W E E K LY
champaign-urbana’s arts & entertainment magazine FREE 07.09.09 - 07.15.09
a better tuesday free food not free bombs check out the prostate on that one
W E E K LY
C-U’s Choice for
Serious Pain Relief
JUL 09 – JUL 15 2009
volume 7 no. 27
Try a Precision Neuromuscular Massage and get $5 off your next visit!*
The best-kept secret in downtown Urbana.
Parking Lot Parties!
Happy Tuesday 6 Beer Garden Series Safe Place
An interview with e-zine author Lindsey Markel
Doin’ It Well Calendar
Joe’s Brewery gets the once-over
Spin Me ‘Round Town
How to add a little prostate to your sex life
B U Z Z COV E R D E S I G N : Tanya Boonroueng
MUSIC EDITOR :
FOOD EDITOR :
M A N AG I N G E D I T O R & CO P Y C H I E F : ART DIRECTOR : PHOTOGR APHY EDITOR : I M AG E E D I T O R : PHOTOGR APHER S: DESIGNERS:
M OV I E E D I T O R :
Mark Grabowski Tanya Boonroueng Rebekah Nelson Claire Keating James Kyung Ross Topol Claire Keating
Go your fastest at the Tour de Champaign
Your guide to this week’s events
EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Bring a lawn chair & join in on the fun at 7pm!
ART EDITOR : CO M M U N I T Y E D I T O R : C U C A L E N DA R : CO P Y E D I T O R S : S A L E S M A N AG E R : MARKETING/DISTRIBUTION: PUBLISHER:
S T A F F
Amanda Shively Michell Eloy Matt Carey Jean Kim Michell Eloy Amanda Shively Amanda Brenner Tom Cyrs Sarah Gleason Brandi Willis Mary Cory
No Cover Charge!
TONS O’ FUN BAND JULY 25
Call, stop-by or go online today! 407 W. Windsor Champaign 351-1011
Fitness Center Champaign 355-8794
Illini Union Oasis Urbana 239-1104
*60 or 90 minutes. Expires 12-31-09
ARC Champaign 239-5865 021709 BZ
Topless Female Dancers 18 to enter • Mon-Thur 8pm-1am • Fri-Sat 8pm-2am • $5 Cover (Always Hiring, We’ll Train)
Silver Bullet Bar
1401 E. Washington Urbana 217.344.0937
CANDY FOSTER & THE SHADES OF BLUES Open Nightly Until 2am
Under the Neon Sign
119 West Water Street, Urbana
T A L K O N T H E W E B : www.the217.com
B U Z Z
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First copy of buzz is free. Each additional copy is 50¢ JUL 09 – JUL 15 09
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GOOD FOOD, GOOD TIMES, EVERYDAY! Join us for lunch and/or dinner everyday!
BUNNY’S BUCKETS Everyday ALL DAY!
Five select domestic bottles of beer for just $10.00 (except during parking lot parties) come and get it
weekahead Complete calendar listings on pages 12-13
what to expect on
Thursdays at the Library: Games Galore!
Black and Blue Dance Rock Show
Tour de Champaign
Visit It’ll Do 2 for an evening of dance rock hits from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today. Black and Blue will be on from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at the 21 and older establishment.
Hundreds of bikers from around the country will be in Champaign to take part in the first annual Tour de Champaign on the streets of downtown Champaign. The two days will feature more than 15 races for all age and skill levels. Race lengths last from 30 minutes to 70 minutes with some of the most highly skilled bikers riding at speeds around 30 m.p.h. The course will be from Main/Church Street to Walnut Street to University Avenue to Randolph Street from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Middle and high school students are invited to bring friends and family to a night of gaming over video games, board games and charades at the Champaign Public Library. Events begin at 4 p.m. and are free to the general public.
Second Sunday Artisans — Cindy Carlson & Biscuits and Gravy
Ballroom Dance Class
The Mahomet Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve will host an afternoon of artisans. In the Early American Museum from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., join Cindy Carlson, a watercolorist who captures the depth of nature with light and shadow. Then from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., join the crowd in the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden for music from the country western band Biscuits and Gravy.
