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The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German SDH, Turkish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 125 Mins [Theatrical], 150 Mins [Extended], 153 Mins [Extended Alternate]
  • Discs: 3 (2 x Blu-ray +1 x DVD + UltraViolet)
  • Studio:  Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 6th, 2012
  • List Price: $49.99

[amazon-product]B0063FGFK0[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

The Town tells the story of a small Boston town by the name of Charlestown. As the opening piece tells us, everyone who grows up in there essentially becomes a bank robber. Passed down from father to son, these people are proud to be from the little town, despite it ruining their life. Such is the case for Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), Albert Magloan (Slaine), and Desmond Elden (Owen Burke), four childhood friends who grew up with one another, who had the trait of bank robbery passed down to them from Doug’s father, Stephen MacRay (Chris Cooper). The four seem to know how to swiftly rob banks, destroy all their evidence and simply move along (much to the chagrin of FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm)) — that is until a recent job forces them to take the bank manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), as a brief hostage. Clearly not wanting this to backfire on them, Doug elects himself to ‘take care’ of the situation, but what results is something that no one, including Doug, may have ever have seen coming.

Before I begin, I must reveal that I’ve grown up in the Boston area my entire life. I breathe all the local sport teams (more Celtics/Red Sox, but am getting into Patriots/Bruins) and love everything about living here.

I’ve always been a fan of Affleck (yes, even in his acting days in Good Will Hunting), so when I heard he was directing his first film in Gone Baby Gone, I was immediately intrigued. The end result of Gone was a well made film, with an exceptional acting job by his younger brother Casey Affleck. Ben Affleck’s second foray into the directing job, with The Town, is more proof that Affleck is an all-around talented man. Granted he was surrounded with a great cast, but the swift pace he instills in this movie is what makes it so damn good. From the opening moments of Doug and his gang swarming the bank, to the final closing moments after the Fenway sequences, Affleck directs/acts with a sense of purpose, a sense of determination. The action scenes are top notch, the dialogue smart, the music excellent (one of the better recent scores I’ve heard), and the Boston elements…well, I loved it.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The 2:35:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is quite good. An issue that some felt plagued the prior release Warner’s decision to include 2 different cuts on one BD-50. For some (not by my estimation), the transfer tended to fluctuate in quality. Regardless of that, Warner has put the 3 different cuts (Theatrical, Extended, Alternate) on 2 different discs giving this newly featureed Alternate Cut it’s own BD-50. With that said, unless you’re the most discerning person with a ton of little issues to pick, the average person won’t really find much to complain about in this transfer. The cold, dark Boston locales are captured perfectly with sharp blues and dark blacks. Exterior shots, like that of the opening bank robbery, showcase fine detail as do interior nighttime sequences. There is a slight layer of grain during these moments, but something I’d assume Affleck and DP Robert Elswit used to help capture the themes of the story. The film’s print is in pretty much fine condition with no instance of damage, blips or overall noise that might impact it. All in all, this is a fine effort from Warner.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is excellent. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout via the center channel. Dynamics, whether quieter dialogue moments in Doug’s boat or the heightened action scenes, are great. Background dialogue, screams, etc can be heard in the opening bank robbery. Gun shots zip past our heads during this same sequence. LFE, in particular during the Fenway scene, is deep and immersive offering up some truly fine low-end. The film’s score, by Harry Gregson-Williams, has always been one of the better aspects of the film. The score captures the true essence of the Boston landscape, mostly due to the Irish themes Williams throws in. All in all, this is a truly great aural experience Affleck and company have put together.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

The included supplements are presented in HD.

  • Alternate Cut – Obviously the selling point of this new release is the including alternate ending. While I won’t exactly tell you what occurred, the different ending (literally 3-4 minutes in length) does offer up quite the ending change. I can see why Affleck decided not to go with this one for the final cut as I’m sure audiences might have been disappointed. Either way, this ending is definitely worth checking out for fans of the film.
  • Different Audio Commentaries by Ben Affleck – Here Director Ben Affleck sits down and offers up 3 audio commentaries for each of his included cuts. While I didn’t entirely listen to the theatrical cut’s commentary, the extended/alternate cut is well worth listening to. Affleck is chatty throughout, but very informative and offers up some solid insight into the film. This just isn’t the kind of commentary where the Director overly praises his talented cast (even though Affleck does at times). More this is the kind of track that is just plainly enjoyable to listen to.
  • The Town: A Director’s Journey – Also new to this release is a 30:13 journey Affleck put together about making the film. Something that surprised me a bit here, was just how humble and quick Affleck was to admit when he a sequence just didn’t end the way he wanted to. Most Director’s are this open to their own criticism (let alone them criticizing themselves)!
  • Ben’s Boston – Here roughly 31:21 worth of focus points are shown. Broken down into 6 different sections, the points are available throughout watching the movie or by accessing the main menu’s features.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer is shown
  • DVD – A DVD of Extended Cut is available via a separate disc
  • Digital Copy – An Ultraviolet Digital Copy is available.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Perhaps it’s my Boston born and raised part speaking, but I enjoyed the heck out of The Town. Affleck has proven, via Gone Baby Gone and now this, that he is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Warner has put together yet another great Blu-ray release with great video, excellent audio and a few fine features. If you don’t own The Town yet on Blu-ray, definitely give this your hard earned cash. You won’t be disappointed.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0063FGFK0[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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