Heat [Blu-Ray] Michael Mann

Heat [Blu-Ray] Michael Mann
On the other side of crap like Collateral and Public Enemies, it's nice to remember a time when it may have mattered that a film was "directed by Michael Mann." And if anything, this Heat Blu-Ray disc provides a nice occasion for revisiting the days when DeNiro wasn't a bloated parody of himself and Pacino had only just begun a second career out of "hooah!-ing" his way through entire films. Essentially an expanded remake of Mann's 1989 NBC movie L.A. Takedown, Heat may well be the zenith of the director's crime capers. This 171-minute cops-and-robbers marathon follows a crafty thief (DeNiro) and the LAPD lieutenant out to nab him (Pacino). Each is singularly dedicated to their work, to the detriment of their personal lives. Vincent Hanna's (Pacino) third marriage is falling apart, while Neil McCauley (DeNiro) makes a fine point of never getting seriously involved with women, except for when he does. It's a pretty decent piece of Hollywood filmmaking, and the two action centrepieces ― a daytime shootout that makes Swiss cheese of downtown L.A. and the climax with Hanna hunting down McCauley with Ahab-like intensity ― are made all the more compelling when presented in hi-def. But the film's problems are still there, regardless of the crystal-clear picture and sound. In the feature-length "making of" doc included on this disc, Mann states that his aim was to develop three-dimensional characters that exceeded the typical constraints of the cop/robber procedural. But all the failed marriages, alcohol abuse and suicidal step-daughters are just window dressing for a film that has always been about two likeminded men confronting the bounds of their professional dedication, no matter how much Mann may try and tell us otherwise. Other features include a bland commentary track by Mann, 11 deleted scenes, a breakdown of the film's iconic confrontation between its two banner stars and some other short production featurettes. (Warner)