Stanley Fish’s Clique: Critics of Ben Affleck
This isn't a popular group because—let's face it—it's just not in to not like Ben Affleck's work, what with his recent turn to "serious politics." They've even received death threats—but they're not throwing in the towel. The group's founding principle is not very complex: The movie isn't interesting. They have weekly screenings of The Dirty Dozen to remind them what a real movie is, and they say they'd be okay if Argo just strived to be a film for good old-fashioned escapism, but it doesn't. According to these guys, it aims to be "geo-political," to make some uncompromising remarks about the sad state of American-Iranian relations. As "Critics of Ben Affleck," they do look at other films from the hunk's body of work, but come on. Argo was just asking for it.
JR keeps us up to speed with the latest Affleckisms. He often disagrees with the group's mission statement, but he does bring some great criticism of garments to the table. JR had a real problem with the facial hair and clothing in the movie.
Henry brings his deadpan British wit to every meeting. When they read his review of Gone Baby Gone, they recruited him right away. He really rose to the occasion in his review of Argo, calling it "oddball" and "schlocky." He says it has too much "movie business satire." Hollywood just loves Hollywood!
These guys didn't need Andrew to tell them that the film really "resonated" with America's belligerent feelings about the Islamic Republic—but they didn't mind the reminder.