I watched Armageddon on Blu-ray a few weeks ago and even though I will bang the drum for the I Heart Michael Bay fan club, and argue that all his movies, including Pearl Harbor, are entertaining and wonderfully stylistic, I will not champion Ben Affleck for any acting awards any time soon. In fact, with the exception of a few roles, Affleck’s thespian skills deserve a hearty pruneslam. The animal cracker scene in Armageddon and nearly every moment where he’s spraying spittle and snot via his bawling (Haaaaarrrry! Nooooooo! I looooove yoooou!) are cringe-worthy and dry-heave-inducing.
On the other hand, Affleck proved he might be a more attractive and hunky version of Ron Howard with his 2007 directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. If you loved that movie, despite its gritty and sad story, as much as I did (fans of Dennis Lehane should love it), then Affleck’s next project, The Town, might fit the bill. The trailer definitely has that Oscar smell and the cast is a mélange of pretty faces and acting prowess. Affleck is behind and in front of the lens this time around, and he’s joined by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Chris Cooper (Married Life) and Pete Postlethwaite (Clash of the Titans).
The Town will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on September 11 and will release wide on September 17, 2010. Take a look at the trailer and give me your thoughts.