Category Archives: fictional character

Secondary Character Saturday: Peeta Mellark

Josh Hutcherson played Peeta in the movie version of the Hunger Games [Image Courtesy: Wikia.com]

Josh Hutcherson played Peeta in the movie version of the Hunger Games [Image Courtesy: Wikia.com]

WHO: Peeta Mallark

FROM: The Hunger Games

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

BY: Suzanne Collins

PUBLIHED: 2008

PROS: Kind, compassionate, romantic, creative, artistic, loyal, humble, physically strong (he can wrestle and throw a sack of flour). Long before he and Katniss take the train to the Capital his selfless act of  giving her bread saves her from starvation. That act of kindness meant a beating for him, but salvation for Katniss and her family. And he did it with out any anticipation of a return favor on Katniss’s part. That kindness for kindness sake speaks volumes to Peeta’s personality.

CONS: He’s not tough enough for the Hunger Games. He hasn’t been training his whole life for it — either in the woods near District 12 or in the gyms of District 1, 2, or 3. His compassion and lack of survival skills might just get him killed in the arena.

ID Card from the Hunger Games movie [Image couresy: Wikia.com]

ID Card from the Hunger Games movie [Image couresy: Wikia.com]

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Peeta is a stand up guy in the toughest of situations. He never expects to win the Hunger Games — his own MOTHER lets him know that SHE doesn’t expect him to win — but that doesn’t mean he has to lose. He defines the parameters of what a personal victory means when he tells Katniss that he all he wants o do is die with honor.

“…He doesn’t just want to be a pawn in the Capitol’s game. He wants to “die as himself” (10.70). For Peeta, it is important that the Capitol knows that they don’t own him.” [Shmoop.com]

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: I get that Peeta is gob smack in love with Katniss, but I think his outing that love on live television with every one in the Twelve Districts and the Capital watching was bad form. It puts way too much pressure on Katniss and it just isn’t fair. I think his declaration was honest, but it was manipulative in retrospect. (Even if that wasn’t his intent.)

WHY I CHOOSE HIM: I choose Peeta because he’s the underdog of the story and I found myself pulling for him throughout. He’s the moral backbone of the story too. I loved Katniss’s strength and chutzpah (and creativeness, and self doubt and family loyalty) but there’s a tenderness to Peeta that just drew me in.

Katniss & Peeta - Vancouver Fan Expo 2012

Katniss & Peeta – Vancouver Fan Expo 2012 (Photo credit: Laríssa)

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Thus far I’ve only read The Hunger Games…but I’m working on Catching Fire and plan to read the rest of the series. Kindly refrain from spoilers. IF Peeta turns out to be a jerk in Mocking Jay please let me find out on my own, OK? OTHER COMMENTS and discussions are most welcome welcome.

More on the names in The Hunger Games... Well, they are strange, that’s for sure. If you’d like to “find out” what YOUR Hunger Games name is you can click HERE and follow the recipe / algorithm.
(I’d be Eless P Danceelm in District 12 btw.)

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Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean: Ian Howe

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Today we celebrate the second saturday in the merry month of May, AKA Sean Bean month. Click HERE  to see last week’s blog on Boromir
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[Image courtesy: Wikipedia]

Bean as Ian Howe [Image courtesy: Wikipedia]

WHO: Ian Howe

FROM: National Treasure

BY:  Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley

RELEASED: 2004

PROS: Ian has nearly unlimited resources, and he’s smart.  He can be charming. He’s crafty. Oh, and he looks great in a white parka.

[Image courtesy: Ponderings]

[Nick Cage and Sean Bean look at map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Image courtesy: Ponderings]

CONS: Cunning, ruthless, greedy, driven, sociopath.

QUOTE: “You know the key to running a convincing bluff? Every once in a while you have to be holding all the cards”

MOST SHINING MOMENT:Well, he is a villain, so it is tough to find a “shining moment” for Ian Howe. I’d like to think he feels remorse when his side kick Shaw dies. But…hmmm… not so much.

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Kidnapping the heroes and stranding them beneath Old North Church in Boston (essential burying them alive).

WHY SEAN BEAN IS SO GOOD IN THE ROLE: For the record if I’m every going to go on a treasure hunt with a sociopath I’d really prefer it be with Sean Bean. Sure he’ll step over your dead cold body to get what he wants, but he probably wont kill you if he doesn’t have to.

