Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Michael Mann's "Heat"(long)

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Michael Mann's "Heat"(long)

Old 01-13-04, 04:36 AM
  #1  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Michael Mann's "Heat"

Well, I decided to watch this movie tonight after not having seen it since it's opening day in theatres and I just felt like writing about it. This was an excellent movie with many memorable scenes throughout, but also some flaws. The acting from the ensemle cast was terrific, including a surprisingly good Val Kilmer, and the soundtrack is probably one of my favorites for any film. I always hear complaints about Al Pacino in this movie, that he overacts and barks like a Rottweiler throughout, so I was expecting a very over-the-top performance. But he was excellent as usual, the character Vincent Hanna just seems overly flamboyant at times when compared to the ice-cold and withdrawn Neil(De Niro). The scene in the darkened building following the cop party where Hanna's wife tells him that his whole life is devoted to hunting down his prey; it's a memorable and heartbreaking exchange. Pacino is fantastic here and it's one of my favorite scenes in the film. I feel that the first two hours of this film are damn near flawless. That said, I have some major issues here and there towards the end of the film that I feel keep it from being a true masterpiece. I KNOW I start to ramble toward the end but these things were really frustrating to watch and I need to get 'em off my chest:

- I fail to see any real importance in having the Natalie Portman character in this film. You never learn much about her or why she has emotional problems, is suicidal. She disappears for over an hour in the film and then shows up out of nowhere in Hanna's bathtub. In a film that is three hours long, it's a powerful moment but what is the point?

- I don't believe Chris(Val Kilmer) could have escaped at the end the way he did. Pacino, his crew and the LAPD had PICTURES of everyone in Neil's crew. So Chris had a new ID, a short haircut and a different registered car. Don't you think the cops that stopped him would have at least identified him via picture before letting him go?? This was a major plothole.

- The coincidences in the film started appearing right and left as it was reaching it's climax. I find it unbelievable the ease in which De Niro was able to walk into the hotel at the end, simply pull the fire alarm, kill Waingro then waltz out without much problem. The LAPD was there waiting for him, with surveillance, knowing that if he would go ANYWHERE before leaving town it would be to that hotel to see the guy who ratted him out. De Niro sees the shotgun behind the desk next to the cop, so he hides his face from him as he walks by. How convenient. The surveillance guy is looking away from his monitor EXACTLY when De Niro breaks into Waingro's room. How convenient. De Niro simply slips out of the hotel through a backdoor as the building is being swarmed by the SWAT team. I guess in the movies whenever you need to escape a building in a situation like that....just go through the laundry room and slip out the backdoor. Cops always raid and check the elevators and the stairs.....but never the laundry room or that one backdoor.

-Some of Mann's editing choices in this scene are extremely choppy imo. I can deal with Pacino being lucky enough to see De Niro amidst all those people fleeing the building. When he sees him he starts to run towards him with his gun ready when, what do you know, a firetruck gets in his way. So then De Niro stands there for like 30 seconds looking at his girl Eady as she gets out of the car, during which time Pacino is apparently still trying to maneuver his way around the firetruck. After what seems like an eternity De Niro is off and Pacino quickly LOSES HIM. He's gotta be the slowest cop on the force. De Niro is gone. It's total chaos, people running everywhere. But wait, a few seconds later De Niro is on the airplane tarmac and Pacino is hot on his trail. It's a very sloppy scene and just feels like whole bits are missing from it.

Despite these things, I still enjoyed Heat immensely and consider it Michael Mann's best movie. I loved that it WASN'T your typical cops and robbers film. It was slow and methodical. There's a realism to this film that is lacking in many other movies of this genre and I loved that it really delved into the characters' lives and what they all do when they aren't 'on the job'. If I have any other complaint about watching it it's that the DVD is as bare-bones as can possibly be. This is one movie that deserves a 2-disc Special Edition.

