Escape to the Movies: Public Enemies

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You honestly still think Star Trek was bad Bob? Seriously?! [sigh]

I'll think I'll avoid this one, if you think this is good, and you think Star Trek was bad...our opinions clash (except for both knowing Transformers 2, Wolverine, and Terminator all sucked).

Zenn3k:
You honestly still think Star Trek was bad Bob? Seriously?! [sigh]

I'll think I'll avoid this one, if you think this is good, and you think Star Trek was bad...our opinions clash (except for both knowing Transformers 2, Wolverine, and Terminator all sucked).

He gave it a 6/10, said he didn't HATE it, but it could be a lot better. If 5/10 is average Moviebob thinks it's a slightly above average movie.

The problem with Public Enemies is that it's only interesting. I sat through it and loved all the phenomenally staged gunfights and the sonic booms from stupidly powerful machines guns, rifles and revolvers, but I honestly can't remember much that happened between those scenes. It's not that I was bored to tears... more that I couldn't care to be bothered about was going on. There appeared to be a serious lack of drama that never really involved me. Sort of like the difference between a functional lecture and a powerful lecture. I just can't quite put my finger on what it is. Maybe it's just because I don't have any familiarity with the era, or perhaps because I'm not terribly fond of the gangster epic.

While I'm not sure exactly what it is that brings it down, it's a safe bet that it has something to with Christian Bale collecting another paycheque for a tragically one note performance.

Another good review. A lot of people seem to have issue with the less than stellar visual component. Have you ever thought about doing a weekly podcast? I know I'd download it.

Hey bob, good review. I love that you put movies in a historic and cultural context. And for all the people bitching about Bob's 'nitpicking'; it's good to have a critic who's not afraid to voice his opinion on moral and intellectual points if he backs it up properly like bob. The people that ask you to stop bitching about all the bad movies do sorta have a point; The Escapist is not youtube anymore. Anyway, I'm enjoying the reviews, keep 'm coming.

Phew Bob, at least you didn't like Miami Vice the movie. That movie was just incredibly boring. I rarely fail to complete a watching of any movie, but I actually shut that one off, I just didn't care. And I'm glad to find out that Public Enemies is a good movie. I mean, I haven't heard anyone trash it, but no one's given it any really "YES! DILLINGER = WIN!" either. It's been the critical equivalent of a "meh."

xmetatr0nx:
the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44, sadly they arent ever put on film because of their unpleasant backgrounds.

Maybe if you are arguing on the merits of actual technical specs, but in terms of cinematic icon appeal the only other sub machine gun that comes close to the Thompson would be the Uzi. Honestly how many people can identify an MP40 or Sturmgewehr on sight, but I guarantee almost anyone will recognize a Thompson and can at least identify the connection to Mafia and organized crime.

Of coarse now this has me thinking about all the most cinematic firearms. Pistols is a toss up between the Colt 45 Single Action Army Revolver and the Colt 1911. While the Western has lost some of it's appeal over the years, I think the "Peacemaker" is on most people's minds when it comes to revolvers. The Colt 1911 has been used almost as frequently in movies as it has been in service. Although I think the Berrata might be moving to replace it in the semi-automatic pistol category.

For rifles I think I am going to hearken back to the Western again, while it's rarely seen today the Winchester is till probably the most recognized rifle that your average person could identify and place. Assault Rifle is easy. It has to be the AK-47, no contest really. No assault rifle is more widely known or can be instantly equated to certain groups and feelings about such.

Feel free to add your own.

Slycne:

Maybe if you are arguing on the merits of actual technical specs, but in terms of cinematic icon appeal the only other sub machine gun that comes close to the Thompson would be the Uzi. Honestly how many people can identify an MP40 or Sturmgewehr on sight, but I guarantee almost anyone will recognize a Thompson and can at least identify the connection to Mafia and organized crime.

Of coarse now this has me thinking about all the most cinematic firearms. Pistols is a toss up between the Colt 45 Single Action Army Revolver and the Colt 1911. While the Western has lost some of it's appeal over the years, I think the "Peacemaker" is on most people's minds when it comes to revolvers. The Colt 1911 has been used almost as frequently in movies as it has been in service. Although I think the Berrata might be moving to replace it in the semi-automatic pistol category.

For rifles I think I am going to hearken back to the Western again, while it's rarely seen today the Winchester is till probably the most recognized rifle that your average person could identify and place. Assault Rifle is easy. It has to be the AK-47, no contest really. No assault rifle is more widely known or can be instantly equated to certain groups and feelings about such.

Feel free to add your own.

Well there is the M1 for rifles, a lot of people can recognize that. While not a big on the big screen the MP40 seems to be what everyone relies on in every WWII game since they cant seem to make the Thompson very well. The winchester definitely has its appeal but in the western era too many guns looked alike to really be sure, from a laymens point of view. You are spot on with the handguns, the 9mm beretta with its near iconic exposed barrel design is a staple of action movie guns.

xmetatr0nx:
While not a big on the big screen the MP40 seems to be what everyone relies on in every WWII game since they cant seem to make the Thompson very well.

Well the point he's getting at is that more people will go with the Thompson strictly from how it's been portrayed in the media. A lot more people watch mafia movies than people that play WWII games.

Side note: Personally I believe the MP40 to be a piece of crud. The PPSH-41 to be a much better gun.

This film seems very intriguing indeed. Nice work Moviebob, like many of said, when you tone down the angry ballistic rage and constant swearing, you do your best work, and I feel you stay tons more objective and insightful when you are calm. Still, it was annoying having to pause 6-7 times trying to time it so I could see the text that was flashing on the screen, but that would be my only complaint, otherwise, keep up the good work.

Slycne:

xmetatr0nx:
the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44, sadly they arent ever put on film because of their unpleasant backgrounds.

Maybe if you are arguing on the merits of actual technical specs, but in terms of cinematic icon appeal the only other sub machine gun that comes close to the Thompson would be the Uzi. Honestly how many people can identify an MP40 or Sturmgewehr on sight, but I guarantee almost anyone will recognize a Thompson and can at least identify the connection to Mafia and organized crime.

Of coarse now this has me thinking about all the most cinematic firearms. Pistols is a toss up between the Colt 45 Single Action Army Revolver and the Colt 1911. While the Western has lost some of it's appeal over the years, I think the "Peacemaker" is on most people's minds when it comes to revolvers. The Colt 1911 has been used almost as frequently in movies as it has been in service. Although I think the Berrata might be moving to replace it in the semi-automatic pistol category.

For rifles I think I am going to hearken back to the Western again, while it's rarely seen today the Winchester is till probably the most recognized rifle that your average person could identify and place. Assault Rifle is easy. It has to be the AK-47, no contest really. No assault rifle is more widely known or can be instantly equated to certain groups and feelings about such.

Feel free to add your own.

For pistols the one's that come to my mind are the beretta, and the Desert Eagle .50. As far as rifles go usually I think of the M1 grande, and the 30-aught-6. For assault weapons, the AK is obviously a staple, but the M-16 I would say is another common easily recognized weapon. As for shotguns, in movies I usually see a sawed off, double barrel elephant, or pump action.

Didn't need this to convince me to see the movie, that's how good it looks from the trailer :) That said, I haven't seen it yet, but it should be an interesting watch.

On the review side of things, while the video quality is borderline garbage, it's nice to hear you talking in a more calm tone this time around compared to last week, even when mentioning ROTF. That's good; it's easier to take you seriously that way.

And yes, Batman clashing with Captain Sparrow is definitely a major selling point.

Broads. Heh heh.

And of course people fail to mention The Hurt Locker. Please, watch it, just... watch it. Best movie of the year so far for me, yes even better than Up.

And Tropic Thunder last year was just... horrible.

The thing I like the most about this movie is the timing. If I remember right, Dillinger's agenda was to punish the banks for what they did to the public at the time. It was back before the FDIC protected your savings and the banks just took your money. At one robbery Dillinger refused to take a customer's deposit and told him "We're here for the bank, we don't want your money." With our present-day economic villains like Madoff and sub-prime lenders, now has got to be the best time for this movie.

Great work, Bob.
You were a lot more level-headed here than in your previous reviews, having something to do with the fact that you actually liked the film rather than it being a complete mockery of cinema as we know it (though your rants were equally, if not more, amusing).

