Posts Tagged Ben Affleck

BOOK to FILM: Get Reading!


Recently watched The Drop. It’s just like the book as Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay for the film based on a short story and then wrote the novel based on the screenplay. It stars Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and a cute cute cute puppy! Plenty of Dennis Lehane novels have been adapted to film– Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone.

live by night

Even though I’m not an avid mystery/thriller reader, I’ve sought out a few Dennis Lehane because he’s a local author and many of his books take place in Boston.I took Live By Night out of the library because Ben Affleck will be directing the film version of that one this summer. Read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout when it came out many years ago [Strout is also a lively speaker] and am delighted to see such a quality miniseries on HBO with Frances McDormand. I don’t read a lot of mystery/thrillers so if they’re adapted to film I’ve likely not read all that many of them.

Like most people I read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars as well as The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins before I saw the wonderful film versions. Sometimes the film version is better than the book but often the book is better than the film. Sometimes it’s a good story either way. I’m a bibliophile but not a literary snob that must read every book before seeing its cinematic adaptation. Most Nicholas Sparks, fantasy, romance or YA I’ll give a pass.

wolf hall

Damian Lewis as Henry XIII

Damian Lewis as Henry XIII

It’s usually best to read the book a while before the film comes out or cast announcements unless you want to envision certain actors in the role. I read Shutter Island right before I saw the film so I pictured Leo DiCaprio the entire time. Not a bad thing. I plan to read Wolf Hall in the next month before the BBC mini-series starring Damian Lewis as Henry XIII.

some 2015 film releases and the source material:

casual vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
starring: Simona Brown; Hetty Baynes; Lolita Chakrabarti
release date: February on BBC One


Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
starring: Carey Mulligan; Tom Sturridge; Matthias Schoenaerts
release date: May 1

child 44

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
starring: Tom Hardy; Gary Oldman; Noomi Rapace; Paddy Considine; Dev Patel and Charles Dance.
release date: April 17

serena film2

Serena by Ron Rash
starring: Jennifer Lawrence; Bradley Cooper
release date: March 27

dark places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
starring: Charlize Theron; Chloe Grace Moretz; Christina Hendricks; Nicholas Hoult and Corey Stoll.
release date: TBD

price of salt

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
starring: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara
release date: TBD


The Mordecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli
starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow; Ewan McGregor
release date: January 23

me before you

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
starring: Emilia Clarke; Sam Claflin
release date: August 21

black mass

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill
starring: Johnny Depp; Benedict Cumberbatch; Kevin Bacon; Juno Temple
release date: September 18

secret scripture

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
starring: Rooney Mara; Vanessa Redgrave; Eric Bana; Jeremy Irons
release date: TBD


The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
starring: Jessica Chastain
release date: TBD


A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
starring: Robert Redford; Nick Nolte
release date: TBD

Books books books

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Entertainment News: books to film


Casting for The Fault in Our Stars

shaliene woodley

Shailene Woodley stars as Hazel Grace while Ansel Elgort plays Augustus Waters. Laura Dern will play Hazel Grace’s mom.

The Fault in Our Stars focuses on two cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus, who fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group.

Filming begins next month in Pittsburgh and is slated for a 2015 theatrical release.

The film will be scored by Bright Eyes members Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott.

gone girl

Gone Girl Casting


This book was a tough one with very unsympathetic, unlikeable characters particularly Amy Dunne. She will be played by Rosamund Pike [Jack Reacher]. Ben Affleck will play Nick. David Fincher directs, author Gillian Flynn adapted the screenplay and Reese Witherspoon will produce the adaptation.

A Tale of Love and Darkness– Amos Oz memoir


Natalie Portman received a grant from the Jerusalem Film Fund to write, direct and star in an adaptation of Amos Oz’s memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. Oz’s memoir takes place in the 1940s and 1950s in war torn Jerusalem.

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Happy 40th Birthday BEN AFFLECK!