Check out the University YMCA for beginning ballroom classes at 6:15 p.m. The cost is $45 for five sessions and free Sunday practices.
If you like piña coladas (and getting caught in the rain), July 10 is your day. Go online now to find the perfect recipe to celebrate National Piña Colada Day.
Art: Read up what Jeff Nelson, writer at large, has to say about his experience at Canadian theater festivals.
Movies: A review of the new controversial flick Bruno up on Saturday.
Community: Find out more about the Children’s Museum expansion on Friday.
let it out
Amanda Brenner Copy Editor Likes
Trivia Dinner Hosted by Fishing with Dynamite
U of I Summer Band Concert on the Quad
Each Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m., comedians from Fishing with Dynamite will host a live gameshow at the Canopy Club, built around trivia questions to win great prizes. After each round, the group will give away free Canopy tickets and gift certificates to Manolo’s Pizza and Empanadas.
Conducted by Peter Griffin, the summer band’s repertoire includes standard works for band, challenging contemporary pieces, as well as popular selections from a wide array of musical styles. The concert will take place on the Quad at 7 p.m.; however, in case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the Harding Band Building.
1) $2 latte Wednesday at ERC: Such a delicious and reviving treat for a measly two Washingtons. 2) July 4: America, fuck yeah! 3) TextsFromLastNight.com: Suddenly, your own mistakes don’t seem so bad.
Matt Carey Movies Editor Gripes
e d i t o r ’ s n o t e by Tommy Trafton
Likes & Gripes
This issue already marks buzz’s third cover story concerning wheels, gears and handlebars in less than a year. I would apologize for the redundancy and buzz’s seemed obsession with bikes, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate considering the community’s infatuation with making CU as bike-friendly as possible. I’ve never really had a chance to try out CU’s bike lanes until this summer. My freshman year of college, I brought my bike from home, but it was stolen
within the first month I was here. Sophomore year, I bought a bike from a bike hobbyist deep in Urbana who collected parts and refurbished old bikes that have been “found” around town (I can’t help think that mine was one of them). That bike didn’t last long either, though, as it quickly broke beyond repair. After learning the consequences of not locking your bike up properly or maintaining it, I purchased a new bike this summer and have finally gotten a chance to enjoy the convenience of moving around town easily and quickly. The bike lanes can take you pretty much anywhere (although I would appreciate if some didn’t abandon you by
dead-ending at busy intersections), and there are a large handful of organizations and shops to help with repairs or to just go out on a bike ride with. This weekend should be exciting, then, for bikers around town as the Tour de Champaign hits up the downtown streets this Saturday. With bikers coming from all over the country to take part and the downtown Streetfest to look forward to after the exhausting race, it sounds like an exciting summer Saturday. Let’s just hope the streets don’t get too clogged with traffic from all the blockedup roads. For more information on the Tour de Champaign, make sure to turn to page 5.
1) Mario Kart players: Any of you knuckleheads who think you’re good at Mario Kart, you haven’t faced the best. You must beat my roommate Zach and I to prove your worth. We play Mario Kart 64, not that Double Dash or Wii shit. 2) Transformers 2: No, I haven’t seen it, but shame on all of you who did. The first one was one of my least favorite movies ever. And saying that you only saw it for Megan Fox is not an excuse — unless Internet porn shut down and I didn’t hear about it. 3) Twitter: I’m not trying to be hip or pretentious, I just honestly don’t understand what the point of it is.
JUL 09 – JUL 15 09
food & drink
Is It Ripe?
Explosions of Love
Food not Bombs aims to bring CU residents together with free food by Jeanine Russel
ood not Bombs does not aim to fight violence, hunger or waste from mass production. It does not aim to fight anything at all. Instead, its goal is to lead by example, demonstrating what it would like to see out of Champaign-Urbana. Every Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. on the corner of State and University in West Side Park, Food not Bombs serves free vegetarian food to anyone who is hungry, wants to meet people, wants to play their instruments or wants to just simply spend time in the park on summer evenings. “It’s a grassroots movement about community and free food in a public space,” said Chris Watson, one of the volunteers helping with Food not Bombs. “It’s a subtle form of protest. It’s not dominating. It’s inclusive and celebratory.” The event is a picnic run entirely by volunteers with the common goal to feed and bring people together. The food comes from Common Ground Food Co-op and is different every week. Everything served is vegetarian or vegan because it gives the opportunity for anyone to participate. “Everyone can eat vegetables,” said Kenny Bishop, another volunteer with Food not Bombs. In past Saturdays, Food not Bombs has served spaghetti with peanut sauce and tofu, stir-fry, salads, bagels and bread, fresh fruits and vegetables. “It’s a creative process. There aren’t recipes. We just make it up as we go,” Watson said. “You make up the meal based on food you have. You don’t know what you’re going to get that week.”
