Daniel Craig, Justin Timberlake, and Ben Affleck.
Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas.
Daniel Craig, Justin Timberlake, and Ben Affleck.
Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas.
This post is only about five days late, but better late than never right?
Here I go…
Not sure that I’m that hardcore yet of a movie buff to actually have a favorite director.
I will cheat for today, however, and use this space to mention a director that has surprised me the most - Ben Affleck.
I’ve been quite impressed by the fact that he’s exceeded my expectations as a director. As I mentioned on Day 2, I was really surprised by his directorial work on The Town, which lead me to watch Gone Baby Gone, which was equally as impressive. I’m looking forward to more of his work as a director with his latest film, Argo!
The Town (2010)
IMDb Summary: As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down.
I had originally wanted to write about this movie for yesterday’s prompt, but I’d seen it more than a year ago, so technically it would have been cheating if I had written about it yesterday :)
I really had my doubts going into this one seeing as how I was hardly a Ben Affleck fan and for a long time had a hard time taking him seriously mostly due to “Bennifer” and all of the people and movies associated with that entity.
However, The Town really surprised me. I found it to be full of drama, suspense and interesting plot twists and was hooked from beginning to end. The ending even tugged at my heartstrings a bit, since it was a little bittersweet. I think Affleck did an awesome job as a writer, director and actor and I was also glad to have been introduced to Jeremy Renner - who was also fantastic - through this film.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was super surprised and disappointed to learn afterward that this movie didn’t get a lot of recognition - the only major awards it was nominated for were Best Supporting Actor for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes for Jeremy Renner. It’s really unfortunate because I think this was a brilliantly executed drama that definitely deserved a lot more than that.
Yeah I saw Gone Baby Gone, I LOVED it! I read your review, I really loved that scene between Ed Harris and Casey Affleck as well. After I saw the film I would always quote that "you've gotta pick a side" speech Harris gave. I was sad that Casey Affleck didn't get any Oscar love for GBG, but I thought his performance in The Assassination of Jesse James was much more worthy and thankfully he got an Oscar nom for that one. Affleck has a new film called Argo coming out this year, excited for that!
I totally agree with you - I was surprised/disappointed to hear that Gone Baby Gone (like The Town) didn’t get a lot of recognition! :(
As for The Assassination of Jesse James, I haven’t seen it =\ Perhaps I should add it to my ever growing list of movies to watch.
Heard about Argo! I’m looking forward to seeing what Ben Affleck does with that one too! :)
Just read your review for The Town and I agree that it was a damn shame that the only nomination it received was for Best Supporting Actor. I LOL'd at your "Ben Affleck can write!?" comment because didn't he win an Oscar for co-writing Good Willing Hunting? Haha, but anyways yeah Affleck's had a real career resurgence ever since he directed the fantastic Gone Baby Gone (have you seen that one?).
It IS a shame, isn’t it?! It really deserved a lot more recognition than it got.
Haha… well yes, Affleck did win an Oscar with Matt Damon for writing ‘Good Will Hunting – but half of my sarcasm was probably a reference to the rumors/speculation as to whether Affleck wrote much or whether either wrote any of it at all. The other half of my sarcasm is due to the fact that I pretty much stopped taking Affleck seriously after ‘Bennifer’ and Gigli. Although you’re right and I have to admit, he has exceeded my expectations lately with The Town and Gone Baby Gone – yes! I have seen it and I LOVED it. If you’re so inclined, you may read my review here.
Anywayyy, thanks again for reading my blog and for the comments - and for The Bourne Legacy trailer! :D
Source: [I Need My Fix]
Ben Affleck has chosen for his third directorial feature, Argo, a story set during the 1970′s Iranian hostage crisis, of a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist who concocts a risky plan, as the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador, by disguising them as a Canadian film crew.
