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Bitter Balcony goes to Town with Gigli and the Mad Men guy!!!

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Over our two year existence, Bitter Balcony has had no mercy on Ben Affleck’s cinematic soul. Affleck’s mediocre acting skills and poor film choices made us wonder how this man got that volume of work until recently, when Hollywood gave all of Affleck's roles to Shia LeBeouf. Yet, we have to give credit when its do, and Affleck has realized his abilities are put to better use behind the camera than in front of it. “The Town” is Affleck’s second directed film following the solid “Gone Baby Gone,” once again returning to his beloved Massachusetts for another crime drama.

However, while Affleck’s shows his directing prowess, we still have the “pleasure” to see him act. He plays Doug MacRay, a construction worker from the city of Charlestown, who’s part-time involves robbing the greater Boston area with machine guns while wearing Spirit Halloween costumes. In a recent heist, Doug and his crew, including his hot-head best friend James (Jeremy Renner), kidnap Claire (Rebecca Hall) as leverage when the robbery finds some complications. With a hot shot FBI agent Frawley (Jon Hamm) on their trail, Claire becomes the only person that can bring Doug and Co. to justice. In order to prevent James putting two in Claire’s head, Doug keeps tabs on her, and inevitably falls for her.

True to the crime genre rules, “The Town” has Doug in a predicament where his desire to leave the life gets entangled with his criminal past. Doug is forced to pull off a grand swindle at Boston’s Baseball cathedral, Fenway Park, by Fergie (the late Pete Postlethwaite), the man who ruined his imprisoned father’s (Chris Cooper) life. As the heat gets on closer to Doug, can he pull off one last heist scott- free, or will his Charlestown ties end all hopes of an honest life with Claire?

Ben Affleck has a lot of Clint Eastwood in him. Emulating Eastwood’s efficiency and darkly lit sets, Affleck finds a concise narrative that makes “The Town” engaging even when you’ve seen this story before. The action sequences don’t have the Michael Mann awe, but they do come close. Affleck also gets fine performances from his cast, while managing to not go overboard on his own. While Hall and Hamm get more exposure and Renner gets an Oscar nomination for their respective roles, we were impressed by Blake Lively as Doug’s ex and James' baby sister. Lively’s Krista is a barfly downfallen by bad relationships and alcohol. It’s a mature turn for a young actress whose early big screen roles had her mailing a pair of jeans to her girlfriends.

Ultimately, “The Town” is a vindication, of sorts, of Ben’s movie sins. He has a good scope for a story, a good feel for dramatic timing and subtlety. Hey, Affleck proves he did more that proofread “Good Will Hunting” by co-writing this film’s very rich and dialogue driven screenplay. “The Town” is a good film and redeems Affleck from his involvement in “Gigli”… no, no, no. Sorry, Ben, it will take twenty movies like “The Town” to save you from that one.

Trailer:

Official website:
The Town

Pics:
The Town2010Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard   Ben Affleck Ben Affleck Chuck Hogan (novel   The Town2010Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard   Ben Affleck Ben Affleck Chuck Hogan (novel   The Town2010Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard   Ben Affleck Ben Affleck Chuck Hogan (novel   The Town2010Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard   Ben Affleck Ben Affleck Chuck Hogan (novel   The Town2010Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard   Ben Affleck Ben Affleck Chuck Hogan (novel  

Credits:
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Written by: Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard
Based on work(s) by: Chuck Hogan (novel "Prince of Thieves")
Cast: Ben Affleck


Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

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