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Wiendish Fitch

Because I'm Eeeee-viiilllllll: The Villains Thread

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16 hours ago, QueerGirrl said:

Off topic but I miss Raul Julia so much.  He was my favorite actor for a long time.

To bring it back on topic:

As sick as he was, he still brought the goods.

Edited by AimingforYoko
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How about Amy Elliot Dunne in Gone Girl? Now there was a bitch you don't want to cross. At the same time, you kind of have to admire her ability to plan ahead to to even the tiniest detail.

And I think President Snow in Hunger Games deserves a mention. Donald Sutherland plays a great villain, and I also liked how when it came to his interactions with Katniss he basically decided to cut the usual bullshit and get the point about what he wanted from her and what would happen if she couldn't deliver.

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On 10/6/2019 at 11:16 AM, Spartan Girl said:

How about Amy Elliot Dunne in Gone Girl? Now there was a bitch you don't want to cross. At the same time, you kind of have to admire her ability to plan ahead to to even the tiniest detail.

And I think President Snow in Hunger Games deserves a mention. Donald Sutherland plays a great villain, and I also liked how when it came to his interactions with Katniss he basically decided to cut the usual bullshit and get the point about what he wanted from her and what would happen if she couldn't deliver.

I find Amy to be a good villian, but not a great.  She has a lot going for her, her plan to frame Nick is amazing when you break it down.  I loved the detail of her taking the items she bought and making sure Nick's fingerprints are on all of them while Nick is sleeping.  I did like when her money is stolen because she lacks the necessary street smarts in her situation.  The way she handles Desi is deliciously evil.  But she does all of this and still ends up with Nick.  In fact, she ends up engineering their situation so that neither can ever leave the other one.  She is stuck living with a man who she cannot stand and who is beneath her.

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On 10/7/2019 at 3:38 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:

She is stuck living with a man who she cannot stand and who is beneath her.

In the book though, they make it clear that Amy is won over by Nick because of the interview he gives about the marriage because he tries to act the part of the romantic, dutiful husband.  She doesn't care if that's who he really is, as long as they both pretend that he is. The scene where she's making crepes in the movie is a nod to the book, where Nick does his interview and there's this made-up detail about how they have crepes for a romantic morning breakfast. In short, Nick agrees to become a prop and accessory for Amazing Amy's amazing life and that's enough for her. I really wouldn't be shocked if she pushed him into politics at some point. She strikes me as someone that would be a great politician's wife.

I did think she was a massive idiot around Boyd Holbrook's character. She deserved to get robbed.

Edited by methodwriter85
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22 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

I did think she was a massive idiot around Boyd Holbrook's character. She deserved to get robbed.

And if we draw a direct line between that and what she does to Desi, she kills him because she got surprised, taken unaware by two hicks who realized she "wasn't used to being hit." Desi made the mistake of thinking he could get her to do what he wanted through blackmail, only Amy had already been outwitted by people who (in her mind, anyway) shouldn't have been able to get away with it. She wasn't going to let it happen twice.

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Damien from The Omen was much scarier when it was left ambiguous whether he knew he was the AntiChrist. Because throughout the whole movie, he mostly acted like a regular kid. And other than the part where he knocked his mother off with his bike and watched her fall off the stairs, there was nothing overtly evil about him. At least until the sequels and remake ruined that.

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11 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Damien from The Omen was much scarier when it was left ambiguous whether he knew he was the AntiChrist. Because throughout the whole movie, he mostly acted like a regular kid. And other than the part where he knocked his mother off with his bike and watched her fall off the stairs, there was nothing overtly evil about him. At least until the sequels and remake ruined that.

 I think there's an aversion to ambiguity nowadays that's truly frustrating. It brings to mind the horrific 2012 version of The Lorax, where we not only see the Once-ler's face (yeah, I'm still grumbling about that, so what?!?!), but his whole damn family, and "wah, wah, wah, his family is mean and he just wants their approval!" (damn you, unnecessary backstories!). What made the book and the 70's animated special powerful was how eerily mysterious the Once-ler was; we didn't know what he looked like, what his species was, we knew practically nothing about him. 

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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Damien from The Omen was much scarier when it was left ambiguous whether he knew he was the AntiChrist. Because throughout the whole movie, he mostly acted like a regular kid. And other than the part where he knocked his mother off with his bike and watched her fall off the stairs, there was nothing overtly evil about him. At least until the sequels and remake ruined that.

