Ben Affleck, puffy Batman, slurs up storm during ‘Deflategate’ ‘f–k’-fest

Ben Affleck Any Given Wednesday

Batman v Superman is now in the rearview mirror and the general consensus is that it was a sloppy mess. Warner Bros. says changes were made to Justice League after the critical tsunami rolled in, but now its key star — Ben Affleck — is once again acting like a fool in public.

Sometimes “Batman” says he doesn’t like Republicans. Sometimes “Batman” nearly cries when someone says Islamic terrorism is, in fact, Islamic in nature. Sometimes he volunteers to do a show on finding one’s roots and then tries to cover up the fact that his ancestors owned slaves. These days, however, the puffy-faced (Botox?) star is launching into slurred f***k-fests that make him look like an immature frat boy. He is 43 years old.

Mr. Affleck, aka Bruce Wayne, looked like an alcoholic on Bill Simmons’ Any Given Wednesday, and now it will be exponentially harder to forget his antics when Justice League finally arrives in theaters.

Ben Affleck tweet

Here is 1:33 minutes of Mr. Affleck’s rant on the NFL’s decision to go after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for “Deflategate”:

“Deflategate is the ultimate bulls**t f***ing outrage of sports — ever. It’s so f***ing stupid that I can’t believe it.  Do you realize (slurred) they gave him a suspension for a quarter of the regular season, which would be equivalent of suspending a baseball player for 40 f***ing days … which is what they do when you get busted taking steroids. And by the way, if the NFL had real testing, it really knew how to test for steroids and HGH in the NFL, there’d be no f***ing NFL.

So instead, what they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his f***ing cellphone. … I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my f***ing cellphone so you could just look through emails and listen to my voicemail. … The first thing they’re going to do is leak this s**t. … Maybe Tom Brady is so f***ing classy, and he’s such a f***ing gentlemen, that he doesn’t want people do know that he may have reflected on his real opinion of some of his coworkers.”

Ben Affleck Pats tweet

HBO’s Bill Simmons tried to quell talk about the star being drunk by noting how the show tapes in the morning.

Note to Mr. Simmons: You just made things worse.

Either Ben Affleck was still drunk from the previous night, or he was drinking in the morning — because there is no mistaking what fueled his weird facial expressions, slurred speech, and countless f-bombs.

Bill Simmons

Fact: I said in my review for Batman v Superman that Ben Affleck did a fine job. An unpolished script and Jesse Eisenberg’s Jar-Jar Binks-like performance nearly destroyed the movie. I do not have an irrational dislike of the actor, but it is difficult to cheer for him when, in many ways, he acts like the pompous jerk who tried to embarrass his character in Good Will Hunting.

Ben Affleck Good Will Hunting

Warner Bros. needs Justice League to be pitch perfect after dropping the ball with Batman v Superman, and that will not happen if Mr. Affleck’s personal life prompts him to act like a buffoon.

When a man slurs his speech and acts like a drunken fool before millions of YouTube viewers, then he becomes a joke. When he becomes a joke, then millions of fans will not consider him a convincing Batman. That is the truth. If the people coughing up money for Justice League want to see a profit on their investment, then they will speak to the actor about his behavior sooner rather than later.

Watch the video and determine for yourself if Ben was merely “fired up.”

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Batman v Superman: The truth — for DC Comics fans in denial

Batman v Superman desert

Last weekend this blog gave an honest review of Batman v Superman because your friendly neighborhood writer is always in search of truth, justice and the American way. I said it was a movie that had its good parts (e.g., Ben Affleck), its excellent parts (e.g., visuals), and parts that were just plain ugly (e.g., Jesse Eisenberg). I did that for the same reason I will readily admit that Iron Man 2 was a creative mess that was barely saved by Robert Downey Junior’s awesomeness — it’s the truth.

All this is relevant because something peculiar happened when box-office numbers came in on Sunday: Hardcore DC Comics fans and those with a vested interest in the movie’s success started framing its $420 million global gross over the weekend as proof that critics were all wrong.

