Thursday, August 6, 2015

7 Characters That Need Their Own Movie Or TV Show

Title photo credit: Paramount Pictures

I’m back from vacation.  It was full of scenery and food.  Granted, that vacation ended over a week ago, but last week was pretty busy for me, too, as I was attending a funeral.  (2015 really is turning out to be the Year of Death for me.)  However, this isn’t a “what I did on my summer vacation” post, and it’s been a while since I did a full-blown list, so now for something completely different:

Plenty of movies and TV shows have had cool characters.  Sometimes, those characters aren’t the main characters, and occasionally, they upstage said main characters as far as I’m concerned.  When this happens, I’m often left yearning for more of that character.  Here’s a list of seven such characters, ranked by how badly I’d like to see more of them.  I initially thought of more, but I decided not to include characters that interest me but might be brought down by being overly demystified.  I’ve also included characters that could easily have been considered main characters.  In their case, I see potential for placing them in a totally different type of movie, which I think could be interesting.  I’m well aware that by now, some of the actors who played these characters might be a bit old to reprise their roles, but hey, I can dream.

7: Striker Eureka – Pacific Rim

Warner Bros.

Okay, I’m not sure if this is actually a character, since Pacific Rim appears to make it pretty clear that without pilots, the Jaegers would be lifeless, non-sentient robots.  On top of that, half of Striker Eureka’s pilot crew is an asshole. 

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Oh Max, you can do better than him…

On the other hand, I think Striker is by far the best-looking Jaeger in the movie.  I also love the way it moves.  Whether running, fighting, or just standing there, this giant robot looks good.  I’d like to see some more of it fighting.

6: Paul Vitti – Analyze This, Analyze That

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

If you don’t remember these two films, the basic premise of Analyze This involves normally ruthless Mafia boss Paul Vitti becoming overcome with anxiety and seeking therapy, something that’s unheard of for a mob boss.  Analyze That continues the hijinks.  I suppose the premise has a boneheaded 1990s humor vibe.  (A tough guy wants to cry?  Haha! That’s funny, right?) Nevertheless, I did enjoy these two movies when I saw them in 2004. 

The films already tread the line between action and comedy to some extent, but I’d like to see a movie about Vitti under totally normal, untroubled circumstances. He’s clearly infamously brutal; his name certainly generates enough fear in other characters.   I assume the tough front that he maintains around other Mafia people during the movies is what he’s actually been like before Analyze This. 

Basically, I’d like to see a gritty, horrendously violent Mafia movie about Paul Vitti, perhaps involving a war with another crime family, law enforcement, or both.  I think it could be a hell of a movie.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

“I’m feelin’ angry, Doc.  This blogger wants me to make the same damn movie I’ve made so many times, and he don’t even like cheese.”

5: Mr. Chow – Hangover Trilogy

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Okay, we’ve got about the same setup here as for Mr. Vitti in the previous entry.  Mr. Chow is also a career criminal who shows up in a comedy movie.  In this case, Chow is considerably wackier, and the movies overall are much more directly comedic.  But then The Hangover Part III started to tread into the action-y realm a bit… and it seems like not many were pleased.  (Of course, if the third movie had just followed the first movie’s formula as the second had, people would have been pissed at that, too.)

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

“What, Chow not good-looking enough for action movie?”

I, on the other hand, liked the different feel of the third movie and found it to be interesting.  I thought it worked as a low-key action/crime movie.  In general, I think taking characters from an established comedy and throwing them into a suddenly serious situation makes for a fun story.  For example, check out this fan-made trailer for an action-y Seinfeld movie:

I would watch that so hard if it were a real movie.

Okay, back on topic: The first two Hangover films, especially the second one, have already established that Mr. Chow is indeed a veteran criminal.  He handles car chases, shootouts, and standoffs with practiced ease. So, again, I’d be interested in a movie all about Mr. Chow’s criminal activities.  I imagine it’d be filled with sex, drugs, and violence.  In other words, it’d be a perfectly serviceable action movie.

