Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Back to School Blogathon

Wendell over at Dell on Movies is hosting yet another great blogathon in order to coincide with the start of the new school year. It may have been a while since I've had to worry about going 'back to school', but that doesn't mean I don't look out for my letter to Hogwarts in the mail every year.

It's for this reason that I just had to have a crack at this fun blogathon - essentially, the task is to fill archetypical character types associated with school (the Jock, the Nerd) from various different films to create one diverse, wacky class of characters.

Before I start, I must say this - boy, it was hard picking just one for each category! It was a lot of fun switching around the different characters though, so big thanks to Wendell for coming up with such a great idea for a blogathon! I tried my absolute hardest to pick characters from different films for each category, and I'm pretty happy with the complete bunch of misfits I came up with.

So, without further ado, let's return to our desks and see what I came up with...

Headmaster - Professor Charles Xavier from X-Men series

Yo bitch, get out the way, get out the...you get the idea
He may look harmless, but make no mistake - run in the hallway and he'll fry your brain AND put you in detention.

Seriously, if you thought high school was terrifying, imagine having this guy as your headmaster. Forget playing pranks on the last day, Xavier would always be one step ahead (that's a pun, but not an intended one!)

Possessing the ability to read minds, pause time and all manner of other cerebral stuff, Xavier stands out amongst other headmasters on film owing to his genuine eagerness and warmth towards nurturing youngsters and extracting the maximum potential from his students. Played wonderfully by the silky-voiced Patrick Stewart, Xavier's unwavering dedication to providing a safe haven for young mutants led to him founding the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, the coolest secret school for oddballs this side of Hogwarts. He's even a bit like Dumbledore, except without the half-moon spectacles and fondness for Sherbet Lemons.

Plus, the dude has a massive jet beneath his pool AND a secret team of buddies decked out in leather to battle help battle evil. So other headmasters can go suck it, Xavier tops them all.

Teacher - Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones series (well, duh)

That look of fear is because Ford can see Lucas walking
towards him holding a script for Indy 5
Remember those days in high school or college when you would just lazily gaze out of the window and daydream about random stuff? Like what your parents got up during their time at school, or what the teachers did on weekends?

Were they just like us? Did they go home and have a pet, go to the movies or watch TV? Surely not! They all lived at school, right?

Well, in the case of Indiana Jones, we couldn't have been more wrong. No, he doesn't watch TV in his downtime - this dude raids ancient tombs and crypts, bitch. Yep, Mr. Jones may be a mannered archeology professor during the week, but whenever he gets chance he dons the fedora, cracks the whip and jets off to some far flung land to fight Nazis with melty faces.

Tell me again, how cool was your weekend?

Troubled Youth - Sutter Keely from The Spectacular Now

Miles Teller gives a performance worth checking out
in The Spectacular Now
A more recent addition to this list is Sutter Keely from 2013's coming-of-age drama, The Spectacular Now.

Wonderfully acted by young talent Miles Teller, Sutter is, as you can deduce from the title, the kind of kid that lives in the now. He drinks, he smokes, he gets laid whenever he can. Nothing like living in the present, right? After all, high school is the best time of your life...

He doesn't study, and fails to plan ahead for college or university. Full of swagger, with zero prospects. Sure, he's a charming guy and his street cred couldn't be higher, but his neglectful attitude towards school and study hampers his academic achievement to no end. Blimey, that last sentence sounded like his report card...

And yet, like many a troubled youth, there is tenderness and vulnerability beneath the tough, alcohol-soaked exterior. Sutter had a tough upbringing, and never got to know his father. When he does, it's like looking into a great big, hedonistic mirror. Eeep, that's a warning to change your ways if ever I saw one.

He's in desperate need of some stability and a shoulder to cry on, and thankfully, that's exactly what he finds in the form of Aimee (Shailene Woodley).

Class Bully - Biff Tannen from Back to the Future

Biff being the bully in Back to the Future
Ah, Biff Tannen. What a wonderful wordsmith he is. He may be a blockhead, but that hasn't stopped him from penning such glorious quips as "what are you looking at, butthead?!" and "Why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here!". Pure poetry. 

From 1985's classic Back to the Future, Biff Tannen is without a doubt the most memorable 'class bully' character in film I could think of. For his poor fellow students at Hill Valley High School, Biff is the alpha male, as he struts around town with his gang of cronies ordering nerds like George McFly to do his homework. 

And yet, like many bully's, Biff gets his comeuppance by the end of the film - from having his car filled with cow manure to being clocked a cracker from George McFly, Biff certainly gets taken down a peg or two. 

Plus, it's hardly his fault he turned out so rotten - he is descended from infamous Old West gunslinger Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen after all...

Star Student/Nerd - Brian Johnson from The Breakfast Club

We've all done this at one point. Admit it.
He may not be my favourite character from The Breakfast Club (that mantle falls to Allison), but Brian Johnson (or 'the Brain') fits the star student archetype like a glove.

A straight-A's honour student, Brian is the cleverest clog of the bunch in John Hughes' timeless coming-of-age comedy-drama, The Breakfast Club.

Under constant pressure from his parents to perform well and study, Brian finally cracks when he brings a gun - a flare gun mind you - to school and stores it in his locker. He can't face the fact he was lumped with an F in woodwork, and fears what his parents will say.

