Affleck flies too close to the sun

There were literally hundreds of hilarious options for this picture

I like Ben Affleck.  Always have.  I don’t know why.  I’m not even that into Good Will Hunting.  It probably all goes back to Dazed And Confused.  I have always loved Affleck in that movie.  Wooderson may have stolen the show in the minds of most*, but to me Affleck’s loser bully back for a second senior year was way funnier.  That character combined with a particularly endearing job hosting SNL right after he got famous was enough to get me in his camp early.

*Wooderson was, admittedly, hilarious.  I actually still don’t really hate McConaughey.  I feel like he reaps what he sows.

After a while, it became funny to like Affleck.  Whenever anybody brings up Mattt Damon I always say “I prefer Affleck”.  Great bit.  Doesn’t get a lot of laughs.

Virtually all his movies are bad.  And he went from J-Lo and her fat butt to the surprisingly average looking Jennifer Garner.  Maybe she’s cool.  If so, respect.  If not….whatever.  I don’t really care who these people date or get married to.  I’m just saying his taste in women is weird and his movies are bad.  He became a joke.

Then he directed Gone, Baby Gone. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out.  One of the best movies of the decade.  It was difficult to tell if the credit should go to Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, or the material they were given by made-for-the-silver-screen author Dennis Lehane.  His books are good movies every time (e.g. Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island).  Regardless, the fact is Ben Affleck directed an awesome movie, and I vowed to see his next.

I can’t really tell you whether The Town was good or not.  Judging the particulars of the movie would be like trying to judge a football team with a bad quarterback.  Maybe “bad” isn’t the right word.  Let’s say funny quarterback.  A guy you root for but laugh at.  Think Jason “Cam” Campbell.  Can you really judge an offense with Cam Campbell at quarterback?

That analogy sucked.  What I’m trying to say is its extremely difficult for me to render an accurate opinion about this film.  Affleck is front and center in basically every scene.  He’s wearing track suits and speaking with a heavy Boston accent.  He’s jacked out of his mind.  He has that huge head and perfectly manicured stubble.  It’s impossible to take him seriously, and this is supposed to be a serious movie.

So whenever anyone asks me how it was I’m not sure what to say.  I mean, it was Affleck, you know?  Was a movie good if you were you had to suppress chuckles during dramatic scenes?

My boy Benny really did himself a disservice by taking the lead role.  I know it’s a Boston movie, and I don’t begrudge that crew their Boston movies.  If I could ever write my own ticket I’d be making KC movies all over the place, you best balee ‘dat.  There’d be a dramatic scene with me and my boy Young drinking whiskey straight from the bottle at the rose garden in Loose Park.  We’d be bearing our souls after just having killed a man for money.  So yeah, I can understand the allure of playing roles in your home town.  If he wasn’t also the director I’d have been all for him headlining this movie (although I wouldn’t have seen it).  But he was the director.  A little restraint would’ve gone a long way.  If he’d cast his younger brother again, everyone would probably be singing his praises.

It’s not that he did a bad job.  He was actually legitimately funny at times.  Mentioned the show Bones at one point and got a legit lol.  You all know what I’m saying about Affleck at this point.  A lot of you probably dislike him, come to think of it.  Cowards.

The rest of the casting was excellent.  They had the good sense to borrow from some awesome stuff.  A couple of guys from Gone, Baby Gone, the chick who played Bale’s wife in The PrestigeJeremy Renner, from Jesse James, was maybe the highlight.  He’s got a long career of gettin’ ugly and playing the heel ahead of him.  My boy Sweetums’ boy Pete Posthelwait is in da how as a crime boss who fronts as a florist.  He was very good, as always (except Clash of the Titans).  When talking to Affleck he hacks away at roses with a small knife in a pretty convincing manner.  I thought that was a nice touch.  I bet he summered somewhere to learn that.  What, he thinks he’s better than me?

Blake Lively was scintillating as a slutty, white trash Boston chick.  Matty likey that archetype.  In the movies, anyway.  In real life people from Boston make me want to barf blood (what-up, Boston!).

The only unfortunate casting was Jon Hamm.  This was a bad career move for Hamm.  When trying to distinguish yourself as a legit actor, don’t take the head FBI agent role in a caper movie.  That should be Career Building 101.  There is no fresh spin to put on that role.  Hamm was force to swagger and quip and act way too into the case just like that character always does.  He was also holding his mouth a funny way, but thats neither here nor there.  I brought it up afterwards* and didn’t get a lot of traction.

*I almost always go to movies by myself.  But this was saturday night on opening weekend, so I needed some company.  The solution?  Third wheel hang with a friend and his girlfriend.  Afterwards they went to dinner, I went home and blogged about MMA.  City that never sleeps baby!

In the end, I can’t help but wonder what might’ve been.  With Casey in the lead role this would’ve been a legitimately awesome cast.  Ben just changed the game too much.  It’s as simple as that.  Is he a potentially great director?  The Town gets us no closer to the truth.

