Mike Kueber's Blog

January 19, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies #60 – The Town and City of God

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 11:29 pm
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Ben Affleck has received a lot of favorable attention this year for directing and starring in Oscar-nominated Argo.  Well, Argo isn’t his first directorial triumph.  His 2010 movie The Town would be a credit to any director.

The Town is a crime drama based in Affleck’s hometown of Boston, as was the first movie that he acted in, Good Will Hunting, and his first directing movie, Gone Baby Gone.  In fact, the personality of Affleck’s bank-robbing character reminds me of the guy Affleck played in Good Will Hunting.

The cast of characters in The Town is outstanding.  In addition to Affleck as the brains of the gang, the movie has Jeremy Renner (won an Oscar for this role) as his best friend, Jon Hamm as the FBI guy chasing him, Rebecca Hall as his love interest, and Blake Lively as his former girlfriend/best friend’s sister.  The characters are so riveting that you feel personally invested in each of them.  The Rotten Tomatoes critics scored the movie at 94% and the audience scored it at 83%.  I agree with the critics and give it three and a half stars.

City of God (2002) is a crime movie about gang-life in a Rio de Janeiro slum.  The movie received four Oscar nominations, including best director and screenplay, but inexplicably, despite its Portuguese language, it wasn’t nominated in the foreign-film category.  The Rotten Tomato critics loved it at 90% and its audience loved it even more at 97%.  That’s too generous, but I do give it three stars out of four.  The plot is interesting, but ultimately depressing because none of the characters seem to have any humanity.  Rather their lives prove the movie’s tagline – “If you run, the beast catches; if you stay, the beast eats.”




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