Monday, 16 February 2009

Wisconsin tax credits for Michael Mann's Public Enemies

The Chicago Tribune reports on some of the financial tax breaks on filming Public Enemies in Wisconsin:

Wis. tax credits help pay for Depp's entourage

By SCOTT BAUER |Associated Press Writer
2:58 PM CST, February 13, 2009

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin taxpayers contributed $450,000 toward Hollywood director Michael Mann's salary when he came to the state last year to film the big-budget Johnny Depp

movie "Public Enemies."Records obtained by The Associated Press show the state's film tax credits not only covered a quarter of Mann's $1.8 million salary, they paid for a portion of his assistants' salaries, entertainment, meals and stuntmen's living expenses.

The state's tax credits even covered about $100,000 of the cost of Depp's entourage of chauffeurs, hair stylists and assistants, said Zach Brandon, executive assistant at the Wisconsin Commerce Department.

Filmmakers even tried to claim $8,600 toward the $35,800 wrap party, but the Commerce Department denied that because it wasn't an actual production expense, Brandon said Friday.


California Test Screening Reviews of Public Enemies

Best Movies 2008 has quoted a number of new test screening reviews of Public Enemies. The blog starts:

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies was test screened on Thursday night in Sherman Oaks, CA. It was a blind screening, which means that they didn’t give the name of the film when soliciting for moviegoers. A bunch of reviews have been floating around the message boards. You can read five reviews after the jump.

The first review comes from MovieTVWatcher:

Last night I attended a screening of Public Enemies in Sherman Oaks, CA. I have to say that I was really, really excited to see it and I had great expectations to see it. Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Michael Mann and Marion Cotillard? I couldn’t wait. I arrived at the theatre almost 2 hrs before it started so I was guaranteed to get in. By the time the movie started, there were about 400 people and many did not get in. Michael Mann was there as well and I sat two rows behind him. So what did I think? I was very mixed about it. As soon as the movie ended I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not.

Anyways, let’s start with the good:

Johnny Depp WAS John Dillinger. It was an amazing performance and he is going to be considered at the Oscars next year. He was one of the few reasons that the movie didn’t fail. He wasn’t too over the top but he was very believable. I really thought this was one of his best.

Marion Cotillard was excellent as well. She and Depp had believable chemistry but I couldn’t tell what her accent was supposed to be. Some words didn’t have any accents at all while others sounded like her normal speaking voice. I will have to say that by the she surprised me very much. She has the final scene in the movie and it ended well. (I will say that she surprised me even more because I thought she wasn’t *THAT GREAT* in La Vie En Rose–Nom? Yes. Oscar win for that movie? No.)

Read more by clicking here

Friday, 13 February 2009

Michael Mann get's a Valentine's day vote

In a distinguished honour, Megan Smith from lists Michael Mann's Last of the Mohican's as one of the film's featuring in her list of top seven movie love scenes. I personally was amazed to see a Mann film featured in such a list, but here is what she said about it for all you luvvies out there.

Last of the Mohicans (1992) - Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe: Directed by Michael Mann, this film is based on the James Fenimore Cooper novel. Madeleine Stowe is Cora Monroe, Daniel Day-Lewis is Hawkeye, the adopted son of a Mohican elder. The two are drawn together when Hawkeye, his father and his brother escort Cora and her sister to Colonel Monroe's fort during the French and Indian war in 18th century North America. The fort is under attack and in the midst of all the death and destruction Cora and Hawkeye acknowledge their love for each other.

One night after Cora leaves the infirmary where she works Hawkeye finds her. He grasps her hand and without saying a word leads her to a quiet corner before taking her in his arms. This scene is so satisfying because up until this point Cora has abided by the prim and proper rules of the period while still being attracted to the freedom Hawkeye represents. In this scene all conventions are shed in a whirl of long dark hair and passionate embraces.

Original Music by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman.

Tristan's Thief

It was a pleasure recently to read a new post by Tristan, a "follower" of this blog (using the term "follow" in the loosest of terms), in his blog Kirby Dots. It features an intelligent appraisel of Mann's film Thief, that brings an interest in the roots of film noir, it's french origins and influence on Mann. Michael Mann was of course in Paris a short time, involved with documentary film making. It would be a stretch though to see this as having any particular influence. Such influences come from a far deeper place.

There is much to Tristan's insightful study of Thief, and yet such examinations yield more questions. Tristan mentions towards the end the heroic, yet tragic nature of Mann's protaganists. Anti-heroes if you will. I think of The Insider, and how both characters gain something, but at the same time lose something.

Read Tristan's blog for youself, and enjoy his panache, using vocabulary such as Peckinpahesque, Mephistophelian and simulacra. Good stuff! (a term to stretch my own level of expository!). I look forward Tristan to future posts.

You can see Tristan's blog repeated on, where there are some useful pieces of information fed by those leaving comments.

See a classic clip from Thief below:

Friday, 6 February 2009

Mann discovers the next big actress: Carey Mulligan

According to the latest buzz, Carey Mulligan is going to be the next big thing in tinseltown. She has been cast alongside Ewan McGregor in a forthcoming movie, The Electric Slide. The article talks about Carey having the potential to take Hollywood by storm. The reason I mention this is to highlight just how perceptive Michael Mann is in finding the right talent. Carey will appear in a role in Public Enemies.

I was always amazed how Russell Crowe was so brilliantly cast into the role in The Insider. Crowe became an A-lister. I believe Val Kilmer was originally slated for that role (an actor I think is very under rated).

Read the article

Another Portland Screening Review

For those interested, I discovered another Portland screening review of Public Enemies. For a very pleasant change, this one is extremely positive, if lightweight in content.

Source: Joblo

I went to see the screening of Public Enemies, on Wednesday night. The new film by Micheal Mann starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. The movie is about the "public enemy era" of the 1930's during the great depression, and focuses on the famed gangster / bank robber John Dillinger, played by Depp, and the man sent to capture him Melvin Pervis, played by Bale. The movie also included a vague side story of how the FBI was formed into what it is today.

The film starts off in 1933 with the prison break that Dillinger planned and executed, almost flawlessly. The movie starts with some action and bloodshed which in my opinion is always a good way to get the movie started. We then follow the newly acquired Dillinger gang to a hide away.

At this point, Mann, introduces Pervis, while he is trying to apprehend a famed gangster "pretty boy" Floyd. After Pervis has done his job he is commissioned by J. Edger Hoover to head the man hunt for Dillinger. We also learn of the governments doubts about the FBI and J. Edger Hoover's involvement.

The film continues to follow the chase for Dillinger, and his many exploits that include the famous photograph in which he puts his arm around the prosecuting attorney. His escape from jail with a gun he carved out of a bar of soap. It all ends outside the Biograph Theater (**MAJOR SPOILER ALERT**) where Pervis and his hired help shot and killed Dillinger in the alley next to the theater after this brothel associate gives him up in hopes to avoid deportation.

Micheal Mann has found his perfect blend of drama and action in this picture. As well as he combined his style of handy cam, and set shots. All and all, it was his best film yet. Johnny Depp gets more and more outstanding as an actor every film he makes. Christian Bale, is as he always is... fairly dull. (sorry for any Bale fans out there, I know, Bale was the bomb in Batman yo!... but still) There are tons of cameo's from stars that you'll recognize but can't think of their names off the top of your heads.

I would be surprised if this film doesn't make it's run as a might contender for the best picture of the year in 2009. I would give it a 10/10