The "Movies" List: Super-Hero Villains



I've been doing a “Movies” list segment most weeks on The Chris Vernon Show for a few years now — a top five list of movies or movie-related items each week, usually based on what's big or at least new at the box-office each week.

With the show moving this month to a new station, with a better signal and presumably an expanded audience, it seems like a good time to hit reset on the segment — and to start logging them again here.

Wednesday afternoon, I did the first “Movies” segment for the new-look show — best super-hero movie villains, based on The Dark Knight Rises and Verno's own pro-Bane, anti-Joker outburst from earlier in the week. From here on out — if I can keep it up — I'm going to log the lists on Sing All Kinds each week after the segment has been broadcast. (And if you can't hear it live, "The Chris Vernon Show" is available both on the station's site and via an iTunes podcast.)

That's it, here's the list:

5. Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The best villain in the overall Spider-Man franchise turned out to be the best villain of the four films made so far as well. Played by Alfred Molina, a fine and elastic actor who doesn't fit the typical villain archetype, Doc Oc was also the source of the one scene in the first three films in which director Sam Raimi truly indulged his chaotic, comic-horror style:

4. Bane from The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Number four with a bullet. Tom Hardy's roid-rage terrorist/warlord has immense physicality and manages to be at once funny and frightening. The mask he wears limits Hardy's expressiveness, but his muffled Yoda-meets-James Mason voice is already iconic.

3. Buddy Pine/Syndrome from The Incredibles (2004)
From Pixar's lone, witty foray into the world of costumed crusaders. This pint-sized creep (voiced by Jason Lee) has a great backstory: A one-time Mr. Incredible fanatic who longed to be his hero's sidekick and was denied, he turns rejection and resentment into fuel in becoming a kill yr idols super-villain.

2. Magneto from the X-Men series (2000, 2003, 2006, 2011)
Because one man's bad guy is another's freedom fighter. A great origin story as a Holocaust survivor turned pro-mutant radical. A great “villain” in four different movies played by two different actors: Ian McKellen in an enjoyably catty variation on display in X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand, and then Michael Fassbender as a young, swashbuckling Nazi hunter who goes wrong in the more recent prequel X-Men: First Class.

1. The Joker from The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger's unnerving, definitive, instantly legendary turn on the classic character. An obvious, unavoidable top choice.


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