Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The best Public Enemies pre-screening yet

Public Enemies Photo blog

You would not believe what it smells like here at work - EXHAUST. People are getting sort of sick and no one can see where it's coming from. I think it is part of Doyle's Master Plan. At least I'm leaving in 45 minutes for the Doctor (non-life threatening appointment).

They said they just turned off our air and I'm having problems hanging on to my chair. The guy across from me is floating near the ceiling. HAL HAL OPEN THE POD BAY DOORS! I'm sorry Rod, I'm afraid I can't do that. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.

I'm not even going to talk about the elections and how disappointed I am in Columbus people. I can see voting for Kaland but Link? The guy who is anti-historical buildings?

Anybody watch American Idol???? Tatiana you are freaking me out. Anybody know how to play Pocket Jacks (the glass hammer) on a loose chasing table? I have issues.

Thursday I will not have a blog at all as I'll be giving a little talk on something or other to some people in the morning - I don't know what it is but perhaps I'll wake up before I actually have to say anything to anybody. My gut feeling is they want other people to recognize me in order to stay away from me Thursday night when I'll be getting a recognition award (thus the reason they want people to recognize me in the first place). I'm just hoping there will be no test afterwords.

I can't believe they are having me bring the beer again.

I had this sent to me and I believe if came from Johnny Depp Reads but I'm not sure. It is written by Ginger who does a fantastic job

SEMI-SPOILER ALERT!!! just a semi - nothing major.

No opening or closing credits…just straight into the action. I know the movie was 2 ½ hours but it really didn’t seem like that long. It never dragged. I’ve read the book so I was familiar with the story. The movie just focuses on Dillinger’s story. It would’ve been way too much to try to bring in the Barker Gang and all the other players in the book. The cinematography was really beautiful and the MUSIC really fit. You’re totally transported back to Chicago and the Midwest.

For some reason, I didn’t really notice the costumes….they were all completely authentic, and I think I would’ve noticed if a particular outfit was NOT right…the hairstyles and especially the glasses they wore were just spot on. I thought Johnny played Dillinger pretty hardcore. When it came to robbing those banks, he was dead serious, mean-faced, and focused. But he also put a lot of humanity in the character – his relationships with his friends and the hostages and the bystanders in the banks.

And of course the love story with Billie was, IMHO, made more prominent than it was in the book. You could see how much he truly cared about her. It was a really beautiful balance to offset the violence. And all those car scenes with the Tommy guns blazing were just great to watch. Man, those guys just blasted away & kept driving!
As far as the R rating, I think that’s probably appropriate, because there’s a lot of death by machine gun fire. But it’s essential to the story – that’s what those guys did. And they didn’t go overboard on the blood & guts. You never wanted to turn away & go “ew”. But it’s not a movie for kids just because of the subject matter. And no sex scenes to speak of -- just enough to show that JD & Billie were totally connected. (Sorry ladies….I would’ve liked a scene or two, it wasn’t really necessary to the story.)

We filled out a front & back questionnaire afterwards, and I stayed for the Focus Group. They wanted a sampling of people who rated the movie “excellent”, and they really just elaborated on the questionnaire. They were looking at how to market the film and what the audience saw as the overall story line. They also recorded our comments.
Michael Mann and the producers were sitting a few rows behind the group, and needless to say, listening intently to what we thought!

Some samples of what questions were asked: What would you tell people that this movie is about? Was this film about Dillinger’s war with the world, Dillinger’s war with the banks, a love story between Dillinger & Billie, the story of the FBI, or all of the above? What parts did you think moved too slow or too fast, and why? What did you think about Billie’s character? Why do you think she went with Dillinger? What do you think she felt when she opened the box he gave her? Were there any parts that were confusing and why? What were your favorite scenes? What did you think of the music? Did you think the violence was appropriate? What would you tell people when they ask how the film ended? What did you think of the ending?

Most of us said that the film was about several things – not just one of the choices. Everyone seemed to like the love story, but they wanted a little more character development with Billie.
They really liked the scene at the coat check counter a lot aAdd Imagend how Dillinger just completely charmed Billie into going back to the hotel with him. (And yeah, I think we ALL would’ve gone with him – he was that charming!) And he gave her a gift – which Billie probably felt she didn’t deserve, but it was symbolic of how he wanted to protect her. And when they capture her, she protects him. Really nice theme going throughout.

I have to say that the scene when they do capture Billie and take her away is just gutwrenching. To watch Johnny’s face go through all the emotions he’s feeling is just incredible.
Everyone thought of the movie as a period piece and truly a piece of history, and we all felt like we were really THERE. And the machine gun action pulled you in – sometimes the guns were firing directly at the camera.

There was a little discussion about the hand-held camera bit. At times it was distracting, but on the other hand, it put you right in the middle of the action. The Little Bohemia shootout is spectacular.
The beginning was a little confusing for a lot of people – couldn’t quite figure out why he was going into prison. But I guess they’re counting on people knowing who Dillinger was, so let’s not spend time on setting the scene.

Someone made a comment that we were never told where the scenes were throughout the movie. We know he roamed all over the Midwest, and obviously you can tell when they’re in Florida, but otherwise, you just don’t know. Don’t know that it really matters…
You don’t see a lot of story development on the relationship between Hoover & Purvis. But you completely get that Purvis was driven to capture Dillinger.

At any cost --no matter how many other lives were sacrificed. I wanted a little more transition about Dillinger going back to Ana Sage. After Billie is captured, suddenly he’s back with Ana and some blond lady and it seemed kind of abrupt. And after all, Ana Sage was the one who helped the FBI get him. It was very clear why she did it, and also very clear that Dillinger knew his time was up.
We talked about how this movie is so timely. It’s going to play very well, because right now people in the US are not too happy with the banks here. The banks have all the money and we’d sure like to have some of it!

The ending was a beautiful surprise – didn’t expect that last scene, and we all thought it was a great way to end the movie. I won’t give it away! Again, it was such a nice balance to the death scene. And yeah, they shot Dillinger outside the Biograph and it was in slow motion, but that’s the only way to shoot something like that. Miroux & I were talking about how it was like watching an accident happen -- everything shifts into slow motion and you can see what each of the characters is experiencing. And Dillinger’s death was a huge deal – it needs to be more than a “bang bang you’re dead, we got him” scene.

There are so many memorable scenes throughout the movie – I don’t want to give them away! It’s the kind of movie where you’ll see so much more each time you watch it. There’s just so much action that you miss things the first time. I thought we had some really good opinions at the Focus Group. It was hard to come up with instant comments when you haven’t had time to process what you’ve just seen. And it was late and we were tired – we’d been standing in line for 3 hours with no food, no water and no time for bathroom breaks! And then another 3 hours watching the movie and answering questions! But it was just such a privilege to be part of it all and know that the director and producers would seriously consider our comments.


Rod - I'm getting sleepy