Comic-Con revealed many things, chief among them the announcement that Batman would appear in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel. The term Batman vs. Superman began floating around soon after, thanks largely to screenwriter David Goyer. But it wasn't until Ben Affleck got cast that we really needed something to call this beast other than "Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel." Batman vs. Superman started to stick. Now Fusible has a report that Warner Bros. has registered a slew of new domain names, a common practice for studios readying a big release. They are, and I quote:
The book is often better than the movie it becomes, but rarely is the acclaimed television series better than the figure-skating routine it inspires. And inspired is the word: The passion that went into this frosty adaptation from Breaking Bad assistant editor Sharidan Williams-Sotelo is unfathomable. Someone better have a special five-act puppet show ready for the end of Mad Men.
With some thrillers, you can tell everybody's lying. It's not because the writing says everybody's lying! It's because that's what the acting is saying. In Runner Runner, it looks like everybody's lying, and that's only because the acting is pretty bad.
The world of online gambling is meant to be the source of the movie's thrill. Ben Affleck is Ivan Block, the goony jawline behind a fraudulent poker operation called Midnight Black. One of its victims, a Princeton brat named Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake), wants his money back. (Get in line, Richie!) The goon backs the brat into working for him in Costa Rica. The brat needs the money. He also needs the goon not to hurt his father. But the FBI — represented by Anthony Mackie, in the hat he wore in The Adjustment Bureau — is closing in, and so are the local cops. Will Richie help catch Ivan? Will Ivan stop feeding Costa Ricans to crocodiles long enough to notice he's being played? Is the government shutdown ever going to end?
Sorry, but I actually had that thought while this movie bored me stiff.
James Franco — a person who long ago traded sleeping for producing his varied brands of art, art, and more art — apparently has a new hobby: He's self-papping. In a series of photos posted on his Instagram feed, Franco dedicated the staged images to sites like Just Jared, Gawker, and Perez Hilton and graffitied them with MS Paint messages: There he is making out with a blonde woman in a car ("Look closely Mr. Roadhead!"), and then he's over there, kissing a dude ("Just a Franco afternoon," #gay). I guess when you're feeling violated, it makes sense that you'd want to take matters into your own hands.
Heavy is the head that wears the cowl, especially when virtually every outraged fan with an Internet connection is trying to scalp it off you with a homemade batarang, pack it in ice, and mail it back to a flattered, if somewhat appalled, Josh Brolin. And so last night Ben Affleck made Jimmy Fallon's show the first stop on his Everything's Gonna Be Fine, You Guys — Remember How They Burned Down Michael Keaton's House And Then Felt Terrible About It Later? Tour, kicking off a charm offensive that will probably end on a Comic-Con stage with our newly anointed Batperson holding aloft the severed head of Justin Bieber and basking in the cheers of 10,000 converted worshipers. And charming Affleck was, detailing the studio's warnings to maybe stay offline for a while until the heat died down, unplugging his cable modem and heaving it out the window only after the first reaction he read looked a little bit like the closed captioning on The Scream:
If you're still genuinely upset about the Batfleck, well, I feel bad for you, son: The world isn't done messing with your tender comic-fan heart, as proven by Justin Bieber Instagramming a photo of himself holding a Batman vs. Superman script (otherwise known as the Man of Steel sequel) with the most inflammatory hashtag: "#robin?" Obviously (for reasons outlined by ScreenRant, and also reasons you could probably supply with your own brain), it's a fake, and likely relates to an upcoming Funny or Die skit Bieber recently shot. Think of this as your intensive training course in cinematic anger preparedness, and learn to alleviate your fury with repeated viewings of Batfleck tossing sandwiches into the back of the Good Will Batmobile, as seen above.
Silver: To this day Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 RoboCop is the archetype for satire and cinematic subversion. Written by Americans but directed by a Dutchman who depicted this country as he saw it through his foreign eyes, the film’s magnified and distorted view of our nation’s future was the ideal prism through which to view, and issue a warning for, the '80s culture of excess. It’s a film that unquestionably stands the test of time, but given Hollywood’s passion for vapidly remaking and/or recycling stories, I always knew that I’d see another RoboCop. And when I did, I assumed the film would be a shell of the original.
Call me optimistic, but based on this trailer I think we’re going get the complete opposite of that — and possibly something more aligned with the DNA of Verhoeven’s original.
