Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: On The Town

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. As mentioned in a previous TMT entry from last year, I’ve come to realize my remembrances shouldn’t be limited to the distant past. So, for  this record (and one upcoming in March), I hope to prove that the very best of movie memories are not over for the gen joneser chronicling it all. Somehow, they continue for this one lucky movie-goer, and father.

Doug MacRay: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we’re gonna hurt some people.”
James Coughlin: “…Whose car are we gonna’ take?”


The Aero Theatre:

Images c/o Flickr and Facebook sites



January 6, 2011: having become a parent relatively late in life (I was 41, just about the same age my father had me) is its own blessing and curse. You are simultaneously all the wiser and ready for a family, yet definitely more the creakier. My younger brother, he who had his first-born in the early 80s when he was 27, likes to point that detail out from time-to-time.

“What, you think you’re going to be tossing the football around with the grandkids from your wheelchair?”

Too funny that guy, eh? [grumble] Fortunately, I can still throw a baseball or whack a tennis ball for the time being with the young’uns, and the only thing it costs me is an Ibuprofen afterward. Plus, I’ve yet to pull muscle from the simple act of going to the movies with those same children, thank you very much. In any case, given that my oldest is in high school, and still likes to hang out with the old man in such ventures, I consider myself, even at this age, more than fortunate in this respect.

When it was released in September 2010, somehow I didn’t catch Ben Affleck’s second stint as director in The Town during its theatrical first run. By good fortune, the American Cinematheque organization in L.A., as part of pre-Oscar programming, showcased it again (along with Gone Baby Gone as part of a double-bill) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The bonus was the actor/writer/filmmaker would attend and discuss his films during intermission.

My son, who happens to go to school in the area, actually wanted to join me at the sold-out event that evening. The event was all the more special because he did. I don’t know how many more occasions remain for such activities with my kids, but I’ll take each as they come and be grateful. For when my first reminds me (as he did), “Remember the time we saw The Town at The Aero, dad?“, I know I’m charmed beyond belief. I believe a quote from another film applies: “Time is luck.

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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18 Responses to “TMT: On The Town”

  1. Ronan

    I saw The Town when it came out. It had that same crude likeability that some of the scenes in Goodfellas and Good Will Hunting have. I thought it was a three star film but the final line stayed with me. “No matter how much you change, you still have to pay the price for the things you’ve done. So I got a long road. But I know I’ll see you again – this side or the other”. Check out my review here Michael Thanks for this.

    • le0pard13

      I’ll be heading right over to read your review (well… I will have to finish this reply first, though ;-)). I agree it has that “crude likeability“. In another way it reminds of Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’, but set in Boston. I’ve never been to that great city, but it feels authentic in that regard.

      I, too, love that quote (along with the one I lead the post with). Thanks for reading and commenting, Ronan (now I’m heading over).

  2. John DuMond

    I missed seeing this one in a theater. I first saw it on DVD last year. I’m not a big Affleck fan, but I love a good heist yarn. THE TOWN didn’t disappoint. Affleck did a good job in front of, and behind, the camera.

    It’s cool that your son still likes going to the movies with you. My two teenagers wouldn’t be caught dead in a theater with mom and dad.

    • le0pard13

      Yeah, it’s a very good heist yarn, indeed. I found myself drawn in very quickly and unexpectedly. Perhaps, not expecting much I missed it first run. So glad I caught the film in a packed movie theater. It was a great experience. In the interview that night (I caught in on my Flip which I hope I still on my home computer somewhere), Affleck came off very natural, likable, and self-effacing. He definitely has got promise with this directing gig.

      I think it cool that my son still likes and wants to go the movies with his old man. I don’t know how long that’ll last, but I’ll enjoy whatever comes. Many thanks, John.

  3. rtm

    I saw The Town when it was playing near me but can’t even remember where, and it’s not even that long ago! I told you I have terrible memory :) So did you see this and ‘Gone Baby Gone’ back to back? I think GBG is a much more compelling film but still, The Town is rather good. I guess Affleck is a much better director than actor.

    • le0pard13

      Thanks very much, Ruth. We only stayed through the movie and the interview that night. It was a Thursday and still a school night for my teen (and he had to get up for class the next day). I had to promise him, though, we’d watch ‘Gone Baby Gone’ on disc to get us home — he wanted to stay so badly. I agree that GBG is a compelling drama that makes great use of its locale. Affleck is proving he has a career with directing film, alright.

  4. Matt Stewart

    I really, really liked The Town as well as Gone Baby Gone, and I think Affleck’s acting improved in his most recent directorial effort. It seems that he fits the Boston gangster role very well haha.

    Thanks for sharing Michael, as always :D

    • le0pard13

      I agree that ‘The Town’ and ‘Gone Baby Gone’ are absorbing fare. His last few stints in front of the camera have shown he does actually have some acting chops (with the right film, that is). Thanks for the kind words and comment, Matt.

    • le0pard13

      ‘Gone Baby Gone’ was the very good film adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel (actually the fourth in the series that features Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Genaro). The film and story is a quite compelling one, as Ruth championed. It’s the second of three novels the author has had adapted to the screen. ‘Mystic River’ by Clint Eastwood and ‘Shutter Island’ by our friend Marty (Scorsese) being the others. Ben directing his brother Casey (very well I might add) is one of its charms, but it’s a great drama. Thanks, Ronan.

  5. Poncho

    Have I told you how much I love the series? And it’s fantastic that your son shares that passion with you. I wish my old man had a little bit of passion for films: if I’m to take my dad to the movies, I MUST see the film (or read a gazillion reviews) to actually find out if he’s going to like it, or else it will be hell.

    But it’s a coin toss: he’s hated some of my favourite films (LotR:FotR among them), so I can’t really predict his reaction.

    I know he only wishes I became an engineer.

    • le0pard13

      I really, really appreciate the kind words, cousin. I’m really blessed, too, that both of my children enjoy going to the movies with me. Though, sometimes they want to duck into a different movie than the one I’m there for… or want to see separates films even from each other.

      That does sound like quite a predicament with your father. I understand completely. Of course, my son loves the ‘Transformers’ series and I hated the last two ;-). Thanks so very much for your comment, Poncho.

  6. Scott Lawlor

    The Town is such a great film. I really enjoyed it.

    Love the cinema you saw it in… Love this too

    “Remember the time we saw The Town at The Aero, dad?“

    So cool hto have these memories. Thanks for sharing matey

    • le0pard13

      I was surprised how much I enjoyed ‘The Town’, too. I have it on BD now so I need to re-watch it (maybe, the extended cut). Thanks very much for the kind words and support, Scott.

  7. The Sci-Fi Fanatic

    The Town has been on my watch list. I hope to see it very soon. It is high on my list.

    Nice reflections.

    And I think there are pros and cons to having children at any age as you so rightly point out. The kids will benefit from your experience, knowledge and wisdom.


    • le0pard13

      I think you’d enjoy ‘The Town’, SFF. Let me know how you like it once you’ve checked it out. Many thanks for the kinds words and comment, my friend.


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