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My Oh My how Ben Affleck has had a up and down career. Starting out as
the cheesy yet funny guy in those Kevin Smith flicks, to the academy
award winning writer of "Good Will Hunting", all the way back down to
the pathetic string of acting he produced only 10 years ago. But there
is a silver lining....with his directorial debut in "Gone Baby Gone",
and his much improved acting in "Hollywoodland". Ben Affleck is
beginning to once again prove his worth in Tinsel Town. Hopefully he
can continue to feverish pace.
Well i can say with complete just, that this is the best "Heist" movie since "Swordfish"......Now i know most of you may not like "Swordfish", but what other bank robbery movie can you compare it to in the past 10 years? Maybe "Snatch"? "Lock Stock"?....eh, if you classify those movies as "Heist" pictures, than okay, it's the best heist movie since "Snatch" or maybe even "Oceans 11"....either way, it's a big compliment.
Ben Affleck has certainly proved that "Gone Baby Gone" was not a fluke. He can actually direct a major motion picture. And not only can he do it, he does it very well. Sure the movie had some minor flaws, but nothing that takes too much away from the overall big picture. The best way i can compare it is.....it's like an east coast "Heat". Now, the group is not as fool proof or professional as the gang in "Heat"......well, let's face it, you will probably never top that group in movie.....ever. But never the less, the style of film making really pulls you into each sequence, whether it be the action packed bank robbery, the emotional dialog between characters, or the intense decisions the players all must endure.
The movie doesn't try to WOW! you by offering a different style of bank robbery. Which is a good thing, because you really run the risk of tripping over your own two feet in the process. But i really think the major factor in this film, was the acting. Everyone came to play ball in this one........but i can also say this with complete confidence.......Ben Affleck was the best actor in this movie. Yes, i know it's hard to swallow for some of you, but he really showed us all, what he is truly capable of doing. So Mr. Affleck, let me tip my hat to you and say job well done sir. You took a lot of crap to the face, and you wiped it off, and came back strong.
Bottom Line......Yes, i can honestly say that this is one of the best movies of the year so far. Sure the movie gets a little sappy at the end, but it's pretty necessary. But overall, your very well entertained.
I read an article a few months ago about even after "Gone Baby Gone", people still wouldn't hire Affleck as a director. And he had to fight tooth and nail to land this deal. Well, hopefully now you can find more work buddy, because you have certainly earned it.
I was wrong about Ben Affleck. I never believed that Affleck was ever a
star. I never saw him as a director-type. I do admit I was wrong,
though. Ben Affleck was truly incredible as Doug McCray, and I've never
seen him work his acting at such a high level. As far as the plot of
the film goes, it's very engaging. The trailer doesn't give this film
justice as it's very intense and romantic at times.
Jeremy Renner is quite intimidating and Blake Lively is sexy, Ben Affleck is gripping and the supporting cast is incredibly powerful. I think the movie was powerful and not at all predictable. I couldn't wait to see what would happen and if Doug would get away. It's such a greatly crafted movie. From writing to acting this film is wickedly astounding.
I thought that the sex scene was over too quickly, but it was made up with all the action. I thoroughly enjoyed the chase scenes. I thought the action sequences were well-drawn out. I loved the bank robbery scenes of the blue masks and the nun outfits. I especially liked Ben's scenes with the sledge hammer and the scene where he says, "if I think anything might happen to her, I'm gonna kill both of you." It's a clip from the trailer, but it's so much better when it happens in the film.
It's driven as an action film with drama and romance on the side. There's a few chuckles along the way, but pretty much sparse. I thought the romance was done just enough and I felt the drama was perfectly done and drastically added to the plot, as well as the tone of the film.
It's certainly the best heist movie I've ever seen. In comparison, if you called Inception a heist movie, this movie is a better heist movie. I really think this is the Heat of the decade. I truly believe that Affleck is in his peek of his career and this is his greatest performance, directing, writing and acting. I'm overjoyed and excited to see his next piece of work.
Ben Affleck's second feature film as a director -- if nothing else --
proves he's no fluke. In all the ways his sincere and revealing debut
"Gone Baby Gone" succeeds, so does "The Town." Both are Boston-based
crime dramas that are both touchingly dramatic at times yet gripping at
others. More impressive with his work on "The Town," however, is that
it proves he could just as easily go on to direct an action blockbuster
as he could an Oscar-winning drama.
It starts with the cast and the performances he gets from them. In 2007, he helped Amy Ryan to a supporting actress nomination, and that's ignoring the other talents in the film such as Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan and Ed Harris. In "The Town," he gets Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in his first major film since his breakout in "The Hurt Locker" and Jon Hamm in his first major film since TV's "Mad Men" took off. He also gets a pair of up-and-comers in Rebecca Hall and "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively. And that's not to mention Pete Postelthwaite and Chris Cooper. Next to "Inception," it's the best ensemble cast of the year.
