Ben Affleck’s The Town turned out to be something of a surprise when it hit theaters. Previews and advance buzz had it pegged as an intriguing heist thriller, but it ended up being at the top of the genre with enough memorable moments and enough emotion to rival the likes of Heat and Dog Day Afternoon. The Town released on Blu-ray in December 2010, but now it’s back with The Town Ultimate Collector’s Edition. Here’s a look at what you’ll find in this awesome new jumbo package.
I previously reviewed The Town as one of my favorite movies of 2010 when it originally hit Blu-ray. As the movie essentially is the same (with some notable exceptions) product here, everything I said in that original review still holds true. The important points about this newest release are the new additions to both the on-disc and physical contents, as well as an appraisal of who should or shouldn’t invest in the Ultimate Edition.
The Ultimate Collector’s Edition immediately looks and feels substantially cooler than the original Blu-ray. This one comes in a chunky collector box with all the goodies accessible from the open side. Three discs are packed inside:
- Blu-ray: Theatrical version and extended cut of The Town (previously available in the 2010 Blu-ray release)
- Blu-ray: Different extended cut of The Town with a new alternate ending
- DVD: Extended cut of The Town with alternate ending
Along with the three different disc-based versions of the movie, you’ll also get an Ultraviolet code to download a digital copy of the film. Each of the two extended cuts offers a small icon that appears on the screen whenever you’re watching a scene that was not in the theatrical cut. Some of the special features on the discs are the same ones from the previous release, but there’s also some interesting additional content added for this edition. Here’s a rundown of which features return and which ones are brand new this time around:
- Audio commentaries for all three versions of the film. The commentary for the common footage is the same, but as each version (with the exception of the theatrical cut) has some parts that are unique from the others, there’s commentary that is unique to each cut as well. The original release did have the audio commentary, but the added audio for the newly added alternate ending is new for this edition.
- Ben’s Boston Focus Points is a feature that was in the previous release. It’s a half-hour collection of six separate featurettes with Ben Affleck illuminating behind the scenes aspects of various points in the movie. You can watch the featurettes separately or as part of the movie, in which case the movie will pause and cut to the appropriate Focus Point, play it, and then jump back into the movie.
- The Town: A Director’s Journey is new to the Ultimate Edition and is another half-hour long feature that focuses on Ben Affleck. It’s an engaging look at how Affleck made The Town, offering some honest and personal insights into not only his film but also his own skills and role as an actor and director.
- Theatrical trailer
Also included in the Ultimate Edition is a 48 page behind the scenes photo book. It’s a neat little hardback that is full of shots from the movie, as well as from behind the camera, but the stories and text information about various scenes, the stories, and the actors are the parts that engaged me the most.
The third component in this edition is a package stuffed with physical collectibles tied to The Town. They come in a cardboard box fashioned to look like a miniature police folder, complete with a simulated tie-flap that is actually Velcro. An assortment of goodies wait inside:
- Introductory letter from Ben Affleck
- 15-page replica FBI report on the crimes from the movie
- Poster-size fold-out map of Charlestown, Massachusetts, including notes about locales and scenes from the movie
- Mug shot cards for the four principal thieves
- Rub-on tattoo sheet with three identical tattoos
- Miniature Vericom employee personnel record for Desmond Elden
If you already are a fan of The Town and don’t already own the previous Blu-ray release, this is the one to go for. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s the definitive edition of this marvelous film and deserves a place in your collection. If you do already own the previous release, buying the Ultimate Collector’s Edition just comes down to how important the new features are to you. The alternate ending gives some substantial new footage and is worth watching, as is the Director’s Journey featurette. All the rest of the significant additions are the physical replicas and tchotchkes, which likely will be fun to look through but then will live hidden away in the box on your shelf thereafter.
The Town Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray released on March 6, 2012, and is a fantastic collection to commemorate one of the best heist films of the past ten years.