Jul 5, 2009

Movie Reviews: Public Enemies, Easy Virtue

Above: Mrs. Finch Goes to the Movies, Has Popcorn.
Left: in her absence, Mr. Finch scouts for hotties.

Movie reviews. Ratings from low of 1 to high of 4.

Public Enemies. 2+.

I don’t want my money back, but I’m glad the popcorn was warm. Michael Mann likes to moderate action with long, slow, impressionistic photographs. I didn’t find the characters worth a long, slow study. The long, slow study dulled the action and did little to make Dillinger or Melvin Purvis fully-realized characters to care about.

So the movie is neither fish nor fowl, neither serious psychological portrait nor compelling shoot-em-up.

The action could have been good, but these dozens of intense, flat-bellied, dark-and-greasy-haired white guys running around in 1930s black cars left me wondering who was chasing whom. That was especially the case in a night scene in the Wisconsin woods, which could have been gripping if I’d known what was going on.

Late in the movie we get an imposing black guy, a stout, sadistic redhead, and an ersatz Joseph Cotton copper-agent. They do their jobs well, and they’re a relief from the sameness, but they’re too little, too late.

Easy Virtue. 3+.

Softball player, golfer, former halfback and point guard, a friend of mine followed his wife to this one and liked it, so I decided to do the same, and I'm glad. Excellent acting, directing, and writing add interest and gravitas to a story that could have limited itself to one more Noel Coward comedy of manners. I’m tempted to give it a 4, but the fact is, it’s still English drawing room stuff, muffled chuckles, muffled passion, and shades of grey that are still pretty black and white.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

Did you see 'Up' yet? Really wonderful. I highly recommend (I wrote about it here.

Mark and I hardly ever go to movies because they're so expensive and packed. We'll definitely see Bruno, though.

Lovers' Lane