A Study in Batman: Or I Like Ben Affleck

Look, I like to hate things as much as the next guy; my little nerd heart grows three sizes with rage. I like to sit on my pop culture porch and scream at the kids to get off my lawn. But I need my rage to be actually connected to something that I’m legitimately angry about. My hatred needs to be drawn from life experiences and slowly processed over time. No manufactured, store-bought hate here. I can’t hate for the sake of hate, I want to hate things worth my hatred. Like Nazis or Robert Picardo (just kidding, Mr. Picardo, don’t sic your assistant on me again).

So, I’ll come out and say it… I like Ben Affleck.

Maybe, “like” is too strong a word though. I have no opinion of Ben Affleck, but if I did have an opinion (which I don’t), that opinion would fall on the positive side. He’s an okay actor, he’s an okay director, and he’s really okay at being friends with Matt Damon. All admirable things to be okay at. So, I just didn’t understand the internet backlash of him being cast as Batman.

Even Mrs. Gnards had an opinion, which was: Really? Okay… (those dot dot dots represents her still thinking about it, which she is).

So, why do we think he’d be horrible, and why do we care if he is?


Because He was in a Bad Movie… Once

The two most compelling internet arguments against Ben Affleck playing Batman are Gigli and Daredevil. Which is usually expressed as “I have one word for you: Gigli” or “I have two words for you: Dare… Devil.”

Gigli is a completely unfair argument because no one has ever seen this movie (if you claim to have seen this movie, please, support it with photograph evidence of you watching the credits with a frowny face). I’ve made fun of Gigli, but it’s like Ishtar in the 80's, it’s just a universally accepted bad movie that you don’t actually have to sit and watch to know that it’s bad. This is the laziest movie joke that can possibly be made. And while I don’t hate easily, I am very lazy (or have you not noticed I don’t post more than once a week?). But Affleck could be great in it, he could terrible, he could be okay, but we’ll never know. It’s like the pyramids, Gigli is one of the great mysteries of life. Ultimately, Gigli failed not because of Affleck but because the world was tired of seeing good things happen to him. Who is this lantern-jawed bastard to have such good things happen to him? Which interestingly we’ve returned to this same mindset with Batman. That and Gigli’s name. It’s nearly impossible to go to a movie theater and say, “One for Gigli, please.”

Daredevil, however, I have seen, and it’s not good but it’s not entirely terrible either. Far worse movies, far worse superhero movies, and far worse Marvel superhero movies have been made. Much like Ben Affleck himself, Daredevil is just there, mired in averageness. It could be worse. It could be the Dolph Lundgren Punisher, or the Thomas Jane Punisher or the whoever that other guy Punisher (which was actually a pretty decent Punisher, all Punishers considered). I don’t believe Daredevil was bad because of Ben Affleck either. It was just made in a time before Marvel knew how to make good movies (as in they just sold properties to the highest bidder and said, “Check, please.”). There's a long list of people who needed to care to make Daredevil a good movie before it fell on Affleck's shoulders.

Judging Affleck’s ability to play Batman like this is like judging Christian Bale by Newsies, or judging Michael Keaton by The Dream Team, judging Val Kilmer by some make believe bad Val Kilmer movie, or judging George Clooney from Batman & Robin. Pointing out anyone’s worst movie and saying that this is all they can do when they have a huge body of work that says otherwise is a ridiculous argument.

What's the Bat-Standard?

Ben Affleck played Daredevil as a vaguely mopey guy who didn’t know what was going on, and Christian Bale played Batman as a vaguely mopey guy who didn’t know what was going on. So, what’s the big deal?

If the only standard we have are the previous Batmen, all Ben Affleck has to do is be as good or better than Christian Bale… and that shouldn’t be a problem. Christian Bale was a mediocre Batman at best. Now before you race to the comment section to tell me “FAIL” or how much idiocy my idiotness has idioted, hear me out. I really love the Christopher Nolan Batman films, I liked them better than the Tim Burton films (and certainly better than the Joel Schumacher). But those movies weren’t good because Bale was the best Batman, those were just good movies that happened to have Batman in them.

