Blu-ray Disc Review: The Town

Movie •••• Picture •••½ Sound •••• Extras ••••

As he did in the superior Gone Baby Gone, director Ben Affleck (who also stars this time) takes great pains in The Town to get blue-collar Boston right — from the accents to the attitudes.

This crime story centers on the exploits of a crew of lifers from the gentrifying but still proudly working-class neighborhood of Charlestown. Car chases and other action sequences are here in abundance, and they’re skillfully put together. Consistent with the upper echelon of caper movies, there’s also plenty of thought given to plot twists and character development.

The 2.40:1 picture on Blu-ray has an accurate color palette that serves the story well — which means it’s gritty and a little flat, not juiced-up. And the overall sound design of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is excellent. For chase scenes to be sonically effective, they have to convey simultaneously a sense of speed and chaos, the noises of the city streets, and the attack and decay of gunfire. Here, The Town succeeds impressively.

Having seen the movie in a theater before watching the extended cut on this disc, I can tell you that the additional scenes are superfluous. In fact, as is often the case, they tend to take away from the tight pacing of the story without adding much to its emotional resonance. However, Affleck provides a thoughtful (if slow-paced) commentary, and you also get some informative featurettes that focus on the location shoots — making it clear that the movie’s star cum legitimately talented director hasn’t forgotten his beloved Boston roots.