Monday, July 6, 2009

Public Enemy - Michael Mann

This should be a good movie. Public Enemies , I'm talking about. This should keep you interested. You should care when Dillinger gets it. You should be glad the cad is gone ; or you should be so stirred up with mixed feelings about the guy that you don't know what to feel. But you should care. I'm not being real honest here. I did care. I thought to myself,"Yay! This must mean it's winding down. I will soon be outta here."
I'm placing all the blame on the shoulders of Michael Mann. This would have been a much better film if it were more Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde) and less Michael Mann. Johnny Depp as Dillinger and Marion Cottilard as Billie Frechette did a fine job with what they were given. Why the hell weren't they given more? We never got a real feel for Dillinger...yeah, handsome gangster daredevil. Depp can deliver that with his mouth closed. Can I get a little more? It seemed to be all gunfight and no personality.
Even the sets and costumes felt like , well , sets and costumes. The street scenes in Chicago were pretty Disneyfied. Wasn't this the Depression era? Sure the gangsters get to dress nice...and yeah, the GMen wear suits...but everyone else on the streets looked like they were wearing "authentic 1930's era clothing". Ya get me? You could almost hear , between scenes , "quiet..and...ACTION!"
Christian Bale is at a low point with his portrayal of Melvin Purvis.I've seen him be genious as an actor. Not this time. He walks through this movie ,robotic, chanting in his head,"Get John Dillinger..Get John Dillinger..."Reading the Wickipedia description of Melvin Purvis was more interesting than watching Bale become him. The ridiculous scene showing Purvis rescuing a urine soaked Billie from an abusive and brutal interrogator , complete with dramatic music, will forever provide me with a chuckle when I'm feeling low.

This is the truth: I'm going to a Johnny Depp movie when it comes out ; no matter what the review. This was a perfect opportunity to show what he can do without all the make-up and big costumes. I'm hoping he plays a few more "real" guys while he still has fun with the characters. I wonder how he would do with more involvement in post-production.
The trailer sucked me right in and I had high expectations.With all the money..all the time...all the talent..I really think the movie-going public should get more than this.

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