Strip Talk #21: Don’t let outside opinion sway your film loves

Lyndsey-2013-cutout-onlineLis­ten, there comes a time in the enter­tain­ment busi­ness that things (i.e. songs, movies, art) will be remade. And we will have to live with it. Just because some­thing is a clas­sic, that doesn’t mean it’s sacred and off lim­its. No, this is Hol­ly­wood. Land of the movie stars, mega rich and lack of cre­ativ­ity so dis­tinct that it is often dupli­cated and imi­tated world­wide. Hol­ly­wood knows noth­ing about cre­ativ­ity and orig­i­nal­ity so, inevitably, there will be a remake or reboot of a fran­chise where mul­ti­ple peo­ple have played the same role over the course of sev­eral movies. Let’s take, for exam­ple, Bat­man. The Caped Cru­sader has been played by numer­ous peo­ple yet remains pop­u­lar. So, with the pass­ing of the torch by the lat­est to step into the iconic tights — Chris­t­ian Bale to Ben Affleck — there’s been a frenzy of crit­i­cism sur­round­ing the cast­ing. Jus­ti­fied and unjus­ti­fied, you might say.

I’ll admit, I’m not exactly see­ing Affleck in the dual role. I get his sex appeal and his act­ing chops. He’s got all of that and then some to spare, but he doesn’t exactly jump out at me as the per­fect Bruce Wayne and Bat­man. But, in fact, his­tory shows that the first actor to bring Bat­man to life — Michael Keaton — faced the same sort of scrutiny. And what do you know? He just hap­pened to weigh in on the situation:

My guess is he’s a smart guy. I don’t know Ben, but he’s been around long enough to see all this stuff hap­pen,” Keaton said. “My guess is he’s laugh­ing [at the crit­i­cism], he’s laugh­ing and I hope he’s going, ‘Shut up!’”

And that about sums up my feel­ings on the matter.

Now, full dis­clo­sure, I love Keaton as an actor. I really do, and I loved him as Bat­man. I’m just old enough to remem­ber the hype sur­round­ing the orig­i­nal movie and to remem­ber not being allowed to see it with­out an adult present. But I don’t remem­ber the crit­i­cism Keaton received, and from what I know, there was plenty of it. I read about it and my ini­tial thought was, who cares? My next thought was, Keaton made an excel­lent Batman/Bruce Wayne so I guess he proved quite a few folks wrong, didn’t he? My third thought on the mat­ter, after read­ing the inter­view with Keaton on Affleck as a choice, was, why did they ask Keaton? Is he in charge of cast­ing, because if he is, that’s news to me. He doesn’t care and, yet, some­one felt they had to go there as if it’s the ele­phant in the room that no one is talk­ing about. No one is talk­ing about it because it’s a non-issue. Not impor­tant. Next.

Here’s my main point: What does it mat­ter what any­one thinks, out­side of Affleck and stu­dio exec­u­tives? He’s the one get­ting paid for putting on the cowl and cape. They’re the ones risk­ing two fran­chises with cast­ing (remem­ber, Super­man and Bat­man are affected by the next film). All of the crit­ics in the world aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the end-all, be-all for a movie. And, you should never lis­ten to a film critic, any­how. It’s all sub­jec­tive in the first place and how some­one feels about a movie could change with the next human over. This is what I want you, the reader, to take from this: Make up your own mind and don’t rely on some­one else’s thoughts to deter­mine what you like and don’t like. Because, as I like to say all of the time, you aren’t the one cut­ting the check or deposit­ing it, either.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. She can be reached by email at

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