“We are reclaiming and reusing food that would otherwise be wasted,” Bishop said. “Grocery stores throw away instead of giving away. We’re using that to feed people.” Beyond feeding people, Food not Bombs hopes to create a friendly space for people to go. It hopes to be more than just free food — it aims to demonstrate a new lifestyle, a way of meeting people and sharing the park. “You can’t go to the park and sit in on someone’s picnic,” Watson said. “When people go to the park, they’re in their own bubble, and we want to bring bubbles together.” Food not Bombs is a public space where friends can meet new people in a safe environment. “It’s a protest against the boredom and isolation of everyday life,” Bishop said. “It’s an open invitation for people to join us,” Watson said. Anyone is welcome to help cook on Fridays at 3 p.m. at the Catholic Worker House, to serve food on Saturdays and to come eat or entertain. Musicians and artists are welcome to share their talents as well. “Whatever people want to bring that’s nonviolent and nondisruptive” is welcome, Watson said. “We’re just going to the park and having a picnic with friends,” Watson said. “Some we don’t know yet, and some we do.” A man enjoying a vegetarian meal prepared by Food not Bombs volunteers at West Side Park. Photo by Ross Topol.
Come celebrate Food not Bombs every Saturday from 5 to 7p.m. at West Side Park.
Beer Gardens of CU
by Katie Blair Although typically classified as a berry, eggplant is often cooked like a vegetable. Its bitter taste and spongy texture make it a great substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes such as eggplant parmesan, or it can simply be used as a side dish for a meal. Eggplant routinely appears in Indian food, stews or dips, such as baba ghanouj. Eggplant ripens best in late summer, between August and October. It’s shaped like an oversized purple pear with a smooth texture like a tomato. When looking for ripe eggplants in the store or on the vine, make sure they are firm and heavy. If buying from a store, unwrap the plastic covering to let the eggplant breathe or else it will spoil quicker. If picking youself, then the connecting vine should be a healthy bright green. Eggplant can be bought before it completely matures — some recipes call for baby-sized eggplant. To tell if an eggplant is ripe enough, press one with your thumb and if the indent pops back in place, the fruit is ripe. Bruising indicates the inside of the eggplant is spoiled. They are sensitive to temperature and bruising, so store carefully. Here are some local places to grab your next meal pleaser: County Market: Organic and fresh, eggplant sells here for $1.19/lb. Strawberry Fields: The eggplant supply here fluctuates. Lately, they’ve been missing, but when present, they sell for $1.99/lb. Common Ground Food Co-op: The produce here also varies day to day. When in stock, eggplant sells for $1.79/lb. Tomahnous Farm: They locally grow and sell their eggplant at Urbana’s Farmers’ Market every Saturday.
by Michell Eloy Located on Fifth Street and nestled in-between Green and John streets, Joe’s Brewery has been a staple of campus nightlife since its opening 18 years ago. Once famous for the brewing of its own beers, Joe’s has more recently become legendary for its dance floor. However, the bar boasts a sizeable and accommodating beer garden, one that should not be written off quickly. Open daily until 2 a.m., the garden is surrounded by a partly wood, partly metal fence, giving it a slightly secluded feeling. The garden boasts a seating area for 64 yet allows for a total outdoor capacity of 453 persons, which provides a lively atmosphere as the night carries on into the wee hours. Patrons have the option of simply sitting back and enjoying a drink or ordering off of the menu (before 8 p.m.), which is full of American favorites such as hamburgers, sandwiches and salads. Illini pride is not lacking in the outdoor seating area either, as the majority of the garden is covered by a bright orange tent. Though the canopy is practical in the sense that it accounts for all types of weather, it traps noise, making the garden one of the noisier ones in the CU area. Local musicians JUL 09 – JUL 15 09
How does their garden grow? Beer Selection Atmosphere
Joe’s has all the staples but not a lot of variety. Joe’s always draws a diverse and energized crowd.
