Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Movie Sh*t - Ben Affleck Cast as Batman, Internet Explodes with Uninformed Fury

     After it was announced that Christian Bale was offered some $50 million to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in Man of Steel 2, there was very little in terms of news regarding the offer.

Fast forward about a week, and Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman.

(If you listen closely, you can hear the collective groans and lamentations of morons and Ben Affleck haters)

I admit, I'm not the biggest Ben Affleck fan. He loses points with me for getting in bed with (literally and figuratively) Jennifer Lopez, who is an awful actress, and marks a period in Affleck's career where he took big-budget movie roles and basically phoned in his performances.

Many will point to the abomination that is Daredevil is a prime example of why Affleck is an awful choice for another superhero movie, let alone the most popular hero in the world these days in Batman.

To those people I say, "Watch  the Director's Cut of that movie, and your minds will change."

Keep in mind, Affleck's performance wasn't awful in that movie, it was just poorly cut and jumbled in production that it didn't make much sense or convey the complexity of the character.

Even if his performance doesn't do it for you, it was 10 years ago, and before Affleck learned the subtleties of filmmaking.

Just three years after Daredevil, Affleck appeared in Hollywoodland as George Reeves (television's original Superman), and garnered praise for the role, marking a big change from the two-time Razzie winning actor we're so familiar with.

Just last year, he directed and starred in Argo, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

To make a long story short, Affleck is not the same actor he was a decade ago, and deserves a little more than the blatant hatred he has received since he was announced as the next actor playing Batman.

In what will likely be the main argument for Affleck: It wasn't so long ago that the internet was flooded with blind, inconsolable rage for the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker.

Ledger would only go on to put on one of the most memorable performances in recent memory, playing the character in faithfully maniacal fashion, providing the chaotic antagonist to counter Batman's obsession with justice and order.

Moral of the story? You can't judge an actor on all the sh*t he has done.

Heath Ledger starred in The Order and Casanova, neither of which were critical successes, and yet he just transformed into The Joker in a way most critics and fans didn't think possible.

Why can't Affleck have a similar transformation?

He looks the part, with the chiseled jaw and 6'4" frame, so he can pull of the calm, cool, calculated character of Bruce Wayne.

Depending on Batman's role in the Man of Steel sequel, he can easily perform the physical aspects of the role as well.

Even so, we have to think about what version of Batman we're going to get in this movie, which is a Superman movie that just happens to feature Batman, lest we forget.

Will it be an extension of Bale's Batman, dark, wholly just, brooding, gravelly-voiced?

Or will it be more Clooney, and shows Batman as more playboy with toys than hero? (I shudder to think of that happening)

One thing that seems to be ignored in the whole casting nonsense is the actual interaction that will take place between the heroes, as well as the direction towards a Justice League movie.

Personally, I want to see the Batman we saw in Justice League: Doom, who had contingency plans against his fellow Justice League members.

It makes the most sense to bring that trait to an interaction with Superman, at least in terms of bridging the gap between the very dissimilar universes. It feeds into the sharp as a tack, World's Greatest Detective version of Batman that has been absent in much of the live-action films.

Batman doesn't know what Superman is, what he stands for, etc., so he does his research and finds some kryptonite to keep the Man of Steel in check.

How else can this crossover work if there is no tension between the two biggest heroes in DC's universe?

With the nods to LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises in Man of Steel, it would makes sense for the primary villain in the sequel to be Lex Luthor, but it can't end there.

I'm getting away from the point of it all, and that is the undeserved destruction of the casting of Ben Affleck.

No one knows how he will be used, what role Batman will play, or what version of Batman we will get. I've made my opinions clear regarding Man of Steel, Nolan's Batman trilogy and Ben Affleck's hit-or-mis performances, and I can set all of that aside and see the potential for success in this crossover.

I won't deny that I have made snap judgments on things, but they're often informed rather than rash and horrendously biased.

Ben Affleck isn't the best actor, but he isn't the same actor who cashed in on big-budget roles while turning in awful performances. He has refined his craft, and could prove to be the right man for the job, not just in terms of appearing in the Man of Steel sequel, but continuing on in the Justice League movie that is the end-goal for DC.

Personally, I wouldn't have minded seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan don the cape and cowl, while bringing Frank Miller's Batman to the big screen. Not necessarily in the same context as The Dark Knight Returns, but that same sort of pissed off, older Batman that is fed up with the world continually descending into corruption.

Just my two cents. And what are they worth, huh?

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