Variety‘s Anne Thompson has a decidedly negative view of Michael Mann‘s decision to “immerse the audience” in the 1930s by shooting Public Enemies in high-definition video. “HD is clear, harsh, honest” she notes. “It works fine in a contemporary setting like Collateral or Miami Vice. But when audiences watch a period film, no matter how authentically recreated, they aren’t expecting it to look like this.”

On 6.24 I posted the same initial reaction — this is different! not my father’s 1930s! — except I found it exciting and audacious. “Public Enemies is out there with a radical use of razor-sharp, high-def digital widescreen photography that totally says ‘not the early 1930s!’ and ’55-inch LCD screens at Best Buy!’ But at the same time it says ‘actually, this is the real early 1930s without the rat-a-tat-tat Pennies From Heaven squawkbox atmosphere and embroidery and Jimmy Cagney-Paul Muni personalities that you’ve been conditioned to expect.”