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.