Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

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Bento
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Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Bento » 08 Jul 2009, 13:49

The review for the film on the escapist stated that he also felt that their was "alot of movie packed into this movie." The movie touched on the birth of the FBI, Dillinger, The birth of the media savvy super criminal, etc. He stated that when a movie makes you feel like their wasn't enough of it this is a good thing, but I disagree. I have to agree with the philosophy of yahtzee hear. The movie itself took on many things, and it did it in a terrible way. It only touched briefly on any of the themes, which didn't allow me to attach myself in anyway to the film. To me the movie was watered down with to many unnecessary plot points that in the end left me leaving with a sense of nothingness. On the other hand I haven't been to a movie recently that inspired such tension in it's execution. I was on the edge of my seat when John Dillinger was escaping the prison guarded by the national guard. Those moments at the stop light made my heart stop.

So I would give this movie a 3 out of 5 or dot dot dot out of a possible dot dot dot circle triangle

So what's your opinion on the film.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Sable » 08 Jul 2009, 14:15

I found Public Enemies to be a fascinating example of uneven storytelling.

While I don't have a lot of time to write out all of my thoughts on this, I really felt that they got about halfway there.

The characterization and dramatization of John Dillinger was masterful and compelling, and the sections with Depp's by-now-expected stellar acting are the ones I liked best. Depp portrayed the man as a smooth, confident, unendingly arrogant man who liked what he liked and didn't give a damn about anything else. There's a scene where Dillinger is interviewed by the press right after being captured - and in those few minutes, we get a look at why Dillinger does what he does: He wants to be liked; bank robbers of the time were a kind of folk hero, and on some level he actually cares about that. Earlier in the film as well, while discussing upcoming jobs Depp's character pans the idea of a kidnapping, drawling "public don't like kidnappings."

The other half of the story - the Dillinger Squad's hunt for Public Enemy Number One - falls flat on virtually every count. Christian Bale's performance as Nelson Purvis is flat and uninspiring and the film doesn't seem to be able to decide if it wants the Squad's story to be police procedural, drama, or gunfights. The Oklahoma and Texas lawmen brought in to help hunt Dillinger down are given some of the best scenes among the mess that is the Squad's hunt, affording them an ounce of characterization as hard men who have seen a lot of bad things, but aren't above certain common decencies.

There are many excellent sequences in this film. The famous wooden-pistol escape is brought to life in a kinetic, frantic scene that again lets Depp shine. Most of the bank robbery scenes are handled with aplomb as well, being quick, to the point, and tend not to outstay their welcome.

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, the gunfight scenes are dull to the point of tears. The shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge is ham-fisted and way, way too long, lingering to the point of head-shaking disbelief.

The film's final scenes - Dillinger's death outside the Biograph theater - are fairly well done. Unfortunately, suspense is built through simply taking a long time to get to the point rather than atmosphere, and while the payoff is still worth it the journey could have been done much better.

This is a very uneven film, and I recommend renting it instead of going to pay twenty bucks. Depp's performance as John Dillinger is riveting, but the rest of the film makes a hard case for digging through to get there.

Two and a half cheese wheels.

Out of five.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Lord Chrusher » 08 Jul 2009, 14:35

Twenty bucks? That is one expensive theatre.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Evil Jim » 08 Jul 2009, 16:07

Very uneven, yes. And rather distracting too. Most of it was filmed in Wisconsin so I recognized a number of locations. I'm still not sure whether they were supposed to actually be in our state capitol building or if it was just used to represent a federal location. As it is, I don't remember anything else about those scenes.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Matt » 08 Jul 2009, 17:14

The camera work was uneven at best - I found the unneccessary swithces to the grainy handi-camshots rally distracting. The graniness added nothing, the hand-ca work looked amateurish and, and the whole thing felt like a poorly filmed movie clipped to pan&scan for TV.

otherwise I enjoyed it, but the presentation was like watching a school film made by a bunch of teenagers that don't know all the features on their camera.

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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Metcarfre » 08 Jul 2009, 18:08

I thought it was presented in High-Def, and a lot of people had problems with that?

I had most of the issues Sable did, with the exception that I enjoyed the gunfights. None of those issues, however, detracted enough for me to say that I didn't enjoy the movie. I did, however, attend it for free at the midnight preview showing, and had just won $50 at poker, was very tired, and had free popcorn and drinks too. So that may colour my experience.

Overall I thought it was really good, dragged in a few places (and should have been edited tighter), but would recommend to a friend.

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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby TheRocket » 08 Jul 2009, 18:48

YOU MUST NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED BY THE BALE.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 08 Jul 2009, 19:11

With a movie like that, it's always better to go for the documentary.


Which the History Channel has be playing on repeat for the passed week it seems.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Evil Jim » 08 Jul 2009, 22:31

I didn't realize Bale was in it until I saw the end credits. I didn't recognize him without the pound of broken glass in his throat. I liked Depp in it, but the movie kindof falls flat for me overall.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby CygnusX1 » 09 Jul 2009, 02:28

From what I have heard this movie was basically a disaster. A friend described it as a movie whos funding was cut half way through the film leading to terrible production.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby meisbored » 09 Jul 2009, 13:19

I just couldn't get into this movie. Part of it was the strange look of it, like it had been shot at the wrong framerate, and part of it was that it just bored me, the characters were bland and uninteresting and the story was disjointed and confusing. Some decent action scenes, but overall I was disappointed.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Penthesilea180 » 10 Jul 2009, 08:25

I was very disappointed by Marion Cotillard. Sure, she is an Oscar winner, but I felt like they only cast her because of that fact. Over all I enjoyed the movie, but it could have tried to do a bit less. I think it could have been better if it just focused on Dillinger and not thrown in every character he came into contact with. It made things confusing to have so many figures and not properly introducing them and then having them disappear (i.e. David Wenham's character Harry "Pete" Pierpont) It is a very detailed movie and shot interestingly (switches to hand held cam were a little jarring), but if you are going for pure action packed entertainment, you'll be disappointed.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Master Gunner » 10 Jul 2009, 09:35

I haven't seen the movie yet, but something you might find interesting: Christian Bale's character, Melvin Purvis, is actually a distant relative of mine (Anglicized version of the name, instead of the original Scottish one I have, but its the same ancestry).
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby empath » 11 Jul 2009, 04:12

Cool; you're the second person I'm acquainted with that turns out to have a famous branch in their family tree - another 'internet correspondent' is distantly related to John Wilkes Booth.
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Re: Was anyone else disappointed with Public Enemies?

Postby Allen! » 11 Jul 2009, 17:42

I give it a three out of five, myself.

Purvis & Hoover should've each been more fulfilling roles, I think. I absolutely HATED the feel of the handi-cam action during the Lodge gunfight. Made it feel a lot like it was more of a TV show than a movie. Granted, it's not a big thing to pick at, but it's a thing, all the same.
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