CBR, for example, reported Monday:

Overcoming a torrent of negative reviews that triggered social-media backlash from die-hard fans, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” stormed theaters worldwide over the weekend, exceeding most box-office predictions and breaking records left and right.

It turns out that, after all the hand-wringing by fans and Warner Bros. executives alike, “Batman v Superman” really was review-proof.

My wife asked me what the numbers meant as they started rolling in and I said we wouldn’t really know until next weekend.

I will now let Forbes explain why:

Batman v Superman has set a new record for the worst Friday-to-Sunday drop for a superhero movie release in modern North American box office history. In dropping 55% from its $82 million Friday debut to its $37 million gross on Sunday, it pummeled all prior records for weakness in theatrical staying power. It even beat the nearly universally reviled and now long-forgotten Fantastic Four reboot, which dropped a comparatively modest 48% across its opening weekend in the summer of 2015. …

Superhero movies that don’t hold up well over their first weekend tend not to sustain much energy at the box office over the longer course of their theatrical runs. …

The steep decline in the Batman v Superman numbers points to the unfortunate likelihood that, apart from DC Comics fans, North American audiences don’t like the movie very much.

One of the biggest challenges in life is to see things as they are instead of how we wish them to be. The optimist sees things through rose-colored glasses and the pessimist seems things as unrealistically grim. The mind has a funny way of making any “true believer” immune to cold, hard reality, which is why the truth about BvS should be spread far and wide.

I want Warner Bros. to succeed with its long-term plans, but that is not likely to happen if executives do not come to terms with the film’s flaws. Having websites out there calling the movie “review-proof” does no-one any favors.

Filming for Justice League is scheduled to start April 11, but Warner Bros. may want to consider stepping on the breaks for a month or two if that it possible. The script of BvS was disjointed and Bruce Wayne appeared to be the only character who was not underdeveloped. Given that the same creative team is working on Justice League, it would be wise to pause, analyze what didn’t work with BvS, and then fix any problems that inadvertently carried over into the current project.

This blog may favor Marvel fare, but I have no desire to see DC properties crash and burn. The superhero genre has plenty of people who are eager for its demise, which is why Warner Bros. needs to right its ship before its too late.

Batman v Superman: Jesse Eisenberg’s Turd Luthor almost destroys film

Batman v Superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has arrived. Fans finally get to see the two titans of D.C. Comics square up against on another while simultaneously setting up numerous other movies. Was it good? Was it bad? Does the “Sad Affleck” viral video convey what millions of moviegoers will feel by the end of the weekend? I think that the one thing people will remember 10 years from now about the film is just how big of a turd Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor turned out to be in the D.C. Punch Bowl, but I will try and lay out what worked and what didn’t in bullet points below.

First off, it should be reiterated once again that director Zack Snyder knows how to make a movie look cool. There are scenes that are incredibly gorgeous and he seems to have a great gut instinct for the shots fans want to see — probably because he is a fan. His problem, however, comes from the writing side of the equation. It is glaringly obvious that someone mandated all sorts of things that should have never been in the movie, in part because Hollywood producers have a penchant for being idiots. The script paid the price.

The plot of the movie is fairly straight forward and essentially told in the trailer. Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne both view Superman’s existence on earth a threat to humanity and both pursue a monomaniacal quest to end his life.

Superman struggles with the role he plays living among humans and then a studio-mandated monster is shoehorned into the finale because needlessly spending lots of money somehow translates as “good” to executives in Hollywood (One would think they would learn a thing or two from X-men Origins: Wolverine, but no!) The credits roll and then everyone wonders if there will be an extra scene at the end because that’s what Marvel does. The end.