Vin Diesel, despite bearing an unsettling resemblance to what it would look like if you were to try to shoplift a side of beef from the butcher by hiding it inside an enormous white tank top, is an utter delight. We will brook no dissension on this point. And now that he has become a Hollywood Immortal by having his essence forever sealed into a star-encrusted slab of concrete on the Walk of Fame, his legacy is secure; he no longer is required to give a fuck. It comes with the sidewalk. He is not only playing with house money, he's putting it on green, and he's winning five out of five spins. This is a man who not only survived Chronicles of Riddick, but he's heaving a new one at you in less than 24 hours, because he cannot be hurt any longer. Strike at the side of beef with a cleaver and see what happens.
Scrutiny over the Man of Steel sequel, and Batman's return alongside Superman, would have been fierce no matter who was cast. But in going with their boy Ben Affleck, and nailing a perfect swirl of aptness and WTF-ness, Warner Bros. has launched fevered anticipation over its big tentpole into the stratosphere. And again: This thing doesn't even shoot until next year. (In Detroit!) Anyway: In the coming months, with actual news hard to come by, expect a lot of side-chatter, like Justin Timberlake — who stars alongside Affleck in the upcoming Runner Runner — being asked if he'd play Robin.
Finally, finally, someone asked Matt Damon about Ben Affleck playing Batman. It was a bit malapropos: The reason Damon granted the interview with The Times of India is that he's traveling through the country plugging his organization, Water.org, which provides clean water and sanitation to villages. And, alhamdulillah, that didn't stop the reporter from finally asking Damon about Affleck playing Batman.
YouTube user solyentbrak1 stared into his crystal ball and asked for a glimpse of the year 2015. "You get a minute fifty-five," said the crystal ball, "what would you like to see?" Solyentbrak1 thought about it: Perhaps he'd like to flip through a few digital front pages, check out a White House press conference or peek in on the stock market, maybe memorize the Powerball numbers. No, no, none of those would do. "Crystal ball," said Solyentbrak1, "show me the trailer for Man of Steel 2, which will surely feature Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck as Batman." And so he watched, and saw the trailer, and then asked the crystal ball if he could show it to the world. "No," said the crystal ball, "you must painstakingly re-create it from your memory using footage from Breaking Bad, The Haunting, and State of Play." And so he did.
Man, you guys (the Internet) are brutal. As soon as the word got out that Ben Affleck had been cast as the new Batman, everyone reacted with the kind of horror usually reserved for, you know, real news. Director Zack Snyder spoke of Affleck's "acting chops" and "charm," and you haters can only talk about Gigli. As Variety points out, remember how much you hated the idea of Michael Keaton as Gotham's rich bat-eared hero? I'm not saying R. Kelly wouldn't make a great Batman, but give Affleck a chance (and hold onto the hope that Damon will be his Robin, though I guess I always ’shipped them in the opposite roles despite the color of their hair). He's never going to come out of his bat cave if this negativity continues, and the movie will wind up being like a comic book Waiting for Godot (great pitch, actually — no stealsies).
It's true! Warner Bros. made the announcement yesterday: When Batman returns in the Man of Steel sequel, it'll be its golden boy Ben Affleck taking over for Christian Bale. In a statement, director Zack Snyder said, "Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry [Cavill's] Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retains the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can't wait to work with him." Well, well, well.
Is Justin Timberlake Cheating on His Wife? The rumors started "when Justin Timberlake left a party at Philadephia's Sigma Sound Studios with a beautiful blonde close behind." Has his commitment to monogamy already gone bye bye bye? Nah, it's his cousin. "Should I just go ahead and change my name to mystery blonde?" tweeted the blonde, Caitlynn Timberlake. "The party gossip, however, has affected Justin's wife. It's no lie that Jessica is getting sick of all these rumors about her new husband. It's even more annoying because the truth is they're very much in love and are talking about starting a family next year. So for him to be linked to a woman who happens to be in the same picture is starting to wear a bit thin." Well, don't hold hands with any mystery blondes in front of photographers, Justinnnnn.
I don't have any science to support this, but at some megaplexes the trip from the entrance to the seat of your movie has got to be a quarter of a mile. In some cases, it's easer to find the car you parked than it is the film you drove there to see. Families are allotting walk time in their seat-procurement strategy — walk time!
There is an upside to the megaplex odyssey, and don't think the studios don't know it: the stuff clogging the lobby and corridors that promotes other movies. Yes, those posters, mobiles, and cardboard stand-alones still work. We all know that the golden age of the movie advertisement has passed. These are pyrite times, people. If we're lucky, a movie studio delivers maybe a dozen works of art a year. So far 2013 isn't even one of those years. Nonetheless, I've been in a few movie theaters recently. With fall and winter nearly upon us, this is some of what I saw.