Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

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whaleallright
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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#76 Post by whaleallright » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:14 pm

I want to reiterate what I wrote about genre conventions (or clichés) above. I think Heat is remarkable for its scope, its sense of proportion, the way it fits together as a narrative, and above all for its masterful pacing, which is a matter of narrative construction but also editing, acting, and cinematography. It's a film that breathes, and this is particularly evident when you see it on the big screen.

But to me the film harbors few revelations about crime or about police work, and least of all about romance. The characters are stock types, with a little more embroidering than usual, and the film's central themes are likewise very familiar from previous crime films (including Mann's own). Edie and Neil's romance is sketchily explained and barely developed (except, of course, for her decision to stick with him despite learning what he does for a living). It's axiomatic, like so many romances in genre films since whenever. That doesn't bother me, but it probably helps to explain the discrepancy of Edie's fabulous house. It's likely that Mann just didn't give much thought to the character, and his taste for visually impressive locations just filled in the rest.

The problem with Justine's monologue is not just the verbosity, it's the way she's telling Hanna who he is, and based on who we understand him to be it just feels highly unlikely that he'd put up with that.

It's interesting that Mann makes both Edie and Justine artist types (I'm not sure what Justine actually does, but her words, her clothes, her haircut, and her house all point to her being a bohemian art school grad—does she run a gallery?). This does go against the "gangster's moll" type. It also allows Mann to drop a bunch of references and to indulge his interest in modernist architecture and design.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#77 Post by LavaLamp » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:21 pm

jonah.77 wrote:It's interesting that Mann makes both Edie and Justine artist types (I'm not sure what Justine actually does, but her words, her clothes, her haircut, and her house all point to her being a bohemian art school grad—does she run a gallery?). This does go against the "gangster's moll" type. It also allows Mann to drop a bunch of references and to indulge his interest in modernist architecture and design.
Agree that Justine could easily run an art gallery, though it is unclear as to what she does for a living (if anything). She is definitely a bohemian/hipster/intellectual type.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#78 Post by Highway 61 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:35 pm

All this discussion, yet I'm surprised no one has mentioned what I consider the film's biggest flaw: the resolution of Val Kilmer's story.
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Given his depiction of Hanna as a seasoned professional, it's absolutely ludicrous that Mann expects us to believe that Kilmer can go unrecognized at the end of the film. This is a guy who just pulled off a major bank heist and killed a member of Hanna's crew, yet he chops of his pony tail and eludes the cops—and not mere hired hands at the airport, but cops stationed outside the rendezvous point with Kilmer's wife. Even if every police officer in LA didn't have this cop-killer's face memorized, the guys reporting to Mykelti Williamson certainly would.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#79 Post by feihong » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:28 pm

I thought "detritus" emerged as being Michael Mann's direct, author-voice. He gives many characters this sudden ability to articulate themselves perfectly, and he doesn't seem to care whether it sounds natural or not. To me it's one of his substantial weaknesses as a director--he can let his characters get very didactic from time to time. It's complicated, because his tough-talk is very well-written, but that ear for dialogue often leaves him--Gong Li is often abandoned to very implausible lines in Miami Vice, and Diane Venora gets some doozies here in Heat.

I think Eady is potentially a very interesting character--a person this lovely and perfect for McCauley, who is so shy and trusting and accommodating could have lots of baggage. She's with McCauley because she feels life is passing her by, perhaps, and she's looking for a fulfilling relationship with someone as reticent as she is? Could that be why she is so ready to believe in him, in spite of his controlling secrecy, his wandering attention, his barely-hidden violent streak? Why does she commit to this clearly dangerous individual? Eady is betrayed remarkably easily, and there's nothing to really ground that betrayal, because Brenneman doesn't make it clear why she trusts McCauley in the first place.

Now imagine if Diane Venora had played the Eady role. She's a much more precise and communicative actress. We could understand from her that she allows herself to trust McCauley, against her better judgement, and that would make the gravitas of his betrayal more serious and meaningful. As it is, Eady seems too unobservant to realize that she's dating a career criminal. And being unobservant, missing details, is the principal undoing of any character in Mann's world. But it would have played much more meaningfully if Eady had been aware of some of what McCauley was hiding from her, and if she chose to overlook it, gambling on happiness.

