Tag Archives: Rooting for the bad guy

ROOTIN’ FOR THE BAD GUY: THE HEAD OF A FAMILY

I had already talked about another mafia villain, Tony Soprano, I feel devoted to, but now it is time to talk about the real Don, and I’m not referring to Vito, his father, but to Michael Corleone.

It was last Saturday, chilling out after too much party, when I reviewed The Godfather trilogy once again. I’ve reached the commitment with myself that I have to watch the saga once every year, same as with Star Wars.

This last time I had a kind revelation related to Michael Corleone. On one hand it was again confirmed I’m in love with young Al Pacino in physical terms. Yes, I find him stunning and super handsome. And on the other hand, and this is the revelation I was referring too, the evolution of his character becoming a dark, enigmatic and cold blood villain, is absolutely awesome.

This last time I realized that the more he’s assuming the responsibilities of managing the family business, so his power is growing, the more evil and manipulative he becomes, and I couldn’t help but finding resemblances among him and the shockin’ Tony Soprano we saw portrayed on the last episodes. I loved it! Guess I will go on with such idea in depth soon.

Michael Corleone, who arrives late to his sister’s wedding reception, is introduced as a IIWW young hero, a captain, no less, who talks carefree to his girlfriend Kay about the family business and its members as if it was a reality far away from him. He lives in Manhattan, not too attached to his family, enjoying the average American way of life comfortably, unaware of his father’s troubles with other families.

Events related to the family change the course of his life. At the moment his father is forced to be out of the picture when the Sollozzos fail to murder him, Michael has to fill the gap providing common sense and wisdom over  Sonny’s rage and Fredo’s stupidity, in order to preserve the family.

Vito Corleone never wanted such fate for his favorite son. He’d worked hardly for him to develop a career full in the legal side of society. He had dreamed of his son moving into politics, ending up as senator, or who knows, president of the US.

Michael has to leave the country after sorting the Sollozzo’s conflict radically, and is hidden by Don Tommasino in Sicily. Enjoying a humble and peaceful time he has a crush on Apollonia and marries her, but mob war in America goes beyond control and she’s killed by a car bomb intended on him. Such loss will mark him for life, and his vitality will turn into darkness for good.

Merciless Michael, is capable of killing his brother in law, and his own brother, who’s turned him down many times, no obstacle will ruin his career to the top, and if you are not by his side, he’ll let you down, as he did with his wife.

It’s impressive TheGodfather part II, showing a calculating and analytic don, mostly calm in appearance, but penetrating. By his gaze you never know what his mind is working on, until he starts acting, and when he does, you gotta be careful, even though you’ve been his right hand over the years, as Tom Hagen, his consiglieri, was.

Michael Corleone, is the definite villain, wise and cold, who eventually transmits this feeling of distrust, causing fear not only to those against him, but also to those standing for him. Fuckin’ A!

ROOTING FOR THE BAD GUY: BOBA FETT, THE BOUNTY HUNTER

Being today, May the Fourth, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite bad guys. It’s true the major villain in the universe is Darth Vader, one of my main sources of inspiration in my life, and of course in my top 5.

But you know the Star Wars universe is so huge, many secondary characters are also worth following. This is Boba Fett’s time.

When I was a little girl I didn’t really know what bounty hunter meant, in Spanish, Cazarrecompensas, but Boba Fett was, thus, apart from being a rockstar, if being a bounty hunter meant to wear a cool helmet as his, sure I wanted to be one. I never had a Boba Fett helmet, but I still remember driving my pedal engine jeep, with my blue-red-yellow helmet, which was a mix between Vader’s and Fett’s. Ah! I also was armoured with my cork bullet Star Wars gun. Not joking!

Boba Fett has not very remarkable spoken parts in the classic saga, but his appeal is obvious, the hunter, the observer, and Han Solo’s worst nightmare, thanks to Jabba The Hutt’s reward on his head.

