|Posted by from1to10moviereviews on July 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM|
There are movie characters we love, and ones we love to hate. Many movies depend on this reaction to characters, otherwise films like Star Wars, Die Hard, Gladiator, and Land Before Time LXXVIII wouldn’t work. Yet time and time again we are subjected to characters who fit in neither category: ones who are seemingly there only to annoy us and zap the life out of a perfectly good film. These people are like the weird hairs you find on your Buffalo Wings.
6. Dr. Madolyn Madden in The Departed
- Writing female characters in a crime film is tough. With all the guns, explosions, war paint and Swarzenagger, women often get lost in the midst, usually succumbing to play a minor romantic interest. Yet there are times where the writer and director say “nay,” and attempt to portray a woman as an actual character: one who isn’t just in the way but is actually likeable, intelligent, and even cool.
- The Departed was not one of those films
- Sporting a badass cast of Leonardo DeCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Warlberg, and Matt “Thanks Team America Now Everyone Says My Name Like A Retard” Damon, The Departed was a perfect crime film, except for the girl.
- Meet Dr. Madolyn Madden, possibly the worst therapist in movie history, and this is coming from someone who saw 50/50. Upon meeting both Damon and DeCaprio, she immediately becomes close to them and proceeds to act as warning sign to anyone who wants to take a medical professional. When she meets the obviously damaged and sleepless DeCaprio, she throws a hissy fit the moment he requests medication and ejects him from her office.
- Then there’s this scene afterwards.
“Here’s a prescription for ___”
“Is it enough to kill myself?”
Yep. You may say, “but she was joking!” except that therapists should never joke about suicide. Especially to a guy working undercover dealing with trauma. The situation only worsens when DeCaprio visits her unexpectantly at her home, clearly vulnerable (she notices this outloud), so she does what any good former therapist would do. She fucks him and later tells him they can’t be friends.
So how does the shrink treat Damon? Alright, I suppose, it’s not like she starting eating a banana when discussing how he couldn’t get it up or anything. Right?
5. Walter Sobchak in Big Lebowski
- I’m going to get some heat for this one, since the movie is such a cult classic and the character does have a fair amount of good lines. He can even get you a toe. But you have to acknowledge that this man is a fucking idiot and a bit of a prick.
- Every plan, every situation he is involved in gets completely fucked up. When The Dude has to drop off ransom money, Walter’s participation results in a flat tire, no ransom delivery, a few dozen stray bullets. He also beats the bejesus out of a random sports car, treats Donnie like absolute shit throughout (even rambles about Vietnam during his euology), and pulls out a gun for a minor infraction at a bowling alley.
- This would all be ok, even comical, if it weren’t for the fact that Walter acts like abratty child. When being yelled at, he simply repeats “calmer than you are” and seems to always need the last word. He’s like two kids saying “nuh huh, ya huh” over and over except to himself. Both Donnie and The Dude have absolutely no motivation to hang with this guy other than the fact he’s on their bowling team. But once your car is stolen and torched, you might want to pick up a different sport, dude.
4. Julie Powell in Julie and Julia
- This film is comprised of two stories: the life of Julia Child learning how to cook in France and eventually becoming the cooking icon we all know today, and the bitchy, whiny New Yorker named Julie Powell who spends a year cooking all of Child’s recipes and ignoring absolutely everything else in her life.
- What makes Julie so frustrating is that the film clearly wants you to root for her while she attempts all these recipes….but you can’t. While Julia Child stayed loving to her husband and kept a friendly demeanor throughout her struggles in the movie, Powell turns into an irritating, irrational, sourpuss, practically shoving her husband away, skipping work, and whining anytime something doesn’t go her way. You know those kids in line at toy stores? The ones stamping their feet and throwing fits? That’s Powell for about an hour.
- What makes this suck for us viewers is the movie is like a tug of war contest: where one side is being pulled by beautiful, sunlit women holding cupcakes, and the other by pimpled DMV reps waving expired cauliflower. Every time the film goes back to Julie, it’s like the film wants you to leave the room. In fact, her scenes last precisely long as making a good sandwich and a cocktail, so maybe they do.
3. Virginia “Pepper” Potts in Iron Man 2
- Again, this is not to say women do not belong in action movies. Hell, look at Princess Leia, Sarah Conner, and Ripley. But if you’re going to go down the Girl-Just-There-To-Be-A-Love-Interest path, please don’t give her a lot of screen time.
- Yet here we have Pepper, played by Gweneth Paltrow, spending scene after scene doing abso-fucking-lutely nothing. When Tony Stark needs her to simply chuck the Iron Man suitcase to him, she just sits and screams. When he ignores he pleas to stop getting drunk in the Iron Man suit, she just stands and waits to see what will happen. The only time she does anything is when she shooes away the seedy manufacturer Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell, and takes control of security at an event. However, that’s only after she herself was shooed away by him. And just as she is about to leave with a poopyface and update her Twitter with a bowl of Chunky Monkey like the flat, stereotypical character she is, Black Widow steps forward and shoves his face into the desk, and suddenly Pepper jumps in, as if taking credit.
- Don’t forget about the scene when she sees a drone that’s obviously about to self-destruct on the ground, red light flashing, a timer beeping faster by the second, and she just stares at it. For twenty fucking seconds. You know how long twenty seconds is? Go ahead. Count.
- It doesn’t help that Paltrow is horrendously miscast. Every line she delivers sounds like a cheerleader giving a Salutatorian speech at a high school graduation. It’s like she doesn’t know how to enunciate without sounding like she’s rehearsing. Sam Rockwell is also beyond obnoxious in the film, but the award goes to Paltrow for the simple irony that she won an Oscar for reciting Shakespeare, yet can’t say “I gotta go get some air,” with any conviction.
2. Interpreter Timothy E. Upham in Saving Private Ryan
- Fuck this guy
1. All the Aliens in Jabba’s Palace/Endor in Return of the Jedi
- Return of the Jedi, upon second viewing, seems to mark the point where Lucas began stepping into his goofy, weird-voices-equals-comedy phase he hasn’t left yet. This is when he tried to cram in as much random creatures and silly dialogue as he could, most likely to make the film appeal to children. The problem with Lucas, as we all know, is that he doesn’t realize that you don’t need to talk down to kids in order to entertain them. Watch Pixar, classic Disney, and 90’s sitcoms if you want proof.
- So in a movie about defiance, personal torment, and friendship in the time of war, we are paraded into a looooooong scene at Jabba’s Palace, where quirky, annoying, and unimportant aliens are all given screen time. Whether it’s pig guards who log shockingly like tanned Chief Wiggums or green dancer who gets eaten, you begin to feel like you something is going quit right. However, the worst is that one, insufferable little alien with the big ears. The one who jumps all over the place and makes a noise I’ll try to recreate via text.
- Imagine a donkey that sucked up helium and drank only liquefied cocaine and that about covers everything that comes out of that creature’s mouth. My question is, did Lucas think it was funny? What tone was he going for here? The thing doesn’t even have a name. It meant nothing to the scene or the story. So why Lucas? Why do we have to hear it?
- The Ewoks, although outrageously fuzzy, receive an absurd amount of screen time. They aren’t so much annoying as simply pointless, and having to watch them jump all over storm troopers is really jarring when you just cut from the Emperor electrocuting the shit out of Luke. You watch their antics like you watch a kid’s play. Yeah it’s cute and all, but you’d rather get some laundry done. And if it were on TV, you’d consider changing the channel. Lucas should have just saved them for another movie. Maybe just compiled everything he couldn’t fit into the trilogy into a TV movie. Maybe around Christmas. Oops.