The blaring music inside coupled with throngs of students who flock here at night make this one of CU’s noisier beer gardens.
It’s decked out in orange and blue, so you definitely feel you’re at a campus bar, which could be off-setting for local residents.
During dining hours, the staff is eager to please, but once the bar gets crowded, garden sitters can fall to the wayside.
If you’re looking to bust a move all night long, you’d be hardpressed to beat Joe’s. But if you want to share a good beer and relaxing conversation with some friends, look elsewhere.
also frequent the beer garden, something that often adds a calmer atmosphere to the otherwise loud, high-energy bar. In terms of beer selection, Joe’s is neither a front-runner nor a bar to be ignored. With 11 beers
on tap, including Miller, Coors and Guinness, and anther 24 bottled, their selection is by no means lacking. However, it doesn’t offer much for the beer enthusiast or someone looking to experiment with extremely diverse libations.
buzz file photo. come and get it
Get in Gear Downtown Champaign to welcome CU’s inaugural Tour de Champaign by Sabrina Santucci
Illustration by Jorge Bustamante.
f you’re heading into downtown Champaign this weekend, plan to see an unusual scene: hundreds of bikes flying around corners at more than 30 miles per hour, vendors, live music and, of course, crowds of spectators. This Saturday marks the first annual Tour de Champaign, or more festively named, the Rockin’ Champaign Downtown Cycling Grand Prix. The event, staged by the Champaign Downtown Association, begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 11. The bike course runs from Main and Church streets, proceeds
to Walnut Street, then continues to University Avenue and ends on Randolph Street. A total of eight races will be held as part of the event, each varying in skill level, distance and time. Certain areas surrounding the course will be blocked from traffic, giving spectators a place to picnic while watching the race. In order to make this event happen, the CDA worked with Mark Swartzendruber, a competitive cyclist, to organize the event. It will be the first cycling race to hit Champaign in a decade.
“Being a racer back in the late ’90s, Champaign was a stop on the national circuit,” explained Swartzendruber, who said he is laboring to get Champaign back on the map as a destination for competitive cyclists. “I wanted to bring these types of races back to Champaign, basically as a legacy. It’s a sense of loyalty and appreciation of Champaign as a hometown.” Swartzendruber also worked with other members of Champaign’s Wild Card Cycling team and the Verizon Wireless Cycling team, both consisting of many members who are planning on participating in the event. Entry fees vary, ranging from free for the kids’ race to $35 to compete in the men’s pro race. Prizes are as large as $3,000 for the professional races. The Tour is welcoming cyclists from around the nation and plans on hosting about 300 to 500 participants in total. “It’s really intense competition,” said Mary Dennis, executive director of the CDA, speaking of the high-caliber bikers who are expected at the event. The Tour recently catapulted into an all-weekend affair, joining the July Downtown Streetfest, which will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight on Walnut and Chester streets. Vendors will line the streets Saturday while rock groups One Night Stand and Mister Sister entertain the crowds. And for those looking to make bicycle races a weekend-long activity, the Tour will head to campus for the South Campus Research Park Bike Race and Celebration on Sunday, July 12. Dennis said with all of these events, she hopes the Tour will bring crowds into the downtown area, offering Champaign residents an exciting event and a chance to explore the area. “As a spectator, you can pretty much be there and just watch bikes go by all day long,” Dennis said. “It’s really exciting. The location of the Tour is also beneficial to the CDA; it definitely boosts the area’s publicity and creates business for the local merchants.”