Based on the Chuck Hogan novel "Prince of Thieves," the film follows a team of bank robbers from Charlestown, an area notorious for grooming the best at intercepting armored cars and taking down banks. As with "Gone Baby Gone," also based on a novel (by Dennis Lehane), the city of Boston and the people and culture are as important to Affleck as the plot. He's sure to let shots of the Charlestown bridge and Fenway Park soak in amidst the ever-building pinch the main characters are in.
Doug MacRay (Affleck) and his buddy Jim (Renner) and a couple others pull off a bank job in the opening scene, but when it doesn't go exactly as planned, they're forced to kidnap the bank manager (Hall). To make sure she didn't see anything and can hand them on a platter to the feds (led by Jon Hamm's Special Agent Frawley), Doug trails her, only to find himself falling for her.
"The Town" is one of those crime dramas/bank-job action films that while not revelatory for the genre, executes everything well and sticks to a character-driven story in order to stay meaningful. Perhaps the reason it works so well is because it floats in between the drama, never becoming too much of a guns 'n robbers flick, but also not slipping into crime melodrama for too long. Affleck's performance as MacRay acts in accordance; it's tastefully understated and he lets go of the machismo that has marred a few of his previous roles.
The film also has an unexpected but much appreciated sense of humor. In a mile-a-minute crime drama/thriller, you don't expect to laugh the way you will in "The Town," which speaks even more to the writing and Affleck's versatility. Even if there are some plot conventions and no-surprise characters (as good as Hamm is, he's playing every other quick-witted FBI guy in films), the dialogue is sharp, the story is exciting and the way we are so easily able to see things from MacRay's perspective as the bank robber who wants out makes up for any use of convention as a crutch.
There's no doubt that if "The Town" becomes a success that studios will seek out Affleck for some more high-profile projects and it will certainly be interesting to see how he handles material not rooted in Boston sub-culture. As long as he continues to get such memorable performances out of his actors, he'll be doing things on the other end of the camera for a long time to come.
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To say that The Town is everything Takers tried to be and failed at
would actually be an insult to Ben Affleck's latest film. Mentioning
that bland rehashing in the same breath would imply they even exist on
the same plane, but the honest truth is this gritty Boston crime drama
is something special and the best film of the early fall season.
Affleck's first foray into directing with the Dennis Lehane adaptation Gone Baby Gone shocked viewers and the critical community in kind, showing that a fading acting career does not mean one is down-and-out in Hollywood. Affleck marries his two passions in The Town, directing, producing and writing the film as well as starring in the lead role, his first since 2003's Paycheck. He owns this comeback performance, successfully wiping any lingering distaste from duds like Daredevil or Gigli. This is by no means a one-man show, but The Town has nothing close to a weak link, in fact, this may be one of the finest pieces of ensemble acting in years.
Joining Affleck in a supporting role is Jeremy Renner, fresh off his best actor Oscar nomination for The Hurt Locker and he beyond a doubt proves he is no one-hit wonder. This is Oscar-worthy acting yet again for Renner, nailing his Boston accent along with his loose-cannon mentality. He is terrifying, but impossible to pry your eyes away from. The most shocking revelation comes from Blake Lively (TV's "Gossip Girl") as a doped-up mother with more than a few issues. She is not only unrecognizable, but owns her role, never calling attention to her drastic deviation from type. Substantial buzz was also placed in the way of John Hamm from the acclaimed television drama Mad Men. He is sufficiently pompous as a dedicated FBI agent also scoring a number of the films laughs.
Before I wander too much further into specifics, the characters in The Town populate a Boston suburb called Charlestown, which an introductory message informs us, is the world-center for bank robbers. Affleck's Doug MacRay heads a team of those in such a profession including Renner as James Coughlin and two others played by Slaine, and Owen Burke. During one of their routine bank heists, they are forced to take a hostage (Rebecca Hall) during their hasty escape. Afterwards, to make sure she does not know anything incriminating following her release from captivity, MacRay follows her and inadvertently falls for her in the process.
There is nothing particularly revelatory about The Town, there are few surprises or much that deviates from a standard crime drama. But Affleck directs with such skill and confidence while showcasing yet another peek into suburban Boston that it is never less than riveting. There is an overlying sense of impeding dread that perforates The Town and a handful of sensational action sequences do little to let up the firm grasp the film has on our windpipes. Propelled by faultless acting and a pitch- perfect script, this slice of the Boston criminal underworld is everything for which we could have hoped following such a bland summer. Affleck has always been a star, and if he continues to produce films of this pedigree, then there might be hope for the movies yet.
