OK, so yesterday we talked about how non-outraged I was about Miley Cyrus. From the comments, it seems most of you were about as meh on that as I was (or maybe you were super-outraged but too shy to speak up. FEEL FREE TO SPEAK UP! I promise I won’t bite. I only get mad at tornadoes of constant negative energy, passive-aggressive ragemonsters, and trolls. If you want to disagree with me, I’m cool with that. Hell, Jim used to disagree with me on the regular, and I still think he’s just the best, even if he’s dead to Dad and Dad called him “that cigar-chomping fancyman” last night.)
Let’s see how offended you are that I WASN’T offended by the other thing that didn’t offend me recently.
I am not at all offended by Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman in the new Batman vs. Superman movie.
I KNOW. TAKE AWAY MY GEEK CARD RIGHT NOW.
I have many reasons for this decision.
REASON THE FIRST: I WON’T WATCH THE MOVIE ANYWAY
I don’t care for superhero movies. When I was young, I’m sure I watched some. I think I watched one or two of the original Superman movies. I liked Michael Keaton as Batman; Clooney and Kilmer, not so much. As an adult, I watched The Avengers because Joss Whedon (and honestly didn’t get most of it because I hadn’t seen the movies it referenced, except for Iron Man.) I’ve watched the first two Iron Man movies, because SHUT UP, is why. I’m crazy in love with Robert Downey Jr. and I love him in that role. He makes me so happy. I might have accidentally watched some of one of the X-Men movies but I didn’t care. I watched the first two Batman movies (the Christian Bale ones, I mean) because I wanted to see the second one (because I’d heard so much about Heath Ledger’s Joker) so I wanted to know what was going on so I watched the first one. Was there a third one? I feel like maybe there was. I didn’t care enough to watch that. They were fine. I liked the dark grittiness and the lack of camp. But superhero movies and me – eh.
Thing is, I like superheroes. I don’t know why, exactly, I don’t like superhero movies. I think I like them in the abstract more than in the flesh, or something. Because the special effects are usually silly, and what seems noble just comes across as cheesy.
So right now you’re like, “THEN WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?” I’m a loudmouth with a blog, and I’ve had to listen to you all screaming about how terribly Ben Affleck’s going to ruin the WHOLE WOOOOOOOORLD, is who I am. So I get to judge, just as much as you do. Back off, grumbly.
REASON THE SECOND: PEOPLE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH DAMN FREE TIME
Seriously, you all got SHOUTY. Like, BEYOND shouty. It was kind of frightening to watch. People immediately fell into two camps: the “Affleck? AFFLECK? IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD!” people, and the “Meh, give the guy a chance” people.
You guys. YOU GUYS. You know it’s just a movie, right? Like, yes, I get it, people get all invested in their stories. I get it. I guess I just don’t have that in me. I mean, I was super-sad when the movie version of A Prayer for Owen Meany was THE WORST THING EVER ZOMG, but I didn’t go online and put up memes about how we needed to murder Ashley Judd, either. THERE ARE MEMES ABOUT MURDERING BEN AFFLECK. OVER A ROLE IN A MOVIE.
Guys, I’m all for geeky passion. I totally am. I am one of you. I AM ONE OF YOUR CROWD. I am passionate about uncool shit. I was a geek back when that was an INSULT. But there’s geeky passion…then there’s taking the express train to crazytown. I think a few of you took the express train to crazytown when the Affleck announcement came out. I’d like to say I’m not judging you? But that’d be a lie. I totally am.
(You do know that Ben Affleck is a real person with FEELINGS, right? And that by screaming how much you hate him and how terrible of an actor/person he is ALL OVER THE INTERWEBS, his feelings are probably getting a little tender? “WHO CARES HE CAN DRY HIS TEARS WITH HIS MILLIONS!” Yeah, shut up. People with money have feelings, too. And it’s shitty to be that mean to ANYONE.)
OK, here’s the third point, and here’s where you all start yelling at me; I don’t even care. I stand by this one.
REASON THE THIRD: I THINK BEN AFFLECK IS A GOOD ACTOR
Shush. JUST SHUSH.
Yes. I am aware that he’s done some questionable movies. Can you think of a single actor who has a long resume who DIDN’T do some questionable movies? I can’t think of a single actor who’s only been in hits his or her whole career. Acting’s a tough game, kiddos. Sometimes you take roles because you need the money; sometimes you take roles because you owe the director or producer or production company a favor; sometimes you take roles because going into it, it seemed like a different role/movie/production/play than the final product proves to be; sometimes you take roles because you’re guaranteed exposure, or because you want the opportunity to work with a certain actor/director/producer and don’t know when you’ll get that chance again, or because if you do this project, the Powers That Be might look kindly on you for another (good) project.