Agreed. Even the scene with the bike could read ambiguous-sure, we know the darker intent there, but to somebody who doesn't, they'd just see a kid not being careful enough about where they're playing*. And he's too small to be able to help pull his mom back over the banister, so there's not much he could do at that moment to help her (aside from cry out, perhaps, but even then...). 

*On that note, if The Omen and The Shining have taught me anything, it's that kids riding tricycles around the place always signals serious trouble.

(Also, I love how, at the beginning of the movie, everyone was all, "Oh, let's just give this woman a baby and tell her it's her biological kid. She won't know the difference!" Uh, yeah, she will.)

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Since I'm getting in the Halloween spirit, let's talk about a few more horror movie villains:

Chris and her gang from Carrie were horrible, horrible people. It's the perfect movie for mob mentality, the way they went after Carrie for no other reason than she was sheltered and had an abusive nut job mother. No matter how much Carrie tried to fit in, they would never stop torturing her. The prom night stunt was the last straw. You could argue that not everyone deserved to be killed at prom, but Norma that tacky bitch who had the gall to wear a baseball cap to the prom while laughing at Carrie when the beautiful gown she worked her fingers to the bone on was drenched in blood? She. Had. It. Coming. And Chris too, but that goes without saying.

I also want to mention Billy and his mom in the first two Scream movies. @Wiendish Fitch was right when Billy had that great line about it been scarier without motives, but let's not forget he DID have a motive with Sydney's mom, because she broke up his parents' marriage. And then his mom became the killer in the sequel to avenge Billy. Except...Billy was really HER her fault, since she abandoned him. Why didn't she just take him with her, or better yet, just kick the dad out?! So yeah, there's an example of a motive falling flat.

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Chris and her gang from Carrie were horrible, horrible people. It's the perfect movie for mob mentality, the way they went after Carrie for no other reason than she was sheltered and had an abusive nut job mother. No matter how much Carrie tried to fit in, they would never stop torturing her. The prom night stunt was the last straw. You could argue that not everyone deserved to be killed at prom, but Norma that tacky bitch who had the gall to wear a baseball cap to the prom while laughing at Carrie when the beautiful gown she worked her fingers to the bone on was drenched in blood? She. Had. It. Coming. And Chris too, but that goes without saying.

Chris Hargensen is in my top 10 villains list, a sociopathic uber-bitch to the core. Not only that, as it's been pointed out elsewhere, Chris was also a filthy coward: Miss Collins is the reason she was barred from prom, not Carrie, but Chris targeted Carrie because she was weaker. Come to think of it, Chris resembles too many public figures nowadays in that she directs her anger at the victims of her wrongdoings. 

And I loathed Norma (most evil lackeys arouse my ire). If I were Carrie, I'd use my powers to twist that detestable red baseball cap good and tight and jam it down Norma's vile throat (but her comeuppance in the movie is good enough). 

Honorable mention to Billy, for being gleefully complicit in the crime and being a trashy, repulsive dude-bro who all girls should avoid like the plague.

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3 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Norma that tacky bitch who had the gall to wear a baseball cap to the prom while laughing at Carrie when the beautiful gown she worked her fingers to the bone on was drenched in blood? She. Had. It. Coming. 

Thanks, now that "Cell Block Tango" song from Chicago is going through my head :p. 

But yeah, agreed on your thoughts on her and Chris. 

Quote

I also want to mention Billy and his mom in the first two Scream movies. @Wiendish Fitch was right when Billy had that great line about it been scarier without motives, but let's not forget he DID have a motive with Sydney's mom, because she broke up his parents' marriage. 

Funny thing with Billy, even before the reveal with him at the end, I never liked him. At best he still would've come off like a sleazy creep. 

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14 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Come to think of it, Chris resembles too many public figures nowadays in that she directs her anger at the victims of her wrongdoings. 

Don't ya just hate that?  (I sure do)

14 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Honorable mention to Billy, for being gleefully complicit in the crime and being a trashy, repulsive dude-bro who all girls should avoid like the plague.

In the book and the remake(s), Billy is a much more psychopathic character.  John Travolta's version was repulsive too, but he came off  more as another one of Chris' stooges.

Now about the other Billy from Scream...

12 hours ago, Annber03 said:

Funny thing with Billy, even before the reveal with him at the end, I never liked him. At best he still would've come off like a sleazy creep. 

Seriously.  There were so many red flags about him in the beginning, primarily that his main gripe was how Sydney wouldn't sleep with him and hadn't gotten over her mother's death after only ONE YEAR.  Even before he was revealed to be the killer, I really don't know what Sydney saw in him.

