Wednesday, August 28, 2013

...Or Not For Affleck. Part 2

Brian: And now for something completely different… Let me say right off the Bat (hehe) that I don’t despise the casting of Ben Affleck as everybody’s favorite detective. I think there are certainly worse choices that were being kicked around (Gosling would have been awful, Cooper isn’t even close and Hamm is a non-event) but there are countless better ones (I made my argument for Karl Urban in my last post). But part of my argument against the other big contenders for the role was that these actors were just too well known. This is CERTAINLY true for Ben Affleck. Every single person has an association with this man, and a lot of them are a bit too difficult to shake (I’m looking at you Gigli). Affleck is simply too familiar, too well known and too easy for the studios to say yes to. Casting Henry Cavill as Superman was at least a semi-risky choice (before being cast in Man of Steel and he was mostly know for the porno erotic, historic drama The Tudors). Despite what you might think about Man of Steel, I think everyone liked Cavill as Superman, so the risk paid off. For Affleck, however, it’s the complete lack of risk that could end up being risky (just look at the backlash already).

          That being said, I’m going to react to some of the people who are defending this casting. A lot of people defending the casting for the Batman vs. Superman film aren’t necessarily defending Ben Affleck per se. They’re saying things like “give him a chance”, “he’s really turned his career around lately” and most importantly “everyone hated the Heath Ledger casting for The Dark Knight”. And I absolutely agree with all of that. But let’s talk about that Heath Ledger thing. A lot of people had problems with this casting because he had recently played a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Well, a lot of people are morons. Needless to say, Heath Ledger did an incomparably spectacular job as The Joker. And people use this to say Ben Affleck will do a good job as, why’s that again? Because another actor in another movie did a great job, Ben will do a great job in this? Heath Ledger was much younger than Ben is and hadn’t yet broken out. But if you didn’t think he was good in movies like Brokeback Mountain, Monster’s Ball or I’m Not There, then you just didn’t care to watch those movies. But most importantly, Ledger had the benefit of one of the best storytellers of the 21st century directing him: Christopher Nolan. Ben Affleck has Zach Snyder, a director known for his stunning visuals, but not for his magnificent storytelling or his ability to get amazing performances out of actors. So, I think the “no one liked the Heath Ledger casting at first” argument is completely moot.

I'm gawnna put this whole Gawtham in my reah view.
          Also, people point to Mr. Affleck’s recent work in The Town and Argo to attest for qualifications to play the Caped Crusader. These were undeniably good movies (bordering on excellent) but was it Ben’s eclectic range and performances that made them so? Not even sort of. Both of these movies had spectacular direction (by Ben) and truly solid performances. Renner in The Town absolutely nailed it and made me think he could be a truly great actor (but apart from The Hurt Locker, I think he’s middling around mediocrity). However, it was not Affleck’s performance that elevated these movies at all. In The Town he played a douchebag from South Boston (see: Good Will Hunting and Ben Affleck’s actual life). In Argo he did absolutely nothing that wowed me (the script didn’t really call for it). Don’t get me wrong, he certainly didn’t do anything to hurt the film, he was more than serviceable. But “more than serviceable” is not the hero Gotham deserves or needs. I just don’t believe he’s had a lot of chances to prove himself as a really good actor until recently. What movie do you recall seeing him that required any sort of range (The Town and Argo included)? Perhaps this is because he doesn’t really have any, or hopefully, it’s just because he hasn’t had the right role to do so. Batman/Bruce Wayne represents the duality of man (as any masked hero can) and is an extremely complex role, especially after seeing what Nolan/Bale did with it. I just want to see it done Justice.

Fan made
          Did I mention there are rumors that they’ve signed him to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in 13 DC films? You think you hate this casting now, wait until you’ve seen him in 13 movies. But, like I said this is not the worst casting choice they could have made. While I think Ben is absolutely wrong for the role, I like him more than enough to give him a chance. The only truly terrible part of this is the fact we probably won’t see him directing anything for a while (he was supposed to direct my favorite novel of all time, Stephen King’s The Stand and Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night). Perhaps this opens the door for him directing a Justice League movie or one of the other DC films in the future, which I’ll call a silver lining.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For Affleck....Part 1

Fan made
Phil:  Since the Batman announcement, I've watched nerd rage taken to a whole new level: a White House petition. Last I heard, it was at 25,000 signatures. Seriously??!? Another reason why society thinks jocks are cooler than nerds. Sometimes, nerd freak outs can simply get out of control, and this is one of those moments.

For those who are not Team Affleck, the foundation of their argument is Daredevil. Let's discuss this for a second. Yes, the movie was not great but I've heard only good things about the Director's Cut. Anyways, you can't blame Affleck for being in a bad superhero movie. I have not heard anyone blame Hugh Jackman for Wolverine: Origins. The blame is left in the hands of the studio, director and story. Let's not stop there. I guess people are still upset about Affleck's roles in Gigli and Pearl Harbor. Maybe these people have not seen The Town and Argo. As I present the case that Daredevil is not a good foundation, Team Not Affleck believes The Town and Argo are not valid reasons to support Affleck.

