‘Public Enemies’ … no not that one, the one with the superheroes

June 30, 2009 | 6:01 p.m.

Public Enemies logo

I saw Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” a few weeks ago and I have to say I walked out of the screening feeling disappointed.

I’m a big Johnny Depp fan (who isn’t?), I love the source material (the brilliant book of the same title by Brian Burroughs) and I consider director Mann to be one of the most gifted filmmakers in Hollywood. But even with all that (or maybe because of all that) I didn’t get everything I needed out of this efficient but oddly inert period piece. I’m also thinking that maybe Christian Bale should make fewer movies. Christian, how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

There’s a different “Public Enemies” on the horizon and it doesn’t involve Jack Sparrow and John Connor squaring off with tommy guns. In September, DC will release  “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” the sixth release in the series of PG-13 animated films that are made for the home video market. Today we have some advance art from the film.

Batman from Public Enemies


The film is based on the 2003 comics saga by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Ed McGuinness. It was very popular, but I have to say it just wasn’t one of my favorites … maybe I need to lower my standards. Or stop writing about movies with this title. (Looks like there was a 1941 comedy about newspaperman called “Public Enemies that had William Frawley, Fred from “I Love Lucy,” as a co-star … hmmmm.)  

Here’s a blurb from DC: 

In the film, United States President Lex Luthor uses the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his “partner in crime,” Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite – and recruit help – to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the asteroid, and uncover Luthor’s devious plot to take command of far more than North America.

The movie reunites the lead voices of Superman, Batman and Lex Luthor from the landmark “Superman: The Animated Series” and “Batman: The Animated Series.” Tim Daly (“Private Practice“), Kevin Conroy (“Justice League”) and Clancy Brown (“The Shawshank Redemption”) reprise their roles as Superman, Batman and Lex Luthor, respectively.

Superman from Public Enemies


There are a lot of extras on the DVD for “SupermanBatman: Public Enemies.” Among them are a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming “Blackest Night” comics event; “A Test of Minds,” a featurette with Loeb looking at the relationship between the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader; and “Dinner with DC: With Special Guest Kevin Conroy,” with the voice actor sitting down with voice director Andrea Romano, DC’s Gregory Noveck and the very gifted producer Bruce Timm. There’s even more on the Blu-ray, including bonus epsiodes of “Justice League” and “Justice League: Unlimited.”

— Geoff Boucher 


Jerry Robinson

Joker creator Jerry Robinson reflects on Gotham’s golden age

Wonder Woman’s Keri Russell is ‘a tourist’ with a tiara

Ode to Carmine Infantino, the flashiest artist of the silver age

David S. Goyer on film future of Green Lantern and Flash

Fallen ‘Heroes’: Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander fired 

VIDEO: Batman and Superman fight … to the death

DC sends Superman into space and gives Batman his last rites

Artwork courtesy of DC Comics. Jerry Robinson photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times.


One Response to ‘Public Enemies’ … no not that one, the one with the superheroes

  1. I have to be honest, I have Public Enemies and loved it, but New Frontier and the Superman animated films left me feeling a bit burned by D.C. in terms of quality.
    I'm hoping they can start turning things around with this one.

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