Second downtown streetfest of the summer to happen this Saturday by Alexandra Morgan This Saturday, July 11, the Champaign Park District, City of Champaign and Champaign Downtown Association will all join up to host another Downtown Street Festival. The fest will take place from 7 p.m. until midnight on the corner of Walnut and Chester streets. The festival is the second Streetfest of three to take place this summer. The cost is free, and there is no entry age. The festivals, which feature live music, have been a popular addition to this summer’s community events. The live music at this month’s Streetfest will feature the bands Mister Sister and One Night Stand. Mister Sister is a classic rock band fronted by four female vocalists. One Night Stand is a band that performs original music along with country and classic rock hits. The Tour de Champaign bike races will be taking place all day prior to this Saturday’s Street Festival. Get to Streetfest early to grab a great spot by the stage. Good live music, combined with great food and a large crowd, are sure to make an enjoyable night for all. Go online to the217.com for more info.
Let it out Brad Vonck Student
by Eric Gordon
buzz: What is one of the central messages you give to women in the zine? Markel: You have to make yourself happy, and only you can make that truly happen. buzz: How would you rank other local publications against your zine? Markel: The zine is pretty new but not in response to anything else. It’s just a new perspective. I still read and enjoy a number of publications around the area. buzz: What were some of the challenges in working on the zine and working toward self-publishing your work? Markel: The zine was something I wanted to do for a long time. I started to hit a roadblock and was worried whether I was headed in the right direction with the work and that it was what I wanted for my work. buzz: What is one thing that the Internet can offer your writing?
Do you think Champaign-Urbana is a bike-friendly area?
A Q&A with Lindsey Markel
Lindsey Markel has been a longtime member of the CU area. Markel previously worked as the editorial assistant for the psychology department at the University, eventually turning her focus online, becoming one of the first editors for the online magazine Smile Politely. Now Markel is working on her own e-zine, You Are Among Friends. The zine, and complementing audio Podcast, are aimed at women ages 10 to 30 and focus on empowering, advising and educating women in the community and anyone else who happens upon it. This week, buzz sat down with Markel to find out a little more about her new zine.
Markel: There are a number of connections that you see. People can share things on Facebook or link them on a number of Web sites. Mothers will sometimes even e-mail some of my work to their daughters. buzz: What’s next for You Are Among Friends? Markel: I’m currently working on a book-length version and have been receiving donations online. The donations come from readers both locally and out of state. So far, the zine has raised about $750 in less than two months. Many of these donations were from people I didn’t know but were readers of my work. Word of my work has spread so fast. buzz: What advice can you give to aspiring writers who may doubt themselves? Markel: I would say to not be afraid of it. You should challenge yourself to do something that you haven’t done before.
“Not necessarily because the bikers and walkers do not get along that well.”
Hannah Kifle Student “Yes, this area was made to be for bikes, especially with the bike paths everywhere.”
Anca Macinca Student “I give it a B+ because it could be better ... but still very good, especially when compared to other places.”
JUL 09 – JUL 15 09
art Happy Days
Downtown Champaign promotes art, local businesses on “Happy Tuesdays”
by Daryl McCurdy
he first “Happy Tuesday” took place in downtown Champaign June 30. The idea for Happy Tuesdays stemmed from the Champaign Downtown Association’s goal of getting more people downtown and providing them the best possible experience. “How do we get more quality art and culture downtown on a regular basis?” asked manager of Cakes on Walnut and president of CDA Trisha Bates. One of the main goals of Happy Tuesdays is to make that happen. After receiving some marketing funds from the city, CDA intends to promote already existing and new events. “We want to encourage each business to do what makes them special,” Bates explained. “It’s an organic process, where we take what is already going on downtown, because there is a lot happening, and each week we hope to pick up some more.” So every Tuesday this summer, businesses in downtown Champaign will be offering special
promotions, live art and music and something for visitors of all ages. The first Happy Tuesday kicked off in partnership with 40 North and focused on outdoor performance. Joe Asselin played harmonica on the corner of Main and Neil, and Jason Bentley played guitar and sang at Taylor Street Plaza. Sarah Haas, Jacqueline Kinsman and Anna Marks performed improvisational dance inspired by the architecture and the people of downtown Champaign at One Main Plaza. 40 North also organized 10-minute dance parties at Neil and Main. Art was also found inside many of downtown Champaign’s businesses. Wind, Water & Light Gallery hosted Susan Harbourt, who gave a jewelry-making demo. Cakes on Walnut partnered with The Pottery Place and had cupcakeshaped pottery to paint. “You can come and eat a cupcake with your friends and paint pottery,” Bates said.
