Film Reviews: The Town, The Hammer

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Nathan Westfall

The Broadside

Adam Carolla’s independent comedy “The Hammer” is a true blue collar underdog story that will have you rolling on the floor. As Carolla’s character, forty-year old Jerry Ferro, rises from being a carpenter to having the chance to qualify for the Olympics in boxing, the viewer will cling to his underdog personality better than the La Brea Tar Pits cling to those plastic elephants. Although this film does garner an R rating, the swearing is minimal and the comedy fairly clean thus making it appropriate for most viewers.

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The rise of Jerry Ferro from the affable loser to the heavy-handed underdog with a chance begins at the lowest point in his life. Within the first twenty minutes, Ferro is fired from his job, attacked by his boss and dumped by his girlfriend; all on his birthday. Luckily for him, Jerry is discovered while working out at the gym by a well known boxing coach (Tom Quinn) and asked to try out for an Olympic boxing squad.

Throughout the film the combination of Carolla and his sidekick (Oswaldo Castillo) bring such comedy gold to the screen that an audience can’t help but laugh out loud. The scene when Jerry has to pee right before a fight and must have help because his gloves are already on should make any reviewers top ten comedy sketches. Plus, the screenplay written by Carolla and writing partner Kevin Hench, allows Adam to infuse much of his trademark comedic style into his role.

For any Carolla fans from his days on Comedy Central’s “The Man Show” or his current podcast, this film is a must see. If one has yet to be introduced to the comedy of Carolla, be ready for a feel good and laugh out loud adventure courtesy of the Ace Man.

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Ben Affleck’s second directorial effort “The Town” packs a heavy dramatic punch. The combination of an ensemble cast, a dark, gritty script and fast paced cinematography creates an absolutely brilliant picture of “the robbery capital of the world”. From the extremely tense minutes while banks are being robbed, to the more tender moments between Affleck’s character Doug McCray and the woman he has traumatized (Rebecca Hall), the viewer is truly ably to experience the full range of emotion.

Charlestown, Massachusetts is a suburb of Boston that is famous for having bred the highest amount of professional bank robbers in the world. Within this haven of crime lives Doug McCray and James Coughlin’s (Jeremy Renner) crew. After the crew takes on a robbery that ends in innocent people dying and the traumatizing of a young woman, McCray seeks to leave the town and seek a life without crime. But, much the same as The Godfather, the hands of the criminal underworld don’t let go very easily.

The cast in this film does an unprecedented job at portraying the inner workings of The Town. Renner in particular stands out by playing the criminally addicted Coughlin. Fresh off his Oscar nomination from last year’s best picture winner “The Hurt Locker,” Renner is a rising star. The cast also includes dramatic heavy-weights: John Hamm, Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite.

Although Ben Affleck is  still developing as a director, his ability to convey to the audience the dark underbelly of society has yet to disappoint. “The Town” is a solid film and will certainly provide you with an experience that you can rave about for several weeks to come.

You may contact Nathan Westfall at nathanwestfall@gmail.com

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