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Carl. From Ghost. Manipulative, gaslighting, murdering ARSEHOLE also: HAD.IT.COMING. I know I cheered and clapped when those...things from HELL, came for him and dragged him away, while his soul screamed. 

But I much prefer it when Tony Goldwyn plays a good guy. Ya know?😜

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On that note, Doyle from Sling Blade. Just because his sort of evil is so mundane, the kind that quietly ruins lives just by being close by, and I super-enjoyed him getting his comeuppance, mostly because he clearly didn't expect Karl to go through with it.
 

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1 minute ago, kiddo82 said:

The hobbling scene scarred me for life.

It had the same effect on Paul Sheldon! LOL!!!

*Deafening silence, one or two awkward coughs*

I'll go now.

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18 minutes ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

It had the same effect on Paul Sheldon! LOL!!!

*Deafening silence, one or two awkward coughs*

I'll go now.

Hiyooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

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12 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

The hobbling scene scarred me for life.

It was worse in the book because she actually cut off his foot. And his thumb.

If I may get back to Carrie for a sec, I think we ought to consider Carrie White as villain apologia done right. Yes, most of us consider her a tragic victim more than an actual villain, but...she DOES kill people. Some of whom tried to be nice to her, like Miss Collins. The original film does make it ambiguous whether or not she knew what she was doing or how much control she had of her powers, but the book was more explicit: Stephen King didn't sugarcoat how much repressed rage she had and while she wasn't in her right state of mind, she knew full well what she was doing. Book Carrie doesn't just destroy the school, she decimates the whole fucking town.

And yet we still are mostly on her side. Because between her mother's abuse, her classmates' torture, and the so-called authority figures failing to protect her on either front, we can't blame her for snapping. It doesn't excuse her actions, but still...

Just something to think about.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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3 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

It was worse in the book because she actually cut off his foot. And his thumb.

If I may get back to Carrie for a sec, I think we ought to consider Carrie White as villain apologia done right. Yes, most of us consider her a tragic victim more than an actual villain, but...she DOES kill people. Some of whom tried to be nice to her, like Miss Collins. The original film does make it ambiguous whether or not she knew what she was doing or how much control she had of her powers, but the book was more explicit: Stephen King didn't sugarcoat how much repressed rage she had and while she wasn't in her right state of mind, she knew full well what she was doing. Book Carrie doesn't just destroy the school, she decimates the whole fucking town.

And yet we still are mostly on her side. Because between her mother's abuse, her classmates' torture, and the so-called authority figures failing to protect her on either front, we can't blame her for snapping. It doesn't excuse her actions, but still...

Just something to think about.

Well said, Spartan Girl. I've always been of the mind that, in the 1976 film, anyway, Carrie blacked out from the time she was drenched in pig's blood to the time she arrived home. I truly don't think she was 100% aware of what she was doing... not that that excuses her. If you must exact revenge, direct it at the people who hurt you, and no one else. If Carrie is indeed a villain, then she is a tragic one. She shouldn't have been mistreated by so many people and for so long, but she shouldn't have taken so many innocent lives.

Spoiler

Her death was both a punishment and a release. 

Carrie is such a fantastic horror flick, easily my #1 favorite scary movie. 

Speaking of classic horror, I love the films of Val Lewton, and two chilling villains that come to mind are General Pherides from Isle of the Dead (played by the always brilliant Boris Karloff), a paranoid hate-monger whose insanity nearly destroys everyone around him, and Captain Will Stone from The Ghost Ship (not to be confused with the awful 2002 movie of a similar name), who is a walking, talking cautionary tale against toxic masculinity and corrupt leadership.

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Keyser Söze, from "The Usual Suspects"

A great film, but the ending had me dropping my jaw to the floor and muttering "WTF, are you kidding me?"

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And another thing: it's fine and dandy if you hate Dorothy, but let me remind everyone that it wasn't her fault that her house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East! Murder is premeditated and/or deliberate! It wasn't even manslaughter, it was just a natural act of God! Why is it Dorothy's fault that her house got blown away by a tornado and the WW of the E was too damned slow to move her ass?! And need I point out that the Wicked Witch of the West got over her sister's death in 10 seconds flat?! 

I adore Ursula and Yzma as villains, but they are villains. Ursula tricks "poor unfortunate souls" into striking Faustian bargains that she knows won't work in their favor, and Yzma was an attempted murderer and despot! I don't care how funny she was (and Eartha Kitt, rest her fabulous soul)!

And they actually consider Lotso and the Joker misunderstood?! I can't, I just can't...

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Did they even WATCH those movies?! Fucking morons...