Here are some pics taken on the LA set recently. Affleck certainly has the 70′s hair down and I love the leisure suit. Affleck, in my opinion is a pretty good actor, but he’s a much better director. His first two efforts, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, will be, again, just my opinion, remembered as modern classics.
Argo won’t be in theaters until 2012. It stars, along with Affleck, Alan Arkin (pictured below), John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Clea Duvall, Michael Parks, Chris Messina, Adrienne Barbeau (for that authentic 70′s vibe) , Richard Kind, Titus Welliver and Zeljko Ivanek. That is quite a cast!
Those who know me know that I have my “favorite” actors list (extreme sarcasm - note the air quotes):
1. Shia LaBeouf
2. Vin Diesel
3. Matthew McConaughey
4. Ben Affleck
However, I watched both The Town and Gone Baby Gone in the last year, and ended up quite moved and impressed. Now, I’m not about ready to name Affleck as one of my favorite actors, but let’s just say he’s exceeded my expectations, especially as a director.
Having said that, I am quite interested in seeing what he does with this movie. Looking forward to this one :)
Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)
This film follows the story of the disappearance of Amanda McCready. Shortly after hearing about this incident through the news, Patrick Kensie (Casey Affleck) and his partner and girlfriend Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) get pulled into the investigation by Amanda’s aunt Beatrice and uncle Lionel (LOST’s man in black, Titus Welliver), who is desperate to enlist all the help they can get in finding the little girl. Patrick and Angie initially experience a little friction in trying to coordinate efforts with the police detectives on this case, but soon they go after the obvious suspects: Amanda’s mother Helene’s (Amy Ryan) boyfriend Ray, and a drug Lord with whom Helene was involved with, Cheese (the Haitian cabbie from Crank, Edi Gathegi!). However, after the leads amounting to nothing and a confrontation gone wrong, Amanda’s body is still never found. As a result, Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), who was in charge of the investigation, takes the blame and goes into an early retirement. Two months later, a boy is abducted by a known child molester, whom Patrick is lead to through a street contact. Because this is a possible lead, Patrick and the two detectives jump back into the case. This incident ends up leading Patrick to the realization that the stories between the two detectives, his contact, and uncle Lionel all never match up. Could it be possible that one of them is responsible for Amanda’s disappearance?
As I mentioned before, I was never a big fan of Ben Affleck’s. However, I reluctantly watched The Town earlier this year and was surprised by how impressed I was by it. I was then told that if I liked The Town, I’d also like Gone Baby Gone, whose screenplay was cowritten and directed by Ben himself. Hmm, where to start?
I thought that the acting in this movie was awesome. I was really surprised by the performance of Amy Ryan. I’d previously only seen her as Michael Scott’s love, Holly on the American version of The Office (LOVE this show). She was nothing at all like the quirky HR rep Holly in this movie, and I almost didn’t even recognize her as Amanda’s distraught, yet trailer trashy, coke addict mother. I found out later that she received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations in this role – both of which were well deserved. I also thought Casey Affeck did a fantastic job as the determined private investigator who is constantly conflicted between justice and what is morally ‘right’. It’s a bit unfortunate that he didn’t receive any nominations for his performance as well. I’d only previously seen him in Ocean’s 11, where he mostly served as the film’s comic relief. So it was nice to see him here in such an emotionally charged role. Here’s hoping that he gets more roles like this in the future.
I also found the way in which the story was presented quite interesting. It was essentially broken down into three main acts. The beginning of the first act, gives the audience the introduction to Patrick and starts out with his narration. The end of this act also concludes with his narration as well. Because of this, it gave me the false sense that this was the end of the story, since it almost seems like a bookend. At this point, I remember thinking, “Wow, was that the end? Um, I guess that was okay.” But soon afterward, the second act begins starting with the abduction of the little boy, and the action and little plot twists keep you on your toes all the way up to the third act which reveals the story’s biggest twist. I love that the suspense just kept building as the scenes went on because it kept me so engrossed in the story and on the edge of my seat right up to the end. The movie does start out a little slow, but trust me - the payoff is worth it. And there are a few scenes in the movie that are not for the faint of heart.