Bean straddles  the line between being charming and being creepy all through this movie. And he’s a ton of fun to watch. You never root for him, but it sure is fun to root against him.

I like how the movie takes a history field trip and turns it on its ear. Even though the whole thing is fiction it is fun to think that some one might have left all those clues and that they (the clues) are still out there waiting to be discovered.

(Thanks to my buddy Tom B. for contributing tho his blog.)

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Secondary Character Saturday: Anita (West Side Story)

So… Tomorrow night I’m going to go see Romeo and Juliet at the  Baltimore Shakespeare Factory and that got me thinking about West Side  Story. And THAT got me thinking about one of my favorite Secondary Characters… Anita.

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Who: Anita

From: West Side Story

West Side Story

West Side Story (Photo credit: thejcgerm)

By: Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim,  and Leonard Bernstein

Produced: 1957 Broadway Premier / 1961 Film

Pros: feisty, spicy, self confident, beautiful, great dancer, great singer, realistic, loyal, great friend, gutsy,

Cons: A bit abrasive, assertive,  and hardly a saint.

Best Shining Moment: Singing AMERICA on the roof top. AND going into Jet territory to tell Tony to wait for Maria.

Least Shining Moment: When the Jets verbally, physically (and very nearly sexually) abuse her she lies to them (and thru them Tony) and tells them Maria is dead, setting up the tragic closing scenario. But that’s really on the Jets.


Second Character Saturday: Glenda

“When all the stars have fallen down into the sea and on the ground, and angry voices carry on the wind, a beam of light will fill your head and you’ll remember what’s been said by all the good men this world’s ever known.”–Glinda the Good Witch

Cover of the Glinda of Oz

Cover of the Glinda of Oz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who: Glinda the Good Witch

From: The Wizard of Oz

By: L. Frank Baum

Published: 1900

The portrait of Glinda the Good appearing in G...

The portrait of Glinda the Good appearing in Glinda of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pros: Kind, protective, wise, thoughtful, brave, magical, friendly, and a strong female role model — her court is almost entirely made up of women. Her leadership style involves letting people figure things out on their own. She keeps a careful eye on the situation and guides them as necessary but she lets them come to the conclusions on their own without spoon-feeding them the knowledge or answers. She’s also there to help when called on.

Why I chose Glinda: I choose her because my daughter recommended this TED talk. Although Mr. Stokes speaks to the Glinda character in the 1939 Movie (and I’m going back to the source Glinda in the book) I think he hits the nail on the head. And it inspired me to choose her for today’s Secondary Character.

http://www.wellhappypeaceful.com/glinda-the-good-witch/

Billie Burke as Glinda and Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 movie of The Wizard of Oz [Image courtesy: Well Happy Peaceful]

Billie Burke as Glinda and Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 movie of The Wizard of Oz [Image courtesy: Well Happy Peaceful]


Daffy Duck 4.17.13 Thought of the Day b

“Relax sister. I don’t know the meaning of the word fear!” — Daffy Duck

Daffy Duck, as he appears in The Looney Tunes ...

Daffy Duck, as he appears in The Looney Tunes Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daffy Dumas Horacio Tiberius Armando Sheldon Duck was “born” on this day in Warner Brothers Studio, Burbank, California, USA in 1937. He is 76 years old.

He was first brought to life by animator Bob Clampett and voiced by Mel Blanc in director Tex Avery‘s Porky’s Duck Hunt.  Warner Brothers was looking to carve a niche out the cartoon market (and take market share away from Disney). They had had some success with Porky Pig, but  Tex Avery “wanted a character so incongruous, so nuts, so out-of place that it would put Walt Disney’s cute “Silly Symphonies” to shame.” [The Complete History of Daffy Duck]  With Daffy he had just the duck for the mission.

Daffy Duck as he first appeared in Porky's Duc...

Daffy Duck as he first appeared in Porky’s Duck Hunt (1937). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daffy’s personality changed as the years went on. He became a slightly different duck for each of his directors. For Tex Avery he was wacky. He put the Loon in Looney Tunes. He literally bounced all over the place like a lunatic shouting “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”

By 1940 he’d grown more focused and ambitious. He wanted to be a movie star.

He was still crazy, but he had purpose and had control over the scenes he was in. During World War II Daffy reflected the times, first he was a draft dodging duck, then he collects scrap metal for a scrap drive (Scrap Happy Daffy). He even confronts Adolf Hitler in Daffy the Commando.

