Tag Archives: ben affleck

Movie Review – Triple Frontier (2019)

Money is the root of all evil, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Triple Frontier.

This is a first for Netflix – an action film that’s worthy of a movie theater, with a cast of big names – Oscar Isaac, Pablo Pascal, Garret Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam and Ben Affleck being one of the bigger names that everyone’s favorite streaming service has landed in recent memory.

It’s clear Netflix wants to take a big bite out of the traditional movie theater to rental to cable station pipeline most movies go through, and if they keep it up, they’ll get their.  Hollywood big shots might just be shaking in their boots over movies like this.

The plot?  Santiago (Isaac) is still in the field, while his former special forces buddies are all long retired and struggling to make ends meet.  There’s a powerful message in there where one of the ex-soldiers says something like (I’ll botch the line, sorry) “If we had accomplished what we did in any other profession, we’d be set for life by now, but no, this man can’t even afford to send his kid to college.”

Some truth there and if any politicians happen to be listening – yeah.  Definitely.  War is something the majority of us just can’t or won’t do and the people who do it should be taken care of.

Anyway.  Santiago identifies a big score – a secluded house where a drug cartel keeps its money, located in the Amazon jungle where three countries meet – Peru, Columbia and Brazil.  No cops, no military to deal with so it should be an easy gig.  Use their skills to help themselves for once and live like kings.

From here, (SPOILER ALERT) the movie gets silly, which is a shame because they’re playing it straight.  The trek across the Andes mountains to a new life proves more dangerous than previously anticipated, and a combination of bad decisions, infighting and downright greed proves to make matters so much worse.

It’s almost comical how much of the cold, hard cash gets lost along the way – (SPOILERS) – falling out of a chopper, falling off a ledge while attached to a donkey, burnt for warmth, tossed into a ravine and so on.  At some point, it gets absurd.  I mean, I’m the furthest thing from a special ops soldier but in that predicament, I would just grab as much money as I could carry and then bury the rest in a safe location to return to once the heat dies down.

But I suppose the money serves as a metaphor for how greed complicates our lives and turns us into monsters.

Ben Affleck is good in this.  For a moment I actually bought that he was an entirely different person, i.e. a depressed loser dad seeking redemption through ill gotten loot.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Good start.  Silly though entertaining middle.  Admirable though unlikely ending.  Netflix is really stealing big cinema’s thunder.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Movie Review – The Accountant (2016)

Guns! Thrills! Chills!

Math?!

1+1=2 and 2×2=stick around for this review, 3.5 readers.

(FYI 1.75 X 2=3.5)

BQB here with a review of The Accountant.

You know 3.5, ever since you all came into my life, I spend most of my time watching movies thinking about how I’m going to explain what I’m seeing on the screen to all 3.5 of you.

This movie was so complicated that it took some serious thinking on my part, but here goes:

Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, a highly functioning autistic man who, by day, appears to be a mild mannered, run of the mill accountant.

However, he’s much more than that.  Although socially awkward, obsessive compulsive, and unable to connect with people, he utilizes his Rainman-esque ability with numbers to perform forensic accounting for all manner of international criminals, gangsters, what have you.

Because this profession is dangerous, he is often called upon to use his genius mind to kill all sorts of enemies.

Ironically, when he’s hired for a legit gig to help a robotics company locate some missing money, things get very dangerous as he ends up having to save junior accountant trainee/discrepancy in the books finder Dana Cummings (the ever adorable Anna Kendrick) from a dastardly hitman played by Jon Bernthal (formerly Shane of The Walking Dead.)

Meanwhile, treasury agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons) has been tracking “the Accountant” for years.  With an impending retirement looming over his head, he recruits treasury analyst Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to figure out who this vile bookkeeper is.

The plot is very complex with many moving parts.  Many, many threads are exposed and you spend most of the film waiting for them to pay off and fear not, for eventually they do.  Whoever wrote this must have had a giant flowchart to keep track of it all.

