The Oscar Project
We have finally made it to the final round, and yes, I know it's not April anymore. With the Oscars wrapping this up the week before last, I decided to take a little breather from posting and this dropped off my radar. So now it's time to finish out the finals with the top two villains, according to your votes.
First up is our original #1 seed, Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, aka Anakin Skywalker, famous Jedi pilot and general for the Galactic Republic. Vader of course comes from the Star Wars franchise and has appeared in five films. Two previous films in the series focused on his early life as Anakin Skywalker, and the legacy of Vader appears in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as a driving force behind his grandson, Kylo Ren (Ben Solo).
For fans of the series, you already know that the image I've used here comes from the iconic moment of Vader's appearance on screen, and quite possibly the biggest reveal in cinematic history, the moment he reveals that he is Luke Skywalker's father.
There can be no doubt that Vader is a classic villain. He's clad entirely in black from the moment he "becomes" Darth Vader in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, until his demise at the end of Return of the Jedi. In every scene, his breathing is ever present and let's not forget the deep bassy voice of James Earl Jones that gives him that final menacing touch. When you can reach across a room, or even open space, to choke your rival to death, you possess true power. And the guy tries to kill his primary mentor twice, succeeding the second time, and ultimately tries to kill his own son twice as well. Those two take a new level of evil to pull off and still manage to be able to redeem yourself in the end.
Now, over to the Joker. Another classic villain, yet one that doesn't possess the immense power of the Force like Vader. He is just as evil when you get right down to it.
The Joker has been Batman's primary nemesis since the very beginning, appearing in Batman #1 back in 1940. The psycopathic clown has gone through many iterations over the years in the comics, and has at times been loosely associated with the Caped Crusader's defining moment, the murder of his parents in Gotham City.
On screen, The Joker has appeared in numerous television series, dating back to the 1960s, when he appeared in both live action and animated settings. And while I'm more interested in film versions here, I will note the curious fact that the animated version of The Joker has often been voice by Mark Hamill, none other than the actor behind Darth Vader's son, Luke Skywalker.
Similarly, multiple short animated films have featured the Joker, but the live action ones are where it's at. Starting with Jack Nicholson's portrayal in the 1988 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton, the character has an incredible lineage through to 2019's Joker, where Joaquin Phoenix plays the title character and took home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his efforts. But perhaps the most iconic portrayal of the character comes from the late Heath Ledger who took on the crazed clown in 2008's The Dark Knight. Even though he passed away before the film's release, he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which I believe makes The Joker the only character to receive two Academy Awards.
So now it's up to you to decide, who is the best (or worst) villain out of these two incredible baddies. Only one can win, so vote below before it's too late!
I hope everyone had a great week and got to see some fun new movies, or old movies. With round 3 running a little over the planned end date, I decided to let the quarterfinals go an extra few days as well. That also condenses the semifinal and finals down so we'll be all wrapped up before the end of the month.
Let's do a quick recap of the quarterfinals.
Our overall #1 seed continues to dominate the bracket with a near shutout against #9 Norman Bates who was only able to garner a single vote in the quarterfinal first match up. The Dark Lord of the Sith will face off against #4 Hannibal Lecter who handily took down #12 Pennywise in quarterfinal match up number 2.
The other half of our final four consists of two of the baddest comic book villains of all time. First up is #2 The Joker who soundly defeated #23 The Predator. Taking on the forever smiling clown is #19 Thanos who narrowly defeated #27 Gollum in a vote that literally went back and forth all week. It was a good run for the little ring thief, but in the end, we have a DC vs. Marvel match up for a place in the final round.
The second to last vote it live so get your semifinal votes in now to see who will take each other on in the final round next week!
Don't forget to watch the Oscars this Sunday night and find out who the big winners are. I will be providing a full update of the results next week following the ceremony.
So last week got away from me a bit and Round 3 extended a few days past when I had planned to shut it down. The good news is that there were a few ties that had to be broken today and finally were.
Let's do a quick recap before getting to your votes in the quarterfinals!
We started off with the Star Wars Sith head to head match-up of #1 Darth Vader and #48 Emperor Palpatine. While I was not surprised to see the original Star Wars villain take down his master, it actually ended up being a little closer than I anticipated. Facing off against the dark lord in black will be #9 Norman Bates from Hitchcock's classic Psycho after he narrowly defeated #25 Michael Myers.
In the biggest landslide of round 3, #4 Hannibal Lecter's opponent, #20 Jason Voorhees, was again only able to garner one vote, which I feel makes Hopkins's character a strong candidate to make it through to the semifinals later this week. The only thing standing in the cannibal's way is everyone's favorite clown, #12 Pennywise who completed a decent upset over #5 Bruce the Shark.
In the bottom half of the bracket, #2 The Joker ended #47 Hans Gruber's Cinderella run from the first round. Batman's arch nemesis will face off against #23 The Predator who narrowly defeated #7 The Terminator in the round's second upset.
And our last match-up in this round includes two lower seeds advancing. The first is #19 Thanos taking out #3 Anton Chigurh. This is our second top five villain to fall out of the bracket this round. Completing the underdogs in this final match-up is #27 Gollum. Perhaps we should call this the Jewelry Bowl since Gollum covets a ring and Thanos covets gem-like stones.
