Tell us what you thought of ‘Public Enemies’

Posted by · 11:04 am · July 1st, 2009

Johnny Depp in Public Enemies

I think we all know what most movie-goers — well, those who won’t be lining Fox’s pockets at “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” — are going to see this week, so while I’ve offered my thoughts in full, and even dedicated an installment of The Lists to the film’s director and his eye for talent, it’s time to deliver your thoughts.  I imagine people are beginning to make their way out of matinees by now, so head on back here once you’ve seen “Public Enemies” and tell us what you thought.




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47 responses so far

  • 1 7-01-2009 at 11:11 am

    Rob said...

    It starts in 20 minutes…

    I’m so excited I might explode!

  • 2 7-01-2009 at 11:17 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Most movie-goers are seeing Ice Age this week.

  • 3 7-01-2009 at 11:53 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Fair enough. I forgot about that film the moment I left the theater, so it’s understandable it would slip my mind now.

  • 4 7-01-2009 at 12:41 pm

    Vito said...

    I really enjoyed it. Not as good as Heat, haha. Depp was brilliant. Mann’s directing was fantastic. The end sequence at the Biograph Theater is the work of a master. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Crudup, though. Bale was good, but they didn’t go in depth enough with Purvis.

  • 5 7-01-2009 at 12:42 pm

    Johanna said...

    I saw it several hours ago and thought it was great. Marion was fabulous, very strong cast! I think it ought to get some (a lot of) Oscar love, even though it might not. More great films to come this year, hopefully, I hope it doesn’t get neglected by the Academy, because it’s worth it.

  • 6 7-01-2009 at 12:45 pm

    Johanna said...

    I agree with Vito: I thought Crudup could have done a great job as Hoover if given the chance. And, in my opinion, Bale, with the material given, was fantastic. I love both, by the way.

  • 7 7-01-2009 at 12:52 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    It was a decent movie, nothing amazing, good but not great, it there were 5 movies it wouldnt be nominated, but now with ten I have no idea

  • 8 7-01-2009 at 1:39 pm

    Davidraider88 said...

    3.5/4

    Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard were great and IMO Christian Bale was mediocre.

  • 9 7-01-2009 at 1:45 pm

    Ron said...

    It was great. I just saw it and the movie is the one of the most original and artistic gangster pictures since the godfather. It was astounding the HD camera work and I agree with what Mann has said in the past that it brings a whole new way of filming night scenes that film just cant catch. Johnny Depp is at his best as Dillinger. He leaves all the carton behavior behind for a truly complex character with tremendous rewards for those who look for them. He plays very low key until moments call for them and when they come the pay off is huge. That is what Mann brings to cinema are complex and most the time bottled up individuals, that will reward the audience for those rare moments of pure emotion. To me the most emotional scene in the movie is when Dillinger see’s Billie being arrested and fifteen or so law men around and instead of leaving as fast as possible which is what he does. He instead instinctively pulls the hammer on his pistol and walks towards her only stopping himself by the middle of the street and then turns around to flee with the rare instance of him breaking down and crying. That scene was a reward to the audience because it was built and did not seem forced like so many movies do today. Same with Bale he nails his character perfectly and rewards us with vengeful intensity during a shoot out and with gentleness during an interrogation. This type of acting that man strives for from his actors should not be put down, but in braced. It is a shame that the acting in this movie is getting attacked by many critics the way it is. Cotilliard is great in her role too, as is all the supporting characters. The movie is so intense with the acting and filming that it provides a whole new gangster movie experience that has never been seen before. To me I say it has chances if the public embraces it to get nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actor (Depp), Supporting Actress (Cotilliard), Editing, Cinematography, score, and sound mixing. I wish though that Bale would be noticed to for his exceptional character acting in a supporting role but I just don’t see it happening. Overall the movie is great, it strives to show you Dillinger the professional and loyal criminal, Dillinger the man who fell in love with his Black Bird, and nothing more. Deal with it! That is what Mann wants to present along with Purvis and the FBI story line. Mann’s best since The Insider.

