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Customer Review

20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technically adept, fun historical supplements, December 6, 2009
This review is from: Public Enemies - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I am an avid supporter of Mann's work so I had no expectations with PE of there being a crystal clear Blu (the cameras he uses) or articulate/perfect sound mixes that allow you to crank it up and still hear dialogue during action scenes. So in fairly rating the BD that detraction list all comes true here, but I still enjoyed the incredible attention to prop detail and filming locations - both of which get covered adequately in the special features.

The picture quality is standard to good as those cameras create the night blur/drag (similar to Miami Vice) but some of the outdoor scenes are clear enough to even see the lens/shutter change (reference the outdoor shot of the jail as Dillinger is driving/escaping - you can actually watch the camera operator change the filter from dull to sharp). The sound is mixed differently throughout depending on the location so some scenes are clear if the camera is pointing right at the speaker, but most do not allow you to have the volume set higher as the gun play is over-amped and/or loud scenes drown the dialogue (airplane, cars, guns, etc.). I still loved watching the performances and I already had read how historically inaccurate the story was but the other details made it a good film to watch - especially since they filmed in so many of the actual locations that the events occurred. Supplements are enjoyable and include:

* 20:32 minute making-of. Mann centers the interviews and flow of the documentary and includes some thorough depictions of how some scenes were made and character preparation.
* 8:44 minute Last Outlaw. Gives a brief history of how these guys were considered to be the last outlaws and covers the actual last moments of Dillinger's life.
* 9:48 minute Locations. Shows all of the work put into filming at the three main historical locations of the story (Bohemian Lodge, the theater and the prison). Shows what can be done if you have enough money to do it right.
* 9:39 minute Criminal Technology. Describes how/why Dillinger had the cars and guns that outperformed the police. Also shows how the FBI started to use more technology to fight these criminals. Some history about Winstead and his role in the shooting (references using outside law help to end Dillinger).
* Commentary with Mann. I always enjoy listening to his theory on attention to detail and what it takes for him to make a film - granted not for everyone.
* DBox - did not use it.
* U-Control. Allows for using the PiP function and incorporating time lines while you watch.
* BD Live. Did the Gangster Movie Challenge, it scrolls through multiple choice options of different movie trivia; had not watched American Gangster recently so I sucked and gave up but you should be able to get all of the PE questions. It does keep track and your score can be compared against other users.

The menu is the standard Universal left-feeding live background action menu (good scenes, good music) but there are more options this time around to help facilitate BD Live stuff (two different icons for that) and learning about how to use everything on the BD (another icon for that). Plus a live feed (similar to a news feed) stays on the upper right quadrant of the menu screen that gives updates on BD live events and other movie stuff.

Overall, a good product for fans of the film and those with a network connection.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 20, 2009 9:28:20 PM PST
I saw this in the theater and loved it, but I still haven't gotten around to buying a copy just yet. Thanks for the special features review!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2009 10:12:18 PM PST
Steve Kuehl says:
No problem - glad someone appreciates it.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Steve Kuehl
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Boulder Creek, CA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 62,086