From Movies to T.V Shows: 5 Of The Greatest Rivalries Ever

What makes a movie, book or TV show more impactful than a rivalry between two characters, the answer is…….I don’t know!, but there is something about rivalries that brings us back to whatever it is that we are viewing. It adds to the intensity. When they are well done, its what we remember most about these films/t.v shows. So, with that in mind, here are 5 of my favorite rivalries in the realm of entertainment that I have experienced.

5) Gerald Lambeau and Sean Maguire (Good Will Hunting)

Gerald Lambeau (left) and Sean Maguire (right)
Gerald Lambeau (left) and Sean Maguire (right)

While not exactly a rivalry, the love-hate relationship between these two in the film was something that I could not ignore. You see, one of the major aspects to rivalries (particularly good ones) is the admiration and hatred the characters have for each other. This is something that is present in all of my personal favorite rivalries on this list.

What I love so much about their relationship is how inconsistent it is. One moment they are respecting each other, acting like adults and another moment, they are fighting each other like kids! You can see in their fights that they once cared for each other and still do. This is more apparent when they are arguing with each other about their ideals. Gerald wants to make Will a great mathematician, considering his potential while Sean wants him to do whatever he wishes and not to be manipulated into doing mathematics for the rest of his life. Each time they argue over this, it makes for some of the best written scenes in the film and for one of the best rivalries.

4) Professor X and Magneto (X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past)

Profeesor X (left) and Magneto (right)
Profeesor X (left) and Magneto (right)

You all saw this coming, and this list couldn’t be complete without comic book rivalries. Professor X and Magneto is a prime example of a great rivalry. Like the previous spot on our list, what makes them work is the fact that they were friends once. It only makes their hatred for each other more impactful. But unlike the previous list, this rivalry isn’t one sided.

You can see both sides of the argument. Eric/Magneto hates humans and the motive behind it is pretty well explained. He experienced the Holocaust, that reason is good enough. Charles/Professor X is someone who, unlike Eric, is willing to see the bigger picture. He is willing to see what mutants and humans can achieve once they put aside their differences. This makes their rivalry work for me and was the best part about X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past.

3) The Bride and Bill (Kill Bill Vol. 2)

Bill (left) and The Bride (right)
Bill (left) and The Bride (right)

This is one that not many talk about. In fact it’s probably the most underrated rivalry ever (if there is one I guess). The Bride and Bill, two skilled assassins were once lovers. They cared for each other and their fallout led to two awesome revenge flicks (details of which I won’t spoil).

With their final showdown in Vol.2 and their rivalry coming to a close, I was rather pleased to find out that it wasn’t a hand to hand beat down. Rather, it was a conversation that led to confessions – each of them explaining to the other why they did what they did. Like other spots on this list, what the script does so well is hint at their past relationship. They seemed to truly love each other and that’s what makes the conclusion to their affair a bittersweet one and their rivalry a memorable one.

2) Batman and The Joker (The Dark Knight and all of the DC Animated Batman Movies)

You know who is who
You know who is who

Okay, this is as obvious as it comes. We all know this rivalry. Hell, people who don’t even have a clue about comic books know about Batman and Joker (at least I think they do).

The rivalry between Batman and Joker is the definition of a love-hate relationship. Batman and Joker have been arch enemies for years in comic books, movies and T.V shows and we just can’t get enough of these two. They are obstacles for each other, they test each other to their limits and will do anything to get their point across to each other – and that’s what makes it work.

Joker tests Batman’s rule of no killing and Batman tests the Joker by never giving in to his cruelty. In one way, they have this dark admiration for each other. It’s like they want to chase each other forever, despite the horrifying consequences. The Dark Knight, the animated feature The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 and the comic book The Killing Joke (It was the first comic book I ever read) are great examples. What can I say, this rivalry is a hell of a good one.

1) Tom and Jerry

Now, let’s tone down a bit. Why is my favorite rivalry a comedic one? Well, because these guys and their rivalry basically defined my childhood. I loved them for as long as I can remember. I love the chases, which define ‘slapstick comedy’. Not to mention that, rivalries in comedies almost always tend to get the best laughs.

I love the bombs, the grenades, the woodpeckers, the dogs, the high speed chases, the flat faces and so on. This is what Tom and Jerry are known for. They love to hate each other and they admire each other. Of all the rivalries on this list, they are the ones that stay true to the love-hate factor. They hate each other like any cat and mouse would, yet they stick with each other like no other friend would and that’s exactly what makes their rivalry special to me.

So, that’s about it my dear friends. Thanks for reading! Tell me, which is your favorite rivalry? Give your personal favorite in the comment section below.

When Should We Use The Word ‘Overrated’?

Whenever we are asked to critique any show, movie or anything in general, we readily give reasons for the judgement we pass on them. Justifications for all the opinions we value so dearly. I mean, it’s all subjective, right?! Well, recently I’ve started noticing people who are continually referring to the word ‘overrated’ as a principal (mostly) reason for disliking something. The OED (my personal Bible) tells me that ‘overrated’ means: rated or valued too highly. Perfect. So far so good. I know what it means. So do you. So does almost everybody. Then why do so many people never explain what they think of a movie after labelling it overrated?

its okay...its okay
its okay…its okay

Personally, I don’t have a problem with whether its meaning is twisted. It’s not. What bothers me is that it’s being made into a convenient escape route. It’s basically a method to flee and not think about what the real issue is. Okay. Let me try to give you an example to show you why I’m bothering to write an entire article about this. Here goes.