I like how you can reference back to your own history with the "classics" of moviemaking and how they've had an effect upon your life.
Certainly cements your credibility as a movie critic.

jabrwock:

carnkhan4:
what is it that attracts film-makers to this sub-genre ever since it first emerged in the '40's?

It's the "bad ass but still classy bad guy" type thing. 1930's gangsters were high-profile playboys, businessmen, they enjoyed fine art, built mansions, and generally acted like they were high society. Unlike most other robbers that blow it all on booze and drugs and burn out, these guys lived the high life. I mean, imagine being robbed by a guy in a suit and tie, who tips his hat to the women on the way out?

There definitely is something appealing about the complex individual who operated outside of the law, but had their own strong moral strictures...like chivalry and honesty in criminal acts (if such a thing can be said).

Frank_Sinatra_:

xmetatr0nx:
than untouchables and the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44...

Minus the fact that the Thompson is a icon of the mafia, and criminal weapons during the Great Depression?
See guys this is where I get my suit ideas, soon I'll be buying a Thompson for it.

You got taste.

If, ever, I amass a respectable fortune, the very first purchase I will ever make will be of an authentic, period-1940s M1A1 Thompson submachine gun to mount over my fireplace.
Drum magazine or clip, whichever.

13lackfriday:
Great work, Bob.
You were a lot more level-headed here than in your previous reviews, having something to do with the fact that you actually liked the film rather than it being a complete mockery of cinema as we know it (though your rants were equally, if not more, amusing).

I like how you can reference back to your own history with the "classics" of moviemaking and how they've had an effect upon your life.
Certainly cements your credibility as a movie critic.

jabrwock:

carnkhan4:
what is it that attracts film-makers to this sub-genre ever since it first emerged in the '40's?

It's the "bad ass but still classy bad guy" type thing. 1930's gangsters were high-profile playboys, businessmen, they enjoyed fine art, built mansions, and generally acted like they were high society. Unlike most other robbers that blow it all on booze and drugs and burn out, these guys lived the high life. I mean, imagine being robbed by a guy in a suit and tie, who tips his hat to the women on the way out?

There definitely is something appealing about the complex individual who operated outside of the law, but had their own strong moral strictures...like chivalry and honesty in criminal acts (if such a thing can be said).

Frank_Sinatra_:

xmetatr0nx:
than untouchables and the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44...

Minus the fact that the Thompson is a icon of the mafia, and criminal weapons during the Great Depression?
See guys this is where I get my suit ideas, soon I'll be buying a Thompson for it.

You got taste.

If, ever, I amass a respectable fortune, the very first purchase I will ever make will be of an authentic, period-1940s M1A1 Thompson submachine gun to mount over my fireplace.
Drum magazine or clip, whichever.

I hate to be 'THAT NERD GUY' , but a clip Is a metal, well... Clip that holds a few exposed rounds ( used primarily in older rifles like the m1 Garand). A box magazine (magazine, mag) Is the rectangular thing most every modern gun uses save bolt-action and belt fed guns.
Hehe on my local Airsoft Organization site some would crucify you for this mistake, but this Ain't a gun site.

If I had to hang a gun up it'd be an H&K Mp7A1.

Drake the Dragonheart:
This film seems very intriguing indeed. Nice work Moviebob, like many of said, when you tone down the angry ballistic rage and constant swearing, you do your best work, and I feel you stay tons more objective and insightful when you are calm. Still, it was annoying having to pause 6-7 times trying to time it so I could see the text that was flashing on the screen, but that would be my only complaint, otherwise, keep up the good work.

Slycne:

xmetatr0nx:
the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44, sadly they arent ever put on film because of their unpleasant backgrounds.

Maybe if you are arguing on the merits of actual technical specs, but in terms of cinematic icon appeal the only other sub machine gun that comes close to the Thompson would be the Uzi. Honestly how many people can identify an MP40 or Sturmgewehr on sight, but I guarantee almost anyone will recognize a Thompson and can at least identify the connection to Mafia and organized crime.

