Villains, Always With The Villains

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by InklingStar, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not at all. Romero play a wide variety of characters, Romero is best known as the handsome "Latin lover" (though he was actual gay), he appeared in 120 movies.

    Ledger was in something like 18 movies and it was only in the last 3 or 4 that you could say his acting ability was "above average."
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. Ledger was sure on the cusp of something great, but he hadn't quite reached it yet by the time he was gone IMO.

    I'm not making a comparison there between Joker actors, just a general observation. A lot of Ledger's work pre-2006/07 was average at best. But he was getting better. I think the biggest tragedy about his death was that every indication shows TDK as being a breakout role for him. :(
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I've seen Romero in a variety of roles, from Indian servant to tough guy gangster. It still came across as Cesar Romero in a turban or Cesar Romero with a gun.
     
  4. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are three objectionable aspects to villains, not just in Star Trek, but any and all movies.

    First, basically nobody thinks of themselves as a villain, not even the cool bad ass dudes who revel in kicking ass. The villains who enjoy twitting the heroes with their glorious badness are basically a joke, even if the actor can manage to project menace. (This is especially true if the audience is kind of gullible. It's why Ledger's Joker is not an amazing performance. Remember the Joker instead of Ennis makes a laughingstock of Ledger's life as an actor.) The psychopaths who really don't have any morals don't usually have any sense of humor either, nor are they magically gifted with really cool style. Generally, their life strategies involve mimicking normal people with consciences, not enacting vicarious fantasies about doing what you want.

    Second, the notion that making it personal makes it more intense usually fails, because more personal is usually more petty. Worse, the number of ways to make it personal is pretty limited. This means making it personal demands anchoring the plot on a cliche, which is not good.

    Third, making the plot about resolution of physical jeopardy is melodrama, not drama. Drama is about choice. A physical jeopardy plot usually ends with a combat, even a hand to hand combat. But this is not more intense, even when the plot doesn't have to be contorted to set up the final confrontation. There isn't much drama in a protagonist choosing to fight to live or save someone, because it's an easy choice to make, however hard it may be to execute. "Does the hero win?" is hardly worth asking yourself.

    Unfortunately, you can't escape the fundamental second rateness of the hero vs. villain structure simply by maintaining there are no villains nor heroes, that it's all shades of grey or moral ambiguity. A drama without a point of view is, well, pointless.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That doesn't mean they aren't one. A character can be a villain and not realize it, or be in denial about it.
     
  6. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^Yes. I think real life characters like this tend to inflict their rationalizations about how what they're doing isn't wrong or even is necessary for other, higher purposes. Or rehearse the supposed wrongs of their enemies which they are righting or avenging.

    Villains with ideological motives in particular would be eager to justify themselves. However, these characters are almost never allowed to have their own point of view. In fact, they very often don't even get to be allowed to state any motive at all. And the scripts almost invariably ascribe a very personal motive. In real life, the only example of such a thing that even remotely approaches this that I know of is Lenin, whose older brother was executed by the Tsar. The scripts don't seem to want the slightest possibility of the viewer misreading the villain as misled rather than baselessly malicious.

    And the characters who are supposedly motivated by their grudges are rarely to be found. They certainly are not to be heard reciting their complaints. In fact, the scripts almost invariably merely show the villainous character's envy. The villain rarely makes any charges against the protagonist or even the victim.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  7. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Plus in Trek movies they're so "ooh, I'm scaaary." Kahn at least was handsome, but he preened and hissed literally (and was great. Once.). Chang was cool, but all-BA-lookin'. The creepy Borg queen. Salieri gettin' his skin stretched (though I loved the moral ambiguity of that movie). Can't even remember the scary-lookin Picard clone's name, that flick was such a mess. (Vroooom: Duuuune buggies in space! Kewl!) Then Bana all tatted up and oooh-so-scaaaary. (Yet so urban hipster, too: "Hello, Christopher.") Man! These are movies made for children aren't they? I'm so close to skipping the next one.
     
  8. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    inklingstar, since when has TMP been critically appreciated?
     