4: Nick Angel – Hot Fuzz

Photo credit: Universal Pictures

I’m getting a little repetitive here.  I’m nominating yet another character from a comedy movie to be in an action movie, and Hot Fuzz already had plenty of action in it.  At least Angel isn’t a criminal like the last two entries. 

In fact, Angel is the polar opposite of a career criminal, being a bona fide supercop.  Seriously, his list of qualifications and achievements is gigantic, and he single-handedly makes the rest of his department look bad.  He’s skilled with weapons, with his bare hands, and even with a bicycle.  He can even plow through paperwork like a machine.

In a movie world, someone with such ability inevitably ends up involved in events bigger and more epic the even the bullet-fest at the end of Hot Fuzz.  I’d like to see that.  The film I imagine would feel like an extra epic Jason Statham movie, but with Simon Pegg.

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Maybe MI6 recruited Angel to infiltrate the IMF.

3: Mike Harrigan – Predator 2

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

I’ve already talked about how much I like Danny Glover’s character in Predator 2, so it’s no surprise that I’d love to see a movie all about him.  I’ll just reiterate the basics:  I love how unbelievably over-the-top Harrigan is.  He’s a loose-cannon cop times 1,000.  He tries to start fights with his superiors, causes tons of collateral damage, and manages to be one of the best cops in the LAPD in spite of all of that.

My desire to see a movie primarily about Harrigan fighting crime stems more from just how much fun he is, however.  In Predator 2, Harrigan has two longtime partners, Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta (also pictured above).   As much as the film probably wasn’t focused on character development, I’ve got to give the actors credit, since I totally believe the camaraderie between these three. 

As far as I’m concerned, a movie about Harrigan, Leona, and Danny fighting ultraviolent drug cartels would be great. Given that Predator 2 ends with Danny dead and Leona probably traumatized as hell, such a film would have to be a prequel.  I wonder how many cuts such a prequel would have to go through just for the MPAA to drop it from an “NC-17” rating to an “R” rating…

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

“I’m gonna have a chat with those assholes.”

2: Gowron – Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: DS9

Paramount Pictures

I wish we got to see more of Gowron in Star Trek.  If you’re not familiar, he becomes leader of the Klingon Empire in TNG and remains so through most of DS9.  His introductory episode reveals that he’s not from any big, prominent family on the Klingon High Council, but he’s a rather accomplished warrior.  I tend to think that means that he rose to his position through a pile of bloodshed.  That fits his general portrayal, as Gowron seems to be well… crazy. 

Also, there are his crazy eyes.  I read somewhere that Robert O’Reilly, who played Gowron in all of his appearances, got the part because of the way he’d flare his eyeballs, and he does a great job at it.

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

I’m supposed to make a joke here, but just look at the eyes.  He’s nuts.

I assume that a TV show or movie with Gowron as the main character would be full of Klingon badassery.  It’d be an odyssey of duels, battles, assassination attempts, bloodwine, honor, dishonor, sneaky political maneuvering, and more duels.  I’m down for that.

1: Elim Garak – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Garak is a former member of the Obsidian Order, an organization that is feared by others in Cardassian society, which is already kind of a rough one to live in.  Basically, Garak is a super-spy.  Well, he was, but he now lives in exile, working as a simple, unassuming tailor on DS9. 

His past is shrouded in mystery, but from what we do learn of it through the series, it was clearly quite interesting.  On top of that, Garak is a fun and exceptionally interesting character.  Writing this, I’m finding myself at a loss for words to describe why I like him, so I’ll just pick these two good moments (out of tons through DS9) to show:

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

I chose two of his more humorous moments, but make no mistake: Garak is quite intelligent, resourceful, and deadly.  He’s an incredible infiltrator and survivor.  Imagine a series following his time with the Obsidian Order.  I think such a series would be awesome, and that’s why Garak is #1 on this list.

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