Monday, January 11, 2010

Not What I Expected

Let me start by saying that Michael Mann is one of my favorite filmmakers. Manhunter and Collateral are two of my favorites, movies you don't turn off when you come across them on late night cable. That said, I didn't love Public Enemies. I know people love Depp, but I didn't buy him as Dillenger. Cat was hardcore and that's not the vibe JD projects for me. The romance angle seemed forced, and Melvin Purvis was left undeveloped I felt. Mann dropped his suicide in the ending update, and I couldn't help feeling that character wasn't in the movie I just watched. Lots of attention to the details of various shootouts, but I would have rather seen more attention paid to his conflict with the mob and their fledgling gambling operation. Now don't get me wrong, a 2nd rate Michael Mann film is better than most, but imagine my surprise when I had to admit to myself the following evening that I had more positive things to say about The Proposal.

It could be the effect of seriously low expectations going in, but I can't deny that I enjoyed this one. Other than Speed, I can't recall liking a Sandra Bullock movie. I do have to give it to her though, she puts asses in seats, and more than ever in her 40s-good for her. I do like Ryan Reynolds, and I think his best work is yet to come. The two of them together were quite enjoyable, but I do think there should have been at least one Demi/Ashton joke to address the age difference. I did find myself chuckling a number of times at how perfect everything looked, that kind of design/fashion porn Hollywood loves to peddle. But you know what, every once in a while it's nice to escape reality, and this movie got me out of my head, willing to just role with it and have a good time. I didn't love this movie by any stretch, and as much as it pains me to say this, if it's a choice between The Proposal and Public Enemies on a Saturday night with the Mrs., I'd say go with Bullock on this one.

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