  • 10 7-01-2009 at 1:50 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    2.5/4

    Thought Depp and Cotillard were great but the HD cinematography completely took me out of the film. And that Biograph scene at the end was absolutely fantastic UNTIL that CGI blood explosion.

    On the plus side, the action sequences were thrilling and the sound was AWESOME. For me, this film has the best sound of any film, by far. Yes, it even beats Trek and Transformers.

  • 11 7-01-2009 at 2:02 pm

    James D. said...

    2/5

    I expected a lot more. After seeing the way Jesse James was treated in his movie two years ago, it is hard to appreciate such grandiose portrayals of people like Dillinger. In a few months I doubt I could recall a single scene.

  • 12 7-01-2009 at 2:12 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Intriguing split .

  • 13 7-01-2009 at 2:15 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “For me, this film has the best sound of any film, by far.”

    Wow, you mean of this year, or of all time?

  • 14 7-01-2009 at 2:34 pm

    Ross Miller said...

    I thought it was a great film – superb performance from Depp (although I don’t see why Bale had to be in there – he plays second fiddle the entire way through), a good dose of both thrills and drama (I’ve heard a lot of people feel it lacks many compelling examples of the latter, which I wholeheartedly disagree with), amazing direction from Mann. The full package in my eyes.

    Did anyone have a problem with the digital/handheld camera not suting the period setting? Seeing the trailer it looked like it might be a problem but it really worked for me in context.

    4.5/5 from me.

  • 15 7-01-2009 at 2:40 pm

    James D. said...

    Looking back, some of my frustration with the film had to do with the poor theater I attended. It had reopened today under new management, and it had many problems, including lighting, sound, and poor people.

    With that said, I still was not overly impressed. Depp was wonderful, as always, and I rooted for him against a conclusion we all knew was coming. I thought that Bale was atrocious, and I am about ready to give up on him as a serious actor. Cotillard, who is usually brilliant, was miscast.

    I would have preferred if Mann didn’t spend so much time rubbing historical figures in our faces. Did anyone really need a J. Edgar Hoover or a Frank Nitti? Even Floyd, a fascinating character, was wasted. Nelson was the only one I appreciated.

    I knew I was unimpressed when the strongest emotional moment for me was the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are.

  • 16 7-01-2009 at 2:42 pm

    Ron said...

    Assasination of Jesse James was a different monster all together. I love that movie too but it chose to view the retired man who is Jesse James rather than show him at the peak of his career in which you would have seen a movie very similar to Public Enemies. It just depends on what you want out of a movie. Where I like to go in to the theater expecting to see what they want us to take from the movie. Public Enemies is not a Biographical movie or is it just a study of the man. It is an in the moment look at Dillinger in his peak as a Criminal. No to much soul searching going on when you are alway on the run and planning you next job. It is not Dillinger’s life but moore being on the run with Dillinger as apposed to just watching a movie, this is one you should fell. The atmosphere, bullet holes, and intensity of what it would feel like. Mann is one of the only directors who does this with out the use of D-Box seats or 3-D.

  • 17 7-01-2009 at 2:45 pm

    Rob said...

    Fantastic. Thrilling really. The idea of shooting on digital and with handhelds really worked for me. Depp was great and Cotillard made a real impact with limited screen time. I can easily see this one resurfacing come awards time.

  • 18 7-01-2009 at 2:58 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    James D- Poor people are a problem at movie theaters now?

  • 19 7-01-2009 at 3:19 pm

    James D. said...

    Ron – I understand that they are different movies with different goals, but the comparison is there to make; two larger than life criminals and their downfall. After TAOJJ, I cannot appreciate films where people become superhuman. I was annoyed by the fat policeman dropping his gun when Dillinger looked at him, just as I was troubled that Purvis had the aim of a military sniper when taking down Floyd (which I don’t believe is historically accurate, so it was an intentional event placed in by Mann).