The question — Is it good? — still remains. First, let us acknowledge what worked:

  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Batman. He put in the time required to succeed, and it showed.
  • Henry Cavill did a fine job as Clark Kent and Superman, even if he took a back seat in what was initially supposed to be his movie.
  • Jeremy Irons makes an excellent Alfred.
  • The fight scenes are exactly what you would expect from the guy who knocked it out of the park with 300

Now, let us cover what did not work:

  • Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is an embarrassment. The entire film is dark and gritty and then he plays Luthor like he drew inspiration from Jim Carrey’s Riddler from Batman Forever (another Warner Bros. movie that suffered because it had too much going on, among its many other problems). Worse, the ominous music that plays when he’s on screen — juxtaposed with his goofy performance — reminded me of the “Large Marge” scene from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Any scene with Eisenberg that was supposed to be dramatic was not because he wasn’t believable as a Superman-worthy villain.
  • The movie was disjointed. Luthor should have been a serious businessman and there was absolutely no need for him to create Doomsday. The way it all unfolded was cringeworthy, which again begs the question: Was it Synder’s fault or studio-mandated? I will give Synder the benefit of the doubt since he stuck to his guns on Watchmen and wisely changed the ending for its film adaptation.
  • Batman v Superman was too long. There was a good 30 minutes that could have been cut from the film if they weren’t trying so hard to set up Justice League.

Jesse Eisenberg

In short, Batman v Superman is the classic case of “What might have been.” Parts of it are good. Parts of it are excellent. Unfortunately, some of it is just bad. In fact, just looking at Jesse Eisenberg’s face right now makes me shake my head in disgust. It’s not as bad as the time he likened San Diego Comic Con to “genocide” (yes, seriously), but it’s pretty bad.

I recommend seeing Batman v Superman to long-time fans because the impossible was made possible. For a kid who grew up in the 80s, I cannot help but feel as though this generation is spoiled rotten when it comes to cinematic superhero fare. See the film, but know that you will also walk away frustrated at the wasted potential.

It wasn’t your fault this time, Ben. Really. It wasn’t.

Editor’s Note: Check out Hube’s take over at The Colossus of Rhodey.

Zack Snyder’s ‘nightmare’ sneak: Scowling Superman terrifies

Superman nightmare

Zack Snyder has released a new “Batman v Superman – Exclusive Sneak” for the upcoming movie, and it is frightening. The “nightmare” clip begins with Batman trapped in a desert bunker manned by some sort of shock troops loyal to Superman. The Man of Steel arrives at the remote location and approaches his prisoner with a scowl normally seen by the Dark Knight.

Batman nightmare

Yes, it is possible to make Batman wet his pants. Bruce Wayne is righteously terrified (hence, the nightmare). Imagine a man with the power of a god — unaccountable to no one and restricted only by his own definition of right and wrong. Would the world hope and pray that this “superman’s” moral compass had a lifetime warranty, or would they not want to chance it and find a way to destroy him?

Superman scowl nightmare

Nations around the world would only tolerate Superman’s existence as long as there were equal or greater threats out there that he could defend them from. Leaders would jockey to win his allegiance. Wars would be fought because of him, and in the end it is entirely plausible that he would finally succumb to the temptation to end the madness by declaring himself our global king.

Batman v Superman nightmare

Some fans are already bemoaning the movie and its depiction of “nightmare” Superman, even though it won’t even be in theaters for another four months.

Perhaps the most hilarious feedback came from Dan Slott — the guy who “killed” Peter Parker for over a year and then put Doctor Octopus behind the mask.

He said: “I’d rather have a Superman who inspires and gives people hope — and not a dark & gritty alien who inspires fear.”

Dan Slott Superman

The lack of self-awareness is astounding. Replace “Superman” with “Spider-Man” and “alien” with “Doctor Octopus” and then ask him how he has the gall to critique Snyder. But I digress.

Online critics who are oddly upset that Henry Cavill will not become a Christopher Reeve simulacrum are missing the point: Synder has elevated great characters to their well-deserved mythological status. He is exploring big ideas about larger-than-life characters. To do the movie justice (no pun intended), he can’t be beholden to some idealized version of Superman that simply would not work in the cinematic universe Warner Bros. has created.

