Blu-ray Review – HEAT

If there ever was a film that you’d think Michael Mann wouldn’t have needed to re-cut or play with, HEAT would seem to be the one he wouldn’t touch. And over the years while films like Miami Vice, among others, but HEAT seemed immune from the multiple recuts that other Mann films have had.

Until now … and for as much as HEAT is a classic of film, the restored 4k cut of the film just released isn’t all that special.

Simple premise. Robert De Niro leads a crew of bad guys. Al Pacino is the cop tasked to bring him down. Three hours later you’ll thank yourself for watching the film. It’s a cat and mouse tale for the ages as De Niro is the thief looking for one final score, Pacino the cop wanting to bring him down and Mann lets it play out to its inevitable conclusion. Essentially a remake of Mann’s made for TV film L.A Takedown, crafted onto a much wider canvas with Mann learning from what worked (and what didn’t) for his low budget piece. It’s interesting to watch them both back to back; you can tell what Mann learned from his first try on the piece to his second … as well as how much having $60 million meant for his vision for the piece.

The crux of the DVD, not the film, is that you’re paying for a cut changed up by Mann. It really hasn’t been in terms of storyline; the film is essentially still the same. A couple of scenes have been changed but nothing that is really crucial to the film.

What’s changed has been the sound (which has been improved radically) and the picture (which hasn’t).

The difference in the picture being changed is that it looks closer to Miami Vice, Blackhat, etc in terms of the color palette. It’s interesting that of all the things that Mann wanted to change about the film the one thing he did was make it so that it would fit in with his cinematic canon.

Is it worth the purchase? I’m not sure. While it’s a better picture overall, and much better sounding, it’s also been changed to make it fit other films as opposed to standing on its own. It’s cheap enough that it’s not the worst purchase in the world … but there are better ones out there, too.

A handful of new extras are included, as all of the extras from the original DVD are included on a second disc. They mainly have to do with the film’s locations and the iconic conversation between De Niro and Pacino.

20th Century Fox presents HEAT. Written and directed by Michael Mann based off “L.A Takedown” by Mann. Starring Robert De Nir, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Hank Azaria. Run Time: 170 minutes. Rated R. Released on 5.9.17

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