    It was a fun movie, just not a great work of art. I succumbed to rooting for Dillinger, which is a sign that the film worked for me. I would call it the best film of 2009 thus far (having only seen this, Away We Go, The Hangover, and the Brothers Bloom), but will I remember it come Oscar season? I doubt it. It is the kind of movie I could watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon if it was on television, but it isn’t something I would have my friends watch immediately.

    Chad Hartigan – I usually attend the local upscale theater, which serves a meal, wine, and caters to upper class people. However, since I had class tonight, and they only open in the afternoon, I was forced toward other options. I am not used to the guffaws, the groans, and the cell phone usage of the masses. I am also not used to people explaining simple plot points to their partners (this isn’t Synecdoche, New York, for crying out loud).

  • 20 7-01-2009 at 3:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    People keep complaining about the HD not “suiting the period,” apparently without understand the level of realism Mann wanted to capture with it. What’s so “suiting” to the period where 35mm is concerned anyway? Because digital has a contemporary feel? Supplant “contemporary” for “realistic” and you’ll better understand the aim, I think.

  • 21 7-01-2009 at 3:23 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I haven’t seen it Kris, but I get the feeling that no matter how good the production design and costumes are, the fact that they are not photographed in a way that highlights their beauty will make them lost on the Academy.

  • 22 7-01-2009 at 3:53 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I don’t know what’s worse: the implication that anyone who doesn’t attend the “local upscale theatre” is “poor,” or that so-called “poor people” are too stupid to follow “simple plot points.”

    As someone who regularly attends the local multiplex with all the other wretches in my economic bracket, thanks for that.

  • 23 7-01-2009 at 4:11 pm

    Davidraider88 said...

    Geesh James D., do you live somewhere that copies “The Age of Innocence”?

  • 24 7-01-2009 at 4:12 pm

    Jacob said...

    Oh, it’s a very good film, no doubt. I’m not sure how good. I need to see it again. I can’t recall a recent film that’s as purposely stripped down as this one.. My gut reaction was “minor-Vice,” but that’s a top ten film of the decade for me. The cinematography and editing were basically perfect (yes, even the intentionally grainy night shots were beautiful in that Vice/Inland Empire way). Didn’t have a single problem with Bale. My main problem as of now is with the FBI subplot taking up Dillinger/Billie story time (because they nailed it whenever they were on screen).

  • 25 7-01-2009 at 5:16 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    Guy, I meant the film has the best soundtrack (sound FX wise) of the year yet. Sorry I didn’t specify.

    If Mann was trying to go for realism, why didn’t he just shoot the entire film in HD? Don’t take it the wrong way, Kris, again this is just my opinion. I just felt that those HD scenes were jarring compared to the scenes shot on film. It would go from a beautifully shot scene in a train station to a scene like it was shot for “Cops.”

    One question though, would the feeling be the same if Heat was shot entirely in HD? Or Ali for that matter?

  • 26 7-01-2009 at 5:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Certain things can’t be done with HD, plain and simple. I’m surprised anyone was so taken out by the few switches. I barely noticed it.

    As for your last question, I have literally no basis for answering it since I have nothing to look at and compare. They were filmed the way they were, Public Enemies was filmed the way it was.

  • 27 7-01-2009 at 5:53 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Though having said that, nothing in this film looks like a shot for “Cops.” One moment, a dubious handheld decision. That’s it.

  • 28 7-01-2009 at 7:20 pm

    adelutza said...

    I had to get used to the camera work first 15 minutes – I kept getting dizzy – but after that I got swept into the film. Maybe the theater I saw it in wasn’t that great ’cause the sound for me was pretty bad – had to guess what it was said. But all in all I liked it, especially the second part. Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard are good but nothing earth-shattering imho. Bale was excellent, especially after all the roles I’ve seen him playing the same part.
    I guess that I was expected to know the story, that’s why there wasn’t any background on the characters – but I didn’t. The other people in the theater obviously did ( I am in Indiana) so I should not complain about it ;-)
    A good film but don’t think it’ll be considered for Awards.

