THE TOP TEN Favourite Adapted Movie Characters
Michael May and Siskoid do this to me every time. They start a list and I just have to put my two cents in. I will try not to repeat myself from previous post but it may be hard to avoid it since these characters have such an effect on my enjoyment of the movies they are in. I hope I get the source of the adapted characters right. Please correct any mistakes you may see. I will only start with the first five off the top of my head since I do tend to get verbose. I am such a fraud. I was totally influence by Michael’s list although I totally love these characters.
Michael May and Siskoid do this to me every time. They start a list and I just have to put my two cents in. I will try not to repeat myself from previous pos... more
1. Vladimir Kulich as Buliwyf in 13th Warrior. Based on the book 'Eaters of the Dead' by Michael Crichton, 13th Warrior is a tale of Viking adventure and no one for me exemplifies the Viking spirit more than Vladimir's portrayal of Buliwyf. He is a true king to his people, the best man in a group of exceptional warriors. To his people this is the only thing that matters in a world that is steeped in violence. But we get more from Vladimir than just a warrior - he is a man with the soul of a poet and you always get a feeling that in another world he would be a gentle man - an educated man - a man who would rather rule by wisdom and the force of his example. After he is poisoned he laments the fact that he will die a pauper. The first remark from the ruler he has come to save it that he will be buried as a king and OH BOY does he die like one.
2. Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner. - Loosely based on the Phillip K. Dick novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' Hauer plays the replicant Roy who only wants what everyone else wants - to understand life and his place in the world. He is a character whose love of life is rooted in the fact that his time is so short - only four years. He is menacing and terrifying as a genetically engineered soldier but in the end the way that Hauer instantly creates sympathy for him and reveals his soul is what remains with you long after the movie is done. His final speech to Harrison Ford's Deckard is one of the great speeches in movie history and one I early committed to memory.
3. Oliver Reed as Aramis in the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. As the leader of the group of Musketeers, Reed brings a gravitas and leadership qualities to the role. He also brings a sadness that every look conveys. He drinks and fights to forget a love that has betrayed him and left him all but broken. His cynical world view contrasts the eagerness of Michael York's D'Artagnan. D'Artagnan might be the heart of the musketeers but Reed is its soul.
4. Rufus Sewell as Seth Starkadder in Cold Comfort Farm, a comic novel by Stella Gibson. As complete a portrayal of the male ID as any seen on screen. Totally oblivious to everything around him aside from his own awesomeness, he is a man so clearly out of place in his world that you wonder if he is in the wrong movie entirely. Sewell is usually playing some poor hang dog fighting against circumstances out of his control that are conspiring to destroy him (Dark City) but here we see his true genius as a character actor. His Seth is a lusty 'libertine' brute who every woman wants and every man wants to be. Only when you mention the 'talkies' does he let down his cool demeaner and gush like a schoolgirl. You realize right away that he is one of his generations great actors on par with a Daniel Day Lewis or Adrien Brody. He wears broad comedy as well as he wears that Tuxedo.
5. Hugo Weaving as V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. Weaving was deliciously menacing as Agent Smith in the matrix movies but V called for a different kind of villain. A true antihero whose face and expressions would forever be hidden behind an unmoving mask. With only his amazing voice and the movements of a dancer does Weaving create one of the most charming terrorists and murderers in movie history. V is a true artist albeit an artist of death and Weaving gives everything he does a flourish - and extra tip of his wide brim hat to the audience he needs. V understands that nothing he does is of value unless you are watching him perform his grand opera. We may loathe what he does but we can't deny the style with which he does it.
1.Antonio Bandaras as Zorro in the Mask of Zorro - From vagabond thief he becomes Zorro, the fox. His learning curve is steep but with each moment and adventure he becomes a better hero while he is also becoming a better man. His wicked sense of fun combined with top notch fighting and acrobatic skills makes this my all time favourite literary hero - the one I would most like to be. To sweep the lovely Catherine Zeta Jones’ Elaina off her feet occurs only because she is a worthy partner and love to this redeemed man.
2. Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in Tombstone. The performance is among the greatest to NEVER win an Oscar and no one who has seen this movie can deny it is a performance so complete and layered that its thrilling to see each scene which he absolutely dominates. No mean trick against some of the best character actors ever. Kilmer’s Holiday is first and foremost a gambler and murderer but he is also a loyal friend and has a noble sense of justice for those not involved in the life he has chosen for himself. He understands the demons that make men do the evil that they do.
3.Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow - The three Pirate of the Caribbean movies. Another actor robbed of his just awards for the most charming and least trustworthy hero with a heart of gold in movie history. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel he often appeared as a lazy fop. His character was said to be a combination of Keith Richards and Liberace. He plays each moment pretending to be only out for himself while simultaneously orchestrating a chess match against his opponents that is never predictable. You can see the wheels turn in his head each time he is confronted with his own death like he is having the most fun anyone could be having on the high seas.
4Bruce Lee - Game of Death, Enter the Dragon. For a person from Hong Kong who could not speak English he literally changed the world. When Enter the Dragon was released the world was first introduced to his dynamic fighting speed, style and technique. We also saw for the first time how clearly charismatic he could be. All his movie roles are simply Bruce Lee playing himself since each role showcases his abilities and philosophy of life. This was something that North Americans had never seen before and it influenced a whole generation of young men who were looking for something to believe after the aimless 1960s. His fitness teachings predate anyone with the exception of Jack Lalanne. His uniquely created fighting style was a perfect fit for the movie industry - visually dynamic. This caused the opening of martial arts schools all over North American and the desire to learn such skills still goes on to this day. The same moves and energy can be seen in such films as ‘Kill Bill’ (where we see UMA dressed in his famous yellow track suit that Bruce wore in Game of Death)and every movie by Van Damme, Norris or Segal.
5.Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante - in Stand and Deliver. Playing a real life math teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, Olmos gained extra pounds and allowed his thick hair to be thinned out to create a regular guy who commanded respect not through the strength of his body but through the power of his words and example. Like any teacher his desire to do anything to reach his students was achieved through comedy, sometimes guilt but always with a heavy dose of love. He has unwavering faith in anyone who was willing to commit to the knowledge he was trying to impart to them. Sure he could be inflexible when the students let themselves down but always he was there to help pick them back up. He is the model I follow in my classrooms and since I often deal with the most challenging type of students, his example has proven invaluable.
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