“Hey, what do you think about that Boyhood movie?” I asked my friend. All the while, there are reasons buzzing in MY head about why I didn’t like the movie that much and think it’s overrated. Bland main character. Unrelatable situations. Unoriginal plot (Remember, personal opinion. Don’t jump me.)

“It’s overrated.”

“You bet! Why do you think it’s overrated though?”

“Huh?”

Comprende? It gets a little infuriating at times.

Nice man...Nice
Nice man…Nice

What I’m trying to say here and asking you to do (Heck, I’m pleading!) is to think harder. I’m asking you. Each and every one of you, as individuals, to really catch yourself each time you use the ‘O-word’ as the heart and soul of an opinion and think, “Is there another less hazy (cloudy, vague, bloody OPAQUE. I could go on) way to rationalise why I have a problem with this so-and-so?” Ultimately, I’m asking you to force yourself to contemplate on why you reason the way you do. This might be seen as something that has arisen thanks to petty incidents but I think it makes a difference. We live in a world where movies are a kick starter for conversations. Let’s ask ourselves, do we really want to spend time on a conversation that is boring and uninteresting? No. We love debating about what we love, it makes us love what we love even more. We are in a community where we write about movies after all.

Basically, try not to use the O-Word.

Have a cookie
Have a cookie

Films that Helped me in Hard Times…

We all have those films that help us in our hard times. They don’t necessarily have to be one or two movies in particular, but they are those movies that we tend to watch whenever we are facing a hard situation or time period in life. Some people have the famous “It’s not your fault” scene in Good Will Hunting (1997), some decide to watch an inspirational speeches in movies like those in ‘Coach Carter’. I think you get the idea.

Okay then
Okay then

Now that a week has passed since I have joined college as a freshman, I decided that I wanted to share something personal with you guys, and if you want another reason, I had just crossed a 1000 readers on my profile. I have been feeling incredibly homesick lately, I mean I have moved almost 1800 kilometers from home after living there for 12 years, you know. The idea that I would feel incredibly homesick isn’t something that even crossed my mind at all when I moved. Sure, you can call me a cry baby, or a whiny little *****, and you’re probably right. So, I decided to talk about 2 films in particular that aren’t just helping me out right now, but even during earlier hardships I faced, those films being Inside Out and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Why these 2 movies? They literally have NOTHING to do with college, and you’re right. But it’s the elements in them that I really relate to, not the setting.

Inside Out tells the story of an 11 year old girl named Riley, who has to deal with moving away from Minnesota to San Francisco. It was something that I could relate to, not just with moving away from my home to live in a residential university, but also at the time when my family moved from California to India. Moving is hard to deal with really, so when I saw this movie, I could personally tell you that I found it relatable on every level, particularly when you reach the film’s climax, where Riley finally breaks down and admits to her parents that she misses home. It’s a scene that I found myself not just crying to, but a scene that made me feel like I was there once. That scene, when the family hugs each other, It feels like the world is reassuring you that everything will work out eventually. It’s a movie that just helped me out in times like I faced recently and I really do admire the movie for that.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower helped me out in a similar way. Sure, I don’t mean to say that my problems are anything like the ones that the main characters in the film go through (sexual abuse is just one of those examples). But the fact that you’re in some place new, some place strange, no old friends, you have to make new ones, do everything yourself, etc. just make you feel alienated and secluded. It’s kind of like those times when you hold yourself back and try to make friends at the same time. This was something that I related to in the movie, and even though I am not a big Logan Lerman fan, he stole the show with his performance. He just adds that ‘shy’ element to his character so well, that you know that you have been there. Sure, I am not like him at all in terms of character, but it was and is a personality trait that I have. It’s a movie that makes you understand that feeling, not just among friends but with teachers or anyone else for that matter. I just can’t help but thank the director for writing the novel and directing the movie himself.

So guys in the end, I made this a bit personal and quite short. I know this may make no sense at all. But I thought it was something worth sharing. Also, I am fine now, I have made a couple of good friends here, and things seem to be getting into place. I don’t intend to say that my problems are big, in fact they are small ones in magnitude, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with sharing, is there?

What other movies do you watch and relate to? Do you have better picks? If so, please do comment below.

Will the Comic Book Craze go on forever?

I just loved this image
I just loved this image

Let’s face it guys, it’s a question we have all asked ourselves. Whether it be while daydreaming, taking a shower, eating your breakfast or any other time for that matter. At some point, somewhere, you have asked yourself this question …..”Will the comic book craze go on forever?”. Since 2008, superhero films have been coming and coming and there’s seemingly no stop to it. We have had more and more great movies coming from this genre faster than ever use to *cough*Batman and Robin*cough*. Comic Book movies have not only proven that they can provide entertainment on a whole new level, but can also provide a platform to incorporate and mix multiple genres into one. Let’s take Captain America: The Winter Soldier for example, it’s a mix of blockbuster film making mixed with the genres of action, spy and thriller. Another example can be that of The Dark Knight, which is a mix of the genres of action, crime, drama and to a certain degree even a thriller. So, when we get movies that incorporate so many elements, it is only natural that we as consumers or film lovers will eat it up and enjoy it to the fullest.

They're cool
They’re cool

but if history has shown us anything, it is that we get tired of things eventually. Let us go back to the time when the Star Wars craze started all the way back in 1977 (now before I continue, let me make it clear, I think Star Wars is sci-fi, adventure and fantasy mixed together, so shut up and continue reading). I think we can all agree, it changed cinema as we know it, even though I am not the biggest Star Wars fan when it comes to the films.