Director Robert McKimson made Daffy dapper, instilling the cartoon fowl with a bit of brains to go with his bonkers.

When Chuck Jones took the helm Daffy changed again.  Where Daffy had been “a hyperactive, carefree, if not patriotic, duck ” [The Complete History of Daffy Duck] Jones gave us “a more power-hungry and greed-driven loser. … Jones made him taller, skinnier, beakier and scruffier-looking…While he had been a winner before, and happier, Jones made him him a loser who was never satisfied. [Ibid] Jones also did a run of movie spoofs starring Daffy and Porky that were enormously popular.

By the 1950s Daffy was struggling to reclaim the spotlight from Bugs Bunny, who had become the leading Warner Brothers character. Led by Chuck Jones, the directors of this era brought out a darker side of Daffy’s personality, showing him as desperately self-glorifying and consumed by jealousy—though also more introspective. [Encyclopedia Britannica.com]

By the mid 1960s movie studios had soured on making cartoon shorts. Television, not movies theaters were the entertainment venues of choice, and the theaters couldn’t afford cartoon shorts. “the post-1964… Warner Bros…. cartoons,  are quite cheaply produced compared to the cartoons of the 40’s and 50’s.” [The Complete History of Daffy Duck]

So Daffy, along with Bugs and Porky were relegated to Television. Mostly the Warner Bros. favorites appeared as reruns on Saturday mornings, but occasionally they were given fresh material for TV specials  like Daffy’s “Duck Dodgers In the 24 1/2 Century.”  He found a home on the Cartoon Network’s The Looney Tunes Show (now voiced by Jeff Bergman and Bill Farmer)

Most recently DD’s most recent appearances have been in Robot Chicken: Immortal  and Spread Those Wings and Fly  (both came out in February of this year)

Daffy Duck

Daffy Duck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This one goes out to my friend Angie and my sister Joan.


Secondary Character Saturday: Aliena of Kingsbridge

Hayley Atwell as Aliena in the miniseries based on the book. [Image courtesy: Ken Follett.com]

Hayley Atwell as Aliena in the miniseries based on the book. [Image courtesy: Ken Follett.com]

Who: Aliena of Kingsbridge

From: Pillars of the Earth

Cover of "The Pillars of the Earth"

Cover of The Pillars of the Earth

By: Ken Follett

Written: 1989

Pros: Strong, compassionate, loving, determined, resourceful, intelligent, resilient, self-sacrificing.

Aliena has a tumbled mass of unruly dark curls, a straight, imperious nose, soft smooth cheeks, large dark eyes and full sensous lips. She is slim but full breasted, and careless in what she wears, often going barefoot. [Ken Follett.com]

Cons: Emotionally reserved, at times aloof, stubborn and short-tempered.

Donald Southerland as the Earl and Hayley Atwell as Aliena in the miniseries [Image courtesy: TV Somthing]
Donald Southerland as the Earl and Hayley Atwell as Aliena in the miniseries [Image courtesy: Locate TV]

Prior to the novel  Aliena leads a storybook life. Then things start to go wrong. In short order she finds her father, the Earl of Shiring, thrown out of his castle and held in jail for treason. She is raped and her younger brother, Richard, has his ear cut off  before they too  are thrown out of their castle. But having promised her father that Richard will one day take back the title of Earl of Shiring she does everything in her power to toughen the boy and build a fortune.  That means denying herself  her one true love so Richard can be outfitted as a Knight.

Publicity shot for Pillars of the Earth with Eddy Redmayne (Jack) and Hayley Atwell (Aliena) [Image courtesy: xyz]
Publicity shot for Pillars of the Earth with Eddy Redmayne (Jack) and Hayley Atwell (Aliena) [Image courtesy: Eddie Redmayne Forum.com]

Best Shining Moment: Traveling over most of Western Europe in search of Jack. Because true love is worth it.

Least Shining Moment: Marrying Alfred (when she really loves Jack) because Alfred can outfit her brother as a Knight.

Why I chose Aliena: Aliena has the ability to look beyond appearances and see a person’s inner worth (or flaws).  She’s a hard worker who inspires the best in others. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, as she showed when helping to build the wall to protect the town. She knows her inner strength and she’s not afraid to use it.

