My Favorite Screen Villains

“A hero is a hero, but everybody loves a great villain.” — Ferb Fletcher

A while back, I did a post outlining some of my favorite characters from movies and TV. At the end of that post, I said that I might do a similar one in the future, like favorite side characters or favorite villains.

Today, I’m doing the latter!

Like last time, this is a list of ten characters, but it’s not technically a “Top Ten” list. It’s in no particular order, and I’m limiting myself to one character from each franchise. So, without further ado, my favorite screen villains!

Darth Vader (Star Wars saga)

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“If only you knew the POWER of the dark side!”

What better way to start off the list than with one of the most iconic villains of all time? There’s really no explanation needed. The mask, the lightsaber, the mechanical breathing, the voice, the theme music, the story — everything about Darth Vader is just fantastic. And I hear he’s going to make an appearance in Rogue One, so that’s exciting!

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Phineas and Ferb)

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Wait! Doof gets to be on both lists? You’d better believe it! No further explanation necessary.

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Discord (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

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[maniacal laugh]

This asymmetrical combination of several animals is the spirit of chaos. He loves toying with people (er, ponies), sowing the seeds of confusion and enmity while having a blast doing it. He’s also hilarious, even after he’s converted to the good side (spoiler alert for a show about cartoon horses, lol).

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“You’re a wizard, Twilight!”

Hades (Hercules)

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This guy has got to be my favorite Disney villain. Anyone who’s seen the movie knows that this fast-talking trickster is a blast to watch, especially when he goes on one of his rages. I crack up every time.

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Gollum (The Lord of the Rings)

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One of the most fascinating villains on this list. You’ve all seen the movies and/or read the books (or, at least, you’d better have), so I don’t need to explain. Have a GIF instead!

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“Not listening. I’m not listening!”

Vizzini (The Princess Bride)

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Another one that doesn’t really need any explanation.

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Vector (Despicable Me)

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This guy really isn’t all that threatening, and he’s such a dork. But that’s probably why I like him so much. How can you not like a guy who makes a piranha gun and a squid launcher?

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“Oh yeeeeeeaaaah!”

Voldemort (Harry Potter)

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Sure, maybe Voldy could have been done better overall in the films. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still one of the most interesting baddies I’ve ever found. He’s less bent on world domination and more focused on his fear of dying — heck, his name even roughly translates to “flight from death!” And no one gives better hugs, either. Kind of.

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#anotherawkwardmoment

Lord Business (The LEGO Movie)

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Sometimes a villain strikes a great balance between being threatening, hilarious, and even a bit sympathetic. This guy is a great example!

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“The ‘S’ is silent.”

Bill Cipher (Gravity Falls)

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This “all-seeing eye” lookalike is not only the best villain of any kids’ show I’ve seen, he’s one of the best villains I’ve ever seen ever. Sometimes he’s mysterious, sometimes he’s hilarious, and sometimes he’s downright terrifying. And show creator Alex Hirsch absolutely nails his voice. Pictures and GIFs can only do this guy partial justice — you need to see him in action to see why he’s one of my favorites.

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And that’s it! What’d ya think? Did I forget any villains that you’re particularly fond of? Let me know in the comments!

See you next time!

My Favorite Screen Characters

Hey, all! I’ve been tagged by Christine over at Musings of an Elf to do a post listing my ten favorite screen characters (from movies and TV shows).

Will this be impossible?

Absolutely. Which is why I’m going to cheat a little bit. (Don’t give me that look!)

Rather than actually try to narrow down a legitimate top ten list, I’m simply going to pick some of my favorite shows and movies and pick my favorite character from each (or one of them, if it’s too hard to choose one favorite character).

Yes, I know. I’m pathetic. Don’t judge me. :P

ANYWAY! Let’s do this thing. In no particular order, THE CHARACTERS!

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Phineas and Ferb)

"And I shall take over the entire Tri-State Area!!!"

“And I shall take over the entire Tri-State Area!!!”

Phineas and Ferb is my favorite show, and I’ve got to say that Doofenshmirtz is my favorite character from it. Everything about this guy makes me laugh: his voice, his outrageous evil schemes, his cluelessness about everyday things . . . for instance, one of my favorite moments from him is when he “invents” a vehicle that is “like a car, but it can drive on the surface of water!” He calls it the BO-AT (“BOH – at”), which stands for Buoyancy Operated Aquatic Transport.

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I nearly gave myself a hernia from laughing so hard the first time I saw this. And believe me, there is PLENTY more where that came from. What a character.

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Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

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Pinkamena Diane Pie, more commonly known as Pinkie Pie (or just Pinkie) is a blast to watch. She’s friendly, fun, sometimes over-the-top crazy, and often hilarious, taking a lot of cues from cartoons like Looney Tunes with her physics-defying antics and fourth-wall breaks.

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Besides her humor, she’s great because she’s always on the lookout for ways to make her friends happy. That’s her number one goal in life: to make others smile. And that’s pretty awesome.