Last edited by Rivero; 01-13-04 at 01:24 PM.
Old 01-13-04, 09:28 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Indiana
Posts: 869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The R2 Project reported that a 2-disc Special Edition of Heat is apparently in the works for release later this year--around July, I believe. Nothing confirmed so far AFAIK, but keep your fingers crossed.

http://www.r2-dvd.org/article.jsp?se...articleId=6095
Old 01-13-04, 10:21 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,185
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Michael Mann's "Heat"

Originally posted by Rivero
- I fail to see any real importance in having the Natalie Portman character in this film. You never learn much about her or why she has emotional problems, is suicidal. She disappears for over an hour in the film and then shows up out of nowhere in Hanna's bathtub. In a film that is three hours long, it's a powerful moment but what is the point?

- I don't believe Chris(Val Kilmer) could have escaped at the end the way he did. Pacino, his crew and the LAPD had PICTURES of everyone in Neil's crew. So Chris had a new ID, a short haircut and a different registered car......

- The coincidences in the film started appearing right and left as it was reaching it's climax. I find it unbelievable the ease in which De Niro was able to walk into the hotel at the end, simply pull the ......
Since Heat if my fav. movie, I feel I have to defend it

The Nat. Portman deal: I certainly get what you're saying, but simply because we don't know more about her doesn't mean she isn't important. I think it adds to the image of how Vincent Hanna's life consists only of hunting mastermind criminals, and that's it. The rest is falling apart and tragic, his wife cheats on him and step daughter tries to commit suicide. If you ask me, the scene also does "prepare" one for the tension that's about to be released. I also feel that the whole Portman deal adds a lot to how I feel watching the last frame, you know what it is. Looking at Hanna standing there, so troubled, thinking about al the stuff that's just happened, that's part of why I love the ending frame.

Police stupidity is not unheard of. Had it been Drucker or Bosco or anyone else checking him, they'd have gone through a bit more trouble of making sure it wasn't him. The cop is just taking orders from Drucker, the black guy, and he doesn't think it's Chris. She gave up her life and Dominick's life, but Drucker didn't think she'd do so. But just to be sure, he tells the cop to check.....and he has the licence etc. all in order, so he truly doesn't suspect anymore that it COULD be Chris.

True about the Neil entering the hotel, well not all of it. Only the walking past the receptionist, the rest I find feesible.

I love this movie, it's just awesome. Just ask my 48 by 65'' poster hanging right in front of me....
Old 01-13-04, 10:38 AM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 229
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Remember, during the hotel scene De Niro's character DOES get stopped by a cop outside Waingro's room. So they're not totally incompetent in that scene. Apparently, the way De Niro disarmed him is very realistic for that situation, too.
Old 01-13-04, 12:13 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,303
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I haven't watched in some time and you've inspired me, thanks! So with that said, I"m a little hazy on some of the fine details. But in regard to your point about Portman, what has always stuck with me about the film, is that it basically boils down to life is a compromise of professional life and private/family life, and to truly excel at one, the other shall suffer. I think the point of Portman's suicide is that we see Hanna as the one person who's reliable in her life(mom's a drunk, Dad doesn't pick her up) but he's always there for her. But once Hanna meets his match with the Deniro character, what shambles of a personal life he had goes up in smoke because of Deniro(and almost more tragically, Deniro's new love is shattered because of his professional credo), Hence the "walk away in 30 seconds flat..." speech.

We see similar family themes with the Kilmer/Judd storyline, and him being about to be forced to make that choice as a younger man. We've seen the Dennis Haysbert character choose the fast buck over the steady life of a short order cook with a good woman and he dies in the getaway, in a lesser storyline. Portman's suicide attempt is just another means of gettting it across, it can't all be relationships, it was another wrinkle to the choice of lives. And let me delve into a hypothetical theory here. I don't recall Deniro knowing about the hooker Waingro killed, but the audience does, and setting up the Portman piece of business(Pacino defends children) adds a bit of balance to Deniro's killingo f Waingro(he's hated first for killing the hooker, and subconsciously we interpert it to be Deniro defending that hooker, in addition, obviously, to the more conscious recollection that he's defending his crew)

Your next two points, regarding Deniro's entry and Kilmer's getaway, I must chalk up to the cop-out "it's a movie". I didn't find anything so far-fetched or out of line in the end. As another poster pointed out, Deniro is questioned, but proceeds. Realize in real life, they probably wouldn't look for a guy in a hotel security outfit, and they wouldn't likely think he'd even show his face there if he saw "the heat". I didn't find this or his getaway all that implausible, and it's not exactly fresh in my mind, and I'll probably have more thoughts when I check it out again. I think it was supposed to be a note of a happy ending, that perhaps Chris has chosen a different path of family at the end.

