Archive for the ‘Amy Rosenbloom’ Category

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Public Enemies

July 13, 2009

Today we are featuring a guest ‘blonde,’ Amy Rosenbloom, and her review of Public Enemies.

AMY SAYS:

While cat-sitting for my cousin, my boyfriend and I had the itch to see a movie at the nearby, very cheap Highland Theaters. Our choices were Transformers 2: Revenge of the Nausea-Inducing Dialogue, The Proposal (of a Predictable Rom-Com Plotline), and Public Enemies. A 1930’s shoot-‘em-up with Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard based on the true story of a larger-than-life gangster? What’s not to like?

You’d be surprised.

I tried to like this movie. I really did. It’s fun to watch Johnny Depp breeze through bank robberies and prison breaks with more confidence than you could shake a stick (or shoot a Tommy gun) at. It’s fun to see Christian Bale lose himself in the persona of a freshly minted FBI agent who just wants to do what’s right. And it’s fun to watch Marion Cotillard fall in love with John Dillinger, the anti-hero of the Great Depression, and the promise of both sweeping romance and extravagant riches.

But, eh.

About an hour in, I was bored. Some scenes are too long and/or unnecessary. I didn’t even know who some people were supposed to be. Baby Face Nelson shows up, and no one acknowledges who he is until two or three scenes later. Giovanni Ribisi appears as…some guy with glasses? I guess?

And as picky film/TV nerds, my boyfriend and I giggled at the harsh lighting during the night scenes (the many, many night scenes):

Me: I didn’t know they had 1Ks in the woods back then.

Boyfriend: Eh, maybe 5Ks with filters to cut them down.

End nerdy snark.

There is also an epic shootout in the woods outside John Dillinger’s Wisconsin log cabin hideout, but I couldn’t tell who was shot. (By the way, I found out the shootout was in Wisconsin from Wikipedia because the movie doesn’t provide nearly enough historical context.) For a moment, a guy with Dillinger’s haircut falls down from a gunshot wound, and the only reason I knew it wasn’t Dillinger was that the movie had about an hour to go. The writers wouldn’t kill him off that early; there’s no way.

Another big aspect of the movie I didn’t like was that I didn’t know if I was supposed to root for the FBI or against them. They are just kind of…there. At times, they appear to be virtuous men who desire to deliver justice, and at others, they are simply bumbling oafs who make the bad guys look downright intelligent. Should I cheer for the dashing bad guy, even though the good guys win in the end? (Sorry for the slight spoiler, but you could find that out just by Googling Dillinger*.) If I don’t know who the hero is, how am I supposed to invest my emotions in this movie?

That being said, every negative review of this movie has put in a good word about Michael Mann, since he is capable of producing/directing/writing better than this. I’m adding my review to that list.

LA Viewers: You can definitely wait until this shows up on HBO or basic cable, but if you need to go to a movie theater right now and can’t find a proper alternative to Transformers 2: Revenge of Shia The Beef, then find a super cheap theater like Highland Theaters in Highland Park, The Vista in Silver Lake, or The Los Feliz 3 in…Los Feliz.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Same deal, only I’m sure you won’t have as much difficulty finding a cheap movie theater.

*Googling Dillinger is my new quirky indie flick about a girl who, after constantly surfing the web in search of stories about her hero, John Dillinger, is surprised to find him in her bedroom after a freak electrical storm brings him out of the 1930s and into the 21st century. Coming to a theater near you in 2012.

**Here is the lovely, Ms. Rosenbloom.  Note, she is not an actual blonde, but she does like movies.

Amy Rosenbloom

Amy Rosenbloom

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