The foundation that Star Wars made in terms of blockbuster film making is enormous. This led to a plethora of adventures and sci-fi films that came out, like Back to the future, Indiana Jones, Ghost of the Navigator, The Goonies, etc. These films practically defined the 80’s along with every action film that starred Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, let’s go forward in time a couple of years, the release of the Star Wars prequels hurt the franchise quite badly (do I need to explain why?). The box office returns for films like The Goonies or Ghost Of the Navigator were not as good as Back to The Future or Indiana Jones, despite the fact that they are good movies. So, that hurt the chances of films like Back to the Future being made.

Let’s go a little further in time, are Stallone and Schwarzenegger as relevant to us as they were in the 80’s or 90’s?…..NO. Look, they even tried everything, they made all the old action stars come together and made 3 films i.e The Expendables trilogy. Arnold and Stallone actually made a movie together (Escape Plan), an idea like that would have killed it in the 80’s, but now that just wasn’t relevant any more. These films just weren’t that good. You can blame the writing, the directing or the overuse of CGI, but that still doesn’t overshadow the fact that these movies just don’t matter to us anymore…..we grew tired, we wanted something new.

So, with such a lengthy history class, which I apologize for, will the same thing happen to comic book movies?

hehe...just kidding
hehe…just kidding

My answer to that question is, not necessarily. Okay, let me throw it to you at a different angle. I said earlier that we eventually grow tired of these genres and I still stand by that statement, but does that mean it will be erased forever? No. Let me give you an example regarding action films. Now, with action films, sure we don’t care all that much about Stallone and Schwarzenegger holding guns and fighting with bare knuckles, but does that mean we don’t get action films that are good anymore? No, we just wanted something different, The Bourne Trilogy gave us a glimpse at realistic, gritty fight scenes with spies, by showing us well-choreographed fight scenes and a genuine sense of vulnerability and thrill when it came to those scenes that required it, like Die Hard.

The latest installment in the Mission Impossible franchise Ghost Protocol, showed us that action films can have a smooth sense of poetry with a more fluid sense of action, by taking wide takes and less use of shaky cam while filming fight scenes. The Bond franchise basically took a whole new turn with Casino Royale,and showed us that Bond would be grittier and more realistic, and now we, as consumers are eating this up. Sure we still get bad action films like Taken 2 and3, but we still get our good ones, it’s just that it’s not the way they used to be where everything was big and bombastic.

See where I am getting at? No? Ok, let me put it this way, comic book movies are constantly throwing stuff at us (in a good way) with different takes. The recently released Ant-Man, was a heist film by heart. Guardians of The Galaxy was almost an action comedy in my opinion and the upcoming Fantastic Four seems to be a serious drama from the trailers (please be good). So, I guess what I am trying to say is yeah…..we will grow tired of it, but there will always be that one comic book movie, action movie or fantasy movie that will come out and give us a new spin, the same way it has for other genres that use to rule their respective decades. We finally have a new Star Wars film coming out, do you know how long it has been? We hear that Indiana Jones will get a reboot. Jurassic Worldcame out, finally proving the world that we are not tired of dinosaurs, and so many more examples are there that I just don’t have the time to put up.

For a post about comic book movies, you may be surprised by the less amount content there is on actual comic book movies, but this was the only way I thought I could tackle it. So, I hope it was interesting in some shape or form and tell me what you guys think, do you believe comic book movies will go extinct, or will what I have said in this article happen? Feel free to write your comment, and thank you so much for reading and the 1000+ reads on my profile.

Cheers…and take care

My Top 15 Favorite Protagonists

A good protagonist is always a hard find, we live in an age where people are way more interested in the villains than our heroes, but I have always argued that a good protagonist is just as necessary; otherwise who the hell would you root for? We need characters that we relate to or identify with, a character whose situations, no matter how crazy or how impractical or how unrealistic, are always understandable and relatable, so here I am trying to put in my list of my personal top 15 favorite protagonists from TV/Anime/Films. Why top 15? Well, because I didn’t want to do a top 10.

Okay, so let’s get into the rules. The main point being that it has to be one character per film/Anime/T.V Show, and they have to have been the main focus for a good chunk of the runtime, so characters from Pulp Fiction or Game of Thrones don’t make this list as there is no lead in particular. The other major rule that I have added to this list in order to narrow it down is that each of these characters have to be GOOD people, or at the very least need to have good intentions throughout the run of the film/show/anime, so that is the reason why characters like Frank Underwood or Walter White don’t make this list. I hold no bar on the medium in which the story is told, whether it be animation or live action, so unlike many other lists, this may be a bit more diverse. Now I would also like to note that this, by no means is my list of favorite characters of all time, although some of them here would make it up there. Also, I would like to note that this is judged based on how well the character is developed, how relatable he/she is, their likability, so on and so forth. The last thing I would like to bring up is that this list is not permanent, because I just haven’t seen everything, there is still a lot more to come in the future and a lot more to be seen from the past, so just because your favorite character doesn’t make this list, there is a strong possibility that I may not have seen that show or film. So consider this a list that could be revised later. But for now this is what I came up with, and it may not be the most mature or most thought provoking, but it is what it is, so I hope you enjoy the countdown.

WARNING: there are potential spoilers. I don’t reveal character deaths or anything, but just sayin.

