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Entries in Worst (21)

Saturday
Aug242013

The Injustice League at Warner Brothers

Daredevil…aka Ben Affleck…aka Batman is pure nonsense.

I love the Batman character more than Superman.

I am a Christian Bale fan. I too liked Michael Keaton, despite early critics calling him a “clown”. And even though Val Kilmer and George Clooney got a crack at the Dark Knight during a horrible time of the franchise, Val and George are actually good actors. Val’s performance as Doc Holiday is one of my favorites of all time (and of course Ice Man in Top Gun). Clooney’s in the first 45 minutes of From Dusk till Dawn, total bad-ass.

Let’s look at Affleck as an action star and superhero.

The aforementioned, Daredevil. Flop

I did watch Argo this year and while I generally enjoyed the story, John Goodman gave just as good of a performance as Affleck. Affleck is not some gritty, edgy, action hero. Far from it. Argo was a story oriented movie, not an action film. Affleck didn’t really have to act that much to begin with, which is a good thing.

Unlike Ben’s friend Matt Damon, Ben’s no Jason Bourne. Ben tried to be a super-spy action hero once as Jack Ryan in the Sum of All Fears…another flop.

Jack Ryan was played by both Alec Baldwin wonderfully (Red October was the best in the series) and Harrison Ford, who did justice to the franchise in what were not the best Jack Ryan movies. Again, Affleck is not Baldwin or Ford in terms of acting caliber. Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones for Pete’s Sake and Affleck is a punk kid in Dazed and Confused, nothing more.

Ben Affleck is and always will be the character he played in Dazed and Confused; a second-year senior who carries around a paddle looking for respect. His paddle is now his Oscar. And a well-made paddle it is. I trust he’s beating people with it now after the Batman coup.

Ben Affleck’s breakout rolls define him, Good Will Hunting, Dazed and Confused, Chasing Amy, Clerks. He’s funny, annoying, a punk, sometimes likeable and occasionally charming and witty. Affleck is not an action hero, he’s a Northeaster, frat-boy with some reasonable intelligence level and some obvious writing and producing skills.

And then there was Gigli, possibly one of the worst movies of ALL-TIME.

Action stars are defined, in a single movie forever. And Affleck has NEVER been defined as an action hero and frankly, never will be. Here’s why: 

  • Bruce Willis will always be John McClain in Die Hard with no shoes on.
  • Arnold will always be the Terminator.
  • Stallone will always be Rambo and Rocky, take your pick.
  • Vin Diesel is Riddick and Dominic Toretto. The Rock will always be The Rock. Hugh Jackman is now Wolverine
  • Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, and Henry Cavill will always be Superman. Brandon Routh will be forgotten in time. All of them “felt” right as Superman.
  • Robert Downey Jr. is now Iron Man (and a good Sherlock Holmes I might add), AND if you’re my age we still remember him in Less than Zero and Weird Science. Robert Downey has evolved, but he is Iron Man.
  • Keanu Reeves is Neo with a solid dose of Johnny Utah/Ted Logan in every hero he plays. But he’s still more of an action star than Affleck! Keanu rides the razor’s edge of action hero’s in this world. Keanu Reeves has evolved!
  • Leonardo DiCaprio is a good example of an angelic boy actor who has grown into a versatile actor, both dramatic and action oriented. Again, Leo is a better actor than Affleck. Leo is still evolving and will have better movies to come. Sort of like a Nicholson, Pacino, or DeNiro, getting better with age.
  • Hayden Christiansen will NEVER be Darth Vader because James Earl Jones is Darth Vader Damn it! And Hayden will never get a second chance…No one wants to even talk about Hayden as Vader, we just want to forget it.

I’m disappointed, shocked, and a little upset about the announcement of Ben Affleck as the new Batman. I think Affleck could have written a good script, maybe even produced something worthwhile, but as an actor, he’s just not that good. Nothing feels right about Affleck as Batman. Affleck desperately needs to be a tough guy; the guy he played in Dazed and Confused. It’s as simple as that.

I’m nearly as upset as I was about J.J.’s horrible introduction of Khan in Star Trek, but not quite that upset.

