Friday, July 16, 2010

Yes, No, Maybe So: The Town

Here's the trailer to Ben Affleck's The Town, which opens exactly two months from tomorrow.



Gone Baby Gone devotees, we understand there are a small but very serious group of them, should be pleased to note that Ben has already completed his second feature.

Do we want to see it?

Yes. When famous actors direct they can often call in favors and rope in impressive casts. This time we get Jeremy Renner, fresh off The Hurt Locker, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) in what could be an important transitional screen role, the oft acclaimed Chris Cooper. Best of all it looks like Rebecca Hall, who we consider practically the young actress to watch, is front and center in what looks like a possibly rangey role: crime victim? secret-hoarder? romantic object? inner strength finding heroine and/or downward spiraling conflicted bystander?

No. Cops and robbers, shoot outs, bank heists, blue collar criminals, passionate FBI agents on the hunt, blood brother betrayals, women caught in the crossfire...

Haven't we seen these stories, characters and the invididual story elements every year since the dawn of the cinema? a million times? When you're working in very very familiar cinematic playgrounds, your work better be revelatory. Your actors, not just your automobiles, better be on fire.

Maybe So.
Now that his directorial learning curve is gone baby gone, Ben is working both sides of the camera. He might not be the rangiest actor but he's also proven to be a solid and/or charming performer at times. But can he direct himself as well as he directed his brother Casey? Amy Ryan may have won Gone's sole Oscar nod for her trashy druggy mother scene stealing but wasn't Casey Affleck the interesting hard to read protagonist rock that was holding that film together?

Nathaniel (that's me) is a firm "maybe so". Which are you?

32 comments:

Ann McD said...

Did your maybe so section mean to read so similar to the introduction?

NATHANIEL R said...

oops. editing.

NATHANIEL R said...

copy and paste but forget the "cut" part ;)

Ann McD said...

haha i know how that goes. and count me among the gone baby gone devotees.

BUT this seems like one of the worst cases of revealing WAY too much info in the trailer. like Brothers bad.

dbm said...

Robert Elswit's photography does look impressive. Ben can rope in good tech people. Tichenor edited the film as well. John Toll shot Gone Baby Gone. Sure pulls in the A list techies.

brandz said...

Amy Ryan should have won the Oscar for that performance.

Bia said...

I'm interested to see Blake Lively's performance. She seems to be having a moment and her career just keeps getting more charmed. Two Vogue covers in a year is pretty noticeable.

Alex said...

When I first saw this trailer a couple days ago, I thought it was a new trailer for COMPANY MEN, the other flick with Affleck and Cooper. I was like, "WOW, that is not what I thought that movie was about!"

The Man Behind The Curtain said...

It's a maybe so for me. I loved Gone Baby Gone, and the cast is incredible, but I agree that the story is very "been there, done that."

Paul Outlaw said...

Definitely yes, with crossed fingers.

ak said...

Yes, but they showed too much in the trailer.

James said...

I think that Affleck showed some potential with his first film. Not the best movie but it was definitely a solid effort and he got some great performances out of his actors.

I am a "maybe so" on this mostly because it is screaming a little bit too much "we want this to look and sound like The Dark Knight." The music seems oddly similar and the shots of masked bank robbers just seems a little too similar.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

"Your actors, not just your automobiles, better be on fire."
Haha. Gold. And a great point too. Can use this? With copyright acknowledgments, of course ;)

IslandLiberal said...

Definitely want to see it. Loved his debut film, and lots of great actors.

I agree it's a familiar story, but that doesn't bother me.

Deborah said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I liked Gone Baby Gone. Jon Hamm. I like smart cops & robbers. Jon Hamm.

Oh, and did I mention Jon Hamm?

Kim said...

Saw the trailer before Inception this afternoon. Is it wrong/shallow that I was an immediate "Yes" as soon as Don Draper filled the screen? Have you SEEN the W cover with him and Rebecca Hall? Hotness.

NATHANIEL R said...

y kant -- with acknowledgements, always ;)

deborah -- good point and i barely mentioned him. I wonder though how hard it will be to step out from under the shadow of Don Draper whenever Mad Men eventually wraps... which i desperately wish it never will... can't we see these same characters in their 50s and 60s living the 1980s and 1990s. I mean heaven!

par3182 said...

who's the meat in the maybe pic?

tvshowepisodes said...

I love this movie!!

Glenn said...

Par, I think it's meant to be Ben.

This is a big yes from me. I was a fan of Gone Baby Gone and I always seem to be pulling for Ben Affleck. Plus this looks like it could be a solid entertaining crime thriller.

Plus, ya know, Jon Hamm. Hammmmm...

Jake D said...

At this point, if Renner's there, I'm there.

And the nun costumes look amusing?

pomme said...

a little YES because i like the trailer even if the story doesn't seem original and the first Screen test wasn't super good but the casting is interesting and i really liked the first Affleck movie

Mirko S. said...

I liked GONE BABY GONE, even the "terrible" showboating Ryan...I agree that Casey was the best in show (as usual, I must say...I hope I could watch THE KILLER INSIDE ME soon). I wasn't so much confident in Ben appearing also as the leading man, but I must say he looks good in the trailer

THE TOWN is based upon a quite good and entertaining (if a little bit unoriginal) novel, the cast is awesome and Rebecca Hall one day will be one of my favorites (I hope she will be cast as Catwoman!!!)

so I'm almost YES

BHAO said...

He's a STAR ! He's on top ! Somebody bring me some Hamm !!!

NATHANIEL R said...

par3182 -- that's Affleck beef

Anonymous said...

Affleck is a better director than actor. He should have hired someone else to play his part.

Orion said...

That trailer told me probably 90%+ percent of what's going to happen in that movie. UGH! Stop doing that, trailers! But everyone involved looks sound, and sue me, but Ben Affleck might have a lengthy run as a director. It'll probably work out better for him than his acting. And his ripped body and short hair are really working for me right now. Rebecca Hall's going to be the standout it seems, which I'm happiest about. Another Brit doing some fine accent work.

gabrieloak said...

I hate to say this but this actually looks good. And Rebecca Hall is enough for me to make this a must-see.

I'll confess I have not seen Gone Baby Gone and probably never will.

Danielle said...

I'm a "yes," but would have been more so if Affleck choice someone other than himself to be the lead... I've never found him charming or charismatic in any of his performances.

Hall looks really good (oddly enough, though, she didn't get good test screening reviews on IMDB) and, actually, so does Blake.

Mark Notarberardino said...

I'm afraid of actors who direct ever since John Wayne's THE ALAMO.

Jessica said...

Since Hurt Locker, I won't say no to anything Jeremy Renner is in.

Jeffrey said...

oh yes.