Why Christian Bale’s Batman Sucked

His Voice
I don’t think I really have to mention his Batman voice, it’s generally accepted as awful. Both the police and criminals of Gotham must have incredible hearing because I would constantly be asking about, “What? Swar Tuna? You want me to ‘Swar Tuna?’” Batman and Bruce Wayne should have different voices, but it should probably be the other way around. Batman is essentially being himself when he's Batman, whereas, Bruce Wayne is the show he puts on for the public. Oh... swear to me… got it!

He never Knew What was Going on… Ever
This was supposed to be the World’s Greatest Detective? He spent three movies just wandering around aimlessly, hoping the bad guy would show up at his front door (which they mostly did). Ra's al Who? Harvey What? Talia How? Batman’s tricked by the Joker 4 times: he’s tricked at the assassination attempt, he’s tricked into capturing the Joker so the Joker could sneak a bomb into police headquarters, he’s tricked into rescuing Harvey (and the only reason Harvey was burned is because Batman did such a piss poor job of it), and then he’s tricked when Harvey was the target and not the Batman (which technically means the Joker won in the end because his only goal was to show how a good man could be corrupted and the only reason the public didn’t know is because they blamed Batman which turned the public opinion against Batman… which was Joker’s actual initial goal. He brought down the Batman).

Trick the Goddamn Batman once, shame on Goddamn you; trick the Goddamn Batman twice… the point is you can’t trick the Goddamn Batman.

Everyone Knows his Secret Identity

Secret is the only critical part of the Secret Identity. Ra's al Ghul, Morgan Freeman, some accountant, Catwoman, some cop… all figured out who he was. Ra's al Ghul is forgivable, he figured it out in the comic book and is generally accepted as a genius. But some accountant? If some accountant is figuring it out, everyone is figuring it out. I assume many people in the US government have seen the Tumbler. So, basically anyone who developed the Tumbler or any country that Wayne Tech tried to sell the Tumbler to, would immediately know Wayne Tech was involved with, at least, arming Batman(combine that with Bruce Wayne just showing up from Asia at the same exact time Karate Chops a Lot pops up on the scene in rubber mask).

Then he outright told Rachel and Gordon. Instead of say being like Batman and just leaving like a ninja, Christian Bale likes to wax poetic about little kids wearing coats. The Batman doesn’t give verbal clues to who he is, he leaves mid sentences because he’s busy grappling things and punching bad guys.

But at the end of the day, these aren’t really Christian Bale complaints. These are minor story elements that were so minor they never took me out of the story. However, I can’t give his performance the reverence so many of you are willing to give it. He was as okay as we all know Ben Affleck is capable of being okay.

Why Ben Affleck will be a Good Batman

The main thing going for Affleck is head size. A good Batman needs a generously sized head. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the mask. Batman needs a high chin to nose proportion with a larger than average forehead. Check, check, and check. Ben Affleck has a head two Ron Perlmans bigger than Christian Bale's. What makes Batman is ultimately not the man behind the mask, but the head that fills it.

Batman sizes
Not to scale.

Final Bat-Thoughts
Favorite Batman: Adam West
Best Batman: Kevin Conroy
Batman I Picture when I Think of Batman: Michael Keaton
Most Underrated Batman: Valentine Kilmer

Affleck may not be able capable of cracking this list, but I'd like to see him try. And if he fails THEN the belittling can begin.

Cyberspace Madness: How Far Rocky Ran in Rocky II


A brilliant article by Dan McQuade tracks how far Rocky ran in his running montage in Rocky II. I don't want to give it away, but it's an insane distance, go read it yourself.

