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Category Archives: Fujitsu

Movie Review: HEAT

Hey readers, Joe again with another movie review. This time we’re gonna do Michael Mann’s crime saga, “Heat”. Here’s a rundown of the home theater in my dad’s house which I helped him set up.

Home Theater Setup:
Screen: InFocus Elite 120”
Projector: Fujitsu LPF4800
Blu-Ray Player: Samsung BD-H5100
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR838
Speakers: Canton Audio Movie 90 5.1 Surround System

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, veterans of so many great crime films, have by now spent more time playing cops and crooks than most actual cops and crooks have. Method actors like them are who real cops and crooks base themselves on at this point. They both carry these roles with absolute precision of effect here. In Michael Mann’s “Heat”, De Niro plays Neal McCauley, a criminal mastermind. Pacino plays LAPD Lt. Jack Hanna, the guy assigned to guess McCauley’s next move.

Los Angeles police detective, Jack Hanna (Al Pacino) is tracking a master thief named Neal McCauley (Robert De Niro). McCauley is “sharp” according to Hanna and he seems impossible to catch. The big on-screen showdown between these two legendary actors is on! In one scene, Hanna pulls over McCauley. Hanna approaches McCauley’s car and invites him to a cup of coffee. The two men sit across from each other at a diner: Middle-aged, hard-nosed, with too much experience in their respective occupations, they know exactly what they represent to each other, but for this moment of truce they drink their coffee in harmony. They are mortal enemies, but in a sense they are more involved with each other than with those who are supposed to be their friends like the ladies in their lives, for example.

McCauley’s own policy is never to get involved in anything that he can’t “walk away from in 30 seconds flat if he spots the heat around the corner”. One day in a restaurant he gets into a conversation with Edie, played by Amy Brenneman, who asks him a lot of questions. Hanna is on his third marriage because he’d “rather spend his time among the dead” according to his current drug-addled wife, Justice, played by Diane Venora. The men in his movie are addicted to their lives. There is a scene where the thieves essentially have all the money they need. They can retire. McCauley even has a place picked out in New Zealand. But another job presents itself, and they cannot resist it: “It’s the juice. It’s the action.” says fellow thief, Mike Cherrito played by Tom Sizemore. Other thieves on Neal’s crew are Val Kilmer as Chris Shiherlis, Danny Trejo as Trejo, Kevin Gage as the mysterious and hate-fueled Waingro, and Jon Voight as Nate, the guy who finds “jobs” for Neal and his crew.

The movie opens with a very complicated armored truck robbery involving stolen semis, an ambulance, and tow trucks. The action continues with a meticulously conceived bank robbery and a shootout in downtown Los Angeles (great for testing out your surround sound system). The cops keep Neal and his crew under 24-hour surveillance, and one day follow them to an isolated warehouse area, where the thieves stand in the middle of a vast space and McCauley outlines some plan to them. Later, the cops stand in the same place, trying to figure out what plan the thieves could possibly have had in mind. No target is anywhere in view. Suddenly Hanna gets it: “You know what they’re looking at? They’re looking at us – the LAPD. We just got made.” He is right. McCauley is now on a roof chuckling and looking at them through a lens, having outwitted the detectives.

In another very powerful scene, after the cops are onto Neal’s crew and stakes out each of their families to try to get them to come out of hiding. Chris (Val Kilmer) goes to see if his wife Charlene, played by Ashley Judd, can be saved from the closing dragnet. With one look, she tells him the heat is there and not to try to come up to see her. With the same look, she tells him that she loves him but they can no longer hold each other ever again. Michael Mann’s writing and direction elevate this scene to be a masterful display of emotionally charged acting.

Heat is not just an action movie, it isn’t just a crime story – it is a cinematic treasure. More than anything, the dialogue and characters are dynamically complex. This film is long, but it is an essential view for anyone who is a fan of the classic cops and robbers action, as well as anyone looking for a perfect case study on human emotion and interaction.