Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Movie Villains

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is centered all around villains and we could pretty much pick whatever topic we wanted under that umbrella, so since I was having such a hard time thinking about book villains, I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite movie ones! I find that villains really enhance the story, and sometimes I can’t help but find that they become some of my favorites.

1 . The Joker from The Dark Knight – I love Batman. He’s my favorite superhero and as such, I loved these movies. They were brilliantly done and I absolutely loved Heath Ledger as The Joker. He was crazy, violent, creepy, and the perfect Joker, in my opinion.

2. Voldemort from the Harry Potter franchise – Now I grew up with this movie franchise like a lot of people grew up with the books. The first movie came out when I was ten and since then I have seen each movie many times and I never get sick of them. Voldemort is cunning, manipulative, scary, and a great villain. I feel like he’s portrayed well in this adaptation and I hope that as I continue to read the books that I’ll continue to see him get even badder.

3. Jafar from Aladdin – Jafar is an amazing villain. I love how he’s trying to squeeze his way into the Sultan’s place, how he uses his wits and cunning to get him places (and also the magic scepter helps), but I also like that he gets annoyed by Iago and things that people say, and he’s kind of creepy and greedy. But he’s still one of my faves.

4. Ursula from The Little Mermaid – I’d hate to be one of the poor unfortunate souls that go to her for any sort of help because she will not hesitate to ruin anyone’s happiness in the blink of an eye. I like that she’s driven to obtain a goal and that she uses a lot of sarcasm when she talks.

5. Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty – Now I really like the live action version of Maleficent, but the original Mistress of All Evil holds a special place in my heart. I find that her cruel intelligence and a need to destroy anyone because she wasn’t invited to a party is brilliant. She’s truly the Queen of Darkness of my heart.

6. Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise – *breathes like Vader* I mean, do I need to say anything else? Okay, well, I grew up with this franchise too because my dad is a huge fan of it, plus he’s just a super strong villain with a tragic past and he’s all kinds of cool.

7. Gru from Despicable Me Okay, so Gru is more villain-turned-good, BUT STILL. He’s funny, he tries his hardest, he has a really sweet caring side, and I just think that despite all of his mistakes and upsets, he’s a great villain and adoptive dad.

8. Bane from The Dark Knight Rises – Bane is just pure anger and I think that’s what makes him so appealing. He’s strong, he tries to use fear as a motivator, and when that doesn’t work, he breaks people – literally. I think that that’s just one of the best qualities in a villain: that they’re not afraid to get the job done one way or another.

9. Yubaba from Spirited Away – She’s creepy AF, but she’s also cunning and twists what you say around to trap you. I think she’s a classic kind of villain and maybe that’s why I like her so much. Of course, I like her twin sister more because she’s good, but we’re talking villains here, and Yubaba is fantastic as one.

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10. Hades from Hercules – Ah, the sarcastic god of my heart. Hades is hilarious and doesn’t take things seriously, and when he’s fired up he’s literally fired up. I love his humor because it breaks up the seriousness of the movie, but he’s also got a devious side to him and I love it.


So there are some of my favorite movie villains! I know it was very Disney-centric but I was having the hardest time thinking about other characters. Seriously. But I do love each of these villains in their own ways.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who are some of your favorite movie villains? Do you like any of the ones on my list? Do you prefer a villain to be completely evil, or have some sort of redeeming quality about them? Tell me all the things!

Rayna Recommends: Diversity

Hey guys, welcome to another installment of my sporadic series, Rayna Recommends! This is a time where I recommend books, movies, and TV shows to you based on the genre or type of books I wanted to talk about.

