‘Justice League’ trailer arrives: Fool me twice, shame on me…

The new Justice League trailer arrived today, and the good news is that it looks awesome. The bad news is that Batman v Superman looked just as amazing and then turned out to be a sloppy mess.

Zack Snyder is an strong visual artist, but at this point in his career it seems like his Achilles heel is a propensity to sign off on scripts that are half-baked.

Check out the trailer below, watch my YouTube video, and then let me know that you think about the fate of Justice League in the comments below. I really hope Warner Bros. took the fans’ criticism to heart, because overall they know what they’re talking about.

Exit question: Can any movie be bad if the trailer use’s “Icky Thump,” by the White Stripes? If Justice League doesn’t do Jack White proud then your friendly neighborhood blogger we be one angry blogger…

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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.”

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.

Lost in the Ben Affleck debate with Bill Maher: Batman refused to say ‘endowed by our Creator’

Ben Affleck Bill MaherBen Affleck made national news in early October when he nearly broke down crying during a debate with Bill Maher and Sam Harris over Islam. In my rush to cover his petulant behavior I completely glossed over one important detail — Mr. Affleck refused to say that all men were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” He corrected himself as the “Cr” came out of his mouth to say our “forefathers” were the source of our rights. The implications of such an edit to our history are profound, and give insight into the liberal mind that must be exposed.

The exchange went as follows:

Bill Maher: “Why are you so hostile about this concept?”

Ben Affleck: “Because it’s gross! It’s racist! It’s like saying ‘you shifty Jew.’”

Bill Maher: You’re not listening to what we are saying.”

Ben Affleck: You guys are saying, if want be liberals believe in liberal principles. That’s freedom of speech. Like we are endowed by our Cr-forefathers with certain inalienable rights. All men are created equal.

Sam Harris: No, Ben. We have to be able to criticize bad ideas.

Ben Affleck: Of course we do. No liberal doesn’t want you to criticize bad ideas.

Here is an excerpt of what the U.S. Declaration of Independence actually says:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

If your rights are doled out to you according to the auspices of men, then they can be altered at any time. If your rights are something that is a part of your being — a gift from an eternal Creator who always was, is, and will be — no one can take them from you. Ever.

The heart of liberalism beats with tyrannical blood. A true liberal activist denies God because, whether he realizes it or not, he wants to play God.

If your rights come from man — or a small elite group of men — then you will ultimately be forced to worship and adore them as if they were gods. If your rights come from God — the true God — then no man has the moral authority to deny you of your life, liberty or property.

When you couple the woeful state of the U.S. education system with the insidious way liberal actors, politicians, and media all go about trying to divorce Americans from their true history, it is a recipe for disaster. The reason why so many liberals despise the tea party movement is because conservatives and libertarians are acutely aware of America’s true history. They are familiar with the words of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. They’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville. They have copies of the U.S. Constitution in their home and know that our rights come from the Creator.

Ben Affleck reacts viscerally to conservative men because they are roadblocks to tyranny. They stand in the way of the wannabe masters of the universe and their plans to control every aspect of human life — down to the tablespoons of sugar Americans consume every single day.

When we “cling” to God there is no need to latch on to the empty promises of politicians. When we “cling” to guns, we can more easily fulfill our right — our duty — to “throw off” a tyrannical government if necessary. All patriotic Americans pray that the day never comes where prudence demands such extreme measures, but that still does not change the need to vigilantly defend liberty.

Carefully watch and listen to actors like Ben Affleck, and you will catch them surreptitiously trying to change America into something that would be completely unrecognizable — abhorrent, actually — to our Founding Fathers. You may not be able to enjoy their movies as much as you used to, but you’ll be doing your own small part to safeguard civil society for future generations.

Editor’s Note: You can watch the video here. Mr. Affleck’s line comes shortly after the 1:50 mark.

Ben Affleck is Batman, but he can’t even confront Bill Maher on Islam without almost crying

Ben Affleck angry nostril sniffWhen it was announced the Ben Affleck would be the Dark Knight in 2015’s ‘Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice,’ I said that if director Zack Snyder were smart, then he would tell his new hire to stick to movie-talk. I said Mr. Affleck lives in a Hollywood bubble, where everyone thinks along the same lines and tells each other how smart they are at cocktail parties, and that he generally has a hard time discussing politics without alienating fans (e.g., When he sees a Republican actor on screen he thinks, “I probably wouldn’t like this person…”). His near-meltdown on Bill Maher’s Real Time on Oct. 3 proves nicely that Mr. Affleck doesn’t know how to deal with smart people who disagree with him.

Ben Affleck Bill MaherConsider this discussion between next summer’s Bruce Wayne, Bill Maher and author Sam Harris.

Sam Harris: Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy. They’ll criticize Christians. They’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us.

Ben Affleck: Thank God you’re here.

Sam Affleck: The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people, and that’s intellectually ridiculous.

Ben Affleck: Are you the person who understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam? You’re the interpreter of that?

Same Harris: I’m actually well-educated on this topic.

Ben Affleck: I’m asking you. So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing?

Sam Harris: I’m not denying that certain people are bigoted against Muslims as people.

Ben Affleck: “That’s big of you.”

Bill Maher: “Why are you so hostile about this concept?”

Ben Affleck: “Because it’s gross! It’s racist! It’s like saying ‘you shifty Jew.’”

Bill Maher: You’re not listening to what we are saying.”

For almost ten minutes, Ben Affleck responded to a serious discussion about Islam by giving angry little sniffs of his nostrils, fidgeting in his chair, making sarcastic little side-comments, interrupting, waving his hands around and slamming them down on the desk in front of him. He generally gave off body language that said, “I’m Batman! I should be beating these ‘racists’ up, but I can’t because I’m in my Bruce Wayne clothes on live television…”

In short, Ben Affleck was a petulant man-boy.

