Thursday, August 20, 2009

Public Enemy

Sorry about the hiatus.
I have a few pictures to run by you, luckily they are still in cinemas.
They picture won't knock you off your feet, or keep you riveted to the edge of your seat, however it will entertain those that respect historical character studies that offer solid writing and great performances.
If you are alive and well in this universe you don't need me to tell you, that Johnny Depp can act, and deserves all the respect he gets for pursuing challenging interesting roles that keep him as far as possible away from being typecast. In Public Enemy he delivers again. The performance is a bit subdued and although I admit I wasn't around in the 1930's I am guessing the portrayal is probably pretty accurate. I think the director Michael Mann chose Depp for his ability to pull off Dellinger in this not so larger than life way. After all this is a criminal that was always in hiding and elusive, so playing him big and boisterous probably isn't too realistic. Johnny knows exactly how to do this while keeping viewers in an unbiased state in their opinion of Dellinger by not glorifying the criminal's not so admirable qualities. Like in Tim Robbins' 1995's Dead Man Walking, he had Sean Penn play the death row inmate's character in such a way that we did not get carried away in character admiration or sympathize with the criminal. He accomplished this by having Penn play the role in a subdued non-remorseful way, while at the same time constantly reminding viewers that this guy wasn't a great guy with gruesome flashbacks of the crime. I love when directors allow us to make up our own opinion of a character instead of cramming sentimentalities or propaganda down our throats. Mann accomplished this with the Dellinger character and for me that was the best part of the movie.
The supporting cast was strong, most notably the ever underrated and intense Christian Bale. Bale was the intense ying to the reserved yang of Depp's Dellinger.
I also want to mention that Mann delivered us another classic gun fight, reminiscent of his 1995 flick Heat. Catch it also in video, as it accomplishes cinematic history by casting DeNiro and Pacino on the screen at the same time. Riveting.
Overall I give this movie a 7 out of 10 and can't recommend it to everyone so please consider my review and see it if what I describes interests you.

3 comments:

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  2. Whoops.. had to repost as my fat fingers made me spell things double plus un-good.

    I do wish to see this, and I feel I must, before he plays Carol Channing and ruins himself for all future roles. Then I can say "yes, I saw Depp before he was in that OTHER movie then moved to the island to spray reporters with liquid manure, get fat and die like Brando."

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  3. I am a big Brando fan, however Depp has proven much wiser with the roles that he picks for himself. Brando at Depp's age had many blunders, although he was great in all of them.

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