Today I’m going to recommend to you some of the diverse books, movies, and shows I’ve seen and read. I really enjoy reading and watching this kinds of things, but I still feel like I don’t get enough! With all of the diversity talk that’s been going around lately, I thought that this would be appropriate, so here are my recommendations:

Books

  • None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio is a YA book about a girl who is intersex. Now, I’ve never heard of the term “intersex” until I read this book, and it really opened my eyes to it. It follows a girl who also didn’t know she was intersex until an unfortunate sexual time with her boyfriend that was extremely painful to her and her journey in the beginning stages of accepting who she is and how she can still have a normal life despite it all. It was very interesting and I definitely recommend it.
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Need I say anything more? It’s hilarious, heartwarming, charming, and everything I could’ve asked for in a LGBT+ read and more. Seriously, check this one out. You won’t regret it. It’s about a high schooler named Simon who isn’t out of the closest yet, and how he’s being blackmailed by another kid so his secret is in danger. It’s really awesome, so go read it – right now!
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga has a suicide trigger warning on it, I just want you to know. It’s about a girl who is dealing with a lot of suicidal thoughts and depression, and she meets a kid who also wants to commit suicide with someone else. It follows them and how she realizes how much more life has to offer than what’s going on there. It’s really something very close and personal to my heart and I highly recommend this book.

Movies

  • Beyond the Lights is a movie about a young woman in the music industry who is saved by an officer from committing suicide. The two fall in love and in the process, she realizes that hiding behind all of the makeup, glamor, and fame is so much more to be had. I really enjoyed this movie and thought that it was really well done. Cheesy in a few parts, but overall enjoyable. I love seeing movies with singers/dancers/artists that strive to be their best even when there’s bumps along the way, and to see a cast of colored actors is always awesome as well.
  • Blue is the Warmest Color is an international movie set in France and it follows a girl, Adele, who is discovering who she is as a teen when she meets Emma, a girl with blue hair. The two end up falling in love, but of course there are repercussions in Adele’s life because she was “supposed” to be a straight girl. It’s a really long movie (three hours), and there’s a lot of graphic sexual scenes that I had to turn the volume down on, BUT I really did enjoy it and I really want to see the second part since this is only the first half. It ended on a cliffhanger (kind of) and I need to see how it ends!

TV Shows

  • Orange is the New Black definitely has a diverse cast of characters, and it’s about women in prison. Honestly, that’s a crap ton of diversity if you ask me. Now, I don’t watch OITNB, like, at all, BUT, my husband does and he’s really into it. I’ve watched bits and pieces and from what I gather it’s a really interesting show and one that a lot of people are really into.
  • Good Morning Call is a Japanese drama that’s based off of the manga and it’s adorable and funny and GO WATCH IT. It’s available on Netflix, so really, no excuse. It follows a girl, Nao, and how she rents her dream apartment, but comes to find out she’s stuck with rooming with one of her high school’s hottest guys: Uehara. It’s dramatic, funny, adorable (like I said), so go check it out.

I’m literally drawing blanks now on other movies and shows, but these are just some of the diverse things that I’ve personally enjoyed and that I think you should definitely check out.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you have any recommendations for me for diverse reads, movies, or shows? I’d really love to hear it! Also, have you read/watched any of the items on my list? Let me know your thoughts!

#VillainSquad Tag

The #VillainSquad tag was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey on YouTube and I saw what it was about and LOVED IT. Who doesn’t love a good villain? I mean, seriously. Villains are the best, even when they’re at their worst.

So the questions are pretty straight forward: first, pick your villain persona (muahaha), second, you can pick any character from a book, movie, or TV show that you want that fits one of the villain categories before, and third, you’ll have your epic villain squad. So, here we go:

– Create your own villain persona (name, skills, etc)

Okay, I know that my superpower would be flight. I’ve always wanted to fly, and probably always will, so I definitely want the ability to fly. I think a good skill that I would be good at is luring people in to have a sense of trust, and then obviously ripping that away from them. So, manipulation?

As for a name? That’s a tough one… Maybe… Sky Queen.

Yup, I’m rolling with it.
1. The Leader – Pick a villain to lead the squad.

For this I imagine someone strong, willing to take risks, and all around just doing what’s right for the wrong reasons, and so I pick: Valentine Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. He’s a smooth-talker, a charmer, and he knows just how to get what he wants, when he wants. Definitely leader material.


