January 31, 2004
While Russia is a shadow of its former superpower self, the United States and its President are more than confident. So confident, in fact, that President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) travels to Moscow to deliver a powerful yet somewhat controversial speech about terrorism and the hard stance America will take against it. This new position is tested immediately when a group of Russian nationalists take control of Air Force One as it begins its journey home and demand the release of General Alexander Radek, a tyrant looking to turn the country back into the evil Cold War Russia it once was. Before the terrorists can grab him though, the President flees in the escape pod.
The terrorists aboard the President's plane are led by Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), a true son of "Mother Russia" who makes his terms clear: bow to their demands or, every half hour, someone aboard the plane will be executed. The President's own wife and daughter are aboard the plane, but unbeknownst to the terrorists, so is the President (who launched the pod empty). This places him in the awful position of choosing between the lives of those he loves and ignoring the important anti-terrorist policy he just put forth. Of course, President Marshall is a former Medal of Honor winner and can kick any man's ass. The Prez decides to kick some and fight back against these terrorists.
All the while, Korshunov terrorizes the hostages by threatening them all and personally killing the National Security Advisor and the Press Secretary. With hidden parachutes, he helps most of the hostages escape, but the President is eventually captured. When the gun is placed to the head of the First Daughter, the President finally relents. He places the call to the Russian President to ask for Radek's release. Korshunov then reveals he has lied: he won't be letting anyone go. This leads to the President's dramatic fight back and his eventual order to Korshunov in the cargo bay to "Get off my plane!" The terrorist eventually does escape the plane in his own parachute, but not before his neck is broken by the President in the process.
During the hostage situation on AFO, Korshunov was incredibly vile. When killing a hostage, he'd put the cabin speakers on so everyone could hear the person die. Then threatening the lives of the First Lady and Daughter pushed the President over the edge. He may be a nationalist - some might say, a patriot - but his methods and actions weren't about to be approved by Americans or Russians.
INTELLIGENCE - 7: It takes an incredible plan to hijack Air Force One and follow through on those terrorist actions.
POWER - 6: Korshunov certainly can handle himself, with his fists or with a gun.
VILENESS - 10: His threats were terrible, but his murders aboard Air Force One were committed without mercy or pity.
SWAY - 9: He never hesitates: this is Korshunov's most dangerous strategy during the negotiations to get what he wants.
PURITY - 10: Korshunov admits that niether his morals nor his allegiance to God will stand in the way of his love for "Mother Russia" and the country it once was.
PHYSICAL - 4: He is as intense as they come, and screams in anguish over his fallen comrades.
Posted by Destro at 04:05 PM
January 22, 2004
Dr. Zachary Smith
As a stowaway aboard the Jupiter 2, Dr. Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman) becomes an unwitting participant in the Global Sedition conspiracy to murder the Robinson family along with any witnesses to that fact. Clearly, he has no qualms with killing the family, toasting them with "Give my regards to oblivion." It's when he is slated to die along with them that he starts to take offense to the plan.
The Robinsons, led by patriarch Prof. John Robinson (William Hurt), are set to travel to Alpha Prime through a new Hyper-Gate in search of resources to help the people of Earth as their own planet is seemingly running dry. Opposed to this, the Global Sedition hires the snivelling Dr. Smith to do their dirty work and sabotage the Robinson ship. Once his work has been done though, he is trapped aboard by his own employer, to be disposed of in deep space.
Dr. Smith wakes up the cryo-sleeping Robinsons in time for them to save the ship - well, little Will does - and helps revive their daughter Judy from certain death. They don't trust Smith though and lock him up in a makeshift brig. Eventually, though, he becomes a reluctant part of the team to help them explore a brand-new quadrant of space, having engaged the hyperdrive in an emergency without a destination Hypergate to guide them. Now marooned in deep space, the Robinsons must find a way home and will need Dr. Smith's help too.
Everything changes (again) when the Jupiter 2 lands on a strange planet and Dr. Smith suffers an injury which mutates him into a giant spider-like creature. We only see the aftermath of this: a dead family, save for Will who has grown into a true genius, building a Hypergate completely from scratch to return to Earth. It is the spidery Dr. Smith, however, who plans to use the gate, readying himself to travel back to wipe out the planet and take over the world with his spider offspring. In the nick of time - so to speak - Will is able to use the Hypergate to speak to his family in the past and warn them of the impending doom. For Dr. Smith, it would seem a bittersweet destiny: his plans for world domination are thwarted, but at least he doesn't turn into a spider.
