Friday, July 3, 2009

Johnny Depp Makes Everything Better

The theme of my vacation is pretty much doing nothing of consequence. No grand plans to paint my apartment, discover that fabulous new place to shop, write the great Canadian novel. My plans, as I have stated to anyone who will listen, involve lots of napping, TV, snoozing, reading, dozing, music, sleeping, writing (this blog, not anything earth shattering) and catching up with old friends.

So yesterday I ventured out into the beautiful sunshine, walked the 2 blocks to Scotiabank Movie Theatre and went and saw Public Enemies. 5 minutes in I moved seats as the douches seating near me decided that commenting throughout the whole movie would be fun for everyone. Ugh. I take it as a good sign that I kept my snarky comments to myself and simply moved seats (I am so totally growing as a person).

Touted as the thinking person's summer blockbuster, Public Enemies tells the story of 1930's FBI agent Melvin Purvis and his pursuit of folk hero robber John Dillinger, which culminates in the infamous shooting of Dillinger outside of a Chicago movie theatre.

The acting was phenomenal (of course). Johnny totally embodied the role of John Dillinger - he was captivating and mesmerising - he made me root for him completely. The stunning Marion Colltiard was fantastic as Dillinger's girlfriend Bille Frechette and as always Christian Bale was solid as FBI hero Melvin Purvis. The supporting cast was also impressive - Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Cruddip, Rory Cochrane, Branka Katic, Stephen Dorff - all good.

Technically the movie was also impressive. Director Michale Mann creates incredible atmosphere with his authentic use of guns, cars, costumes and buildings. The shoot out scenes were so different from what I am used to simply because they were using old-school 1930's guns. There was no crazy Tranformers style world record for biggest explosion here. No superheros doing unbelievable stunts. No regular folks suddenly being able to do extraordinary things. Just men with loud old school guns. That was actually very refreshing.

The one thing that I found lacking in the movie was the story. It was good, but kind of dull. There were so many things going at once. I believe that central story of the film was Purvis pursuit of Dillinger. Or was it about Dillinger's relationship with Billie Frechette? One of those two. So did we need to see all the J Edgar Hoover bulls*it, or the introduction and then casual dismissal of some of the minor characters? I don't think this was necessary and I didn't really care. I also read a few reviews that said it was a fitting time to tell this Depression era story. This film was set in the Depression? Huh. I wouldn't have known that from watching it.

I love Johnny Depp. So I will happily sit through 2 and a half hour movie if Johnny is in it. He is great in this, I loved his understated charisma (he gave Marion "the look" many times throughout the film, swoon) in this film. It is worth it for Johnny. He makes everything better. Even a mediocre movie like Public Enemies.

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