Khamis, 26 September 2013

The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

Ben Affleck the superhero


Like him or hate him as the new Batman, Ben Affleck has worn a cape in movies before.

IT has taken Ben Affleck years to lay to rest his past life as a smug, aspiring Hollywood leading man, and to re-invent himself as an Oscar-winning filmmaker.

But you can imagine that smirk returning to his face – that same look he wore in movies as diverse as 1997's Good Will Hunting and 2001's Pearl Harbor – now that he is set to play Batman in Zack Snyder's Batman Vs Superman.

Affleck has donned a cape before, playing Superman actor George Reeves in 2006 biographical film Hollywoodland.

He also played blind superhero Daredevil in the 2003 comic-book movie of the same name, a commercial and critical disappointment that led him to say: "I have innoculated myself from ever playing another superhero."

Obviously, he has had a change of heart. Publications such as The Hollywood Reporter and New York magazine say Batman Vs Superman is an unmissable chance for him to re-visit his acting ambition.

Never mind that Twitter can scarcely contain the fury of fanboys who find him unworthy of the role.

Never mind that he may deserve to star in a better film.

As New York magazine's Vulture blog puts it, "the man who directed the latest Oscar winner for Best Picture is going to be directed by the man who did Sucker Punch," the reviled 2011 action-and-lingerie movie.

Playing Batman opposite Henry Cavill's Superman in a Man Of Steel sequel, "Affleck gets to be a tentpole actor again without the tentpole actor risk," says The Hollywood Reporter.

After all, "Ben Affleck didn't come to Hollywood to be a great director", says Vulture, though he won an Oscar for last year's Argo. "Ben Affleck came to Hollywood to be a famous, well-liked actor and he clearly still wants to be."

Here are some other actors who have played Batman on the big screen:

Michael Keaton, 61

Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), total gross US$678mil (RM2.1bil)

Reaction: Twitter did not exist then or it would have exploded into rage when Keaton, known for Burton's 1988 comedy Beetlejuice, was chosen as the Caped Crusader. Instead, fans wrote 50,000 protest letters to Warner Bros. Ultimately, however, they were won over by Burton and Keaton, who took the Batman films in a dark, serious direction.

Afterwards: After hanging up the cape and cowl, he was the voice of a Ken doll in Toy Story 3 (2010) and will be in Toy Story 4.

Val Kilmer, 53

Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever (1995), total gross US$337mil (RM1bil)

Reaction: The actor cut a fine figure in the Batsuit which, unfortunately, was ridiculed for the director's addition of nipples.

Afterwards: Kilmer clashed with Schumacher and refused to return for another Batman film, starring in Michael Mann's 1995 Heat instead. Kilmer, whose ballooning weight in recent years has drawn tabloid concern, is directing and starring in Mark Twain And Mary Baker Eddy.

George Clooney, 52

Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997), total gross US$238mil (RM752mil)

Reaction: The campy movie was so hated that the franchise was in deep freeze for years. Clooney, who was called the worst Batman for his lightweight performance, disliked the film too and called it "a waste of money".

Afterwards: He has ascended to the A list, on the back of hits beginning with Steven Soderbergh's Out Of Sight (1998). He has won two Oscars, one for acting in Syriana (2005) and the other for producing Argo.

Christian Bale, 39

Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), total gross US$2.46bil (RM7.7bil)

Reaction: Putting on 45kg of muscle and a growly voice to play the menacing, tormented superhero, Bale is a fan favourite.

Afterwards: He has many high-profile movies coming up, including David O. Russell's American Hustle and Terrence Malick's Knight Of Cups. He is set to play Moses in Ridley Scott's biblical drama Exodus. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

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