There was a great scene in Scream 3 when Roman, Sydney's half brother, reveals that he was the one that helped Billy and Stu kill Sydney's mom and set all the other murders into motion because Maureen rejected him, etc, when Sydney unloads: "GOD, I'M SO SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT! I'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE! QUIT BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE AND TAKE SOME ACCONTABILITY! You really want to know why you kill people?! Because YOU want to!"

Bless you, Sydney.

Yeah, Maureen Prescott was a slut and a terrible person. But she deserved to get her ass divorced, NOT get butchered. And Sydney not only didn't deserve to lose her mother (not to mention find her dead, that was horrific), she sure as hell didn't deserve to be punished for her mother's crimes. Nor did the other victims in the franchise.

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34 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Yeah, Maureen Prescott was a slut

She was raped as a young woman, and "acting out" sexually is a common after-effect of that.  Her husband didn't deserve to be cheated on, but there was more going on than "I'm bored with my small-town husband".

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2 hours ago, Bastet said:

She was raped as a young woman, and "acting out" sexually is a common after-effect of that.  Her husband didn't deserve to be cheated on, but there was more going on than "I'm bored with my small-town husband".

True, but part of me wonders if the writers threw in that backstory as a way of absolving her of everything she did. Which is kind of cheap.

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19 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

And another thing: it's fine and dandy if you hate Dorothy, but let me remind everyone that it wasn't her fault that her house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East! Murder is premeditated and/or deliberate! It wasn't even manslaughter, it was just a natural act of God! Why is it Dorothy's fault that her house got blown away by a tornado and the WW of the E was too damned slow to move her ass?! And need I point out that the Wicked Witch of the West got over her sister's death in 10 seconds flat?! 

I adore Ursula and Yzma as villains, but they are villains. Ursula tricks "poor unfortunate souls" into striking Faustian bargains that she knows won't work in their favor, and Yzma was an attempted murderer and despot! I don't care how funny she was (and Eartha Kitt, rest her fabulous soul)!

And they actually consider Lotso and the Joker misunderstood?! I can't, I just can't...

Lotso was ready to let all the toys burn in an incinerator.  He was ready to let them burn in an incinerator.  He earned every bit of his villain status.  And don't get me started on Ursula and Yzma,  Calling them misunderstood is almost an insult to the characters.  They are awesome but that doesn't make them not evil.

17 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Did they even WATCH those movies?! Fucking morons...

There was a great scene in Scream 3 when Roman, Sydney's half brother, reveals that he was the one that helped Billy and Stu kill Sydney's mom and set all the other murders into motion because Maureen rejected him, etc, when Sydney unloads: "GOD, I'M SO SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT! I'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE! QUIT BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE AND TAKE SOME ACCONTABILITY! You really want to know why you kill people?! Because YOU want to!"

Bless you, Sydney.

Yeah, Maureen Prescott was a slut and a terrible person. But she deserved to get her ass divorced, NOT get butchered. And Sydney not only didn't deserve to lose her mother (not to mention find her dead, that was horrific), she sure as hell didn't deserve to be punished for her mother's crimes. Nor did the other victims in the franchise.

And looking back you know what's great about that Sydney line?  Is it's so ahead of it's time.  That was before most of the villain apologia gained traction with the masses and she is so fucking right.  First of all, in micro of the franchise itself, what narcissist is really going to try to explain his motives to Sydney Prescott by that point?  She really had heard it all before and Roman was just one more in a long line with some bullshit "wah wah" story how his actions aren't totally his fault.  

Tagged Scream 4 Spoiler:

Spoiler

At least later on Jill essentially knew she was a psychopath and didn't really want any sympathy for it if I recall.  It's been a while.  She didn't sugarcoat the fact that she did horrible things for a shallow reason.

And in the macro, this whole topic could be an ode to Syndey's quote.  By and large, these folks do terrible things because they choose to.  And frankly, most of them get off on it, which is part of the reason why we love them.  Like I said up-post, apologizing for them almost diminishes them.  Probably we as viewers need to rationalize their actions to make ourselves feel better about liking them but it's okay to enjoy the misdeeds of a fictional character.  I can love (or love to hate) Dolores Umbridge as a character and still not condone her actions.  Both things can be true. I don't need to justify it.

And because it can't be said enough, Kylo Ren is now, and always will be, a whiny man baby who is no more misunderstood than a toddler throwing a tantrum to get anybody's attention who will indulge him.  At least the toddler typically doesn't know better.

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21 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

Lotso was ready to let all the toys burn in an incinerator.  He was ready to let them burn in an incinerator.  He earned every bit of his villain status.  And don't get me started on Ursula and Yzma,  Calling them misunderstood is almost an insult to the characters.  They are awesome but that doesn't make them not evil.

