Tag Archives: Bryan Cranston

Can’t Wait: Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’


While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

“Ben Affleck wants to direct?  How cute,” seemingly everyone scoffed in 2007.  After all, Affleck had spent the preceding decade squandering his promise as an actor in toxic works like Daredevil and The Sum of All Fears.  Then he sat behind the camera for Gone Baby Gone and made a vibrant, violent, engrossing, and downright great thriller.  “Okay, but we’ll see how he follows up on that,” came the skeptical response.  Affleck then made The Town, this time starring in addition to his directing duties, and created a crowd-pleasing heist film without sacrificing artistry.  This time, his Argo is not eliciting the same skepticism.

The “based on a true story” hook is captivating in itself, given the high concept idea of faking a Canadian science fiction film as a front for sneaking American hostages out of Iran.  But the cast of iconic character actors — John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Philip Baker Hall, Victor Garber, Titus Welliver, and Alan Arkin among them — is a cineaste dream.  How these people interact in close quarters, ready to snap at each other and the circumstances surrounding them, is potboiler gold and worth seeing even if Affleck’s direction didn’t look so slick; Argo appears to continue his “artsy popcorn entertainment” aesthetic started in The Town.  Seeing Affleck direct increasingly elaborate films is a good sign for Hollywood, and any Oscar buzz surrounding Argo gives him and other like-minded filmmakers the cache to do special, interesting work.

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Rob’s Interest Round-Up! Manny Ramirez and AMC’s Emmy Wins.


School is back in session, so my days of pretending like this website is my job are over.  However, I’d like to still do a couple posts a week and they’ll probably have fewer words but more subjects.  Sorry about the lack of depth, but I’ll work on honing it and making it awesome in coming weeks.

Ramirez begins his fourth Major League stop in Chicago

First up on the agenda is the White Sox’ waiver claim of Major League Baseball’s oddest customer, outfielder and designated hitter Manny Ramirez, showing their affinity for aging members of those great ’90s Cleveland teams, having let go of Jim Thome before this season.  If Manny feels like playing up to his abilities — and his numbers this year say otherwise, with his paltry eight homers and 40 RBI — the team could get the boost they need to get to the playoffs.

That said, it’s not going to happen.  Ramirez, 38, has been a shell of his former self this year, whether it’s from lack of effort — always a possibility with him — regular aging, or removing banned substances from his diet after his 50-game suspension last year.  Plus, the Twins, who picked up the rejuvenated Thome prior to this year, just acquired reliever Brian Fuentes from the Angels and he solidifies an already solid bullpen, complementing the rest of Minnesota’s all-around fundamentally solid club.  With a handful of games to make up in the next month, it doesn’t appear likely the Sox are heading to meaningful October games.

AMC shows won the majority of drama Emmy's on Sunday's telecast.

In other news, it was great to see Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul win his first Emmy for his performance as Jesse Pinkman, meth cook.  In fact, it was great to see all the Emmy love for the AMC shows I fell in love with over the summer, with Paul’s always amazing costar, Bryan Cranston, winning his third consecutive award for being the best lead actor on a drama, and Mad Men winning the best drama category again.

I didn’t really watch the ceremony beyond flipping through channels during the commercials of Sunday’s new Mad Men episode — I’d much rather watch the show that’s being awarded than the show that’s doing the awarding, after all — but I did see Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s acceptance speech and can only congratulate him on a job well done.

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