Currently browsing the "Ben Affleck" tag.

Review: The Way Back

Ben Affleck was fresh out of rehab when filming began for The Way Back, and that had to make the process extra challenging, awkward, even painful – for the actor, his costars and the filmmakers. Affleck, an alcoholic who acknowledges that his addiction contributed heavily to the implosion of his marriage plays an alcoholic whose addiction (compounded by personal tragedy) contributed to the implosion of his marriage. Now both are on the path to redemption. Hopefully.

Review: Justice League

It’s increasingly hard to rate or rank superhero movies when there’s a new one, or two, or three bursting onto the scene seemingly every week. And let’s be honest, the reviews don’t matter. You probably fall into one of three camps: those who see them all, like right away; those who see most of them, eventually; and those who couldn’t care less. For those in the latter category, move on. There are plenty of awesome alternatives hitting the box office right now. For those who do care, or are simply curious, here’s my take on the much-anticipated, long-delayed, rumor-plagued Justice League: It’s pretty good. Not as good as Wonder Woman and not as much fun as Thor: Ragnarok, but it does its primary job: establishing the foundation for DC Comics’ cinematic version of Marvel’s Avengers, i.e. superheroes who are sometimes called upon to ‘assemble’ to save the world.

The Accountant

There’s a whole lot going on in The Accountant, but somehow it all adds up to a surprisingly entertaining action movie with an interesting story, some well-timed comic relief, and a very strong cast. So don’t let the odd premise — of a brilliant but socially-awkward numbers-crunching assassin with Asperger’s — scare you away. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year for sheer mainstream movie appeal, easily besting last week’s highly-anticipated drama The Girl on the Train.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl is very good. And, I suspect, it’s probably even better if you haven’t read the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn (which I did, about two years ago). It’s just a solid, well-cast thriller that has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, even if it does feel a tad too long.

I won’t say much about the plot, because the less you know going in, the more you’ll get out of it. But here’s the gist: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home on his fifth anniversary to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. A media circus ensues as questions arise about Nick and Amy, the state of their marriage, and Nick’s potential involvement in his wife’s disappearance and possibly, her death. The clues – literal and figurative – stack up as the movie flashes back on the couple’s path from instant attraction and romance to marital dysfunction.

Arty Chick’s Oscar Adventure

During all my years living in Los Angeles, I never got anywhere near the Academy Awards. I watched at Oscar parties (including one attended by my favorite ♥ George ♥), and I always wondered who all those screaming fans in the bleachers were and how they got to sit there. Now I know. Thank heavens for Mainstream Chick! She entered the lottery online for Academy Awards bleacher seats and won! And I was her lucky +1. So the day of the Oscars, we headed to Hollywood.

Argo

I’m always a bit wary of adding to the hype and expectations of any movie that generates “Oscar buzz” before Halloween. But I really liked Argo. A lot. Enough to tout it for Best Picture and Best Director consideration. It’s one of those movies that has everything going for it. Good story. Good characters. Good pacing. And a solid mix of drama, humor and intensity. It’s like watching All the President’s Men meets Apollo 13.

The plot is preposterous – and that’s why it works. The story is based on actual events that were kept classified for nearly two decades. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried – unless perhaps you work in the intelligence community. Kinda makes you wonder what crazy covert ops we’ll find out about 20 years from now.

The Company Men

Put Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper in a movie and you’re pretty much guaranteed I’ll go see it. Of course, it helps if the movie is also good, and The Company Men is good – quite good actually. Jones and Cooper star along with Ben Affleck as long time employees of huge manufacturing conglomerate GTX. They’ve all spent their entire careers at the place – they are “company men.”

The Town

Okay, I think it’s time that we all forget about Gigli and admit that Ben Affleck is one very talented guy. Returning to his working class Boston roots with The Town, he has stepped to the top of the ladder both with his direction and his nuanced portrayal of the central character in the piece, Doug MacRay.