Dec/2018

4K UHD Review: ‘The Town’!

by Gumbercules9000 on Jan 4th, 2017

Hi everyone, Bryan here…

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THE FILM

This Film Review Portion was written by Steve Long: Say what you will about Ben Affleck. I like the guy.  His previous film, “Gone Baby Gone” was actually really great as it was his first film he directed.  “The Town” is his second.  I look forward to more films out of Ben Affleck.  Perhaps a sequel to ‘Phantoms‘??  I kid.

Affleck’s newest film is bound to remove some of the hate for him him out there. As undeserved and overblown as I find that hate for the man, it exists and I don’t know how people can cling to it having seen this. The direction was very good, very polished. The pacing was excellent.

For a movie like this, if it isn’t done right the movie sucks when people aren’t shooting. If it’s done really really poorly it’ll suck while they’re shooting, too. At no point does this flick suck. There’s tension in almost every scene due to what is established in the previews. Affleck was one of the guys that held the girl hostage and then he seems to pursue her romantically.

In all of their interactions you wonder if he’ll do or say something that can screw things up, or if she’ll say something about the heist that he’ll find troubling, etc etc. Affleck’s character is complicated, too. Human. He’s selfish at times and (non plot spoiler alert) at one point he takes a crying baby out of the room of a motel and places it in the hallway.

The action sequences are excellent, well conceived, well executed, perfect audio, clever. It’s going to get compared to other movies because a crew is using assault rifles to rob people and they’re organized, but it feels like it’s own thing. A very fun ride.

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THE VIDEO/AUDIO

Warner Bros. gets down and dirty with the 4K UHD release of ‘The Town‘, which has a HEVC H.265 encode in HDR10 with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This release has a digital download code as well as the standard Blu-ray version, in addition to the 4K disc. There is no 3D option here. This 4K version has better detail that is sharper and more vivid than the standard Blu-ray version. The closeups of the actor’s faces show wrinkles, makeup blemishes, beads of sweat, and pores easily and nicely. Boston looks great here with every brick and column looking excellent. Perhaps the biggest upgrade here is the HDR. Every color is very well balanced and looks life life and realistic.

The color scheme has that silver and gray tone to it, making the whole picture look very cool and not warm at all. There are some bright reds though, specifically on the jackets that are worn. The color filters though never really bog down the detail though.  Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There is a nice layer of grain to keep with the filmic look as well. Some of the shots are a little soft, since this transfer came from a 2K intermediate, but it’s really nothing to write home about. There were no problems with any compression problems, leaving this video presentation with great marks.

The Audio: This 4K UHD version does not come with a new Dolby Atmos sound option, but rather just imports the previous lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, which sounds great. Sound effects are full and robust from start to finish. This is a highly suspenseful film so it’s key to balance out every sound in a fully immersive experience, which ‘The Town’ does well. Gun shots pack a powerful punch while the car chases always rumble in full force.

Ambient noises of people chattering and distant gun fire sound great too, giving a lot of depth in the audio realm. The score and music always adds to the suspense of the film and never drowns out any other sound aspect. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and is free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and high shrills. The low end brings the bass in the heavier action moments as  well as when the plane takes off at the end. Great audio mix here.

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THE EXTRAS

Both the theatrical and extended cuts are available here with the extended cut running at about 30 minutes longer than the theatrical version. Needless to say, there is more meat on this bone.

Audio Commentaries – Ben Affleck delivers an excellent commentary track on both cuts of the film. Affleck is just damn fun and very informative, delivering fun stories from the set, technical information, and a ton of honest critiques on his film. This is one of the better audio commentaries you’ll listen to. 

Ben’s Boston Focus Points (HD, 31 Mins.) – There are six behind the scenes featurettes here, tackling most aspects of the production of the film. You can watch them individually or during the film, where the movie will stop and you will see the featurette. All worth watching.

Extended Cut Scene Indicator – I wish every extended cut had this option, which notifies you on screen that the particular scene you are watching was not part of the theatrical cut. 

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THE ULTIMATE WORD

The Town‘ is an excellent film and is full of thrills, deep characters, and some very dramatic moments. Ben Affleck for sure etched his name in the director’s chair with this film. Performances are all great, and the film is highly re-watchable. The video and audio presentations are both excellent and are a decent upgrade on 4K UHD. The extras are all worth watching with Affleck’s Commentary being one of the best listens ever.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

-Bryan Kluger

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