Now that I think of it, McCauley's girlfriend should have been older and more experienced--it would have made the drama more poignant. Brenneman plays the role almost like a cheesecake part, in a way--she's McCauley's reward for being an awesome badass, whereas she ought to be McCauley's psychic shelter from his own solitude. And maybe she could have been more testing of McCauley, if she participated in his life and had real needs of her own. That's what makes Charlene Shiherlis and Justine Hanna more necessary roles. I think Eady is there to illustrate the way in which these criminals are helpless betrayers of the people close to them, but because Eady never really impresses us with any depth, it doesn't come off as quite the grand betrayal that it should when McCauley reveals his true identity to her.

I think Gong Li might have been able to communicate more of that necessary depth, but then Mann's ear for non-tough-guy language would be a problem, just as it was for Gong in Miami Vice. Mann expects any character to be able to talk they way he might, except for the career criminals, whom he invests with particular realism. Cheritto never reveals an SAT-ready vocabulary, but Isabella in Miami Vice is required to use complex english syntax and colloquial profanity that Gong clearly doesn't understand ("what shit have you pulled?" being my favorite of those cringe-worthy lines). Justine's "you live among the remains of dead people" speech is quite a doozy--I've seen people's appreciation of the movie stop dead at that scene. There's something in Mann that wants that kind of authorial mark; it reminds me of the poetry in Peckinpah, and I think Mann is often torn between the glory in violence in Peckinpah and the detail-oriented professionalism in Melville crime films. And Mann often lands somewhere in the middle, between these two figures. He often seems not quite poetic enough for glory and too impressed with forceful machismo to achieve Melville's existential dispassion. That's not to say that the films aren't significant achievements. But oftentimes in these pristine crime films, Mann seems to falter over one point or another--his inspired casting fails him in a role, or he writes a character in a way that doesn't make a whole lot of sense--and it prevents the films from feeling quite as masterful as, say, Le Samourai, or Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Most of Heat is perfectly ravishing, but some of the key moments--like McCauley abandoning Eady, or Shiherlis drifting off into the night at the end, or Vincent and Justine trying to reconcile--feel more arranged than earned. I think it's only because the film is so filled with detail that these issues are visible. Maybe it's one of the problems with the perfectionism Mann seems to wrestle with.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#80 Post by LavaLamp » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:54 pm

Re: the fate of Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer):
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I completely bought his avoiding detection during the scene when his wife Charlene (Judd) surreptiously gave him the hand signal, and then he pretended that he had just stopped & was asking for directions. Remember, the authorities were depending on her to tell them whether he was the guy. They were hiding behind her in the apartment, and this was all taking place at night. It didn't appear that any of them had a very clear line of sight of Chris. If they were 100% sure what he looked like, why would they need her to tell them either way? I also think that Chris cutting his hair from long to short was a good disguise, considering the circumstances; in many cases, a haircut can make someone look like a completely different person. And, in the scene immediately after when he was stopped in the car, he obviously had a false I.D. that was good enough to pass muster. So, yeah, I can see this happening.

Maybe it would have been a better idea for Chris to have shaved his head, but at the same time that would have been too obvious...so, I can see why cutting his hair was a good enough disguise here.
Re: the character of Eady, I think the actress in the film was perfectly cast (as was everyone else in the film); IMHO it was important to have a character who was somewhat fresh-faced & didn't have a cynical attitude, since it wouldn't really work if the character was too jaded. For example, I can't picture the Justine or Charlene characters as Eady; the scene when Eady initiated the conversation with McCauley in their first meeting is not something I can see either of them doing, but maybe that's just me; and, IMHO this scene was important in the film because it illustrated that McCauley would probably not have initiated the conversation with her due to his being something of a loner; plus, he was suspcious of strangers due to his profession. So, to find an actress that could convincingly get through to a character like that wouldn't have been too easy - and, I think she pulled it off perfectly here.

Another great example is the look of betrayal/confusion/hurt when McCauley left her alone in the car at the end - this look spoke volumes, and it was quite obvious she didn't understand what was going on.

Lastly, Eady was probably not too fleshed out in the film due to timing issues; as it stands, the film was almost 3 hours long (IIRC it was 172 minutes with credits), & IMHO the length was perfect. I think the film would have been alright if it had been maybe 10 minutes longer, but I'm guessing that Mann & the studio probably felt it was long enough already.....

