'Public Enemies' & 'Drag Me To Hell'

Michael Mann's outstanding new film Public Enemies opens today. It's a crime saga with flair, style and an interest all its own. Only problem? it's too long- which wouldn't surprise most cinematic connoisseurs familiar with Mann and his stylishly overdone epics. Heat, Ali, Collateral, Manhunter and The Insider- All fascinating but all flawed and epic in length. Structurally it is very much in the same style as we would expect from the crime genre but stylishly Mann is unto a whole other ballgame here. He shoots in Digital video and -unlike Miami Vice- it actually works and suits the picture very well- in fact It's more a character study than a action driven movie. The thing I've always liked about Mann is the way he injects steroidal machoism to his films but has always managed to keep it artistic and -especially with this film- relevant to our times. What would I cut from the film ? maybe the last 10 minutes, which go out in a very conventional -dare i say- safe way and the Romance with Cottilard does tend to slightly drag the film near it's conclusion but Mann's macho heroism is at full swing here and there's something very iconic in seeing Depp portray crime king Dillinger in a playful, playboy-esque manner. In these dog days of summer, I'd say Public Enemies is a blessing from the sky and an incredible alternative to the drivel we've been getting of late- Transformers anyone?

Going into a screening of Sam Raimi's latest, I was literally dragged. My expectations were low and I didn't really want to see a movie about a gypsy curse and the poor farm girl that comes into contact with it. Boy was I surprised. This isn't only one of the stronger movies I've seen this summer but it's also one of the most amusing ones. Some of the stuff in here can be traced way back to Raimi's Army Of Darkness roots and has a spalsh of what made Spiderman 2 one of the more entertaining superhero movies of the past decade. It also has one of the most forumla convulting twists I've seen in a while. Basically whatever you would expect from the typical horror film is blown away here and twisted upside down. I guess you can say I liked it.