The July 1st release date for Channing Tatum’s upcoming Depression-era crime drama ‘ Public Enemies‘ is quickly approaching, and Empire Magazine just released a huge expose on the film in their July 2009 issue.
Based on the New York Times Best Selling author Bryan Burrough’s true crime book, ‘ Public Enemies‘ follows the FBI hunt for 1930’s gangster John Dillinger.
The Universal Studios film is directed by Michael Mann and boasts a stunning cast that includes Channing Tatum, Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale, Branka Katic, Billy Crudup, Giovanni Ribisi, Emilie de Ravin, John Michael Bolger, Stephen Dorff, Christian Stolte and Leelee Sobieski.
Here’s what Empire Magazine had to say about the film that’s at the top of their summer movie watching list…
- Public Enemies: Johnny Depp. Michael Mann. Christian Bale. The question is why you’re still here reading this instead of booking tickets for Public Enemies, the Mann film that casts Depp as legendary 1930s gangster John Dillinger and Bale as Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent assigned to track him down. We talked to the filmmakers (including Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard) to get the full story on the film’s history – which goes back to a script Mann wrote in the 1970s) and see what we can expect from this latest Mann opus. Also, Kim Newman lays out the 20 Greatest Gangster Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen.
…and I also have high-quality scans of the full article for your reading pleasure:
Finally, here’s an awesome new review of the film from the movie site Ramasscreen.com:
- PUBLIC ENEMIES is what Firepower is all about. You’ll never see a more exciting gunfight and shoot out this year. Director Michael Mann has crafted the ultimate cat-and-mouse game,… his best work yet. Non stop thriller action that takes only a few minutes to breathe in between before it takes you down again for a joy ride. Christian Bale and Johnny Depp are charismatic and unstoppable, the new Robert De Niro and Al Pacino of Heat. You’re gonna wanna see PUBLIC ENEMIES again and again. It makes you wanna get a tommy gun. Hands down, one of the best movies of the year.
- In the action-thriller “Public Enemies,” acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Depp)—the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover’s fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public. No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone—from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression.But while the adventures of Dillinger’s gang—later including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi)—thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw’s capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America’s first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing “Clark Gable of the FBI.”.
- I’m a big fan of Michael Mann’s work…Mann’s return with PUBLIC ENEMIES doesn’t disappoint. When I got to meet him briefly at a screening, I knew I was in the presence of somebody’s just downright awesome. You can tell from PUBLIC ENEMIES that he’s brought back his signature marks, signs where you can easily tell it’s a Mann’s movie. He doesn’t try to come up with CG backdrop to give us a sight of an old 1930s city, he puts the camera on a tight leash and just focus on the characters and the art deco buildings. And just like his other action/thriller movies in the past, it always ends in the evening or there’ll be a massive showdown between two opposing parties in the middle of the dead night. Mann knows what the audiences would be rooting for in this type of movie, he makes sure that when Dillinger and his men make their getaway after a robbing a bank, they’d do it in style. Cinematographer Dante Spinottie who’s worked with Mann before knows what the master filmmaker wants and what we get are shots that give that reality impression and definitely heavy emphasis on the well-choreographed violence. I enjoy how the movie likes to keep using Otis Taylor’s catchy song ‘Ten Million Slaves’, somehow it fits perfectly in the presentation.
- Johnny Depp is the epitome of cool, he knows it and uses it to the fullest for this role. His character John Dillinger’s got enough charm and confidence to spare but only has eyes for one lady. If you thought the way Jack Sparrow carried himself was infectious, wait til you see how Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, he’s a bad guy who loves being infamous. The unlikely Robin Hood in a time of Great Depression when people could care less about the banks he robs.
- Christian Bale who plays special Agent Melvin Purvis assigned to hunt down Dillinger, is as excellent as Depp. It’s like having 2 heavyweight fighters in a ring and the match is long overdue. They both keep each other on their toes.
- Bale has been known as an actor who can listen well and mimic any accent. He puts down a great effort to sound like he wasn’t born in Wales.
- Great star-studded cast overall, Michael Mann’s lucky enough to have excellent actors signing up from left and right to play both members of the gang and members of the FBI including Billy Crudup who captures young Edgar Hoover’s insecure, arrogant and stubborn personality down pat. Marion Cotillard gives a great supporting performance as the girlfriend who’s willing to risk everything for a man she barely knows. She’s not an easy woman for Dillinger to conquer.
- What really will get you hooked, once again, is the cat and mouse game. Purvis catches Dillinger but Dillinger gets away, Purvis closing in on Dillinger but Dillinger is one step ahead of all of them. You see many different ways it’s done throughout the entire movie and you’ll get entertained every single time. Just when you thought the bad guy’s captured and the good guy gets all the gory, the game begins again.
- I’m glad Mann decided to take the story up a notch by not just making it about Dillinger Vs. Purvis, it’s about what would happen when a man is pushed to the point of desperation. You never work with or never ever trust a desperate man, that’s the theme that you see in the character development. Both Dillinger and Purvis are good at what they do, but then circumstances happen that would turn them into desperate men. Alienated by his business partners, Dillinger starts to lose what makes him hard to catch in the first place. Without realizing it he starts to create predictable patterns and habits that would eventually get him easily fooled, he becomes unaware of unwanted surprises . Pressured by Edgar Hoover, Melvin Purvis finds himself allowing certain methods to get Dillinger, the ends justify the means is the result. Some say that Michael Mann’s endings rarely hit the level of satisfactory, I say PUBLIC ENEMIES’ ending won’t let you down, without being too extravagant, it concludes itself just the right way. (5 out of 5)
Midwesterners flocked to the various filming locations last year and are also going to get opportunities to watch the film at early screenings through out Wisconsin and Indiana on June 30th and after the film is released. Below you will find links to additional info for some of the upcoming screenings:
- Oshkosh, Wisconsin Screening
- Crown Point, Indiana Screening
- Hobart, Indiana Screening
- Merrillville, Indiana Screening