]I come bearing news that may seem malicious, but for me, truly feel is saddening. And come HOPING for a Mickey Rourke-like pro wrestling style comeback. It all, strangely, revolves around Ben Affleck.
I was channel surfing after work, looking for something to watch. When I saw Resurrecting the Champ with Josh Hartnett and Samuel L., I immediately flipped over (Shocker, I'm a sucker for any movie involving newspapers). Instead I got the aforementioned, and might I add awful, Affleck.
I've seen Resurrecting the Champ before, so I was pretty sure Ben Affleck wasn't in the movie. The big hint? I stopped watching Ben Affleck movies after Boiler Room. From there really, it was all down hill. No exaggeration either. Just look at his imdb page (Surviving Christmas and Gigli are first in line if some alien planet ever takes over and wants to start burning our film library). I don't want to criticize him too much, though. I used to like Ben Affleck movies.
But as I was watching this movie, trying to figure out what it was, I actually picked up a little but of the plot. Ben Affleck was going after Kate Beckinsale, and well, you don't really change the channel that quickly when Beckinsale is on. Clearly for anyone who has seen Pearl Harbor, it's clear what movie I'm talking about. The days of Pearl Harbor being a year past the Boiler Room breaking point, I had never seen this movie. And after watching several minutes, for good reason. All I wanted to do was get rid of Affleck's character. He was just irritating.
An interesting subplot in all this is why my cable box was wrong with its schedule. Why did it keep saying the Josh Harnett movie I wanted to see was on, when really I was getting the Josh Hartnett flick I hate? This whole situation would have never happened if it were just accurate.
But here's my grand proclamation in all this. As I'm watching this Ben Affleck scene with unbiased eyes towards him — since I didn't know what movie it was — the moment I realized I hated it was watching him open a cork from a bottle of wine square on his nose, which he had earlier broken. The only enjoyment I got out of it was seeing Affleck at least act out pain. Sadly, my head immediately went to this thought, "Man, I hope that seen is as real as it seems and Affleck is really hurting." Maybe I'm wrong here, but it doesn't seem right to want to see someone holler in pain. That can't be what good acting is. Every other aspect of his being had made me cringe in disgust/anger at what I was watching.
Call me crazy, but don't you just want to hit this man.
Like I said, I used to enjoy Ben Affleck. Boiler Room was great. He did some nice work with Kevin Smith. Apparently he wrote Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon. He directed some stuff, too. His portrayal of one Fred O'Bannion in Dazed and Confused still has a warm place in my heart. But when weighed with these "gems
I just don't think it's a very good sign for a career when the only thing I enjoyed about a scene — when watching it without having any preconceived notions — was watching his acting version of genuine pain.
Why does this all matter you? Don't know if you've seen the trailer for Russell Crowe's latest movie, but we may be at a crossroads here. Usually a movie starring Russell Crowe is a must see — and not just because he's Lloyd Carr's boy. He's a great actor, one of the best around right now in this guy's book.
On a side note, here's an interesting article by a Washington Post metro editor about being a consultant on State of Play.
Yes, State of Play, which came to theaters last weekend, goes directly up against my anti-Ben Affleck feelings. It's a movie where Crowe stars as a journalist — usually status that makes it a must see movie. The problem, Affleck is Crowe's nemesis in the film i.e. in a major role. And here's the real bad news for Ben Affleck in all this. The more and more I think about it, I realize that I've been down this road before. I invested good, hard earned time (and a lot of times money, too) on travesties like Armageddon, Hollywood Land, Paycheck, Changing Lanes, not to mention Jersey Girl and Daredevil.
Let's just put it this way, Obama may be able to lift the Cuba embargo, but even in these times of change, even with a movie about a newspaper, the Ben Affleck Embargo stays. That's bad news for you, Ben Affleck.