Character relationship tree from Pillars of the Earth. [Image courtesy: Ken Follett.com]

Character relationship tree from Pillars of the Earth. [Image courtesy: Ken Follett.com]


Secondary Character Saturday — Iago

Illustration of Othello and Iago

Illustration of Othello and Iago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“…What’s he then that says I play the villain?” — Iago

Who: Iago

From: Othello

By: William Shakespeare

Written: Around 1603

Pros: Intelligent, ambitious, funny. Although he is the play’s worst character, he is also its most interesting and complex by far… you can’t take your eyes off the scum ball.

Cons: Manipulative, abusive, sociopathic, vengeful, bitter, jealous, petty. He’s a liar and bully that will literally commit murder to get what he wants.

English: Carl Schurz as Iago from Shakespeare'...

English: Carl Schurz as Iago from Shakespeare’s play Othello, amidst his co-conspirators, prepares to enter the limelight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most Shining Moment: (Yeah, I’m leaving this one BLANK)

Least Shining Moment: So many to choose from. I’m going to go with killing his wife, Emilia. He’s treated her like dirt the entire play, and when she finally looses it and stands up to him he doesn’t think twice about running her through with a rapier.

Why I chose Iago: As you may have noticed most my Secondary Characters are pretty stand up guys. They all  have something going for them…maybe its charm… maybe they have good heart… but there is usually some nice feature that makes me like a character enough to give them the honored Saturday spot. Not so with Iago. Honestly I’m hard pressed to think of anything really nice to say about him. But…it is a really juicy role. He’s the one people remember. It is kind of the Darth Vader effect. You aren’t supposed to like him at all, but he’s the one whose theme song you remember.

English: Photographic full-length portrait of ...

English: Photographic full-length portrait of Edwin Booth as Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is Iago a SECONDARY character: I often struggle with whether a character is indeed Secondary. And it is hard to make that case with Iago when he is on stage more than any other character in Othello.  (He has 1,070 lines.) Without his wicked machinations you’d have a very different/happier story so, unlike other Secondary Characters, he is pivotal to the plot. But, when it comes down to it, the play is called Othello, not Iago. So I’m giving the slimy little so-and-so the nod this week.

Othello (1995 film)

Othello (1995 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I’m feeling very Shakespeare-y today. I had the good fortune to attend the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory‘s Bard’s Birthday Gala last night. We were treated to scenes from their upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet (April 6-27) as well as a 3 person / 20 minute version of Othello. It was a fabulous lesson in suspending disbelief as the actors literally transformed before your eyes from one character another, and it worked beautifully. With a handful of props, no set and no furniture these three actors told the this timeless story in an engaging, new way. Play on! Indeed!


Secondary Character: Alan Rickman; Alexander Dane — Galaxy Quest

[Image Courtesy: Outcast Studios.com]

[Image Courtesy: Outcast Studios.com]

Who: Alexander Dane / Dr. Lazarus

From: Galaxy Quest

Alexander Dane was a stage actor famous for his portrayal of Richard III, for which he received five curtain calls. He then took a job portraying Dr. Lazarus on the ’80s TV show “Galaxy Quest,” a space-travel story about an intrepid crew and their travels across the universe. The TV show was cancelled and the GQ actors have been reduced to living off their fame by attending sci-fi conventions, presiding at the opening of new stores, and allowing rabid fans to film interviews in their garages and basements… [IMDb]

By: David Howard

Produced: 1999

[Image courtesy: Outcast Studios]

[Image courtesy: Outcast Studios]

Pros: Dedicated to his craft. Has a cool catch phrase –“By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!” Shakespearian trained actor. Awesome latex headpiece.

Cons: Jealous of his co-star, Jason Nesmith, who played the Cmdr. Peter Quincy, the captain of the Protector on the show.  Hates his cool catch phrase. Generally wallows in misery and self-pity.  Full of himself.

Most Shining Moment: Loosing his ego and embracing his character in order to comfort dying Quellek, an alien who idolizes his character Dr. Lazarus.

[Image courtesy: Outcast Studios.]

[Image courtesy: Outcast Studios.]

Why Rickman is so good in this movie: Rickman is deliciously snarky and sarcastic in this movie. It is one of his best comic roles and he gives it 100%. [For another dark comedic Rickman role, you should also see him in Dogma, but his role there is much smaller there… more of a Tertiary Thursday Character than a Secondary Saturday Character.) As much as Alexander Dane, the actor, has a certain snobbishness towards his role of Dr. Lazzrus, you can see that Rickman is having a ton of fun throwing himself at his role as the actor-playing-an-alien — especially when his prosthetic rubber headpiece starts to fall apart.