#15 – Kyon (The Melancholy/Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya) (Anime)

Yep, that pretty much sums him up

The poster of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya may lead you to believe that Haruhi is the main character, but the truth is that Kyon is our main character, the whole story regarding the series revolves around him and his adventures with a time traveller, esper, humanoid and supposedly a god who is in the form of a 16 year old girl named Haruhi (ridiculous plot, I know). Our main character Kyon is at the center of this and befriends Haruhi and ultimately joins the group. Of all the high school characters anime is known for, and trust me they do a lot of high school, Kyon is one of those characters that is most relatable, he is not smart as in he has the highest grades or anything, but he is not stupid to say that he does questionable or dumb stuff, he is a normal high school kid getting along in life, but what makes him a great character in the series and the movie is how caring he can be for others, he is always there, even if he does complain about it from time to time, this characteristic is also featured heavily in the follow up movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (which is the reason he is on this list). He is the kind of character that ties everyone together and his sarcasm and reaction to some of the situations he is put in just adds to how incredibly likeable and hilarious he is, and Crispin Freeman, the voice actor nails that aspect perfectly. The choices he makes and the reasons behind them, particularly in the film are incredibly engaging as he really does make hard decisions and has to live with them as the story progressed, and ultimately that’s what makes him a more compelling lead character. So he earns his spot on number 15.

#14 – Forrest Gump (Movie)

The most likable dumbass ever

Okay, seriously, do I have to say anything about this guy; he is probably one of the most iconic, likeable dumbasses in history, and having Tom Hanks play him never hurts. Forrest Gump is a character that just gives people hope, and even if some of the things he does are impractical, he never comes short on surprising you how much he doesn’t really give a shit about what you say. His reactions to many of the situations he is put in are hilarious at times and just heart wrenching in others. For a guy who has an IQ of 75, he served as a soldier, a table tennis player, a football player in college, a company owner, a father, I mean is there anything this dude can’t do, and what’s great is that you totally buy it. He is the kind of lead character who just accepts things the way they are, there is never a time in the movie where he complains, whines or rants about the situation he is in. He is always kind, gentle and he can be hard to others when he needs to be, but never to a point where he becomes an a-hole and it is totally justified when he does. All of this, and he never ever listens to what others say about him or let what others think about him affect his life in any way and that is what ultimately makes Forrest Gump one of my favorite protagonists ever.

#13 – Chuck Noland (Cast Away) (Movie)

That is one hell of a beard sir

Cast Away is in many ways, one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, and I think that a lot of the credit just has to go to Tom Hanks who literally carries on the entire film with his own presence. Chuck Noland works for a courier service and while he is on a job, his plane accidentally crashes, leaving him stranded on an island left with only the boxes left that contained stuff that were needed to be sent. After finding out that the island is uninhabited, he is left with nothing but his own wits to survive. What makes Chuck Noland an interesting protagonist, is seeing how he survives and the things that he does on the island over the course of four years. He befriends a volleyball whom he names Wilson to rid himself of loneliness, and makes conversations with him from time to time, he learns how to fish with sticks, he learns how to make fire and so on, but watching him stick to his home and ultimately the family he left behind really makes up for some of the most heart wrenching drama I have ever seen. This aspect really kicks in the third act of the film, where he finally learns of what happened to his fiancé and his friends that just shows how much his life changed and how much everything around him has changed, it is ultimately his resolve to move on that I relate to the most, it’s a bittersweet aspect but Tom Hanks just brings his charm into the role and like always just provides a master class performance in doing so, and to this day he remains one of my all-time favorite protagonists.

#12 – Kiritsigu Emiya (Fate/Zero) (Anime)

Yup, he is a badass

Emiya is one of the masters of Fate Zero, an anime that is pretty much battle royale (in this case the holy grail war) to the death with one winner standing, there are seven masters and each summon a single powerful servant to help them, and the winner ultimately wins the holy grail, the all-powerful wish granter. Emiya wants this to rid all evil in the world and wants it to be a happy place and thinks that this is the only way to get there. Emiya is pretty much the closest thing to a protagonist Fate Zero has, and it is made pretty clear by the last 10 episodes in a 25 episode run. Emiya is a great character because he is ruthless, and in a very convincing way, he is the kind of character who is willing to do anything if it meant for the greater good. He will kill 100 people if it meant saving the lives of 200 people. While I am not an occasional fan of badass characters that seem to have everything planned out, it just worked for Emiya. He is so focused and determined that it takes the better of him. But the main reason he makes this list is because of his backstory, 2 episodes were actually dedicated to his childhood and how he grew up, and it completely explains where his ideals and motivations came from, and of all the characters on this list, he has the second best backstory a character has ever gotten. While later on in the show he does realize his flaws in his own ideology, it is the journey getting there that truly is well rounded and Matt Mercer does an incredible job of showing the weight of the decisions he makes and how it affects his personality making up for one of my favorite protagonists ever.

#11 – Matt Murdock (Daredevil) (T.V show)

Yes, he is human

What is a favorite protagonist list than one without superheroes in them? A more recent entry on this list for sure, but hell I made this list just a few days ago. Matt Murdock is a lawyer by day and crime fighting vigilante by night. Matt Murdock was blinded when he was a child due to exposure to chemical leaks, but this ultimately gave him heightened senses that can allow him to read a person’s heart-beat, listen to stuff from far distances and much more. Hell, he’s even learnt martial arts. While many people have considered Matt Murdock a Batman rip off, and some similarities are certainly there, I personally just find Matt Murdock way more believable, yes he has heightened senses and all, but apart from that he is just a human, he is not a billionaire, he doesn’t have chicks by his side, and he doesn’t have any fancy gadgets. When it really comes down to it, he relies on his bare hands and his skills as a fighter to take criminals down; another aspect that makes him such a great character is just how vulnerable he is. He is in danger even when he fights a regular thug for god’s sake. But ultimately, the reason he makes it on this list, is that no matter how many times he is beaten on, he always gets back up even if it means risking his own life, and it is never done in a cheesy way like the rocky movies, but it shows you rather than tell you. Charlie Cox gives probably one of the most underrated performances of the show, because everyone loves Vincent D’onofrio, and while he was awesome, I just loved Charlie Cox’s subtle, grounded and confident portrayal of the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. He is likeable, he is vulnerable, he is relatable and unlike other superheroes, he is human and that makes him all the more compelling.

