Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie of the Week - Heat

This week’s movie is Heat (1995).

The crime drama is about a criminal, out for one last big score, who specializes in robberies, his crew and the dedicated cop who is set on taking them down. The film is written and directed by Michael Mann, who is known for his wonderful action set pieces – feeling both gritty and real while also having a sense of scale to them, and Heat has one of the best shoot-out sequences in film history. Frequent collaborator Dante Spinotti’s cinematography is excellent, giving the film a slightly nostalgic feel at times. Production designer Neil Spisak, known for action films like the Spider-Man series, also does good work. Composer Elliot Goldenthal’s score also gives the film a nostalgic feel hitting a few hard-boiled/noirish notes. The cast of the film is fantastic – pitting Robert De Niro off against Al Pacino (who just yells a lot, but still manages to give a great performance) – but also has a whose-who of supporting performers including: Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Seizemore, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, and Danny Trejo among others. What makes the film great is Mann’s ability to show unflinching action (which is loud and glorious) and tell a great story with rich characters (even though De Niro’s character is the villain in a moral sense, I find myself routing for him every time). This is an absolute must see for fans of Mann’s work and those that like crime films, because this is one of the best. Check out the trailer.

Heat is available on Blu-ray and DVD on and to rent/stream on 

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