The Academy-award winning writer/actor/director grew up in Cambridge, Mass and was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, Calif.

notable films

The Town [writer/ director/ actor, 2010]
State of Play [2009]
Gone Baby Gone [writer/director, 2007]
Hollywoodland [actor, 2006]
Jersey Girl [actor, 2004]
Chasing Amy [actor, 1997]
Good Will Hunting [co-written with Matt Damon, 1997, Academy award for Best Original Screenplay]

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in the realm: QUOTES

A kiss can be an IOU, or the end of a love affair. A kiss can last for eons. A kiss can be longer and stronger than a fuck. A kiss has a history and a future.

–Erica Jong

I am a 37-year-old unemployed loser.
–Bobby Walker [Ben Affleck]

I’m a highly qualified applicant for that position!
–Bobby Walker

Glad I got that PhD.

Verisimilitude is the truth of art, and any convention which hinders the illusion is obviously in the wrong place.

Length, naturally, is not so much a matter of pages as of the mass and quality of what they contain. It is obvious that a mediocre book is always too long, and that a great one usually seems too short.

–Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction

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My Favorite Affleck films [both Ben and Casey]

As both Afflecks have films currently in theaters–Ben has The Town and Casey has I’m Still Here— I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Affleck projects.


Chasing Amy [1997]
–my favorite Kevin Smith film. I found it to be honest [whether you’re straight or gay] with heartfelt performances and a sharp script.

Gone Baby Gone [director and screenwriter] [2007]
–captures the authenticity and grittiness of Boston and serves up a great mystery with plenty of twists and turns and gasping moments. Casey Affleck owns this film with his intense portrayal of a private investigator trying to find a missing girl in Boston. With meticulous, sensitive, steady direction from native son Ben Affleck, Gone, Baby, Gone is a dark story of ambiguous morals.

Good Will Hunting [Oscar winning original screenplay, co-written with Matt Damon] [2007]
–If you haven’t seen this film, I don’t know if I could even have a conversation with you. Brilliant script.

State of Play [2009]
–excellent, stomach-churning thriller about the changing voice and business of journalism via a political scandal. Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams are fantastic as reporters, Ben Affleck turns in solid performance as Congressman caught in scandal. Helen Mirran is a feisty, no-nonsense editor. Impressive script, cast, acting (Jason Bateman plays an annoying PR guy). Keeps you guessing with plenty of twists.

Hollywoodland [2006]
–Riveting. Provocative. Thoughtful. Posed many question. Few answers. Ben Affleck was superb as George Reeves, a conflicted man, who gained fame as the television character Superman and then struggled for years to grow out of that stereotype and move beyond that celebrity and be recognized for other talents. He should at least be nominated for this role. You cannot take your eyes off him.

Jersey Girl [2004]
–I don’t care what kind of heat this film got for Kevin Smith and the rest of the cast. This endearing story with engaging, lovely performances by Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler completely won me over.

Boiler Room [2000]
–I’m fascinated by films about the financial world because I’ll never work in it.

Changing Lanes [2002]
–weird, creepy

School Ties [1992]
–small part by Ben. I was an extra in this film. ha.


Gone Baby Gone [2007]

Lonesome Jim [2005]
–Nothing screams of loneliness more than having to move in with your parents when you are almost 30-years-old. What a mark of failure it seems to be. As the 27-year-old Jim, Casey Affleck brilliant plays self-deprecating and wallowing in misery to the point that you cannot take your eyes off of him. Then you want to hug him and be his friend. He steals your heart. His vulnerability. His hopelessness. His ennui. The aspiring writer returns home to Indiana after failing in New York. An honest, realistic portrait of a mid-mid-life crisis and its often funny, often sad effects.

Ocean’s 11 [2001], Ocean’s 12 [2004], Ocean’s 13 [2007]
–just fun.

