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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)

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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Mann At His Peak March 10 2007
Format:DVD
Heat...Heat is brilliant. It is worth seeing simply for the fact that it is the only movie in which DeNiro and Pacino share a scene (and, oh boy, what a scene!). This 3 hour crime saga is a character study of two men at the top of their respective games. DeNiro is a thief, a pro of the highest order. He is a man for whom the Job is number one and everything else comes second, but his credo of 'dont let anyone slow you down' is shaken when he gets involved with a young woman. Pacino is a hyper-motivated robbery-homicide detective who is on the downslope of his third marriage, obsessed with catching DeNiro. The cat-and-mouse game between Pacino and DeNiro is played out across L.A., punctuated with numerous high-octane action scenes, one of which being one of the best heists scenes ever put on celluliod. This film is Michael Mann at his best. Everything is top notch here; the cinematography, the writing, the soundtrack, the acting, everything. It should be noted that real life bank robbers in L.A. took a cue from this movie and committed a robbery that mirrored the one in Heat eerily. You might remember the news shots of heavily armed and armored robbers, dressed and outfitted exactly like the guys from Heat, firing assault rifles on LAPD tactical squads for over half an hour while trying to escape before being taken down. This only proves how realistic the action scenes are in this film.
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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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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item delivered in very good condition, thanks
Published 1 month 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 3 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 5 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 17 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 20 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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