Monday, September 20, 2010

In Review: The Town

There are some movie "type" vaults that are so full they are bursting at the seams. The vault titled "heist films" pretty much doesn't have any more room in it. You only need to see three or four of them and you have seen them all...from the parkour type heists where a single Jet Li type scales buildings, to the professional Ocean's 11 type units that plot and execute with perfection, all the way to the desperate man at the end of his rope robbery with a sawed off shotgun and a 26 of Jacks.  We know what they are all like, we know the ending and yet we still keep coming back for more.

I came back again, time number 149 I am sure, for Ben Afflecks new movie The Town.  Think The Departed, minus dirty cops, drugs, Jack Nicholson and undercover cops.  So basically the Boston thug life and "people from the same hood stick together" motto.  This quote from The Town pretty much sums it up,
Doug - "I need your help. You can't ask me what it is or who it's about, but we're gonna hurt some people."
James - "Who's car we gonna take?"

Affleck plays a washed up, drafted but never actually made it to the NHL, hockey player who's dad used to rob banks and now he does it along with 3 of his of which previously went to jail for murder. There is a coked out girl and a girl that is too good for him (both classic characters of these types of movies).  Ben is the protagonist, but also one of the bad guys as he is knocking off banks...but he really doesn't want to do it so you can think of him as good and your moral compass isn't too messed up.

So basically the same old...except Affleck is super hot, they wore costumes (one bring nun outfits that freaked out the person I went with), and someone gets their dick shot off. That is usually just too much...cut out a heart, sever a limb...but you leave the peen alone!

Storyline wise it was a lot of the same, but the acting was great, the directing was superb and in the end I was happy with the outcome of the movie. Slightly surprised, but a refreshing step away from normality of the cookie cutter ending (a slight step...not a giant leap, don't get too excited).

Ben has directed two films, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which have both been spot on. Hum, do we have a rising star in the form of a director here? I am not sure...but I think he needs to pursue this further.  But much as possible, without picking shitty roles like you have over the past 7 or 8 years, stay in front of the camera are just too hot to not get some face time.

Verdict 4.1 Stars 


Oh and one more thing...Blake Lively playing a junkie skank with a child was a little much. She was trying to pull off junkie, but instead she came off looking like the female version of I Am Sam. People have raved about her performance, but I think it was a disaster.

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