As we near the end of this tournament, it's more important than ever to make sure your votes are cast. I also have a vote going for the Best Picture Oscar race this year so please head over to that post and vote if you haven't already. If you want to find out about the new rounds as they are available, please consider signing up for the Oscar Project newsletter.
I hope you are having a great weekend. Today begin Round 3 of the April Villains Challenge here on the site. There were a number of close calls here and I have to say I was a little surprised how some of these match-ups turned out, but you have created several awesome contests this round with your votes!
To recap Round 2, I was not surprised to see #1 Darth Vader take down #32 Alonzo Harris or #48 Emperor Palpatine take out #18 Keyzer Söze. This sets up a master vs. apprentice face off in Round 3. Michael Myers (25) did surprise in the ease with which he took down Fatal Attraction's Alex Forrest (8). We'll see if he clears #9 Norman Bates who vanquished #24 Lord Voldemort in a close match.
The T-1000 (29) only pulled down one vote and proved no match for #4 Hannibal Lecter. Everyone's favorite cannibal will face off against #20 Jason Voorhees, who narrowly defeated #13 Tyler Durden. The middle part of the bracket continues with some close match-ups with #5 Bruce the Shark narrowly defeating #28 Calvin Candie. Bruce will take on #12 Pennywise who also completed a narrow win over #21 John Doe.
Continuing down the line, The Joker (2) soundly defeated #31 Freddy Krueger and will face off against the winner of the Hans Bowl, Hans Gruber. As the 47th seed coming in, Gruber is the second lowest seed, only higher than Emperor Palpatine. The other Terminator villain, the OG Terminator (7) easily took down #26 Immortan Joe and will face off against #23 Predator who soundly defeated #10 Mr. Potter. This is my favorite match-up of the month so far, with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character paired with the Predator, a film in which he appeared as the hero.
Nearing the bottom of the bracket, next up we have #3 Anton Chigurh with a comfortable win over Nurse Ratched. He will take on the Thanos (19) after the Mad Titan completed a solid win over #14 Leatherface. Our last match-up consists of #27 Gollum, who beat #6 Amon Goeth by a single vote, and #22 Annie Wilkes, who ousted The Wicked Witch of the West (11) by a 3 vote margin.
There were many more votes in round 2 than round 1 and I would love to get even more in this round. If you want to find out about the new rounds as they are available, please consider signing up for the Oscar Project newsletter.
I feel like I keep referencing holidays here in these posts, but with the Easter holiday behind us, "official" holidays are few and far between for a while, at least here in the States. I'm hoping that movie releases are not the same and that we keep getting a steadier stream of new films hitting theaters as things open up a bit more.
But back to our challenge for this month, finding out the best movie villain. Round 1 is in the books and for the most part, it fell according to the seeding form the Insider.com list I used. One notable lower seed that won was 47th seed Hans Gruber, played brilliantly by Alan Rickman in Die Hard, taking out 18th seed alien, from the Alien films. The man won fell from Nakatomi Plaza will face off against Christoph Waltz's wonderfully nasty Nazi officer Hans Landa from Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds in what I will be calling the Hans Bowl.
The other "upset" if one can really call it that was Emperor Palpatine taking out Phyllis Dietrichson form Double Indemnity. One clearly has a much bigger following which is likely why the evil emperor took this round, but looking ahead a bit, if Palpatine can take down Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects, he will likely face off against number one seed, his apprentice, Darth Vader. That of course assumes Vader will take down Alonzo Harris, which is no given, but a pretty strong bet if I ever saw one.
As with round 1, the survey is embedded in this post below, but if you have trouble, you can still access it through Google Forms. The bracket is also available below, but also on Challonge.com. Get your votes in to keep your favorite baddies in the running.
One quick note. Challonge would allow me to enter percentages in the scoring, but did not carry them through to the view below, thus why each match-up only adds to 99% instead of 100%.
Happy April Fools Day everyone. I wish I had a good joke to play on you, but I want to get serious about this next challenge. With last month's Pixar challenge, we got to focus on a bunch of feel good movies that are pretty much adored by everyone. It was a hard challenge simply because all of Pixar's movies are so good. Even the bad ones are really good!
So this month, we're going a little darker and focusing on finding the Best Movie Villain of all time. I am using a different list this time for seeding purposes. The list in question was compiled by Insider.com in October of 2020 and includes their 50 best movie villains. (Check out the full list) Looking at the list, I have a few complaints, but it was one of the better lists I came across and includes a good cross section of baddies from movies as recent as the Avengers films and Get Out to films from the 1940s and 50s (Double Indemnity and The Night of the Hunter).
I also had to make a few changes to this month's format because of the bigger number of entries. The bracket site I was using only allowed for 32 entries without paying for a subscription while SurveyMonkey only allowed 10 questions per survey before hitting a pay wall. Fortunately there are free options for both of these. The survey is now embedded in this post below through Google Forms while the bracket itself is visible on Challonge.com. If you have any trouble with the form below, you can open it in a separate tab here.
Thank you for participating and may the best (worst?) villain win.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?