Rather new to downtown Champaign, indi go artist coop will also be participating in Happy Tuesdays. Bates and CDA are open for more suggestions for Happy Tuesdays. They have the funds and the platforms to promote art and cultural events in downtown Champaign and are enthusiastic to do so, Bates said. “You can have an influence on Happy Tuesdays,” Bates Improv Comedy Workshop by Steve DeFrisco at Mike ’n’ Molly’s as part of said. “We would love to Happy Tuesdays. Photo by Rebekah Nelson. have people coming to us and wanting to do things.” ings during Happy Tuesdays, as well as workshops Happy Tuesdays are an opportunity for artists, and performances. Bates also described her goal musicians and performers to find a venue as well to have more family-related art events. Future Happy Tuesdays will see a henna artist as for people to come downtown and have a good time. Bates described the possibility for art open- and balloon animals.
Dancing from Durham, N.C. buzz writer’s encounter with renowned choreographer Ohad Naharin at the American Dance Festival by Alyssa Schoeneman Despite ever-increasing fame and proximity to the limelight, Gossip Girl, Perez Hilton and excessive media have nothing on modern dance choreographer Ohad Naharin. Naharin, the artistic director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, is the 2009 recipient of the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for $50,000. It is hard to imagine that anyone is able to escape the wrath of a society that emulates and exploits the rich and famous, a society focused on scandal and overindulgence. Yet Naharin has found a way. “I have nothing to hide. I don’t have any secrets,” he said.
Naharin lives life transparently in an effort to maintain his privacy, but he is not apt to surrender facts about himself. He said he feels that facts are like gossip; they are pieces of trivia that satiate the public’s thirst for insight into his personal life. It was for this reason that Naharin’s biography in the program read, “Nothing is permanent” for several years. Naharin said he believes in the ephemeral nature of dance, and he does not document his work on video. He said he does not know how to make a video documentation of his work while maintaining the integrity of the live performance. “I don’t want to reduce or dilute the work just to bring it to a larger audience,” he said.
Naharin’s commitment to his principles is inspiring, especially considering the recent explosion of dance in the United States media. Naharin strongly values understatement, a term that he defines as “doing something almost invisible but believing in it.” He tells his dancers to think about movement the way they think about controlling volume when they listen to a piece of music. The volume of a piece is determined by the number of people in the room, the size of the space and the proximity of the listener to the source, to name a few factors. In the same way, it is necessary for dancers to make situational
adjustments to the volume, or the intensity, of their movement. “You don’t need to make something bigger, accessible, exaggerated to connect to the audience,” Naharin said. “If you do something to the degree where the most sensitive person can recognize it, that’s enough.” Naharin’s philosophies about life emerge as he discusses dance. He said that no matter how hard people work, there will always be a limit to what they can do. “We will never fly, but there are an endless amount of possibilities within the limitations,” he said. “It is important to visit as many of those possibilities as possible.”
LA GOURMANDISE BISTRO ON MAIN
PANINIS FREE WIFI
A site for new students hosted by students. Ask the questions you are afraid to ask in Orientation, we won’t judge.
119 W. Main St. • 217.328.4405 • urbanabistro.com TUESDAY-SATURDAY 8AM-8PM • SUNDAY 8AM-2PM JUL 09 – JUL 15 09
come and get it
movies & tv
Bank on It
Michael Mann Films
by Matt Carey
by Syd Slobodnik
Thief (1981): Photo used with permission from Universal Pictures.
As a Michael Mann fan, it has always seemed weird to me that studios have released his last three films during the summer movie season. While his films usually feature a fair amount of action, they arenâ€™t like the Transformers or Terminators of the world. His films feature in-depth character studies and an understated look at the world they live in. Public Enemies doesnâ€™t exactly break new ground for Mann, but itâ€™s still an enjoyable thrill ride with great performances from Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard. Depp stars as John Dillinger, the famous gangster who robbed banks in the 1930s. After a nine-year stint in prison, Dillinger is back robbing banks all over Chicago, with the public loving him since he only takes the bankâ€™s money and not the customersâ€™. Eventually, the FBI starts on Dillingerâ€™s trail, sending in Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) to head the investigation. Depp plays Dillinger as a professional of his craft â€” smart, silent and willing to kill if need be. His eyes are constantly shifting, looking for any sign of police. A few times, I was reminded of Robert De Niroâ€™s performance in Mannâ€™s 1995 film, Heat. Deppâ€™s work here will no doubt garner an Oscar nomination. Another possible nomination could be coming for Cotillard, who plays Dillingerâ€™s faithful girlfriend, Billie Frechette. Cotillard doesnâ€™t have many scenes in the middle, but her work during the end is phenomenal and adds emotional weight to the film.