According to Lawrence Napoli, writer at Cosmic Book News, "In both of those productions, Affleck was placed in multiple seats of power and influence as a co-writer, director and lead actor. Is he somehow not going to use those opportunities to showcase himself in the best possible light?" If that is the case, Snyder and team should be smart enough to work with Affleck and ensure the job is done the right way. It is foolish to think that, "The danger lies in Affleck potentially responding in the way of the prima donna, and then press releases citing 'creative differences' occur, people walk off sets and in the meantime, the production gets sandbagged." What? Is Affleck known as a prima donna? Affleck can't act like a diva because he's entering Man of Steel 2 (Possibly called Superman vs Batman) with a chip on his shoulder. He and Snyder have something to prove, and we can expect these two to put together a superhero movie like no other. The team of Snyder and Affleck might be the best thing happening to Man of Steel 2.

Team Affleck (Fan made)
Let's talk about Ben Affleck's characteristics parallel to Batman's. He is 6'4 and Bruce's height plus the cowl makes him about 6'7. That sounds perfect. I'm not worried about muscle because it's expected of him to get BIG for this role. Have you seen the chin on him? It is without a doubt the biggest chin you will ever find under the cowl. It will own Bale's chin.

I haven't seen the original Batman movies in years. What I do remember is that Bruce Wayne was dressed to the nines and did not act like the typical prodigal son. Before Bale, Bruce Wayne was portrayed as a straight laced character. Of course that has not been the case in the comics. Thankfully, Bale changed that. However, I am about to say something that will make Nolan fans accuse me of being unholy. I think Bale overacted the scenes where Bruce Wayne was being the typical playboy. He overacted to the point where it looked blatantly obvious that Bruce was acting. That won't be the case with Ben Affleck. You can expect the best---maybe the greatest Bruce Wayne ever. Five bucks says that Affleck doesn't even have to act like a playboy because it comes so naturally.

Look at that chin (Fan made)
As soon as Affleck was announced, the girls screamed for Ryan Gosling. The guys yelled for Josh Brolin and Karl Urban. If you've seen Crazy Stupid Love, you know Gosling's abs are tight. However, he's too pretty for the role of Batman. Batman breaks noses, and Ryan Gosling makes girls scream. Do you see any benefits with Ryan Gosling playing Batman (exclude the increase in ticket sales)? Even though Josh Brolin is four years older than Affleck, he looks 50 and doesn't have that playboy swag. According to sources, Karl Urban was Snyder's #1 choice for Batman but was unable to accept the role because of his schedule. Without a doubt, Urban would have played a great Batman. However, I'm not sure how he would have portrayed Bruce Wayne. I can't see him pretending to be an arrogant playboy. We don't need another straight laced Bruce Wayne. This is a business. You want the best and the best attainable actor to portray Batman  (Bale was unattainable) is Ben Affleck. The End.

P.S. Does anyone else want to see Christian Bale play Alfred?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What happens when He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are given a cell phone?


This weekend, artist Chris Eric Peterson blew up the internet when he gave He-Man and the Masters of the Universe a cell phone. That incident led to these characters taking selfies, posting their lunch on Instagram and trying out sexting. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Professor Xavier's Back, Alright.


Did you see The Wolverine? If the answer is yes then look down.

At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, Professor Xavier returned from the grave but not in the way you think. Instead of literally rising from the grave, Xavier teleports his mind into the body of a vegetable. I guess that shouldn't surprise us, right? Xavier is an omega-level mutant. For those who don't know, Xavier's ability is "most powerful genetic potential of their mutant abilities" aka if being a mutant was a professional sport, Xavier is on the level of Tiger Woods and LeBron James.

Why does all of this matter? Did you see after-credit scene in The Wolverine? While Wolverine is taking a stroll in an airport, he runs into two characters that movie goers have not seen since X-Men: The Last Stand. Of course, we were not surprised to see Magneto since the last film teased us with the idea that his powers returned. However, the biggest surprise and the scene that saved The Wolverine was the return of Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. Xavier's body was back and he's still paralyzed.

Xavier's abilities:

Genius-level intellect
Mind reading and control
Memory alteration & erasure
Mental bolts
Psionic blasts
Induced paralysis
Illusion casting
Great tactician and strategist
Astral projection
Eidetic memory

1. Lets rewind for a second. Xavier teleported his mind into another body which makes sense since it relates to Xavier's abilities. However, Xavier's body is back but I believe his original body was destroyed by the Dark Phoenix. All of this new info means that Xavier has the ability to change genes and refurnish a body. Oh. So, Xavier has a semi-shape shifting ability? Alright, that sounds like a brand new ability which I don't believe has been done before by Xavier. Wait, I'm not done. If you're a comic book reader, I am about to blow your mind.

2. A few months ago, Xavier was violently murdered by his greatest student, Scott Summers. (For the record, it wasn't really Scott's fault. His mind and body were taken over by the Phoenix and he lost control. That sounds like reasonable doubt and he could beat the rap.) As we all know, no body no death but that is not the case here because we saw Xavier's dead corpse.

R.I.P Professor Xavier
3. I'm going to be honest, I don't know how many times Xavier has died or disappeared in comics but I know of three times. He left his school after it turned out that he was 1/2 of Onslaught. He faked his death after House of M and we can add his most recent murder to the list.  In the past, comic deaths used to mean something and we barely ever saw any resurrections. Now, a character stays dead for a year maybe two at the most. With Fox making major changes to Xavier's abilities, I would not be surprised if Xavier returned in 2014. I expect it around the time DOFP hits theaters and I would not be surprised if he refurnished a new body.