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Mabel Pines (Gravity Falls)

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All of the main characters of Gravity Falls are fantastic, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be Mabel. She’s funny, she’s adorkable, and she’s always looking on the bright side of things. Observe:

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Yup. With her plethora of colorful sweaters, her pet pig, and her braces, Mabel is a joy to watch in every episode.

Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter films 5-8)

I'm not quite sure, but I THINK Luna is supporting Gryffindor in today's Quidditch match.

I’m not quite sure, but I THINK Luna is supporting Gryffindor in today’s Quidditch match.

Moving on from TV shows to movies, it’s everyone’s favorite Ravenclaw! Well, at least mine. Now, if we weren’t talking specifically about screen characters, I probably would have mentioned a different character as my favorite from Harry Potter (probably Harry himself). However, I felt that a lot of the characters in the movies weren’t quite right. Luna, though, is about as close to perfect as you can get in terms of casting.

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Forget the casting, though — this character is awesome! She seems quite odd to most of the other characters, what with her “not quite all there” kind of personality, her strange fashion sense, and how she speaks her mind no matter how others might react. But looking past her eccentricity, you can find a girl who’s perhaps more loyal and kind a friend than any other. In the words of Ron Weasley:

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Han Solo (Star Wars original trilogy)

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Star Wars has so many great characters, this one was tough. But it’s hard not to love the arrogant, smart-talking smuggler whose heart of gold eventually wins out over his selfishness in the end. He’s funny, he’s brave, and his romance with Princess Leia is . . . well, I don’t have to explain it, really.

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Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)

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Again, LOTR has many amazing characters. But Sam definitely takes the cake for me. Not only is he funny, he’s an exceedingly courageous hobbit, and stubbornly loyal. Without him, Frodo would never have gotten anywhere near Mordor, let alone managed to destroy the Ring. Devoted and caring, everyone should have a friend like Sam.

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Dory (Finding Nemo)

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My favorite character from the movie, and quite possibly my favorite Pixar character. Dory, as we all know, is a lovable blue tang with an unfortunate tendency to forget things almost instantly. The results are always hilarious, and people still quote her these days, more than a decade after the movie was released. If that’s not a memorable character, I don’t know what is. (Also, fingers crossed that Finding Dory will actually be good!)

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Benny (The LEGO Movie)

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It was a close call between this guy and Princess Unikitty, but I think Benny is my favorite character from The LEGO Movie — and that’s saying something, what with it being one of my favorite movies and all. There’s really not much to him, honestly — he’s a nice, fun, enthusiastic guy, and . . . well, he really, really loves spaceships. And building spaceships. And flying spaceships.

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Let me tell you, that part had me rolling in my seat without the ability to breathe. And that’s really all I’ve got to say about Benny. He’s the definition of entertaining.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean series)

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While not all the Pirates movies are great, this guy is the best character in each one of them. Never before I saw these movies did I think a pirate could be this funny. Much like Dory, he’s massively quotable, both for humor and for unexpected wisdom. Here, have a few.

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Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park)

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Malcolm is my favorite character from this movie. Why? Do I really need to explain?

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In his own words: “Uh . . . well, there it is.”


*exhales deeply* Whew! That took a while.

Just as a reminder, no, this is not necessarily my actual top ten favorite screen characters of all time. This is just a sampling of some of my favorite screen characters from across the board. If I was to actually narrow it down to my actual top ten . . . well, let’s just say that post would never actually get written, because I would have spontaneously combusted trying to decide. *nods*

I think I’d like to do another list soon! Perhaps my favorite villains next, or favorite side characters. We’ll see.

Hope you guys enjoyed this list, and see you next week!

Ranking the “Star Wars” Films

I’ve been a Star Wars fan almost since I can remember. I’m pretty sure I was five years old when I first saw the original film, and I was absolutely mesmerized. Over the course of a few more years, I saw the rest of the original trilogy, followed by the prequels.

I think all of the films are worth seeing at least once, but of course some of them are better than others (in some cases, much better). I thought it might be fun to make a post with my personal ranking of the current six films, from worst to best. Let’s begin!

6. The Phantom Menace (1999)

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By far the most widely disliked Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace is definitely the weakest of the saga. Just as a few examples: the film as a whole needed a rewrite, it suffers from a significant amount of stale acting, and it tried too hard at times to be funny (I’m looking at you, Jar-Jar). It’s not without its merits, though. It has several exciting sequences, not the least of which is the thrilling duel with Darth Maul toward the end. If only they hadn’t killed him (and Qui-Gon, for that matter) off so quickly.

5. Attack of the Clones (2002)

The second prequel is definitely better than the first, though it still suffers from many of the same problems, along with the added one of the cheesy romance between Anakin and Padme.

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On the plus side, though, it’s got a more interesting plotline than its predecessor, has better humor, and a pretty sweet lightsaber duel between Yoda and Count Dooku.