2. The Killer Smile – Pick a villain who’s just extremely attractive

Who doesn’t love a hot villain? For this I’ll have to pick Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. Like, he seriously was on fire. Again, a smooth-talking charmer, with an overprotective side, a toned body, and a killer smile? Yes, please.

shatterme
3. The Loose Canon – Pick a villain that marches to the beat of their own drum

The villain you never really know what to expect from, and for this one I chose Sebastian from the Mortal Instruments series. He definitely doesn’t really listen to anyone, and he’s fairly unpredictable. On the other hand, he does have a cunning mind, so it’s interesting to see what he does and how he carries on with his plans.

cityofheavenlyfire-altcover
4. The Unhinged One – Pick a villain that isn’t playing with a full deck.

You know, the crazy one of the group. There’s always one, and I think for this one I’ll have to pick Bellatrix LeStrange from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I can’t speak to book Bellatrix yet, as I haven’t seen her in the books yet, but in the movie she definitely was unhinged: bloodthirsty, uncaring of who was hurt, but still obedient to her master.bellatrix-lestrange-4
5. The Redeemer – Pick a villain that’s on a path of redemption/would play both sides

The guy/girl that can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances, I would have to pick Celaena Sardothian/Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Now, Aelin is definitely not a villain, but she’s not exactly a hero, either. She can definitely play both sides and I think that she can definitely be seen as a redeemer.

queenofshadows
6. The Evil One – Pick a villain that is just bad to the bone.

This one’s a no-brainer for me: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, specifically the original Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She’s the Mistress of All Evil: ruthless, cunning, intelligent, and not afraid to fight her own battles.

Malefica

And for crying out loud, she turns into a badass dragon!

Sleeping-beauty-disneyscreencaps_com-8043
7. The Once-Was-Good – Pick a villain that didn’t originally start out as a villain.

You know the tale: tragic backstory, lots of hate and rage, turns baddy? Well, that’s almost any villain, but for my squad in particular I’d want Regina, aka The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time. Especially in the first season, Regina was all bad and I loved that about her. When we started to get snippets of her backstory, I felt so sad for her! And she can use magic, so I need her on my squad.

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So yes, there is my awesome villain squad! I kinda really dig it.

What about you? Who would you have on your squad? Feel free to do this tag on your own blog, or let me know in the comments who your picks would be (or both!).

Rayna Recommends: High Fantasy

Welcome to another recommendation post! I figured I haven’t done one in a while and I really wanted to post something for the weekend (even if it’s a bit late in the day) so here it is!

Today I’m going to be recommending high fantasy books/movies/etc. What is high fantasy? It’s fantasy not set in modern times or in a modern setting with some sort of magical or out-of-this-world element. You’ll see below exactly what I mean.

Books

I can go on for days with books as fantasy is my favorite genre, but here are a few I highly recommend:

  • Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes. This series is all high fantasy in that it follows four main characters – one of which has the ability to control the four elements – and is set in a world unlike our own. There is magic, Watchers (people that can turn into hawks and have powers), romance, blood, politics. It’s got a lot of elements that make for a good high fantasy story.
  • Throne of Glass” by Sarah J Maas. This series includes magic, as well, but with a twist: there is something in the land that is preventing magic from flowing on one continent. But among that there are kickass assassin’s, charming princes, loyal guards, sword fights, beings coming to life, witches, demons, faeries, and more. It’s set in a world apart from ours, making it a perfect setting for the story.
  • The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not even finished with the first book yet, but I’m already recommending it. This book is phenomenal so far, featuring an interesting cast of characters, a magic system unique in its own way, and a world that is so sad compared to ours. It has enough to keep wanting to draw you in and wanting to read more and more and more. Highly recommend this one.

Movies

  • Nausicaa: Of the Valley of the Wind: This movie is beautiful and so under appreciated. This is an earlier film of Studio Ghibli’s but it still holds so much magic and wonder in it, with hints of politics, adventure, and more. This movie tells the story of a princess who is desperately trying to save her planet by stopping two warring parties from destroying each other and the planet they live on. It’s a deep and moving story, but it has its fun parts.
  • Avatar. Okay, this movie is phenomenal. I hadn’t seen it in years, but when I watched it recently I loved it just the same, if not more, than when I first saw it. It has beautiful imagery and lands, and it tells a great story about how humans are trying to steal from this planet, but the native people aren’t having it, even if some of the humans “disguise” themselves as natives: the Na’vi.  I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for something with romance, adventure, politics, and cool blue peeps.