#10 – Barry Allen (The Flash) (T.V show)

Believe it or not, he is my favorite superhero ever

Now, if I have to choose my favorite superhero ever, it will always be the flash, yes I know that this is a more recent entry on the list, but good god, if there was ever a superhero I wanted to be, it would be The Flash, Barry Allen is from the CSI working in the forensics department, who is accidentally struck by lightning due to an experiment gone wrong and is gifted with super speed abilities and much more. Barry Allen is on this list mostly because of how much he learns and develops over the course of the first season. He is incredibly likable and never ever complains or whines about being a superhero, he has fun with his powers, he is helpful to others when he is needed and while he does make some incredibly dumb decisions throughout the show, it never feels unjustified. He is the character I wish I could be, and a lot of this has to attribute to Grant Gustin’s performance, who steals every minute of the show whenever he is on screen, and for those reasons he is one of my favorite protagonists of all time.

#9 – Okabe Rintaro (Steins;Gate) (Anime)

If he is a mad scientist, he is one of the best

Okay, so let’s get back to anime. Okabe Rintaro is the protagonist of the series Steins;Gate, a time travel series that I recommend to anyone who wants to get into anime. Initially introduced as a self-proclaimed mad scientist, who accidentally discovers a method of time travel with a group of his friends, Okabe develops into one of the most mature well rounded characters I have ever seen. Okabe is the kind of guy, like Kyon, despite all his shenanigans, deeply cares for his friends and as the story moves that aspect of him is delved into deeply, you see unlike most anime where friendship is everything, shows like Steins;Gate and Melancholy of Haruhi decide not to make it in your face and rather develop these friendships as the story progresses. Throughout the series Okabe makes several hard decisions due to toying around with time travel and as time progresses you see how much of an effect that really has on him, and it is his journey as a character that really sticks with you once the show concludes. Saying any more would delve into major spoilers, so for that reason, I end it right here by saying he is one of my favorite protagonists to have come from the medium of anime.

#8 – Woody (Toy Story franchise) (Movie)

My favorite cowboy

Shout out to Tom Hanks for a hat trick, this guy is the bomb, I mean seriously, the dude never ever fails to impress and Woody is certainly no exception. Woody is the protagonist of the Toy Story franchise since its inception. Like many other characters on this list Woody is one hell of a well-developed character. The first film shows him as a selfish, ego filled toy who wants to be played all along and the third film portrays him as a guy who wants to be there for Andy and his friends even if it meant that he won’t be played with all the time, and that takes great writing to achieve that. Tom Hanks, once again delivers a fine performance as Woody, he just gets the mannerisms, the complaining and all the sarcasm right, and he is one of those characters that grows on you by the time you finish the trilogy. What makes woody so special is that he never gives up on anybody, hell he even tries to save the villain’s life in the third film. He is the kind of character that grows on you, and even though sometimes he can get a bit too whiny, again it is justified, and his likability and the fact that he never gives up on anyone at all, makes me want to be someone like him, and he earns the number 8 spot.

#7 – Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock) (T.V show)

Yep, he is a great detective

Now there have been many renditions of Sherlock Holmes to a point where I still need to see all of them, but the one that I am and will be focusing on is Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the iconic character. You see, while I do like the other renditions of the character, and I have even read the books, the BBC show is the only one that I found to actually focus on Sherlock as a character and not as an interest piece. Many of the other shows and movies have often focused on how Sherlock is really smart and how he thinks things through, but never focused on who he is, how he thinks, what he feels and I was surprised to see that the show did that very well. Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective for the Scotland Yard police and helps them solve cases that are quote on quote very interesting for him. What makes him such an interesting character is just how interesting he is, I have never seen a character, who no matter how many times he appears on screen, he always surprises you, by how caring he can be, how ruthless he can be, how smart he can be, how socially awkward he can be and so much more. He is the kind of character who leaves you questioning how he will react next, sometimes he is hilarious, sometimes he’s just badass and other times he can be plain cruel, but never does he fail to grab your attention and all of this just credits to Benedict Cumberbatch’s fantastic and subtle portrayal of the character. His interpersonal relationships show his humanity and how much he deeply cares for his friends, particularly Watson. His cases show how smart his deductive skills are and his enemies show just how cruel and relentless he can be. All of this just adds up to what a great character and protagonist Sherlock is and will remain on this list.