Pacino and Deniro in the chase, well, Pacino THINKS he can trust Deniro, but at the same time, he can't trust him, and he can't risk running into a bullet on the other side of that firetruck. Especially after Deniro has told him, if it's between me going to jail and you, It will be you, etc. So I recall him showing reasonable caution there. And they were at a hotel by the airport, hence the runway, which at least was a kind of unique setting for a scene like that.

I think your points are fair, but I found myself able to justify them in my head. But it's those little slips that keep it from being an All-time alltime classic, but it's still a hell of a film and a great watch.
Old 01-13-04, 04:55 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 479
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The bank robbery sequence remains the best in film history
the 5.1 mix on the orignal is great but I'm hoping for an even better DTS track on the R2 release
Old 01-13-04, 07:00 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kali-4-knee-ah
Posts: 737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I remember renting Heat a long time ago and the 1st thing that entered my mind was "Dang, this movie is 2 VHS tapes."
Old 01-13-04, 09:06 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Grounded in reality. For the most part.
Posts: 4,806
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by DavePack
The R2 Project reported that a 2-disc Special Edition of Heat is apparently in the works for release later this year--around July, I believe. Nothing confirmed so far AFAIK, but keep your fingers crossed.

http://www.r2-dvd.org/article.jsp?se...articleId=6095


Old 01-13-04, 10:25 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Gateway Cities/Harbor Region
Posts: 61,635
Received 1,102 Likes on 741 Posts
Micheal's Mann meat(Long)
Old 01-14-04, 12:51 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 6,143
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally posted by Giantrobo
Micheal's Mann meat(Long)
Back in the Mature Forum, you.
Old 01-14-04, 01:26 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: City of the lakers.. riots.. and drug dealing cops.. los(t) Angel(e)s. ca.
Posts: 54,199
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Looks like a bunch of aimless nitpicking if you ask me.
Old 01-14-04, 09:48 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 23,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Looks like a bunch of aimless nitpicking if you ask me.
Welcome to the internet.
Old 01-14-04, 12:03 PM
  #13  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 229
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Looks like a bunch of aimless nitpicking if you ask me.
Try to get over yourself and realize that your message is equally aimless bitching, except with the added charm of an unwarranted pissy child attitude.

Last edited by John Spartan; 01-14-04 at 12:09 PM.
Old 01-14-04, 12:59 PM
  #14  
BT
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 1,293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Woah there.

Back on topic, I love this film as well. It is one of my all-time favorites and I dust off that nasty snapper case every so often to pop it in the DVD player. Great stuff.

To me the Dennis Haysbert subplot/storyline (if you can call it that since it was so small) is what gets me the most. Here's a guy, just out of prison, trying to go straight. But he can't and he pays the ultimate price.

The last shot in the movie is another great moment as was mentioned above.
Old 01-15-04, 01:38 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
TheNightFlier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NIMBY, NY
Posts: 5,909
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by John Spartan
Try to get over yourself and realize that your message is equally aimless bitching, except with the added charm of an unwarranted pissy child attitude.
Nice threadcrap...but anyways. Heat is one of my favorite movies. The bank shootout is just one of the best in movie history. I love seeing the cop cars being shredded and the bad guys getting the best of pretty much the entire department.

As for Chris getting away at the end it was two cops who were probably less involved in the whole investigation and saw that he checked out with the ID and registration. They thought nothing of it. Even though you don't know what happened, I always like to think that Chris went back after his wife and son from the "You got rooms to rent around here?" line, but it's pretty doubtful.

