Hello, my name is David, and I love Ben Affleck. The dude earned something of a bad rap over the years, especially during the Jennifer Lopez ("Gigli" is a notorious debacle, but true purveyors of Hollywood embarrassment will remember the "Jenny From the Block" video as the deserved nadir of Affleck's public image), and while his narrow range as a performer remains a sticking point, he's used his dexterity as a creative force to slingshot his way back into the heart of the zeitgeist. Candid, classically handsome and increasingly curious to deepen his impact on our culture, Ben Affleck is like a young, liberal Clint Eastwood (a comparison invited by their shared loyalty to WB). He's a bit more glib and grandstanding than Eastwood has ever been (certain halftime commercials and RNC speeched notwithstanding), but Affleck has emerged from a curious career to become the modern face of classic Hollywood as the industry struggles to maintain appearances and hold its ground atop an unstable technological landscape.
Affleck is the best, you guys. I knew it from the first time I was forced to watch "School Ties" at Hebrew school, and I still knew it the 15th time I was forced to watch "School Ties" at Hebrew school (the curriculum was pretty much grades 1-6 = "School Ties", grade 7 = bar mitzvah prep). The only thing that made me mad about Affleck being cast as Batman in the next Zack Snyder disaster was that he wouldn't be playing both Batman and Superman. That means 1/2 of the people playing titular characters in that movie will not be Ben Affleck, and that is simply an unacceptable fraction to me.
Anyway, today sees the release of "Runner Runner", in which Affleck gets to chew some scenery as the villain to Justin Timberlake's pipsqueak hero. And, well, it doesn't look too hot. So, in order to offset his subpar new film and the ongoing furor regarding him being the new Bruce Wayne, I'd like to do what little I can to remind the world that "Phantoms" wasn't the only film in which Ben Affleck was "da bomb". Not even close. Without further ado, here are the 10 Best Ben Affleck Moments (briefly annotated where appropriate).
10.) CHASING AMY – I Love You
"This will probably queer our friendship, no pun intended."
Not to suggest that Kevin Smith is even remotely capable of writing something that isn't rooted an unimpeachable honesty... but I have my suspicions that pun *was* intended.
9.) HOLLYWOODLAND – Loaded Gun
"Can you see my penis?"
8.) TO THE WONDER – Mont St. Michel
Say what you will about all of the twirling in Terrence Malick's latest film, but the legendary auteur understands the depths of Affleck's silence (at least so far as *any* human could hope to fathom such a cosmic mystery).
7.) DAZED AND CONFUSED – Obannion's Payback
"It's kind of a personal thing between me and this little piece of s**t, here."
6.) ARMAGEDDON – Animal Crackers
"The gazelle now faces man's most perilous question."
5.) SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE – Gentlemen Upstage / Ladies Downstage
Note: The above clip is merely a placeholder for this film's true shining moment of Affleck amazingness, which cinephiles will of course remember is the "Gentleman upstage / ladies downstage / are you a lady MR. KENT?" song.
4.) BOILER ROOM – The Speech
"I am a millionaire. It's a weird thing to hear, right? I'll tell ya, it's a weird thing to say."
3.) GOOD WILL HUNTING – Double Burger
"Would you shut the f**k up I know what you ordered I was there."
2.) GOOD WILL HUNTING – "The Best Part of My Day"
"In 20 years if you're still living here, coming over to my house watching Patriots games and working construction, I'll f**king kill you."
1.) GOOD WILL HUNTING – "Retainer"
"Let me tell you something: You're suspect. Yeah, you."