And looking back you know what's great about that Sydney line?  Is it's so ahead of it's time.  That was before most of the villain apologia gained traction with the masses and she is so fucking right.  First of all, in micro of the franchise itself, what narcissist is really going to try to explain his motives to Sydney Prescott by that point?  She really had heard it all before and Roman was just one more in a long line with some bullshit "wah wah" story how his actions aren't totally his fault.  

Tagged Scream 4 Spoiler:

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At least later on Jill essentially knew she was a psychopath and didn't really want any sympathy for it if I recall.  It's been a while.  She didn't sugarcoat the fact that she did horrible things for a shallow reason.

And in the macro, this whole topic could be an ode to Syndey's quote.  By and large, these folks do terrible things because they choose to.  And frankly, most of them get off on it, which is part of the reason why we love them.  Like I said up-post, apologizing for them almost diminishes them.  Probably we as viewers need to rationalize their actions to make ourselves feel better about liking them but it's okay to enjoy the misdeeds of a fictional character.  I can love (or love to hate) Dolores Umbridge as a character and still not condone her actions.  Both things can be true. I don't need to justify it.

And because it can't be said enough, Kylo Ren is, now, and always will be a whiney man baby who is no more misunderstood than a toddler throwing a tantrum to get anybody's attention who will indulge him.  At least the toddler typically doesn't know better.

If I've said it once, I've said a million times: sometimes by trying to make a villain more sympathetic, you make them less sympathetic. If they have the capacity to do good, have done good up to this point, but then randomly choose to start a-killin' just because, wah, life is hard, then I'm not going to hop aboard the pity train!

I can love a villain, enjoy them... and still be happy when they're defeated. I can compartmentalize as well as the next person. As I said, I love Ursula and Yzma, but I'm still just as happy when they lose and the heroes win. Ariel and Kuzco earned their happy endings IMO, so why not?

And nothing on earth will make me like or sympathize with that whiny, half-witted, patricidal snot Kylo Ren. NOTHING.

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2 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

By and large, these folks do terrible things because they choose to.  And frankly, most of them get off on it, which is part of the reason why we love them.  Like I said up-post, apologizing for them almost diminishes them.  Probably we as viewers need to rationalize their actions to make ourselves feel better about liking them but it's okay to enjoy the misdeeds of a fictional character.

For some people, too, I think the desire to rationalize somebody's horrible actions in fiction is their way of trying to deal with the idea that there are some real life people out there who truly don't care about the awful things they do, who don't have a motive and don't feel any remorse or even seem to have any kind of conscience. There's only so much, if anything, you can do to help or "fix" those people. It's obviously a very bleak thing to acknowledge and think about. 

As a result, fiction can be an escape in that regard. In fiction, you can find awful criminals who show remorse, who can be redeemed, all that sort of thing. In fiction, you can be reminded that not all is lost and there is hope for anyone, no matter how vile. 

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4 hours ago, Annber03 said:

As a result, fiction can be an escape in that regard. In fiction, you can find awful criminals who show remorse, who can be redeemed, all that sort of thing. In fiction, you can be reminded that not all is lost and there is hope for anyone, no matter how vile. 

This is certainly true as a whole, but when we think of individual characters, there can be a way where they're seen as tragic figures if not antiheroes. The fans who saw the MCU's Loki as being rightfully angry about his father's neglect and being overshadowed by his brother may well have a point, but we shouldn't discount the number of awful things he did because he was holding a grudge.

Take Cypher from The Matrix. Cypher's position was that Morpheus was a fraud, or if not a fraud then an idiot for believing in the promise that someone would show up one day to free humanity from the lie of the 'reality' they lived in. Whether or not it was at first presumed that he was the chosen one the Oracle talked about is unclear, but he betrays Morpheus to Agent Smith and murders Apoc and Switch in cold blood by unplugging them when they can't fight back. This even though they thought he was on their side and even considered him a friend, but all he wants is to go back to sleep and not have to fight anymore.  Hardly a tragic figure, just a selfish jerk who deserved what he got.

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I know there are some who are getting tired of Disney's current villain trend: the seemingly benign character that is really a manipulative jerk in disguise. Examples include, Stinky Pete, Lotso, Prince Hans, Ernesto de la Cruz, etc...

And while I agree it might be getting old, I do get the lesson Disney is trying to teach us. Villains aren't always easy to spot, and just because someone is "nice" doesn't always mean that they're good. JK Rowling did the same thing with many of the Harry Potter villains.

