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July 06, 2009 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-07-06

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Monday, July 6, 2009
r The Michigan Daily -*michigandaily.com

From Page 9
blush - when the "Penny Lane"-ish
horn resounds in the coda of "Ever-
lasting Everything," it's obvious that
the resemblance to The Beatles is
more than a coincidence.
Knowing nods to the Fab Four run
amok on the album, including the
virtual remaking of George Harri-
son's "My Sweet Lord" on "You Never
Know," the Lennon-ized vocals of
"Sonny Feeling" an'd how "Country
Disappeared" fuses Abbey Road's
"Golden Slumbers" and "She Came in
Through the Bathroom Window" so
effortlessly Paul McCartney should
share a writing credit.
But despite all of the winks and
clues, it's less likely that Tweedy and
co. are making a move to usurp the
Liverpudlians from their musical
throne as they are simply admiring
from up close. In true Beatles style,
they're having a good laugh.
Wilco (The Album) is not a grand
artistic statement, nor does it try to
be. Weighing this album against the
rest of the Wilco catalog would be
unfair - this is not Yankee Hotel Fox-
trot 2. Here is a band willfully rest-
ing on their laurels, choosing simple
yet well-crafted songs, deft arrange-
ments and a much-needed chuckle
in favor of attempting to meet the
impossible standards set by their
fans or the ghosts of past releases.
As arguably one of America's
best live bands (those unconvinced
should seek the newly-released live
documentary "Ashes of American
Flags") and creators of a handful of
masterpiece albums, Tweedy and co.
have little left to prove. And having
already scaled the mountain of a long
and varied career, can anyone really
fault them for taking in the view?

Playing cops and robbers

DailyArts Writer
In the early 1930s, the nation's greatest
fear was not the depression, nor even fear
itself, according to the Fed-
eral Bureau of Investigation.
America's greatestthreatwas ***
a man named John Dillinger,
or as the FBI called him, Pub- PublC
lic Enemy Number One. Efg ja
"Public Enemies" is direc-
tor Michael Mann's ("Miami Universal
Vice") attempt to capture the At Qaality16
characters of Dillinger (John- and Showcase
ny Depp, "Sweeney Todd")
and the man who dedicated
his life to bringing him to justice, Melvin Pur-
vis (Christian Bale, "Dark Knight"). But Mann
gets a little too caught up in the action of the
movie to fully grasp its central characters.
While there are plenty of machine-gun
fights, car chases and stake outs, the movie
leaves the audience feeling empty. Gunfire and
bank robberies are exciting, but at the same
time, it's important to understand the men
behind them.
As far as criminals go, Dillinger wasn't such a
bad guy, and he was able to outsmart the police
force. While the movie does make a quick ref-
erence to the fact that he let all the customers
keep their money - even giving some of it back
- itnever emphasizes the creativityhe showed
during his robberies. This is surprising for a
film about a man who once robbed a bank by
pretending that he was filming a movie there.
Not only does the movie miss its mark with
Dillinger, but in the time dedicated to fight
scenes, it loses the opportunity to develop the
supporting characters who are also interest-
ing historical figures. J. Edgar Hoover (Billy
Crudup, "Watchmen") comes off as just an
angry man in the film. But in real life, he was
a man obsessed with power and had a gift for

- .


Actually a paparazzi shot of Depp on a typical Sunday drive.

manipulating the media. Bale as Purvis is lit-
tle more than a costume-less batman. Marion
Cotillard ("A Good Year"), however, is par-
ticularly good as Billie Frechette, Dillinger's
girlfriend. It's only through her character that
any sort of personal depth is added to Dillinger.
Through their relationship, it's possible to see
more of a human being and less of a calculating,
Perhaps the flaws of the film are under-
standable. At 140 minutes, "Public Enemies" is
already a long movie, and it's difficult to estab-
lish a subtle balance between fact and action.
does manage to keep the audience wondering-
not about what will happen (as the plot is fairly
predictable), but how it will happen.
Depp does a good job with Dillinger in the
framework he has and manages to capture
Dillinger's sense of humor and daring. This

is apparent when he casually strolls into the
Chicago Police Department's "John Dillinger
Bureau" and asks for the score of the baseball
Depp's Dillinger is
humorous and daring,
but a bit superficial.
"Public Enemies" makes for a good summer
movie because it's entertaining and not too
heavy. While the film could have used more
development, it's still enjoyable and its cast
performs to the best of its ability given the
limited script.

(734) 996-9080 aacomedy.com
314 East Liberty, Downtown Ann Arbor
Singlehandedly bringing the fedora back in fashion.


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