So what was my favorite part of the movie? Probably the scene immediately after he and one of the investigators, Detective Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) leave the child molester’s house, where they are talking and sharing a drink. Casey Affleck’s character is verbalizing the inner struggle he has between what he does for his job, and whether it is morally okay or not. I love the emotion by Ed Harris in this scene, and how it pretty much describes Patrick’s character in a nutshell.
But overall a well-written and fantastically acted movie. I was not disappointed - so add this one to your must-see list now!
I got a suggestion today for a movie to add to my list: Gone Baby Gone. Duly noted!
It’s another movie co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. I’m hoping that since I liked The Town so much, I’ll enjoy this one too.
I haven’t really seen anything that Casey Affleck has been in other than his supporting roles in Ocean’s 11 and Good Will Hunting. So it’ll be good to see him in a lead role. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a cutie :)
Movie Review: The Town (2010)
I was pretty skeptical about whether or not I should watch this movie. First of all, it stars Ben Affleck (gross). Second of all, it was co-written by Ben Affleck (he can write?!?). Third of all, it was directed by Ben Affleck (bleh). And come on, lets face it: the promotional poster is just really, really creepy (eep!).
The Town is about four longtime friends – Doug (Ben Affleck), Jem (Jeremy Renner), Gloansy (Slaine), and Dez (Owen Burke) who organize and execute heists in and around Charlestown, the bank robbery capital of the country. In the opening heist, the four friends hold up a bank, blindfold the bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall) and briefly keep her hostage before releasing her. Later on, Doug follows her and they end up falling for each other. Doug vows to himself to end his life of crime. However, he is pressured to do one last job which he must do in order to ensure Claire’s safety. Chaos ensues, and Doug struggles to keep his relationship with Claire, while trying to dodge FBI agents (Mad Men’s Jon Hamm and LOST’s Man in Black, Titus Welliver) long enough to carry out his dream of running away to Florida to start his new life.
I must say, this film really surprised me. The story was well written, excellently executed, and the direction was superb. I really didn’t expect it, but there was lots of action, suspense, and intrigue, that I was hooked from the very beginning till the very end. I can’t remember any dull moments in the movie, and once the movie reached its final act, I was still glued to the screen eager to find out how the story would end.
Another thing that surprised me about the movie was Blake Lively, who played Krista, Jem’s sister and Doug’s baby momma. There was nothing Gossip Girly about her performance and I was really impressed by how well she played the trailer trashy, drugged out role.
One of the favorite parts of my movie is the scene when Doug and Claire are out to breakfast and Jem happens to spot them and join them. Claire has already shared with Doug her traumatizing experience of the bank robbery, and talked about how she would be able to easily identify one of the suspects because of the distinguishing tattoo on the back of his neck. Will Jem unknowingly turn or move a certain way to reveal his tattoo and unwittingly give himself away? Thus is the whole intrigue and tension of the scene (dun dun DUN).
After watching this movie, I was told that Jeremy Renner received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Jem, and I agree that it was very well deserved. However, I was surprised to know that this was the ONLY nomination that this film received. No Best Picture nomination, no Best Screenplay Nomination, no Best Actor nomination. What? WHY?! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’d expect a that any film nominated for an Oscar would evoke some kind of identifiable emotion, and this film definitely did it for me. If I had to compare it with the two Oscar nominated Best Picture films that I did happen to see - The Social Network and the Black Swan - my vote would go to The Town. My eyes were even watery as the end credits started to roll! (Damn you Ben Affleck, for tugging at my heart strings!!) It’s a damn shame that this movie didn’t get the recognition that I think it deserved.
So, in spite of the Ben Affleck factor, I thought this film was absolutely fantastic. You will too! Watch it - you won’t be disappointed :)