The Town centers around a bank robber and his crew, and the monkey wrench that is getting involved with your hostages. Revolving around the curious world that is the Charlestown neighborhood in Boston, where an alarming number of bank robbers live, the film goes inside the culture, and follows one man who wonders if he can get out.
Ben Affleck plays Doug MacRay, son of a bank robber, taken in by adoptive bank robbers, and thus with “brother” Jem (Jeremy Renner) in tow, Doug is leading a crew on a new crime spree, and he’s taking out banks and armored cars with tremendous precision. When bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) is taken hostage and released, Doug gives her a visit to find out if she knows anything that can give them away.
Doug and Claire start a relationship of sorts, but just as Doug starts having thoughts of a different life, he becomes more buried in the one he already has. If it wasn’t bad enough that the Feds are taking a serious run at him (led by Jon Hamm), he also several people telling him he can’t leave – the somewhat crazy Jem, fresh from nine years in prison, the florist running things behind the scenes, and his Baby Mama (Blake Lively).
It’s an intense thrill ride, with some unique takes on the criminal life, and it’s well worth your time.
Ben Affleck helms this critically acclaimed dramatic thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future. The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes an extended cut of the film which incorporates never-before-seen footage and many more special features.
Charlestown, Mass. A neighborhood in Boston that has produced more bank robbers than anywhere in the U.S., including Doug MacRay, who is the leader of one of the most ruthless groups on the streets. Doug realizes that he has committed many wrongs in his life and starts to yearn for a way out of this lifestyle and out of Charlestown. But with the Feds hot on his tail and the gang questioning his loyalty, Doug realizes that getting out will not be as easy as he hoped.
Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck (“Good Will Hunting,” “Gone Baby Gone”) directs and stars in The Town, which also features performances from Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”), Blake Lively (upcoming “Green Lantern,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), Titus Welliver (“Gone Baby Gone”), with Oscar® nominee Pete Postlethwaite (“In the Name of the Father,” “Inception”), and Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”).
The Blu-Ray comes with both the theatrical and extended versions of the film, and for fans, the extended version offers some interesting additions. On the other hand, the film already gets a bit bogged down, and while there is much to enjoy about The Town, watching a longer version of it is not something that would leap to my mind.
There are a number of solid bonuses that come with the release, and you’re going to need the Blu-Ray to get the best of them. The Blu-Ray and Standard Disc both include Ben’s Boston, The real people of The Town, Ben Affleck: Director & Actor, and a commentary track by Ben Affleck, but you aren’t getting the most interesting choices there. Both the featurette Ben Affleck: Director & Actor, and the commentary are for his biggest fans alone. Ben’s Boston is almost in that category as well, but there is a good deal to hold the attention of anyone interested in learning about Boston.
Though there are moments during the commentary when we get into some interesting territory, it’s mostly a walk for the fun of walking with Ben, and that has to carry your interest. When it gets interesting is when we get into Ben’s mind more than simply his thoughts on the film and/or putting it together, because the most compelling turns are when we get a piece of the actor/director that spent the last few years moving off everyone’s radar.
The rest of the featurettes give a little more, though they are all fairly standard behind-the-scenes efforts. Nuns with Guns: Filming in the North End is particularly good, even if it might have been a little longer, and gives a good idea of what life is like when you’re trying to put things together on location.
The Blu-Ray quality also looks amazing, and this is a film that showcases it well. I’ve heard some complaints about “squishing” both versions of the film onto one disc, but I couldn’t really tell that there was any adverse effect apparent.
The Town Blu-ray Combo Pack contains both the Theatrical Version and Extended Cut of the movie as well as the following special features:
- Ben’s Boston – an inside look at the film and how it was made authentically in Boston
- The Cathedral of Boston
- Pulling off the perfect heist
- The Town
- The real people of The Town
- Nuns with Guns: Filming in the North End
- Ben Affleck: Director & Actor
- Director’s commentary: Theatrical Version
- Director’s commentary: Extended Cut
The Town DVD contains the following special features:
- Ben’s Boston
- The real people of The Town
- Ben Affleck: Director & Actor
- Director’s commentary
Overall, this is solid release, and there is a good deal in the bonus category to keep fans happy. The commentary is probably exactly as interesting as you think it will be, and there is a good variety to the behind-the-scenes work in the featurettes. It isn’t quite the sort of extravaganza that lets you put “Hours of Bonus Content” on the package, but it’s a nice assortment.
There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. And a one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the U.S.
One of them is Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), but he is not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. Unlike them, Doug had a chance at success, a chance to escape following in his father’s criminal footsteps. Instead he became the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers, who pride themselves on taking what they want and getting out clean. The only family Doug has are his partners in crime, especially Jem (Jeremy Renner), who, despite his dangerous, hair-trigger temper, is the closest thing Doug ever had to a brother.
However, everything changed on the gang’s last job when Jem briefly took a hostage: bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). When they discover she lives in Charlestown, Jem gets nervous and wants to check out what she might have seen. Knowing what Jem is capable of, Doug takes charge. He seeks out Claire, who has no idea that their encounter is not by chance or that this charming stranger is one of the men who terrorized her only days before.
As his relationship with Claire deepens into a passionate romance, Doug wants out of this life and the town. But with the Feds, led by Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), closing in and Jem questioning his loyalty, Doug realizes that getting out will not be easy and, worse, may put Claire in the line of fire. Any choices he once had have boiled down to one: betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.