The Town [Blu-Ray] Ben Affleck

The Town [Blu-Ray] Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck might not have made the best choices, in terms of picking the movies he's appeared in ― it would be easy to bring up Gigli, but there has also been Paycheck and Forces of Nature. But now that he's dusting off his typewriter and getting behind the camera, he's making up for many of those mistakes. Gone Baby Gone was a strong debut and new film The Town continues that trend. It also sees him accomplishing the full trifecta: writing, directing and acting. The Town is set in the Boston neighbourhood of Charlestown, which is apparently the bank robbery capital of America, with that particular line of work continuing from generation to generation. That's the case with Doug MacRay (Affleck), who's keeping the tradition alive with his crew. Their latest bank job doesn't quite go as planned, resulting in them taking a hostage (Rebecca Hall) and that's just the beginning of the complications. The plot isn't anything new: tormented career criminal trying to turn over a new leaf gets sucked into one last job has been done many times before. But it's helped along by Mad Men's Jon Hamm, playing a driven FBI agent who wants nothing more than to catch Affleck in the act. It plays out pretty much as you'd expect, but the stellar cast ensures that The Town is nothing short of entertaining. Affleck's direction of the action sequences is particularly impressive and his understated, world-weary performance is the glue that holds the entire film together. The extended cut adds an additional 28 minutes and doesn't benefit from the extra scenes. There's a bit more gratuitous nudity and some unnecessary back-story left out for a reason. Extending the film actually works against it, because even at just under two hours, The Town is a little long. Affleck's commentary is as insightful as you'd expect, considering his involvement in countless aspects of the film; he's a little on the earnest side, but he has many interesting things to say. He's a little more light-hearted on the "Ben's Boston" featurettes, which clock in at around 30 minutes. Affleck definitely plays up the fact that this is a movie where the city plays an important role, but there's a reason that he keeps returning to the city again and again. (Warner)