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Jcomp
07-02-2009, 07:07 PM
Saw it last night. Good movie. Not great, but not everything can be Heat. I do admire that Michael Mann "goes big" and tries to make a slow-burning epic every time out. This time he's not quite there.

Johnny Depp is brilliant though. This is the story of John Dillinger and if his character wasn't played magnificently the movie would fall flat. Depp rocks the house on this one. All of the other characters are pretty much one-note and orbit him.

The choice to shoot this in digital is interesting, and the tight camera shots in many scenes attempts to give the entire movie a very "happening here & now" vibe. At first it was a bit jarring, particularly in a period piece, constantly looking over character's shoulders or directly into their faces like they're standing right in front of you, but after a while it drew me in.

There's some missed opportunities here. Just by the way it was filmed and the choices of where to focus the story I had very little sense that this was all occurring during the Great Depression. I now understand why Christian Bale's role in the film has been so heavily downplayed in commercials, because his character's a complete stiff who barely has any opportunity at all to emote. And the action scenes, while reasonably well done, lack any effective intensity. It's a little unfair to keep holding a director's previous efforts against him, but Mann's executed some brilliant gunfights before, from the shootout in the streets in Heat to the climax of Thief and the tense sequences in Collateral. Here, particularly for a movie so bent on making things appear up close and intimate, the gunfights come off as distant. I never felt any sense of danger or tension or excitement while watching any of those scenes.

All in all though, again, good flick. I'd recommend it.

Kathleen42
07-02-2009, 09:57 PM
I now understand why Christian Bale's role in the film has been so heavily downplayed in commercials, because his character's a complete stiff who barely has any opportunity at all to emote.

I think you've just described every Christian Bale character I've seen.

childeroland
07-03-2009, 07:46 AM
@Jcomp

How would you compare this to Collateral and Miami Vice?

Jcomp
07-03-2009, 08:45 AM
@Jcomp

How would you compare this to Collateral and Miami Vice?

On the ambition scale it's closer to Miami Vice or even Heat. On the pure entertainment and execution scale it's below Collateral. Overall, I'd say somewhere in between the two. I personally enjoyed Collateral and was underwhelmed by Miami Vice. This is a step up from the latter, but--aside from Depp--not quite as entertaining and effective as the former.

Jcomp
07-03-2009, 08:48 AM
I think you've just described every Christian Bale character I've seen.

Ha! I actually like Bale, he has his moments, but he also has some roles that seem to require little more than hard, sullen stares (3:10 to Yuma, for instance).

That said, the guy can definitely play some very intense characters (Patrick Bates from American Psycho and his character in Shaft immediately come to mind). I also loved him in The Prestige, which is one of my favorite movies.

dgiharris
07-03-2009, 09:30 AM
Ha! I actually like Bale, he has his moments, but he also has some roles that seem to require little more than hard, sullen stares (3:10 to Yuma, for instance).

That said, the guy can definitely play some very intense characters (Patrick Bates from American Psycho and his character in Shaft immediately come to mind). I also loved him in The Prestige, which is one of my favorite movies.

Yes, American Psycho was intense, no other word to describe it.

As for the movie Heat. I really loved that movie but wish De Niro's character got away with the robbery at the end.

As for Public Enemies. I'll watch anything Johny Depp does.

Mel...

maestrowork
07-03-2009, 08:14 PM
As much as I like Bale, I'd like to see him in some fluff, something that is not intense, tormented, or both.

But maybe not. We already have Christian Bale lite who does all that fluff and fun stuff: Bradley Cooper.

dgiharris
07-03-2009, 09:23 PM
As much as I like Bale, I'd like to see him in some fluff, something that is not intense, tormented, or both.

American Psycho was light and fluffy :D

Mel...

Zoombie
07-04-2009, 12:38 PM
I wanna see this movie!

I've been dying to see an action film that doesn't insult my intelligence ever since Star Trek...

Kathleen42
07-04-2009, 04:57 PM
Saw it last night and loved it. Gorgeous cinematography, great performance by Depp, and an amazing soundtrack.

Kathleen42
07-04-2009, 05:22 PM
Why has no one ever told me about Otis Taylor?

maestrowork
07-05-2009, 03:30 AM
Saw it. It was good, but not exceptional. Depp was good. Bale was okay -- he just doesn't have much to do. And Crudup had fun play J.E. Hoover. But the movie feels long and dragged out. I don't know if I like the video look -- it just seems inconsistent throughout the whole film. Also, they took a lot of dramatic licenses. Like, for example, how would they know he actually stopped by the Dillinger Squad? To me, it was humorous but overplayed.

Epiphany
07-05-2009, 04:41 AM
I hated the digital filming... kept pulling me out of the movie.

But the gazillions of cameos were neato. :D It could have been a tad shorter though. It was one of those movies where I really noticed how long it was.