Focusing on Frozen for a moment, I think @Wiendish Fitch said the movie would have worked without Hans being a bad guy, just a regular guy that wasn't really Anna's true love because they rushed into things. That would have been a good way to do it. However, watching the movie again with hindsight, it was really obvious that Hans, from the very beginning, was playing Anna, just telling her everything she wanted to hear. That's the first lesson girls learn about guys -- yes, not ALL guys are like that, but come on. 

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Focusing on Frozen for a moment, I think @Wiendish Fitch said the movie would have worked without Hans being a bad guy, just a regular guy that wasn't really Anna's true love because they rushed into things. That would have been a good way to do it. However, watching the movie again with hindsight, it was really obvious that Hans, from the very beginning, was playing Anna, just telling her everything she wanted to hear. That's the first lesson girls learn about guys -- yes, not ALL guys are like that, but come on. 

I wish I can claim credit for that, but it was someone else who said that. I appreciate you thinking it was me, though! Hans served his purpose just fine; hell, the fact that he was so convincing even to people going into the movie blind makes him pretty damned scary.

I will take Disney's bait-and-switch villain trend over villain apologia any day of the week and twice on Thursday.

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21 minutes ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

I wish I can claim credit for that, but it was someone else who said that. I appreciate you thinking it was me, though! Hans served his purpose just fine; hell, the fact that he was so convincing even to people going into the movie blind makes him pretty damned scary.

I will take Disney's bait-and-switch villain trend over villain apologia any day of the week and twice on Thursday.

D'oh!!! Sorry for the mixup!

Yeah, the bait and switch is way better than villain apologia. And Frozen was a good cautionary tale on how crappy parenting can leave your children vulnerable to predators. Anna and Elsa's idiot parents isolated them from the world AND each other, which made Anna easy prey to someone like Hans. See also: Morris from The Heiress.

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17 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

D'oh!!! Sorry for the mixup!

Yeah, the bait and switch is way better than villain apologia. And Frozen was a good cautionary tale on how crappy parenting can leave your children vulnerable to predators. Anna and Elsa's idiot parents isolated them from the world AND each other, which made Anna easy prey to someone like Hans. See also: Morris from The Heiress.

Oh, hell yes. If you deprive your kids of love, attention, and acceptance, they'll cling to the first person who shows them even a little of those things, whether they're good or bad.

It always galled me that Anna and Elsa's parents didn't at least hire a governess or a tutor to educate the girls and especially give Anna some much needed discipline and structure. I mean, did she really just wander the castle and talk to paintings all day? No wonder she was such a mess when she grew up! 

And word on Morris Townsend. He and Dr. Sloper were definitely villains and two different flavors of toxic masculinity (Dr. Sloper cold, condescending and withholding affection, Morris predatory and manipulative). Some defend Dr. Sloper, saying he "really did love Catherine". Maybe, but like anything else, there's a right and a wrong way to love someone. Guess which category I think Dr. Sloper fell into?

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6 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

This is certainly true as a whole, but when we think of individual characters, there can be a way where they're seen as tragic figures if not antiheroes. The fans who saw the MCU's Loki as being rightfully angry about his father's neglect and being overshadowed by his brother may well have a point, but we shouldn't discount the number of awful things he did because he was holding a grudge.

I think that's the rub.  Erik Lehnsherr is a prime example of this.  I don't think anyone who knows his backstory would begrudge him for being angry at the world or feeling that the world owes him something.  I don't.  I also don't think anyone would begrudge him should he passively watch as Xavier et al try to save the world over and over while he's all "I'm good over here.  Thanks."  I also really don't begrudge him for things like mistrusting the government or being worried about his species above all, and as a result, being enticed by or even joining the dark side.  I don't condone his evil actions but I also can't say that had I gone through what Erik did I wouldn't consider the same things.  Doesn't make it right but at least we have context as to where he's coming from.  The problem with apologizing for a character like Erik is that he's flip flopped back and forth numerous times and now he's making a choice.  He's actively choosing to commit/attempt murder and in some cases genocide and that just doesn't get wiped clean because he's in pain.  Especially not over and over and over.  His past validates his feelings but not his actions.  

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

And Frozen was a good cautionary tale on how crappy parenting can leave your children vulnerable to predators. Anna and Elsa's idiot parents isolated them from the world AND each other, which made Anna easy prey to someone like Hans.

