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Best bad guys

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Stephen Smith
Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:42:06 pm

I had a conversation about Biff from Back to the Future the other day and I think he is my favorite "Bad Guy" or should I say "antagonist". Everyone new that guy in middle school or high-school. Who would be on your list of the best bad guys ever.

-Darth Vader, he is probably the most quoted and famous bad guys.

-Dr. Evil, funniest bad guy.

-Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was one really smart bad guy and Jared Harris did a great job.

How about the new Joker.

Who is on your list?

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Scott Roberts
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:37:14 pm

I've always been a fan of the smarmy, authoritative comedy villain...




























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Jeff Breuer
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 5:39:32 pm

Stephen - great discussion topic! Scott, good choices, especially The Breakfast Club scene, great scene, all great characters.

I love engaging villains with depth. I think the best bad guys aren't just out to rule the world (Dr. Evil excluded) or are simply really, really selfish people. But bad guys you can almost understand or sympathize with, think Gollum in LOTR or Captain Barbosa in Pirates. Both are rich, dynamic and entertaining characters that you have an understanding for. Certainly Gollums character arc, and when Barbosa dies and finally feels something, I suddenly empathize with him. And, may I not forget, both fabulously acted.

In fact some bad guys, though we aren't made to have any sympathy for them are just so well written and so well acted they need to be noted. Roles such as Heath Ledger in Batman (As Stephen pointed out), Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Bastards, Denzel Washington in Training Day and one of the few, if only, performances to steal every scene away from Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon in River Wild.

I also love unique characters that are complicated, hard to figure out, but are very entertaining in the process. Though they take you for a ride, when you have a second viewing of the film you can see that the performance is solid and coherent throughout. I'm thinking of Johnny Depp in Pirates, Tom Cruise in Collateral, Guy Pierce in Memento and Claude Rains in Casablanca.

And then there are bad guy movies where we still have a protagonist, but essentially everyone is a bad guy to some degree. But everything plays out like an orchestra - The Godfather, Unforgiven and 9/10 of every Scorsese movies.

And finally I need to mention Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler in Downfall. Creepiest movie every. There first scene creates sympathy for Hitler and goes crazy from there. And great performance. If people can get past all of the parodies of his performance, it should be in every villain list.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:37:33 pm

Alan Rickman in Die Hard. I win! LOL


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Stephen Smith
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:31:53 pm

Tim, Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.

I loved the Simpson episode with Hank Scorpio, what great writing.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:12:03 pm

Hank Scorpio was a pretty cool villain...







A really well-composed villain is internally consistent and logical; he's got dreams, emotions, goals like anyone, but chooses a different way to reach the goals and express the emotions that's outside of our normal boundaries.

I liked Alan Rickman as hand Gruber in Die HArd...







Nurse Rached in Cookoo's Nest...

Patric McGoohan's Longshanks in Braveheart...

Gene Hackman's "Little Bill" in Unforgiven...

Philip Seymoure Hoffman in MI-III

Rutger Haur in BladeRunner...


But here, let's have two great authorities weigh in...













A villain that does bad things, just to do them, without any reason, is not nearly as interesting. In many if not most horror films, the killer has no more "reason" to kill than a rabid animal does. You can't relate to it on any human level. You survive it like you survive an animal attack or sudden dangerous weather phenomena.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Best bad guys
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:33:16 am

Gerard Butler as the phantom of the opera.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

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