Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Town

The Price A Man Pays
[Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner]

image from themontclarion.org

RANT: Fall is official and the torrent of movies into the theater has not let up. I am still catching up movies released last week. "Easy A" and "Devil" caught my attention first last week, but "The Town" took the top honors at the box office. So, instead of checking out the new group of flicks, I figured I better see what all the hub bub was about.

SYNOPSIS: Charlestown, Mass. has spawned the most bank robbers in the world. Doug MacRay and his crew are part of that world. But after a hostage is taken and released, he starts to question his direction in life.

Ben Affleck, co-writer and director of "Gone Baby Gone", returns to co-write, direct and star in "The Town", a story with a subject close to his heart, Boston. Of course, there are also bank robberies, in-fighting, FBI manhunts, love and betrayals. I am sure Affleck is not as familiar with all of those subjects. Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, and Jon Hamm also star in this cops and robbers drama.

Following in his father's footsteps of crime, Doug MacRay (Affleck) heads up a crew of bank robbers. Included in his crew are his best friend Jim Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert "Gloansy" Magloan (Slaine) and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke). They open the film by executing a precision morning bank heist. Unfortunately, the assistant manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) sets off the silent alarm, forcing Coughlin to grab her as a hostage. Later, when Coughlin looks to eliminate her as a possible threat, MacRay takes it on to find out what she knows. Getting close to Rebecca, MacRay starts falling for her as he realizes his life of crime is a deadend, figuratively and literally. In the meanwhile, FBI special agent Adam Frawley (Hamm) tries to put all of the pieces together in order to put an end to MacRay's crew's reign of terror.

Affleck has found his niche, returning to writing, proving that he is a capable director, and finding some roles that he can really sink his teeth into. From Jack Dupree in "Smokin' Aces" to Dean in "Extract", Affleck has cultivated a look and manner that suits him. At ease in "The Town", he works stoically and intelligently in the film. His chemistry with and against Renner's Coughlin plays to all of their strengths.

Affleck's direction and cinematography neatly capture the essence of Boston's surface and underside. With great spinning shots of the streets and skyline, every careening car chase or quiet cemetery dialogue gives weight to what the city is. Even a chance to walk through the underpinnings of Fenway Park with MacRay and Coughlin is a nod of the hat to the Sox and a little bit of history.

Is Ben Affleck the next Clint Eastwood? It is too early to bestow any honors to Affleck yet since Eastwood has had decades to perfect his craft both in front and behind the camera, but Affleck has proven that he has the right stuff with "The Town".

Worth: Matinee and DVD

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

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