The Killer Inside Me [2010]

Gerry [2002]
–Gus van Sant directs a strange film about a friendship facing a major test.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [2007]


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DVD review: Extract

Title: Extract
Written and directed by: Mike Judge
Starring: Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons
Running time: 90 min.
Release date: December 22, 2009
MPAA: rated R for language, sexual references and some drug use
Studio: Miramax
Review source: Click Communications
Rating: B-

If you think Extract is going to be as hilarious and original as the genius gem of a film Office Space, you will be very disappointed. However, Extract offers a fantastic cast including Jason Bateman [Arrested Development], Mila Kunis [That 70s Show], Kristen Wiig [Whip It!] and everyone’s favorite straight man and character actor, J.K. Simmons. The basic premise is that Joel [Jason Bateman in standard uptight executive mode] is planning to sell his extract company until there’s a freak on-the-job-accident [naturally involving testicles] that looks like it just might put a huge kink in Joel’s plans. Soon a con-artist [a beguiling Mila Kunis] is cozying up to the guy who had the accident, threatening all of Joel’s master plans to get out of the extract business for good. A sub-plot is Joel’s sexual frustration with his wife [a cunningly amusing Kristen Wiig] and a male gigolo is thrown in for good measure. Ben Affleck [and so what if I’m biased because I think he’s a fine actor—see State of Play—and director and he’s from Cambridge, Mass. and married to Jennifer Garner who I adore] turns in some hysterical moments as Joel’s earthy bartender, druggy best friend [“Xanax just makes you feel good about everything.”]. Extract will make you laugh and the performances by every actor and actress are on point. With lines such as “Are we still looking into replacing her with a robot?”, Extract is worth adding to your Netflix queue.

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DVD review: He’s Just Not That Into You

First off, I hated the book and couldn’t believe that Oprah found it so “fascinating” that she had to have Greg Behrendt on her show to discuss it and that women had all these “AHA!” moments over it. The film version is exactly what I expected. I saw it originally at a theatre of mostly women, who I could just tell “loved it.” It was there big outing. Why, I have no idea because it portrayed women as being clingy and clueless when it comes to men. A one night stand or kissing a guy just to kiss him and not have it turn in to a relationship, forget it. Women just don’t do those things [right!]. Perhaps in small town Alabama where everyone knows everyone else. Also, ALL women want to be married.

Beth [Jennifer Aniston] certainly has gotten fed up with seven years of Neil [Ben Affleck] who seems to be charming, devoted, easy going and sweet. So what is the problem. Oh yeah, where’s that ring to make it all “official-like.” You know what Beth, why ruin what’s already so perfect. The guy clearly adores you. I would love to be in that type of relationship. Look at your friend Janine [Jennifer Connelly– who let’s face it could have any guy she wanted] who has a cheating and lying college sweetheart husband Ben [Bradley Cooper]. But to make matters worse, she’s going crazy over the situation and becoming that woman who sniffs he’s clothes and waits up for him and asks where he’s been at night. UGH UGH UGH. No! Do not do it.

Scarlett Johansson’s character [Anna] knowingly befriends, flirts with and sleeps with that married man [Cooper]. And yet, she’s the most independent, strongest woman character because she acts like a guy. She does the best job of anyone. When she’s with a guy friend with benefits [Kevin Connolly] who she no longer sleeps with, she leaves him when she wants with him wanting way more. When she finally gives in to him and there’s a shot of him cuddling up to her, the dread on her face is priceless and when he shows her an apartment he wants to buy and hopes she might someday want to live with her, those blue eyes portray immense panic and she just says, “I can’t do this. Any of this.” THAT is realism. It is also brilliant acting for a flimsy “chick flick.”

But Boston University graduate Ginnifer Goodwin’s character, Gigi, who is the heart of the film, just wants a boyfriend so bad and is making every “mistake” possible. She’s too eager. You know what? Some guys like girls who are eager. Some guys are the caretakers in the relationships. Okay, she’s young and she needs to calm down a bit but dating is nerve-wracking and who doesn’t over-analyze every aspect of a date every now and again. She calls too much. She frets by the phone. Granted, that isn’t good for anyone. But she’s cute and educated and sweet. That’s certainly enough for some guy out there.

To be fair, in the end when all-knowing Alex [Justin Long] finds himself liking a girl, he keeps checking his email and voicemail so perhaps these rules actually go both ways. If someone isn’t into you, male or female, you should know it. The person will not show enough interest. The person will not call. The person will not want to go out with you on another date. I’ve had plenty of first dates. Plenty of second dates and I’m working on those third and fourth and long-term relationships.

Grade: C

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