12 Comments

Filed under Decent Movies

12 responses to “Affleck flies too close to the sun

  1. Beans

    I visited The Town last weekend, and I’m just not seeing what you’re seeing Hatt. I’m no Affleck hater*, but I’ve never been too impressed by him either. I thought he served quite capably as the lead here. He was serious enough for me in the dramatic scenes, and I feel like physically someone of his ilk was necessary to portray a tough bankrobber. I’m very intrigued by your suggestion of Casey Affleck, and it probably would have worked great in the dramatic stuff. My problem would be seeing Casey Affleck firing an assault rifle in the Fenway Park scene. Maybe he could have pulled it off, maybe not.

    (* I had a righteous LOL when reading your Damon/Affleck quip. Do people really not like that one? It’s golden.)

    Blake Lively be turnin’ heads mon. I was straight up impressed with her performance. In that scene with Hamm at the hospital, she acted circles around him. Granted, Hamm’s role did stink like you described, but I never thought I would see the day when Lively was getting the better of him. I think we may have a great actress for years to come. And she plays Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in “The Green Lantern” next summer. Bonus points.

    We can quibble over Affleck’s performance all day, but I think we both agree this flick was worth the wait. Renner and Posthelwait are amazing, and like all Lehane joints, it was a great story for a movie. I wasn’t totally down with the Fenway Park robbery, just because it was sooooo “Boston” (I want to see that Bale/Wahlberg boxer movie, but how much of this city and accent can one man bear?), but I’ll forgive that. I’m giving it a solid A-.

    • Big Hatt

      All told it was actually a pretty good movie (although it actually wasn’t a Lehane joint). I just can’t take Ben Affleck seriously at all. He’s not even a bad actor, it’s just……

      SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

      That last scene where his letter says “I’ll see you, this side or the other” was fine. But then they show him in that bungalow or whatever standing there looking into the sunset. How do you not laugh your ass off at that? And remember, he directed the movie, so he wanted it to end with that shot of him. I feel like this is akin to what Costner did in the Postman, ending the movie with that statue of himself.

      I do agree about the size thing though. That would’ve been tough for Casey. For some reason size did seem to be intrinsic to the character.

  2. What about KC’s connection: ole Chris Cooper? I need to see this one to weigh in but all this Posthelwait talk is getting me amped.

  3. Beans

    Ok, yeah, that final shot at the bungalow is indefensible. I had blocked that one out.

    I was kind of surprised at Cooper’s lack of screen time. But he was definitely taking care of business with the work he had.

  4. I loved it. I have been an unabashed Affleck fan for years, through the tough times, largely because of those early Kevin Smith films (holy shit, has Smith gone to hell in a handbasket…). Watch the commentary track on Chasing Amy. Affleck is fucking hilarious.

    I actually don’t have a big problem with his acting in the film. His character (along with his crew) was supposed to be a blue-collar, working class Townie. It really seemed to me that he had that down.

    I also loved that Bones line. Holy shit did I laugh hard at that add-on.

    • Big Hatt

      I didn’t really have a problem with his acting per se, I mean I don’t think he embarrassed himself or anything like that. For me he’s past the point where he can melt into a role. He’s just Affleck every time I see him. Can you remember his character’s name in The Town? I sure can’t.

      Kevin Smith (shudder). His movies are like car accidents at this point. Cop Out was awful.

      mma blog:

      http://cagepages.com/

      I just started there. I’ll soon be posting on an almost daily basis. The other guy does news, so I’m free to stick to the opinion pieces, which are my cup of tea. Newsy stuff is just so boring.

  5. Oh, and what MMA stuff do you blog about?

  6. Krumb

    Yeah, this is a tough one. I have no problem with Affleck in the lead. Thought he did a decent job and didn’t find him distracting. And I enjoyed Postlethwait and Renner and Lively(‘s breasts).

    But this might have been a case where I got fooled by the trailer. I went in expecting a Departed-level story and got a pretty standard-issue bank heist flick. It’s definitely a better than average heist flick, and worth seeing if you’re into that sort of thing (I am). But was it a great movie? No. A good movie? I would say yes, in a popcorn kind of way.

    The biggest loser is Hamm, and god dammit it pains me to say that. That character was ridiculously trite. He’ll be back.

    I thought the use of humor in The Town was somewhat progressive. There were a lot of actually funny moments amidst the tension. To the extent that humor is used in these types of movies, it’s usually merely a clever or sarcastic line. In this one, they didn’t seem afraid that an actual joke or slapstick-y moment (Renner drinking the soda in the last scene) would take away from the drama. I applaud this.

    • Big Hatt

      They definitely used humor much better than any of these movies normally do. I laughed legitimately a few times. Not hard laughs, but real. I would like to attribute this to Affleck not taking himself too seriously. That might be a stretch, but I have always liked that quality about him.

      I don’t even think he’s a bad actor. His movies are always bad, but he does OK. Usually comes off fairly likable. Daredevil was tough.

      I did find him a little distracting in this though. At certain times more than a little. I’d like to see him get behind that camera full time.

  7. “There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year,” claims the first trailer i saw for this mervy. I have no idea what to do with that number. And that’s pretty much how i feel about this movie. There’s no way i’d enjoy it as much as this write-up.

    Now “Bounce,” heck, i’ll watch that again right now.

  8. That Bones line was funny. You gotta think Afflack was behind that one.

    I probably won’t be seeing this one again but I did enjoy it and found it worth my money for sure. I really liked Posthelwaite’s character. That’s probably what I’ll take away from that one.

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