Griff the Invisible - an Aussie Superhero Film

Griff the Invisible (2010) is an Australian, comedic, superhero movie that follows in the tradition of Kick Ass and Super (coincidentally released in the same year as those movies) in that it features a hero with no real super powers. Griff is just an unassuming, meek, office worker by day and a fairly awesome crime fighter by night... or is he?

I discovered this movie on free to air TV a couple of nights ago and was surprised to see such a well thought out superhero movie, made in Australia on an obviously modest budget.

It's not your typical action packed superhero film with a big finale face off against the main villain at the end. This movie has a heart, showing that it's okay to be who we really are when we're in our own private head space.

It then takes that idea and brings love into the equation. Exploring the dynamic of letting someone into that world that you keep hidden from everyone else.

Griff is played superbly by Ryan Kwanten, who American audiences may know from the television series True Blood, but Australian audiences may also recognize him from Aussie soap Home & Away. (At least that's where I last saw him - and it took me a long time to place him because he's playing a very different character to Vinnie Paterson).

I don't want to tell you too much about this film so as not to spoil the story. The story is an engaging but slow burn kind of script where you're not always sure where reality ends and fantasy begins but it becomes clearer as the film progresses.

Griff the Protector, Griff's alter ego, is not the straight forward superhero with no powers that he seems. Melody, played by Maeve Dermody, sees a kindred spirit in Griff as she learns more about him. We follow along as she falls for his eccentric ideas and attempts to merge her own peculiarities with his, frustrating Griff's older, more conventional brother, Tim (Patrick Brammall) along the way.

I really enjoyed Griff the Invisible. It did seem to be a little slow in places but overall, for me it was a fresh take on the everyday person attempting to be a superhero. Funny and thought provoking, I'd highly recommend it if that's a theme that interests you.

Batman Ben Affleck - Nervously Optimistic


As the internet hate begins to flow for the announcement that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman in the yet untitled Man of Steel sequel I'm just taking the announcement in (and quietly celebrating Ryan Gosling or Orlando Bloom weren't cast).

The obvious comparison for how Ben might play Batman is his run in the title role of the movie Dare Devil. I've seen that film and, whilst it wasn't the train wreck many people describe, Ben's performance doesn't really give any insight into what his Batman might be like.

I've seen Ben in many other movies too and I disagree with those who say he has limited acting range or isn't a very good actor. He definitely has enough range to play a character like Batman who, let's face it, isn't the kind of character that's going to win any actor an academy award for their portrayal - no matter how good. Especially if an actor like Christian Bale can't get a nomination for the role.

At the same time there were many other names floating around the internet as contenders for the role, some of which would have really got me excited for what they might have done with it, but none who I could say was a clear favorite. Though Jeffery Dean Morgan, who played The Comedian in Watchmen, would have really piqued my interest.

Ben's casting is kind of out of left field. No one really saw it coming. His name certainly wasn't on any list that I saw. That may be a good thing.

I'm nervous about what Ben's take on the character will be because I'm finding it hard to picture him either as Bruce Wayne or Batman. However I'm confident and optimistic he has the creativity and experience to do something different with the role. Especially at this point in his career where he has really clawed his way back to being taken seriously within the industry.

Arkham Asylum Batman.
Whilst I'm struggling to visualize what Ben might be like, I do hope director, Zack Snyder, considers a redesign of the Bat Suit. I'd really like to see the grey and black suit back on screen - similar to the design used in the Batman, Arkham Asylum video game. I've never really liked the motorcycle padding Bat suit of Bale's Batman.

To those of you hating on Ben as Batman, give the guy a chance. Michael Keaton wasn't a popular choice either and neither was Heath Ledger for the Joker. Both actors delivered great performances despite everyone's criticism.

Update [24 Aug 2013]: Screen Rant's Andrew Dyce has posted a great article on why Ben Affleck could work as Batman. Even if you're still not on board with Ben it does make his casting seem a little more rational and a little less WTF.

Movie Web's B. Alan Orange also makes a great case in his article, Ben Affleck as Batman: Why he's the perfect Dark Knight.
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