous of the X-Men originated from the wilds of Alberta, Canada, where he and his feral mutant half-brother, Victor Creed, run away from home after James accidentally kills their father when his claws emerge for the first time. Fleeing to the States and put their superpowers to use, fighting in the Civil War, World Wars 1 and 2 and Vietnam, before being recruited into a mutant mercenary group, Team X, led by William Stryker, which also included such Marvel staples as Deadpool, John Wraith the,um, Blob, Agent Zero and Charlie from Lost. when he leaves the group due to their slaughter of innocents, he leaves Team X, is tricked into having adamantium bonded to his bones to make him even more indestructible, fights the thing that was supposed to be Deadpool, and has his girlfriend die, or something. I kind of hated this movie.

Anyways, he later joins the X-Men and fights the forces of intolerance, led by both Stryker and Ian McKellen’s Magneto, before leaving the group after the clusterfuck that was The Last Stand and retiring to the Yukon to befriend CGI bears and scare the shit out of poachers. After his adventures in Japan in his solid second solo appearance, it appears that Logan will return in Days of the Future Past to be the mutant Marty McFly, or something.

The amoral superhero’s on-screen depictions have been well-received, and have made Jackman one of the most recognizable actors in the world. And no matter how much work Brett Ratner and, to a much lesser extent, Gavin Hood put into making him look like a much bigger sissy than anybody with metal claws has any right to look like, the man known  as Logan has still developed more depth then most superheroes, as shown by the awesome revelation scenes with William Stryker and Lady Deathstryke in X2 and the boring, poorly done flashbacks with tons of expendable characters in Origins. Long story short, as long as Brian Singer and/or James Mangold is there to direct, Wolverine should continue to develop into the force of nature comic fans know him to be.

9. V

 Appearance: V for Vendetta

Portrayed by: Hugo Weaving

Real Name: ???

Occupation: Vigilante, Insurgent

No-Kill Policy: Nope.

Hero or villain? Revolutionary or terrorist? It’s up to the viewer to decide what to make of V, the Guy Fawkes masked anarchist from Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s classic graphic novel, V for Vendetta. The excellent film adaptation introduced moviegoers to his theatrical  brand of violent anti-fascist insurgency.

Little is known about the man known only as V. His only known backstory is that he was imprisoned by the British government (Led by the fascist Norsefire party) at Larkhill Resettlement Camp, a death camp populated by political prisoners, homosexuals, Black people, Jews, Muslims, Indians and Pakistanis, which doesn’t exactly help nail his identity. Lucky(?) for him, he was not selected to be among the exterminated and was instead subjected to medical experimentation, which killed his fellow prisoners, but enhanced his strength and reflexes to abnormal levels, in addition to giving him genius-level intelligence, because giving your captive superhuman powers and intelligence is a good idea when you’re also trying to keep him under your thumb.

“Oh, okay, we see now that murdering a crapload of people and giving the rest all they need to defeat us may have backfired on us a little bit.”

After his inevitable escape, V dons a Guy Fawkes mask and costume and begins both a personal vendetta against his captors at Larkhill, consisting of psychological torture and assassinations, and a revolt against the tyranny of the Norsefire party, characterized by his flair for the dramatic, his love of anarchism and explosives.

While V is s freedom fighter, and I think that we can all agree that we’d rather be anything but fascist, it’s important to note that also has a twisted sense of morality that can make us hate the charismatic revolutionary. Case in point, his psychological abuse of his protege, Evey. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more conflicted about  a protagonist then when it was revealed that he orchestrated all that.

Nevertheless, thanks to the success of the film and the comic book (Which is better, in my opinion) V (Specifically, his Guy Fawkes mask) has become a symbol for civil rights movements around the world, including the Occupy Movement, the Egyptian Revolution and the activists, Anonymous.

8. Django 

Appearance: Django Unchained

Portrayed By: Jamie Foxx

Real Name: Django Freeman

Occupation: Bounty hunter, former slave

Quentin Tarantino has a reputation for writing and directing not only some fantastic movies, but also some excellent anti-heroes. Jules Winnfield, Beatrix Kiddo, Jackie Brown, Aldo Raine…

…Mr. Pink…

However, I chose to go with his most recent protagonist, the slave turned vengeful bounty hunter, Django.

Separated from his wife, Broomhilda, and sold into slavery, Django is rescued by German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, who has been searching for the Brittle Brothers, a notorious gang of slave drivers and Django’s former owners. Schultz, who despises slavery, but is also an opportunist, offers Django a deal: Django becomes his apprentice and helps him find the Brittle Brothers and other dangerous  criminals…

…Like the Jonah Hill-led pre-KKK.

…and in return, Schultz helps him rescue Broomhilda from the clutches of the charismatic but insane slave driver, Calvin Candie, (Played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s in full “Just give me my fucking Oscar already” form).

Sure, there were a ton of off-putting things about the film, specifically, the close-up shots of blood spurting out of bullet wounds, the constant saying of the n-word, and Quentin Tarantino’s acting, but you don’t go to a movie about slavery expecting to see rainbows, Uncle Toms and butterflies, like in some Paula Deen wedding fantasy, or whatever. Slavery’s been pretty much taboo until recently, with movies like Django Unchained and 12 Years a Slave contending for Oscars, and depicting the horrible, disgusting realities of slavery you didn’t see in Gone With the Wind. It helps that Django was a total badass, mowing down evil slave driver after evil slave driver and spewing memorable banter (“The “D” is silent”) left and right.

In short, Django is both a badass anti-hero, and a convenient way to alleviate white guilt. You can’t go wrong with that combo.

Join me in a few days as I keep counting down the Top 10 movie and TV anti-heroes.