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And That Happened: SPECIAL BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN EDITION

Aug 23, 2013, 7:16 AM EDT

Batman

Before the scores, some important Batman news. You may want to scroll down past this, because I’m gonna take a bit of time here.

In case you missed it last night, Ben Affleck has been cast as the Dark Knight in the upcoming Batman/Superman movie. Many people alerted me to this news last night the way you might alert a mother that her child has died. They tried to break it gently. They made sure that I was not in distress as I tried to process the news. When they saw me in a state less than tears, they assumed I was in the denial stage of the grieving process. It was quite the scene.

But while I thank my friends, real and virtual, for thinking of me and assuming that I would utterly lose it at the thought of Affleck as Batman, I’m really OK with it. Why? Because — and please brace yourself for some Real Talk — Christian Bale wasn’t anything extraordinary or irreplaceable as Batman. There, I said it.

“Batman Begins” was an incredible movie and, in it, Bale was fantastic. He played the young Bruce Wayne wonderfully and helped connect a, let’s admit it, somewhat silly character to us as viewers. It was real acting from a guy who is an incredible actor. “The Dark Knight” was an even better movie. Just perfect on almost every level. But Bale was nowhere near the best part of that movie. His growly voice as Batman may have been faithful to certain comic book interpretations and may have made sense in the “real world” version of Batman that Christopher Nolan was going for, but it was distracting. And his Bruce Wayne scenes, while fine, didn’t exactly require Oscar-level acting. You can almost see Bale getting a bit bored with the Wayne stuff at times. He’s above it.

“Dark Knight Rises” was a pretty bad movie. Let us not pretend it wasn’t. Some cool scenes and set pieces, but it was pretty weak. You may bristle at this — and, like a kid brother, I may defend it to outsiders who don’t understand that Batman is awesome overall — but among friends we need to be honest about the fact that it was a pile compared to the other two. And, I would argue, compared to the two Michael Keaton Batman movies in at least certain respects.

So: no, this isn’t like hiring Jack Lemmon to play Don Corleone in “Godfather Part II.” This isn’t like getting Robin Williams to play Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs II: Electric Boogaloo.” Affleck has dark hair and a square jaw and as we saw in “Argo” he can play it straight and act like a real adult and not be some stereotypical Boston goon like we often consider him to be. He’ll be fine.

We survived Val Kilmer and George Clooney. We can survive Ben Affleck. End of rant.

[exhales, sits back, stares emptily into middle distance]

Dodgers 6, Marlins 0: Clayton Kershaw (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) is like Doctor Manhattan. So superior and gifted that the mortals bore and disappoint him. He’s likely considering going to another planet to find new challenges for himself. He didn’t even have his best stuff yesterday and no one could really touch him. It’s almost unfair.

Pirates 10, Giants 5: Quite the disaster for the Giants as Matt Cain left early after taking a comebacker off his right arm. Thankfully X-Rays were negative. The bullpen, sadly, was pretty negative for the Giants too. And while ten runs and a win was nice for the Pirates, they have to be worried about Jeff Locke, who is looking increasingly gassed and ineffective as the season winds down.

Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1: Four wild pitches for Arizona, a couple which set up the Reds run in the third and another that actually scored the winning run in the eighth. The Reds took three of four from the Dbacks, effectively burying them in the wild card race, one figures.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: A lot of the people who think it’s a longshot for the Yankees to get back into the race and make the playoffs think this because the starting pitching has been so poopy lately. As such, seeing Andy Pettitte allow one run over six innings has to be, at the very least, encouraging. The Yanks have won five in a row and ten of twelve. A-Rod for MVP.

Twins 7, Tigers 6:  Chris Herrmann had a couple of RBI doubles, one of which was aided by Austin Jackson misplaying the ball. The Twins take two of three from Detroit.

Nationals 5, Cubs 4: Stephen Strasburg was one out from a complete game but then he ran out of gas and had some defensive miscues behind him allowing the Cubs to rally for three runs. Four innings later Denard Span doubled and some small ball scored him for the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

White Sox 4, Royals 3: Chicago fought back from a three-run deficit to force extras and then Conor Gillaspie socked a homer in the 12th. Pretty sure that’s the first time I ever used the phrase “socked a homer” in my life. Weird.

