The Town (Blu-ray/DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition)
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That's why he has achieved success working in an area and with characters identifiable to his own upbringing. His previous Boston efforts include "Good Will Hunting" (a screenplay Oscar for Affleck) and "Gone Baby Gone" (Affleck's acclaimed first feature as a director). "Gone Baby Gone," in many ways a standard detective plot, was a huge revelation for being surprisingly hard edged and cynical (it helps to be adapted from a Dennis Lehane book with similar qualities)--and it is that cynicism that made it one of my favorite films of its year.
Now adapting Chuck Hogan's "Prince of Thieves," Affleck casts himself as the stoic lead Doug MacRay. Raised in the Charlestown area, MacRay has been unable to break away from the legacy of his youth, his father, and local crime bosses. He runs a successful crew in robbing banks and armored cars. On a job gone wrong, a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) is temporarily taken hostage. When MacRay's best friend on the job (Jeremy Renner) becomes concerned she might know something to identify them--Affleck sets off to observe her as she lives uncomfortably close to the crew. But getting a little too cozy, he starts to idealize her as an opportunity to escape the life he now feels trapped in. One more big score and maybe he can get a fresh start.
Affleck plays the role with a tight lipped intensity and calm.Read more ›
The idea of mask wearing, semi automatic toting nuns at once seems invigorating and slightly surreal, but the viciousness, and sloppy impulse control of one of the robbers played brilliantly by Jeremy Renner (of Hurt Locker) immediately brings us crashing into the reality of what's happening.
These hardened ruthless criminals hide behind a funny mask, and will eliminate anyone who gets in their way. So they kidnap the attractive female bank manager played adorably by Rebecca Hall for leverage, and let her go.
Upon checking her drivers license, and discovering she lives in their neighborhood, the psycho wants her eliminated to cover their tracks. Ben Affleck's character takes the card and decides to investigate her, and discover what she knows. One thing leads to another, and the lives of everyone involved starts to move in ever decreasing circles as the FBI investigation starts closing in.
The story is brilliantly told, and the theater audience responded to the irony of the conversations between the criminal and his unknowing victim.
Ben Affleck's character seems a little at odds with his criminal life, and you wonder why he is a bank robber, nevertheless he has a well developed dark side, and is very resourceful, resourceful enough to be the the architect.
But you also get the sense that here is a guy could go straight if he chose to, and that dilemma of wonder is what makes this movie so great. He makes the good choice of distancing himself from an addicted ex girlfriend, yet makes bad choices as well.Read more ›
...And I was correct on all counts! The Town, which was co-written, directed, and features by Ben Affleck, was every bit of what I thought it would be. The directing was very "real" feeling (especially capturing the working-class feel of Charlestown, MA very well). The script was quite good, not once seeming over-the-top or under-developed. The cast and acting was very good.
But I reserve a separate paragraph for talking about the plot and its execution. This film is somewhere between a crime thriller, a character study, and a romance. It has enough teeth to excite those who like car chases and heists but enough depth of emotion to satisfy those who want strong characters and plot lines. The story revolves around Doug McRay, who robs banks with his friends from Charlestown. On one heist (the movie opener), they deviate from the plan and take a hostage. After letting her go (she never saw them), Doug decides to follow her and talk with her. They end up starting a relationship. The questions: how can Doug keep this secret, and how can he get out of his life of crime?
The plot's execution was very well done: fast enough, slow enough. By the end, you have really identified with Doug McRay and may end up feeling as conflicted as he.
For its great story line, believable direction, and its originality, I give The Town 5 stars and recommend it highly to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a big Ben Affleck fan, and like just about any movie he's in. In this movie, he does play the bag guy, but you just can't help rooting for him to the end. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Janet k wilson
I like watching Ben Affleck movies where you're kept guessing by different potential outcomes. sure would've liked it if this were the same type of movie! Read morePublished 12 days ago by Susan K
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