B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Film: A-
Heat is a powerful film with a star
studded cast. Michael Mann’s managed to
create a film that overflows with action, adventure and pure entertainment from
beginning to end. It stands as one of
the best action films to date and holds strong as it ages flawlessly. The story is engaging, the actors are
perfectly cast, the style is stunning and blasts out of this world with one of
the greatest gunfights ever; putting both cowboys and Rambo to shame.
is filled with captivating events that feature Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro)
as a professional thief who runs is ranks tight. Each of his heists includes Chris Shiherlis
(Val Kilmer), a close friend and a part of McCauley’s disciplined system of
stealthy thievery. McCauley is the best
of the best and his intuitive nature has allowed him to stay under the radar
for years, but as McCauley and his boys move in for one of their biggest heists
ever a watchful presence has surfaced.
Al Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, an accomplished and experienced
detective who has picked up McCauley’s scent and will stop at nothing to bring
him down. Concurrently McCauley goes
head to head with the detective to outmaneuver and outsmart. The strong headed adversaries establish a
tense battle that stretches citywide as Los Angles becomes a nonstop thrill
ride with twists and turns like no other.
is crazy fun beginning to end. The
clashing personalities of De Niro and Pacino finally on screen together for the
first time is simply amazing. Pacino is
the louder and more vibrant of the two personalities, but De Niro’s seemingly
‘cool as a cucumber’ persona is also an interesting evolution as the control
freak’s emotions are bursting at the seams.
The two veteran actors are supposedly black and white in the film, but
as the film progresses we see the two men are more similar than different. The actors compliment each other perfectly
and anyone who doesn’t take the time to view this film is truly missing out.
of the aforementioned actors, a cavalcade of other actors make appearances;
each helping to take the film to the next level as their stellar performances
jump from the screen. The likes of
Natalie Portman, Ted Levine, Hank Azaria, Ashley Judd, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore,
Jeremy Piven and many more all manage to show their faces.
has action, drama, unbridled emotion and is certainly one of the best crime
films of all time. It is a film that can
be watched over and over again as the story grasps you and the characters keep
you fully engaged.
technical features of the new Heat Blu-ray
are wonderfully done as the film has never looked better. The restored picture is presented in a 2.4 X
1; 1080p/VC-1 widescreen that as Mann intended leans more toward the darks than
the brights. The color palette is not
bright or flashy by any means, but is solid and the inky blacks frame the image
perfectly. The film seems to be
intentionally grainy to a degree, but it is never distracting. The film’s textures and detail are
wonderfully displayed on this Blu-ray and anyone would be proud to have it in
their collection. The sound is a
lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound that is lively as the directionality
takes you right into the action. The
explosive film clearly and crisply delivers a track that allows every gun shot
to ‘POP’ and every tiny ambient noise to be heard as the rears a fully
utilized. Both the picture and sound are greatly immersive; as the thrill your
eyes and ears as much as the film does.
extras are transferred over from the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD released a few
years back, but hold up well and give viewers a nice look behind the scenes of
the film. The extras include an Audio
Commentary with writer/director Michael Mann that is drab at times, but for the
most part Mann offers many interesting facts and stories behind the production
that will impress fans. The bonus
content also features The Making of Heat:
True Crime; The Making of Heat: Crime
Stories; The Making of Heat: Into the Fire; Pacino
and De Niro: The Conversation; Return
to Scene of the Crime; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailers. The extras all are very revealing and each
(as titled) explores the film in a different and intriguing manner. They may be a port from an older DVD (as they
are all in standard definition), but they fantastically capture why the film is
Heat is a burning pit of emotion,
action and captivating storyline. If you
have never seen the film before this Blu-ray’s great picture, sound and extras
only add to the reasons to add it to your collection.
- Michael P. Dougherty II