Ben Affleck, director, co-writer, and star of The Town, says the new Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray version of the film is the cut he wanted to make. In a printed message from Affleck enclosed in the set, he talks about sacrifices that had to be made when editing the theatrical version. Affleck wasn’t satisfied with the first extended cut, previously released on Blu-ray. He is very passionate about this new alternate extended cut, considering it to be superior to the original. He does stress that the new version won’t change the minds of anyone who didn’t like the movie in the first place, but believes it’s something fans of the film should enjoy. The cut exclusive to the Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes many of the same additional scenes as the previous version, but offers a never before seen alternate ending. While the previous extended cut offered interesting insight into the characters, it also brought out some of the film’s weaknesses. All three cuts of the film are included in the new box set.
The Town stars Affleck as Doug MacRay, a professional thief who pulls off heists with his best friend James “Jem” Loughlin (Jeremy Renner) and their group of low-life friends. MacRay comes from a troubled background. His mom took off when he was six and his dad (Chris Cooper) is serving multiple life sentences for murdering two armored car guards. After being taken in by Jem’s family, he ends up on the same path as his dad. While Jem seems all too happy to make a living by robbing banks, MacRay is conflicted. At one time he could have been a professional hockey player and gotten out of Charlestown. But after his hockey dreams fell apart, he found himself working for the same low-level organized crime boss, Fergus Colm (Pete Postlethwaite), his father had worked for.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, is a one square mile section of Boston that happens to be populated by a high number of bank robbers. In an effort to create a realistic feel, Affleck takes inspiration from real life heists that took place in the area. The Skeletor masks worn by the band of bank robbers in the opening scene were taken right out of real FBI files, according to Affleck. This opening scene sets up the uneasy relationship MacRay has with Jem and with his life as a professional bank robber. While MacRay comforts a nervous female employee as she opens the vault, the hot-headed Jem bashes the head of the bank manager with the butt of his rifle. He then decides they need to take the female employee as a hostage while fleeing the bank. While they ultimately let the hostage go, they are nervous she will figure out who they are. Fortunately for them, she was blind-folded and never saw them without their masks.