I’m the first to admit I haven’t seen everything Affleck’s been in (I mean, seriously, the guy’s been in a lot of movies) but I’ve seen more Affleck movies than a lot of other actors’ movies…and that’s saying a lot, considering I don’t watch movies much anymore. I have enough to do to keep up with all the television I watch.
I just looked at his IMDb. I’ve seen all of his Kevin Smith movies. I’ve also seen Pearl Harbor, 200 Cigarettes, Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Phantoms, Good Will Hunting, and Dazed and Confused. I have Argo sitting here, but I haven’t seen it yet. I also saw Gone Baby Gone, which he directed. I’ve seen him every time he’s hosted Saturday Night Live.
No, I didn’t see the movies people like to shout about when they’re all “OMG NOT AFFLECK!!1!” like Gigli and Daredevil and Reindeer Games. I know people point out Jersey Girl as one of the bad movies. I didn’t think Jersey Girl was one of Smith’s best films, but I didn’t hate it like most people did. I thought it was fine. A bad Kevin Smith movie is still, for me, leaps and bounds above a lot of other movies.
Here’s the thing, you guys. I’m a fan of Affleck’s work. I think he’s come a long way. I think he was good to begin with, if a little raw; I think he’s matured into a very poised, talented man, and his directing proves this. His acting has also matured.
(I also think he’s come a long way since the Bennifer days, and I didn’t think he’d bounce back from that. Good for him.)
Thing is, I liked him before. I liked him when he was a goofball in the early Kevin Smith movies, and I think he has one of the single most affecting moments in my favorite Smith movie, which is Dogma. You’re all probably going to say “WHATEVER! CHEESY!” but the scene where he meets up with God (yes, the Alanis Morissette God) and he realizes she’s forgiven him, and is going to send him home, and he apologizes with that little catch in his throat, and thanks her, and just breaks down?
Every time, you guys. Every damn time. I don’t care what you think about the movie or that scene or Affleck as an actor; I find that tremendously powerful. When I think about Affleck as an actor, that’s the scene that immediately comes to mind. That scene cemented him in my mind as someone to watch.
I also think he does tremendous work in Shakespeare in Love. It’s not the lead role, but when he’s on-screen, you watch him. You can’t help but. He commands the screen. He’s funny and brash and intelligent and he’s a damn MOVIE star. You can SEE that in him.
And as we all know? He was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.
(And shut up, I LOVE ARMAGEDDON. It makes me cry. IT MAKES ME CRY SO HARD. No, not because of the Affleck parts, because of the daddy/daughter parts, but I don’t hate Affleck in that, either. I actually like that movie quite a bit, when I’m in the mood for an end-of-the-world type thing or when I’m flipping channels and it happens to be on.)
I think the guy can act; I think the guy can direct.
Do I think the guy can play Batman?
I DON’T KNOW. And neither do you. NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU.
For everyone who’s ever played a superhero, there have been people who screamed, “NOOOOOO!” Those people are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. As people are.
(And if I’m remembering correctly, the internet was pretty split on the performance of the new guy who’s playing Superman, right? Henry Cavill, or whatever? So a lot of you are going into the movie not even liking SUPERMAN, for the love of Pete!)
I sincerely hope that Affleck turns in a kickass performance in this movie. As mentioned, I probably won’t watch it. I just don’t care about superhero movies. (I do, however, love me some Affleck, so there’s the chance I might watch it on DVD or Netflix or something someday.)
But in the meantime?
PLEASE TRY TO KEEP YOUR NERDRAGE TO A REASONABLE LEVEL. Wait until it comes out, and judge the movie RATIONALLY on its MERITS. Don’t go in all pissy-faced and PREPARED to hate it. That’s the sure way to hate something. I’m a REVIEWER, you guys. You need to go into something all clean-slatey. It’s the best way to judge something. I’m telling you. It’s only fair. I GET PAID TO REVIEW THINGS ON THE REGULAR.
Let the guy ACT, you know? It is not life-or-death. He has not been tasked with operating on Betty White or coordinating a tactical strike on Yemen or something. IT IS A ROLE IN A MOVIE. I know it’s a BELOVED role, but it’s also a role played by THIS guy…
(Sigh, Kilmer…you will always and forever be my Tombstone boyfriend, but this made me laugh so hard I cried.)
So…seriously. Not at all life or death.
Calm it down, ok? Thanks.
Because it’s not going to change anything. Affleck knows what’s up.