September 19, 2010
Massing Out With "The Town"
"Mass" is an abbreviation for Massachusetts, which is the greatest states in the country. However "Mass" is also an adjective. If someone is "massy" then they have an accent, are dedicated to the sox, think Tom Brady is the Messiah, and really hate the Yankees. If men are massy than they classified as "Mass-holes" if women are well, I'm not sure what you call them. It should be said that "mass" can also be a verb, as in "massing" out, meaning slamming Busch Lights and talking about how terrible the Pats corner backs are. So now that "massy" is an established adjective I can say that "The Town" is one of the "massiest" movies ever made.
Here you have tough talking boston guys, wearing sox and bruins gear, talking about stealing money while seated at Dunkin Donuts. Oh yeah, don't forget about thick accents. The central plot involves Charlestown native and thief supreme Doug MacRay's (Affleck) attempt to go straight when he falls for a witness to one of his robberies. Of course his buddies, his father, and the evil local florist (a superb Pete Postlethwaite) are trying to keep him there.
By now most people know that the film is also directed by Affleck. The last film he directed was "Gone Baby Gone" and I personally prefer that film over his new bank robbery extravaganza. "The Town" is a very well made thriller, something hard to find on the multiplex, but it lacks the emotional knockout punch of "Gone Baby Gone." Affleck knows what he is doing with the camera, the action scenes are tense and very well shot, but as an Academy Award winning screenwriter, his slips a little bit with the script. There are no twists or surprises, it's very straight forward and very safe. To use a "massy" analogy, it's a like going to sox game where the sox win, but no one goes deep over the monstah.
Speaking of Fenway, the fact that Affleck has the finale take place there is downright bold and proves he is really coming into his own. Forget the "Gigli" jokes and the references to his previous roles. The guy is a very capable old school director who is loaded with talent. A recent Newsweek article compares to him to Clint Eastwood, and they're right. Affleck is a solid actor who has become an amazing director. He's just like Clint, just way more Massy.