Thursday, April 28, 2011

PCP in Theaters - The Town

NOTE - this was originally posted by me on my friend's blog on 10/7/10 when this was actually still in theaters.
Review:  The Town.  Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had this movie circled on my calendar for months.  I read the book this was based on,Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, over a year ago and loved the book.  As soon as I heard it was being made into a movie, I was very excited.  Then they announced that the film would be directed by the same director as Gone Baby Gone, another phenomenal film set in Boston.  So, I was very psyched for this film.  The Town is the 2nd directoral effort from the director of Gone Baby Gone, so the director had set a high bar for himself.  It turns out, he actually can direct.  If you weren’t aware, the director of those two films was the star of this one, Ben Affleck.  He may not be the world’s best actor, but he actually can direct very well.  He’s a big fan of doing close-ups on his actors and then letting them do the work and it actually works very well.  It helps that The Town has such a talented cast, including Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Affleck’s extremely unstable partner in crime, Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) slumming it as Renner’s white trash sister who has a past with Affleck, Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) as a traumatized bank manager that starts a relationship with Affleck, and Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as the FBI agent trying to bring them down.  It also has small roles that pack a punch from Oscar winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation) and Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father).  Despite Affleck being the main character, Renner really steals the show, proving that he is definitely a talented actor with his psychotic performance here.
Read the rest of my review after the jump.

The film itself moves along at a pretty good clip, and the heist scenes are very well shot and not overblown like they are in some action flicks.  This definitely reminds me a lot of the Michael Mann masterpiece Heat, another phenomenal heist flick.  I highly recommend The Town, as it has great action and great acting, and surprisingly good directing from Affleck also.  He proves that his stellar direction in Gone Baby Gone wasn’t a fluke, and I look forward to future outings from Affleck, as long as it isn’t a sequel to Daredevil.
On a side note – the film did change the ending from the book, and the novel also goes into more depth than the film does because it is hard to condense a book into a movie without cutting out something.  So if you want more development of the back story on the characters, especially the two other members of the robbery crew, read the book.  Also, since the book has a different ending, you won’t spoil the finale by reading the book as well.

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