The Next Batman

So Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman and the internet erupted with demands he be removed. I personally have no strong feelings about this. My favorite role of Ben Affleck was his video with Jimmy Kimmel.  But I also remember thinking “what were they thinking?” when Michael Keaton was cast for the role. Beetlejuice as Batman? Seriously? But of that series of Batman movies, Keaton was the best Batman of the lot. But who else could they have cast?

Mark Wahlberg: One of my students suggested this actor. He certainly has come along way from the those underwear ads. However, perhaps producers were already anticipating the Saturday Night Live skit, “The Boogie Dark Nights Return.”

Jeremy Renner: Already taken.

Bradley Cooper: Perhaps, but maybe Hangover part Pi has already started.

Ryan Reynolds: Why not? He has yet to be in a successful super-hero movie.

Daniel Radcliffe: Too young? Too short? Too Harry Potter?

Tom Cruise: Too old? Too short? Too Tom Cruise?

Jack Black: Well, maybe if they were casting for Bat-Mite.

Robert Downey Jr.: Hey, he’s already scored as playboy billionaire philanthropist in a fancy suit. Perhaps he wants to stretch.

Johnny Depp: Who wouldn’t want to see Batman portrayed as Captain Jack Sparrow?

Benedict Cumberbatch: He proved he could be badass in Star Trek and he’s already one of the world’s greatest detectives. Could work.

Tobey McGuire: He’s too old now for Spider-Man, but maybe he wants to get back into the tights. Spider-Bat anyone?

Tom Welling and Brandon Routh: They’ve already played Superman/Clark Kent. Let’s give them a chance at the Bat.

How about the first openly gay actor playing Batman? I mean we’ve all heard the rumors about Bats.

Wentworth Miller: Kudos for recently coming out and taking a stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT laws. Besides, residuals from Prison Break are probably starting to dwindle.

Matt Bomer: He’s already done the voice for Superman in Superman: Unbound and has shown he can do suave and sophisticated in White Collar. He would certainly look good in tights and . . .  I better stop now.

So who would you pick?


Kick-Ass 2: Not double the pleasure or double the fun

Kick-Ass 2 (spoiler alert)

Let me start off by saying I enjoyed the first Kick-Ass movie. In fact, last summer when I taught my Literature and Film course on graphic novel adaptations, I used Kick-um as a text. I thought the first movie was funny and while violent, it was so over-the-top as to not be believable. Second, I thought there was a definite theme in the movie about voyeurism and the need to watch violence. When Kick-Ass asks someone to call 911, he instead starts filming for Youtube. Likewise, near the climax of the movie, all of Dave’s friends rush to watch the violence being done to Kick-Ass and Big Daddy even when the networks take it off the air. We get this even as we, the audience, are watching this fake violence acted out before us. Dave becomes Kick-Ass because he thinks people don’t do enough to help people, that they instead just watch what happens without acting. The movie asks that question of the audience as well.

Then there is Kick-Ass 2. (And I have not yet read the graphic novel sequel) It’s a movie filled with excessive violence that seems to have no point. Perhaps there is the point that being a super-hero (or vigilante) has consequences, but that seems pretty much a given. Instead, it struck me as a movie that wanted to outdo the violence from the first and see more blood and cruel ways to kill people. It has an attempted rape scene played for humor (see Mike Ryan’s review at Huffington Post) that isn’t funny. Overall, Kick-Ass 2 was a serious disappointment.

Let me know what you think!