INTELLIGENCE - 7: This doctor is clever, inventive, and crazy like a fox.
POWER - 3: Mostly, he seems to be a scared weakling, but he's just fully aware of his own physical limits.
VILENESS - 10: Willing to murder the Robinson family for the Sedition cause and his own profit. And then he killed them anyway.
SWAY - 6: Keeps people off-guard with his skittish behavior, all the while looking for his chance to stab anyone in his way in the back.
PURITY - 8: Greedy and slimy, he's only willing to work with the Robinsons when his own survival hangs in the balance.
PHYSICAL - 4: Pencil-thin and scruffy, it looks like a strong gust of wind could knock him over. Until he turns into a spider, that is.
Thanks to the Baroness for her help writing this bio!
Posted by Destro at 03:48 PM
January 16, 2004
Detective Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) has a number of problems. A drug problem, psychological problems, problems with Beethoven... At the beginning of The Professional, his problem is with one of the lowlifes he's been paying to store drugs on the down low. That problem becomes a fatal one for the drug courier's whole family, which is murdered by Stansfield and his goons in a violent, dizzying barrage of ammunition. The sole survivor is 12-year old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) who slips by the NYPD and into the reluctant but protective arms of the local neighborhood hitman, Léon (Jean Reno), living right down the hall.
As the hitman and the little girl strike up an unlikely friendship, Stansfield continues to strike fear into the neighborhood thugs and his own guys, popping pills with his spine-shattering spasms and showing a serious lack of control of his temper. The death of that family? Doesn't bother him. What does bother him is the revelation that somebody slipped through his fingers, and when he discovers the existence of young Mathilda, he does everything he can to find her and kill her.
Mathilda, however, has her own ideas about finding and killing people, namely the goons who murdered her little brother. At a price of five grand a head, Léon's normal asking price is steep, but he sympathises with his young friend and takes on the mission. One by one, Léon takes out the team of cops and Stansfield roughs up Léon's local boss for information. Stansfield corners Léon and Mathilda at Léon's apartment. In a stunning show of excess for the apprehension of just one guy by an obsessed, eccentric maniac, Stansfield summons the entire NYPD force: "Bring everyone." "You want everyone--?" "EV-ERY-ONE!!!!"
Soon enough, everyone does come and Léon nearly slips by, but Stansfield shoots him in the back. The ruthless and careless Stansfield takes enjoyment in erasing the last shred of evidence against his wrongdoings and smiles in the face of Léon's death only to learn too late that the dozen grenades strapped to Léon's chest mean the end of Stansfield's life too. In a glorious explosion, Léon saves Mathilda and finishes the job he promised to complete by killing Stansfield. While Mathilda can now find a place to grow and plant her roots, Stansfield will forever be responsible for stealing away the only true father she ever had.
INTELLIGENCE - 7: Stansfield is smart and has connections.
POWER - 5: He lets his boys take out the trash, but he can certainly fend for himself.
VILENESS - 10: He'll shoot kids! He'll shoot at old ladies in hotel hallways! He has no morals whatsoever!
SWAY - 9: Stansfield is so eccentric and ill-tempered that it's impossible to know when he'll snap next.
PURITY - 9: This guy is so over the top that he sometimes loses focus and lets important things slip by... but not often.
PHYSICAL - 4: He's a little ragged from the pill-popping, but perfectly at ease in his plain clothes detective-wear.
Posted by Destro at 04:54 PM
January 08, 2004
Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) is a young London lawyer summoned to the distant lands of Transylvania to help an eccentric Count get his real estate holdings in order. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) is a strange, mysterious, and imposing figure clad in elaborate robes and employing a thick-as-mud accent, making Harker uncomfortable from the beginning, and soon after, paranoid for his life. This hermit of a Count has remained long hidden from the world, but a jarring discovery sends him to London. Dracula finds a picture of Harker's fiance, Mina (Winona Ryder), who bears a striking resemblance to his one true love, Elisabeta. She was the unfortunate victim of a suicide, believing her lover was dead. When he learned of her death, Dracula renounced God and cursed the living. Hundreds of years later, Dracula remains undead, but his passion is ignited by the sight of young Mina.
In London, Mina and her friend Lucy (Sadie Frost) spend time laughing and giggling over all the suitors pining for young Lucy, and gushing over Jonathan's adoration of Mina. Soon, Dracula arrives and, at first sight, is overcome by Mina's appearance. Mina, however, is repelled by the lavish wardrobe and outlandish accent, but soon softens to the Count's seemingly innocent advances. After spending a day together, the chemistry between them is immediately apparent. Mina and Dracula know they have a connection, but only the Count is fully aware that it spans "oceans of time" between them.