Whilst there are elements of each character I identified with in this film, Brian is probably the character I related the closet to. He's a bit awkward, not sure of himself and doesn't know how to get with the ladies. Ahh, high school. What a wonderful time to be a nerd, right?

Invisible Girl - Violet Parr from The Incredibles

Violet blends into the scenery in The Incredibles
Okay, so this one might be cheating a little...

Violet Parr from Pixar's The Incredibles is a character we can all relate to - we've all felt a bit invisible to people we like in high school. 

The only difference here is that Violet couples her shy and introverted nature with actually turning invisible. Like, for reals. Sheesh, and I thought people ignored me in high school...

Yeah, she's got super powers (thanks Mum and Dad!) which enable her to slip in and out of invisibility whenever she likes, Sue Storm style (that's when she isn't hiding behind her long, raven hair). 

The quiet bookish type, Violet is like so many outsiders in high school as she struggles to gel in social situations and is hopelessly infatuated with hunky jock, Tony Rydinger. However, unlike many of us, Violet comes out her shell by squeezing into some bright red lycra and fighting the evil villain, Syndrome with her whole family alongside her. Naww, sweet.

Class Clown - Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Ezra Miller in 2012's The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great coming-of-age film, and the majority of its comic relief stems from Ezra Miller's fantastic portrayal of class clown, Patrick. Where Charlie (Logan Lerman) is the mind and Sam (Emma Watson) is the heart of the film, Miller's Patrick is the joyful, youth-in-revolt soul that the audience fell in love with.

From his clumsy ineptitude for woodwork to being overjoyed at being receiving a C minus grade (and proclaiming himself to be below average), Patrick is simply just a fun guy, full of charm and love for life.

However, like many class clowns, Patrick is using his humour as a way of masking personal insecurities. In his case, Patrick is not only trying to hide the fact that he is homosexual to the whole school, but is also being made to keep his relationship with burly jock Brad a secret. This struggle between his love for Brad and being honest with himself makes Patrick an interesting, layered character that has an identity beyond his reputation for a quick quip.

Popular Girl/Diva - Nicki from The Bling Ring

Emma Watson steams up the screen in The Bling Ring
In Sofia Coppola's satire of celebrity culture, an ensemble cast of hot young things play a group of California high schoolers with a popularity and social standing obsession.

Consumed with the desire to be famous across social media and in the schoolyard, 'the bling ring' stalk and steal from the homes of the rich and famous to improve their street cred.

And whilst many of them would fit the 'diva' mould, the stand-out character from this movie is Emma Watson's sultry and starry-eyed Nicki. A self-confessed believer in karma, Nicki's fall from grace after the group is caught never feels sincere, and her underlying interest in being the hottest, most-talked about A-lister across Facebook is her biggest goal in life.

Whether it is flaunting her smoking good looks in the club or in multiple filter-drenched selfies, Nicki and her friends are infatuated with brand, celebrity and glossy magazine culture - and will stop at nothing to attain infamy through it. An archetypical diva if ever I saw one.

So there we have it - my new class for the school year. Thanks again to Wendell for coming up with such a great idea for a blogathon, and I look forward to reading lots of other entries. 


  1. Awesome choices! I better get started on my list!

    1. Thanks! :) Yeah, better get started! It took me a couple of days of switching around to get my list all sorted.

  2. Great choices! I haven't even started mine yet, but I love the ones you picked!

    1. You might want to get on it fast, before any more of the good ones get taken.

    2. Thanks Brittani! I only saw this a couple of days ago and pretty much had it on my brain ever since. Love my final list though :)

  3. That's a pretty good selection of choices. Out of the eight you have there I there is only one other movie that has also made it onto mine (The Breakfast Club), and even then you managed to pick a different character, which is good. Xavier tops them, all eh? Even the great Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff?

    I did consider Indiana Jones for mine, and I think the only thing that kept from doing so was the fact that it was a bit too obvious, although to be fair finding a good movie teacher of any sort is a bit of a challenge in itself.

    1. Cheers John! I loved your list also, especially some of the older picks. Can't say I've seen Horse Feathers - oops! Even so, I reckon Xavier would give him a good run for his money. I think you're right, a lot of teachers get made out as the villains in movies - I was going to go with Mr. Schneebly from School of Rock, but Indy was too tough to turn down :)

  4. Great choices. I especially love the Prof. Xavier pick. Btw, Patrick from Wallflower would have also been a good pick for troubled youth. Thanks for participating.

    1. Cheers Wendell! :) Yeah, you're right there some characters would certainly flit between one or two different categories - Patrick is just nice and varied that way :)

  5. Patrick is a great choice! I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Great list!

  6. Replies
    1. It seemed so glaringly obvious! I couldn't resist :)

  7. Excellent choices, especially Professor Xavier and Indiana Jones for the roles of headmaster and teacher. I was considering Indy for my class but like you said it was hard choosing just one so I went with someone else.

    1. Thanks Mike :) I'll be sure to check out your list also.

  8. Invisible Girl really is an inspired choice. Never occurred to me. I thought I would be the only one to go for Biff. Professor Xavier - take a bow.

    1. Thank you my good man, thank you ;) I'll head on over and check out your entry now, thanks for commenting :)



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