Reviewed August 9th, 2001 by Dan Jones
For lack of a better gimmicky line to start this review, I will say this: Heat is, in this writer's opinion, the best “cops and robbers” movie ever made.
Heat is widely known for being the first time Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were onscreen together, as they were never onscreen simultaneously in The Godfather: Part II.
Heat itself is bulletproof. De Niro and Pacino would make for an incredible cast by themselves; yet Heat also brings in Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, and John Voight. This incredible cast, along with excellent writing and directing makes Heat one of the best movies this writer has ever seen. Writer and director Michael Mann did an incredible job of intricately weaving the script of Heat to show the parallel between the two main characters; Pacino, the detective, and De Niro, the leader of a band of professional thieves. This good vs. evil parallel is one of the key elements of Heat, allowing for excellent character development and character contrasting as the movie goes on. This constant contrasting also makes for a perfect, profound ending, one you will not soon forget.
Heat is also heavy on the action, which, with any luck, allows the viewer to become unaware of the fact that the movie itself is a tad-bit under 3 hours long (2:52). These action sequences are some of the best you will see in a movie of this type, one in particular, a beautifully crafted ten minute action sequence after a bank robbery.
So how does Heat fare on DVD? Very, very well. Moreover, it's dirt-cheap in DVD standards, so it doesn't hurt the wallet.
Heat is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen (anamorphic). The anamorphic transfer is beautiful; no artifacting or visual blemishes are noticeable. The picture quality is tremendous, and colors are perfect. Overall, the video quality is exceptional.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track (available in English and French) on Heat is essentially as good as Heat itself. The sound is surrounding and immersive, just as Dolby Digital should be. Heat's action sequences could definitely test your speakers; gunshots are alarmingly loud and could, in theory, force your neighbors to call the cops. Heat's background score is also breathtaking on this DD 5.1 track; a highlight of this is Moby's “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” in the final action sequence that can only be described as perfection.
Extras? Ah, yes...this is where Heat falls short. All we get is three theatrical trailers. Hopefully, one of these days, we will get one of those “Super Ultimate Great Editions” of Heat that gives a little more insight into this incredible movie.
In conclusion, Heat is a tremendous movie that any fan of movies should see. The DVD transfer does not let the movie down, bringing in exceptional audio and video. Heat is brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and brilliantly portrayed, and left this viewer with one word to describe it: Brilliant.
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