Public Enemies

July 3rd, 2009 by Potato

We went to see Up yesterday at the movie theatre. It looks like it would be a fun movie, and has been getting very good reviews. Unfortunately when we showed up at the theatre, it turns out it was still in 3D (despite being out for a few weeks now), and I have zero interest in paying more to try to fit some flimsy plastic glasses over my prescription glasses and get a headache just so that some cheesy 3D effects can be thrown in.

So we saw Public Enemies instead, which looked like it might be a decent summer-time popcorn muncher from the previews.

It’s not. The movie is just not good. It’s full of weird camera angles, and just drags. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of character development, no backstory to anyone, and with one or two exceptions, the action scenes weren’t even any good.

I read the Wikipedia entry on John Dillinger, and there’s a lot of good stuff in there that they missed. Right at the beginning they mined the “crook with a heart” thing with the line “put that away, we’re here for the bank’s money, not yours.” But then that was sort of it for showing any charm during a robbery. Apparently later on, he robbed a bank without a shot by pretending to be a movie director making a bank heist scene — wouldn’t that have made for a good scene??

The movie was also lacking any sort of Depression-era feeling. Sure, the costumes and cars and tommy guns all looked great, but everything was shiny. We didn’t see the desperation and the unemployment and the crop failures that helped contribute to the massive crime wave that lead to the formation of the FBI. With these public enemies it wasn’t really desperation driving them to rob bank after bank, but it was still something I noticed was missing from the movie.

On the whole, the movie had the feel to it that we were supposed to have read the book first or something, since there wasn’t a lot of development or exposition.

Of course, part of my enjoyment of the movie could be due to the foul mood I was put in by the person beside me talking incessantly for the first ~20 minutes or so. Talking, not whispering. I actually turned around and told him to shut up, and rather rudely at that. It was annoying me so much — he was louder than the movie for a number of spots! — and anyone who knows me knows that’s never happened before… I’m actually still kind of shocked at my behaviour myself.

2 Responses to “Public Enemies”

  1. Rez Says:

    I saw Up the other day. It cost $2.50 more than a regular movie, but it was worth it. The 3D during the previews was distracting and annoying, but during the feature itself I often forgot there was 3D at all. That’s not to say that the 3D effect was forgettable, but it was so unobtrusive and natural that I’d catch myself marveling at how much depth the picture had and then realizing it was the 3D effect. There’s a lot of depth in the visuals since there are a lot of scenes of looking up at the sky or looking down at the ground from the sky, so the 3D glasses really add to the immersion. I wear prescription glasses, too, but after the first few minutes the extra 3D glasses were not a bother.

    Unlike other 3D films, this one doesn’t go out of its way to throw things at the the audience, taking advantage of the 3D effect. Instead, Up just does its thing, telling a very (very) good fantasy tale, and just happens to be in 3D. I think that’s why it worked; it wasn’t trying so hard to wow you with gimmicks. The story and animation, by the way, were great, and so moving that my girlfriend near cried throughout the whole movie, as did my male friend (remember Farlander, John?).

    I highly recommend it; it’s worth the extra $2.50.

  2. Potato Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation — I might give the 3D glasses another try then.