(It's interesting that in a previous post I said that I didn't find the character of Eady too compelling - however, in this post I'm primarily writing about her character....go figure... :-k)

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#81 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:51 am

What never ceases to amaze me is how much running Robert and (especially) Al are seen doing, specifically towards the end. I think Pacino said he pulled a hamstring running across LAX, but nonetheless a good measure of what shape those two guys got in for their roles.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#82 Post by feihong » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:50 am

LavaLamp wrote: Re: the character of Eady, I think the actress in the film was perfectly cast (as was everyone else in the film); IMHO it was important to have a character who was somewhat fresh-faced & didn't have a cynical attitude, since it wouldn't really work if the character was too jaded. For example, I can't picture the Justine or Charlene characters as Eady; the scene when Eady initiated the conversation with McCauley in their first meeting is not something I can see either of them doing, but maybe that's just me; and, IMHO this scene was important in the film because it illustrated that McCauley would probably not have initiated the conversation with her due to his being something of a loner; plus, he was suspcious of strangers due to his profession. So, to find an actress that could convincingly get through to a character like that wouldn't have been too easy - and, I think she pulled it off perfectly here.

Another great example is the look of betrayal/confusion/hurt when McCauley left her alone in the car at the end - this look spoke volumes, and it was quite obvious she didn't understand what was going on.

Lastly, Eady was probably not too fleshed out in the film due to timing issues; as it stands, the film was almost 3 hours long (IIRC it was 172 minutes with credits), & IMHO the length was perfect. I think the film would have been alright if it had been maybe 10 minutes longer, but I'm guessing that Mann & the studio probably felt it was long enough already.....
You know, Heat is so imaginative in its conception (not the least in its prodigious length, which could have been longer, to my mind, in order to afford it a few more details); and in its cataloging of detail of Los Angeles and the people in that space, it is almost novelistic. The film's attention to detail--David Thomson says that the film rewards you for looking and listening closely--aligns it in my mind with A Brighter Summer Day--Edward Yang's film from the same era--which is a film that also collects huge amounts of detail over a broad, expansive canvas. But A Brighter Summer Day is very fully realized in a way that Heat is not quite able to achieve. I keep feeling that the edges of the film's canvas curl inwards, refusing to lie flat, and I think that the reason I have that feeling has something to do with just what you're saying.

You say the length of the film was perfect, and that there wasn't time to develop the Eady character further. Now, Heat is already a 3-hour movie, and I doubt that people are less likely to walk out on a 3-hour movie than they are to walk out on a 3-hour, 8-minute movie. The film is already full of fascinating digressions, such as Waingro's sex-murder rampage that runs through the middle of the picture, entirely separate from his criminal undertakings with the McCauley crew, and Hanna's stepdaughter's suicide attempt. We have time for details like Shiherlis purchasing explosives in Arizona with a fake ID, Hanna's stepdaughter's missing barrettes, Charlene's lover's outstanding warrant, Albert and Richard Torena's criminal enterprises, and every detailed step of Hanna's assassination of Waingro. What I'm saying is, the film was already in willfully novelistic territory, with time for many elegant, discursive maneuvers. So the failure to develop Eady into a more plausible, reasonable character is a weak element of the film, because the language of the film has time for so much else. This is a novelistic film, full of well-drawn characters who have well-articulated motivations, and there's a character here--central to the film's main thesis--who is rather underdeveloped. It's the kind of fault in the language of the film that glares out at you. It isn't that she has no cynicism, that she's the radiant, special person McCauley has been waiting for all his life (we're certainly supposed to think that he thinks that, but because Brenneman provides us with so little, it's hard to know why he thinks this)...it's that she seems rigged to occupy a position in the film which she hasn't necessarily earned.

Also, looking back over that list of details I went over, it occurs to me that time isn't so much what is lacking with Eady; it's compression. The details of so many other characters are provided in scenes that figure in particular ways via the plot. The Waingro killings are part of the larger scene of Hanna abandoning his wife at the cop party, so that the details of Waingro help to develop the rift between Hanna and his wife, and articulate the demands upon Hanna that drive him to be the particular kind of jerk that he is. So we get lots of primary story detail and motivation at the same time as we're realizing that Waingro is a disgusting sex-killer, and that people's lives are being torn apart by his heinous perversion.