Of coarse now this has me thinking about all the most cinematic firearms. Pistols is a toss up between the Colt 45 Single Action Army Revolver and the Colt 1911. While the Western has lost some of it's appeal over the years, I think the "Peacemaker" is on most people's minds when it comes to revolvers. The Colt 1911 has been used almost as frequently in movies as it has been in service. Although I think the Berrata might be moving to replace it in the semi-automatic pistol category.

For rifles I think I am going to hearken back to the Western again, while it's rarely seen today the Winchester is till probably the most recognized rifle that your average person could identify and place. Assault Rifle is easy. It has to be the AK-47, no contest really. No assault rifle is more widely known or can be instantly equated to certain groups and feelings about such.

Feel free to add your own.

For pistols the one's that come to my mind are the beretta, and the Desert Eagle .50. As far as rifles go usually I think of the M1 grande, and the 30-aught-6. For assault weapons, the AK is obviously a staple, but the M-16 I would say is another common easily recognized weapon. As for shotguns, in movies I usually see a sawed off, double barrel elephant, or pump action.

I think a lot of people RECOGNIZE a glock but don't know the name. It's really easy to tell even If it's being held because of the rectangular slide.

HobbesMkii:
Phew Bob, at least you didn't like Miami Vice the movie. That movie was just incredibly boring. I rarely fail to complete a watching of any movie, but I actually shut that one off, I just didn't care. And I'm glad to find out that Public Enemies is a good movie. I mean, I haven't heard anyone trash it, but no one's given it any really "YES! DILLINGER = WIN!" either. It's been the critical equivalent of a "meh."

I see so much hate for Miami Vice as "Michael Mann's only bad movie," yet no one seems to remember the fact that Last of the Mohicans consisted almost entirely of shots of Daniel Day Lewis running. Miami Vice had amazing cinematography, great gun fights, and classic, terse, Mann dialog.
I'm glad to hear that this movie is on par with Heat, which for my money is the best heist film of all time. Bob and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but I'm going to take his word for it and see this as soon as possible.

On the reference to Cotillard's legs:
I do believe the word is GAMS!

Drake the Dragonheart:
This film seems very intriguing indeed. Nice work Moviebob, like many of said, when you tone down the angry ballistic rage and constant swearing, you do your best work, and I feel you stay tons more objective and insightful when you are calm. Still, it was annoying having to pause 6-7 times trying to time it so I could see the text that was flashing on the screen, but that would be my only complaint, otherwise, keep up the good work.

Slycne:

xmetatr0nx:
the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44, sadly they arent ever put on film because of their unpleasant backgrounds.

Maybe if you are arguing on the merits of actual technical specs, but in terms of cinematic icon appeal the only other sub machine gun that comes close to the Thompson would be the Uzi. Honestly how many people can identify an MP40 or Sturmgewehr on sight, but I guarantee almost anyone will recognize a Thompson and can at least identify the connection to Mafia and organized crime.

Of coarse now this has me thinking about all the most cinematic firearms. Pistols is a toss up between the Colt 45 Single Action Army Revolver and the Colt 1911. While the Western has lost some of it's appeal over the years, I think the "Peacemaker" is on most people's minds when it comes to revolvers. The Colt 1911 has been used almost as frequently in movies as it has been in service. Although I think the Berrata might be moving to replace it in the semi-automatic pistol category.

For rifles I think I am going to hearken back to the Western again, while it's rarely seen today the Winchester is till probably the most recognized rifle that your average person could identify and place. Assault Rifle is easy. It has to be the AK-47, no contest really. No assault rifle is more widely known or can be instantly equated to certain groups and feelings about such.

Feel free to add your own.

For pistols the one's that come to my mind are the beretta, and the Desert Eagle .50. As far as rifles go usually I think of the M1 grande, and the 30-aught-6. For assault weapons, the AK is obviously a staple, but the M-16 I would say is another common easily recognized weapon. As for shotguns, in movies I usually see a sawed off, double barrel elephant, or pump action.

For shotguns, SPAS-12 is up there. People might not be able to name it, but they recognize it.

This thread has turned into a discussions about the most easily recognised guns in movies.

