Somewhere between Collateral and Miami Vice I realized that Michael Mann is my favorite filmmaker working that doesn’t feature Martin Scorsese’s magic eyebrows. The guy just embodies everything that I need in a person behind the lens of a [digital] movie camera. He doesn’t have the range of Scorsese, the grace of the Coens, or the sick and twisted brilliance of Cronenberg but he makes movies that I watch over and over and over again. I have watched Miami Vice at least eight times in 2008, something for which I should either be lauded or committed for. I love him like a transient loves shoelace scampi.

Public Enemies is his next film, and it’s a crime film and therefore 100% guaranteed greatness. Johnny Depp is John Dillinger, he of robbed banks and gigantic penis. Christian Bale is Melvin Purvis, he of police badge and no relation to miniature gentleman Jack Purvis. Dante Spinotti is making it look amazing and Stephen Lang and John Ortiz are doing their part to contribute to their side gigs as Michael Mann repertory actors.

It’ll be the best thing happening next July, including my birthday and a thus far secret American invasion of Nepal.

Empire Magazine, by far the best film magazine ever published [yes, including Movie Insider], has gotten some official stills from the film showing the two leads in action and I like the “Robert Patrick by way of Dean Winters” look Depp’s sporting up there. To see them large and in charge follow this link and tell ’em CHUD sent ya. Then click back here and read everything I’ve ever written since 1998 and be baffled at my massive non-growth as an author.