4. Return of the Jedi (1983)

This film was overall a very satisfying conclusion to the series, mostly due to Darth Vader’s moving conversion before his death. On the other hand, it has its issues — it’s probably the cheesiest of the original trilogy, mostly due to the Ewoks (I’m sorry, but they were just a little over the top for me), and I have to admit that the whole “second Death Star” thing just felt like lazy writing to me. Oh, and they killed off Boba Fett way too soon. Just sayin’.

3. Revenge of the Sith (2005)

This one is the best of the prequel trilogy. The cheesiness, clumsy writing, and so-so acting are not as prevalent this time, so they don’t detract as much from an enjoyable film experience. In addition, this film tells the tragic story of Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader and the birth of the Galactic Empire very well overall.

2. Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977)
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The original film is still one of the very best. Sure, it has issues — Leia’s on-and-off British accent along with some other so-so acting, some cheesy writing, and dated visual effects. But it tells a very exciting story of a small group of rebels having their first major victory against the Empire, and the beginning of a new era for the characters.
1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
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This is it — the best current Star Wars film. It improved on its predecessor in pretty much every way — overall filmmaking quality, acting, story, etc. It’s the funniest of the films, thanks mostly to Han and Leia’s banter and C-3PO. At the same time, it’s a darker story in which Luke must figure out who his worst enemy is: Darth Vader… or himself? And while it ends on a seemingly hopeless note, with Han in carbonite and Luke agonizing over Vader’s true identity, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Well, there you have it! That’s my list of my opinions. So what are your opinions? How would you rank the films? Also, what are your hopes/expectations for Episode VII?

 

My Top 5 Favorite Legend of Zelda Games

So, I think by this point just about everyone knows that I’m a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda video game series by Nintendo. I mean, come on — one look through my past profile pictures on Facebook will tell anyone that. There are many reasons why I enjoy them so much: an excellent balance of combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving; a variety of graphical styles across the series; wonderful music; themes of heroism and courage; etc. So, I thought I’d make my first real post on my blog a list of my top 5 favorite games in the Zelda series.

I’ve played many of the games, but there are still a few titles that I haven’t gotten to yet, and I’m also currently in the middle of one. Thus, this list may change in time. For now, though, my current top five favorite Zelda games!

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992, SNES)

I just recently played and beat this one for the first time not too long ago. It was the third entry in the series, and one that set the groundwork for every Zelda game that would come after it. It’s quite a challenging game in more ways than one, but the difficulty is perfectly balanced, so you almost never feel like throwing your controller down in rage — instead, you grit your teeth and try, try again until you finally succeed, and it makes you feel completely awesometastic. I’m very glad to have had the privilege of playing it, even more than twenty years after its original release. Ah, the wonders of technology.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000, N64)

Confession time: I absolutely hated this game when I first started playing it. Well, not immediately — the first couple of hours or so were quite compelling. But after that, I was almost forcing myself to keep playing. In the game, Link’s mission was to save Clock Town from being flattened by the quickly sinking moon within three days. So, for the first time in a Zelda game, the player was under the constraint of a time limit. I was not used to this, and I hadn’t yet discovered every way to manipulate the limit… so I cheated and looked a few things up on the Internet. This helped a lot, though, and once I’d gotten used to the rhythms of the game I was really drawn in. Many consider Majora’s Mask to be the best of the series, and while I don’t agree, it’s pretty high up on my list. Fantastic game.

3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002, Gamecube)

When this game was first released, many criticized it for its bright, cartoony art style which deviated from every Zelda game before it. In doing so, they overlooked one of the very best games in the series. I happen to love the art style, and the game itself is spectacular: the story, the music, the secrets — everything! This time, the kingdom of Hyrule was covered by a vast sea dotted with many islands to explore, and so a sailing element became a big part of the adventure, and quite a welcome one in my book. I look forward to playing the HD re-release of this one once I get a Wii U.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006, Wii/Gamecube)

I still clearly remember the first time I played this game — it was with a great friend of mine at a sleepover, and it was a completely new game to both of us (it was also my friend’s first Zelda game, while I had already played two or three of the games before). We were hooked from just about the very beginning, drawn into the world that was being covered in the dark curtain of twilight and compelled to do everything in our power to save it. Hyrule is huge in this entry, and packed with things to do and discover. At the same time, the main quest is wonderfully absorbing, fascinating, and challenging. It’s no wonder many people call this one their favorite Zelda game.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011, Wii)

This game floored me. The visual style, the 1:1 motion controls, the fully orchestrated music, the amazing dungeon designs, the boss fights, the story — this game was close to perfect in my book. The ending was so exciting that I actually jumped up off the couch and swung the Wii remote and nunchuck down for the final blow to the final boss. While this game is both praised and criticized by the Zelda fanbase pretty equally, it is hands-down my favorite title thus far. I can’t wait to play it again.


 

Well, there you have it! If you haven’t played a Zelda game before or you just haven’t gotten around to some of the titles on this list, I urge you to check them out!