Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vote Bag o' Bones

Round 1, heat 2 is now up over the 'chaw. Once again, I have but one entry in this heat, but it's a doozy - Jack Skellington

Below is Riggs' defense of his "character", followed by mine.


Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, A Few Good Men

You have that luxury… you have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiagos death, while tragic probably SAVED LIVES. And my existence, which is grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, SAVES LIVES. Deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you WANT me on that wall… you NEED me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a lifetime spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a person who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom which I provide, and then QUESTIONS the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just say Thank You, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. EITHER WAY, I don’t give a GODDAMN… WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE ENTITLED TO!

I didn’t even recount the most famous of lines, or most commercial I should say, which is of course, YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Nor did I recount the funniest… “Tom, get me the president, we’re surrendering our position here in Cuba”… Or how about,” What I want is for you to stand there in your faggety white uniform, and with your Harvard mouth, extend me some fucking courtesy”.

No, don’t really need to. The beauty of this character, so eloquently portrayed by one the most talented and revered actors of our time, is how he convinces the viewer of how terrifying a man he really is, and at the same time how necessary he is. Not because he is inhuman, but because it is his JOB. His total disregard for one human life, or several, in order to do his job, which is to save thousand as he sees it, is evident in his stance as a Marine. The fact is, men like this (ok, women too you liberal feminist fags), NEED to exist. Jack shows why and more importantly HOW, with his portrayal of Colonel Nathan R Jessup. (insert cheap shot at competing writer) Leave it up to a Canadian to not understand that. After all, what do they ever need to defend. A country? BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

OK, kidding about the Canadian thing… I think… As a movie character, aside from the fantastic acting, the writers make this character. Jack is nothing more than a talented vessel. The writers really try to show the horror of this maniacal, egotistical narcissist who in the end makes you believe that his existence, although grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, really does need to exist. See a sane person knows that it is necessary. A liberal, humanist can keep their head in the sand until another tower falls I guess.


Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas vs Jack Nicholson. Yah, I know it says "Col. Nathan R. Jessup", but let's be honest here - did ANY of you remember that was his name? No. He's "Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men." A middling movie remembered for ONE line. The character isn't memorable, the scenery chewing from one of the greatest actors of the 20th century is. But we aren't here to debate actors or their best quotes. No, we're here to find the best CHARACTERS.

But MY Jack? Why he's ALL character. Do you know who does his voice? Nope. Sure, you can look it up, but that's not necessary, because you remember Jack Skellington, not Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman. Yah, that's right - TWO people were needed to bring this walking, singing, dancing saviour of Halloweentown to life. Skellington is a case study in character growth. Starting out as the toast of the town, putting on the best Halloweens every year, we see that this soul is lost. Having feared that he can't top himself, he wanders and discovers a world he just can't comprehend. His good intentions lead to the Christmas from hell, and through this journey he discovers not only the old "meaning of Christmas", but himself. This leads to him bringing righteous retribution down on the villains of his town, while begging for forgiveness for those he was wronged. Find me one other character from the 90's that can be as joyful, lovable, misguided and terrifying as Jack Skellington. He GROWS, he IS the movie. He doesn't just show up for a cup of coffee and a good yell at some pretty-boy Scientologist, he elevates what could have been just another holiday special to a classic.

Here's a test. Jessup's famous line: "You can't handle the truth!" Now please, recite ANYTHING else he says in that speech.

A line from Jack: "There are children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads. They're busy building toys, and absolutely no one's dead!" You're welcome for the earworm.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but I'm sure you can handle it. Jessup doesn't qualify for this tournament since you don't recognize his name without the picture. 19 years after A Few Good Men, Jessup is good for a single line in Nicholson retrospectives. 18 years after Nightmare, Jack Skellington is still gaining fans, being seen in theatres in 3D, and causing people to hum songs about their confusion about snow. Truly great characters endure through time and become legends. Mediocre ones only survive through their best line.

- Astin


Remember to go over to Filmchaw to vote. NOW. Vote Skellington!

1 comment:

lightning36 said...

Astin -- so wrong on this one. Riggsy nailed it.