This was a different kind of role for the Benster.  Though he has played dark and brooding before (The Town) this character is altogether different.  At times we get to see glimpses of goodness in this murderous bean counter, mostly brought out through his interactions with Anna.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but bring a pencil, a notebook, and a slide rule to keep track of everything.  I’m still not sure myself.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman vs. Superman.

The winner?  My eyeballs.

BQB here with a review of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

SUPER SPOILERS AHEAD.

Have you seen this yet, 3.5 readers?

I want to avoid spoiling too much but this movie has brought to my mind a number ideas about comic movies, Marvel vs. DC, the direction DC is taking, etc.  So I’ll probably come back in a week or two (once people have had a chance to see it) and get all spoilery.

For now, let me say this: I don’t think the critics and I saw the same movie.

The critics are up this movie’s butt.  It’s too long.  It’s got too much going on.  It’s too confusing.

I’ll agree there is a lot going on and at times it was confusing…but come on, a lot of movies are.  Half the time I go to movies and I’m like “I…uh…wait what just happened?  I don’t know.  Me shove popcorn into face now and enjoy pretty colors.”

The most efficient thing to do is to respond to the criticisms one by one:

THE PLOT ISN’T THAT HARD TO BELIEVE

We’re humans.  We’re suspicious bastards who screw things up early and often due to our paranoia.  It isn’t that far fetched to think that if someone like Superman showed up to save us, that we’d immediately suspect he was up to some shit and ruin everything by looking the ultimate gift horse in the mouth.

BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN

He was a worthy Batman.  He’s an older, world weary, tired of the bullshit Batman in this one.  Affleck allowed himself to be shown with a little touch of gray.  That’s commitment for any pretty boy actor.

JESSE EISENBERG SUCKS

Jesse Eisenberg did not suck.  He played the part he was hired to play and he did it well. His character was just incredibly annoying, so much so that you wonder why Batman or Superman don’t just bitch slap him into next Tuesday and be done with it.

Sadly, Hollywood has never been able to provide us with a good Lex Luthor.  The comics do.  In the comics, he’s big, strong, menacing his power comes from his cunning and cruelty.

Here, they basically just had Eisenberg take a spritz of the Mark Zuckerberg role that made him famous and then kick it up a notch.  At times his voice is screechy and almost Joker-like, which is a bad idea, as this world already has a Joker.

IT IS TOO DARK

DC Comics are dark.  Because…Batman, damn it.  To paraphrase Ben Affleck from that other movie he was in (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Batman is one “morose motherf&*ker.”

Clearly, DC has seen the success that Marvel has had with The Avengers.  There is an obvious market for movies in which beloved superheroes work together.  Thus, DC is working its way toward making Justice League movies.

But this path has always been an uphill climb for DC.  DC has been making comic book movies for a lot longer.  The public knows their characters better.  Marvel, on the other hand, had the opportunity to introduce each individual member of the Avengers to the public with their own movies, building up to the Avengers movie.

But we don’t really need another Batman origin movie.  We get it.  He saw his parents get shot in front of him and became a vigilante.  (Hollywood finally gets that here…well, sort of…some suit still decided there needed to be a quick Wayne family massacre scene just in case there happened to be one jackass in the movie theater who didn’t understand why Batman became Batman.)

WONDER WOMAN WAS CROWBARRED IN

She really wasn’t.  I found her to be a good addition to the movie and am looking forward to her movie.

TOO MANY TEASERS FOR UPCOMING DC MOVIES

What should they do instead?  Make everyone wait until after the credits for a thirty second scene in which Nick Fury recruits someone new?

Although in keeping with my, “DC has the harder path than Marvel” argument…they’ve got a very big challenge in getting people to give a shit about Aqua Man.

“Hi we’re the Justice League.  We’ve got an all powerful god man, a Bat ninja, a warrior princess and oh yeah….this shit head who can control fish.”