However, there is an ugly fact about Dracula unbeknownst to Mina: he is a bloodthirsty killer, a vampire who must feed off the living in order to exist. Like a rabid wolf, the Count stalks and seduces his prey, including young Lucy, whom he curses with a neckbite. She begins to transform into an undead being as well; that is, until Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) arrives to try and counteract the process. He is too late to save Lucy's life, but he restores her soul by driving a stake into her heart and chopping her head off. These practices are not easy for the uneducated Englishman civilians in his midst, but they must believe in order to defeat the advances of Count Dracula, the Nosferatu.
Dracula is a grosteque being, but at the same time a soulful, passionate, romantic individual. His obsession with Mina reaches a head when she asks him to make her like he is: a vampire. Dracula is overcome with love for her and cannot bring himself to commit this terrible act - to "condemn" her, as he puts it - but she forces his hand. He finally relents just as Van Helsing and company corner him. The race is on as Dracula rushes back to his Transylvanian castle where he can safely rest and regain his strength. In the process, Mina begins to show vampiric aspects, helping the Count return home. There, he attains his eventual redemption and returns to human form. Only then can he be released from his own curse, and Mina reluctantly stabs his heart and beheads him. Count Dracula's soul is released and his bond with Elisabeta is restored, but his reign of terror across London remains both frightening and legendary.
INTELLIGENCE - 7: Wily and clever, the Count is a cunning warrior with animal instincts.
POWER - 7: His strength surpasses any man, and regenerative powers give him a distinct edge, but his power is dimished during the day.
VILENESS - 10: He kills at will - man, woman, or child - driven by passion and hunger.
SWAY - 10: Incredible influence. He can hyponotize and make people hallucinate while seducing women and ravaging them.
PURITY - 8: He is a bloodthirsty animal and an undead monster, but love still beats in his chest (sort of).
PHYSICAL - 10: Dracula can transform into anything, given the chance and shadows to escape into.
Thanks to the Baroness for her help writing this bio!
Posted by Destro at 02:44 PM
November 06, 2002
Mofos come in all shapes and sizes, and seemingly from all walks of life. But the most fascinating ones, in my opinion, are the businessmen (and women) who bring chaos to the cinematic universe, all in the name of the almighty dollar. Being a businessman like Jean-Baptiste Zorg (Gary Oldman) is crucual for gaining power, wealth, and respect. And in The Fifth Element, Zorg is preparing to pull off his most important business deal in history: acquire a set of sacred stones for a highly-secretive buyer, known only as Mr. Shadow. After hiring some Mangalore thugs to do the job for him - and watching them fail - Zorg realizes that if you want something done... well, you know the rest.
Off to Fhloston Paradise he goes with devious plans in mind (and his new ZF-1 blaster in hand). To a man like Zorg, time is not only money, it is life itself. Working under ultimately fatal conditions, Zorg does his damnedest to extract the stones from the Titanic-like cruise liner, but before you can say "Leeloo Dallas Multipass," they slip through his fingers and a giant karma bomb pretty much does the rest for Jean-Baptiste Zorg. Just goes to show you that just because you own the company that supplies military weapons, you shouldn't necessarily be the one to use them.
Zorg, a futuristic cross between Jean-Paul Gaultier and H. Ross Perot, is downright frightening from a fashion standpoint. Perhaps just as astounding though is his confidence in his own business practices. Witness the deal between Zorg and the mercenary band of aliens: "Four stones? Four crates. ZERO STONES? ZERO CRATES!" Even while under duress, Zorg remains a crafty negotiator; as for his dealings with Mr. Shadow, however, Zorg was clearly in over his head.
INTELLIGENCE - 8: A crafty businessman with some fairly devious plans up his sleeve.
POWER - 5: Zorg's one of the smaller mofos out there, but he's not afraid to get his hands dirty.
VILENESS - 7: The morals pretty much go out the door when money - and his own life - hangs in the balance.
SWAY - 6: Not afraid to raise his voice, even against mercanaries twice his size.
PURITY - 8: Will hire the dirtiest players in the game and personally kill civilians.
PHYSICAL - 4: The Jean-Paul Gaultier getup measures well for shock value, but not for villainy.
Posted by Destro at 09:31 AM