Why I Picked Galaxy Quest: As you may have guessed from this week’s bioBLOGS on Leonard Niimoy  (Mr. Spock of Star Trek) and  Nathan Fillion (Captain Mal Reynolds of Firefly) I rather enjoy my Science Fiction, and Galaxy Quest is a terrific send up on the sometimes too serious take on the medium. (Although Firefly/Serenity never took itself too seriously, Star Trek — especially the Star Trek movies — could get a bit big for its britches.) So A) I like the movie. B) Rickman is hilarious in it. And C) it was requested by one of my most loyal readers.

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Well, I guess that’s about it for our month of Alan Rickman Secondary Character studies. I hope this little salute has inspired you to put one or two Rickman movies in your queue. Cheers, Rita

Alan Rickman, The Awesome

Alan Rickman, The Awesome (Photo credit: ManaMalipeddi)


Secondary Character Saturday: Alan Rickman: Jamie (Truly Madly Deeply)

[Image courtesy MGM]

[Image courtesy MGM]

Who: Jamie Howe

 

From: Truly Madly Deeply

 

Once upon a time there were two people in love, their names were Nina and Jamie. They were even happy enough to be able to live happily ever after, (not often the case) and then Jamie died. Nina is left with a house full of rats and handymen, a job teaching foreigners English and an ache that fills the night sky. [IMDb]

 

You’ll have to wait until the 25 mark before he enters the movie properly, but it is worth the wait.

 

Stevenson and Rickman as Nina and Jamie in Truly Madly Deeply [Image courtesy: MGM]

Stevenson and Rickman as Nina and Jamie in Truly Madly Deeply [Image courtesy: MGM]

Written and Directed by: Anthony Minghella

 

Produced: 1990

 

Cover of "Truly Madly Deeply"

 

Pros: unconditional love, plays a mean cello, comes back from the dead to comfort his soul mate, handsome, fun.

 

Cons: annoying, cold (literally), selfish

 

Most Shining Moment: Since I think about 5 other people on the planet have seen this gem I wont spoil it. But I will say the real shining moment comes at the end. My favorite moment (probably my favorite Rickman moment of all film) is when he plucks at the cello and sings The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More.

 

Sing it, Jamie baby. [Image courtesy: MGM]

Sing it, Jamie baby. [Image courtesy: MGM]

Least Shining Moment: Letting his dead mates invade the flat so they can watch videos.

 

Warning: Juliette Stevenson brings some really raw emotion to this movie and the sound is uneven. So when she wails (or sings) it can be really loud and bit annoying. But, God bless her, she gives her performance 1000 %.

 

Why Rickman is so good: This is one of the few Alan Rickman roles where he’s playing an “everyday guy” (albeit a dead one). His performance is incredibly natural and believable and it is fun to watch him be so at ease with his co-star Juliette Stevenson. It’s nice to see him be happy too. Jamie is not a perfect boyfriend by any means (even when you take out the ghost thing), and Rickman hits all the varied notes of a real person in a real relationship with his nuanced performance.

 

[Image courtesy: MGM]

[Image courtesy: MGM]

I’m not sure why this movie isn’t more readily (or cheaply) available. It did very well with the critics and has a strong 72% Tomatorating / 82% Audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But I challenge you to find it at your local library (hint: not going to happen.) Amazon has it, but it’s $72! But, dear readers, fear not… I found it for you on Youtube …

 

 

Now once you watch it I’m sure you will all raise your voices and demand they re-release it at a reasonable price and buy the DVD so the proper parties get paid for their efforts. Yes?

 

[Image courtesy: MGM]

[Image courtesy: MGM]

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So we’ve got ONE MORE Saturday in March, that means one more chance to celebrate Alan Rickman. Which movie role shall we feature? Get back to me and let me know which Rickman YOU think I should write about.

 

  • Comic Rickman?

 

  • Galaxy Quest

    Galaxy Quest

  • Villian Rickman?
  • hans_tal

    Die Hard

  • Robin Hood Prince of Theives

    Robin Hood Prince of Theives

  • Sensitive Rickman?
  • snow-cake
  • An Awfully Big Adventure

    An Awfully Big Adventure

 

 


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