This whole lack of hockey thing really stinks and I'm bored out of my mind. We haven't had an OT thread in a while so I figured I'd throw something out there. Since things aren't exactly blowing up around here simply because there isn't really anything interesting to talk about, I figured I'd take this Friday to start a nerd riot. If you're like me, you've woken up today to the horrible news that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman in the upcoming film with the working title of "Superman vs. Batman." If you're also like me, then seeing this news has caused your eyes to bleed, as well as uncontrollable vomiting and a nerd rage burning with the fire of a thousand suns. It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror. Where is Joel Schumacher? This has his stink all over it.
You can view the article on the announcement here.
You can find some of the tweeted backlash here.
#BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck is trending heavily on the Tweets.
The overwhelming majority of people are justifiably upset, in my opinion. There are a brave few that have attempted to defend the Affleck against this onslaught. Some have said things like, "Hey, he was good in Argo." Others have said, "Remember how everyone scratched their heads when Heath Ledger was cast? That turned out okay." There are even a few people that think Ben will be a good Batman simply because he's a comic book fan.
To those people I will say this: This is less about whether or not Ben Affleck has any acting talent at all, and more to do with who's footsteps he's following. This is about him being able to pull off the complexity of a character like Batman as well as those who have gone before. To further this point let's just talk about acting styles.
To put it simply, let's say there are two kinds of actors. Some actors adapt the character to themselves and their demeanor, tone, and mannerisms are largely the same as their own in real life. Ben Affleck is that kind of actor. He may change the way he talks from one film to the next but that's about it. The other kind of actor actually tries to change themselves into the character that they are playing. Look at Christian Bale in "The Machinist," "American Psycho," "The Fighter." The man does everything he can to alter everything he is (physical appearance, voice, mannerisms), in order to play the character to it's fullest. Now think about a guy like Kevin Costner. Now, I like him, but Kevin Costner is always Kevin Costner in any movie. He adapts the character to who he is and he does it very well. I still get choked up at the end of Field of Dreams every freakin' time. I think there's something to be said for his kind of acting. However, a character like Batman absolutely needs...no, demands an actor like Christian Bale.
Let's look at where previous iterations of Batman have failed, namely, the Joel Schumacher years. While Val Kilmer wasn't as bad as George Clooney, those two movies were decidedly worse than either of Keaton's films and certainly don't hold a candle to any of Christopher Nolan's. Why is that? Schumacher's incompetence and horrific style of film-making aside, I think one would be remiss in neglecting the fact that both Kilmer and Clooney had no real distinction between the character of Batman vs. the character Bruce Wayne. They played both sides virtually the same and there was no real depth of any kind in their portrayals of either character. Their performances were one-sided and flat and both were terrible.
So that leaves us with Ben. Has Ben Affleck ever performed well in a role on film? I would say, "yes." However, can he pull off a violently orphaned, damaged man, who's vigilante coping mechanism has split his life in two? Can he communicate the kind of pain that carrying around that loss has inflicted on him, while playing Bruce Wayne as something interesting and not just a "charming rich-guy" characature? Look no further than the movie Daredevil for your answer. I'd say decidedly no. If his Bruce Wayne winds up being simply Matt Murdock 2.0 then that's quite a falling off from his predecessors if you ask me. Christian Bale was distinctively a different person as Bruce Wayne in public. He was brilliant as the rude, arrogant, playboy and he could pull that off because he's a transformative actor. Even Michael Keaton was great as a wildly eccentric, bordering on crazy, Bruce Wayne. Still, just as Ledger improved on Nicholson's "Joker," Bale's "Bruce Wayne" has upped the ante. Can you see Ben Affleck pulling that kind of performance off? I certainly can't.
Furthermore, he's no Heath Ledger. Heath Ledger, had already shown depth in his acting ability well before he donned the purple jacket. While not all of his movies were great, he was usually good in them and many of his performances were incredibly emotional. He had shown incredible versatility in his performances like "Monster's Ball" and "Candy." Ben Affleck simply doesn't have the chops. Affleck isn't going to, all of a sudden, show us a depth of acting he's never reached before. We know him too well to believe that. Let me further crush that idea by reminding you that this is guy from: Paycheck, Reindeer Games, The Sum of All Fears (worst Jack Ryan ever), Jersey Girl, Pearl Harbor, and let's not forget... ... ...Gigli. We know who this guy is. "Versatile" is not a word I would use to describe him.
Lastly, I don't even think it's necessary for me to rebut the ridiculous "comic book fan" argument but I'll do it anyway. I'm a huge hockey fan. I'm the biggest hockey fan out of all of my hockey loving friends. I watch the NHL Draft because I think it's fun. However, I'm a terrible hockey player. I'm horrible at it. I barely learned to skate just two short years ago. If you picked me for your hockey team because I'm "such a big fan"...you would be an idiot.
So, I'm calling it. I think this movie is going to be an unmitigated disaster simply because Ben Affleck is the wrong man for the role. What do you think?