Phillies 5, Rockies 4: Philly scored four of their five runs in the last two innings, capped with Domonic Brown‘s walkoff single. Oh, remember yesterday when I suggested that a walkoff sac fly was the least exciting walkoff event? I’m now thinking a walkoff balk qualifies. By definition it requires the absolute bare minimum of movement to happen. Like, a simple flinch could make it happen. Would love to see a World Series end on a walkoff balk. Joe Buck would probably capture that moment for the ages.

Cardinals 6, Braves 2: Joe Kelly wasn’t sharp but he was effective. Jordan Schafer was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts leading off for Atlanta. The Braves are gonna miss Jason Heyward something fierce.

125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    His growly voice as Batman may have been faithful to certain comic book interpretations and may have made sense in the “real world” version of Batman

    Wasn’t a big DC Comics fan, so can anyone provide more info? His voice, and in TDKR Bane’s, drove me absolutely nuts.

    • deathmonkey41 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Nolan was inspired by Frank Miller’s Dark Knight series, which is a 4 book graphic novel series. I bought it back in the day and remains one of my favorite comics of all time. You can still buy it- I believe they sell it as one book now. I highly recommend.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        So was it a Miller inspiration or is there a back story to the voice? That’s what I”m trying to get at.

      • deathmonkey41 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        In the comic- they usually made Batman’s comment bubbles jagged- like he had a raspy voice.

    • bigharold - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Ben Who?

    • southofheaven81 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      In Batman Begins when Batman talks it’s so obviously Bruce Wayne. The growly voice was silly but necessary.

  2. Bob Loblaw - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    ” But Bale was nowhere near the best part of that movie”

    The main reason for this, in my opinion, was that everything else about that movie was awesome. From Harvey Dent’s portrayal by Aaron Eckhart, to even Maggie Gyllynhall, who I normally can’t stand, being far better than the pouty Katie Holmes as Rachel. But of course, the creme de la creme was the academy award winning Joker played by the late Heath Ledger. As far as I am concerned, this was one of the best performances in the history of the big screen. Ever. In any genre.

    The fact that Christian Bale was nowhere near the best part of that movie in no way makes his performance any less great in my opinion. He was simply outshined by a cast that was far and away better than anything we have ever seen in a Batman movie. Even Caine’s performance in The Dark Knight was special.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Heck even Gary Oldman.

  3. girardisbraces - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I don’t think Yankee starting pitching has been THAT bad (CC and Hughes have been somewhat better as of late) but it’s not as important to be spot on all the time, especially when you’re beating the snot out of the ball.

  4. yahmule - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    The bigger problem they’re going to face is the the same one that has always made Superman such a difficult adaptation. How do you make anything remotely threatening to this guy without purposely ignoring the virtually godlike powers he possesses? Even in TDKR graphic novel, utilizing his exo-skeleton and far superior hand to hand combat skills, Batman shouldn’t be able to compete with the superhuman reflexes the last son of Krypton possesses.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Supes was weakened by that nuclear explosion and the kryptonite arrow Green Arrow shot at him.

      • yahmule - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Yeah, the Big Guy did have a lot on his plate. I need to dig that out and read it again.

  5. RoyHobbs39 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Never been an Affleck fan until he started directing. The Town is amazing. Strangely his best performances are in the movies he has directed. It is almost as if he knows his limited range and does not try to force anything. If Snyder does this movie, I think he will be in good shape. His use of emotion is usually limited to expressions of either strength or lack of expression.

  6. earpaniac - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I actually think he will be a good Batman. If you watch the “director’s cut” of Daredevil, it’s a pretty good movie. I have no idea why they didn’t release that instead of what they did.

  7. richarddansky - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I think this clip sums up my feelings on Bale-as-Batman:

  8. edelmanfanclub - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Keaton > Bale > Kilmer > Any Human but George Clooney > George Clooney

    Affleck will do fine, I personally was a big fan of Bale though.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    http://www.vladtv.com/blog/173169/hysterical-batffleck-memes-react-to-ben-affleck-as-new-batman/203538/

  10. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    “A-Rod for MVP”

    Most Vacuous Pimp?

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