  • 29 7-01-2009 at 7:48 pm

    JOhnny said...

    WOW is all i can say. THat was wonderful. The hd only added in my opinion. Loved the shots and story. Although i thought Bale’s performance wasn’t his best, he did ok. Cotillard was the real stand out. She will definatly get and oscar nom for this cause she had me crying my eyes out. Shout outs were excellent, diolouge was well written, and bank robbing scenes were divine.

    Wonderful work Mann.

  • 30 7-01-2009 at 8:02 pm

    N8 said...

    The performances were terrific; not showy or sensationalized in any way, but much more sincere for it.

    My biggest gripe is with the action, which was certainly involving, but at the same time confusing because of that shaky camera. Things do look great in HD, but what good is it if your eye can’t focus on anything?

    Small complaints aside, it was a solid film.

  • 31 7-01-2009 at 10:17 pm

    Casey Fiore said...

    thought the film was great. maybe mann’s best directed film yet.
    I went with about 15 of my teen aged male friends. as the credits rolled and i was about to comment on how spectacular the biograph scene was, a friend says “the movie theater scene took way too long”. I then heard several complaints about the amount of talking and repetition of the plot.

    my wonderful night out with the guys climaxed when all of them agreed that the movie suffered from a serious megan fox deficiency

  • 32 7-01-2009 at 10:27 pm

    sebastian said...

    i think it’s a failure in any aspect there is

    realism? are you kidding me? they dont talk like real people, they dont act like real people… so the camera is shaking. wow. how realistic.
    you should work harder then the shoot ugly if you want to create realism in cinema.

    oh, and i think they could at least write a screenplay for that flick. it would have help.

    what a huge disappointment.

  • 33 7-01-2009 at 10:58 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    Just saw the film again earlier tonight (last showing of the day) but this time in a 4K digital theater rather than film projection. The HD scenes are presented MUCH MUCH better through digital than regular projection. I think I have to bump up my rating from 2.5 to 3.5 out of 4 because the switches weren’t jarring at all this time around.

  • 34 7-02-2009 at 12:11 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    My thoughts:

    1. Dennis Haysbert’s character in “Heat” was provided with more character development and context than any of the characters in Public Enemies. At this point in his life, Mann is certainly more interested in what his characters do – not why.

    2. Jason Clarke is going places.

    3. No problems with the HD or Christian Bale’s performance. It’s not Bale’s fault if the director and script only paint his character in one stroke. But Bale’s face tells all when Mann shoots him up close. That being said, it’s time for Bale to do something different, and The Fighter is a step in the right direction.

    4. I need to see the film again.

    5. For those ultra Mann fans, did you notice that some of John Logan’s lines from his untitled 30’s noir script were used in PE? Interesting.

  • 35 7-02-2009 at 1:22 am

    Tina K said...

    Just saw it a couple hours ago and thought it was great. No problem with the HD and thought the handheld was a great way to go. I agree with Jacob in regards to Dillinger/Frechette. While I was worried that the romance part of the story would take away from the Dillinger/FBI arc, the Depp/Cotillard performances were what really grabbed my attention through the film. They were great together…My only problem with the film was Bale. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying his performance was bad, I would have to agree with Mr. Gittes….I’ve seen this performance from Bale already. Towards the end of the movie, my friend next to me kept whispering “Batman,” everytime he was onscreen.

    While I think Depp and Cotillard deserve attention during awards season, I don’t think they will get it.

  • 36 7-02-2009 at 7:32 am

    Mike_M said...

    I liked the movie a lot, but it had a gloss that I wasn’t fond of (as I have said before I am a fan of digital though, so not sure what it was). In some cases I think I could tell when the movie jumped to film and those moments were jarring to me. Was I the only one who thought the slow-mo at the end looked bad?