He’s also closely in touch with Darth Vader, sharing the target of searching and blocking the Millenium Falcon crew, each one for their reasons: Fett wants Solo, and Vader wants young Skywalker. Although Fett as one of the best bounty hunters enjoys some privileged position and freedom within the Empire, he sympathizes with the dark side, as he blames the Jedi cast for his father’s assassination, and also because the rewards come from the powerful side. Thus their relationship is based on common interests and respect.

Thinking of the relevance of his acts in the Saga, I’ve always considered the execution of his character particularly unfair. Of course Solo had to be honored to be the one to put an end to his archenemy, but c’mon, he couldn’t even enjoy of his own triumph because he was blind after being frozen in carbonite. Just a sharp movement with a stick, which starts the flying propeller engine, his jetpack, Fett is unable to take control of, ending up being digested by  Tattoine’s Sarlacc, a kind of carnivore plant in the middle of the desert, for over 2000 years. What a shame!!!

According to some comments registered, if Lucas had managed to foresee the impact of the character and his popularity and cult, he would have thought of a more exciting way to end with him. In an attempt to give him more credit, there was a part referring to him and his father’s death, being Jango the model for the design of the clone soldiers. Star Wars for me ended with The Return of the Jedi, and these new episodes were an Epic Fail, and an insult to the fans, I cannot comprehend how George Lucas dared to carry out.

One of my childhood frustration was, after collecting my Corn Flakes coupons, never to receive my Boba Fett’s figure. In fact, nothing that I’ve requested with coupons ever arrived home. I’m thinking of a cow patterned sandwich maker too. Fuckers, I should have demanded for cheating a kid.

Now I’ve discovered Fett’s shoes…and I want them. Any volunteer to make me the happiest girl in the world? It’s cheaper than Han Solo full scale carbonite figure, and marriage is not involved…just think about it! ❤

Anyway, wish you a great day, and May The Fourth Be With You…Always!

ROOTIN’ FOR THE BAD GUY: THE VILLAIN WITH A CIGAR

Since I posted a list of most charming villains, I haven’t talked about them. No, that’s not good.

It’s been a long time since I want to dedicate a post to one of my latest inspirations: Anthony Soprano.

We all had been charmed by the glamorous portrait of the Italian Mafia in the States, thanks to The Godfather, Goodfellas, or Once Upon a Time in America. Fair enough, don’t you think?

As the time goes by, everything evolves or decays. So does the Mafia.

In 1999 HBO gave birth to The Sopranos, my favorite TV series up to date. Such decadence of the Italian families in the States was personified by the Sopranos. No more Vito, Michael nor Santino Corleone… Sopranos are a mediocre family settled in New Jersey, always trying to be in good terms with NY families, the actual powerful ones.

Lexus and Escalades, diamonds and gold, combined with horrible long nails, impossible hairdos and terrible tracksuits with expensive moccasins… Those times of Copacabana are long gone, now the wise guys hang out at the Bada Bing! (hey I was there!)

And here he comes, my hero, which, due to his waste management business and because of certain FACTS, we must consider a villain: Anthony, Tony, T, Ton, the boss, the capo… whatever.

A huge, bald and overweight vulgar Italian-American man in his forties.

Tony is a huge bear, fierce, aggressive and mean, who has to take control over his two families, and manage to conceal them. Such pressure and responsibility get relief in his panic attacks, which make him look vulnerable. That’s why he accepts therapy as a remedy to such state.

Yeah, he’s not such a bad guy, he cares and provide, as the Italian tradition requires, and of course, he’s very sensitive and affectionate in very intimate situations. But think of it, it’s difficult to be a 24/7 badass, you have to take it easy in order to last longer.

His dark side is much more appealing and interesting. As long as he has fun and envelopes keep coming, anything goes. Excess is a word that fits him perfectly. He drinks, eats, takes drugs, gambles, cheats on his wife and, although loyal to his friends, his top one priority is himself.