Spoiler:
Haven't seen it in awhile but at the end does Deniro have a clean shot at Pacino when the runway lights go on? I'm thinking that he did and he hesitates. One of the most underrated powerful endings in my opinion with the Moby soundtrack
Old 01-16-04, 05:49 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Posts: 23,146
Received 144 Likes on 110 Posts
I love this movie and truly believe it was the best film of 1995. The movie basically makes DeNiro and Pacino the representatives of two different worlds, one a legit life, and the other of the criminal. Throughout the movie we see that both lives suffer greatly from the same issues (family vs. work, etc.) , and when all is said and done, every event in the movie boils down to the two of them.

Spoiler:
The ending is great the Moby music really gives a climactic feel. Pacino has killed DeNiro, but there are no hard feelings and you actually get the sense that there is nothing more to say about these characters or their worlds. A perfect ending IMO.
Old 01-16-04, 05:55 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Cusm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 7,667
Received 28 Likes on 19 Posts
I hated the ending.
Spoiler:
The whole DeNiro hesitating, and not wanting to leave his girl. Please, he has lived his entire life doing the exact opposite, and now he is minutes away from retiring and now he is going to change his lifestle? Plus I really hate Al since Scent of a Woman.
Old 01-16-04, 06:39 PM
  #18  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I wonder how people would feel about this movie if
Spoiler:
it were De Niro who killed Pacino at the end when the runway lights go up instead of the other way around.


I kinda feel at times that De Niro should have gotten away at the end. I mean, Neil was ahead of Hanna every step of the way throughout the movie and was home free. Hanna got to him only because Hugh Benny tipped him off about the bank robbery and because Neil made the mistake of seeking revenge on Waingro when he could have just gotten on his plane and taken off.
Old 01-16-04, 11:45 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 3,807
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess I just don't think the movie would be as powerful if
Spoiler:
De Niro's character had gotten away at the end instead of being shot by Pacino's character.
For me it was the perfect tragic ending. Like Rivero said, Neil was home free and could have gone on to retirement with plenty of money and a woman he was ready to settle down with. Instead, he couldn't let it go and that fact makes the ending tragic.
Old 01-17-04, 01:29 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
TheNightFlier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NIMBY, NY
Posts: 5,909
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by badger1997
I guess I just don't think the movie would be as powerful if
Spoiler:
De Niro's character had gotten away at the end instead of being shot by Pacino's character.
For me it was the perfect tragic ending. Like Rivero said, Neil was home free and could have gone on to retirement with plenty of money and a woman he was ready to settle down with. Instead, he couldn't let it go and that fact makes the ending tragic.
After all the talking about the film I had to get that Moby track during the end, "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters." Very haunting and peaceful at the same time.

Another thought on the ending....The more I think about it, it's just the way the movie had to end...
Spoiler:
I'll admit I was rooting for Deniro to get away at the end but it seemed that he knew that might be the price for going after Waingro. When Vincent holds Neil's hand you see that "i'm sorry, but had to do it look" on his face, almost remorse. He told him in the cafe that he would kill him if he had to, but he wouldn't like it. This is one of those movies that I wanted to know what happened to the other characters after the finale, such as Vincent and Chris.


I think one of the most underrated characters in the film was Jon Voight's Nate. Seemed like he had such a close bond to Neil, almost brother like.
Old 01-17-04, 04:11 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: vancouver, WA, USA, Earth, Sol, Milkyway
Posts: 1,028
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
cant believe no one has mentioned the deniro/pacino "coffee scene". I thought it was really fantastic both as part of the plot and when looked at seperately by a movie fan. When Deniro/Neil says "or who knows, maybe we'll never see each other again"... it seems almost like he's saying both "maybe my dedication/focus will prevail and I'll escape" and that the two guys as actors may never share the screen again. any1 else see it that way? at any rate, i thought it was a great scene. Prolly my 2nd fav after the shootout (duh!)

j

Last edited by jekbrown; 01-17-04 at 04:13 AM.
Old 01-19-04, 11:00 PM
  #22  
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 2,013
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great film but I though Barry Lyndon was better...

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.