Sunday, March 14, 2010

public enemies

I am always surprised when Hollywood is able to get in your head and manipulate you.  Why this still surprises me may be really what surprises me.

I spent this evening watching Public Enemies with Pup#3 and his best bud. I know... the movie has been out for months now, but the truth is I probably wouldn't have watched it on my own but he wanted to see it and Netflix makes life easy. The movie was okay. I'm glad I didn't drop $10 to go see it in the theater. It stars Christian Bale (who my little sister finds yummy) and Johnny Depp (who I find yummy). Marion Cotillard, Johnny Depp's love interest, is beautiful and your heart breaks for her. It is basically a modern day Robin Hood shoot-em-up movie with a ton of (sometimes unrealistic) violence. The disturbing part, for me, was that I actually wanted Johnny Depp's  character, John Dillinger to "win". Dillinger was the bad guy... he was a really bad guy, who did a lot of really bad things.  He didn't deserve to win but throw in a good -looking guy and some good Hollywood screen writing and there you have it. Manipulation.

The real reason I am even writing about the movie is that the soundtrack is awesome.  Awesome.  The movie takes place in the early-1930s. Partnered with the Roaring 20s, this was the hey day of jazz. The soundtrack prominently features the timeless Billie Holiday (and though they didn't make it on the album, Gene Autry and Benny Goodman) among others. Dianna Krall croons a lovely version of "Bye Bye Blackbird".  

Hands down, the stand out cut on the soundtrack is "Ten Million Slaves" by Otis Taylor.

Public Enemies Soundtrack - Ten Million Slaves Otis Taylor - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.
(I know this is a sucky video... sorry.  I promise the song is worth it.)

Here's the entire tracklist from the Public Enemies soundtrack.
1. Ten Million Slaves - Otis Taylor
2. Chicago Shake - The Bruce Fowler Big Band
3. Drive To Bohemia - Elliot Goldenthal
4. Love Me or Leave Me - Billie Holiday
5. Billie's Arrest - Elliot Goldenthal
6. Am I Blue? - Billie Holiday
7. Love In The Dunes - Elliot Goldenthal
8. Bye Bye Blackbird - Diana Krall
9. Phone Call To Billie - Elliot Goldenthal
10. Nasty Letter - Otis Taylor
11. Plane To Chicago - Elliot Goldenthal
12. O Guide Me Thou Great Jehova - Indian Bottom Association, Old Regular Baptists
13. Gold Coast Restaurant - Elliot Goldenthal
14. The Man I Love - Billie Holiday
15. JD Dies - Elliot Goldenthal
16. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground Blind - Willie Johnson

I would love to include a few more cuts for you to listen to, particularly any of the Billie Holiday tunes or Krall's, but I'll leave that to you. Me? Even if I thought I had been bamboozled by the movie, I went on line as soon as the it was over and bought the entire soundtrack.  It really was that good.


  1. You really are all about the music! I wonder how much of it is actually specific to that time period. That seems to be another manipulation, to put music in the movie that seems like it would fit but hadn't been made yet. It would be like watching a movie taking pace in the 1970's and a Nirvana song pops up. A bad analogy perhaps but you get the point.

  2. OMG, I LOVE this kind of music! I have not seen the movie and had no IDEA about this soundtrack! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. I need to get busy on itunes, apparently!!

  3. Don, you're right. Take the songs I liked best... Otis Taylor, is a modern blues singer and Billie Holiday was only discovered around 1932 or so. Dillinger was gunned down in 1934. No one had probably really heard of her yet. Music is definitely another Hollywood ploy, but since they didn't lure me in there, it actually enhanced the experience for me. I think what you're talking about happens all the time.

    Joanie, you won't regret it!

  4. I hadn't even thought about seeing the movie, but the music sounds great!


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