#6 – Po (Kung Fu Panda franchise) (Movie)

This picture sums it up

Now let me get this out of the way. Po is the most likable character I have ever seen. He is nice to others, kind to others, helpful to others, friendly to others and never once did I feel that he was a pretentious character. The Kung Fu Panda franchise follows his story about he becomes a legendary kung fu master, and what makes him such an interesting and a great protagonist is really the likability factor. I mean, let us look at the facts, he never gets pissed off at The Furious Five for petty much insulting him and dicking around with him for being chosen as the dragon warrior, he holds his temper at his master for dicking around with him and fighting him till half the movie, he doesn’t even try to kill the very man who killed his family and species, and never once in the entirety of 2 films does he complain about the position he is given. His character is further explained in the second film, where his backstory is revealed and had it been any other movie it would have decided to go the dark route, but no they make his character a really likable person, thank you for that, again a lot of praise just has to go to Jack Black who knows how to balance the humor with the serious stuff perfectly. But besides that, it is in the first film where you see his relationship with his master grow and it is in the second film where you see his relationships with his friends grow and it really makes him a better and more interesting character as the story goes on, and along with that he is incredibly likable, humble and helpful and for that he is one of my favorite protagonists ever.

#5 – Juror # 8 (12 Angry Men) (Movie)

He means business people

12 Angry Men is one of my all-time favorites and Juror # 8 is one of my favorite protagonists. 12 Angry Men is a film that follows a jury meeting that consists of 12 Jurors trying to come to a universal agreement as to whether a boy who has been accused of a crime is guilty or not, at first all but one claim the boy to be guilty, and the one who tries to defend him is Juror # 8, who thinks that everyone should talk it out first. Juror # 8 is one of my favorite protagonists because he is someone who sticks to his ideals as a Juror, he sees everyone as equals under the law and never fails to live up to those ideals, I know it may sound cheesy, however it is anything but. The great part about 12 Angry Men is that it questions our protagonist time and time again and each of the points made by other jurors are great obstacles for him to come across, and if we have learnt anything it’s the journey that counts. Yes, each time another juror tries to shut him up, he does his very best to come up with a good counter argument and the way he is able to convince everyone as the film progresses just works, and what I admire about him most is that he never ever tries to shout or yell to get his point across to others he listens to others if they have good points and understands everyone else before he judges them, he is very gentlemanly and mature (thanks to Henry Fonda) and for that reason alone he makes for a great protagonist.

#4 – Wall-E (Movie)

The cutest robot in the galaxy

If you are someone who has read my Pixar rankings then you would know how much I love Wall-E, not the movie but the character, of all the protagonists on this list he is probably the cutest and he is very much likable. But the real reason he makes this list is that unlike other characters, his motivation is simple and down to earth, he just wants to be in love, and that itself is what drives him to go to space, save the human race, save planet life and so much more just because he wants something very simple, to be in love, and what’s even better is that all of this is told through expression and not words, with the exception of the word ‘Wall-E’ and ‘Eva’, he never speaks any other word and those words itself speaks volumes. Wall-E is the kind of friend you wish you had someone who cares for you and willing to do anything for you, and that’s what makes him such an interesting character. All of this, it is no wonder he is one of my favorite protagonists of all time.

#3 – Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones franchise) (Movie)

Yep, Harrison Ford is a badass

Okay, seriously, do I have to say anything about this guy? He is probably the most iconic adventurer of all time; he is my favorite action hero of all time, he is one of the most likable characters of all time and he is one of the most loved archeologists of all time. Indiana Jones is a character that I looked up to when I was a kid and I still do. He is on this list not because of his iconic status or anything but because he came out during a time when every action movie had to have a hero whose muscles were the size of Mount Everest and bodies were of the size of Goku. It was nice to finally see an action hero who was relatable in that he wasn’t a macho man, like Matt Murdock, who appeared earlier on this list, he is vulnerable, and he gets tired when he has had too much, Harrison Ford always nailed that aspect of Indy very well particularly through his physical acting, but apart from that Harrison Ford always gave it his all whenever it came to Indy and I love him for it. Is he on this list for his vulnerability? Not really, throughout the entire franchise (let’s forget the 4th one) he is shown to be sarcastic, humorous and a bit of a ladies man, making him one of the coolest characters ever and not only that, what makes him very interesting is how smart he can really be, see the last 10 minutes of the third movie if you don’t believe me. I think a part of me always wants to be the adventurer that Indiana is, and I will always remember the times I would think of myself that way. Indiana Jones is one of the most recognizable characters of all time and for good reason, he is vulnerable, he is relatable (most of the time), he is smart, he is cool, he is likable but he isn’t perfect that is what makes him a damn interesting character and a fine protagonist.

#2 – Vito Corleone (The Godfather Parts I and II) (Movie)

Yep, they both were magnificent

Okay, when I decided to make this list, I put Vito Corleone all the way down, but the more and more I thought about his character he just went up, up and up. Now, you may disagree with me, but I consider The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 to be films about Vito just as much as they are about Michael Corleone, so by no means do I consider him a supporting character as the films are meant to compare and contrast these character in many ways, so it is obvious that he can be considered a main character. Vito Corleone is one of the smartest characters I have ever seen period, and in all honesty he is probably one of the best written characters ever. Having a tragic past, Vito Corleone grew up to be a Don of the Corleone family, as it brought him respect and good fortune to his friends and those closest to him, and throughout the entire run time, it is shown how deeply he really cares for them, yes he does do some bad stuff, but all of it for his family, hell after he finds out one of his own died, he wants to stop a war between the families and goes as far as to apologize for everything himself. The moment you first see him on screen, his calm, straight posture and gentleman look just evoke a sense of respect and fear for the guy and a lot of that attributes to Marlon Brando’s portrayal who just reeks of calmness and confidence whenever he speaks, I mean you can take any line he says and it would become quotable. The Godfather Part 2 decides to show you his history, his upbringing and the fact that Robert De Niro had to make us believe him to be a young Vito and the fact that he nailed it was just magnificent. Yes, even though I loved Marlon Brando as Vito, Robert De Niro just gave us an idea of who Vito was as a person, we get to know how he grew up, who he married, who he cared for, where all his gentlemanly manners came from, how he became one of the most feared Dons ever, all because he wanted his family to live a life wasn’t his own but something better, and Robert De Niro was flawless while giving such a performance, but regardless both did a great job to portray a complex and well written character that will be remembered for the ages and he earns his spot at number 2, being one of my favorite protagonists ever.