    The theater I went to seemed to have the sound a little low though, some scenes it was tough to hear what was being said. (it was an advance screening for AMEX card holders on Tuesday night though, so maybe they weren’t calibrated for it?

    I thought Depp was good and Bale was not to bad either, he did what he could with what he was given. I wanted more Crudup.

    I really loved the scene when Depp landed in Indiana and all the press was there and lighting flares where used, that looked stunning.

    I want to see this movie again to determine if I give it a 2.5/4 or a 3.5/4, I keep going back and forth. As mentioned before, even though the comparison is a bit of a stretch, I can’t help comparing this movie to Jesse James. Due to the similar aspects to the story that I found. But Jesse James was better and had a more engulfing story that hooked me, this was not as much.

    Maybe it is something we are accustom to, but most period films we see on the big screen look as if they were shot back in the day (obviously not when the movie takes place, but sometime in the past). I am not saying it is wrong or right, but that is what we are used to, so seeing this movie can be a new experience for some.

    Mann wanted realism and for the viewer to seem like they where there but it didn’t feel real to me and I normally don’t see things with my head shaking so much.

    Not too many people in my screening enjoyed the movie. I am not sure how well this will do this weekend, I hope the long weekend helps and I want it to do well because I want more movie like this to be made.

    @Mr. Gittes
    Good point with number 1, I agree, I guess Mann just wanted us to jump right in to the movie and that place in time, but a little more insight in the characters would have solved my engulfing problem I think.

  • 37 7-02-2009 at 9:12 am

    Zan said...

    2/4

    My review:

    Where to start. When you think of a Michael Mann film, the first trademarks that usually come to mind are psychological thriller, dynamic characterization, appropriate and natural dialogue exchanges, and out-of-the-ordinary music choices that enhance the scenes. Unfortunately, Public Enemies sparsely contains any of those elements.

    Look at a film like Heat. Or The Insider. Or even Miami Vice. The character subtext that guides the film beneath the basic plot is crucial in forming a whole other story to follow and lend weight to the overall product. Aside from a little dip into Dillinger’s mind, we find nothing of the sort. Bale’s character, Melvin Pervis, was as flat as they come, and Bale still did a remarkable job of holding it together. “Nervous” Pervis was an interesting character who had so many anomalies about him and was essentially villified after Dillinger’s death. Mann chooses to show nothing but the face of a captor. His stoicism isn’t a veil for depth– it’s just a face without an identity.

    Hence, with poor characterization, it turns into an action film, and Mann isn’t a classic action director. It shows. Some of the lines that Depp utters you might see in another Michael’s movies. Aphorisms like “we’re livin’ too good today that we ain’t thinkin’ about tomorrow” dominate Dillinger’s persona, leaving a watered-down image of a ruthless gangster.

    Mann’s dramatic music choices are too cliche as well. Every time a supposedly momentous event occurs, we’re bombarded with this overbearing cacophony that’s supposed to mimic tragedy and suspense, and it just doesn’t work.

    And even though Depp’s adequate and Bale’s great, Mann could have done better. In the end, none of it really works.

  • 38 7-02-2009 at 9:44 am

    moviefan said...

    I’m a Michael Mann fan, my ranking of his top 3 films is The Insider, Heat and Mohicans. Public Enemies is probably in Collateral territory, not exactly a bad place to be, but it’s not his best.

    Public Enemies is a high gloss art film, is that a plus or a minus? So many times throughout the film I found myself thinking “Wow, this is a beautiful looking film, Wow, that night firefight in the woods scene looks beautiful”, etc., should I really be thinking all of that rather than getting totally involved in the story? I did love Dante Spinotti’s cinematography and that may be my favorite part of the movie.

