i’ve been wanting to see this documentary for months, ever since i saw the trailer for it in front of something totally forgettable on the big screen.
naturally, therefore, the rental copy i have would be one of those bastards where the commentary JUST WON’T SWITCH OFF. i dunno about you, but when a doco is about people talking about how they feel about something, i kind of want to HEAR THEM and not the dreary old men who directed them.
*sigh* … bottom line, i ended up watching this with the subtitles on and the volume turned down. I HAD TO SING ALL THE SONGS MYSELF, PEOPLE. feel my pain.
but y’know what? that’s okay. god knows i know the thing backwards. i saw A Chorus Line onstage in London in 1977. i’ve had the cast recording for 32 years, people. THIRTY-TWO YEARS.
anyway. this documentary is awesome. even with me doing all the songs.
in a word: BREATHTAKING.
you know, i really must learn not to watch the special features before i watch the movie.
this is one of those incredibly worthy australian films that turns out to be humungously less interesting than the making-of documentary.
i feel guilty as sin saying that because balibo has received tremendous acclaim and is about one of the most heinous crimes in australian and east timorese history – the murder of five young australian journalists by invading indonesian troops in 1975. and the execution of roger east, another australian journo who was trying to find out what happened to the first five.
he was executed as part of the Dili massacre on December 7, 1975.
look, balibo is a good film. to me it seemed to take a long time to tell its story. but that could be indicative of my mood, the alcohol i’m consuming or the fact that i knew the story going in.
in a word: WORTHY.
i drove and drove and drove. i went to see Wicked. i slept and slept and slept. i did a harbour cruise, i got sunburned. i went to the aquarium and communed with the dugongs. i walked through chinatown. i went to see Wicked again. i slept and slept and slept. i drove and drove and drove. i came across a chinese restaurant next to a motel in a small country town. i ate really bad chinese food and slept and slept. then i drove and drove and then i went back to work.
not a bad way to spend a 45th birthday, at all.
my biggest beef? the ending. the tag line on this film is ‘the end begins’ … my complaint is it never seems to fucking end.
once again, McG delivers epic big bangs and action, including the hyper-nuclear conclusion of this film where dozens of ‘nuclear’ T800 fuel cells are detonated by our hero john connor, but again, the goddamn voiceover at the end tells us that it DIDN’T BASTARD WORK.
please, can we just destroy skynet and have a happy ending? can we stop the insanity, please? yes, i know the franchise makes a lot of money, but please? can we have an ending, some time soon?
part of me also wishes that nick stahl and claire danes had been brought back to reprise their roles as john and kate connor. yeh, i know christian bale’s presence made this a blockbuster and not just No.4 in a franchise, but still.
bale is good, don’t get me wrong. and bryce dallas howard is … well, a token presence in comparison to the character’s impact in rise of the machines. but they’re not the stars of this film, for me.
that goes to sam worthington (avatar), moon bloodgood and anton yelchin (star trek) as marcus, blair and kyle reese respectively.
don’t you wish you’d seen a bit more of marcus and blair’s character development and relationship? yeh me too. pity they killed off marcus at the end. best thing in the film for mine. of course, never say never with this franchise. i’m sure they’ll put a spare T800 nuclear fuel cell in him between films.
in a word: YEH, OKAY.
hmmmm. not a lot of heat in this one for me. if director michael mann (whose last directorial effort, miami vice, should have been reason enough never to give him the reins ever again) meant to show us a passionless, but immaculate portrait of a gangster’s life in the 1930s, then he succeeds 100%.
the historical detail in this film is gorgeous. the thing i most noticed – the gun fights. these days modern gunfights seem to be depicted in movies in a very … i don’t know … clean manner, y’know? swip swip.
it’s the sounds effects, i think. 1930s gunfights, with tommy guns whipped out of violin cases and booming shotguns, and classic old handguns. noisier. with lots of splinters and fragments, and fire and cracks and whistles. to the sound editor, whoever you are, on public enemies … kudos. bet there’s an oscar nomination in it for you.
but if michael mann meant to make us feel something for john dillinger and his mates. eh, not so much. cocky little bastard. don’t get me wrong, johnny depp nails him, by all accounts. good performance. but totally without any sympathy.
good supporting cast. aussie david wenham is almost unrecognisable as offsider pete, marion cotilliard is, frankly, wasted, but probably the best thing in the film. and christian bale’s g-man is totally one-dimensional. but he’s written that way, so not bale’s fault by a long stretch.
so, in the end, public enemies looks great, sounds sensational, but does nothing at all for the emotions.
in a word: POINTLESSLY PRETTY.