As the deal for Coco Crisp begins a slow dissolve, the irrational part of me wants to start banging my head against a wall. But the rational part of me — who, admittedly, isn’t as much fun at parties — is seeking solace in the movies. As it’s Friday, and the offseason, I’m sorry to say I’ll be taking you all with me.
Here’s a quick exercise to make you forget all about those nasty holes in centerfield, shortstop, and the top of the line-up. Hearing about the untimely passing of Mr. Chris Penn, all I could think about was how he once played a character who, in my opinion, had one of the all-time great film character names, that being Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs. I love the way “Nice Guy Eddie” sounds. So goofy and so cool all at the same time. And it got me thinking of other movie characters with cool names. So I jotted this brief list of my favorites:
Fielding Mellish: When it came to his early films, Woody Allen cornered the market on impossibly cool names. There was Alvy Singer, Virgil Starkwright, and this one, from Bananas, which is one of the best. At least once a week I like to introduce myself to someone as “Fielding Mellish.” Which explains why I have no life, really.
Knox Overstreet: Think of every obnoxious rich kid you’ve ever known [and, no, Denton doesn’t count] and tell me that the name “Knox Overstreet” doesn’t fit them perfectly. What an awesome, awesome name. Just say it, over and over. Knox Overstreet. Knox Overstreet. Knox Overstreet. Hypnotic, isn’t it. And here’s your bonus psuedo-baseball connection: Josh Charles, the kid who played Knox in Dead Poets Society later went on to star in the far-too-quickly-departed Sports Night.
Pollux Troy: I didn’t really like Face/Off all that much, but man, did I love the name of this minor character. Who thinks up names like this? I’ll tell ya who: geniuses.
Snake Plissken: Coolest. Action. Hero. Name. Ever. Why the hell there haven’t been a dozen Snake Plissken flicks is beyond me. Oh, wait. I know why. Escape from L.A.
Todd Hockney: Few movies packed so many cool names as The Usual Suspects. I mean, seriously: Keyser Soze, Dean Keaton, Fenster, Kobayashi, and the majestic Verbal Kint [intriguingly, Stephen Baldwin, who gives one of the film’s best performances, gets saddled with the least-interesting name: Michael McManus.] But Todd Hockney is, hands down, the best. And when you look at Kevin Pollak in that film, doesn’t he just look like a “Todd Hockney”? Seriously, if I didn’t know Pollak the comedian and actor before seeing that film, I’d have sworn director Bryan Singer just grabbed one of his hometown buddies who actually was named Todd Hockney and threw him into the movie. One of the most underrated performances of the century.
Carl Spackler: Goes without saying, folks. Although “Lacey Underall” pulls a close second.