    I call this type of film “remote viewing”, I never got really involved with any of the characters and there were almost too many characters, IMO. Some handheld shaky cam sequences made it difficult in some scenes to see what was going on, but there were also just so many characters, I couldn’t keep them all straight. Some smaller roles, like those of John Ortiz or David Wenham, for example, popped in and out so quickly I was thinking, “Who is he again?” The acting overall is fine though I don’t think is Oscar worthy. Depp was good but I didn’t ‘feel’ him inhabiting the role. Marion had a couple of really good scenes and Bale was OK with what he was given.

    I think the movie is good, maybe very good, but stops short of being great. It’s no Bonnie & Clyde or The Untouchables.

    It was entertaining and interesting but not involving. I guess I’d give it a B- and it might go up a little bit on second viewing.

  • 39 7-02-2009 at 11:59 am

    OHH, GOOD FOR YOU!!! said...

    I really enjoyed it. It was good not great, but I wasn’t expecting great. I thought all the performances were solid with Depp, Cotillard and Crudup giving the best performances. Cotillard’s accent was kinda all over the place, but her acting makes up for it. I don’t expect Depp and Cotillard to get Oscars nominations, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they did. Overall I’d give it a 2.5/4

  • 40 7-02-2009 at 5:21 pm

    Tina K said...

    I think the horrendous accents that American actors have given the world gives Cotillard a pass :)

  • 41 7-02-2009 at 7:34 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Gittes: I would argue, conversely, that Mann is more interested in allowing “what” his characters do to illuminate “why,” rather than building such development into the narrative. Just because there is no scene with Dillinger mapping out his motives doesn’t mean they aren’t built into the performance.

  • 42 7-02-2009 at 8:59 pm

    Mark Kratina said...

    Just got back from the film- I have been looking forward to this film for awhile. I read the Burrough book and found it to be one of the most interesting books I have read, hence this was my #1 must-see of 2009.

    Verdict? It was good, not great. I felt the first 2/3rds of the film was a bit dull. I was disappointed Mann did not attempt to show more of the Depression’s effects and why Dillinger was even relevant to begin with, that is, why we remember him today: he was somewhat of a Robin Hood, the people’s champion. Yet we got none of that- none of the public’s reaction to him.

    The handheld cameras were slightly dizzying at times. I honestly thought the one person who came out looking the best was Bale- incredible really when you consider how little material he was given. Crudup was great, too. Depp & Cotillard were both better than okay, but not really memorable.

    As a baseball fan, one detail worth noting is that when Depp asked the policemen what the score was, the reply was, “3-2 Cubs.” We can then hear the announcer of the game clearly say “Yankees” in his description of the game. The Yankees did not play the Cubs in 1934 (the time period depicted). Mann must not be much of a baseball historian. I believe the oldest recorded radio broadcats of a game is a 1938 Yankees’ broadcast, which is likely what was playing, but if you’re going to pass it off as a Cubs’ game, get a Cubs broadcast or don’t play the announcer mentioning “Yankees” while you are filming. Picky, aren’t I?

    I can honestly say my reaction was much better to the 1973 Dillinger film- I’ll have to go back and watch it. The two best scenes of Public Enemies were the shootout at Little Bohemia and the Biograph re-enactment at the end. Everything else was a bit dull. I was surprised at the initial poor reviews coming in for “PE,” but now I understand them a bit better.

  • 43 7-02-2009 at 10:48 pm

    MattyD. said...

    I was disappointed, BUT…I thought the film had moments of greatness. From the scene in Little Bohemia (I think that’s the name of where they were) until the end of the film I was completely enraptured and thought it was so incredibly well-done and had finally married all the tones it had tried so hard earlier to portray (gangster film, character study, tragic love story, action film). Up until that point though, I really had no clue what to think. I felt as though the beginning break-out scene was great, but following that there was nothing I felt of substance.

