MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Ben Affleck presents his sophomore directing effort, in which bank robbers in Boston come to an end of their careers. Affleck plays Doug, one of the robbers who continually tries to keep people safe while they steal money. During one heist, they take a hostage (Rebecca Hall), whom he later meets in the regular world and has a relationship with. Meanwhile, Doug’s high-strung friend (Jeremy Renner) threatens to destroy their professional relationship with his out-of-control nature. Meanwhile, the FBI is getting closer to busting up this bank robbery ring.
WHAT I LIKED
Like most of the other critics who saw this movie, I was impressed with Ben Affleck’s work. “The Town” shows that “Gone Baby Gone” was not a fluke, and this guy is a potential triple threat in the industry. Could Affleck be the next Clint Eastwood, who can write, direct and act in his own dramas?
On the whole, “The Town” is a fine film, providing both action and drama. There’s some interesting character relationships, especially those of the darker characters, like that of Jeremy Renner. The movie revels in the underbelly of Boston, which has become a bit of an award film cliche in 2010, but “The Town” probably presents this best.
There’s several scenes with strong doses of action, which keep the excitement up throughout the movie, helping to even out the more heavy dramatic moments.
“The Town” may not be perfect, but Affleck does a lot of things right, including picking some great actors and letting them do their jobs to deliver fine performances.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Like many dramas – especially ones that aren’t being shy about going for some awards – “The Town” does run a bit long, and it gets into its own drama a bit too much. I understand the need for sympathy for your main characters, but “The Town” lays it on a bit too thick with Affleck’s own character. This might be ego from Affleck, and hopefully as he matures as a director, this gets toned down a bit.
The biggest advantage to the Blu-ray of “The Town” is that it is presented with the extended cut, which includes close to a half hour of new footage. While the movie itself runs a bit slow at times, these additional scenes don’t. In fact, the 2 1/2 hour version plays out more smoothly than the two-hour version, possibly because it flows better as a character study. At the very least, this extended cut is a superior version of the film, which makes home viewing a good choice.
Additional features include commentary by Affleck on both versions of the film as well as 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes lumped under the general title of “Ben’s Boston.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who like heavily dramatic action films.