At last, my long-awaited review for Inception is here. Who DOESN’T want to talk about this movie? Now, I’m going to attempt to write about this in a way that allows people who have yet to see it to skip over the spoilery parts, but if you’re super-strict about such things you might just want to come back here after you’ve seen it. And yes, you should see it. I am breaking my pattern here and telling you upfront that this is a film to watch. I saw The Prestige and I did not enjoy it, but I really liked this film (and yes, I understood The Prestige far too well, which is part of the reason why I didn’t like it–but I’ll get into that when I write that film up). So, for those of you who are terribly behind on your cinema exposure, go see Inception and then get back to me. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Public Enemies’
Posted by Cantankerous Panda on September 26, 2010
Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged: Batman Begins, cerebral sci-fi, Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Film review, Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Modern films, Oscars, Pete Postlethwaite, Public Enemies, recommended, Shutter Island, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Tom Hardy, Top recommendations, Whip It | 7 Comments »
Posted by Cantankerous Panda on August 23, 2009
Director: Michael Mann
Written by: Ronan Bennett, Michael Mann, Ann Biderman; book “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34” by Bryan Burrough
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Jason Clarke, Stephen Graham, Emilie de Ravin, Giovanni Ribisi
Recommended? Yes, but with a disclaimer.
Disclaimer being: IT IS LONG. It is a long movie that sort of hops back and forth between short bursts of action and “near misses” with the FBI.
This film is based on the true story of John Dillinger, the famous and beloved bank robber. The people simply adored him, and because of this, he was able to hide in their midst. J. Edgar Hoover HATED Dillinger and became so obsessed with catching him that, legend has it, he had a whole “shrine” of Dillinger items that he kept after Dillinger’s death, basically as trophies. There’s your background info.
As for how the film progressed, I will admit one thing: it’s not fast-paced. At all. The action is really wonderfully realistic (I say this as if I’ve seen real gunfights before) and it’s fun, but the entire film less action and more build-up to the inevitable fate of Dillinger, or even just build-up to each individual robbery/predicament in which Dillinger finds himself. It’s enjoyable to watch, certainly, but it’s not the greatest film of the year.
What carries the film is the performances, but only one of the two leads is compelling. Johnny Depp can do no wrong, it seems, and his portrayal of Dillinger is no exception. He’s every bit the cocky (and cocksure) public enemy, and you cannot help but love the man. Depp is the perfect actor to cast in a bad guy role where the audience has to want the bad guy to win. As for Christian Bale, well, I could have done without him. Maybe I’m missing something about Bale, but I haven’t really enjoyed a performance from him since American Psycho. There was nothing particularly interesting about his character, which may be because the real-life FBI Agent Purvis was lacking, the script was lacking, or Bale was simply lacking. I didn’t quite buy his Americaness in this film, either, which bugged me since he is playing a decent role in a chunk of American history. I found his entire performance to be fairly bland, and I didn’t even care when he stood up to Hoover. Speaking of Hoover, Billy Crudup was nearly unrecognizable with his clothes on and without the blue skintone. I don’t believe that he looked a lot like Hoover, but he definitely had the creepy, dodgy, man with too much power act down to a tee, and I bought the role. For the duration of the film, Crudup absolutely WAS J. Edgar Hoover, and I didn’t like him one bit (which, of course, is the point).
As for the female roles, Marion Cotillard was terribly likeable and adorable as Dillinger’s girlfriend Billie. She had a very classic look to her, as well, which made me quite happy. She reminded me very much of the actresses of the golden era of Hollywood, and that fit very nicely into the timeframe of the film. She was equally sweet and sexy, innocent and resourceful, susceptible and strong. I thought she was rather delightful. Emilie de Ravin played Anna, better known as “The Lady in Red”, and I didn’t really find her performance to be particularly noteworthy. That might be due the fact that her role wasn’t really major. She wasn’t bad, but I just don’t think there’s much to say about her. I mention her because she’s the second female lead, which doesn’t say much in a movie that revolves around men and their guns.
Overall, it’s a movie you can enjoy if you don’t mind the pace, but don’t expect it to be the most amazing gangster movie you’ve ever seen. It’s also a fun film for Johnny Depp fans of all sorts, and his performance is awesome, as per usual. I recommend this film to serious film-goers who can handle a bit of a slow-paced film mixed with some enjoyable shoot-outs.
Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged: Ann Biderman, based on a true story, Billy Crudup, Bryan Burrough, Christian Bale, Emilie de Ravin, Film review, gangster film, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Clarke, John Dillinger, Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Michael Mann, Modern films, Oscars, Public Enemies, recommended, Ronan Bennett, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Graham | 4 Comments »