Tag Archive: Ben Affleck


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

My kids are always pushing me to watch movies I think I would not like. Granted, some of them are horror films, which I do not like.

It doesn’t matter if they have a funny bent to them, I can’t watch them at all.

But then there are the action adventure movies that strike at the right moments.

ben-affleck-batmanIt has been a Ben Affleck week this time around. We just re-watched Batman Vs Superman to watch all of the scenes with Wonder Woman. What I loved about this movie is the reasoning behind Batman’s hatred of Superman. It’s not a jealousy thing but one of the lack of control one has on one’s own life. Especially when the person causing the chaos is a super-strong alien who could turn against us at any time.

Worse yet, the destruction this superhero causes has effects on people he doesn’t know nor appears to have any awareness about those people.

Bruce Wayne/Batman has been there before and he is not willing to give up the control he has fought hard to gain. That is what builds his dislike and distrust until he and Superman can find a common point to trust each other on.

While we might agree this is not the strongest of supper hero movies, you cannot deny that Affleck gives Batman a world-weariness that is appropriate and fitting. He makes the man worth watching through all of his surliness and compassion.

Then my child said “get The Accountant.” So I did, knowing a little bit about this story. Affleck stars as a man who works as a free-lance accountant for underworld clients who need to know they can never take advantage of him. This professional is what many might call a high-functioning person with Autism. He is focused and smart as a whip. Numbers are the one thing that brings calm and order to his life.

Ben Affleck the accountantBut as we see through a series of flashbacks, Chris’ life has never been easy. It is his military father who must figure out how to teach his very different son to survive in the world.

These days he is doing what seems to be a straight-forward job. A lesser employee has found discrepancies in the books of a robotic company. Chris has been hired to find out how it all happened And just as he is about to get there, suddenly the job is over.

So the next thirty minutes of the movie gets a bit silly and ridiculous. There is much action, retaliation, and revelations. Just when you think you know everything, something else is revealed.

The point of this movie is not the incredulous plot line but to see Affleck play a man who is not normal, whatever that is, do things that most normal-developing people can’t do. Is it because of his ability to focus to the max or because of the training he received along the way?

Does it matter if you are just following along? Probably not. This is one of those times you just go with it. Affleck has a tendency to find not so great movies but makes his role worth watching.

I found myself enjoying the movie as I watched. Afterwards, when I took the time to think about what I just seen, I realized that this was a bit of a popcorn revenge movie that had something to say without finding all of the words it needed to use.

Disappointing.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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What’s Coming up?

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Did you tick everything off your summer bucket list?

Beach 2014We didn’t manage half of what we wanted to do although this past weekend we did the one thing I have been dreaming about. We went to the Indiana Dunes state park, sat on the beach, and played in the water. It was a wonderous sun-soaked time, one of the few days that felt truly warm enough to get out on the beach.

In a summer that has seemed less than sizzling, so has gone the summer movie season.

Beyond a few movies that were adaptations from Young Adult books that were meaningful explorations of emotion and identity, there were few movies this summer that made me say ‘yes, I have to see That!”

However, I do not feel the same way about the movies coming up in the fall.

One of the most interesting pictures coming out is Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Their marriage seems idyllic until she disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary.

The movie is based on the best selling suspense/thriller novel by Gillian Flynn and promises to be exciting and a possible Oscar contender.

Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike

Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike

The story is about a couple who move from New York to Missouri after a job loss. The husband took the last of his wife’s trust fund money to start a bar in his home town that succeeds and supports the couple as well as the husband’s sister. But when the wife turns up missing, the husband becomes the number one suspect, things begin to get complicated.

I am fascinated because not only is the life of this couple comes under the microscope, the husband gets extra hard scrutiny from the media. In this case, it is a Nancy Grace type who tends to judge the case first and let the facts speak towards her conclusion.

Excited? I know I am.

For my kids, the big movie that has them excited in The Hunger Games. This is the third movie in the series from the third book. Because so much material needs to be covered to make fans happy, the movie versions will break the third book in half so we get two movies to cover one book.

This time around, Katniss must find a way to bring Peeta home from the Capitol. Nor can she deny what must be her role in this revolution. She must become the mocking jay and appear to lead the fight against President Snow.

The next installment of The Hunger Games should be filled with explosions, excitement, and intrigue. I know I am excited to see it.

Finally, we will see the end of the Hobbit trilogy. Finally, we will find out if the dwarves get their mountain back and if the dragon does real damage to the lake village. We will find out if Bilbo gets back home. There is much to find out and the beauty part if that it will all look fantastic because that’s how Peter Jackson rolls.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Hoping For an Oscar Win

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

As Oscar night creeps closer, I would love to say I am going to be in that audience. I would love to work as a seat filler just so for a moment I could sit by Jennifer Lawrence or Meryl Streep, Christoph Walz or maybe even Ben Affleck.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

The closest I will ever get to these people is through the TV screen or having their latest movie in my hot little hands. And this week when Ben Affleck’s movie, Argo, comes to the home theater market, I plan to do just that.

 

The story is about the Iranian hostage crisis, the one that took place in 1979. Miraculously, six people managed to escape and hide in the Canadian embassy. The trick would be getting these people out along with the Ambassador, his wife, and their housekeeper.

 

Affleck’s character is an intelligence consultant who comes up with a crazy plan after watching a sci-fi movie on TV with his son. They will create a phony movie company and state they are searching for exotic locations for a movie like Star Wars. When they get permission to go into Iran, the pieces begin to fall into place to get these people out.

 

It is an incredible story, even more so because it really happened. However, the American participation had to be unknown and unacknowledged for many years. As you hear the details it becomes clear that this has to be a movie.

 

This movie has been winning awards from the Golden Globes, the British Academy of Film, the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild. This could be the movie that takes home the prize on Sunday night when the golden Oscars are handed out.

 

To me, this will be an even bigger prize for Ben Affleck. While he and Matt Damon won a statue for the screenplay of Good Will Hunting, Affleck followed that up with years of blockbuster movies that were not very good. Then there was the bad press he suffered while dating Jennifer Lopez.

 

Bennifer

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

That is when he made Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Gigli, and Surviving Christmas. The last one may have been one of the most unfunny movies about Christmas I have ever seen. Then in 2005, Affleck disappeared for a while. He and Jennifer broke up, he started dating Jennifer Garner while stepping out of the spotlight. It was as if he realized we were as sick of him as he might have been about himself.

 

Sometimes, we all need to step back, re-evaluate, and come back stronger.

 

Affleck did just that in a little movie called Hollywoodland in which he portrays Superman actor George Reeves who died under mysterious circumstances. For Affleck, it was a return to the artist he started out being who had matured during the time fame went to his head.

 

He also directed his first full-length feature with Gone Baby Gone, winning critical approval. His second movie, The Town, was also well received. Argo is his third effort that is winning awards. In his personal life, Affleck married Garner and started having kids. Nothing like having kids to truly ground you.

 

I am hoping on Sunday night once again Affleck will get to come on stage to win that little gold statue. I like to see people rewarded for doing good work after a period of growing and re-defining your life.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.