Wednesday
Sep052012

3 Classic Disappointments and it makes me Sad

There have been some restaurants and delis that I have been grabbing take-out from for at least 20 years. A half-lifetime of memories for me. It hurts me deeply and personally to have 20 plus years of memories and nostalgia trampled down.

Pizza my Heart, Ding Ho, and Piemonte’s seemed to have lost their soul.

Pizza my Heart the Capitola Village institution was my first stop during each and every summer vacation. And once again, I made an appearance at 2am after two tall Campari and soda, something to settle the stomach. The pesto pizza I ordered just didn’t measure up . Barely any pesto. A cardboard crust. Boring. No soul. I did not sleep well that night.

Pizza My Heart on Urbanspoon

Ding Ho:

I was an umpire for Fig Garden Spartan League for 7 years and would drive by Marks and Bullard 7-days a week from March through June. Ding Ho would make a sublime Mongolian beef.  I drove by Ding Ho a couple weeks back and ordered exactly what I ordered 20 years ago, Mongolian beef and steamed rice. I expected to find spicy beef, green onions, on a bed of fried rice noodles. What I found, beef, bell peppers and jalapenos. Not what I remember after umpiring baseball 20 years ago. In the old days, it was with lots of green unions, a dark, rich sauce, and the right amount of heat from dried red chilis. Now it’s greyish, bland, and disappointing. And again, no soul.

Ding Ho Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Piemonte Deli

I realize that Fresno’s favorite deli sandwich might be served at Piemonte’s. My family had (past tense) been going to Piemonte’s for well over 30 years, probably since they were first opened. We would buy cold cuts and specialty Italian goods. Oh it’s a good sandwich, a traditional Italian-American deli sandwich, served with oil and vinegar rather than mayo and mustard, but what happened to the soul of the deli? Where are all the specialty cold-cuts, the imports, the high-quality Italian imports? Or even the American equivalents of high-quality salumi? They’re nowhere to be found. Whole Foods carries more high-quality product. I remember when Piemonte’s had Italian American soul. Now, they’re merely a sandwich shop with the old sign of nostalgia…and it makes me sad.

Piemonte's Italian Deli on Urbanspoon
Wednesday
Feb222012

George's Bar and Grill, Fresno

Went in for lunch with a couple friends and our experience was similar and equally pathetic. Suffice it to say, none of us will return.

I started with a cabbage soup that was lifeless and bland. I get the idea of a peasant soup, but this was more like hot Fresno tap water with black pepper and cabbage added to it. Moving on.

I had the mix of dolma, sarma and kufta. If there were an Armenian food stand at the Big Fresno Fair and I received the last three pieces of dolma, sarma, and kufta and the end of the day from the large steamer tray, that's basically how my lunch tasted. Steamed to the degree that everything was sort of wet, pale, and like the soup, lifeless. The food could have been made 3 days before or 3 hours before, I couldn't tell because it was so heavily steamed.

No reason to return.

 

George's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Feb212012

Oka Japanese, Fresno

This may be the most brief review I’ve ever done. 

If I had gone to the bathroom to wash my hands before I ordered anything, I would have walked out before eating. Absolutely the most filthy bathroom I’ve seen since I was in a roadside stand in Morocco. I was disgusted. 

No soap in the Men’s bathroom. So I hope to God there was soap in the Women’s restroom as it seems to be all women rolling your sushi. 

Good luck.

Oka Japanese on Urbanspoon

Friday
Jan202012

The Meat Market, Fresno

The Meat Market should be ashamed of itself for serving Heinz BBQ sauce in a tear open packet. In order to be called “the best tri-tip” in Fresno, I don’t want to eat a commercial BBQ sauce. And if I am eating commercial sauce, I don’t want to know about it.

Absolutely Shameful.

The bread was of average quality and served naked, no sauce, no butter, no grilling. The meat was dry and basically un-seasoned, save for the flavor of the wood in the BBQ.

 

Fresno has a tradition of sticking with restaurants that have a tendency to be mediocre, simply because the restaurant has been around the longest, not because they’re the best. The Meat Market is the default Fresno choice for tri-tip because it was here before the others. Fresno deserves better.

I see no reason to ever return to the Meat Market for a tri-tip sandwich. Go to Mike's Grill on Herndon and Chestnut or Dog House Grill for a tri-tip sandwich.

The Meat Market on Urbanspoon