By contrast, the Eady scenes play primarily as love scenes. They serve to develop McCauley's character, and De Niro is so good that he can hardly help but develop McCauley's character in those scenes, but Eady gets left behind. It's not because she doesn't have time to be developed further; it's that Mann doesn't have the patience with her to make her more plausible, and Brenneman doesn't have the depth to add visual detail that makes her more complicated. When I suggested Diane Venora play that part, it was partly because Venora brings exactly that level of detail to underwritten scenes. Venora's line readings and her body language, communicate far more than is in the script. Little bits like the way she pivots around in bed to stare after Hanna as he gets out of the house at the end of his first scene show Justine's frustration with the lack of communication she feels with Hanna. We get that without a line about it, and when she gets dialogue to that effect in later scenes, we already know everything about what she feels. Eady, meanwhile, floats in this weird null space, waiting to provide filler. She seems several degrees more superficial than any of the other characters. Why is that? I think it's because Mann isn't as interested in this character. For myself, I think it's a matter of the basic character conception. Eady seems implausible to me because she is such a surface dweller, in a movie where people feel such driving pressures and have such visible psychic wounds and deep needs. She's got a job, a career she's sort of kind of trying to get into, and she's not worried about making a living. We know that she's shy, but Brenneman never manages to make the shyness seem pathological. What about her breaks down McCauley's guard? We know McCauley to be hypersensitive to his environment, and ruthlessly practical and calculating. What about this girl makes him forget himself? Whatever it is, I don't think the audience ever gets to feel the pull of it. I think what McCauley needs more is someone genuinely persistent; someone a little hard-headed and stubborn, and so I think someone like the Justine character is more believable.

Justine, in fact, isn't very cynical. She's always hoping Hanna will come through for her. Even at the end, after she alienates Hanna completely, she still waits for him to respond (he still gives her nothing, which is another part of the film that feels not as strong for me--why does Hanna need to be so identical to McCauley, especially in this pathological dedication to his job at all hours?). She's someone who has married before, and felt she made a mistake, or it ended up a mess for some reason, and still she wants to try again. And rather than expecting less of her second husband (who comes into the marriage with two divorces behind him, which should be a significant warning to her in and of itself), she expects love, sharing, communication, sensitivity--out of a robbery/homicide cop who is famously devoted to his work.

McCauley needs someone like that. We need to feel his life and his code endangered--disrupted by this woman. For McCauley's abandonment of Eady to really feel tragic, we need Eady to be a woman more like Justine--someone who needles and prods at McCauley, bringing him out of his comfort zone, even a little. We need to feel that McCauley has a believable option here--that a life with Eady might be as worthwhile as his already thrilling life running a crew and taking scores--and Eady is just some shy, late-bloomer out of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She does not test McCauley, and so McCauley's desertion of her seems eminently logical--in fact, by the end Eady is already beginning to slow McCauley down, but we get the sense that he is acutely aware of this. That's a problem, because the tragedy of McCauley having to reject a new, better life for an old code doesn't work if the old code still holds the audience enraptured. But McCauley's old chestnut about the heat around the corner still carries huge weight, because Eady isn't an appealing enough surrogate. She should be. She should have the impact on the film that Justine does. If only Diane Venora could have played both roles, at the same time. Then the parallel of cop and crook would have achieved its supreme, surreal apex. But I think that both the writing and the acting are to blame for making Eady such a lump. Keep in mind--the part was written for Gong Li, with the plan being that Gong would read the lines phonetically. So the lines needed to be simple--and Gong Li is one of those actresses who can communicate a whole lot with very little. But Brenneman is significantly less skilled an actress, and she needed more help from the script; and that help wasn't there. So Eady doesn't have the depth which she should have.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#83 Post by oh yeah » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:45 am

