Ok let me just start off with saying, I'm not into comics and really don't know much about Batman outside how I've seen him in the movies. Also let me preface this with saying that it's not even 9:30am and I've heard almost 15 jokes about Matt Damon being Robin, so can we not talk about that at all? (The Matt Damon part I mean, like that has any relevance) So news broke today that Ben Affleck will be the new Batman in the Man of Steel sequel and social media erupted with Affleck backlash, the likes of which we haven't seen since Lindsay Lohan got cast as Elizabeth Taylor. First of all, can everyone please calm the fuck down? It's actually a pretty sound decision considering, and here's why. Out of all the iconic Batman's I'm of the firm opinion, and I might have just put a target on my back, that Christian Bale's is down there with worst. The only reason the Nolan Batman films are any good is because of the villains (discounting Anne Hathaway), not because of Bale's Clint Eastwoody existential deadpan performance. Bale as an actor is very versatile, he can go from playing a superficial sociopath in American Psycho (2000) to playing a malnourished, tortured soul in The Machinist (2004), to a crack-addled good-for-nothing walking disaster in The Fighter (2011). We are all aware of his capabilities. Apparently though, when he puts on the rubber suit with ears, he becomes basically a fucking robot. I mean like no delivery whatsoever, even when he's not the caped crusader you might as well be acting opposite a mannequin. You know how I can tell his acting is not up to par? It's because he's not even the star of his own movie, he just moves along with the plot like 'well this might as well happen'. No one talks about Bale when the movie is over, it's all about OMG Heath Ledger, or OMG Tom Hardy, or OMG Chritopher Nolan uses wayyyyy too many cuts. Anyway! I was always underwhelmed to say the least at Bale's Batman, not that I expected him to chew the scenery and get all Hamlet on the mofo, not that there was any opportunity to do that because the writing was let's admit it, banal at best.
|Take it easy on the intensity Bale, no one is asking you to rip 15 phone books in half.|
You would expect someone like Bale to seriously step it up considering his CV as an actor but he held back, and not in that good subtle way that wins people Academy Awards.
Now, on to Affleck, he isn't exactly Marlon Brando either. The guy gets so much flack for his acting, but lately has shown some serious range...and yet not in acting. The guy is a writer/director, he's got two Oscar's to prove it. His acting is borderline ridiculous at best, but at least he has that strange sensitive endearing charm that I think will work well for Batman. I mean hey, it's worked well in keeping him in the favor of the public eye. Maybe he just hasn't gotten meaty roles yet because no one has taken him seriously since Mallrats (1996), but maybe that's a good thing. I mean, being Batman is not exactly training for the acting Olympics. It's a visual icon, so strap on the rubber suit, tie up the utility belt and breath heavily, but at least add some bravado into it, don't just stare beyond someone's eyeballs like you're The Terminator every time you talk to them. I don't know, maybe it's time to bring some damn emotion back into Batman and stop making him a catatonic killing machine.
|Maybe I'm just for this whole thing, because perhaps now I can be sexually attracted to Batman.|
I know Affleck ruined Daredevil (2003) for you, but did you honestly expect much from that movie to begin with? It's like saying 'oh, Anne Hathaway ruined Les Miserables (2012) for me!) Well here's his chance to redeem himself. He's working with a good writing/directing team, and everything is ripe for interpretation now. And Affleck always had those great sensitive eyes. Even when crying and screaming for Harry not to sacrifice himself in Armageddon (1999) (ok, now there's definitely a target on my back) I was totally buying it. Bale will always have a harshness to his demeanor in my opinion, there's a dark side to him that is just that...a blanket of pitch black nothingness, while Affleck I think, at least, I hope can play both ends of the spectrum. And I think we're all in agreement that we need Batman to lighten up just a little bit. I mean, I know you're protecting an entire city, but take a Lexapro and drink a box of Chardonnay every once in a while. In Affleck's case it will probably be a case of Guinness, but whatever. And since when does Hollywood not love to shock you with against-type casting. I mean seriously? Since it's not up to Nolan anymore, they thought they'd pull a fast one on us, you know why? Because they fucking can.