Nov 17, 2017

Ranking Marvel Films by Villain Bangability: Part 1

Hela Scary | Hella Bangable
There’s no denying that Marvel has, over the last 10 years, created a critically-lauded and commercially-successful film franchise. However, that doesn’t mean that the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are beyond critique. When dissecting these blockbusters, a common refrain is that, though the heroes are compelling, the villains have paper thin motivations and are almost universally disposable (also like paper). 

Guest Bloggers and Me
While I don’t disagree, I think that critics have missed the mark by looking too hard at what villains are trying to achieve and the ways they go about doing it, and not hard enough at how incredibly bangable these dastardly dudes and dudettes really are. And with the release of Thor: Ragnarok, it’s clear that, while Marvel may not care about getting into the heads of these villains, viewers still want to get into these villains’ pants. 

Below is the Part 1 of Tableau’s scientific ranking of the “bangability” of Marvel villains, weighing their physical attractiveness, overall demeanor, and importance to the plot. To aide in my journey, and to feel less gross about the whole thing, I enlisted the help of previous guest blogger Square Peg and new correspondent Christmas Pug for a look at these sexy, sexy ne’er-do-wells. 

To focus on the main villains of each film, some minor villains and lackeys were left out, especially if they switched allegiances before the final battle.  

Which film has best bros and babes for boudoir boinking? Let’s find out! 

#17 Doctor Strange
Bangability: 2.4
Benedict Cumberbatch as Dormammu 

It’s no surprise that Doctor Strange is at the bottom of the list. With his high pony, botched smokey eye, and frequent accidental duckface, Kaecilius is possibly the most basic-bitch villain in the entire MCU. And Tilda Swinton, while ethereally interesting and sexually frustrating, loses some bangability points for her casting being the end result of a lot of whitewashing. 

Square Peg: Normally all about the Mads-life, but I can’t sign off on this look. It’s unsettling. 
Christmas Pug: Bonus points for Tilda Swinton, but these villains are all a hard pass. 
Tableau: Dormammu kills Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular doctor a bunch, which gets me going, but it’s also voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, so it kind of nullifies any sexy feelings I might have initially felt. But space is sexy, I guess?

Bangability: 3.27
Original Tableau Your Mind Review 
James Spader as Ultron
Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man 
Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue 

There’s no denying that Ultron’s got a rocking robot bod, but it also comes equipped with James Spader’s 80s-movie-asshole voice. So, it’s a mixed bag, to be sure. Tony Stark’s accidental villainy helps bump up this movie’s average up a bit, as does Square Peg’s strangely strong attraction to Andy Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue. 

Christmas Pug: My high score for Stark really points to my weakness for mediocre white men. 
Square Peg: I can’t really describe why, but Andy Serkis really does it for me. Even dirty. Especially dirty. 
Tableau: James Spader is the antithesis of sexy to me. All I can picture is him in a bathrobe smoking cigars with William Shatner, and no. Just no. 

#15 Thor: The Dark World 
Bangability: 3.33
Original Tableau Your Mind Review 
Christopher Eccleston as Malekith  
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim / Kurse 

This movie is pretty unsexy. Like, all the pieces are there for sexiness, but it just doesn’t come together. And, unlike other Thor films, Loki isn’t really a villain. So, the average is particularly low. We’ve just got the elfin Malekith (who really divided the votes) and the ultimately monstrous Algrim. Everyone is very brooding, but not sexy brooding. More like “pop a Xanax, already” brooding. 

Christmas Pug: Malekith resembles the star athlete at my high school, so hard pass. 
Square Peg: Malekith is a sexy little elf with cheekbones you can cut glass with, so hard yes. 
Tableau: I’m a big fan of Mr. Eko on Lost, but Algrim’s weird eye and eyebrow situation makes him more scary than sexy.

#14 Captain America: The First Avenger 
Bangability: 3.33 
Original Tableau Your Mind Review 
Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt / Red Skull 
Toby Jones as Arnim Zola 

When a film’s villains are Nazis, it’s kind of hard for them to be bangable. Objectively, Nazis were trying to bang their way to becoming the master race, but we don’t really want to think about it. And that’s for the most attractive Nazis. And Johann Schmidt and Arnim Zola are not the most attractive Nazis. 

Tableau: Nazis are definitely having a moment, pop culturally, but Arnim Zola’s little pug face is cute. Still, I’m a little sad that this is ranked so high. 
Christmas Pug: I resent the pug comment, but I agree about the Nazi shit 
Square Peg: I like Hugo a lot. He's an attractive man, but this isn’t his best look. 

#13 Iron Man 2 
Bangability: 3.44
Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko  
Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer 

With this movie, we have a situation where one villain ranked as extremely bangable and the other as extremely not that. Ivan Vanko is aggressively unsettling. There’s a way to make danger into something bangable. This is not the way to do that. 

Tableau: Sam Rockwell definitely has a dancer-like sensibility to him. He’s like a graceful cockroach.This is far from his sexiest role, but he could still get it. 
Square Peg: Really, I just find Sam Rockwell attractive in everything. But Mickey Rourke’s hair is so bad and his outfit is so bad and it’s all just so bad. 
Christmas Pug: Ugh, hair. 

#12 The Incredible Hulk 
Bangability: 3.5
Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky / Abomination
William Hurt as Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross 

This film has no business being this high, and the blame rests squarely (and pegly) on Square Peg’s shoulders. Lil Peg has both a thing for William Hurt (which we get) and Tim Roth (which we do not). Thank god Tim Roth’s turn as “Abomination” brought this average down, because we were almost veering into Top 10 Bangs category. 

Square Peg: William Hurt’s an attractive man. I feel like Tim Roth is sometimes kind of attractive. Not in this movie. But residual hotness is there. 
Tableau: I understand William Hurt's sexiness, I guess, but the military stooge thing is a no. 
Christmas Pug: These guys can’t sit with bang me. 

#11 Iron Man
Average: 3.67
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane
Faran Tahir as Raza 

Turns out, Jeff Bridges is only bangable with hair. And the “good old boy” swagger he brings to Obadiah is a definite turnoff to the assembled panel of judges. And Raza, as a fairly one-note villain, never really gets a chance to shine, and there’s nothing sexy about the sweatiness of the desert. 

Square Peg: I think it’s the combination of the baldness and the beard that make Obadiah particularly unattractive. Because Jeff Bridges is normally a totally sexy dude. 
Christmas Pug: Real hot n’ cold sitch here. 
Tableau: Raza is one of the only Middle Eastern villains in Marvel’s rolodex, which is both good (that they’re not relying on racist terrorist tropes) and bad (that the villain roster is fairly white dude heavy). And, while the desert seems like an unwelcome environment for banging, there is something alluring about a cave. 

Which film will make it to number one on our super scientific list? Check back soon for the answer!

Jun 18, 2017

Sep 20, 2016

'The First Wives Club' Turns 20!

The First Wives Club, the greatest film of all time, was released 20 years ago today. Go watch it. It's amazing. And be glad that, thanks to the power of Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn is finally coming out of retirement!

I love to be free

And heed the words of the only good Trump (Ivana): Don't get mad. Get everything.

Aug 8, 2016

It's Been a While

Hey, e'erybody!  I haven't posted anything in about 5 months, which means this blog is basically on life support with very little chance of recovery. After a year of watching a movie a day, I entered into 2016 with a little bit of Pop Culture Fatigue (Or PCF). That PCF was compounded by a year that kept thwarting me at every turn with celebrity deaths, disappointing films (some original, some the newest entries in franchises that are wheezing to their conclusions), and an American political system that really makes you question the whole idea of democracy.

However, with the Olympics, and Netflix's Stranger Things, and a fall TV slate that seems appealing, I'm starting to crawl out and embrace the world again. Which is a long way of saying that I'm officially returning to this page for an indeterminate period of time to write about all things poppy once more. I mean, where else can I express my complicated thoughts about the Gilmore Girls reboot?

PCF be damned.


Mar 18, 2016

'She's The Man' Turns 10

She's the Man is now a 10-year-old movie. Which makes me feel old, but also officially makes the movie a classic, since it totally holds up.  In honor of its anniversary, here are 10 legit reasons you should watch/rewatch this gem:

Amanda Bynes!
This is her finest moment. Bynes gets to showcase her sassy charm AND her amazing physical comedy skills. 

Soccer That's Fun to Watch!
Between this and Bend it Like Beckham, soccer is basically the go-to sport for female empowerment.

Channing Tatum!
He's so charming and dumb. Also, this movie came out about 6 months before Step Up, so it's really the last role of Tatum's before he rocketed to superstardom.

Best Modern Shakespeare Adaptation Ever!
Yeah, I love 10 Things I Hate About You. But this reimagining of Twelfth Night has so much more spunk and personality. It's also written by the same screenwriters, so let's not make this a competition.  Plus, 10 Things I Hate About You didn't have...

David Cross!
Sure, he's sidelined for the majority of the movie, but he's a fun side character who gets to tell the world about the silent sufferers of Alopecia. It's not never-nude territory, but it's still very real.

Lots of Mrs. Doubtfire Goodness!
And by that, I mean there is a ton of fun with cross-dressing. The movie basically has 50 shower scenes that Bynes' Viola has to navigate.  And then there's a kissing booth scene and a strategically used bouncy house. It's all good fun. Plus, there's even a scene where Viola gets a makeover to look like her brother. It's a montage, and it's excellent.

Fun with Tampons!
Seriously, they're very absorbent.

Vinnie Jones!
Vinnie "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch" Jones plays the soccer coach, and he's a delight. He's just as gruff and ornery as he is in every other movie in which he appears, but he also has this egalitarian spirit and harrumph-y charm that wins you over.

Okay, this was already listed, but it bears repeating how funny and sweet she is in this movie. Sure, when she cross-dresses she looks like a pre-pubescenet Zac Efron, but even that doesn't hide her awesome.

A Delightfully Pro-Feminist Message!
Sure, the film gets a little weighed down by the "I'm a girl pretending to be a boy" premise, but there is a strong message in the film about following your dreams (like High School Musical, but with less auto-tune) regardless of how right or wrong they appear to the people around you. Women can be rough-and-tumble and hate cotillions, Men can be in touch with their feelings.

So go watch She's the Man. And, if possible, watch it on DVD with the commentary track on, because it's a really good one.
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