tuesday topics: eight. characters you loathe

July 24, 2017

one. ray in a walk among the tombstones. portrayed by david harbour in the film based on the lawrence block novel. ray and his friend albert have taken it upon themselves to wreak havoc on the lives of drug dealers, kidnapping their wives and demanding ransoms, but when given the ransoms, the wives' dead bodies are delivered like a drug shipment, chopped up and packaged in bags. ray creeps me the fuck out. his friend albert's a worse person who should scare me more, but albert's kind of a quiet one. when ray speaks, my skin crawls. this movie is so gruesome and troubling that if i so much as see the text on the guide screen as i'm flipping through channels, i feel a shadow of the dread ray evoked. by the way... that photo, i'm pretty sure that's in a scene where he picks off a little girl because the drug dealer's wife is confined to a hospital bed. i'm not gonna watch it again to confirm that. but if i'm right... there's not much torture in killing someone near death. but happy, healthy innocence... there's a fine way to twist a knife.

two. trent in the way way back. played by steve carell in the film written by nat faxon and jim rush. here's a douchebag dating a gal who's led herself to believe he is the best she can do. because this asshat sees himself as a ten. he and his daughter and she and her son named duncan are on the way to his beach house for a summer vacation, where he'll ignore his daughter, cheat on his girlfriend with the wife of one of his good friends and do his damnedest to whittle his girlfriend's son's ego so it's next to nothing. the film opens with trent asking duncan to rate himself on a scale of one to ten. when duncan says that he's a six, trent says he's a three and that he should use the time at the beach house to raise his score.

three. loretta creswood in pump up the volume. portrayed by annie ross in the film written by allan moyle. she's the new (i think... it's been ages since i've watched this one) principal at hubert humphrey high school, and her priority is getting as much funding from the government as she can, which means getting rid of the students who don't test well... students she refers to as losers. when she discovers the existence of a pirated, nightly radio broadcast, one that encourages students to act out, the number of students she expels increases dramatically. the boy behind the broadcast becomes even bolder as he tries to uncover her scheme, and she, in turn, becomes even more desperate.

four. ted hendricks in the secret life of walter mitty. played by adam scott in the film based on the james thurber short story. because life magazine is ceasing print publication, a majority of the staff are (is? can't remember... probably is, but whatever) being let go, and hendricks leads the transition team. he is SO, SO full of himself. an immature asshole of the lowest order (that's not from the movie. that's a line from the cutting edge spoken by moira kelly's character, but it SO suits this guy). i find him so despicably pompous that whenever i see scott in another film, i've a hard time separating the character in that film from this one. (i know. he's in parks and rec. i don't watch that show, but i imagine his character on that program is just as pathetic.) 

five. hilly holbrook in the help. portrayed by bryce dallas howard in the film based on the kathryn stockett novel. there is so much hate in this woman. so much. she is utterly, maddeningly vile. it's not enough that she hates, she has to force her friends to hate all the things she hates, too, and if they don't submit to her wishes, she'll unleash her hatred on them... she'll have the whole community hating those whom she determines to be hateful. she is, as aibileen says, a godless woman, and hell can't claim her kind soon enough.

six. fernand mondego in the count of monte cristo. played by guy pearce in the film based on the alexandre dumas novel. here's a guy who's envious of his best friend, so much so that he frames edmond, has him imprisoned and marries his fiancee. moments before edmond is arrested, he asks fernando the reason for his betrayal. because you're the son of a clerk, fernando says, and i am not supposed to want to be you. how ironic that his efforts to have all the things edmond had lead to his demise.

seven. mr. nolan in dead poets society. portrayed by norman lloyd in the film written by tom schulman. one of the world's worst teachers, and somehow he'd managed to become the headmaster of the place. he's so weak that when the father of a boy who'd taken his life rather than die the slow death in the life his parents had planned for him, when that father chooses to lay the blame on the feet of robin william's john keating and demand his termination, the headmaster sides with the father. he is a weak, pathetic, bully of a man, too eager to cling to the way things have always been done, too heavily immersed in his own opinions that he can't see the merit of others. too greedy for power. and in the end my heart is pleased that a group of youngsters, inspired by all they have learned from keating, take control of the classroom, and it takes that pompous weasel nolan quite some time to reclaim it.

eight. sean nokes in sleepers. played by kevin bacon in the film based on the lorenzo carcaterra novel. nokes is a guard at a juvenile detention facility. he beats and rapes the boys there. he encourages other guards to do so, as well. and when karma comes for him, i'm glad to see it happen. really, really glad.

what characters make you cringe? share them with me!


  1. Hilly from the Help is a great choice! I didn't think of that one! I'm sure I could think of plenty more than just eight characters I don't like if I tried!
    The Beth Next Door

  2. YES!! Hilly for sure. It was weird seeing Steve Carell playing such a douche. I also had no idea it was written by Nat Faxon! I love Adam Scott so much, in a good or bad guy role.

  3. Sean Nokes. That's a helluva good pick.