Whether you’re on Team Snyder or a Team Slott, let me know what you think in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you think.

‘Batman v Superman’ trailer: Zack Snyder goes were Marvel Studios fears to tread

Batman v Superman 911The Batman v Superman trailer is out, and one thing is obvious: Zack Synder is going with a level of realism that Marvel Studios has shown no desire to duplicate. Anyone who lived through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will not be able to see Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne engulfed in dust and debris without thinking of that day. If they decide to accept the director’s decision, then they can appreciate what the visual does for the story — while everyone else sprints away from the carnage, Bruce Wayne hurls himself head first into the chaos. That is the kind of bravery (bordering on psychosis) a man would need for him to seriously attempt to challenge Superman.

Batman v Superman flyThere are plenty of valid criticisms that could be made of Mr. Synder’s DC Universe, but it is hard to deny that his Superman exudes raw power. When he is on the screen, he demands respect. The argument that his costume is dated and cheesy just doesn’t fly (no pun intended), because if you can be led to believe that a character possesses the power to exterminate the entire human race, then you will respect him in almost any outfit.

Batman v Superman desertThe strength Superman wields is what will (understandably) cause Bruce Wayne to fear the alien and, at least for a portion of the film, seek to destroy him.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor telegraphs exactly what “Batman versus Superman” is about:

“Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night.”

If a man had the power of a god — but he wasn’t God — wouldn’t he have to be destroyed? The same question would, of course, apply to a … Wonder Woman.

Batman v Superman Wonder WomanMarvel Studios has a track record of making great movies, but for the most part it has shied away from the level of realism embraced by Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and Zack Synder’s “Man of Steel.” Both kinds of movies can happily exist in the summertime blockbuster market, but Marvel’s problem is that there are only so many times the world can be demolished in a shared cinematic universe before the cotton candy-ish tone seems weird. Perhaps Marvel Studio’s “Civil War” will finally address that problem, but as of now DC has the pole position on superhero fare that makes an audience think about real-world issues.

If you plan on seeing “Batman v Superman,” then let me know what you think about the trailer or anything else related to the movie in the comments section below.

Ben Affleck went full-Lex Luthor instead of Batman, pushed PBS to censor slave-owning ancestry

Ben Affleck Bill MaherI said in August of 2013 that Ben Affleck’s political activism would derail the ability of many people to see Batman v Superman with an open mind. The actor would go on to insult Republican moviegoers by December. He then disappeared to make Gone Girl, only to almost break down into tears while discussing radical Islam with Bill Maher in October, 2014. Mr. Affleck is now in the news with another embarrassing story: he pressured PBS to censor his slave-owning ancestry while filming PBS’s Finding Your Roots series.

USA Today reported April 19 on the newest Wikileaks revelation:

The emails between Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates and Sony chief executive Michael Lynton show Gates’ dealing with the issue of featuring the slave-owning portion of Affleck’s past on the popular PBS program.

“Here’s my dilemma: confidentially, for the first time, one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors — the fact that he owned slaves,” Gates’ leaked email states. ” Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners, including Ken Burns. We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He’s a megastar. What do we do?” …

“Once we open the door to censorship, we lose control of the brand,” Gates writes in the emails, adding that he wouldn’t “demonize” the slave-owning ancestor.

“Now Anderson Cooper’s ancestor was a real s.o.b.; one of his slaves actually murdered him. Of course, the slave was promptly hanged. And Anderson didn’t miss a beat about that,” Gates writes.

The series ultimately did leave out Ben Affleck’s slave-owning ancestry, laughably saying “We decided to go with the story we used about his fascinating ancestor who became an occultist following the Civil War.” Sorry PBS, but now everyone knows that you have “lost control of the brand.”