#1 – Hana (Wolf Children) (Anime)

One of cinemas’ best mothers

WHERE THE HELL WHERE ALL THE WOMEN???? I don’t know there just weren’t that many I suppose, but I hope this makes up for it. Hana is the lead character of Wolf Children, a movie about a single mother who is burdened with the task of raising her two children who are part wolves single handedly and what follows is one of the most beautiful films ever made. Hana is a mother, and like all great mothers she is kind, loving, helpful….blah…blah…..blah. But the reason I put her up here is because of how well she handles everything, whether it is raising her children or earning her money or cleaning and rebuilding her own house or farming, and through all of that despite how tired she is or how fed up she may seem, she pulls it together, not in the way that she is perfect in every way, but if there ever was someone I have seen who could have that level of composure, it would have to be Hana. Never once does she complain about her situation to others or whine about how hard it is, she just accepts things the way they are and does her best to deal with it, and ultimately that’s what makes Hana such a great protagonist, yes I know I may be a little biased because she does remind me of my mom at times, but regardless, she is a very well written character, and Colleen Clinckenbeard does such a phenomenal job with her performance. She always brings out the innocence, the love and the care every time she speaks and it never fails to just make me admire her. Yes, of all the characters on this list, she is by far the most admirable one, because of how much she was able to achieve as a single mother, and the way her story concludes is truly bittersweet and was the perfect way to end the film. So with all that, yeah she is my favorite protagonist of all time.

OKAY…OKAY…That was long, even from my standards and I am really sorry but at least I hope you like my choices, and I hope you will stick around for more countdowns, good news is I have finally gotten an admission to an okay college, so finally that is all done, now a new life is ahead and I certainly won’t stop doing this, so guys thank you so much for reading if you have, I really appreciate it, so thank you and until next time

Cheers….and take care

Inside Out (2015) review

Well, sorry for the delay guys, I got caught up in all my university admissions, so I might not be able to put up stuff as soon as I want to, but don’t worry I don’t intend on stopping this by any means. So with all that said, let us move on with the review. Inside Out has been getting a ton of attention lately, it’s earned praises from many everywhere, and since I am a fan of Pete Docter and the fact that this film has been under my radar way before the film even got a title (I read stuff on Wikipedia, okay), it was natural that I would be excited to watch this movie, and boy did it deliver.

This is without a doubt one of Pixar’s best, well rounded works I have seen from them since Up and Ratatouille. It’s imaginative, it’s new, it’s creative and it’s engaging in the best possible way. Inside Out just gets it right. The story following that of an 11 year old girl named Riley who has moved from Minnesota to San Francisco, and the emotions inside her head, Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger and Sadness. The movie follows her emotions trying to help her while she deals with moving away from her home and what follows is something I personally decided not to spoil, even though this film already came out in the U.S, I just stuck with not spoiling it, it is just too good not to.

What makes Inside Out work for me is how smart and inventive it is. It is the first Pixar film not to have a villian, it is something that I only realized after I finished watching it. The inventiveness comes from the world that Pete Docter creates and uses to its full potential, I mean never once in the plot did I find anything to be conveniently placed, never once did I feel it pulled off a Deus Ex Machina, because everything is so well placed and so well thought out it is just genius, and you know that a film is genius when it can do things like that, what surprised me about this film is that it was able to sell me on the fact that a world within our mind exists, it explains so many things like why forget stuff, why we become sad and down on our luck all of a sudden sometimes or how we just have upbeat moments, it is just classic Pixar in terms of great world building and storytelling.

Now, the voice acting is just spot on, in all honesty I cannot imagine anyone else doing the voices of these characters, I mean Amy Poehler as Joy (who was my favorite emotion), Lewis Black as Anger (who was my second favorite), Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Bill Hader as Fear, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, were perfect and not just them, even Katilyn Dias was an overlooked aspect of this film, who voices Riley, who just nails the spirit of being a 11 year old perfectly and she knocks it out of the park when it came to the emotional sequences that just made her my favorite part of the film. It all comes down to the great casting, and each character is so distinct in design, color and personality that you just recognize them instantly.

The animation, needless to say is astounding to look at, there are so many worlds, lands that just burst out with imagination, and you can’t expect to comprehend such things without great animation and design, and Pixar just nail it, it’s fluid, colorful and basically it’s Pixar at its best. The score by Michael Giacchino is one of the best parts about this movie, the music for every scene just works, the joyful scenes, the emotional ones, it is to the point and in many ways it just defines the scene so well that the moment is perfect and all of it just play so well together, they make up for one of my favorite scores of all time.

I loved Joy (and Anger)

Lewis Black was awesome.

So with all that said, my only issue was that at times the film felt a bit too drawn out with the adventure of Joy and Sadness, it was well done and well executed but I think it could have been cut a bit short, but really apart from that, I hardly had any issues to begin with. Inside Out is Pete Docter’s masterpiece, it has terrific writing, probably one of the best I have come across ever, and it has great animation, phenomenal voice acting, a to-the-point score, great world building and above all a great concept that is executed magnificently. It provides a great message when it concludes, one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. It is one of the best Pixar works and if you are wondering where it stands on my list, it probably would make number 3, and if you really want to know, yes I cried while watching this movie. It is the best film of the year so far and without a doubt gets an ‘A+’.

