THE AUTHOR

Ian Casselberry is a freelance writer, currently based in Asheville, NC. He is an editor at The Comeback and Awful Announcing

Previously, he has been a contributing writer for Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew, MLive.com and SB Nation. In addition, he was a lead baseball writer for Bleacher Report. 

You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook, where he craves your attention.

He still plans to write that novel someday. 

("Pearls Before Swine" © 2005 Stephan Pastis)
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Entries in Ben Affleck (3)

Tuesday
Dec032013

It means 'Argo F--- Yourself!' 

I won't buy the Argo special edition Blu-ray, since I already bought the DVD and have seen the movie plenty of times on HBO in recent weeks.

But the bonus feature on the "Argo fuck yourself" joke (via Esquire) looks pretty funny. At 51 seconds, it certainly doesn't warrant buying the Blu-ray. Nonetheless, it's a chuckle, and the running gag is one of the more memorable parts of the movie. 

Interestingly, Ben Affleck said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov originally envisioned Argo with a more comic tone.  

Either you’re faithful to laughs and you’re making a comedy or you’re faithful to the truth of the film. Not that comedies can’t be serious, but the laugh can’t be supreme in the version of the movie I wanted to make. And George and Grant both aspire to that great sort of Coen brothers quasi-comic serious movie, and I just wasn’t confident that I knew how to do that. I was much more confident knowing how to do the other thing, which was just chasing realism. 

I think it's safe to say Affleck had the correct instinct here, though Argo certainly had its lighter moments. I'd love to see the original, more comic take, however. I wonder if that screenplay is out there.

Wednesday
Sep042013

Batman stars in 'Bounce'

This photo made me laugh more than it probably should have. But I’m hoping Batman doodles on Ben Affleck movies becomes a regular thing on the internet. 

Of course, it's really Gwyneth Paltrow leaning against Batffleck lovingly that sells this, isn't it? 

(via Slashfilm)

Thursday
Aug222013

Ben Affleck as Batman? It works for this geek

I just wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't write at least a little something about the news that Ben Affleck is the new Batman, right? 

You know what? I like this choice. Maybe it wouldn't have been my first. If Josh Brolin was up for the role, as was rumored at one point, I would've liked to see that. I also thought Karl Urban would've been a sly choice, though maybe I just feel that way after watching him basically play a superhero in Dredd

The general sentiment — at least based on what I've seen on my Twitter and Facebook feeds — is that fans think this is a bad idea. And I get that, because Affleck hasn't done much good work as an actor. The guy had a pretty terrible run in the 2000s. Pearl Harbor, Gigli, The Sum of All FearsPaycheck

Of course, Daredevil (2003) has to be mentioned among those. Affleck has already played a masked superhero in a movie that wasn't very good. As a big Daredevil comic book fan, however, I would pin most of the blame for that film on director Mark Steven Johnson. He wrote a pretty bad script, trying to shoehorn in too many characters and canonical storylines into a two-hour film. 

However, Affleck has undergone something of a renaissance since becoming a director. Gone Baby Gone was outstanding. The Town wasn't quite as good, perhaps suffering from Affleck directing himself as an actor. (He's also built like a frickin' superhero in that movie.) Then there's Argo, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. 

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Did Affleck do a good job as an actor in that movie? No, he didn't stand out as the lead character, Tony Mendez. But I think his job was to be sort of the straight man, letting John Goodman and Alan Arkin do their thing. During the hostage rescue in Iran, Mendez was supposed to be stoic, maintaining a calm demeanor for terrified civilians trying to escape. 

I'd argue that becoming a director has made Affleck a better actor. He's done some nice supporting roles in State of Play and The Company Men. David Fincher thinks enough of Affleck to have cast him as the male lead in the adaptation of Gone Girl, which is a pretty big deal. (That movie will come out in 2015, the same year as "Superman vs. Batman" — or whatever it ends up being called — by the way.) 

Directing two excellent films for Warner Bros. has certainly made Affleck a darling at that studio. You would think he could do just about anything he wants there now, but maybe playing Batman sealed the deal. Perhaps he's always wanted to play the role. Maybe Affleck received the proverbial offer he couldn't refuse. 

Affleck needs to be good as Batman and Bruce Wayne, though. Chances are he's going to play the character in more than one movie, given that this new team-up with Superman is a jumping-off point for a Justice League franchise. Maybe Affleck will even direct that one. Or a new solo Batman film, which is also surely in the plans. 

According to reports, director Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer have been looking for someone a bit older and with some gravitas to play Batman next to Henry Cavill's newer Superman. Going by that criteria, I think Affleck fits the bill pretty well.

He certainly looks the part. Affleck will be a great Bruce Wayne, one that could provide a slick, refined contrast to a Clark Kent still trying to define himself. He can also pull off someone who might fight dirty against a more virtuous Man of Steel.

The question is how Affleck will do once he puts on that Bat-suit. But really, how bad could he be there? The mask covers three-quarters of his face. He just needs to avoid looking foolish acting with his mouth.

Hopefully, Goyer's script and Snyder's direction guide Affleck along the right path — especially if there are quite a few exchanges of dialogue between Batman and Superman. And really, there could be plenty of philosophical clashes in that story, as these two heroes see the world and approach their work in very different ways. Presumably, that will be the foundation of this movie. 

Let's just hope Affleck he doesn't try to emulate Christian Bale's gravelly growl. That would be a huge, terrible mistake.