The Internet ruins everything - Coeur d'Alene Press: Entertainment

The Internet ruins everything

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 12:00 am

Holy fanboy frenzy, Batman!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to become the eighty billionth article to discuss the casting of Ben Affleck as the new Caped Crusader.

Other people have said it, but it's certainly worth repeating: Calm down, nerds.

Affleck hasn't destroyed your childhood or made you question your faith in humanity. He's going to play Batman in the follow-up to this summer's Superman reboot, "Man of Steel." The next film, tentatively called "Batman vs. Superman," will be in continuity with "Man of Steel," but won't be related to Christopher Nolan's recent "Dark Knight" trilogy.

Here's the truth: Ben Affleck is an inspired choice to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. Despite a long streak of lousy movies a few years ago, Affleck has more than proved his worth as an actor who can play the showboating billionaire side of Bruce Wayne AND the brooding, combative Dark Knight.

And let's not ignore the fact that he just starred in and directed last year's Best Picture winner; "Argo."

Why all the hate then? Because Affleck made "Gigli." And he starred in that lousy "Daredevil" movie.

Never mind those movies were ages ago, back when Affleck didn't know the best projects that played to his strengths. That's not an issue anymore, as his performances in the likes of "Argo," "The Town," "The Company Men," "State of Play" and "Hollywoodland" have shown.

Really, this "controversy" boils down to the central problem with pop culture discourse on the Internet. Everything is either the BEST or it's the WORST. In the realm of comic book movies and nerd-friendly properties, there is no room for middle ground.

Take a look at some of the comment sections on pretty much any movie-related site. Last year's "The Dark Knight Rises" was either the best movie EVER, without a single flaw, or completely stupid just because the movie didn't explain how Batman manages to sneak back into a fortified Gotham City.

Is it so wrong to have a more varied opinion?

More specific examples of Internet group-speak: Christian Bale's Batman voice is stupid, Shia LaBeouf and aliens ruined "Indiana Jones 4" (they technically weren't aliens), nobody likes "Iron Man 2," George Lucas ruins everything, "Star Trek Into Darkness" is sacrilege to all previous incarnations of "Star Trek," "The Avengers" is perfect (or else), "The Shawshank Redemption" is the best movie ever, and "Citizen Kane" is totally overrated.

None of these statements are universal truths, yet the mighty Internet has deemed them so.

Ben Affleck as Batman has become the latest Internet "hate topic," and nobody knows anything about the movie or how he will portray the character. It's just the worst... because it's not Christian Bale doing the barking Batman voice that we all hate anyway.

Sigh. It's hard being a fan of superhero movies. Personally, I prefer to withhold judgement until I've actually seen the thing.

If I were to judge prematurely, however, I would be concerned that "Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder is returning to direct this "Batman vs. Superman" movie. He is one of the big reasons "Man of Steel" is such a messy, underwhelming experience. Maybe worry about how the storytelling side of the project already has a number of red flags.

Don't tell the Superman fanboys on the Internet I just said that.

The point is, we know nothing about Affleck's Batman, and there is so much more to worry about in the grand scheme of things. So please just pipe down already.

Tyler Wilson can be reached at twilson@cdapress.com.

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