For some reason, 2013 saw a wealth of genuinely bizarre character names onscreen. A few of these we can blame on books or comics, but many others come with no good excuse. Here are our favourite bizarre films of the year.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRESounds like: The child of philosopher parents born to hippie grandparents.
Actually is: The architect of the 75th annual Hunger Games in the despotic future of Panem.
PACIFIC RIMSounds like: A born-again supermarket employee.
Actually is: The tough-as-nails, apocalypse-cancelling head of the Jaeger programme on an Earth under attack from giant monsters.
BROOMHILDA VON SHAFT
DJANGO UNCHAINEDSounds like: What happens nine months after Shaft visits a Bavarian castle.
Actually is: A German-speaking house slave in the antebellum South, secretly married to Django.
WORLD WAR ZSounds like: An accountant.
Actually is: A UN investigator and the man who might just save the world from the fast zombie menace.
MALEKITH THE ACCURSED
THOR: THE DARK WORLDSounds like: A character from World Of Warcraft.
Actually is: A Dark Elf of Svartalheim who, OK, might as well be a character from World of Warcraft.
ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPASounds like: A made-up name that no DJ should ever be allowed.
Actually is: A made-up (we hope) name that a DJ somehow got away with.
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGSounds like: As pronounced by Gandalf, like a Norwegian word for atmospheric pollution.
Actually is: A big scary dragon who will kill you and eat you if you make fun of him.
IRON MAN 3Sounds like: A tough-but-sensitive guy in a Mills & Boon novel.
Actually is: A nerd-turned-entrepreneur in an Iron Man movie.
ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUESSounds like: The improbable offspring of Ron Burgundy and Buddy the Elf.
Actually is: A New York-based anchorman in the comedy sequel.
ENDER'S GAMESounds like: A 1980s brain-challenging puzzle game.
Actually is: An elderly soldier credited with winning the first war between humanity and the Formics.
THE CROODSSounds like: The sound you make when you realise you’ve stepped on your favourite DVD.
Actually is: Emma Stone’s winsome cavegirl in The Croods.
DESPICABLE ME 2Sounds like: A farmer in a 19th century pastoral novel.
Actually is: The head of the mysterious and powerful Anti-Villain League.
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONESSounds like: The hero of a minor 18th century comic opera.
Actually is: A sinister former Shadowhunter who’s gone to the dark side.
J. DANIEL ATLAS
NOW YOU SEE MESounds like: A guy with a cool last name and a big crush on J. Edgar Hoover.
Actually is: A magician. We don’t know his views on Hoover.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2Sounds like: Someone took the pen away as he was just getting started on his surname.
Actually is: An inspiring tech guru with a devoted and cult-like following.
IDENTITY THIEFSounds like: A girl. Someone who might look like Melissa McCarthy.
Actually is: A guy. Looks like Jason Bateman.
R.I.P.D.Sounds like: A character Jeff Bridges would play if the Coens made a film about Witchfinders.
Actually is: A character Jeff Bridges plays in a supernatural comedy about ghost policemen.
AFTER EARTHSounds like: A computer nerd from the movie Hackers.
Actually is: Will Smith’s fearless warrior and rubbish father.
HOMEFRONTSounds like: Adam Sandler’s long-lost dad in The Waterboy.
Actually is: James Franco’s nutty meth-dealer who picks a fight with Jason Statham.
PRISONERSSounds like: A supporting character in a Carry On film. Middle name probably “Ben”.
Actually is: Hugh Jackman’s tortured father to a missing girl in Denis Villeneuve’s drama.