In 1997, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon gave us a soft and emotional tour of Boston in Good Will Hunting, as they knew it growing up. They explored the values of hope and family. In 2007, ten years later, Affleck went it alone and took us back to Boston with Gone Baby Gone, exploring themes of loss and grief, right and wrong. In 2010, Affleck took us to the doorstep, sat us down on the curb, and said, “Watch.” The town, Charlestown, to be specific, lives and breathes by itself as the central hub of bank robberies in New England. The film’s opening quotes tell us that the trade is almost a birthright, something you’re born into, or against. For the four lads in this film, it’s the only life they know, and they’ll go to incredible lengths to protect it.
Ben Affleck is a fantastic director. Being an actor, he understands how to work with them and get the best performances possible. There isn’t a false performance in this film, not one, and if Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone weren’t already an indication, he’s an extremely gifted writer. He’s a great American filmmaker, if I may be so bold. After only two films as director, that’s pretty bold, but I’ll stand by it. Sue me. Affleck understands pacing better than most directors working today. I think it can be attributed to his involvement in the scriptwriting, and his timing as an actor. All of these elements elevate his films beyond what they might be in the hands of other directors. He isn’t a Scorsese or a Capra or a Coppola, but he’s Affleck, and, at the very least, he was the bomb in Phantoms (1998).
The film opens with the very crux of the story, a bank robbery. Doug (Affleck), Jem (Jeremy Renner), and two of their friends are dressed as Skeletor and eagerly awaiting a couple of guards’ entry into the bank, so they can snatch the keys, get the cash, and get out. Once they’re in, though, things don’t go quite as well as they’d hoped; Jem gets nervous and takes a hostage, Claire (Rebecca Hall), but Doug releases her unharmed, though blindfolded and barefoot. She goes to the FBI and talks to Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), and launches a Charlestown-wide manhunt after one of the boys slips up and leaves a nearly undetectable clue. Jem gets nervous again, and Doug takes responsibility to make sure that Claire doesn’t have anything by which to recognize the crew. He “randomly” meets her at a laundromat and strikes up a friendship that blossoms into a surprisingly real romance. The most unfortunate part of it all? She knows the tattoo on the back on one of their necks.
There’s something comforting about crime thrillers. It could be the formula, and there is formula here, make no mistake. It could be that most of them take place in either New York, Boston, or the UK. Personally, I’ve grown incredibly fond of “accented” crime thrillers. Maybe I’ve become so accustomed to these standards that others might feel weak, or perhaps they’re just the best of their kind. Only time will tell, but, to be fair, it’s hard to find a crime thriller that isn’t set to match a specific area. Generalized, non-regional dialect crime movies just don’t seem to exist.
Jeremy Renner received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Jem. He’s a loose cannon, perhaps the very definition thereof. He plays Jem like a child, almost, with a sort of Cops & Robbers attitude about him. Of course, he’s been at this since a very young age, and he’s been Doug’s right hand man for as long as they’ve been working together, almost since childhood. Renner plays him with a strong sense of conviction, and is almost unrecognizable from his first Oscar-nominated performance in The Hurt Locker a year prior. Affleck continues to stretch his acting muscles, bringing a sensitive manliness to his Doug, especially in his scenes with Rebecca Hall. He’s tender, and it’s shocking, given the man that Doug is. Blake Lively shines as Doug’s former flame, Krista; if Renner is almost unrecognizable, she’s barely even Blake Lively anymore. It’s an astonishing performance. Jon Hamm is intense as ever as the FBI agent on their tail, and Pete Postlethwaite shows a very dark side as the bank robbers’ boss, Fergie Colm, also known as “the Florist,” in one of his final performances before his unfortunate passing this year.
The Town is an almost flawless film, an easy ten out of ten, I’d think, but for that bit of formula that could have been avoided. Roger Ebert noted a dependency on the car chases and shoot-outs, but failed to mention one crucial thing: Affleck knows how to direct them. Consider the instant classic Fenway Park heist, and the subsequent shoot-out that follows. There are moments in film every now and then when you can tell the director is so confident in what he’s doing that he seems to just sit back and watch everything fall into place. This climax is one of those moments. It’s symphonic, in a way, and if it doesn’t prove Affleck’s worth in Hollywood, I don’t believe anything will. This film is beautifully adapted from the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. It feels like a film that could stand on its own, and Affleck makes the material his own, while paying respect to Charlestown and the novel itself. Great adaptations can do that. If you borrow someone’s toys, you don’t break them.
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This film was made during Aboriginal Week Oct 21st – Oct 27th, 2007 filmmakers include: Forrest Sampson Chadrick Michell Dakotah Nordquist
Video Rating: 3 / 5
Expand the description and view the text of the steps for this how-to video. Check out Howcast for other do-it-yourself videos from HallmarkMagazine and more videos in the General Papercrafts category. You can contribute too! Create your own DIY guide at www.howcast.com or produce your own Howcast spots with the Howcast Filmmakers Program at www.howcast.com Homemade cookies are a terrific gift. With a simple bakery box and some ribbon, the package will be as pretty as the contents. To complete this How-To you will need: A bakery box Scissors A ruler A pen A hole punch Four 16-inch long pieces of ribbon Two sheets of tissue paper Delicious homemade cookies Wrapping paper Step 1: Flatten box Open the box, remove the four tabs from the notches on the sides, and flatten. Step 2: Cut off tabs Cut off the tabs. Step 3: Mark holes Mark spots for holes on the edge of each flap, spaced evenly apart. Punch the holes. Step 4: Lace ribbon through Feed one piece of ribbon out through one of the bottom holes and back in through the other. Finish lacing the ribbon like you would a pair of shoes, and tie at the top in a bow. Step 5: Repeat Repeat on the remaining three corners. Tip: To make the box even more decorative, cut a piece of wrapping paper to line the inside bottom of your box. Step 6: Add tissue paper Line the bottom and sides of the box with a sheet or two of tissue paper. Step 7: Add the cookies Place the cookies in the box. Put the most delicate ones on top. Step 8: Visit …