I took Monday off to relax and get some cleaning up done at the house, and maybe even clean up a small degenerate slice of Gotham, which I did. I also sat and watched Michael Mann’s 1995 crime drama Heat. If you haven’t seen it yet (though I believe I’m the only one who hasn’t), it features an all-star cast, written and directed by Michael Mann. The film stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro cast, but also includes:
- Val Kilmer
- Jon Voight
- Tom Sizemore (pre-career implosion)
- Amy Brenneman
- Ashley Judd
- Natalie Portman (small role)
- Mykelti Williamson
- Dennis Haysbert (small role)
- William Fichtner
De Niro stars as Neil McCauley, who leads a professional criminal crew that scores on big money targets (banks, vaults, armored cars.) After a botched job, Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and his team of cops in the Robbery/Homicide police division begin hunting McCauley’s crew. What I liked about this film was that both sides were very smart, and at times fairly likeable from a certain point of view. Both sides had families (except leader McCauley), and they were all pretty smart. Speaking of families, McCauley follows a dictum taught to him long ago by his criminal mentor — “Never have anything in your life that you can’t walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner.” However, he meets Amy Brenneman’s character, and falls in love. As the noose tightens on McCauley and his crew, you have no idea how the story will unfold.
I liked the plot as it was unpredictable. I liked the characters as they were very nuanced, and the dialogue was very great. I also liked how nobody was a fool in this story — both the criminals and the detectives were smart, so you had two worthy teams of adversaries squaring off against each other. I watched this film on blu-ray, and it was a pretty good transfer. The video quality was decent for a mid-90’s film, and the Dolby TruHD 5.1 audio was excellent — the dialogue was crisp, the LFE (bass) was big, and the rear speakers were surprisingly active.