1990s bracket rd. 2: heat

August 25, 2008

after a while of no home movie viewing, from the trip to mexico to my dvd player breaking, i felt the need to make a triumphant return to the couch. so i sign up for the second round of the 1990s us bracket thingy and get my two films. the first of which was michael mann’s 1995 crime thriller heat.

how can a film that feels like such a mess still be pretty entertaining? that’s the question i kept asking myself during this film. it felt completely cluttered. it’s already pretty much 3 hrs long but it felt like it needed to be twice that to flesh out the story arcs it tries to cram in.

maybe i’m just used to excellent crime investigation entertainment, but things felt way too rushed (on the investigative side). and i’m not sure i buy the fact that 4 guys could get in a gun fight with the entire lapd in the middle of los angeles, and a few still get away.

i also didn’t buy most of the relationships in the movie. take for instance the scene when de niro is leaving the hotel and he leaves the girl in the car. the scene tries to be full of emotion but doesn’t work because i don’t buy the fact that she wants to be with him. she meets him, finds out he’s a murdering cop killing thief, and then says “ok let’s run off to new zeland”? no. i think not. she was ready to leave him not 10 minutes earlier and now she’s distraught that he’s leaving her?

now onto performances. everybody’s ok, except pacino gets a little too pacinoish (you know what i’m talking about…”she’s got a grrreeaaatttt aaaasssss!”). ashley judd is pretty unbearable as val kilmer’s wife, but she’s hardly in the film. the scenes between de niro and pacino are enjoyable on a few levels. they’re enjoyable on face value and while you’re watching it you go “dang, that’s al pacino and robert de niro…..awesome.” and the last scene of the film is just wrought with suspense that it truly had me on the edge of my seat.  one of the better showdowns i have seen.

overall i was fairly let down by this film, expecting to get one of the greatest films of the 90s, i just ended up watching a mediocre thriller with some big names.


the other film in this match-up is tombstone and hopefully will be up sometime latter this week.

plus be looking for my list of top 20 films for the filmspotter top 100 movies.


7 Responses to “1990s bracket rd. 2: heat”

  1. magnus Says:

    hey john, you inspired me to turn in my own top 20 list. I agree with your take on “Heat” almost completely, except that I didn’t like the ending…

  2. johnheberle Says:

    awesome magnus! can’t wait to see what it is.

  3. magnus Says:

    not sure you will be liking my choices, but here you go:

    01. Eraserhead (1977)
    02. Touch of Evil (1958)
    03. Psycho (1960)
    04. Play Time (1967)
    05. Apocalypse Now (1979)
    06. M (1931)
    07. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)
    08. Nights of Cabiria (1957)
    09. In the Mood for Love (2000)
    10. Yojimbo (1961)
    11. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
    12. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
    13. A Taste of Cherry (1997)
    14. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    15. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
    16. The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
    17. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
    18. Lessons in Darkness (1992)
    19. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    20. Village of the Damned (1960)

  4. johnheberle Says:

    there’s a few on your list that will more than likely be on mine.

    and more than a few that i haven’t seen.

    but sympathy for mr. vengeance? are you sure you didn’t mean oldboy? or possibly sympathy for lady vengeance?

  5. johnheberle Says:

    you are one of many people to put play time on your list, and it’s really peaked my interest.

    i really liked mr. hulot’s holiday, so i’m looking forward to catching up with it.

    that and touch of evil of course.

  6. Magnus Says:

    yes, I’m sure about the Mister. You see, this was the first of the South Korean movies I did see and it completely blew me away on first viewing, while I felt a little disappointed by the time Oldboy came around, since for me the ending was a bit of a letdown (I know that I’m quite alone with that opinion). I remember liking Lady Vengeance, but I have to say that most of that movie has not been memorable for me.

    Oh, and… Play Time, completely recommended, especially if you have already seen a Tati movie (as you might expect that movie is quite dear to me)

  7. johnheberle Says:

    i sent my list in, and as soon as i write something about each of them i’ll post it on the site.

    3 of the films on your list magnus are on mine.

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