Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Michael Mann Is My Favorite Director - Public Enemies Trailer

The trailer, apart from being kick ass and Johnny Depp assuming a very bravura and tough guy role (something he's rarely been able to do since Donnie Brasco I feel, which is one of his best movies) that probably would go to Sean Penn in the 80s but Depp's got that charm that seems right for the role of John Dillinger.

Mann has always been fascinated by history, especially American crime history (he's always very detailed in his research and has consultants, usually from Chicago). Dillinger's story could be really interesting in his hands because I don't feel like he's out there to sensationalize anything. He'll let the gravity of the actors' work pull people in, but he'll get the details right and hopefully from that a great sense of place will come about. This is a chance for him to do another period piece and he seems to go through phases of what he likes and doesn't like. He's always loved the pulsing electronica soundtracks (evident here), unabashed hard rock music (evident here), and what looks to be a combo of no-nonsense action (evident here) as well as some of his famous wide angles, but less of the static shots of Heat and more of the free flowing cameras of Collateral and Miami Vice (which can be nice, but I still love his more composed feel in Thief and such).

Christian Bale plays a hero, as usual, and he's really good at that anyway, so why not? I'm kind of surprised that someone like Campbell Scott hasn't had the opportunity to work with Mann, I think it would be a great pairing.

And Oscar winner Marion Cotillard finally gets a big American break in what looks to be another in a line of great female characters that Mann has been able to bring to the screen.

I just feel like there is so much to like about Mann's work, and this looks to have potential to be a great rebound after a decent but overall disappointing effort in Miami Vice (I liked it but I couldn't help but feel there was stuff to be trimmed; Collateral was a great exercise and with Vice it just went a bit over the top). He's got a great mix of cerebral and pop and always has pretty sharp scripts that don't insult the viewer's intelligence. On top of that though, he's a filmmaker who understands what moves an audience visually while staying down to earth and authentic. His movies easily get under my skin because there's a comfortable flow, highly stylized and appealing.

I'm going to bet this will be better than The Newton Boys. It could reach great crime drama heights too, with plenty of other films to live up to such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Untouchables, the Cagney thrillers, etc. etc.

I always thought that The Asphalt Jungle was a precursor to Mann's type of filmmaking. Assured visuals, smart criminals with clear motives, a sense of fate and danger that gives the character development and plot a suspenseful cloak. His style is modern though; I wish I could see a movie done like they did in the 30s and 40s, the very stilted production that nevertheless feels like how they made movies in the Golden Age. It's not just the period represented, but the style of the film production. Like The Good German, but more successful.

Anywho, enjoy the trailer over and over again, because one day, Mann's going to get an Oscar of some sort.

1 comment:

tohming said...

looks like a nice movie. how come crime movies are so popular?