Friday, August 23, 2013

Ben Affleck is Batman

I actually love Ben Affleck.

Good Will Hunting is STILL one of my favorite movies of all time, and Ben Affleck is great in it. He's also great in Chasing Amy which I still like, even if I've kind of fallen out of love with Kevin Smith movies as I've gotten older.

Plus, the guy can direct. When we look back at this period in film history, and we list the best directors of this era, Ben Affleck will be on the list. "Gone Baby Gone" and "Argo" are GREAT movies. "The Town" is also great until the last sequence when the robbers rob Fenway Park and the movie gets 15 kinds of ridiculous.

And speaking of 15 kinds of ridiculous, I GET why so many folks are upset that Ben Affleck is playing Batman in Superman/Batman. Because we're still thinking of Armageddon/Daredevil/Reindeer Games/Bennifer Ben Affleck. For some reason, after making a great little movie in Good Will Hunting, Hollywood, and Ben Affleck decided that Ben Aflleck was a "movie star". And why not? He's handsome, he's charismatic, in interviews he seems down to earth. But as we all discovered, Ben Affleck is no Will Smith. He is bad at being "that guy"; the guy who carries blockbusters and rides in limos and dates Jennifer Lopez. The movies of the "Blockbuster Ben" era were awful. Affleck went from being a breakout star, to a "movie star", to a national punchline.

For some people, he never stopped being a national punchline.

But guys, that's over. Affleck broke up with Jennifer Lopez, started dating Jennifer Garner, settled down, got married, and found what he's really good at- directing and playing lower-key, acting-y roles (like in Argo). "Blockbuster Ben" died like, 5 years ago, and emerged from his chrysalis as "Really Good Director" Ben Affleck.

With that said....

I don't really think Ben Affleck should play Batman.

You know what Ben Affleck is really good at? Playing best friends. He's GREAT when he's not "the guy". When he can just ease back, and play the dude who shows up with a six-pack when the main character just had his heart ripped out? Ben Affleck is really good. Affleck is a very solid supporting actor. 

He isn't Batman.

Batman is intense, and driven, and tortured by his past. He's obsessive, and charismatic, and kind of scary. That isn't a part Ben Affleck can do, and we know this because he already played a VERY similar role when he played Daredevil, and SPOILER ALERT, he wasn't that great.

Oh, and if you think Ben Affleck doesn't quite make sense as Batman? He REALLY doesn't make sense as Frank Miller's crazy, elderly, uber-militant, ultra-violent Batman. 

I mean, it's not like this isn't without precedent. Affleck is now joining a very elite club- pretty good actors who should never have been cast as Batman. In a few years, Affleck will be allowed to descend into the "Pretty Good Actors Who Should Never Have Been Cast as Batman" Batcave and have a drink with George Clooney and Val Kilmer (I will fight you if you try to tell me Val Kilmer is a bad actor #MadMartigan4Life). And that will be nice for him- being able to reflect on his shared experience of playing this big part that he just wasn't right for.

I guess the toughest part of this is that this was never going to be a very good movie. Zach Snyder is bad at directing movies. The movie is based on a property (Dark Knight Returns) that should never have been made into a movie. And now? Affleck is the Batman

It's so weird watching Warner Brothers make these movies and realizing that they just don't understand the properties they own. Like, Christopher Nolan made three awesome Batman movies, so that really gave us all hope that maybe they (WB) had finally gotten their heads out of their asses and realized why Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. are all so frakking awesome. Nope. Superman is a dude who lets innocent people get murdered before murdering someone himself. Wonder Woman is "too confusing" to be used in a film (seriously?!?!). Oh, and they cast Ryan "Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place" Reynolds as Green Lantern. Meanwhile, Marvel is releasing "Guardians of the Galaxy" which features an alien tree, and a talking raccoon, and will probably be awesome.


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