Video Games

Hey, this is a new category! But I love games, so here we are.

  • Any Final Fantasy game ever. I love, love, LOVE this franchise so much: the stories are always amazing, the worlds are gorgeous beyond belief, and the characters are always unique and different from one another. I highly recommend any of the FF games to anyone. If you’re wondering, I’m currently replaying through FFXIII (I never actually finished it the first time around, but that’s a different story). Mind you, these games are extremely time consuming, so just be prepared for that.
  • Kingdom Hearts. I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH. I’m a major Disney fan, so when I first played these games years ago, I fell in love. It has fun, it has Disney, it has awesome characters, unique monsters, cool stuff. Just go play it. Right now. Go.
  • Ni no Kuni. This is a cute middle grade type game where it has so much adventure, a neat magic system, boss battles, and so much more. Yes, this may be tailored toward the tween/young teen age group, but I think anyone that enjoys RPG games will enjoy this one.

So there you have it! I could think of a crap ton of fantasy titles, but thinking of high fantasy specifically was a lot harder to do, but I managed to narrow it down! So yes, I recommend these cool things to you peeps; really, any age group can enjoy these as long as you have the desire to. Definitely give them a try if you haven’t yet!

ABEA Day 4: Book to Movie Adaptations

Today’s ABEA topic is book-to-movie adaptations. Book-to-movie adaptations are one of those things where they either get it right or it’s completely wrong. Some movies follow through with the book almost to a T, only having to change up a few plot points for movie purposes and really bringing the book to life for the reader. Others… well, they just suck.

So here I want to just talk about a few of my favorite adaptations, as well as some of my least favorite.

Favorites

  • The Harry Potter series. Though I’ve only read up to part of book four, the adaptations of the books are really well done. I find that the inner witch in me loves it. Though there’s major differences between book and movie three, I found that the first two really stuck to the story well.
  • The Fault in Our Stars. I found this to be very faithful to the book with a few minor plot points changed or missing. The lines were directly from the book and everything that happened was just wonderful to see. I loved it.
  • Divergent. Despite there being several major things that were changed from book to movie, I really enjoyed the adaptation. I thought it incorporated a lot of elements from the book into the movie and we really got to see what being in Dauntless was like and how living in that society was.

Least Favorites

  • Blood and Chocolate. It wasn’t even the same story as the book! I could understand making the characters older for movie purposes, but major plot points were changed, there was bad acting, and it was just… ugh. I hated it.
  • Insurgent. Okay, so I did a whole review rant about this movie and how horrible it was. So… go read that if you really want to know my thoughts.

So, some of these adaptations either hit it and really showed the true nature of the characters, had awesome CGI and storyline, and was as faithful as could be to the book. Others… yeah, no.

Now, as for books I’d want to be made into a movie or TV show, I believe I did posts on each, here and here.

As for upcoming shows/movies that I’m excited for:

  • Shadowhunters. This is a TV show based off of Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series. Everything is looking so awesome so far, from the beautiful cast to the set pictures we get every day, everything looks so awesome so far. I’m really excited to see how this adaptation plays out considering the movie was a flop.
  • Mockingjay Part 2. I haven’t read the books yet, but it’s one of my goals this year to read all three before the final movie comes out. I’ve loved The Hunger Games franchise since the release of the first movie and so I am excited to see how it concludes in the last movie.

I think what makes a faithful adaptation is not only the actor’s portrayal of the character they are playing, but also on the director, producer, screen-writer, etc. They are the ones that make the book come to life, and they have one chance to really impress fans of the book. It’s either a hit or miss, and sometimes it’s on the actors’ part or sometimes it’s the graphics, other times it’s the story and script.

What are some of your favorite book-to-movie adaptations? What about least favorites? What would you like to see be turned into a TV show or movie? Let me know!