Ben Affleck ... As a Director
If you haven't seen Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, you absolutely should. It's a well-executed detective mystery that features Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Michelle Monaghan, Casey Affleck being surprisingly awesome and Omar from The Wire. It's got everything: action, suspense, a few laughs and also Omar from The Wire.
His second film, The Town, while chastised by critics for its notable lack of Omar, might be one of the smartest and most entertaining heist films in a long time. He's not reinventing any genres or breaking any boundaries, or anything. But as far as just making cool movies that are enjoyable to watch, Affleck's pretty competent as a director.
But, Unfortunately ...
Unfortunately, we have to put up with Ben Affleck as [literally anything else he's ever done]. For someone who knows how to cast, direct and write movies, he really doesn't know how to pick them.
The amount of shitty movies he's been associated with dwarfs the amount of awesome movies he's been associated with and, until that ratio shifts, it's just not safe for anyone to say, "I can't wait for the next Ben Affleck movie" in this entertainment climate.
Reservoir Dogs,Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds.
... I don't really need to go on about why Quentin Tarantino's awesome, right? He's one of the most consistently entertaining filmmakers working right now. He's always telling new, interesting stories and he's always telling them in inventive ways. He writes some of the sharpest dialogue and pulls fantastic performances out of every actor he works with. A lot of people feel like he trips himself up too much with his constant tributes to old, obscure foreign films. Or maybe they hate the fact that he packs all of his movies with his personal pop culture observations, because he wants to show off how damn clever he is, but I don't care. He's really talented, so there's a lot I'll let him get away with.
But, Unfortunately ...
This fucking guy.
I have not come across a single interview with Quentin Tarantino that didn't make him sound like the most pretentious, arrogant and egotistical person on the planet (and I am a person who routinely Googles myself). He's never one to shy away from praising Quentin Tarantino, whether he's cockily telling an interviewer that "Inglorious was so good, I don't know how I'm going to top myself," or just generally acting like a total fucking lunatic at awards shows, you don't have to look too far to find examples of douchechill-inspiring Tarantino-isms.
Seriously, watch that video I linked, it's really mind-boggling.
Still, he knows he's good, and I guess there's nothing wrong with that. No one says you have to be humble. And I did say that his talent lets him get away with a lot.
But he had to keep pushing it. Probably the most aggravating dig came up during Inglorious Basterds. I really, really enjoyed that film. I thought it was smart, funny, entertaining and avoided all of the usual ticks that make Tarantino's movies feel so aggressively ... Tarantino-esque. It was a well-done movie that was surprisingly not full of itself, and when it was almost over, I thought, This might be his masterpiece.
Then, of course, the ending hit, and I grunted audibly in the theater. In case you've forgotten how it ends, Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine and Ryan from The Office's Ryan from The Office attack Christoph Waltz in the woods and carve a swastika into his forehead. Their work complete, they stand over Christoph and look down at him ...
... and Lt. Raine says "Private Ryan Howard, I think this just might be my masterpiece." And then it immediately smash-cuts to ...
I can't think of a more aggravatingly douchey way to end a movie than by having an actor say, direct-to-camera, "This is my masterpiece," and then instantly jumping to your giant "WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY" title card. He couldn't just let the movie stand on its own as a great movie, he had to come out and indirectly say, "I know how awesome I am."
And now that I mention it, I can think of a douchier way to end a movie. When the movie came out, Tarantino said in an interview that, when he was originally writing the script, he intended to play the role of Aldo Raine himself. Which means the ending of the movie was almost ...
Aaaaand we've reached the limit. If anyone has ever wondered how far being super talented would get them, it is precisely that moment.