Monday, March 23, 2009


My buddy out in Hell-A got a chance to attend a test screening of Michael Mann's Public Enemies, which hits theaters on July 1st. Here are the choice nuggets from the review he sent me:

"Michael Mann goes retro Heat with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies. Depp once again conquers the screen with another great performance in his acting arsenal as the legendary bank robber trying to make a buck the dangerous way with a special FBI task force on his be clear, this is a movie about John Dillinger. Those wondering why Johnny Depp's name is much bigger than co-star Christian Bale's on the poster: this is Depp's film, not Bale's. His FBI agent Melvin Purvis is a surprisingly small role that shows up in chunks, then vanishes for vast amounts of screen time. Same goes for Cotillard...those familiar with director Mann's far superior Heat will recognize several parallels within the story. There is the main good guy FBI agent (Bale) taking on the main bad guy bank robber (Depp) in a sort of cat and mouse chase across the midwest...under mounds of makeup and a thick accent, Crudup seems to be having as much fun in his role as J. Edgar Hoover as Depp. If only he had more screen time...action fanatics needn't be worried as Mann is no stranger to staging action sequences. They are detailed, well-shot and loud. There is no shortage in the budget for how many rounds a Tommy Gun can fire. There aren't many visible gunshot wounds, but a few to the gut and a handful to some heads will satisfy those needing a little red juice on their plate...then there is the cinematography. Dante Spinotti reteams with Mann to provide some striking images, but this film is more controlled than what Mann has been putting out lately. If you're looking for Miami Vice or Collateral style angles or shots, you best look elsewhere. Cinematography is detailed and defined, with some great hand held sequences but once again resembles something closer to Heat, not too surprising since he shot that too...this was a work print and after seeing the film it will easily take another viewing or two to fully absorb all the different characters. Some people will be confused as to who everyone is, but in defense there are a lot of characters. Detail to every scene is top notch and the detail in the phone operator rooms is especially impressive. Mann purists should be extremely happy. Reviews will most likely be mixed. Box Office should be respectable for the 80 million budgeted film...I found it tremendously entertaining."

Sounds awesome to me.

No comments: