"I will not
Master criminal Neil McCauley (De Niro) is planning one last
big score before he walks away from the life forever. His team are fully
prepped and the job is planned for every contingency, McCauley is ready
to go. Robbery/Homicide detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino) has discovered
his plan and has assembled a strike team to take McCauley down.
When it comes to listing the best crime thrillers to ever
hit celluloid, 'Heat' should be near the top of everyone's list. Michael
Mann's story of cops and robbers is very different to anything you have
Still filled with riveting action scenes and a fantastic level
of tension, 'Heat' is unusual for the fact that it is a character based
drama. Instead of the usual action sequence followed by action sequence,
this film is punctuated by insights into the lives of the cops and the criminals.
We get to know how a life of crime or law enforcement affects their personal
lives and how it impacts on their families and relationships, whatever side
of law they are on.
The film is shown from two different prospectives, showing
both the criminal and police sides of the story. On the criminal side we
have Neil McCauley, the crew leader who runs a tight ship with discipline
and a sense of brotherhood. Honour among thieves is his byword and he treats
his crew like family. He deals with their personal and family problems,
he takes care of them financially and he treats them with respect. His crew
know however that if they step out of line or let him down, the repercussions
will be deadly.
The police side is very similar. In charge is Lt. Vincent
Hanna, a maverick detective whose dedication to the job is unquestionable.
He is equally as devoted to his fellow officers, treating his team like
a family and expecting the same respect back.
What makes this film different is we see the home lives of
both sides of the law. We see Hanna's family falling apart because of his
total commitment to the job, McCauley making a connection with someone for
the very first time, Chris's family ripped apart by his excessive gambling
and who will be left behind when the two fractions meet in confrontation.
This is completely different to most crime drama that mainly concentrates
on the action sequence and the crime itself; this shows the repercussions
of breaking the law and trying to enforce it.
Director Michael Mann has gathered together an amazing ensemble
cast, headlining with two of Hollywood's biggest hitters, Al Pacino and
Robert De Niro. The coming together of two of the best actors of their generation
has been a long time coming but it is has been worth the wait. Those of
you expecting a heated exchange might be disappointed but their conversation
in the restaurant is far better than any physical exchange could ever be.
This is two men who have the utmost respect for each other talking openly
about the lives they lead. This is completely riveting as these two titans
of cinema finally share the screen.
The supporting cast is also first rate. Val Kilmer plays McCauley's
right hand man Chris Shiherlis, a man with a gambling problem and a wife
and family that is falling apart. This is a strong role for Kilmer to play
and he really comes into his own during the action sequences. Tom Sizemore
is also good as Michael Cheritto, a committed thief and someone who can
charm a situation with just a look. Jon Voight is Nate, McCauley's contact
and the man in the know when it comes to sorting out jobs, fake documents
and equipment. Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd and Diane Venora are also very
good as Eady, Charlene Shiherlis and Justine Hanna, the wives and girlfriends
of McCauley, Chris and Hanna. Again, they show the realistic side of the
story, revealing how it affects their relationships and family life.
'Heat' is a classic of the genre. Director Michael Mann has
created a movie that sets a benchmark for character, story and action. The
realism of the piece is astounding both in the action sequences and how
we see both sides of the law. Combine this with the on screen meeting of
De Niro and Pacino and you have a complete classic.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack,
the transfer is extremely good. The picture quality is extremely sharp
throughout even during the darker scenes. The sound is superb, especially
during the brilliant shoot out when your speaker will be filled with the
sound of gunfire.
The Making of Heat (62.53 mins)
Split into three sections entitled 'True Crime', 'Crime Stories' and 'Into
the Fire', director Michael Mann, producer Ami Canaan Mann, producer Art
Linson, director of photography Dante Spinotti, production designer Neil
Spisak, composer Elliot Goldenthal, musician Moby and stars Robert De
Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman,
Diane Venora, Ashley Judd and Mykelti Williamson come together to talk
about the making of Heat. The three parts look into the history behind
the film, revealing the real life Neil McCauley, the original TV movie
'L.A. Takedown' and its evolution into 'Heat'. Taking an in-depth look
at the characters and the actors who play them, this documentary also
looks into the story, highlighting the fact that his is a different kind
of crime movie. Informative and insightful, the three parts of the documentary
combine to offer a fascinating look into the film and the history and
research behind it.
Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation (9.55 mins)
Director Michael Mann, executive producer Pieter Jan Brugge, producer
Art Linson, director of photography Dante Spinotti and stars Al Pacino,
Robert De Niro, Jon Voight and Ashley Judd talk about one of the most
pivotal scenes in the movie, the conversation between Hanna and McCauley.
The group talk about the evolution of the scene and how it was shot, revealing
its importance and how it wasn't what the audience expected.
Return to the scene of the crime (12.02 mins)
Location manager Janice Polley and associate producer Gusmano Casaretti
return to the locations where the film was shot in 1994/5. The pair takes
us to the freeway, the docks, the bank, LAX Airport and the restaurant
used for the conversation scene.
Entitled 'Season's starting early', 'Nicest guy on the block', 'Albert
& Hanna', 'Shaken down', 'Murder in C-Block', 'Let's dance', 'Late arrival',
'Who's Ana?', 'Double the worst trouble'. 'Nate delivers' and 'No response',
these deleted scenes show more of Hanna, the pre-heist and more of Tom
Sizemore's Michael Cheritto's family.
After a lacklustre original release, Warner Bros. have returned to 'Heat'
and given it the double disc treatment. The good news is that they have
done an excellent job with an informative and insightful documentary and
some good featurettes. The deleted scenes could have done with a commentary
track or an introduction however. 'Heat' fans finally have the ultimate
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