As a strategist, he has no rival, cold and calculating, he manages to pull the strings on his behalf. I really love when Tony makes vital decisions and deals, he is powerful.

Physically he’s an average man, probably during his days of glory he wasn’t that bad, but now, his lack of taste in style and his complete disinterest in being healthy or fit, plus his excesses and a stressing life, don’t make of him a handsome guy. However, and this is something discussed and agreed with (some) female friends, he’s got his moments, those when you think, uhmmm, he’s got something. The eroticism of power, perhaps? The strong alpha male character? I don’t know. Just stop thinking of Tony’s goomars, they are all too gorgeous to hang out with a guy like him. But the feeling of power, strength and danger he spreads make him irresistible to not really normal women.

Thus, Tony is probably one of the most down to Earth villains I like. A guy who executes people merciless, and loves cooking ribs and burgers in his king size barbecue, drinking beer, listening to 70’s hard rock music and smoking a good Cuban cigar. Aaaaah, I really miss you, T!

ROOTIN’ FOR THE BAD GUY: A VILLAIN WITH A SMILE

I haven’t been very into comics although I kinda like them, but always loved Batman and Spiderman, and of course, their enemies.

Same as many kids, I got bewitched by Batman thanks to Tim Burton’s film portrait back in 1989, and later I started to investigate.

One of the coolest books ever read, was one named Batman, visto por un psiquiatra (Batman through the eyes of a shrink, could be the translation), in which a real shrink super fan of the hero, analyses his personality and behavior , and the concept of the hero as the consequence of a post-traumatic shock stress, the violent death of Wayne’s parents. Very interesting, I’ll tell you about it in the future, right now I prefer talking about The Joker.

The evil side of the coin is always more attractive. Probably in an attempt to get closer to the heroes, we receive too much information on their troubles, personal drama and weakness, they’re humanized and sensitive in front of our eyes.

The lack of personal information we received on the villains makes them stronger, mysterious and more attractive.

Ok, ok, we actually receive some feedback, but taking The Green Goblin and The Joker as examples, we know about their former lives and how they turned into psycho villains, their genuine roots, beside that, they seem kind of unbeatable.  No apparent weak points are shown, no personal attachments towards anyone…nothing.

No more justifying and explaining, at the end of the day, I’m in love with villains. Period!

The Joker is, in my opinion, one of the most iconic figures of villains in fiction. Everyone knows who he is, no matter you’re not into comics, same as with Darth Vader.

His features are grotesque. That eternal smile, wide open, remarked by the intense red of his lips, and the yellow of his teeth, and the pale white face, is disturbing, to say the least.

What about his wardrobe? Purple is a risky color, you can be taken as a clown easily, yet he achieves to look elegant in his suits, combined with his deadly accessories.

Yes, he’s no doubt an excessive character, up to the extreme.

Turned into The Joker by his accidental fall into an acid tank, the villain’s aim is to submit Gotham city under his fun reign. He’s able to get rid of any human being against his purposes, but Batman, therefore, in order to achieve his goal, finishing Batman first is compulsory, because there’s no way they can coexist at all.

And there’s another point Joker’s annoyed by the presence of the hero in black: attention. Citizens and media are too interested in Batman, and that’s something Joker can’t stand. He needs to recall as much interest as possible.

Joker’s character has been evolving throughout the years, from that comical attitude towards a more twisted psycho state of mind, and together his appearance, becoming a less bearable figure, more frightening and disgusting, with make-up letting you figure out his damaged  and terrible features, more a zombie like perhaps, and positive more aggressive and extreme in reactions, attacks and mood swings.

Same happens with Joker in films. From the innocence of Cesar Romero’s performance to the insanity of Heath Ledger, there’s a huge difference.

I’d stand by Jack Nicholson, able to combine both views, contributing with his personal exaggerated manners. I really think he’s is the perfect Joker, and would bet the actor enjoyed hell of a lot while filming this version. The Joker drinking Martini, with his Barbie like, Jerry Hall, by his side, creating an atmosphere comparable to Montana’s, is simply great.

