Best of Ben Affleck: Your Favorite Movie Is?

Ben Affleck has had quite a second act in his Oscar winning career. After taking over the world with his best bud Matt Damon with Good Will Hunting, Affleck became an action star with hits Pearl Harbor, Armageddon and The Sum of All Fears. He then proceeded to make a few films that threatened his A-list status (Gigli, anyone?).

Ben Affleck The Town
But, out of nowhere, he pulled off the impossible and became one of the best young directors in Tinsel Town. Affleck helmed Gone Baby Gone and then directed and starred in The Town. Now, Affleck’s back behind and in front of the camera with the true life thriller Argo. Looking back at his career, we ask our esteemed readership…

What is Ben Affleck’s best movie?

Taken 2 Takes Box Office Title

It is extremely rare these days that a film’s sequel outperforms its processor, but that is exactly what Taken 2 did this weekend at the box office. When Liam Neeson became an action star in 2008 with Taken, the film banked $24 million when it premiered. Taken 2 debuted amongst a slew of competition and earned an astounding $50 million.

Taken 2 Star Liam Neeson
The biggest surprise was the lack of interest in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. His passion project only earned $11 million and landed in fifth place. It was another family film that landed in second place, last week’s box office champ, Hotel Transylvania. The Sony Pictures animated flick that stars Adam Sandler added another $26.3 million to bring its two week cume to $76 million.

Third place belonged to the singing sensation, Pitch Perfect. The film debuted nationwide and earned $14.7 million. Adding to its sales from a limited release last week and Pitch Perfect has banked $21.6 million total.

Fourth place saw the Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis playing the same character sci-fi thriller Looper. In its second week of release, the Rian Johnson film took in $12.2 million. Its two week total is now $40.3 million.

Box office top 10:

1. Taken 2, $50 million
2. Hotel Transylvania, $26.3 million
3. Pitch Perfect, $14.7 million
4. Looper, $12.2 million
5. Frankenweenie, $11.5 million
6. End of Watch, $4 million
7. Trouble with the Curve, $3.9 million
8. House at the End of the Street, $3.7 million
9. The Master, $1.8 million
10. Finding Nemo 3D, $1.6 million

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Gets a Batch of New Banners!

Four new banners have hit the net for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Take a look (click thumbnails to enlarge):

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Banner

The Hobbit Gandalf BannerThe Hobbit Gollum BannerThe Hobbit Dwarves Banner

Martin Freeman (Hot Fuzz) stars as Bilbo Baggins in this adaptation from the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel, with Ian McKellen reprising his Lord of the Rings role as Gandalf the Grey. Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving (Cloud Atlas), Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, and Orlando Bloom also star.

The Hobbit is directed by Peter Jackson and will be released in three parts. The first two parts have already been shot and will come out December 14, 2012 and December 13, 2013, respectively. The third installment, There and Back Again has yet to be shot, and has a release date set for July 18, 2014.

Take a look at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey trailer for more.

Weekend Movie Preview: October 5, 2012

It’s hard to believe it was only four years ago that Liam Neeson turned into an action hero with Taken. He’s back as the retired CIA agent who can’t seem to avoid trouble involving his family.

Taken 2 isn’t the only new flick hitting theaters this weekend. In fact, there is a plethora including Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Jennifer Garner in Butter, and Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman trading barbs in The Paperboy. And you do not want to miss Pitch Perfect, which is finally opening in theaters nationwide after a preview run last week.

Taken 2: Neeson returns to the role that saw him kick butt like no other. He hasn’t lost a step in the four years since the last time we saw someone in his family get Taken. This time out, it’s him and his wife who get abducted. Maggie Grace’s Kim swings into action, but don’t get us wrong: Neeson still commands all the action scenes with panache and power. As we state in our Taken 2 review, Movie Fanatic wanted more from the film, but it is still a joy to witness the Irish actor extolling his brand of justice.

Frankenweenie: Burton returns to his roots and directs the stop-motion animated film that is a find for families and all audiences for that matter. The director first crafted his Frankenweenie story as a Disney staff member in the 1980s and to see him return to a story that he is clearly so passionate about, is such cinematic bliss. For more, check out our Frankenweenie review.

Pitch Perfect: It’s hard to remember a musical movie like Pitch Perfect that hits as many of the right notes as this film does. Anna Kendrick leads a cast of young men and women who are hopelessly devoted to a cappella. Several college groups battle for the title of best with Kendrick’s The Bellas leading the charge in talent and desire. As reported in our Pitch Perfect review, this is a film to see on the big screen to fully appreciate the joy that is the collective movie-going experience.

Butter: Garner sizzles as an Iowan who seeks to take the royal title of butter carving champion from her husband, who has been forced out. This loosely based farce that reminds us of the Iowa Caucus between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is one terrific treat. Our Butter review delves deeper into the buttery genius.

The Paperboy: This week’s swing and a miss goes to the Florida based, supposed to be a sizzler, The Paperboy. Kidman and McConaughey, along with a stellar Zac Efron (yes, I just wrote that) do what they can with a story from Lee Daniels that is nowhere near the slow boiling thriller it aims to be. As reported in our The Paperboy review, the film is “more funny than fierce.”

The Holy Grail Wins the Tournament of Movie Fanatic Comedy Bracket!

It was a well-fought battle, and your voices have been heard! Movie Fanatic is happy to announce that the winner of the very first Tournament of Movie Fanatic is Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Poster

The hilarious tour de force from British sketch team Monty Python had a tough road to the championship, but it competed with aplomb. In the first round, it handily defeated Wet Hot American Summer. Next, it battled Swingers, garnering an endorsement from the writer and star of Swingers himself, Jon Favreau!

In the Final Four, The Holy Grail was pitted against the #1 seed and early favorite to win it all, The Big Lebowski, and The Holy Grail endured. Finally, the film reached the finals, going head-to-head against a film that some of said offers the most laughs-per-minute of any film in history: Airplane!  Could it win, and take home the title of best comedy of all time? You the fans answered with a resounding “yes!” as Monty Python and the Holy Grail trounced Airplane 78.4% to 21.6%!

Take a look at the final bracket, then scroll down to read through some of our favorite Monty Python and the Holy Grail quotes! And thank you for being a part of the very first Tournament of Movie Fanatic!

Comedy Bracket Winner

Knight 1: We are the Knights who say… Ni! | permalink

Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she’s a witch?
Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
Sir Bedevere: A newt?
Peasant 3: …I got better. | permalink

King Arthur: Look, you stupid Bastard. You’ve got no arms left.
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It’s just a flesh wound. | permalink

French Soldier: I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your gender direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. | permalink