Blu Ray Review: The Town (2010)

The Town
2010 125 minutes - theatrical cut 153 minutes - extended cut rated R
Available from WHV on DVD and Blu Ray December 14th.
For a review of the theatrical cut of
The Town
. The extended cut really gives fans their money's worth, with nearly a half-hour of extra character development and a bit more action during the major set-pieces. On the plus side, this isn't a case of consumers being ripped off by three minutes of 'extreme unrated material!'. On the other hand, as someone who paid to see this film in theaters, I'm feeling a bit soured at having paid and taken the time to see and review what now appears to be an arbitrary version of the film. This has been an issue for years, but rarely has it been so apparent as here. If you haven't seen
The Town
, then you're in luck, as you can view it in this extended cut (I still didn't like the movie overall, for the same reasons noted in the
). It's a better version by default of having more character scenes, but it also makes a conventional heist picture into a 2.5 hour drag. If you really liked
The Town
, you have to decide if you want to spend the time and money to basically see
The Town 1.5
. It's good of Warner Bros and director/star Ben Affleck to give us a genuine 'director's cut' of the heist romance. But it's going to make me think twice before I see another movie of this nature in theaters.
As for the disc itself, it's a pretty terrific representation of the theatrical image and sound. Colors are deep and natural, detail is high, and the blacks are solid. The audio sounded fine on my non-existent set-up. The extras are sparse but of relative quality. Both versions of the film get a commentary track from Ben Affleck. From my general perusal, they appear to be the same track with the respective 'extended scenes' cut from the track on the theatrical commentary track, but I did not listen to both in full. The only other supplemental feature (aside from the DVD/digital copy of the theatrical version) is another Focus Points bit. You can either watch these brief featurettes during the film in a Picture-in-Picture fashion, or you can watch them separately. By themselves, they total 30 minutes of material. To their credit, they split the difference between technical detail and dealing with the actual Boston location and townsfolk that make up the naturalistic environment of the picture.
The Town is a well-acted picture that can't overcome its contrived premise ('he's a violent criminal who seduced a former hostage, but it's okay because he's sensitive and protects said new girlfriend from peril) and generic plotting (the blow-by-blow story of this film is frighteningly similar to Set It Off from 1996). But if you did like the film, you could do worse than to sample the longer version of the film available on this Blu Ray (the long cut is not available on DVD at all), as well as the commentary and 30 minute documentary.
Video: A-
Audio: B+
Extras: B-