Thank you, I hope it is the rating I am good at

Final Rating: A+

So there is my long awaited review, sorry for the heavy delay guys, I am just caught up in all these college admissions, so I am really busy, I will release my countdown list as promised by tomorrow, I will try my best, if not definitely by day after, but it will come, after that, there might be a longer hiatus as I am not really watching any movie soon, but don’t worry I will try to come up with something, but until then guys,

Cheers…and take care

Millennium Actress (2001) review

Millennium Actress (2001) review

Well, guys this is probably it, the final review of Satoshi Kon’s films, so here I am honoring this man’s work in the only way I can and what he gave to the film industry as a whole. Again, I would like to remind you that I am reviewing his films in the order that I have seen them in. Okay, now that is out of the way. Millennium Actress was the second feature film directed and co-written by Satoshi Kon that was released in the year 2001. It was animated by Studio Madhouse and also co-written by Sadayuki Murai, who also worked with Kon on his first feature Perfect Blue and is partially based on the life of real life actresses Setsuko Hara and Hideko Takamine. The film follows a documentary filmmaker who investigates the life of an aging and retired actress, Chiyoko Fujiwara. What follows is a Citizen Kane like storyline where we get to know more about her life through her films and events that took place in her real life, that’s so well blended together; you never know what’s reality and what’s fiction.

The many roles of Chiyoko Fujiwara
The many roles of Chiyoko Fujiwara

Millennium Actress is easily Kon’s most overlooked film, because that year the release of Spirited Away pretty much crushed the chances of this film getting much recognition, and to this day, not many people really talk about it. So here I am telling you, this is my favorite film by Satoshi Kon. This film was just a masterstroke in storytelling. The cinematography is the best of what Satoshi Kon has to offer. The characters, especially our main character was amazing and so interesting to see the decisions she makes in her life how that plays into the rest of her works and ultimately the bigger picture. here is a pretty good example of the cinematography that I am babbling about.

The story is great, but the master stroke really lies in the execution of the story, much like Citizen Kane, you find out more about this anonymous character that no one really knows about to a point where he or she becomes a character that everyone knows about, and just like Citizen Kane, the cinematography that adds to it is just brilliance, really I know how much I have praised Kon’s cinematography in the previous reviews, but not like how he has done it here, every shot adds to the story, there isn’t one shot in this film that I can actually consider unnecessary, the recurring motif of ‘the key’ in this movie is very similar to that of the motif of ‘Rosebud’ in Citizen Kane. As much as I am making it sound like a Citizen Kane rip-off, it’s not and ultimately they are two completely different films that follow a very similar kind of storytelling, so in the end they are similar but not the same.

Ring any bells???
Ring any bells???

The characters are also very well realized, the main character Chiyoko and her storyline is just fascinating to watch, particularly the overarching story of her trying to find the man she loves, a recurring storyline that is featured in many of her films and all of it culminates in one of the best endings any film has to offer (more on that later), the documentary filmmaker Genya Tachibana, was a fascinating character as well, because he is a fan of this actress and it clearly shows how much he deeply cares for her and how he factors into her story later in the film was just perfect. He is not the usual bumbling fat guy to make jokes and add comedic relief; he is a character, a guy who is a bonified fan boy of this actress and not some weird awkward dude.

Yep, they are going into battle all rightThe animation is good, but not great, seeing as Spirited Away came out the exact same year, but again I am comparing this film to a Miyazaki movie where animation is their selling point. What I am trying to say is, this isn’t the best Studio Madhouse has to offer. The backgrounds however look brilliant and beautiful, but where the weak points come is in the slightly dated look on the characters, but aside from that the animation is pretty solid and it’s beautiful to look at.

So, with all that said, and very, very little to spoil, I have to say the film is quite frankly my favorite film from Kon’s work, it is intricately crafted, it is well thought out, and never ever fails to grab your attention, it is perfectly paced and has one of the best endings ever in films that I will dare not give away and trust me, I have seen plenty of movies in my admittedly limited experience as a reviewer. It combines all the elements that Satoshi Kon is great at, that includes his cinematography, the well written characters, the story and above all, great execution. It pays wonderful homages to some of Tokyo’s older films and while animation is certainly the film’s weakest point for me, it still is a beauty to look at. So with so much to write but very little to spoil, I give Millennium Actress an ‘A+’ and highly recommend this to anybody who hasn’t seen it yet.

Final Rating: A+

So that concludes my reviews of Satoshi Kon, a great and masterful filmmaker, and I am glad that the last film of his that I saw was my favorite of his works and yes I know that he had directed a T.V series Paranoia Agent, so I will review that whenever I can because it is unfortunately really hard for me to get. So I just want to thank you guys for sticking around and reading my admittedly long reviews of this man’s work, and if you have read them all, I really appreciate it and I thank you very very much for taking the time to do so. I will do more stuff, and tomorrow or the day after, I will rank the Pixar films from best to worst in light of the release of Inside Out (which is coming out really late on 26th in my country btw), so I will see you guys next time. Also I would like to thank the MP community for listing my Tokyo Godfathers review on the Top 10 posts by creators this week, I really appreciate it and you can check it out on the website, here is the link

Top 10 posts by creators on moviepilot.com

So, Until next time, cheers and take care..