Like Collateral and Miami Vice before it, this film is shot largely on HD handheld cameras. This might annoy some viewers, but I found it added depth to the film, almost making it feel like youâ€™re watching the home videos of Dillinger. For example, during the gun fights, the camera will follow Dillinger as he ducks for cover from gunshots, then will move back up as he returns fire. It made me feel as if I was actually alongside Dillinger during his last few months alive. What hurts this film is the run time. Not that the film is too long â€” itâ€™s too short. Some of the characters (the FBI agents in particular) are short-changed to the point that when they do have a pivotal scene, itâ€™s a bit jarring since they havenâ€™t spoken until nearly two hours into the film. I have a feeling Mann was forced to cut down parts of the film a bit, which will probably be included on the DVD version. With Public Enemies, Mann rebounds from the much-hated Miami Vice (though Iâ€™m one of the few people who enjoyed it) to provide a meticulously researched look at crime in the 1930s. Like all of Mannâ€™s films, itâ€™s well-paced, the action scenes are executed beautifully and the climax is pulse-pounding. Itâ€™s worth noting that this is Mannâ€™s most action-packed film by far, with bank robberies and shoot-outs happening consistently throughout. Public Enemies isnâ€™t Mannâ€™s best work â€” that honor still goes to Heat â€” but it is a well-done action film for the adult crowd.
gem Gritty, harsh, intimate and even poignant â€” these words donâ€™t seem to fit the typical fare produced by the so-called â€œMuscles from Brussels,â€? JeanClaude Van Damme. Yet in his latest film, each and every one of those words applies. JCVD is the sort of film that die-hard fans of Van Damme saw because they were hoping for hilarity mixed with the kind of face-kicking fun seen in Timecop, Bloodsport and even Street Fighter. What they got, however, was something far more subtle and genuine. Plucking events from Van Dammeâ€™s own life, including his bitter custody battle, JCVD is part autobiography. The line between Van Damme as a character in this film and Van Damme the man is blurred to the point where itâ€™s hard to tell whatâ€™s acting and what isnâ€™t. This aspect, however, is part of what makes JCVD so utterly mesmerizing. In a lengthy scene delivered brilliantly through direct address, Van Damme delivers a heartfelt monologue in which he appears most sympathetic and honest, describing his career in real life through the fiction of the film. Perhaps more startling than the filmâ€™s depiction of Van Damme is the manner in which itâ€™s filmed. In www.the217.com
by Sarah Gorr what must have been a deliberate choice, director Mabrouk El Mechri gives JCVD a muted grittiness in perfect contrast to the glossy Hollywood look that the bulk of Van Dammeâ€™s films have. It is as if El Mechri is saying cinematically, â€œThatâ€™s not the real Van Damme; this is.â€? The film shifts perspectives forward and backward through time in a way that urges the audience to view Van Damme from all sides and all angles. It shows the media and the publicâ€™s obsession with his persona and the seeming impossibility of his escape from it. Now past his prime, Van Damme says in his direct address to the audience, â€œThis movie is for me. There we are, you and me. You [the audience] made my dream come true. I asked for it. I promised you something in return, and I havenâ€™t delivered yet. You win, I lose.â€? When literally faced with Van Damme on-screen, itâ€™s hard to take these words as scripted; they feel a little too true. #/50/. Those hoping for JCVD to be deliciously bad are $2).+ sure to be disappointed, but to anyone else, itâ€™s better WITH PURCHASE OF OZ BAG OF BUTTERY POPCORN to expect the unexpected and witness Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the role of a lifetime: himself. /: