Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ben Affleck is a Much Better Actor When He Doesn't Yell A Lot

He just looks silly, really.

Here is what I wrote in Flixster when I saw The Town about ten days ago. I've been wanting to write about it, but the truth is that I figured you'd both see it and I wanted to wait to hear what you had to say first.

4 stars: "Tense all the way through! Good ending was a mix of happy and sad... Great job by Affleck- I was losing hope for the guy as a successful lead... "

It's funny but I don't know that I have a lot more to say than that. I'd have to watch it again to comment on the construction of the film and the particulars of the performances. But as far as the story goes, I have little to say because it was really a very satisfying experience. There was a good balance between characters, drama, and action. The romance wasn't too sappy, the action wasn't too phallic. I liked that he got away at the end, but there was a huge cost. And as I hinted at, Affleck's performance was verrrrry impressive. I've been actually avoiding movies he's been in lately because I've been increasingly dissatisfied with his acting. I saw Jersey Girl, Paycheck, and Daredevil all around the same time, and enough was enough. As I was looking through his list on IMDB, I realized that I haven't even seen a film (Clerks 2 doesn't count) he's been in since Jersey Girl, with the exception of Extract, which I didn't know he'd be in (and I raved to my wife about his performance, commenting that he "should stick to supporting roles because maybe he's better as a character actor"). So in The Town, not only did he hold himself back- and leave the dramatic spotlight to Renner- but he directed the thing! Verrrrrry impressive.

Otherwise, I'd say I'm inclined to agree with you both about the film, which is a two-edged sword. I'm happy to see our tastes overlap (and on such a good film), but then there's nothing to argue about. Except...

John, Inception was waaaay more high concept than The Town. Affleck told his story well, but it's not a new story. I can't recall EVER having seen a movie where people STEAL STUFF FROM PEOPLE'S DREAMS. So, I could be wrong, but it's a film with an original idea in Hollywood, which rarely ever happens. I give extra brownie points for original ideas.

There is one irritating scene in The Town, and that's when he buries the money in the garden and she finds it and uses it for the skating rink. Schmaltz! First of all, you can't get me to believe that she's going to think to look for a big bag of money while she's gardening that's well hidden enough that some other yahoo's not going to find it first. Second, we already liked Affleck's character. We would have liked him if he'd kept the money. No need to try to turn him into some kind of Robin Hood with a last heroic act. ALSO- I find it hard to believe, unless she sat on the money for a while, that a sudden large donation to the community in the primary suspects's mother's name is not going to raise some eyebrows.

Aside from that, I'm good.

I've seen a bunch more crap, but I don't have time to REPOST my other Flixster reviews just yet. Feel free to check 'em out, if you think your consciences can handle it.

Speaking of the evil empire, anybody seen The Social Network yet?

I'm going to NY Comic-Con this weekend for work. Be jealous of me.

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