On thing to note, while Rocky's running accomplishments should never be overlooked because, as we all know, the Rocky films are about a series of marathon and running competitions, the greater accomplishment are those kids. When the kids started running with Rocky, they end up running 11.96 miles! That's almost a half marathon. I can't run a marathon now, let alone when I was 10. And if someone asked me if I wanted to spend my Saturday running a half marathon, I would say, "No." And if they added "How about if you run with a punch drunk palooka?" I would say, "Hell... no. Where's my Nintendo?"

Lastly, if we apply the same formula to the beach run in Rocky III, we'll see that Rocky and Apollo frolicked in the waves for 6.3 miles, making that the longest man-on-man beach frolic in history.

In other news...

You can buy a replica AT-ST for $15000. Also, check out the rest of his yard... wealthy, hoarder, fanboys are the best!

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Bill Murray Kisses Fine... That is All

Just a PSA for you. Bill Murray kisses just fine. Ignore these haters.

If you're lucky enough to be on the receiving end of Bill Murray kisses, awkward is that last thing you're thinking.

He's not:

  • Biting
  • Licking
  • Creating weird nose-on-nose blockage

Things to Remember

  • Movie kisses are weird in themselves
  • Bill Murray is in mostly comedies (not romantic comedies)

This is not an awkward kiss:

This is an awkward kiss:

Indiana Jones was a Hipster

Indiana Jones was punching out Nazis before it was cool (and it was always cool to punch out Nazis). But really was Indiana Jones the first hipster or were the first hipsters simply trying to be Indiana Jones. What’s indier than Indy? Nothing really. Some feel hipsters have appropriated nerd culture, but they’ve probably taken more from Indiana Jones than anyone else. And can you blame them? Indiana Jones IS cool. So, if you’re actively trying to be cool, you’re essentially trying to be Indiana Jones. Cool is to Harrison Ford as melty face is to the Ark of the Covenant (this may appear on the SATs).

Fact: 70% of males between the ages of 20 – 35 are now archeologists (Source: made up stats in my head). Though, I’m positive the actual number of archeology majors has gone up until you have to write your first 10-page paper on cracked pots, which is, of course, followed by an equally sharp rise in switched majors (I suggest Paleontology just in case you're also a Jurassic Park fan). Do you know how much school work goes into dodging boulders? Do you know how many books you have to read to run across rope bridges? A lot. So, if we can’t be Indiana Jones, at least, we can dress like him.


Indy Hats
Who hasn't practiced doing a tumble roll through a closing door and snatching up your hat at the last second? Only me! Really!?

Fake Glasses

Indy Glasses
Ever notice that Indy only wears his glasses when he’s trying to act smart? He seems to see just fine when running through dark temples.

Skinny Ties

Indy Ties
“Which one of you is Short Round?”

Bonus: Vests

Non-Indy Vests
Close enough.

The only thing he’s lacking is spectacular facial hair. However, considering how close Tom Selleck was to being cast in the role, I think Indiana Jones’s mere proximity to The Ultimate Mustache has to count for something.

No matter what your feelings are on hipsters, don’t take them out on Dr. Henry Jones Jr. We all can’t be a globetrotting adventurer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to be. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be Harrison Ford—it's human nature—the only thing that’s wrong is denying you want to be Harrison Ford. Embrace your inner Indiana.

And, at least, I didn’t call Indiana Jones a pedophile.

Cyberspace Madness: Super Mario Bros. 2: The Movie: The Comic

Super Mario Bros. 2: The Movie: The Comic (I guess that's a thing)

Super Mario Bros. 2: The Movie: The Comic
As seen on Buzzfeed courtesy of these beautiful bastards

I don't know if this is a story that anyone ever needed to be finished. Especially considering that anyone who remembers there being a Super Mario Bros. Movies has a fuzzy relocation of it at best (and that's mostly to recall that their names were Mario Mario and Luigi Mario). It is a skill though if they can pull this off; to create something meaning out of something terrible (was that a haiku... no). And I must say, I am digging the art style.

Speaking of creating something great out of something that was crap, how about using crap to recreate something that was great...

Homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Is it just me or is their fake April much hotter than Judith Hoag (Even as a kid, I always distrusted Judith and her lack of yellow jumpsuit and big cartoon boobs)?

The Birds of Prey Singing about Aquaman's Short Comings

They're not they first to mention Aquaman and his strange fish parts.

Walter Peck: Environmental Hero

Walter Peck

The exact moment I transitioned from a young, careful dude to a cranky old fart coincided with the realization that Walter Peck is a guy who’s not only just doing his job, but he’s doing it fairly well. As I assume most of you know (and, hey, it better damn well be all of you), Walter Peck is an inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency. Meaning it is Walter’s job to protect the environment—and, by proxy, human health—from all manners of things such as toxic waste, smog, contaminated water tables, and busting ghosts.

As an omniscient audience member, we know that there’s a major ghosting problem going on in New York City. As a realist though (as in if we really lived in the reality of the Ghostbusters films), we would have to be on Peck’s side, and say, “Hey, maybe, we should keep an eye on these guys running around with lasers. And, maybe, they shouldn’t have lasers. Who’s looking into this? If only there was a bearded wonder to set things right.”

Ghosts, in and of themselves do not fall under EPA jurisdiction; it’s the storage and disposal of ghosts that falls under EPA jurisdiction. Ghost storage could fall under the Toxic Substance Control Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act (I think slime counts as a solid), and Nuclear Waste Repository Act (the proton packs are nuclear). On second thought, ghosts could possibly fall into the Endangered Species Act if you count ghosts as an endangered species and considering how few ghosts there are and the rate at which the Ghostbusters are busting them, I think you have to. At the end of the day, Peck and the Environmental Protection Agency just want to prevent disasters such as blowing up New York (which the Ghostbusters do... spoiler alert [already spoiled]).

Walter Peck was right to do his job, and he went about it the right way. He was friendly and professional, he politely requested to just see the containment unit, most likely to see if it was spitting out toxic ghost waste (the kind of toxic ghost waste that could seep into the New York City sewer system and form some sort reactive sludge… or “mood slime”). He doesn’t want to shut the Ghostbusters down, he just wants to make sure they’re following the proper rules and regulations that every business has to follow. He even said please. And for that, Peter Venkman gets in his face and throws him out the building.

Venkman and crew may not be ‘fraid of no ghost, but they do appear to be ‘fraid of a little paperwork. One day of filling at forms at town hall pretty much negates this entire subplot.

The fact that Peck has the right to look into the Ghostbusters affairs is beside the point, the important thing is he should be looking into them. They openly admit that the proton packs are “unlicensed nuclear accelerators.” Do you really want untrained, mostly bumbling college professors running around with these things? What do we even really know about the proton stream? Best case they can burn the hell out a roll of toilet paper, so 2nd and 3rd degree burns. What happens if that ghost baby they're trying to catch isn't a ghost? Worst case scenario and, perhaps, Egon Spengler explains it best:

Don't cross the streams… It would be bad… Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Bad is an understatement.

Perhaps, this falls more into a 2nd amendment debate (“Gov’ment’s takin’ our Prot’n Packs”) than an ecological debate. But if it doesn’t fall under an environmental issue, when Peck starts pointing a finger, maybe, one of the cops he brought along should have said, “Hey, maybe, these guys shouldn’t have lasers. Maybe, they should be detained from using lasers until a judgment is made.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a laser beam, I just think laser beams should require some sort of approval, some sort of background check, some sort of something. Winston isn’t even a doctor, he’s just some dude.

If the point of Walter Peck’s character was the he was a huge, irrational wet blanket then what should have happened when he shut down the containment grid is nothing. The only thing that makes Walter Peck look like an ass would be if the Ghostbusters were actual con artists. If they were just pretending to catch ghosts then the EPA really has no say about containing these fake ghosts. The fact that the Ghostbusters’ firehouse blew up actually proved his point. It proved that this technology is dangerous to New York and its citizens.

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