Holy Shit you suck, Aqua Man.  If Jason Mamoa can make Aqua Man watchable he deserves an Oscar.

BATMAN AS PART OF A TEAM

He’s a loner, that’s for sure.  And he’s always been out of place in the Justice League world.

We love Batman because out of all the superheroes, he is the most plausible.  True, a mega rich buff dude who fights a crazy clown isn’t very realistic…but if you let your mind wander…it is easier to pretend to be Batman, whereas it is not as easy to pretend to be Superman, because being Superman is just totally impossible.  If you’re not from Krypton, then you should just stop pretending to be Superman.  You’ll never be Superman.

You’ll never be Batman either…but at least there’s a .00000001% chance that you could become Batman.

The Justice League fights aliens and monsters and other supernatural stuff.  Batman’s forte as a  “realistic” hero is fighting gangsters, mobsters, and psychopaths.  That’s why we loved Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, right?  Nolan did his best to provide a Batman that was plausible (again, as plausible as a story about a Bat vigilante can get.

But the comics have always addressed that by having Batman being suspicious of his super powered friends.  He works with them, but he usually makes back up plans in case they get out of line.

You have to compartmentalize.  There’s on his own Batman who uses his training, skills, and money to fight crime…and then there’s Justice League Batman who helps other heroes fight aliens and shit.

BATMAN SHOOTS GUNS

Yes.  That was unfortunate.  Batman isn’t a shooter.  Although it has always been acceptable for him to blow the shit out of people with rockets and guns attached to the Batmobile, Batman has never packed a piece.  Technically he doesn’t in this one either….but well, then at one point he does but…ahh just watch the movie.

THE PLOT TURNS TOO MUCH ON UH…TWO PEOPLE KNOWING THE SAME NAME

Shut up, stupid critics.  That part was touching as shit.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It wasn’t perfect.  But I did enjoy it.  And I think it is the start of a promising line of Justice League movies.  I can’t wait for Suicide Squad.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Gone Girl – A Review of the Movie, Not the Book

Long time no see, blogarinos.  What can I say?  I have been busy.  I wish I could say that I have been busy with something worthwhile, but alas, it has been mostly with an onslaught of fabulous Fall TV.  Why, oh why must they put all my favorite shows on at the same time?

I’ve been hearing for quite some time now that Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is an amazing read, and though sadly I never got around to it, I am pleased to say that I did recently take in the film version starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

SPOILER WARNING – If you do not want the surprises to be as gone as the girl, then stop reading.

In no particular order, a list of reasons why I found this film entertaining:

1)  Rosamund Pike deserves an Oscar nomination.  She has always been a decent actress but up until now, has never quite found her niche role.  Honestly, this movie made me learn her name.  Previously, she’d just been that blonde woman who has been in a lot of stuff.

2)  Someone involved in the movie must have had a penchant for all grown up former adolescent nerd TV stars.  Patrick Fugit, aka the aspiring Rolling Stone reporter from Almost Famous and Lee Norris, aka Minkus on Boy Meets World both have cameos as police officers.  I mean honestly, in real life, I would not want either of these poindexters kicking down doors and/or being responsible for public safety but for movie purposes, it was fun to see them in action.

3)  Actually, add to that former nerd TV star list Neil Patrick Harris (who once upon a time played Doogie Howser, M.D.) – I suppose I gave him a pass as a “former TV nerd” since his career had a comeback with How I Met Your Mother.

4)  It is an excellent mystery movie that will keep you guessing.

5)  Sadly, it reinforces what we all know to be true but no one wants to admit – a woman can say anything – anything at all – and people will believe it.

So pick your future brides to be carefully, fellas, because well, you might end up like Ben Affleck’s defeated protagonist.

BONUS:  Tyler Perry was in this movie and a) he did not dress up like an outrageous overweight granny and b) did not suck.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements