Let’s take a quick peek behind the draft curtain. Hundreds of emails were exchanged, laments and derision were doled out in equal measure, and we even got sidetracked into a hypothetical draft of movie animals at one point. It’s a testament to the way movies draw us together in a way that no other art form can match. The experience we have when we go to the movies is both communal and solitary. We approach each movie objectively in theory, but really, it can’t be anything but a subjective experience. So we argue about and dissect movies, sharing our own experience with the movies, trying to make people see things our way, and vice versa.
My favorite moviegoing memory: It was during Fantastic Fest at the glorious Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Two hundred-plus people were packed into an auditorium waiting for Uwe Boll’s “Postal” to start. (Seriously, it shows just how incredible it was that a Boll movie had a crowd this amped.) The movie was predictably bad, but the Q&A was the stuff of legend. Boll was on the defensive from the jump, growing more intense and angry with each answer. Some of the questions were asked from a place of authenticity and some, not so much. But the audience was hanging on Boll’s every word, exploding with laughter every few seconds. At one point the film’s star, Zack Ward, had had enough of the perceived mockery and jumped to Boll’s defense, even threatening to fight anyone in the audience that wanted to badmouth the film. It’s the kind of experience that’s hilarious to relive, but really, you had to be in that room, going through the movie and Q&A to understand it. That veers from my original point a bit, but unexpected memories like this are why we go to the movies.
Your general managers
Fantastico, Fantasy Douche, Eddie Strait, Blake Hurtik, Deion Moskal, Kat Gotsick, Rumford Johnny, Ramon Ramirez, Robert Rich, Chris Marler, David Kallison, Ken Griggs, Josh Klein, Sigmund Bloom, Erin Payton, Courtney Cox
#33 Eddie Strait: Derek Zoolander, “Zoolander”
“Zoolander” is my favorite comedy of all time. The walk-off sequence is the height of hilarity. Funeral crashing, gas fights, centers for ants, blackface, the black lung, mer-man, David Duchovny‘s glass-encased hand, Mugatu, “she’s got an egg!”, “I can dere-lick my own balls,” and on and on. So much greatness packed into 90 minutes.[ref]Ed. Note: Yes, we realize this blurb does not say a word about the character Derek Zoolander. Sigh.[/ref]
#34 David Kallison: Ripley, Alien Saga
Ripley is so next-level badass, I’ve been staring at the screen trying to come up with enough adjectives to properly proclaim her power. Not only is she a space officer, she’s a damn smart space officer. She figures out the secret conspiracy aboard the Nostromo, she fights off the alien not once, but twice, and finally sucessfully kills it while saving herself and the CAT. And that’s just in the first fucking movie.
The character of Ripley, remember this was in 1979, changed the very idea of heroines. Ripley was confident, smart, capable, and, most importantly, was completely independent. Her hero journey was rich, compelling, and devoid of a serious romance. Her maternity is explored but not exploited in “Aliens” and themes of motherhood are used in a substantive, genuine way.
The only shitty part of this saga is that few, if any, action female heroes since, have been able to live up to such a badass. Long live Ripley.
#35 Josh Klein: Borat, “Borat”
THIS PICK I LIKE VERY MUCH. Seriously think about this, has any character of the last twenty years inspired more catchphrases and Halloween costumes while exposing the idiocy and racism of America? I know that’s a pretty narrow window, but if i type MY WIFE in all caps, can you hear it any other way but in a Kazakhstani accent? In the first three rounds of this draft, I’ve now secured the villain with the best twist ending, the best superhero in the universe, and a very hairy man who hates Jews. That’s a good core.
#36 Chris Marler: Doc Holliday, “Tombstone”
“I’m your huckleberry.” Easily the most recognizable line from this movie, and delivered by Val Kilmer in an absolutely amazing performance as Doc Holliday. In the early ’90s it seemed like every few months another all-star supercast took part in some futile attempt to make a successful western. However, “Tombstone” stood head and shoulders above a mediocre lot, and Kilmer as Doc was the pinnacle performance of them all. He was the quickest draw as well as the quickest with an insult. He was an absolute G, and he could barely walk. Think Kirk Gibson meets John Wayne. Also, the huckleberry line wasn’t even his best of the movie. That came with his hilariously accurate description of his “girlfriend” when he said, “It’s true, you are a good woman. Then again, you may be the Anti-Christ.”
#37 Ramon Ramirez: Darth Vader, The “Star Wars” saga
I took James Bond over Ripley in Round 2. I should have read my competitors better. I do not own the rights to Sigourney Weaver’s most alien intensive efforts as a result. So the reply all messages stack and I’m on the clock again before I can process the loss of my token woman. I realize that making the top woman on my draft board a character that is masculine and combative is sexist. “Star Wars” doesn’t mean anything to me because I am over the age of 13. But Darth Vader is the number one overall villain in terms of iconography and merchandising. This is like when someone drafts Calvin Johnson in the second round of fantasy football drafts: You got a stud running back early but the snake came back and you’re not sold on Alfred Morris’ sophomore outlooks. Receiver is such a deep position but Christ, Megatron is right there. You let the emotional upvote of owning the imagery steer you in the wrong direction. Reflecting on this cold-blooded pick, James Earl Jones made the whole thing matter and it’s great to harbor the voice that would make Mufasa sing. In the films, the intentionally dramatic Vader hand gestures existed for conversational cues and without Jones’ booming tones it’s Power Rangers-silly. Darth Vader is on the trading block if anyone’s interested.
#38 Kat Gotsick: Rooster Cogburn, “True Grit” / “Rooster Cogburn”
Rooster Cogburn is such an unimpeachably amazing character that two different actors played the exact same role with virtually the exact same dialogue and they were both nominated for Best Actor Academy Awards. Three cheers![ref]A frequent Kim Darby compliment. Side note: Mia Farrow was supposed to play that role, but lost it when she asked the producers to replace Henry Hathaway with Roman Polanski. Can you imagine?[/ref]
#39 Ken Griggs: Bill the Butcher, “Gangs of New York”
The best part of this pick was getting an immediate message back from Rumford Johnny that I had stolen his guy. The funniest part was I had it narrowed to the Butcher and Jules Winfield, who Rummy ended up choosing. Up to the point of “Gangs of New York” Daniel Day-Lewis hadn’t truly let the crazy out of the bag yet. This movie post-dated “There Will Be Blood”—”I drink it up!” might be on my tombstone—and so I think this marks a vital point in his career. He proved in this role how disturbingly creepy he can be. And if you have the ability to all but upstage Leonardo DiCaprio, you’re probably worthy of any and all praise you get. I wonder who would’ve have won a fight between the Butcher and Abe Lincoln? Probably Tyler Durden.
#40 Rumford Johnny: Jules Winfield, “Pulp Fiction”
Griggs was right, he swiped Bill the Butcher right from under me, but by no means is Mr. Winfield a consolation prize. Part philosopher, part assassin, he’s the archangel with Jheri curls. A funky Confucius with a gat pointed at your head.
#41 Fantasy Douche: Roy Batty, “Blade Runner”
After I picked Roy Batty I realized that I was three for three in picking genius outlaws. All of Will Munny, Neil McCauley, and Batty work outside the rule of law and they all prove to be the smartest people on screen in their respective films. I guess that probably says something about what I like to see in a character. Batty spends the least amount of time on screen of any of my picks, but he delivers some unbelievable lines and by the end of “Blade Runner” he’s the de facto hero. Nothing is better than Batty’s confrontation with his maker, Dr. Tyrell, where Batty tells him “I want more life fucker.” The word fucker becomes father in some releases of the film, which totally undoes its meaning. The whole point of the line and the whole point of Batty’s character is that in the relationship between creation and maker, the maker doesn’t necessarily occupy the moral high ground.
#42 Blake Hurtik: Clark W. Griswold, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series
“Christmas Vacation” is my favorite movie. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and nostalgic and sad. And it’s hilarious thanks to Clark W. Griswold. Clark is the American Every Man. All he wants to do is provide his family with perfect all-American experiences, which, through endless comic catastrophes, he discovers really aren’t achievable. But it’s the fact that he tries that counts. In the original “Vacation,” he holds John Candy hostage while taking his family to goddamn Wally World after an insane cross-country drive/death march. In “Christmas Vacation,” he takes on the in-laws to host a “good old-fashioned family Christmas” only to discover that families are kind of giant pains in the ass. But at least they’re all under the same room to see the holiday devolve into squirrel-y, kidnap-y madness. “Vegas Vacation” is OK. “European Vacation” is generally unwatchable. Fact is, if you’re a kid from the suburbs, odds are that Clark W. Griswold is YOUR dad. That makes him one of the best characters.
#43 Deion Moskal: Patrick Bateman, “American Psycho”
Bret Easton Ellis does a brilliant job of exploring the greed, excess, and materialism of 1980s Wall Street and combining it with a strangely comedic serial killer. Bateman shares a lot of characteristics with Don Draper. They both look fantastic in a suit. They both have spent their professional lives hiding who they are. They are both wildly self-destructive. They both hate most everybody they work with. But my favorite characteristic of the two is the special and very real love and respect they feel for their secretaries. Bateman with Jean and Draper with Peggy and later Dawn.
#44 Courtney Cox: Hannibal Lecter, “Silence of the Lambs” (auto-draft)
What kind of team is this? I’m never auto-drafting again. Hannibal Lecter has to be one of the creepiest, scariest villain types of all time. Anthony Hopkins played the most famous cannibal, creating more word play around eating people than I thought was humanly possible.
#45 Fantastico: Randy the Ram Robinson, “The Wrestler”
I had Bill the Butcher and/or Doc Holliday lined up for this pick, but did I panic? No, I calmly got one of the besties on the board. No one on the planet could have done this role. A guy who lives in his van rocking out with strippers and ’80s hair metal playing as himself in video games? God Bless America. I had a hard time separating great actors and roles, so I wanted to get a stable of stallions. Here’s my WYLD one. The scene where he gives Marisa Tomei the why I do what I do, only to have Guns and Roses blast as he tears open the curtain. Tears, bros. That was my childhood in 10 minutes. Except maybe the stripper part. Maybe.
