Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Male Characters Tag

Remember the Five Female Characters Tag I did earlier this month?  Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell has tagged me with its counterpart :-)  So here goes!

1.) List 5 of your favorite male characters (book or screen)
2.) Tagging other people is optional
3.) If you are tagged link back to the person that tagged you
4.) Link back to Revealed In Time

Choose one from each category:

1.) Hero
2.) Villain
3.) Anti-hero
4.) Best book-to-screen adaption
5.) Best character perception change (as explained here by the tag's originator, Ivy Miranda)

Right, so here goes.  Once again, I'm very happy that this tag specifies these can be "five OF your favorite male characters" because I could choose five or ten for each of these categories. So here are the ones I feel like talking about today:

1.) Hero:  Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson) in The Man from Snowy River (1982)

The Man from Snowy River (1982) has been my favorite movie since I was 2 years old.  I've blogged about it before here and here.  The man himself, Jim Craig, has been object of my aspirations for more than 30 years.  When I watched this the last time, about a year and a half ago, I realized that I have spent my life trying to be like Jim Craig.  Honest, innocent-yet-not-naive, forthright, stubborn, determined, kind, helpful -- that's Jim Craig, and that's what I try to be.

2.) Villain:  Calverra (Eli Wallach) in The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Yeah, I have trouble with villains.  I tend to adamantly dislike them, and the idea of "favorite villain" is a hard one for me.  But I am genuinely fond of Calverra.  I wrote a whole post about him here, but to recap, I like him because he treats the business of being a bandit chieftain as just another day job. He isn't out to be Mean and Nasty and Evul. Robbing just happens to be how he makes his living and provides for the men who depend on him.

3.) Anti-hero:  Sawyer (Josh Holloway) on Lost (2004-2010).

Um, yeah.  Sawyer.  ::Sigh::  How can I explain Sawyer?  He's a con artist who grew up hating con artists.  He works hard to make people dislike him because he dislikes himself.  He tries time and again not to do the right thing because he doesn't believe he's the right kind of guy... but despite himself, over the course of six seasons, he becomes a genuinely Good Guy.  Because I tend to blog about characters I dearly love, I've got a whole post about him too, here.

4.) Best book-to-screen adaption:  Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) from Master and Commander:  The Far Side of the World (2003)

When I blogged about the soundtrack here on James the Movie Reviewer's blog, someone commented that my calling M&C "one of the finest book-to-film adaptations ever" made it seem like I hadn't read the book, because the plot of the movie has very little to do with the plot of Patrick O'Brian's book Master and Commander.  And that's true.  Because the movie pulls from several of the 20 books in the series, all of which I have read.  And when it comes to capturing the essence of characters, and also their mannerisms, foibles, habits, and even physicality, I have yet to see the match of these two.  And yes, I'm talking about both of them because you can't talk about Aubrey without Maturin, and vice versa.  It doesn't work.

5.) Best character perception change  (as explained here by the tag's originator, Ivy Miranda):  Bud White (Russell Crowe) in LA Confidential (1997)

I need to put a big disclaimer here before I talk about Bud.  I would not recommend LA Confidential to most of my blogging friends.  It's not a nice movie.  There's a lot of bad stuff in it:  prostitution, murder, drug use, corruption, violence, greed, lust, anger, woman-hitting, homosexuality, and rotting corpses.  It fully earns its R rating.  I don't ordinarily watch movies like it.  I don't recommend that you do, either.

However.  Bud White.  Just look at him in that picture, and maybe you can understand why the phrase "in his eyes, all the sadness of the world" comes to my mind when I think of Bud.  (Yeah, that's from Phantom of the Opera.  Everything gets mashed together in my head.  It's a fun place.)

When we first meet Bud White, we see him as a thuggish police officer, valuable only for his fists and willingness to use them on command.  He's just a big slab of unemotional muscle.  But as the story unfolds, we get to see the mind behind those muscles, the emotions he fears and tries to control.  When he unleashes his anger and pain, it is fearsome, much more so than the sight of him punching someone when his boss tells him to.  And when we get to see the clever mind behind both the muscles and the emotions, we finally see him for what he is:  an intelligent, damaged, but redeemable man.

Once again, I'm not tagging anyone because I'm supposed to be getting ready for my Hamlet read-along, which starts tomorrow.  However, if you want to do either this tag or the Five Female Characters version, have at it!


  1. Ooh, yay!

    CALVERA! Oh mah gash. Hamlette, I literally just started The Magnificent Seven today, and I already quite like Calvera (ya know, for a villain).

    I should watch Lost someday...

    I liked Paul Bettany in that movie <3 (Well, really, in every movie in which I've seen him.)

    I can totally see why that phrase comes to your mind. Whoa.

