3 items from 2009
It's the Fourth of July weekend, and what better way to celebrate America's independence than by watching a John Dillinger decide taxation with representation wasn't nearly as much fun as the patriots made it out to be. Public Enemies has gone wide this week, brandishing their tommy guns in the hopes of stealing some of Transformers' box office thunder. If anyone can do it, it might just be Johnny Depp, who does appeal to a crowd that Optimus Prime just can't reach.
Jeffrey Anderson was full of praise for Michael Mann's film, likening it to earlier crime classics such as Max Nosseck's Dillinger or Don Siegel's Baby Face Nelson. "... it equals them, capturing some of their raw energy and allure and clocking in as a longer, but equally fast-moving and adrenaline-pumping example Somehow Mann only manages to use the extra time for flash and spectacle, and hardly any for depth or detail, »
- Elisabeth Rappe
Essentially there are two kinds of gangster movies: those made during the time when men wore hats in real life and those made during the time when men wore hats that came from wardrobe. The first type are usually in black-and-white, punchy, nervy and full of wisecracks. The second type are usually longer and more violent, but slower-paced and nobler of purpose, as if the hats suddenly carried an extra weight, an extra sadness. What Michael Mann has achieved with the new Public Enemies is an often fascinating, striking combination of the two.
I walked into the new film, convinced that it could never top lean, mean B-movie classics like Max Nosseck's Dillinger (1945) or Don Siegel's Baby Face Nelson (1957) in which these gangsters were initially immortalized. But it equals them, capturing some of their raw energy and allure and clocking in as a longer, but equally fast-moving and adrenaline-pumping example. »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
The B Noir festival is a hit! It's always a delight to hear about retrospective programming doing well. There are still people out there interested in and trying out old movies in theaters. Or maybe the San Francisco noir crowd is just that strong. I'd written about "I Wake Up Dreaming" a couple of weeks back (read it here); I have since went and saw some of the movies they're playing.
If you're in the Bay Area and you haven't spared the time, there's good news. The festival was supposed to end this Thursday, but I have just been informed that since it is selling out so well, they've decided to add another week of showings!
The list of extra screenings is at the bottom, but before that, I want to recommend trying to get to this Friday's showing of The Devil Thumbs a Ride, which I managed to catch on the fest's opening night. »
- Arya Ponto
3 items from 2009
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