Last night I saw the sneak peek of the Town. Driving for 30 minutes and waiting in the huge line to get into the theatre I thought to myself, this film better be worth it. I can tell you now, I was not disappointed. This film delivered in so many ways. Ben Affleck surprised me again with his screenplay, directing and acting, showing me that he is a force in this world. The rest of the casting was brilliant as well. Jeremy Renner was breathtaking as Gem, playing the troubled and hardened career criminal. Blake Lively stunned me as Krista. I did not think she had the skill to pull off such a character and she delivered in all of her scenes. Pete Postlewaite has some amazing dialogue and is frighteningly amazing in his role. Overall this movie absolutely delivers because of the emotional content that allows the audience to become attached to the characters, and the amazing action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. All in all, I must say that this is one of the best films of the year.
A bank robbery goes a little different than planned when one of the
robbers takes a hostage. Doug (Affleck) has to duty to check up on the
hostage after she is let go, to see if she knows anything about the
crew. Surprise, they start dating. Can he continue his life of robbing
banks and have a love life? Will his crew accept that he is with her?
Will she ever find out? This is The Town.
Gone Baby Gone was his first directorial effort set in the city of Boston, The Town is his second. Ben obviously loves the city and if he keeps making films like these two, I'll be happy with some more Boston. I'm not going to preach about which film is better, their both different. Gone Baby Gone has more of an emotional punch with it's climax and tough decisions. The Town doesn't reach those heights, but it's a well made tense action thriller with a bit of a romance thrown in.
This time Affleck is in front of the camera as well. He seems to have left his pretty boy blockbuster image behind him. I'm thankful, I can only take so many Armageddons or Pearl Harbors. He's matured as an actor, this is evident by his roles as of late. State of Play and Hollywoodland are two examples. Of course he's had some fun films in between, but he's probably the best thing about those. Extract anyone?
For The Town he has assembled quite the cast. Jeremy Renner, who is hot off of The Hurt Locker plays his buddy with an attitude who won't think twice about pulling the trigger if you're in his way. Mad Men's Jon Hamm who is the FBI agent on their trail, his partner is Man in Black actor Titus Welliver, who was also in Gone Baby Gone. I wouldn't mind seeing more of him in films and if he's Affleck's good luck charm, all the better. Blake Lively has a small role and she does skanky a little too well. She has a thing for Affleck's character and she has a daughter, but he's obviously fallen for someone else. Rebecca Hall, who has the hard role of playing the woman who is dating her abductor. Things don't look too well for this relationship.
The Town shows Affleck's ability at directing action sequences. Gone Baby Gone wasn't full of gunfights and car chases, but The Town is. There are three separate heists in the film, the opening, the middle section and the climactic ending. All three are different from each other, one is in a bank, the other a truck and finally a baseball stadium. Each heist was exciting to watch and gave you those Heat moments. It's obviously the Heat was influential in the making of this film. It seems all movies that have robberies in them look to Heat.
Ben Affleck had a hand in writing the film, he of course won an Oscar with Matt Damon for writing Good Will Hunting. It appears he's found his footing once again and hopefully the allure of the blockbuster won't claim him once more. The Town is a successful film made for adults. It's slick, well acted and has enough thrilling moments to keep those who seek it entertained. The film centres mostly on Affleck and his new love and the heist bits are second fodder. Renner is the only one who gets some spotlight from the crew, the other two are simply background faces. The Town does it's job as a movie and Ben Affleck has found himself a new career.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I react with some measure of disappointment to Ben Affleck's newest
feature, The Town. Starring himself, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker,
2009), and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008), this
crime-heist thriller is set in Charlestown, Boston, where every other
day there seems to be an armed robbery happening. Produced by Graham
King, who won the Best Picture Oscar for Scorsese's The Departed
(2006), which is also set in Boston, The Town is a generic
crime-thriller that offers nothing more than two hours of average
The film follows Affleck's character, Doug , as he faces a turning point in his life. He leads a gang of masked armed robbers but wants to quit a life of crime and change for good. His dream of a better future is spurred on by a coincidental romance with Claire (Hall), who was an unharmed victim (and a key witness) of one of his heist schemes. To complicate things, Claire does not know that Doug was involved in that heist. Worse, his partner-in-crime, James (Renner), a volatile, Joe Pesci-like madman, discovers their relationship and threatens to kill her.
There is a scene with these three characters together, sitting around a table at an outdoor café. This is perhaps the only moment in the film that causes a significant degree of uneasiness and tension in the viewer. Sad to say, much of the entire film does not live up to its "thriller" tag. As a crime-thriller, it is a borderline passable entry. That is not good enough for Affleck, whose debut directing effort Gone Baby Gone has shown that he is capable of making a noteworthy thriller.
The Town has reasonably well-executed action sequences, but they amount to nothing if the story is one-dimensional, and the characters underdeveloped. The romance between Doug and Claire, which I feel to be the film's central narrative thread, is clearly lacking in development, thus when the film closes with their separation, and ends with the line " see you again, this side or the other", it feels unconvincing.