  9. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    I really hope that Harrison will be as complex as a DS9 villain.
     
  10. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I was hoping for more depth after the last flick and people said not to hope in vain, as JJ was the Transformers guy. I'm not down with loud, smashy movies, but I think I get it.

    Even if he were inclined, DS9 had hours of episodes in which to develop deep, nuanced characters (though it got comic-bookish at the end when they got demon-possessed and threw lightning bolts at each other and tumbled into hell. I digress.) A movie has two hours at the most. And it's 2013 summer blockbuster time. Depth doesn't put butts in seats and overpriced, deadly popcorn in mouths.

    You hope, and I'll hope too, and maybe JJ'll come through. He says there will be tears. Of course, those lens flares can be hard on the eyes; maybe that's what he meant.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, that's Michael Bay. ;)
     
  12. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The problem is that antagonists such as Dukat are developed over the course of many years worth of episodes. A movie villain has to be developed and dealt with in the space of about two hours. That is where the writers did well with Khan and the Borg Queen - they were able to take antagonists who were previously developed and then take them to a new level.

    Around the time that the Director's Edition DVD came out, I noticed a lot of people giving TMP respect as a harder sci-fi story, with interesting ideas despite the lack of action. I really started to appreciate it more around that time and I am sure I was not the only one.
     
  13. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    V'GER was a villain. Anything that destroys 3 Klingon Battlecruisers, Epsilon Nine, and Ilia for no apparent reason is a villain. Just because you find out it's motivation at the end of the movie, doesn't make it not a bad guy up until that point.

    The Whalesong Probe in Voyage Home wasn't directing it's energy at humans exactly, but was going to kill them as a result of it's actions. Not a villain kinda like a hurricane isn't a villain.
     
  14. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    Thez needed to save the franchise and make a lot of money so it will be viable again. now they can make things more complex.
     
  15. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I have faith J.J. will do well. I was very happy with ST09, and I'm hoping this one will supersede it in every good way.
     
  16. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    Agreed. I had some issues with ST09 when I first saw it, but upon further viewing it really grew on me and I thoroughly enjoy it. I watched it a couple days before I left home for this deployment.

    I have high hopes for the new one and I think alot of that has to do with Cumberbath. I discovered him in Sherlock and think he's great. No matter who his character ends up being it will be a good performance I am sure.

    I also found out that the base in Qatar where we get to take our 4 day R&R has a movie theater! I was already planning on taking my R&R around June and since the AAFES theaters usually get movies about a month or so after release I think I can plan my R&R right so I can see STID on the big screen! WOOT WOOT!!
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Harrison will certainly be better than Nero, and I hope he comes close to the top tier of Trek movie villains like Khan and General Chang. But I don't expect him to be as complex or nuanced as Dukat or any of DS9's villains. Keep in mind, the main appeal of the bad guys on DS9 was watching them develop over a period of years. There's only so much you can do in a two hour movie.

    Abrams had nothing to do with Transformer. You're thinking of Orci and Kurtzman, writers of Trek XI and STID who also wrote the Transformers movies.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I've noticed Chang being named as an example of a good villain. How is that, exactly? I saw a lame baddie with awkwardly tacked-on Shakespeare quotes in a pathetic attempt to give him the illusion of depth. Not a patch on Kruge or even Shinzon.
     
  19. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cumberbatch is a great actor but in the trailers all he does is snarl in a black trenchcoat and blow stuff up. I doubt he'll compete with Winn, Dukat, Weyoun and Female Changeling in terms of great Trek villains.

    The movies tend to be big, dumb, loud Hollywood blockbusters so lack the nuance I like in Trek. The best "villain" in the movie series is V'ger. An unknown, alien being that opens up philisophical questions. That we've de-evolved from that to fucking Eric "FIRE EVERYTHING!" Bana blowing planets up for no reason is a sad state of affairs.
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Having an eyepatch bolted onto his face is the very definition of badass. But also, the guy had a sense of style and sophistication, though maybe that is because of the Shakespeare quotes.