Good review, Bob. It felt a bit rushed, though.

hi movie bob as always im glad to see you arond here and i can only hope to see you next week, well it was a good review and i cant wait to see the movie but ... the format of the "presentation" of your review did change... to my eyes it look a little bit "over produced" i like when you use your "slide show fast pace style" alot more that this "sonic animated and a little bit slower version" well that was just a coment and great work as the The GAME OVERTHINKER.

Nice looking movie and I will check it out. However...

1) You thought Collateral was great? It was more an average to me.

2) I personally didn't go and see Drag me to Hell because I hate the horror genre and don't enjoy the movies at all.

xmetatr0nx:
...the better guns are the MP40 and the sturmgewehr 44

The MP40 was a cheap firearm made from stamped metal and designed to be made very quickly; as a result, it had some flaws as a battlefield weapon, not least its large magazine which made it impossible to use it effectively when in a prone position.

The StG44 was a case of the Germans doing the wrong thing during World War II; as with the Panzer VI and VII, they made a technically-advanced weapon which was rather useless to the common foot-soldier because they were throwing away their development funds on a weapon used for specialists. The later AK-47, which was later modified to become the AKM, was a much superior weapon made a few years later.

The Thompson sub-machine gun, on the other hand, was an overpriced, but effective weapon which didn't become the most useful weapon on the battlefield, but used a more powerful cartridge than the MP40's 9mm Parabellum round, and was useful for the gangsters that didn't have to justify it in terms of a military logistics budget.

erikvduyn:
Now this one, I liked. Gone is the excessive swearing and shouting. Gone is everything bad basically, except the audio quality that's still less than perfect.

Gone? - HAHAHA!

Oh, it'll be back. Just wait till the next bad movie that enrages him.

More codec problems, more poor editing...

But it's not as bad as the last one, so this reveiw gets a D- for not sucking more than an F.

On the actual review, well, now I wanna see the movie, which sucks since I don't have any money.

Change the damn background. It hurt my eyes!
Buy a new MIC, quality is crap.

Decent review overall.

m_jim:

I see so much hate for Miami Vice as "Michael Mann's only bad movie," yet no one seems to remember the fact that Last of the Mohicans consisted almost entirely of shots of Daniel Day Lewis running. Miami Vice had amazing cinematography, great gun fights, and classic, terse, Mann dialog.

I didn't hate Miami Vice because it was poorly made, shot, or had awful gun fights and dialogue. In fact, it had none of those things, as I recall. What I didn't like about Miami Vice was that there was no one I was rooting for, and thus the pacing kind of dragged. To this day, I can't recall what the plot consisted of, and I watched a decent portion of it up to right before they decided to meet the cartel. But here I felt all that great artistic technique served to keep me at a distance from the whole thing, so that by the point I got to the cartel thing, I was hoping they'd get some laced cocaine and die. And then I left, because if you hate the protagonists that much, you probably shouldn't be watching the film

Last of the Mohicans on the other hand, had a number of things going for it, including a great story, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who is one of the world's most talented actors.

HobbesMkii:

m_jim:

I see so much hate for Miami Vice as "Michael Mann's only bad movie," yet no one seems to remember the fact that Last of the Mohicans consisted almost entirely of shots of Daniel Day Lewis running. Miami Vice had amazing cinematography, great gun fights, and classic, terse, Mann dialog.

I didn't hate Miami Vice because it was poorly made, shot, or had awful gun fights and dialogue. In fact, it had none of those things, as I recall. What I didn't like about Miami Vice was that there was no one I was rooting for, and thus the pacing kind of dragged. To this day, I can't recall what the plot consisted of, and I watched a decent portion of it up to right before they decided to meet the cartel. But here I felt all that great artistic technique served to keep me at a distance from the whole thing, so that by the point I got to the cartel thing, I was hoping they'd get some laced cocaine and die. And then I left, because if you hate the protagonists that much, you probably shouldn't be watching the film

Last of the Mohicans on the other hand, had a number of things going for it, including a great story, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who is one of the world's most talented actors.

Fair enough. It seems that the complaint that protagonists are not relatable is something that plagues many of Mann's movies. Hopefully Depp's charisma and Bale's...yelling will carry this movie better.