I'd say Frozen is a very good example of "real world" villainy. Few people are ever going to run into a real world Joker or Loki. But I am pretty sure a lot of people have met a sleaze like Hans, maybe not trying to marry a princess, but certainly a guy who tells a girl everything she wants to hear and pretends to be Prince Charming only to get what he wants from her. And many people have had or know someone who has had parents who can't accept their child is different (be it gay, handicapped, even just goth) and tries to force them to hide who they really are. And hell, that Weaselton dude is every nation on earth that has tried to come in and take every natural resource another nation has. 

Frozen might not have the most deadly villains, but it has the scariest in the sense that they exist in our world right now. 

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Shower thought:  Is villain apologia so popular now because it's fantasy fulfillment of revenge as well as the easy way out?  So while most of us don't want to be full on Loki, or Magento, or Arthur Fleck, we do know what it's like to feel like we are being kicked when we are down and to want to lash out.  There is a line from The Light Between Oceans that is something akin to you have to choose to be angry every day, you only have to forgive once.  And while I like the line I don't entirely agree with it.  Sometimes forgiveness is a constant act while it's muuuuch easier to be angry.  Comic heroes like Bruce Wayne, T'Challa, Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, etc literally and figuratively get kicked in the teeth and have to get off the mat every time to do the right thing.  A guy like Toomes just has to give in once and now it's no eff's given.  Which one sounds more enticing for an audience member?

Edited by kiddo82
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3 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

Shower thought:  Is villain apologia so popular now because it's fantasy fulfillment of revenge as well as the easy way out?  So while most of us don't want to be full on Loki, or Magento, or Arthur Fleck, we do know what it's like to feel like we are being kicked when we are down and to want to lash out.  There is a line from The Light Between Oceans that is something akin to you have to choose to be angry every day, you only have to forgive once.  And while I like the line I don't entirely agree with it.  Sometimes forgiveness is a constant act while it's muuuuch easier to be angry.  Comic heroes like Bruce Wayne, T'Challa, Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, etc literally and figuratively get kicked in the teeth and have to get off the mat every time to do the right thing.  A guy like Toomes just has to give in once and now it's no eff's given.  Which one sounds more enticing for an audience member?

Excellent point. Sometimes we see the heroes act like complete doormats when it comes to forgiveness no matter how many times life craps on them that sometimes it's fun to watch characters lash out and get even with those that have wronged them. 

Interesting that you bring up Light Betweeen the Oceans because I consider that villain apologia at its worst. Isabel IS the villain of that story, she steals a child and all but frames her own husband for murder when he returns the child to her real mother, and yet everyone treats her like a victim and coddles her -- yeah, I'm still pissed about it, so what?!

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4 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

Shower thought:  Is villain apologia so popular now because it's fantasy fulfillment of revenge as well as the easy way out? 

One of the things I enjoy about the final act of Civil War is the "one thing too many" moment. Anybody can tell me all day long what a terrible, horrible person Tony Stark was for not immediately being okay with finding out that his parents were murdered twenty years ago, but he had literally just watched them die. And it doesn't matter that Howard was a shitty father or that Bucky was just a pawn or that of course Steve would prioritize him over ten thousand dead people, innocent or otherwise. If anything, it's karma for Howard, who spent all those years idolizing some jerk who didn't give one single crap about him. Unfortunately, Tony's mother was part of the "well, yeah, I knew, I was just never going to tell you" package.

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Believe it or not, their is something worse than villain apologia: when the bad guy gets away with their crimes, no questions asked or past actions acknowledged, and everyone just shrugs it off. No sob story or excuses involved.

Case in point: Thunderbolt Ross from the Marvel movies.

Asshole ruins Bruce's life and turns him into a fugitive to cover his ass and protect his career. Not to mention he creates Abomination and lets him loose Is he punished? Nope. His daughter hates him, but he doesn't really care. Instead, a few movies later, he's made the new Defense Secretary, and promptly drafts up the Accords under the pretense of keeping them in check for "public security" -- when all he really wants to do is control them for his own gain, like he tried to do with Bruce. In doing so, he contributes to the Avengers split and later ignores them about Thanos.

Now you'd think in Endgame he, like Thanos, would finally get the comeuppance he deserved. Instead, he just gets to attend Tony's funeral like they were all suddenly friends. No apology, no measly "you were right", not even a last confrontation between him and Professor Hulk where he blackmails him into giving them all pardons or else he leaks all his crimes to the media --NOTHING. Such BULLSHIT.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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4 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Interesting that you bring up Light Betweeen the Oceans because I consider that villain apologia at its worst. Isabel IS the villain of that story, she steals a child and all but frames her own husband for murder when he returns the child to her real mother, and yet everyone treats her like a victim and coddles her -- yeah, I'm still pissed about it, so what?!