The Town's standout performance is credited to Renner. He steals the screen every time he appears, but his characterization is limited to the stereotypical caricature of a bad-ass gangster. Nevertheless, Renner's performance helps to engage the viewer whenever the story fails to do so. As for Affleck's performance, there is no surprise in store for us. He is weak in acting and should stick to directing instead. But hey, I am starting to have doubts about his directing too.
SCORE: 6/10 (www.filmnomenon.blogspot.com) All rights reserved!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've been reading a couple of reviews here, and was surprised, granted
out of only 10 comments written to this moment, to see raving blabber
on "most complex heist movie since...", or "Ben has proved that x movie
was not a fluke", and even references to "Good Will ..", and one even
mentioned Oscar nominations. Obviously some of these people have been
born only 10 years ago, or else they would recognize the botched
rip-off of such heist movies as Point Break 1991, or more recently Heat
1995(which is a remake of a lesser version of itself LA Takedown 1989),
to name but the most shamelessly plagiarized ones. So Ben didn't really
dig too deep for inspiration. I will call it inspiration although a
plagiarism law suit wouldn't come as a surprise to me in relation to
The Town. I guess Ben saw himself as kind of a Mc Cauley-de Niro in
Heat, Hamm would be Hanna-Pacino, Jeremy Renner a kind of Tom
Sizemore-Cheritto, and Rebecca Hall-Amy Brenneman-Eady. I especially
liked the phone conversation between Ben and her where she stands at
the window with all police waiting and she gives him the sign,
wink!,that she's under surveillance and he should split...(to use a bit
of heist flick lingo, myself)Does it remind anyone of the scene where
Ashley Judd gives Val Kilmer the sign that he should disappear, after
the heist gone wrong? I guess not, for the time being.
I won't even start with the gratuitous work-out scene where Ben shows us his six-pack...talk about gratuitous. Also, there are some f-word written to a small piece of paper jokes, the guys in the last row will laugh at for sure. Real brain puzzlers. Acting, on Ben's part is no surprise. He walks around frown-mouthed and thinks he is in character. Pityfull. Hamm does not have another persona outside Mad Men, and should stick to TV, in my opinion. Direction-I especially enjoyed the shaky close-up camera work during the action sequences, to create dynamism, no doubt Ben must have thought to himself.
Altogether a plot-holes filled rip-off, and not a good one at that, either.
Oh, and one more thing, why again did Bendoug have to go poking around Claire? To find out how much she knows? After the FBI had already questioned her? So he can attract more attention to himself? Well I guess by asking these questions the whole plot kind of unravels like a poorly woven 5 bucks sweater when you pull a loose thread...
I had a trip to 'the town' last night and well, it is surprisingly
entertaining. I still can't believe Ben Affleck can pull off everything
(story, screenplay, direction, starring in a lead role) with such an
ease. Three years after his debut directional venture 'Gone Baby Gone',
Ben comes up with an ever better one this time.
A perfect combo of sold story, captivating screenplay, amazing writing, brilliant character development, good emotional content and brilliant cinematography (watch out for the shaky camera, this is the best camera work I've seen after 'Bourne' series) all together delivers an entertaining action thriller...worth a watch.
Despite not having seen Gone Baby Gone, I've heard a lot of good things
about Ben Affleck's switch to directing and so I decided to watch The
Town, which put simply is about band robbers but to expand on that, the
film is also about the leader of the group, played by Ben Affleck.
When watching the trailer it easy to draw comparisons to Heat and The Departed but this is different. Many films about crime make the audience side either the police or the criminals yet The Town allows the audience to see people from both sides of the law fairly. Jon Hamm plays an honest working FBI officer while Ben Affleck plays the criminal. The film is shot predominately from the criminals perspective, therefore the audience feel the same sense of urgency that they do but we don't want to see them gun down the FBI and police and let them get away with their crimes. It is a difficult challenge for the director to deal with but he does it well and the end result is very good.
The entire cast are all fantastic even when given smaller roles, for example Chris Cooper and the late Pete Postlethwaite steel the scenes that they are in. Jeremy Renner has earned a lot of attention from his role and he deserves it, giving an honest performance, which clearly took a lot of research to perfect. An almost unrecognisable Blake Lively and Rebecca Hall are both great. Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm as the opposing forces are also great but it is Renner's performance that stands out.
As a crime film, it is important that the action doesn't turn the whole film into an all guns blazing film. The action scenes are handed pretty well and the car chases through the minor roads of Boston are really exciting to watch.
The Town is not only only a solid action/ crime film but also marks Affleck as a great director. I strongly recommend this film if you are interested in the genre. While it is not perfect, it does so much well, that you would be missing out if you didn't see this.
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