    Thanks for doing the tag!:)

    1. You're watching Mag7!!! Awesomesauce! Oh, I dearly love that movie. It is nigh unto perfection.

      Lost is fascinating and addictive. It's the only show I've ever binge-watched, in that I would wach eps on DVD while my kids napped and I could not stop at the end of an episode, I had to keep watching and watching until they woke up, even if it meant stopping in the middle of an ep.

      Paul Bettany is always excellent, isn't he? Have you seen Wimbledon? He's very sweet in that.

      Thanks for tagging me :-)

    2. I haven't seen Wimbledon yet. I saw the trailer, and it looked pretty adorable, but then I read that there was some content so I'm unsure:(

    3. Olivia, I checked the imdb "parental advisory" page for Wimbledon just now and wow, I did not remember it had that much content!!! In fact, I thought I remembered it being relatively tame. HUH! Granted, I've seen it 2 or 3 times and that was back in WI, so 8+ years ago, but wow, I thought I'd have remembered all that. I'll just have to watch it again some time -- I have the DVD, but haven't seen it in ages.

  2. Jim Craig--sounds like a wonderful role model. And really, he sounds a LOT like you :) Even though he's a guy and you're a girl--you know what I mean. Character-wise and personality-wise.

    That's sort of how I felt when I watched Amazing Grace--I identified VERY strongly with Wilber, even though he's a guy. The way he was so stubborn about his ideals and so empathetic and soft-hearted . . . I was like, man, why is this so accurate? :) Maybe it's an INFJ thing? Don't know. All I know is, it's an awesome movie :)

    1. Jessica, it's nice to hear I'm succeeding at least somewhat in my quest to become more like a fictional character :-)

      Don't you love it when you stumble across a character that is just so very much YOU? I only have a few -- Lucy in While You Were Sleeping, John Reid in The Lone Ranger, Illya Kuryakin in The Man from UNCLE. But I have many that I see part of myself in, and wish to be more like: Jim Craig from MFSR, Bard the Bowman from the Hobbit movies, Victoria Barkley on The Big Valley, and so many more. I love what they teach me about myself.

    2. Exactly! "Seeing yourself" in a fictional character helps you understand more why you do certain things, how your mind/personality works--and how you can improve, too.

      I think the two fictional characters I see myself in the most are William Wilberforce and Fanny Price. Their stubbornness about what's right and what's wrong, their empathy, their emotional sensitivity/vulnerability, and their somewhat--ahem--"impractical" nature all remind me of my own personality. A lot.

      Although, interestingly, I wouldn't necessarily say they're my absolute FAVORITE characters, although I like them very, very much. I'm also drawn pretty strongly to some characters who are quite different from me--like Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon and even Jessica Prescott (the real one, that is :) ). I guess that's natural, though--you don't want ALL your friends (real or fictional) to be exactly like you. That would just be boring.

    3. Often, the characters I identify with the most are not my favorites. In fact, in the vast majority of stories, if there's an ISFJ character, they're going to be my 2nd favorite. Just because I identify with them doesn't make them my favorite.

    4. Right! And the characters who are MY absolute favorites often turn out to be ISFJ types, I think. Especially if they're guys--for some reason, I really, really love male ISFJ characters. I think it's their protective nature--that always makes me sooooooo happy whenever I see it. Even though I don't share it myself. At all.

    5. How intriguing, Jessica! I haven't actually found that my favorite characters fall into any specific MBTI types -- I'm kind of all over the board. But my 2nd favorites? If there's an ISFJ, they'll probably be it.

      I do gravitate to people who can/would protect me, in real life and in fiction, though. Physically, in that I have a penchant for broad shoulders and muscles, and also personality-wise.

    6. I'm the same way--I really, really love the strong, protective type of characters. I love them even more if they're also kind of "strong and silent" in the sense that they have lots of feelings, but can't show them very easily. Because, you see, I realize that most of the audience is probably thinking of the character as an "insensitive clod," but I--being an INFJ--can sense the emotions under the surface, and I just want to give them a hug and be like, "Hey, it's okay, I know how you feel!"

      I did just realize, though, that one of my absolute favorite characters EVER--Father Brown in the G.K. Chesterton detective stories--is very likely an INFJ. He's super-super-intuitive and empathetic, and also calm and quiet but "quietly forceful," the way INFJs are often described. Like me, he's also very dreamy and kind of "philosophical," and he sometimes creeps other people out by the weird ideas he comes up with :) So it's a little different. Usually, the characters that I REALLY relate to aren't my absolute favorites, like you said . . . but Father Brown is three things at once: my "role model," my "fictional twin," AND one of my favorite people of all time.

    7. Hugging fictional characters is one of my favorite imaginary activities. Bud White up there in my post? NEEDS many many many hugs. So does my other favorite Russell Crowe character, come to think of it -- Cort in The Quick and the Dead. I don't want to hug them cuz I know how they feel, though, I want to hug them to comfort them and make them happy.

