Thursday, September 16, 2010


Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "The Town" staring Ben Affleck.

Is Ben on game with this high action movie? Let's see what Liz thinks....

"The Town" is the second major feature film directed by Ben Affleck, and although I haven't seen his first, "Gone Baby Gone," I had heard good things about it. The trailer for "The Town" looked great and I was hoping the movie would live up to it; in fact, the movie actually ended up surpassing my expectations.

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck, "Extract") has been robbing banks with his crew for a while now, but this is the first time he and his buddies take a hostage - bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall, "Please Give"). They release her unharmed but she is still traumatized. When his buddy James (Jeremy Renner, TV's "The Unusuals") suggest that one of them checks up on her to make sure she doesn't have any info that could jeopardize them, Doug volunteers for the role; what he doesn't know, however, is that he will soon fall in love with her, even though she has no idea he was part of the bank robbery. Meanwhile, Doug and James and his friends continue to execute bank robberies, and they become closer and closer to getting caught every time, since FBI man Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm, TV's "Mad Men") is hot on their tail.

From the beginning to the end, this movie was excellent, plain and simple. It had enough action to keep me interested but it also explored Doug and Claire's relationship and his past relationship with James's sister Krista (Blake Lively, TV's "Gossip Girl"), as well as exploring the fact that Doug wants to get out of "the game." Chris Cooper ("Remember Me") shows up briefly as Doug's father, who is in jail, and Pete Postlethwaite ("Clash of the Titans") plays Fergie the Florist, who gives Doug's gang their assignments, and plays a bigger part in Doug's past then he realizes. The acting was pitch perfect by both the main leads and also the supporting actors, and this definitely helped make "The Town" great.

Yes, see this movie. My only caveat to you is that it definitely earns it's "R" rating: there is tons of swearing and gunfire throughout. The Boston accents in the movie were mostly pulled off well (Ben Affleck is actually from the Boston area) and both my parents and I enjoyed them, as we are from Boston originally. The movie makes use of interesting techniques such as showing the security camera video (black and white, with no sound) interspersed with the "regular" film when one of the banks is being robbed, and this definitely added a dramatic touch to the film. If you like action films, you will love "The Town," and I highly recommend seeing it.

"The Town" will be in theaters on September 17th.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

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