Great post, and I think I'd have to agree for the most part. It's nothing that hurts the film all that much, but I do think it makes little sense why Eady is so attracted to McCauley -- especially after she learns his true nature. She just functions as a kind of blank, passive doll onto which McCauley can project his retirement fantasies, and I don't buy that she would be so willing to drop everything to go along with him. A more mysterious or hard-edged actress would have been more believable in the role; Brenneman, all mousy innocence, seems like precisely the kind of woman who would never put up with McCauley's criminality.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#84 Post by LavaLamp » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 am

oh yeah wrote:Great post, and I think I'd have to agree for the most part. It's nothing that hurts the film all that much, but I do think it makes little sense why Eady is so attracted to McCauley -- especially after she learns his true nature. She just functions as a kind of blank, passive doll onto which McCauley can project his retirement fantasies, and I don't buy that she would be so willing to drop everything to go along with him. A more mysterious or hard-edged actress would have been more believable in the role; Brenneman, all mousy innocence, seems like precisely the kind of woman who would never put up with McCauley's criminality.
I guess this is just a matter of perspective. I totally bought Eady going along with McCauley; remember, she initiated the conversation with him in the restaurant/diner when they first met so she was obviously into him from the beginning - and, she seems somewhat nieve, at least to some extent. So, it made sense to me that she wouldn't question him or his profession, etc. As I said earlier, the last scene with her in the car & the shocked/hurt look on her face as McCauley left her was very convincing...

And, I'll admit that the film wouldn't have been hurt by adding about 10+ more minutes to flesh out Eady's back-story (Was she looking for a father figure in McCauley?! After all, he was roughly twice her age; What was her background?! Etc...). That being said, I don't think the film was negatively affected by not being longer.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#85 Post by bdsweeney » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:57 pm

Not much time to write at the moment, so I'll try to revisit this later.

Heat is a film I've seen three times now, and each time I've been curious as to why it receives such acclaim.

For me, the much-vaunted depth of character often feels more like digression (in particular the Waingro subplot).

I'd have rather the film pushed further on solely focusing on McCauley and Hanna, in particular with their relationships with their partners.

I agree completely with feihong's discussion of Eady and believe Brenneman does the best she can with what's just a poorly written character.

It's Mann's continual poor treatment of female characters that I find is the worst aspect of his films (granted, I don't have much memory of Ali and The Last of the Mohicans).

The only Mann film I've ever embraced wholeheartedly is The Insider. And yet Diane Venora's character (as Wigand's wife) is treated so poorly within it.

I find it hard to think of a single moment when her point of view within the situation is treated with any sympathy. For Christ's sake, even when Wigand washes his hand in the kitchen sink she's written as having a potshot at him.

And Gina Gershon's character just becomes a flat, depthless view of CBS Corporate.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#86 Post by feihong » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:16 am

I'm not sure people praise the depth of the characters in the movie, as far as I've seen. I personally have never felt the characters to be astoundingly developed. I think the film is more interesting because of the scope of the picture. It is a movie with lots of "digressions," but the digressions are what makes the film interesting and distinctive, and they are what enlarge the world of the film so that it is a film not just about crime per se, but that it is a film about crime and criminals in Los Angeles. A wonderful observation David Thomson makes of the film is that "everyone in 'Heat' seems pressurized by the unlikelihood of survival." I might be paraphrasing there, but to me it's a very pertinent observation.

I don't think I'd trade away the Waingro plot--an unexpected flowering of complication in the picture. And even though I argued that Eady is not well-conceived, I'm arguing that in comparison to the other women in the picture, who I find to be much fuller characters. So I don't find the women in the film poorly treated on the whole. Ashley Judd is excellent in the film, and Diane Venora is exceptional--and their characters are fascinating and important.

Similarly, I appreciate the richness of the Madeline Stowe character in Last of the Mohicans. The development of the Jada Pinkett Smith character in Collateral (who could have been just the faintest sketch on the page, and who turns out to be compelling and worthwhile) and the Gong Li character in Miami Vice are all interesting. These are all pictures based in genre, of course, and none of the characters depart far from their genre archetypes. But the women in Mann's films are often allowed to be as stylized and forceful in their presence as the men.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#87 Post by whaleallright » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:38 pm

I just want to take a moment to recommend Nick James's BFI Classics volume on this film. He admits the movie's failings and questionable longueurs, but goes a long way toward explaining why it is remarkable.



