Ben Affleck's "The Town"

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Ben Affleck's "The Town"

Post by Deviss on Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:30 am

Like I'd written in my review of "!27 Hours", I'd intended to watch and review "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight". Well... an all-nighter tends to change that. That and an amazing trailer.

Anyway, here is my review of The Town:


Deviss wrote:"I waited nine years in Walpole for you motherf*cker... Just nine years that's all... I'm done waiting."

Here is another movie that almost slipped my radar back in 2010. Almost. And ooh boy did I do my fair share of waiting before seeing this one.

Much like "127 Hours", I missed the original theatrical run for "The Town". Either it was the trailer, scored by a great variant of Zack Hemsey's "Redemption", or it was by some other means, most likely the fact that Jeremy Renner starred in it, but I eventually... finally saw Ben Affleck's "The Town".

---

Adapted from Chuck Hogan's novel "Prince of Thieves", Affleck gave us another surprising show that while he may not be the best Actor out there in Hollywood, he sure is gaining mettle as a Director. Now I haven't seen "Gone Baby Gone", largely in part because I can't seem to stand seeing his younger brother Casey Affleck on screen, but I have seen the level of praise it's garnered; nearly two dozen awards and just three nominations shy of another dozen. And while "The Town" didn't receive as high a level of praise, it still did very well; holding a great rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a moderate rating of 74 out of 100 on Metacritic.

Touting a surprising cast list and a not-so-original story of crooks, cops, dames, and family, "The Town" showed audiences the misconception that "there are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. Most of these professionals live in a 1-square-mile neighborhood called Charlestown." Now despite that line being spoken by the suave Mad Men star Jon Hamm, that isn't very true. According to a Boston.com article, that has since been taken down for reasons unknown, only 23 robberies were reported in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the 49 in Illinois and 136 in California.

I've never been to any part of Massachusetts myself, even though I'd love to go some day and I can only assume the level of crime that goes on there. However unlike some people out there, I haven't let The Town's depiction of Charlestown distort my view of Massachusetts or Charlestown itself. I did enjoy the Hell out of this movie though. Especially my second time around just a short half an hour ago with an ice-cold Monster to accompany my 125 minute (or 150 minute, depending on which version you see) journey.

As I did with my review of "127 Hours", and even though this movie has been out in theaters, released and re-released on DVD, I won't spoil any Plot points in this review. Or... I'll TRY not to, hah.

Ben Affleck plays Douglas "Doug" MacRay, a former ice hockey player, addict, bank robber and career criminal. During a regular early morning, Doug and his crew, Jem Coughlin, Gloansy Magloan, and Dez Elden (Jeremy Renner, George Carroll, and Owen Burke respectively) storm and rob a bank. Clad in black and shielded by rubber skeleton masks, the foursome do what any organized crew would do: get everyone on the ground, take away and destroy their phones, single out the bank manager and bash in the assistant manger's face in for good measure. After coercing one Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) to open the safe, after the time lock, the group roots out the dye packs and tracers, stuff their bags full of the bank's precious and primary commodity, douse the entire place with gallons of bleach, and make their escape.

More than once during this opening scene, whenever there was a steady, solid shot of MacRay and his crew, the guys looked almost spectral. Wraithlike. And much later when the crew, sans one member, don the usual nun garb and rubber masks holding automatic rifles, they look so bizarre yet enthralling I can't help but be swept up in the intense events that follow. Oh and while I'm sure it was a stunt car, I'm almost tempted to grab myself a minivan and see if it can really handle a drive after the Nun Heist.

Despite the time of my viewing this, and the time at which I type this review, nothing took me out of the movie. Well... nothing directly related to The Town did anyway. I very nearly jumped out of my recliner when I saw some baby centipede creature scurrying around around me. Creepy little buggers, let me tell you.

Anyway, one thing I noticed again and again and again as The Town played out before my eyes was the score, or lack thereof at times. At the right times, Harry Gregson-Williams' soundtrack was right there, deep in my ears, helping me feel like I was almost there in a speeding minivan with three armed nuns. The other surprisingly well done scenes were that from the perspective of the security cameras. I'd all but forgotten the evocative scenes where absolutely nothing would be heard but you could see almost everything in grainy grey, black, and white.

The biggest thing I find issue with about The Town is the lack of originality in the film's story. But it didn't bother me so much that I didn't enjoy the movie or stopped watching at any time. Mr. Ben Affleck did a better job with what he had than some other directors would have. Oh and can we have a round of applause for Mr. Renner for his performance as Jem Coughlin? So good was his acting that he garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In one particular scene that still makes me laugh, while all but surrounded by FBI and being told to throw his weapons away, Coughlin indifferently shouts "F*ck you!" from behind a newspaper machine. I was disappointed that Renner's character- Oops! I almost spoiled... Ah screw it. I'd wanted Coughlin to escape just as much as MacRay. Sadly that didn't happen but the way he went out fit the character that Renner gave us pretty well.

In the end, while the story wasn't the most original, I still thoroughly enjoyed "The Town". Enough so that when I find it, I may just grab myself a copy. Or I'll just stream it. If you haven't seen it yet, and you don't mind semi-regular swearing in believable Boston accents, Netflix "The Town" soon.

This was a review by tMG. Thanks so much for reading.

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Re: Ben Affleck's "The Town"

Post by zeb k on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:14 pm

I enjoyed this movie even if it wasn't the most original or creative. It was well made and the actors were the right fit for their parts.

I've never been to any part of Massachusetts myself, even though I'd love to go some day
It's quite nice. My grandparents/uncle(s) live there, and my family goes up to visit them sometimes. They live on Cape Cod, so I've never been to Charlestown, or even Boston for that matter. Provincetown(one word or two?) is cool, if a bit tourist crowded. Anyway, thanks for the review!
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Re: Ben Affleck's "The Town"

Post by Deviss on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:25 pm

zeb k wrote:Anyway, thanks for the review!
Well it's certainly my pleasure Zeb. And I've just recently gotten into doing this, but I really enjoy it.

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Re: Ben Affleck's "The Town"

Post by foxrock66(Roadkill) on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:30 pm

I adored this film. Watched it months ago when I was still at Blockbuster. Affleck and Renner are always top notch, and Affleck's directing is very well paced. I love Gone, Baby, Gone.

I would have liked Casey to have been present in some form, as his quirky method acting is a favorite of mine, but I digress.

Up there with Goodfellas and The Departed for me.
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Re: Ben Affleck's "The Town"

Post by Deviss on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:00 pm

foxrock66(Roadkill) wrote:Affleck and Renner are always top notch,
Have you seen Renner back in S.W.A.T.?

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