At least keeping it short at a mere 10-minutes, this interview film accompanying PUBLIC ENEMIES on its DVD is an unenlightening self-justification for the irrelevant Michael Mann opus.
We hear Mann and his fellow filmmakers explain their approach, chief interest of which is to see stars Bale & Depp with plenty of facial hair after watching them for a couple of hours sporting the '30s clean-cut look for their roles. For the umpteenth time we hear testimony to Bale's already-legendary penchant for research as he immerses himself in his characters pre-shooting. My mind wandered to conjure whether he had studied in depth the classic 70MM '30s film THE BAT WHISPERS to get inspired for his off-putting vocals in the current series of Nolan-piloted BATMAN films.
The irony of this short is that it (and Mann's feature) should be placed alongside Larry Buchanan's wacky movie THE OTHER SIDE OF BONNIE AND CLYDE. The now cult-ivated Z-movie director comes up with far more interesting material in his rather persuasive look at the lawman (Frank Hamer) who ended that duo's criminal career, than Mann and this docu achieve in limning the efforts of Melvin Purvis to wipe out Pretty Boy Floyd, Dillinger and the like. I grew up on the Edward G., Muni and Cagney gangster films, and they make Mann's latter-day stinker 100% superfluous. And Dale Robertson as Purvis on TV was a lot more fun in the role than current acting "genius" Bale.
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