Haha.  Regarding Isabel, I think I sympathize with her to a point until she's almost ready to let Tom take all the blame for what was ultimately her fault.  Yes, he should have stepped in and reported the baby and the father from the get go, but the reason he didn't was solely because of her.  I think where I sympathize with her, at least in the beginning, is that she found herself in this situation through nothing other than circumstance and she just continually did the wrong thing.  Don't get me wrong, she's never in the right, and if I'm on the jury I'm convicting, but I think the movie does a good enough job of showing why she'd be tempted to keep the baby and why she ultimately gives in to that temptation.  That's a real world type situation where even though there's a clear right and wrong path, I could see where a person might be conflicted. But then she refuses to take responsibility for her actions (and actually blames Tom for doing the right thing) until the 11th hour and she loses me.  Which wouldn't even be that bad if it was just her, because what does she have to lose at that point, except it's her own husband's life that she is unwilling to save.  Yeah, that's not cool.  I'm all for her being a tragic figure until a point, but her actions and in-actions just get worse and worse as the story progresses.

I've never read the book so I'm not sure if any of this is presented differently in the source material.

Edited by kiddo82
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On 10/16/2019 at 12:21 PM, Spartan Girl said:

Seriously.  There were so many red flags about him in the beginning, primarily that his main gripe was how Sydney wouldn't sleep with him and hadn't gotten over her mother's death after only ONE YEAR.  Even before he was revealed to be the killer, I really don't know what Sydney saw in him.

That same year, Skeet Ulrich also played a sleazeball high school jock in The Craft, who gets a love spell put on him, and surprise, surprise- it DOESN'T turn him into a good guy. It just makes him a stalker and a date rapist. (If he hadn't already been the latter, and I really wouldn't have put it past him.)

It's that wolfy grin of his. He's good for bad guy parts.

Anyway, an analysis of North Shore High's resident dictator, Regina George:

What I thought Mean Girls got right about high school bitchery is that EVERYONE is culpable, not just the most popular girls in the class. Also, that while bullying the "outcasts" does happen, the Queen Bee's tend to terrorize and control their subjects and wannabee subjects way more often. I went to a high school that was 66 percent female and I thought Mean Girls mirrored that experience pretty well. It also mirrored the fact that by senior year, pretty much everyone was over their drama with the people in our class.

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7 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

That same year, Skeet Ulrich also played a sleazeball high school jock in The Craft, who gets a love spell put on him, and surprise, surprise- it DOESN'T turn him into a good guy. It just makes him a stalker and a date rapist. (If he hadn't already been the latter, and I really wouldn't have put it past him.)

It's that wolfy grin of his. He's good for bad guy parts.

Anyway, an analysis of North Shore High's resident dictator, Regina George:

What I thought Mean Girls got right about high school bitchery is that EVERYONE is culpable, not just the most popular girls in the class. Also, that while bullying the "outcasts" does happen, the Queen Bee's tend to terrorize and control their subjects and wannabee subjects way more often. I went to a high school that was 66 percent female and I thought Mean Girls mirrored that experience pretty well. It also mirrored the fact that by senior year, pretty much everyone was over their drama with the people in our class.

It mirrored mine too. That's one of the things I love about the movie. It was so much like my high school experience.

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Okay, I haven't seen the live action version of Beauty and the Beast but are they serious about this Gaston apologia? Did they alter the movie so much that Gaston got a mob together for altruistic reasons (protecting Belle) and not, as it was in the animated, a purely jealous reaction from Belle defending the Beast and saying he was actually kind and obviously caring about him.

Let us not forget that Gaston's interest in Belle was purely superficial. She was the most beautiful girl in the village, therefore, he deserved her. He was never interested in her as a person, or her interests or her thoughts... hell, thoughts from a woman! Consternation! Uproar!

And did they change the fact that Gaston threw her father in a mental institution and only promised to release him if Belle would marry him already? What is this 'reevaluation' nonsense?

Oh and by the way, Beauty and the Beast isn't Stockholm Syndrome. The whole POINT of the fucking story is to see beyond the superficial. Beast behaved badly... or rather behaved like a spoiled prince and got punished for it but never had anyone around him who would actually tell him, or show him how, to get his act together. That Belle was the first one to stand up to him (because she didn't like him at all and resented what he had done to her father AND to her) was shocking to him. Plus, he'd been cursed for so long and was running out of time. The thing is, I get why Beast was so miserable and lashing out and I appreciate his working to change when the opportunity finally came.

Gaston? Fuck that guy.

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