Isn’t this awesome? I’d like to add a few more ideas to the list — strolling down State, lunch at Chataura, an actual beer on the terrace — but it’s still pretty great, in my opinion. An added plus is the Anthology shop they mentioned, which is co-owned by a gal I played tennis with in high school.

Speaking of Wisconsin, which we now are, the state’s been going rather bonkers for a long time now over the movie Public Enemies. I don’t know how the rest of the country is reacting to its premiere (though I suspect Michael Mann + Johnny Depp + John Dillinger = lots of excitement and hype), but Sconnie just about collapsed from the weight of it all. As you may know, lots of scenes were filmed here — Madison, Columbus, Oshkosh and more. Most significantly, perhaps, was the infamous shoot-out at the Little Bohemia lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, which still stands and which we often comment upon when we are up on our annual family vacation in near-by Presque Isle. Anyway, lots of towns had early premieres and people came out in 1930s wear and drove around old cars and smoked cigars. It was really quite a reaction.

So, with all of this in mind, I saw the movie last night. At Sundance. Gosh, I just love that theater. Even though the restaurant blew and reminds me of a low period in my adult life, the movie theater is just the bees’ knees and makes me not want to go to any other movie theater ever again (well, that doesn’t include the drive-in or the Orpheum, both of which I adore). Anyway, as soon as the movie started, it occurred to me what I was really going to see. A Michael Mann movie about John Dillinger. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me early. Maybe because I didn’t really know much about Dillinger (this despite there being an old family story that my great-grandfather was kidnapped by Dillinger’s gang to repair some plumbing or electrical problem at one of their hide-outs). So, it hit me late that this was going to be (a) long and (b) violent. Michael Mann is not even close to one of my favorite directors and I absolutely hated his uber-long, unedited, ultra-violent, super boring Heat. But it was too late to turn back. The movie starts with a pretty violent jailbreak, which sets the tone. There’s a lot of blood in this movie and a lot of killing. Johnny Depp is pretty great, though, and Marion Cotillard is simply gorgeous and commanding. Christian Bale, though…Ugh. I don’t know why I feel bad criticizing him, but I do. Enough’s enough, though. I let his Batman performance slide and I can’t do it again. I feel like he’s really pushing when he “acts.” I don’t believe him at all. I don’t know if he’s trying too hard to cover up his Welsh accent or what. Personally, though, I’d rather have a Welsh accent slip in in an otherwise smooth and believable performance than watch someone speak so woodenly so that we don’t know where he’s actually from. It’s really enough already. At least for me. And it probably didn’t help that his role, a would-be federal agent though the FBI has yet to come into its own, is really boring. I was hoping for more of a movie like, say, American Gangster. In American Gangster, you are just as interested in Russell Crowe’s police work as you are with Denzel Washington’s criminal work. In Public Enemies, though, there is very little police work and it’s just not that interesting.

Overall, though, I liked the movie and it didn’t feel as long as I thought it might. I would give it a B. For whatever that’s worth. Maybe a B+ since seeing the Capitol was pretty cool.


11 Responses to “Sconnie”

  1. 1 Kristin July 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I was JUST about to send you the article from the NYT! My dad tipped me off to it. Good times. Didn’t we go to O’Cayz one time? Or was it The Dry Bean? All I remember is that it was you, me, Heather and Ben and Ben wanted to dance and we were all skittish, so he asked some random woman to dance. Remember? That was funny/

    I really had no plans to see Public Enemies, but now that I know it was filmed in Wisconsin, I just might. I do love that Marion Cotillard.

  2. 2 Sara H July 6, 2009 at 8:58 am

    An article about Madison and they neglected to mention the farmer’s market as a Saturday morning activity? Huh? All the same, I thought it was nice! I think it was #8 on the “most emailed” list this weekend.

    Apparently I should see American Gangster? I need to start keeping lists of movies I should see. I’m interested to see Public Enemies, but probably won’t make it to a theater showing. I was pretty nervous about Michael Mann, though, as being able to direct a Johnny Depp movie – I mean, The Insider, ok, but I fell asleep during Miami Vice twice.

  3. 3 gwendolyngarden July 6, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I agree with your grade. I basically was completely distracted from the “story” of John Dillinger by my H constantly whispering “that’s Columbus,” “that’s [whatever] county courthouse” plus the two fancy-ceilinged banks they showed were in Oshkosh– so my mind kept thinking that all the bank robberies were in Oshkosh.

    The movie was violent (which means I spent most of the movie with my eyes closed), and I don’t like how movies seem to romanticize gangsters- but I recognize that my opinion is in the vast minority on that one.

    I couldn’t agree with you more on C. Bale’s accent: The Financial Times called it a cross between Fate and George W Bush.

    I liked seeing the capitol– did you notice how in the press conference shot, they covered up the glass bank digitally with some made up building? Also- loved the thank you to the Lt. Gov.

    anyway- sorry for my ultra-long comment.

  4. 4 gracieandkate July 6, 2009 at 11:06 am

    OMG! I didn’t notice that they thanked Barbara Lawton. That’s so cool. Remember when I went to Sundance and she was there, too? Though I didn’t see her. I really like her. But that’s for another day.

    I didn’t notice that they digitized the glass bank because Aaron and I both pointed and whisper-screamed at the same time, “Quizno’s!” because you could kind of see the green and red sign. Hee hee.

    Glad that you agreed on C. Bale’s accent. Was worried I was going to piss peeps off with that.

    Next up, Up and Away We Go.

  5. 5 gracieandkate July 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Oh, and about the NYT thing, it looks like they’ve done Madison at least two other times in the last decade and included some of the same things (biking, Harvest), but added Farmers’ Market and not had, say, Camp Randall. Hmm.

  6. 6 Sara H July 7, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Love the new pic of Gracie! Ah, dogs and their love of rolling around on sunny grass.

  7. 7 gracieandkate July 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I know! It definitely has to be in a sunny spot. Grace is so funny about it. She gets all serious, sticks her nose down into the grass, turns about 180 degrees and just goes for it. Then she gets up, shakes off the grass and does it again. I love the first roll of the season. Well, I love them all. But that first one always tells me summer’s on its way.

  8. 8 Sara H July 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Keely also enjoys rolling the exact same way on very compacted snow. Weird.

  9. 9 gracieandkate July 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Snow? Now that’s commitment!

  10. 10 gwendolyngarden July 8, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Gracie!!!!! I loved puppy happy hour- we’ll have to do it again!

  11. 11 kateandgracie July 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

    No kidding!

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July 2009

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