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Heat

Al Pacino , Robert De Niro , Michael Mann    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (381 customer reviews)

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Having developed his skill as a master of contemporary crime drama, writer-director Michael Mann displayed every aspect of that mastery in this intelligent, character-driven thriller from 1995, which also marked the first onscreen pairing of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The two great actors had played father and son in the separate time periods of The Godfather, Part II, but this was the first film in which the pair appeared together, and although their only scene together is brief, it's the riveting fulcrum of this high-tech cops-and-robbers scenario. De Niro plays a master thief with highly skilled partners (Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) whose latest heist draws the attention of Pacino, playing a seasoned Los Angeles detective whose investigation reveals that cop and criminal lead similar lives. Both are so devoted to their professions that their personal lives are a disaster. Pacino's with a wife (Diane Venora) who cheats to avoid the reality of their desolate marriage; De Niro pays the price for a life with no outside connections; and Kilmer's wife (Ashley Judd) has all but given up hope that her husband will quit his criminal career. These are men obsessed, and as De Niro and Pacino know, they'll both do whatever's necessary to bring the other down. Mann's brilliant screenplay explores these personal obsessions and sacrifices with absorbing insight, and the tension mounts with some of the most riveting action sequences ever filmed--most notably a daylight siege that turns downtown Los Angeles into a virtual war zone of automatic gunfire. At nearly three hours, the film qualifies as a kind of intimate epic, certain to leave some viewers impatiently waiting for more action, but it's all part of Mann's compelling strategy. Heat is a true rarity: a crime thriller with equal measures of intense excitement and dramatic depth, giving De Niro and Pacino a prime showcase for their finely matched talents. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting and strong characterization April 18 2012
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
***Spoilers within***

It's difficult to hold the interest of an audience for almost three hours, especially in an age where people can't go five minutes without checking their text messages or tweeting about what's happening in a movie. Heat was made in 1995 when it was much easier to forget the outside world for three hours, and that's part of its strength.

The most obvious thing to mention is that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro appear on screen together for the first time, and it's the first time they two have appeared in the same film since The Godfather: Part II. Both actors are close to their best and their two meetings are memorable.

Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino) works for the LAPD. His job is his passion and he places it above personal relationships. He's on his third marriage and that is failing because he only gives his wife a fraction of his attention if he's home at all. Neil McCauley (De Niro) also has a passion, but he's on the wrong side of the law. He heads a group of thieves who are professional and extremely effective. Unlike Hanna, McCauley doesn't want any personal ties preventing him from being the best he can be.

McCauley has a favorite quote:

"Have no attachments. Allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."

