“Feels like a documentary.” #Returnto #Balewatch

Okay, so. Years ago my sister and I started BALEWATCH, a comprehensive rewatch and rating (for professionalism) of Christian Bale’s filmography. We didn’t finish it that summer, so we’re returning to it now. No big deal. The internet has time for everything.

We came back with Public Enemies.

Public Enemies is a weird movie. It is full of RAW TALENT, but it is strangely unmoving. You never grit your teeth. People wave machine-guns, ride dashboards, sport VERY NICE SUITS and you don’t give a fuck. It’s bizarre.


All that worldweariness and lack of suspense, we has it.

So, John(ny) Deppinger and CO are robbing banks, and Christian “Melvin” Bale has to/wants to/is compelled by narrative forces to catch him. Like, who cares. It is impossible to express the level of indifference this engenders. It’s hard to point fingers at WHAT is wrong. The dialogue isn’t terrible. It’s just… bland. The events plod along, but suspense never builds, and this from a movie with plenty of suspenDERS (sorry not sorry). Channing Tatum plays Pretty Boy Floyd. Marion Cotillard is Deppinger’s ladylove and provides some of the most compelling moments, but they’re compelling like a delicious chocolate mousse is. Om nom nom but you’re not worried for anyone’s life.

Get in this coat or I will intense you to death. We are going for a malt right now.

So, people die and wear classy suits, and die in classy suits, and eventually, are brought to justice, but Melvin never feels good about it, and as we know from wiki, eventually suicides.

An altogether cheerless episode of history, in spite of some decent banjo-antics for the background of the carchase.

FBI folks spend a lot of time on telephones.

More time than you’d expect.

Melvin the Suspendered Agent of Justice:
Me: 6.5
S: 8 (“because I’m partial”)

Bale:
Me: 3
S: 3
(This role required VERY LITTLE of him, professionally. He only uses his cheek-twitch once or twice. Most professional moment is carrying Cotillard out of the interrogation she has been subjected to by UNGENTLEMANLY SORTS.)

Deppinger:
Me: 4
S: 5 (STILL MORE PARTIALITY)

Cotillard:
Me: 5
S: 5
(She’s not given much to work with, but she brings what she can, which is PROFESSIONAL.)

So, there you go, that’s Balewatch: 2012, the rules are to comment on the movie and grade Bale’s character and professionalism in creating the character, and any other leads we find appropriate to note, professionally. Remember, professionalism is the name of the game:

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