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Heat (Steelbook)
BLU-RAY disk
04.04.2011 By: Jacob Riley
Heat (Steelbook) order download
Director:
Michael Mann

Actors:
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro
Val Kilmer

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
On the surface Heat might seem to be another crime/drama or bank heist movie but it is so much more. At it's core is the legendary screen duo of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, in their best roles to date, engaged in a deadly battle of wits and that is the real story.

Emotionally complexity, unforgetable performances and amazing action sequences make Heat one hell of a ride. Buckle up.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Wow, how do I even begin to say how great Heat is?

In our collective history there are a rare few opposing forces that can truly worthy of the word "epic". Yin and Yang, The Force versus the Dark Side, the Joker toying with Batman and, finally, Al Pacino versus Robert De Niro in Heat. It is another Michael Mann epic, masterfully shot and brilliantly performed. It is easily one of my favorites, so feel free to call this review biased, but there is no denying that this is one of the greats.

If you were only to ever get to watch one heist movie, just one sole heist movie, Heat belongs right at the top of the list. It almost transcends the genre and becomes an desperate tug-of-war between two cinematic titans, one is the law and the other a bank robber but that should in no way imply one is good and one is evil and this movie dwells in that damp grey area effectively.

Let's start with the acting, director Michael Mann caught lightning in a bottle when he bagged Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in the two lead roles, as cop and robber respectively, and the time they share on screen together is some of the best cinema you will ever see. Some might argue that their greatest collaboration would be in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part II but as we all know they don't actually share any screen time in that classic. This is remedied in Heat in a big way and even though the pair would share the screen in subsequent movies they have yet to recapture whatever it was they had back in 1995. That is not a gross exaggeration either, just the scene with them at the restaurant sitting across the table from each other is so powerful, so understated, that I could watch a 3 hour movie based on that single scene alone and still be begging for more.

Pacino and De Niro may have been driving forces behind Heat but there are several supporting roles that deserve mention, especially Val Kilmer as a young and unstable crook with some severe domestic issues with his wife ( the desperate Ashley Judd) that come into play later in the story. On the flipside of the law you have Diane Venora, portraying Pacino's stressed out wife, and a young Natalie Portman as his troubled step-daughter complicating his already strained situation. It is through the background provided by these secondary roles that we get to see serious character development and emotional baggage of the Pacino and De Niro characters which slowly builds a constricting atmosphere that you just know is going to have an explosive showdown.

Speaking of explosive you better have your surround sound dialed up because Heat starts off with one of the greatest action sequences I have ever seen in the form of an armored car robbery, in broad daylight, with full-auto machine guns crackling. The crew; including De Niro, Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Kevin Gage and the always welcomed Danny Trejo pull off the job, but the way it ends sets the whole tone of what will follow and Heat will have you riding the edge of your seat for the remaining 160 minutes. Later in the movie when a bank heist doesn't go according to plan the crew scatters and are litterally running down crowded streets with bags of money and M16s and the panic and firefights just do not let up, you may actually feel physically drained. These big action sequences are great bookends to all of the drama and story development that take up the bulk of Heat but the final act is where both are wed into a tragic finale. When the cop and robber chase between Pacino and De Niro finally reaches it's climax you will be spent, Heat clocks in at almost 3 hours and you will have been on the edge of your seat the whole time.

It isn't a movie, Heat is an experience that I have happily repeated countless times.
THE EXTRAS
The only reason this Steelbook release of Heat is anything less than 5 stars across the board is that no new features have been added since the original Blu-ray release and not all of them are in high-definition, but what is included is still mightily impressive.

"New" Content Changes: Under the supervision of Michael Man it seems that 2-minutes were cut from the 172 minute theatrical version. I couldn't figure out where so he must have known what he was doing.

Audio Commentary: Michael Mann fills all three hours of the movie with insight ranging from technical details, stories about working with the cast, editing the movie to just talking about the development of Heat. It is obvious that the commentary was spliced together from multiple sessions, but if anything that allows Mann to have a stronger presence and it is well worth the listen.

The Making of Heat (59 minutes): 3-Part documentary that includes interviews with cast and crew, and the extensive development that writer/director/producer Michael Mann put into this epic cops and robbers movie.

Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation (10 minutes): Including the amazing action sequences the most powerful scene in the movie, the restuarant conversation between Pacino and De Niro, is looked at in depth here and why this showdown worked so damn well.

Return to the Scene of the Crime (12 minutes): Nifty little featurette with location manager Janice Polley and associate producer Gusmano Cesaretti on the shooting locations of the movie 10 years later.

Additional Footage (10 minutes): 11 additional scenes cut from the final version, nothing to cool to see here but they do add a bit more depth to the characters.

Theatrical Trailers (SD, 7 minutes): Not one, not two but three trailers complete the extras
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Heat is unequivocally one of the greats, it's absolutely stellar cast, engaging story and brilliant direction will have you invested right up until the credits roll and will taunt you to be replayed. This is not rental fare, it belongs in your home collection.

Extra Tidbit: Do you know what the greatest 16 words ever uttered by Pacino on screen are? I think I do! (NSFW)
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10:42AM on 04/04/2011
I have Heat 2 disc edition that was released around 2005. In terms of audio and visuals, do you think it's worth double dipping by buying this blu ray?
I have Heat 2 disc edition that was released around 2005. In terms of audio and visuals, do you think it's worth double dipping by buying this blu ray?
Your Reply:



10:40AM on 04/04/2011
I have Heat 2 disc edition that was released around 2005. In terms of audio and visuals, do you think it's worth double dipping by buying this blu ray?
I have Heat 2 disc edition that was released around 2005. In terms of audio and visuals, do you think it's worth double dipping by buying this blu ray?
Your Reply:



3:24PM on 04/04/2011
All of the content is obviously the same but this is a great transfer. Everything about the audio/visual quality is impressive and is definitely an improvement than anything that could have been released on DVD, I don't double dip very often but HEAT would be an exception.
All of the content is obviously the same but this is a great transfer. Everything about the audio/visual quality is impressive and is definitely an improvement than anything that could have been released on DVD, I don't double dip very often but HEAT would be an exception.
9:36AM on 04/04/2011
I need to get this steelbook! And I agree w/ the extra tidbit.
I need to get this steelbook! And I agree w/ the extra tidbit.
Your Reply:



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