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Michael Mann's HEAT (1995)
I'm sitting here at work after a ten hour shift on my day off and now that it's quiet and I'm alone in the office, I put on the score/soundtrack to HEAT.   I open a new browser and start Googling "Los Angeles live-cams" for some excellent real-time west-coast sunset imagery and settle on a cool vision of coastal Topanga before finding an excellent one of the Santa Monica pier.  I think about the scene in which Neil McCauley is on the balcony with Edy taking in the scenery.  Just one beautiful moment of many in the film.  I empathize with Neil now more than ever about not having enough time and wanting to take down some sort of big score so I can be free of place and circumstance, the way Neil seems to. 

Michael Mann's HEAT is easily one of the very coolest films of the 90s, that much is a given.  It's a two-sides-same-coin look at cops and criminals and those left in the dust of their endless sparring with some breathtaking intense action and lively performances from the over the title superstars to the three-line background players.  It's also one of those films isn't just an action or cop drama but one that possibly changes for you as you get older, one that has meanings you might not truly discover until you're the right age or in a particular situation or temperament.

Anyway, I find myself wanting to disappear into the fabric of this film now and again.  Mann, Linson, Spinotti, Goldenthal and all the cast and crew made such a great damned piece of art with this thing.   It's a flawless diamond of cinematic cool.  Let's talk about it.

how long until someone posts the iconic Pacino gif from this?
Stop baiting me like that.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
is this the one?

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I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.   -Grandpa Simpson
Stylistically, Heat helped kick off my romanticized (to this day) view of Los Angeles.  It remains one of my favorite LA films to this day, because it treats the city as a proper setting, rather than just being set there (if that makes sense).

I regularly re-watch this analysis. 

One of the satisfying things as I've grown older is the overdue appreciation for the film. Its fans are now the gatekeepers; Nolan, Del Toro, and others are now pillars of the industry. Few people remember but when it came out in 1995 it was far from universally acclaimed. I could count at the time on the fingers of one hand the critics who appreciated it for what it was. I don't think I've ever had the experience of anticipating a movie for more than a year and being enthralled from the first second of the film to the last. I used to watch it frequently; I now limit myself to once or twice a year, to keep the high up.

On a side note, one of the great endeavours of our time is the One Heat Minute podcast, where the film is literally broken down minute by minute.

Guests have included Bill Duke, Garth Franklin, Dante Spinotti, Bilge Eberi, Manohla Dargis, Pasquale Buba, and others.



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