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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#90 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:29 pm

Variety article on why the film got no love from the Academy.
The film’s 20th anniversary is thankfully not going unnoticed, though it does come at a time when the Regency catalog is shifting away from Warner Bros. and over to Fox, slowing things down a little bit. A screening and Q&A event has been set for the Toronto Film Festival Tuesday night with Mann in attendance. I’m also told plans are in motion for Fox to release a special DVD/Blu-ray next year. “We have a great relationship with him,” Fox Home Entertainment EVP James Finn told me. “We did the definitive edition on ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and he loves our team and restoration guys. We’re going to honor it.”

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#91 Post by oh yeah » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:28 am

Thanks for the article. I too have always been shocked that the film didn't garner ANY Oscar nominations; if the Academy were willing to award several for Collateral, a much pulpier and less "classy" film, then why not Heat? The Insider and Ali also got consideration, so it's not like they have some vendetta against Mann I don't think. Maybe it was just neglected. But still, to not even give a nod for sound, as the article points out, is criminal.


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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#93 Post by big ticket » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:42 pm

Finally got around to checking this out, thanks for sharing the link.

It has become obvious at this point, but Mann is so thorough with his preparation, with the psychology of his characters, that comments such as that which follows shouldn't come as a surprise:
DEADLINE: I recall some claiming cops would not engage in a shootout like that with civilians all around, but then there was an actual bank robbery later that unfolded in eerily similar fashion.
MANN: I remember. They made one mistake though, assaulting the police instead of fleeing the police. The whole point is to shoot your way out. You’re supposed to leave because police assets accrue rapidly, the longer you stay. You’re assaulting the police to shoot your way out but the point is to get out. They just stood around.
A valid critique of the way criminals reacted to a police response, a scenario that has obviously been long played out in Mann's mind. This may be a bit of a stretch, but I can't help but think that Bresson would have appreciated Mann's meticulously manicured approach to characters and plot. (His use of music, on the other hand, I'm not so sure!)

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#94 Post by oh yeah » Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:35 am

Interesting comparison. Thief reminds me of Bresson quite a bit in some sequences, and you could say with his last few films Mann has achieved a kind of Bressonian minimalism in which pure action supersedes all else. There is very little of the superfluous in the shot selection and editing. (This might all just be Bresson as filtered through Melville, though). One of the things that separates them, though, is that while both possess an incredibly tactile aesthetic, Mann's is highly sensual and immersive whereas Bresson feels ascetic.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#95 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:06 pm


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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#96 Post by Oedipax » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:22 pm

If they went back and fixed those horrible green screen shots in the scene with De Niro and Amy Brenneman looking out at L.A. from his deck at night (it's on the close-ups, not the master in that instagram which looks great), that's some cinematic revisionism I can get behind.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#97 Post by oh yeah » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:31 pm

Oedipax wrote:If they went back and fixed those horrible green screen shots in the scene with De Niro and Amy Brenneman looking out at L.A. from his deck at night (it's on the close-ups, not the master in that instagram which looks great), that's some cinematic revisionism I can get behind.
I thought they only used green screen for the scene after they first meet, whenever it cuts to a close-up of either as they stand at her balcony. It does look pretty odd, and the master looks far better, but apparently Mann said they couldn't capture the right bokeh of the city lights in close-up for some reason. However, the scene pictured in that link is a different one, from later on (when she runs out of the house after learning of Neil's part in the bank heist), and I could be wrong but I don't think that one uses green screen -- it looks pretty beautiful.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#98 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:59 pm

The other scene with Pacino on the phone, on the current Blu-ray looks fantastic as is. I can't wait to see how much better it'll look in the new transfer.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#99 Post by oh yeah » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:28 am

I wonder if they will fix the sound mix as well for the new transfer. I don't have the current blu actually, but the main criticism I hear against it is that the sound mix is all out of whack, with the dialogue way too soft and quiet, and the gunfire deafening. However, I don't know if this is a defect so much as an intentional decision; certainly all of Mann's digital films sport that same kind of sound mix, with dialogue often muffled and action sequences very loud.

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feihong
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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#100 Post by feihong » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:28 am

This is a defect that seemed to be true of a lot of Warner DVDs and blu rays, and the Heat bluray has it worse than most; the sound mix in general gets progressively softer over the course of the film, prompting you to continually turn it up. By the end I had my television's volume at about the highest it would go just to hear the dialogue. Then suddenly the guns would fire at deafening volume. It was a huge problem which I hope they get around to fixing this time.

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