Sunday, September 12, 2010


Ben Affleck at
The Town Gala
Ben Affleck's The Town is a movie for the guys and even he joked at tonight's Roy Thomson Hall TIFF Gala that since his last directorial effort Gone Baby Gone "failed to set Hollywood on fire", perhaps this film will.  He went on to thank the Cast and Crew for their hard work on the film, before thanking also his wife Jennifer Garner who was in attendance.

Set in Charlotte, Massachusetts, this story involves a team of bank robbers who orchestrate a series of heists. Their master mind Doug (Affleck) however, falls for the same Bank Manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) he holds hostage, even though she is not cognizant of this in having been blind-folded by his accomplices. What ensues is a tale of betrayal, redemption and a high octane Tom-and-Jerry chase as FBI Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm) is in hot pursuit of the dangerous criminals responsible for terrorizing the town.  Will Doug be able to end his Criminal ways before he is caught?

My only problem with The Town other than its over-the-top implausibility, is its questionable choices in casting as Affleck opts for buzz and star-power in his on-going quest for a validating commercial/critical hit. Gossip Girl's Blake Lively despite her best efforts just doesn't quite nail the depth and history required of Krista, an alcohol and drug-dependent single mother and lover to Doug. The talented Hall is under-utilized, not given much of an emotional range to work with in her seemingly important role which somehow disappears in the high speed car chases and rounds of shoot-outs. The same could be said of Hamm's character also perhaps.

The star of the show however is Oscar nominated Jeremy Renner as James whose tough-talking, no-nonsense bravado effectively has the actor undergoing a brilliant transformation; he is Doug's best friend and accomplice.

Warner Bros.' The Town opens September 17, 2010 and is entertaining enough, but remarkable? Maybe not. Grade: B

View some more photos I got from tonight's Gala:
Blake Lively
Jon Hamm
Chris Cooper
Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner
And don't forget to check out these pictures from The Town's Press Conference.

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)

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