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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 (384 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 23.95
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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
Format:DVD
This was easily the most disappointing film I've seen on DVD this year. Not because it isn't well made--it is--but considering the filmmaking talent on both sides of the camera, I expected a lot more. First the good. Michael Mann. This man rules when it comes to shooting shoot-outs, and the centerpiece bank robbery scene is magnificent AND realistic. Now the bad. Al Pacino. One of Hollywood's all time best actors gives one of his all time worst performances in this film. Al whips out the wood chipper to go to town on the scenery in this one. Yes, he overacts THAT badly. Of course, with lines like "I've gotta hang on to my angst." one is tempted to give the guy some slack. And DeNiro? Let's say he doesn't embarass himself like Pacino, but his performance here is pretty much undistinguished--like most of his late 90's-early 00's output.
If it weren't for Mann's complete command of the action and a strong supporting cast, this would earn two stars. Again, not a bad film by any means--just a downer after what I expected.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "All I am is what I'm going after." May 11 2004
Format:DVD
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 careers. A director with an impeccable sense of style. And a tremendous ensemble cast, whose every member delivers a truly stunning performance. These are some of the ingredients that elevate Michael Mann's "Heat" high above any average thriller.
The film's mood is set from the very first camera shots, following Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) from a subway station to a hospital, to drive off with an ambulance he'll be using in his crew's next score. While we don't hear him speak a single word, his movements alone are unquestionably those of a leader; a man in absolute control of every situation. Like many of "Heat"'s crucial scenes (including the two lead characters' sole face-to-face encounters in a coffee shop and during the grand finale), the opening shots are set at night; and the hard contrast between almost black darkness and brightly shining neon lights thus established from the start is soon revealed as a hallmark of the movie's cinematography. One of the next shots shows McCauley's adversary-to-be, homicide Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) making love to his wife (Diane Venora). But afterwards there is no coziness; no conversation and no joint breakfast. Their relationship is disintegrating and, although fully aware that his obsession with his job is turning his life into a "disaster zone," it is ultimately Vincent who is sacrificing it to that very obsession.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heat deserves some REAL RESPECT Feb. 19 2004
Format:DVD
First off, I just want to express my appreciation for the quality script and cast that was put together for the making of this film. I can remember when this film first hit theaters back in late 1995. I also remember seeing the commercial a lot as well. However, you never heard or saw anything relating to this movie, until just recently. Now it is being played on TBS and F/X channels every other week. Well, it's about time! Most 'popular' and 'mainstream' movies only take about a year or 2 to reach commercial and constant airplay on television. Heat didn't hit 'cable' until a few years back. May I ask why??? Because nobody recognized or realized just how powerful and special this film really was. Everyone who took part in making this film..................can be seen today, 9 years later!, in current films and other outlets. So that has to account for something? Anyway, those of us who were excited about seeing the film back in 1995.........and took the time to notice and be entertained by this classic masterpiece............didn't have to wait almost 10 years to jump on the bandwagon, you know, the usual "Yeah, that movie was great, after seeing it on 'TBS' for the first time, I knew it was a classic all these many years later". Even though HEAT will forever be my favorite movie of all time...........I wish the DVD would offer more features on it. I would pay top dollar to get the out-takes and other bonus materials that other DVD's usually offer as part of the set. So if you haven't taken the time to experience and enjoy this masterpiece(or weren't aware of its existence, like most people).................then you don't know what you are missing. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars A modern crime classic Feb. 10 2004
Format:DVD
First off--personally, I'd give this film five stars, but I'm rating the DVD, and it does not justice to fans .
This is just not your typical 'cop' film by a long shot. Michael Mann has been aiming for this his whole career. His Thief (1981) has similar elements, even similar scenes. Heat is actually a remake of Mann's own LA Takedown, a 1989 TV film.
With Heat, every element is in place. The cast is a dream, even for a Hollywood film. DeNiro and Pacino do some of their best work and even the ground in the story of a dedicated cop tracking the leader of a band of professional thieves. The surrounding players are all pro: Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Jon Voight. The film has the perfect look, a cold, steely blue light and a much different look at LA than in any film. The soundtrack is in place as well, a mix of Eliot Goldenthal's rich score, Lisa Gerrard, Brian Eno, and Kronos Quartet.
At three hours, Mann throws in everything. The director's reverence for the material pushes the film way past genre. It's unfair to call Heat a 'heist' film or even a 'crime' film. It's a rich drama about relationships between cops and crooks and men and women.
The action is spectacular, everyone remembers the shootout scene in downtown LA. It highlights an awesome sound mix. Though it's extreme, it wasn't two years before a two man crew pulled off a bank heist and started a massive shootout with cops in North Hollywood.
The DVD sucks. For a film like this, a three hour epic from a big name director, with these stars, we get zilch. Three theatrical trailers, and French subtitles. There's a Dolby 5.1 mix, and the film is in widescreen with a nice, clean picture. I'm guessing Mann had little say in the release; this is doubtless a film that should get a commentary track and some behind the scenes material.
However, for now it's recommended on the strength of an excellent American crime film.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item delivered in very good condition, thanks
Published 4 days ago by sofienedouik
5.0 out of 5 stars The best from two power house actors.
You can't get any better than Pacino and De Niro in a movie that tells of the characters' personal lives as well as each determined to win over the other. Read more
Published 2 months ago by linda elwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Heat Steelbook
The artwork on the outside is beautiful. It was disappointing to find no artwork on the inside. Over all very happy with the steel book.
Published 4 months ago by Mikki D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
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.
Published 16 months ago by BobbyT
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 19 months ago by Liane Wobito
4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting and strong characterization
***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... Read more
Published on April 18 2012 by Steven Aldersley
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
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