I just watched it, directed by B-Fleck and starring C-Fleck. A brotherly ordeal, if you will. And I have to say, I was moderately impressed. Naturally, I have my qualms about every movie. My main beef with this one was that it was filmed to glamorously, clearly because B-Fleck has the funds to do it. The filming was quite beautiful, actually, and it literally illuminated a rather gritty, twisted story. B-Fleck’s breadwinning talent definitely lies behind the screen. He’s got a few more notches to make on his belt before he can earn props as a director, I think, but for a novice stint, it’s pretty good. His real art is in his writing, though. Clearly. Good Will Hunting: enough said. He knows Boston, he loves Boston, and he wants people to know and love Boston. That’s cool.
Some of the crazy plot twists were finished a little too abruptly. There were parts I found difficult to follow (perhaps in part to my poor quality, non-HD television, but hey, it was free!) and there were scenes that came out of nowhere, but I chalk this up to age, again. Ben and his writing partner (not Matt Damon this time around) adapted the screenplay from a book and that’s pretty hard to do.
I was impressed with Younger Affleck’s acting abilities. He’s got a little Ledger-in-Brokeback in him, and by that I mean he’s got the stifled speech thing going on, but he can work it. The character he portrayed in this film had fewer layers than Ennis Del Mar, for sure, but he also had a shotgun to hide behind. Ed Harris kind of scared me at first, partially because I was not used to seeing him with hair on his head OR face, but he was great as always. Michelle Monahan was bland…and kind of a depressing girlfriend to drag around if I may be so blunt.
And guess what? Morgan Freeman wasn’t a mentor/old wise guy/advice-giver in this one! Who knew his talents were so versatile? I may be going out on a huge limb when I say this, but in the last 10 years or so, I feel like his work has been hugely overrated. Sure, he’s a badass. Sure, Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson are competing for his Role in Society (and may I say, SLJ is taking names right now) and hope to one day inherit the Morgan Freeman Throne (passed down righteously by Sidney Poitier, no less). Sure, he’s actually a wonderful actor. I just think that, in his old age, he’s fallen into the Hugh Grant Rut. You know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Which is why I was glad to see him play this role. It was just deviant enough. It was no Michael Caine in Children of Men (that was some heavy shit, by the way) but it was worthy.