      Strong, silent types. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

      I haven't read the Father Brown books. I see them mentioned a lot of blogs, though, so perhaps I should try them!

    8. I would definitely recommend the Father Brown stories--they're absolutely amazing. I can't promise you'll like them, of course, because I know everybody has different tastes--but they're basically my favorite books EVER :)

    9. Well, I'll add them to the list, Jessica :-)

    10. Do! They're really worth reading, in my opinion. Actually, when I was a kid, I could literally recite entire PAGES of dialogue/description from those books. That's how much I loved them.

  3. Thank you for doing the tag : ) I especially loved that you chose Sawyer as your anti-hero that absolutely fits. For some reason I wasn't following your site anymore and I have no idea what happened, but anyways I'm following you (again). And thanks for the follow (or re-follow) on my site as well!

    1. Ivy, every now and then I'll discover that a blog has mysteriously dropped off my list of blogs I follow. I think GFC has a weird glitch or something. Because I follow like 50 blogs I don't tend to notice for a long time... and then suddenly I'll be like, "Wait, don't I follow this blog? Why didn't I read this post someone linked to? But... but I did follow this blog." And that seems to be what happened with yours. It's so weird! Happily, we're now both following each other again. I should probably figure out a way to back up my list of blogs I follow because this is at least the 4th time this has happened over the past couple years. Huh.

      But anyway... Sawyer. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm :-)

  4. Jim Craig -- ohhhh, the darling. :-) I love him dearly.

    And whoever this Sawyer person is, he's giving me slight heart palpitations. I really have trouble with dimples.


    1. Emma, I am such a sucker for dimples that they are partly responsible for me marrying Cowboy. He has them. And I had about decided I just didn't like him after all and wasn't going to be interested in him anymore, when he flashed his dimples my way at lunch one day and I was like, "Oh, nuts, he's actually kinda cute." (I also blame his broad shoulders.)

      If you want to see more of Sawyer's dimples, try going here or here or here or here. Or just google for Josh Holloway, cuz he's way smiley-er in real life than Sawyer is...

  5. Ah, my baby Russell. Bad temper, fabulous actor. Haven't seen that one, though.

    How do you draw the distinction between anti-hero and villain?

    1. I have been jonesing for some Russell Crowe lately, and am using The Quick and the Dead as a carrot to get me to finish draft two of my WIP. Nearly there! Which of the ones I mentioned above have you not see, LAC or M&C:FSOTW? I'm guessing LAC. It is a rough film, albeit with a very good ending, but if you've been drawing away from violent and dark things lately (IIRC?), you might not want to go there. Violent and dark it definitely is.

      I think of an anti-hero as someone who does not want to be a hero, but ends up working with the heroes or becoming a hero despite their initial inclinations. "Reluctant hero" might really be a better description of what I think of as an anti-hero. Though sometimes I apply it to heroes who just don't have your usual heroic qualities like unselfishness and kindness and helpfulness. Sawyer works hard to BE selfish and unkind and unhelpful, but in the end he tends to do the right thing and acknowledge that it was the right thing to do. Villains to me, on the other hand, do not care if what they want to do is right or wrong -- they want it, and that's all. They might sometimes do the right thing, if it serves their ends, but never if it's against their interests. Make sense?

    2. LAC. I've seen the other one (costume drama? sooo there). I don't mind dark and violent ("Gladiator" has been my favorite movie for years). I'll have to watch it sometime, when in the right mood.

      Yes, that makes sense.

      Sawyer wants to be hated; if other people hate him, then he has a little less self-loathing. Their hatred of him justifies him in his own mind. The tragedy of Sawyer is that he tries to do the right thing and often botches it.

    3. I'm not sure I consider Gladiator to be all that dark. Violent, yes, but not exactly dark. Unhappy, yes. At any rate, LAC has a whole other kind of darkness.

      You're exactly right about Sawyer.

    4. I guess you have a point, even though Gladiator still has murder, insanity, and intended rape/incest in it.

      How's this? I love the TV show "Hannibal." I'm sure I can handle LAC. ;)

    5. Charity, yes, Gladiator has an ick factor for sure. But the overall flavor isn't dark, I guess?

      But you can totally handle LAC. I wouldn't go near Hannibal for love or money.

  6. I only know one of these -- well, two, cause Jack and Stephen! I haven't read the books, but I love those two so much. It's very easy to believe that they are accurately adapted characters! Technically I've seen The Man From Snowy River, but it was too long ago for me to remember the character. :P I like your descriptions of the others though! Nice list!

    1. Sarah, Jack and Stephen! If you're going to know only two, I'm glad it's they, because how wonderful they are :-) Glad you liked my list!


Agree or disagree? That is the question...

Comments on old posts are always welcome!

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)