Public Enemies (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Kevin R Brown
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Public Enemies (WARNING: SPOILERS)

I really liked it, but I think it'll have a pretty niche audience.


If you're a real geek for historical accuracy, I think you just may walk out of the film spitting-up bile. Sticking out tongue It's true enough to the flavor of the times, but the story is heavily embellished, and Dillinger himself is pretty heavily romanticized (not nearly as violent in the film as he reportedly was in actuality). Also, if you're looking for your nightly intake of boobs, you definately need to look elsewhere (I'm looking at *you*, Mr. Dammit! Sticking out tongue ); there are two scenes in particular that I'm pretty sure you'll find annoying (a bedroom scene where John and Billy wrestle around on the bed, but for some bizarre reason her night gown never comes off, and a scene where she's naked in the tub but (as an obvious tease) John blocks the view of any naughty bits).

So it gets maybe 1.5 out of 10 boobies, and maybe 3-4 out of 10 dusty history books.


The rest, though, is really tight. The Dillinger story is really just used as a frame of reference to explain why people tend to love bad guys, how most federal policing agencies really just started-out gangs in their own right that the fed used to protect their banks, and to show the stark contrast between the kind of criminals that lawmen relentlessly hunt down vs those that lawmen tend to turn a blind eye toward.

The dialogue is spot on, the shoot outs are fun and there is absolutely no holding back on realistically presenting the damage firearms do to human bodies. So it gets 8 out of 10 tommy guns, and 7-8 out of 10 old black typewriters. Some people (Hamby) might also be pleased to hear that the car chases are very minimal (only 1, and it doesn't last very long at all); there are plenty of getaway scenes, but mostly (in keeping with historical accuracy) Dillinger speeds away without anyone on his tail.


Certainly not 'movie of the year' by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly worth the 10 bucks and couple of hours f your time (if you're at all into prohibition-era gangster films).

"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940

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 Yeah, I figured that would

 Yeah, I figured that would be the case.  I read the historical novel/true crime book (odd combo) that Mann based the film on and enjoyed that, and I'm a big fan of Michael Mann's up to a point (I think he went downhill fast after The Insider), but most of the reviews sound disappointing.  Mann should try his hand at a procedural again and push the big set pieces to the back, I think.  Not many people know that he was the first director to tackle a Hannibal Lecter story in Manhunter, which is an excellently put together film, if loaded with cheesy 80's music.  

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell

greek goddess
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My brother was an extra in

My brother was an extra in the scene where John meets Billie (filmed at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago). You can see him directly behind Johnny Depp a few times, which was pretty cool! (My family decided we had to go see it for ourselves after getting several calls from friends that recognized Peter in the background. Peter himself said that during filming, they paused a couple times, and he overheard one of the cameramen complaining to a director, "All I see is this fucking kid behind Johnny Depp! Can't we do somthing about him?!&quotEye-wink

Anyways, I thought the film was good, but lacked epic greatness. There were a few "anachronisms" - e.g. people using patterns of speech that sound more like the 90's than the 30's, and a couple scenes shot around Chicago where they didn't completely succeed in blocking out more modern details. My mom didn't like Marion Cotillard's French accent, and thought the part would have been better played by an American actress, but I thought the accent fit with her character. However, I did think she needed more "edge," considering that she was dating a gangster - she seemed a bit too softspoken and prim at times. I still loved her & Johnny Depp as a couple though.

Anyways, there were a lot of little details like the aforementioned ones that detracted from the storyline or deviated a bit from history, and I think that affected the overall movie. But it's definitely worth checking out, and a good movie as a whole, especially, as Kevin said, if you love films based in history.

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Naked Lunch anyone?

Kevin R Brown wrote:

... and 7-8 out of 10 old black typewriters.

Oooh, typewriter porn!


Oh yeah, you're a hot little Electromatic, aren't you? Aren't you! Show me those bars baby. Return that carridge! Return it!