For all these reasons, The Joker deserves a special place in the podium of villains, don’t you think?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

ROOTING FOR THE BAD GUY, THE VILLAIN IN SUIT

Have I ever told you I’m a diehard fan of Patrick Bateman and American Psycho?  

Well, guess you had noticed something when I told you one of my favorite t-shirts is precisely one of that film. Not only I love the film, I adore the book, and nowadays I feel the urge of reading it once more, but unfortunately cannot track my old English copy, so if any of you has it, can I borrow it for a while? Otherwise I’ll buy another one, but I’m positive the old copy will show up right after I get it…it’s not the first time, this happens too more often than I’d wish with CDs and films.

No question Christian Bale did it, he was capable of incarnating Patrick Bateman masterly, no one could have done it better, and since the film was released, Patrick was Chris, and no matter what Bale is doing afterwards, he’ll always be Bateman.

Both the book and the script contain powerful  sentences you will never forget, Bateman’s reflections are a mixture between metaphysics and the most superficial stuff regarding social etiquette, the most fashionable venues and restaurants in town, or how many pushups he’s capable of doing during his daily routine. His speeches on artists’ discographies, increasing tension of the scenes is simply marvelous.

Mary Harron adapted the book from the non gore point of view of a woman, and for that, she deserves total respect, thus Bateman has become a worldwide legend somehow, easy access to everyone. However, those who are diehard fans of the book find the adaptation too light, with very few killings, very subtle and with lack of blood splashes. I’m sort of divided, but still I watch this film every 6 months, so I don’t feel so disappointed.

Since I read the book back in 1995, I felt in love with Patrick Bateman.  

Many people hate so many accurate descriptions involving branding, which, due to copy rights and all this stuff, are unnoticeable in the film. I love them. I’m not the kind of girl living for clothes, as you already know, not a fashion victim at all, still, I’m interested in brands for almost anything, I used to be very good at that, but once I read American Psycho I turned into a branding data base. Remember the first time I went to London and saw Evian water was sold. No discussion, Evian became my favorite water just because Bateman drank it. Same with San Pellegrino. These are easy examples, but furthermore, what does a girl in her teens care about Ermenegildo Zegna or Nino Cerrutti? I did! And started to observe men in suits more carefully trying to find whether they were in or not. I’m proud to say my father was IN, and shared similar taste with Patrick (by the way, he read the book and also became a fan, hahaha!).

Few weeks ago I was telling you Han Solo was my man, and I’m still positive about that, he’s the perfect anti-hero, but Patrick…grrrrr! He’s definitely the perfect villain.

Why do I like him so much? I don’t know, there are many things I fancy. To start with, he’s opposite to the type of man I like, he wears suits and is elegant, and I’ve found myself babbling for guys in such appearance. Have you ever seen the TV series Mad Men? Men in suit are the older version of Bateman’s style in late 50’s – early 60’s, I could talk about how gorgeous Don Draper is, but find it unnecessary, it’s obvious!  The word that fits  best is spotless. Both Bateman and Draper they simply look perfect, shaved, their haircut…I love it.

On the other hand, Bateman is a misfit, and at the end of the day as low self-esteemed as anyone on the street. Besides, his inside world is so rich…gotta tell you, I have a kind of taste for people like that, it’s like I need to know what’s happening in their minds, I’m so outgoing and expressive, shyness both amazes and attracts me a lot.

What else? Ah! His little problem with killing people…I’m not telling I’d love doing the same, but you know when sometimes someone gets on your nerves and you’d love to end them, and he does it, at least inside his mind. Definitely he shows some attitude, right?  

Like The Wildhearts say, I’m Rooting For The Bad Guy, they’re definitely more charismatic and interesting, don’t you think?

 

We’re talking about fiction character and this is a joke, don’t panic! I’m not looking for a psycho, not anymore, hahaha! Well, I think so…  🙂