dvd reviews

By Jared Curtis


‘Public Enemies’
Directed by Michael Mann
Rated R, 140 minutes

I’m on the fence with “Public Enemies.” Johnny Depp offers an outstanding performance as John Dillinger, but the film moves along too slowly. Dillinger plays a cat and mouse game with famed “G-Man” Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). Purvis was an outlaw hunter who wouldn’t give up until he had his fugitive, dead or alive. My main gripe with the film (beyond its running time) is that Dillinger and his crew rob banks with ease, shooting their way out of every scenario. I’m not sure if Dillinger was that good, or if the cops were that bad? If you’re a fan of Depp or ’30s period pieces, “Public Enemies” is for you. If not, I’d suggest a History channel documentary on Dillinger; it gives you all the truth in half the time. CV


‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’
Directed by Terry Gilliam
1998, Rated R, 118 minutes

Johnny Depp made some fantastically wild films (“Cry Baby,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood,” “Blow”), but none are as outlandish as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Depp stars as Raoul Duke in a psychedelic story based on the book by iconic journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Duke is on assignment in Las Vegas to cover a desert race but spends most of his time in a druggy haze with his confidant and attorney, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro), who Duke describes as “too weird to live and too rare to die.” This film is crazy and features a number of extremely funny and weird cameos from Tobey Maguire, Gary Busey and Christina Ricci, among others. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is pure chaos and in a class all its own. Just make sure to stay out of bat country. CV


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