    I, however, have to agree with critics who find the film lacking in the emotional resonance department. I think the performances by Depp and Cotillard are absolutely mesmerizing, but I feel as though the relationship between Dillinger and Frechette was really lacking in the story. I think that Mann tried hard to incorporate this love story into the main framework of the film and although he did an o.k. job it was lacking the power that it should have given to the film.

    As for it being shot in digital? I loved it. I think it fit perfectly, and love the home-movie/handheld feel of some of the shots. I thought it was brilliance.

    Overall I felt as though the film had moments of brilliance, but ended up coming up short. Definitely one of the better films of the year so far, but I feel like this won’t be one of the best at the end of it all……but that’s just my opinion, and poorly given 1 hour after getting out of the film.

  • 44 7-03-2009 at 9:20 am

    Mike_M said...

    @Mark Kratina:

    I also noticed the flub with the baseball game being a big Yankee fan I always notice when someone brings up their name.

    It sounded to me like the Policeman said 3-2 Cubs over Detroit, didn’t the movie take place between 32-34? The Cubs played Detroit in the 35 World Series… also the Yanks played the Cubs in the 32 and 38 World Series, so maybe the somehow got that confused (though I was easy to notice the mistake which is odd).

    Also I think the first ever radio broadcast of a World Series game was 1922. And the Yankees and Giants and Dodgers were broadcast beginning 38, yet all Cubs games where broadcast starting 1935… regardless it was a mistake and you and I definitely noticed, I am sure others did too.

  • 45 7-03-2009 at 9:34 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    @ Mike M:

    Big Yankee fan here, too. I think it is more likely Mann just grabbed an old baseball broadcast- which happened to be a Yankee broadcast- stuck it in the film and didn’t think twice about it. It should have been a roughly a 1934 game during the summer.

    When I mentioned the earliest radio broadcast, I meant that is available to the public to purchase. Being a baseball and Yankee nut, I follow that stuff because I am a collector. I think the earliest available radio broadcast to own is a 1938 Yankee broadcast, but it could be a shade earlier. But you are correct that the early broadcasts were in the early 20s- its just that I don’t think that would have been available to Mann to use in the film.

    Too funny that both you and I noticed that. I turned to my wife right away and said that it was a mistake. She is used to me noticing things like that in films, so she found it funny, too. Can’t mess with the baseball historians. : )

  • 46 7-03-2009 at 7:17 pm

    Silencio said...

    Just saw it. It’s solid. The strongest aspect for me was the acting, along with some of the music (especially the haunting bluegrassy voices). However.

    Every angle the film gave me, I wanted more of, in depth. There was:
    1) Dillnger’s unwillingness to accept his impending downfall
    2) Billie’s fear of embracing the path that this love pointed her to
    3) The early struggle of J. Edgar Hoover and his rising Bureau; plus its progression towards more ruthless tactics in pursuing targets
    4) The evolution of organized crime paralleled with the increasing isolation of old-time thieves
    5) The public embrace of Robin Hood-esque gunmen (and the possible modern relevance given the deceptions that our banks have committed)

    None of those issues were really explored in depth, so in the end I’m not sure why Mann felt driven to make this particular movie. Really, in the end I think I want to see a good J. Edgar Hoover film now. That actor really captivated me in this film.

    Also, I felt Bale was terrific. He and Depp both gave internalized performances, and they both worked for me. Especially seeing how little Bale had to work with in the script.

    So yeah it was solid, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last with me.

  • 47 10-29-2009 at 8:58 am

    Andrew Murray said...

    A complete turkey, I’m afraid. A thesis-free and highly romanticised chonicle of the life of a killer. Silly in its absurd vision of “A criminal with a conscience” – as hoary a cliche as “The Golden Hearted Whore” – the film was mawkish and absurd.
    My favourite moment? The bit in which the film makers did their best to assure us that Dillinger was a straight-up liberal kind of guy by making one of his fellow felons an African-American. His love of Billie Holiday further establishing his bien-pensant liberal credentials. A car crash of a movie…