Just saw "Public Enemies" and "Paranormal Activity" <NO SPOILERS>

Public Enemies: Wow, Critico was right - this movie is BORING.  It ended strong, but the first 1:45 were dull and uninteresting.  A few shootouts perhaps, but almost no character development whatsoever.  All of Dillinger's goons looked the same; their deaths meant nothing to me.  Also, I didn't buy how and why Dillinger (Johnny Depp, dopier than usual here) and Billie Frenchette (Marion Cotillard) got together or what they saw in each other (except for maybe one instance, he always put her as second fiddle to his life of crime; and she was a bit of a wallflower).  Johnny Depp is normally terrific in everything, but I can't say that I agreed with Dan in Cincinnati's assessment of his performance in this one - he just seemed half asleep.  Christian Bale, well, he's played the boring hero in how many consecutive movies in a row now?  Snoozers.  Cotillard was given little to do.  Giovanni Ribisi was in here but I have no idea who he played.  The one bright spot was Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hoover, portrayed here as a PR guy without actual field experience.  Michael Mann, you really let me down with this one.  HEAT this ain't.  D+.

 

Paranormal Activity: Surprisingly effective low-budget chiller made in much the same style as The Blair Witch Project - a single hand-held camera, oft-annoying, constantly-bickering boyfriend and girlfriend (this can grow tedious), slow-building suspense, and a terrific ending.  The DVD also includes the alternate ending, but the theatrical ending is better.  Everything that made Blair Witch work makes this one work, and likewise, everything that worked against Blair Witch works against Paranormal Activity also (mostly that the characters ALWAYS have video camera in hand, no matter what).  Check it out; at just 86 minutes, it's over in a snap.  B+.

 

HS


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Oops, posted this in the wrong forum.

HS's picture

Was supposed to go in the MOVIES forum.

Not that anyone in here actually talks about movies, mind you.  ;)

 

HS

"Dillinger" (1973) is more fun than "Public Enemies" (2009)

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

The first one is a low budget classic gangster movie with some well drawn characters.  You would expect that from a cast that includes Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Richard Dreyfuss and quite a few other very good character actors.

I don't think it's fair to blame Johhny Depp for a weak script.  We hardly ever understand why anyone in "Public Enemies" is doing what they are doing except for maybe J. Edgar Hoover. 

Maybe I just thought it was kind of cool that Johnny Depp looks so much like the real John Dillinger.  Or maybe I was just interested in seeing him play such a dark character for a change.  The thing that I got out of the Dillinger/Billie Frechette relationship was that he treated her in a cold dispassionate way.  She was almost like an ornament for him.  Like one of his cool hats or highly powered get away cars.

The "Public Enemies" review was mine by the way.  Hey I did give it 3 bombs!

{;-) Dan In Miami

 

Ribisi played...

FearlessFreep's picture

...fellow public enemy Alvin Karpis.

 

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HS's picture

Dan, I like your original review and I agree with your comments about Depp, but if you wanna see him play a dark character, rent Sweeney Todd instead.  That said, I watched the making of-documentary and Depp's (and Michael Mann's) enthusiasm for the film seemed contagious; I'm not sure why that energy didn't show on screen.

Thanks Freep for the Ribisi info.  I remember seeing him, but my point was that he was just one of a dozen disposable Dillinger goons whom we never got to know - script problems indeed.

HS

Here are some public enemies

TMundo's picture

 

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