The movie shows us how effective McCauley's crew is when they rob an armored truck early in the movie. One of the crew, Waingro (Kevin Gage), is a loose cannon. His behavior leads to three unnecessary deaths so McCauley decides to kill him. Unfortunately, a passing patrol car distracts McCauley and allows Waingro to escape. He's a constant source of trouble for the remainder of the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great April 28 2013
By BobbyT
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great action, great story, great acting. All star cast in a great movie about cops and robbers. Story moves right along and I didn't even notice how long it lasted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pacino or De Niro? Aug. 17 2007
Format:DVD
Since The Godfather Part 2, moviegoers and critics have been asking: Who is the better actor, Pacino or De Niro? It is a question that can never really be answered (although Spinetinglers considers Pacino to be the best!). Everyone who is a lover of contemporary cinema has an opinion. Michael Mann, the director of Heat, gave us a moment that we treasure: these two demigods of cinema meeting on screen for the first and only time, so that people who care about this question can do a direct comparison. The net result of this was, of course, more arguing over who was better. They meet in the oddest of circumstances--a brilliant detective, Vincent (Pacino), is pursuing a brilliant thief, Neil (De Niro). Vincent pulls over Neil's car and asks him for a cup of coffee, Neil accepts, and the pair sit in coffee shop showing us all that neither is intimidated by the other. Pacino brings his own unique style to the scene; he is as erratic and demonstrative as usual. De Niro sits back and underplays the gravitas of what this scene means to film, and what it means to cinema history. Both are superb and neither one leaves the coffee shop being able to convert the diehard Pacino fans or the diehard De Niro fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic July 11 2004
Format:DVD
this movie has some of the best acting i've ever seen. the plot is great and the action scenes are also great. the dvd i'm reviewing now lacks extras, but a special edition is supposed to come out later this year. some might not like it being three hours, but i think the three hours i spent watching were well worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ALL STAR CAST MAKES FOR A FERVENT "HEAT" June 27 2004
Format:DVD
How do you boast about your own (film) greatness without appearing obviously conceited? If you're Michael Mann, you write and direct HEAT, one of the best films of 1995 and one of the last true cinematic crime epics. HEAT brings Mann's TV classic CRIME STORY full circle (the film is actually based on Mann's made for TV flick, LA TAKEDOWN) but with an all star cast. Pacino gets to rework the dialogue Dennis Farina made famous: "You do not get to watch my television set!" and "When these guys come out the door of whatever score they take, they're in for the surprise of a lifetime." Like Farina's Lt. Mike Torello, Pacino's Lt. Vincent Hanna, LAPD R/H MCU, is a great cop whose career brillance has been paid with fatal personal consequences: 3 failed marriages, no social life, an empty future. This is all in a day's work for Pacino: great performance, unforgettable character...rivaled by DeNiro's Neil McCauley, a career criminal with a single tier life, told bold faced with the film's most powerful lines: "Have no attachments, allow nothing to be in your life that you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds if you spot the heat around the corner." There are few cop dramas as powerful as HEAT, largely credited to the Mann script and technical advice from Rey Verdugo (who appears as a Las Vegas detective in one of the more comical scenes) and long time friend Charles Adamson, who worked on CRIME STORY and THIEF. Ashley Judd never looked more ravishing than she did here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Crime Saga Masterpiece. May 31 2004
Format:DVD
A truly amazing film, and too good to ruin by writing a novel sized review. Cast: Among the best ever assembled. Action: Riveting all the way through the three hour movie. Plot: Cop vs Robber, but it is much more then that. The Bank Scene: One of the best action sequences in movie history. The Action: Raw and bloody, De Niro is calculating, fierce and committed, along side his nemesis and tireless rival Al Pacino. Conclusion: You won't know who you'll want to win or who you'll want to lose, brilliant and complex characters played by Oscar winners, what more can you ask for.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars heat
bought this for a friend's son at his request. no idea what it is about. but i don't like violent, horror, psychotic movies.
Published 14 months ago by Liane Wobito
2.0 out of 5 stars ... Come Again?
I'm sorry to all the fans, but I have absolutely no idea why so many people love this movie. I used to always debate with myself what the most overrated movie ever was but when I... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2010 by Jimbo Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality!
This movie is great and it is recommended on blu-ray. The delivery took a bit of time but was well worth it!
Published on Nov. 17 2010 by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
When I first saw Heat years ago I was blown away by the bank robbery sequence. Seeing two powerhouse actors in DeNiro and Pacino go head to head backed by an excellent supporting... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2010 by markpang
3.0 out of 5 stars Transfer to Blu Ray OK
I was a bit disappointed with the transfer to Blu Ray. I am generally finding any films in the 10 year or older range OK at best on Blu Ray as compared to more recently made... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2010 by J. Bowers
3.0 out of 5 stars Traduction francaise
J'avais ce film en format VHS et la je me suis dit qu'il serait temps de l'avoir en DVD le hic est que la traduction en francais est différente de celle de la VHS par... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2010 by Luc Doucet
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon is the best
I've received all my purchases on time and in great shape.
need I say more!
Published on Sept. 14 2009 by dhcalahn
5.0 out of 5 stars "All I am is what I'm going after."
Two men on opposite sides of the law, both loners obsessed by what they do. Two of contemporary cinema's greatest actors, facing off for the first time in their 30+ year-long... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2008 by Themis-Athena
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Character Film Of All Time
'Heat,' a film of epic proportions on a common placed scale, provides all the essentials of a great crime drama and then some. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2007 by Rassool Auckbaraullee
5.0 out of 5 stars An astute drama of the dark world of crime and corruption.
Heat is a great movie. In it we see this crew who score high level burglaries, and the cops who try to stop them. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2007 by Joseph P. Shea
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