From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 29 Jul 2009

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    Thanks James. I went and saw PUBLIC ENEMIES last week and decided against recommending it to the Rare Birds for all the reasons you cite below. I too like Mann (Loved LAST OF THE MOHICANS, especially), love Depp, etc. Of the shortcomings you list, as much as the story lacked, I'd have to give the sound problems the biggest knock. My gf (a hardened film buff) jumped every single time they opened up with one of the machine guns. Just deafening (and not in a "wow" way, it actually was just flat annoying).
     Then not two minutes later we'd be straining to hear the dialogue between two characters speaking in conversational tones.

    Your Mileage May Vary-


    On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:43 PM, James Michael Rogers <>wrote:

    > I like Mann's films, like Johnny Depp, love Marion Cotillard, and I am a
    > raving devotee of the gangsters and the era. So I really, really expected to
    > like this film. Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty dreadful, very
    > inferior to John Milius's earlier movie.
    > The digital production didn't bother me at all. The historical inaccuracies
    > did, especially since Melvin Purvis was a fascinating figure and probably a
    > murderer himself who deserved a more interesting treatment than he gets
    > here. If they had filmed the ugly version of the death of Pretty Boy Floyd
    > it would have utterly transformed the tone of the movie. One thing he was
    > not was a good shot, though, which makes his portrayal as a sort of dead-eye
    > dick kind of silly. The stuff about Frank Nitti is just libelous, assuming
    > that there is anyway to defame Frank Nitti.
    > Worse than the inaccuracies -And Jim Doherty is right, you've just got to
    > expect them in these movies - was the technical aspects of the production.
    > The audio is awful, amateurish - the sound level goes up and down in a
    > seemingly arbitrary manner. The film editing and cinematography is also
    > pretty poor. I'm not a big fan of jerky, hand-held camera to begin with and
    > this flick has plenty of it. It gets awfully confusing to follow the action
    > on screen at times. Another, related , problem is that the gangsters tend to
    > all look alike.....particularly from a distance. It's like "Hey! Homer Van
    > Meter just died! Or was that Baby Face Nelson?
    > Marion Cotillard is a knucking fockout and might be worth the price of
    > admission by herself. Unfortunately, she is n't given much to do.
    > I don't recommend it and I wish I could. Rent the old Milius movie instead.
    > James
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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