A friend of mine asked why Ben Affleck would run from his history instead of embracing it. The answer once again ties back to the actor’s political activism.

Ben Affleck not only runs from history — he tries to revise it. He is the type of person who literally stops himself mid-sentence while saying Americans are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights to say that Americans are “endowed by our forefathers with certain inalienable rights.” Rights don’t come from God, according to Batman — they come from a small group of liberal guys like Ben Affleck in the nation’s capital.

Given that the Hollywood actor is a committed liberal, it’s a safe bet to say that on the right episode of “Real Time” with Bill Maher, he would be happy to lecture Americans on “white privilege.” It’s also likely that when cornered on constitutional debates, he would resort to the tried-and-true red herring that “the founding fathers had slaves” (as if a man’s flaws invalidate the timeless principles he espouses).

Ben Affleck knows that the knowledge of his slave-owning ancestry makes it near-impossible for him to spew spurious racial arguments with impunity. Bloggers like yours truly will always be able to joke, “You know what, Ben? You’re right! We need to do something about white privilege. Why don’t you lead the way by paying reparations to Americans whose ancestors were chained and whipped by Old Man Affleck.”

It is now apparent that Ben Affleck will act manipulatively behind the scenes like a wannabe Lex Luthor when his political activism is threatened. There is no reason for a man to hide from his family’s past unless it threatens to topple the moral pedestal he stands upon while lecturing the rest of us.

If PBS executives are smart, then they will release a version of Finding Your Roots where Ben Affleck is confronted about his slave-owning ancestry. Why would anyone want to watch a show titled “Finding Your Roots” when in reality it should be called “Finding the Roots that Hollywood Wants You To See”? They wouldn’t.

Word of advice for Zack Synder: Tell Ben Affleck to go into his own personal Batcave and not come out until it’s time to promote Batman v Superman. It’s hard to believe Ben Affleck is Bruce Wayne when every few months he strengthens the impression that he’s really just a pampered Hollywood activist.

Batman v Superman teaser trailer: ‘We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior’

Superman v Batman angelThe Batman v Superman teaser trailer is out, and it looks amazing. I may be biased given that it looks like many of the ideas director Zack Synder is going to explore were covered on this blog when the Man of Steel trailer was revealed.

Here is what I wrote December 11, 2012:

“The truth is, the world would reject Superman. And in his love for humanity he would offer himself up to them. No matter how strong and powerful he was and no matter how much he tried to convince humanity that he loved it they would fear and, ultimately, seek to destroy him. A world in which Superman exists would thrust a moral weight upon the shoulders of its citizens that would be too uncomfortable to bear for millions (possibly billions) of people, and they would seek to find ways to cast off such a burden by banishing him from earth, discrediting or destroying him all together.”

Now, here is what an assortment of pundits said during the Batman v Superman trailer released April 17:

“Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy … We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior. … Human beings have a horrible track record of following people of great power … Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. … Now we know better now, don’t we? Devils don’t come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.”

The world wants to believe that the perfect human could exist, but if he were to ever really walk amongst us then they would destroy him. They would call him a false prophet. They would fear him. They would seek to make him bleed because a perfect man would change everything. (Hmmm. This story sounds familiar…almost like it really happened.)

Superman v Batman False GodIn a world where Superman existed, there would be those who rightly conclude that if he was not a god, then a check on his power must be put in place. A man with the power of a god — a fallible man — could not be trusted with absolute power. There would always be the chance that he could turn evil, which would beg the question: Then what?

Superman v Batman bowThe answer: Batman.

Superman v Batman cowlThe one man who could create a plausible contingency plan for dealing with a rogue Superman would be Bruce Wayne. He may be a mere mortal, but he has the necessary combination of attributes necessary to pull off such a mission.

Zack Synder has a lot to juggle with Batman v Superman. Audiences won’t know how strong the script is until they step into the theater, but as of Friday, April 17, 2015, they at least know that thematically and visually things appear to be right where they need to be.