Chipperz:
You know something? I stopped watching the second I knew this was going to be another Transformers fanboy bitchfest. Get the fuck over it!

Same, academy doesn't matter, critics don't matter, it's the paying public that matters.

This review put we in a weird position, every Michael Mann film he showed I didn't particularly like. But I loved both LA Confidential and The Untouchables. And if its really better then the latter it should be worth seeing, both Bale and Depp are pretty awesome so it should be pretty good

Ah, it is a good movie. Nice review, very... informative I guess. So there is something to watch this far in the summer. It was looking like the good movies would come out later in the year.

sneak_copter:
Hmm. I actually enjoyed the 2006 'Vice film.

You know, I did, too. I mean, it wasn't poetry, or anything, but it was far better than I expected it to be. And personally I thought Heat was about 20 minutes too long, but overall, when Mann is on his game, it's breathtaking.

Don't think I'll catch this one in the theaters, but looks like it's absolutely worth watching. Hard to resist the one-two acting punch of Bale and Depp.

No, no, no. I normally agree with most of what MovieBob says, but this time, no.

First: Public Enemies is literally unwatchable. The hand-held camera moves around so much for virtually the entire movie that I could not associate characters with faces, or truly see what was going on in some action scenes. Whenever gun flares or camera flashes are on the screen, the entire visual starts flashing white as if to induce an epileptic seizure. By the end of the movie, my eyes literally hurt from trying to stabilize a perspective so that I can see who's saying what. Apart from Christian Bale and Johnny Depp, I found myself hard-pressed to recognize any facial characteristics of most of the other actors.

Second: The script is actually pretty shitty. I don't know where MovieBob got the notion that Michael Mann injects brains into his movies anyway. His only good movie was Collateral. In Public Enemies, I did not know what was going on half of the time. I understand the underlying message is about a man struggling to keep up with a changing world and his adaptable adversaries, the FBI, but the "formation of the FBI" was really just a scene where one administrator gets his ass handed to him in court, and another where Bale's character explains to some policemen how the "Bureau" will catch Dillinger. The love interest was there for the first 45 minutes and then disappears for most of the movie. It seemed as though Johnny Depp's character fell in love with her because he just felt like it, making the whole relationship a token notion that such a gangster must have been a chivalrous, romantic man. In the end, when his message reaches her, it's some vague meme between the two of them that has no relevance to the audience, because it was an undeveloped relationship. Christian Bale, supposedly a co-star, is in the actual film for about 20 minutes total, and we know nothing about his background, nor do we see any development or change in his character at all. He's just another law-enforcer.

Third: This deserves its own category because it is so stupid it reminded me of the Happening. There's a scene where Dillinger walks right into a police station, because his sun-glasses are just enough to hide the face of "public enemy #1." While in the police station, he sees a door that says "Investigation Bureau - Dillinger Squad," and strolls right the fuck in. So, he's walking around in a room full of his own pictures and those of his associates, and the works. As he explores this alcove, he walks into a group of cops that were listening to a radio relay of some game. He asks for the score. They tell him the score. He walks right the fuck out. So, to recap, the cops that were literally on Dillinger's case for years, looking at his pictures and studying everything about him, did not recognize him when he walks right in to the fucking room they were in. That is stupidity that belongs in an Ed Wood movie. There was absolutely no relevance to that scene whatsoever, and it did the movie harm. What the fuck was Michael Mann thinking?

What was good about the movie:

Production - I felt like I was in the 1930's. Thoroughly appreciated the care that went into the costumes, accents, detail and setting.

Sound Design - I've never heard guns sound so good in a movie before. The shootout in the forest sounded like it was happening two rows down from my seat.

Dialogue - The characters, especially Johnny Depp's, were clever and sharp in speech. They all did a great job with their accents, which beefed up and romanticized everything they said. The court scene with Dillinger's Lawyer had a great monologue.

---

Conclusion: crap. Avoid this movie.

good review

I liked the movie, this review wasn't bad. But the minute plus he did complaining about the summer movies was a bit off putting. So what if he is a critic, that sort of thing isn't as much criticism as it is bitter rage.

Edit: Also, a little nit pick but the movie does slip into grainy black and white shots for some scenes.

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