Ben Affleck finger face Bill MaherFaced with actual statistics about female genital mutilation in the Middle East and Africa, the percentages of Muslims who believe a man should be killed for leaving the religion, and troublesome data regarding opinions on free speech — in Western countries — Ben Affleck’s response was to call Bill Maher a “racist,” to say he “doesn’t understand idiots,” and that “we’ve killed more Muslims than they killed us by an awful lot,” (as if George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all just have a thing for militarily engaging Muslim countries for no other reason than to kill Muslims). Ben Affleck says that the Islamic State group couldn’t fill a “AA ballpark in West Virgina,” while ignoring the fact that it only took 19 al Qaeda terrorists to bring down the World Trade Center Towers on Sept. 11, 2011. Shall I go on?

In less than 10 minutes, the man who will play Batman next summer makes it close to impossible for millions of moviegoers to see Zack Snyder’s film with an open mind. The so-called defender of Gotham is, in real life, a man who can’t even defend his own political position without looking like he might cry on national television. He had no problem mocking Catholicism in Dogma, but yet he and his buddy Kevin Smith would probably consider it “racist” to appear in a similar film titled “Fatwa.” Telling.

Next summer I will see Superman vs. Batman, but I won’t be able to stop thinking, “Clark can end this right now. All he has to do is start talking about Islam.”

Related: Egyptian Muslims in Pew poll: We support religious freedom, but we also support killing you

Editor’s note: Hat tip KMT

Ben Affleck to Republican Batman fans: I ‘probably’ don’t like you — but I want your money

Ben Affleck fans

In August I said that the thing that would hurt Ben Affleck the most as he attempted to become Batman was his outspoken politics: “If I were a betting man, I’d say that Mr. Affleck will continue saying and doing things in public that will make it harder for roughly half the nation to lose themselves in his version of “Batman” on opening night.”

Now, in an interview with Playboy, he proves me right.

Affleck: People now know me as a Democrat, and that will always be the case to some extent.

Playboy: Does that polarize viewers?

Affleck: It does, and you can bifurcate your audience. When I watch a guy I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him, or we would have different opinions. That shit fogs the mind when you should be paying attention and be swept into the illusion.

Playboy: Still, won’t that happen whether you take positions on candidates or causes?

Affleck: I have misgivings about it, counterbalanced with the larger things I care about. I don’t blindly do this stuff when it makes it harder to do my own job. And there’s an awful lot of gross money-raising going on that has made me want to pull back a bit from pure electoral politics. […]

Yes Ben, if the guy you’re watching on screen is a Republican and you’re a Democrat, it’s safe to say that you’ll have “different opinions.” Your powers of deduction are not quite at Bruce Wayne’s level at the moment, but you are correct.

Here’s the part that is somewhat bizarre for the future Batman to disclose: “I probably wouldn’t like this person…”

There are a lot of things I think about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and most of Hollywood’s liberal activists, but I only tend to think “I wouldn’t like them” when they come across as elitist jerks. How someone comports themselves dictates how I feel about them as a person — a political party affiliation alone does not. Does Ben Affleck have zero Republican relatives? He must not, or he wouldn’t say such ridiculous things.

I love my fellow Americans. I want to like all of them and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard when guys like Ben Affleck and President Obama keep dividing people.

He’s what President Obama said to Univision in 2010:

“We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

Here’s what Slate’s John Cook said in his maybe-sorta-kinda piece of satire (but not) titled ‘Thanksgiving Tips: How to pick a fight with your relatives this Thanksgiving.’ It was written just in time to coincide with the White House’s push to get family members to discuss Obamacare over the holidays:

First off, you should wait until everyone’s seated at the table before you try to get things started. That way you have a captive audience that has to watch the fireworks, and everyone is settled in for a nice long time. Getting the topic of conversation to politics shouldn’t be too hard. Stick to short, sarcastic, tendentious remarks to get things going. “I’m thankful for all that free stuff Obama gave me.” Once you’ve engaged the enemy, it won’t take much effort to pivot to whatever particular subject you feel most comfortable with.

Yes, according to the president and his most ardent disciples, your fellow Americans are “enemies.” Does anyone else find it weird that the president won’t call any number of thug-nations around the globe an enemy of America, but he will refer to his political opponents as such? But I digress…

Instead of just admitting that activist actors “fog the mind” of the audience with all sorts of extraneous junk, Ben Affleck lets us all know that an ‘R’ next to your name makes him immediately think that he “probably” doesn’t like you — even though he wants your money.

Why should I cough up my money for ‘Superman vs. Batman (vs. Wonder Woman?)’ when one of the lead actors openly conveys his disgust for me as a person? Because of my love of free markets, limited government, traditional American values and a strong national defense, Ben Affleck “probably” wouldn’t like me? It’s weird.

Yes Ben, it is possible to disagree with someone without being disagreeable. I know it’s hard for someone who lives in a Hollywood bubble, where everyone thinks along the same lines and tells each other how smart they are at cocktail parties (“Pass me the gruyère, will you?”) — but in the real world some of us get along with our politically-diverse family and friends just fine.

If Zack Snyder is smart, he’ll sit down privately with Ben and tell him to shut up with the political commentary until ‘Superman vs. Batman’ comes out. There are a lot of people who aren’t thrilled with the idea of Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight, and alienating roughly half the viewing audience out the gate is probably not a good PR move.

Hat tip to douglasernstblog.com reader PersonIsPerson for the story.

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