#46 Robert Rich: Alex Delarge, “A Clockwork Orange”
Three rounds in, and I’m two-deep on Stanley Kubrick. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you, just shocking that I’ve been able to grab two of the greatest characters in film in three rounds without so much as a sniff from the other competitors. Jackwagons. Alex Delarge helps us realize that a little bit of the old ultra violence isn’t such a bad thing from time to time. Delarge’s brutality, done whilst toting a sweet cane and wearing a ballin’ codpiece, is set to classical music, and we are left to be confused as to what the hell we should feel by his actions. The fact that we even hesitate is a testament to the character. But then he breaks into a house and rapes someone. Nope, definitely a bad guy. Delarge is the gang member mentality touched by class. He’s still full of misguided notions about the world and what he’s entitled to and what people deserve, but he has a sense of debonair ease about him as well. He’s a cultured man, just sickened by what our little planet has turned into. And he’s also victim to one of the most badass uses of immersion therapy we’ve yet seen.
#47 Erin Payton: Lisbeth Salander, The “Dragon Tattoo” Trilogy
Not to ‘Uma . . . Oprah‘ this selection, but what other character has been played by better named actresses? Noomi . . . Rooney. Rooney. . . Noomi. While each brings a different edge to the character, both Lisbeths portray Stieg Larsson‘s creation beautifully. Salander is such a perfect mix of vulnerability and steel. And it is important (yes, still important in 2013) to see a woman who is both brilliant and fearless. She makes me want to dye my hair black, buy a motorcycle, and swindle a billionaire out of his fortune.
#48 Sigmund Bloom: Clementine Kruczynski, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
Clementine was a premium pick on my board because she is the anti-manic pixie dream girl. She even tells Joel that she isn’t going to save him or change his life, she has her own messed up life to lead. This character directly battles the typical female characters that only exist in relation to male characters (Bechdel Test, anyone?), and for that alone it is a great character. On top of that, Kate Winslet pulls off the mind-bending task of playing a character that is a combination of the character herself and the way the character is perceived in the mind of another character. Many of Clementine’s scenes take place inside of Joel’s mind, and Winslet is able to handle the very subtle differences of that shift and the fractured timeline and progress of her character, which are mainly marked by changes in her hair color. A real woman, with real strengths and weakness and complexity, acting as the heart of this wonderful meditation on the fluid nature of time, memory, identity, and love.
The Teams After 3 Rounds
1. Marty McFly, “Back to the Future”
2. Woody, “Toy Story”
3. Derek Zoolander, “Zoolander”
1. Han Solo, “Star Wars” trilogy
2. Vito Corleone, “The Godfather” Trilogy
3. Ripley, The Aliens Saga
1. Keyser Soze, “Usual Suspects”
2. Batman, Multiple
3. Borat, “Borat”
1. Forrest Gump, “Forrest Gump”
2. Dalton, “Road House”
3. Doc Holliday, “Tombstone”
1. Dr. Peter Venkman, “Ghostbusters”
2. James Bond, Multiple
3. Darth Vader, The Star Wars Saga
1. Wooderson, “Dazed and Confused”
2. Lina Lamont, “Singin’ in the Rain”
3. Rooster Cogburn, “True Grit” / “Rooster Cogburn”
1. The Dude/Jeffrey Lebowski, “The Big Lebowski”
2. Rick Blaine, “Casablanca”
3. Bill the Butcher, “Gangs of New York”
1. “Cool Hand” Luke, “Cool Hand Luke”
2. McMurphy, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
3. Jules Winnfield, “Pulp Fiction”
1. William Munny, “Unforgiven”
2. Neil McCauley, “Heat”
3. Roy Batty, “Blade Runner”
1. Andy Dufresne, “Shawshank Redemption”
2. Ferris Bueller, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
3. Clark Griswold, The Vacation Series
1. John McClane, “Die Hard”
2. Special Agent Johnny Utah, “Point Break”
3. Patrick Bateman, “American Psycho”
1. Atticus Finch, “To Kill A Mockingbird” (auto-draft)
2. Gale Weathers, “Scream” (auto-draft)
3. Hannibal Lecter, “Silence of the Lambs” (auto-draft)
1. Gollum, “Lord of the Rings”
2. The Joker, Multiple
3. Randy the Ram Robinson, “The Wrestler”
1. Tyler Durden, “Fight Club”
2. Jack Torrance, “The Shining”
3. Alex Delarge, “A Clockwork Orange”
1. Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels, “Tootsie”
2. Indiana Jones, Multiple
3. Lisbeth Salander, The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
1. Anton Chigurh, “No Country For Old Men”
2. Navin Johnson, “The Jerk”
3. Clementine Kruczynski, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”