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Saturday, December 13, 2014
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
Heat is definitely one of my favorite movies, top 5-10 of all-time and perhaps the best movie of 1995 and even the 1990s as a whole. Which was a great decade for movies and 1995 was also the year Casino came out as well. Both Heat and Casino came out in October or November of 95 and were simply two movies that I couldn’t wait to see. Saw them both on a Friday night when they both came out and knowing I was going to see both movies, sure as hell made going to work those two days easier and this was before I was a blogger-writer.
What I love about Heat, similar to Jackie Brown is the realness to both them. This movie doesn’t try to fool you and show you a world that doesn’t exist for the most part and people who don’t exist for the most part. I love this movie because of the humanity of it. It is not a movie about Devils vs. Saints, but cops against criminals. And the criminals do bad things in this movie and hurt people. But they are professional criminals who in most cases in this movie are only hurting other criminals. And I hate this term, because all people are real and it sounds cliché, but they are real people. With real lives, families to take care of. Who happen to make their living stealing.
The cops are the good guys in this movie like in most action movies that involve good and bad. But the cops led by their lieutenant Vincent Hanna played by the great Al Pacino, is not a Saint. He’s a workaholic, because he spends so much time going after bad people and as a result does not spend enough time with his wife who loves him and his stepdaughter. And tends to only see both of them very early in the morning and very late at night. Why, because he spends so much time trying to track down and catch criminals like Neil McCauley, played by the great Robert De Niro. An ethnic-Italian playing an Irishman, is interesting to me, but perhaps that is a different subject.
Neil McCauley leads a crew or robbers and thieves who are very professional and very good. Why, because they are simply in it for the money and are very calculating in how they approach their work, so to speak and don’t take jobs just to hurt someone or for the thrill ride, because they hate prison and don’t want to go back. So they are very careful in what jobs they take to the point that McCauley has sort of an agent, an adviser who finds jobs and targets for him played by Jon Voight. Who gives him the pros and cons, the price tags of these jobs and the chances of doing the jobs successfully and then getting away with it.
Vincent Hanna played by Al Pacino, is an LAPD Robbery and Homicide lieutenant whose job along with his team is to track down the McCauley crew and put them away. Again Hanna is a workaholic, so putting in the time to put this crew away is nothing new to him and he has the manpower to get it done. The difference being that McCauley crew might be the most skillful and professional crew he has ever seen and it will be difficult for him and his team to put this crew away. Again they are professional criminals who are in it simply for the money. They don’t rape or murder for the hell or thrill of it. But rob banks and other business’s simply for the money.
Heat is a great movie if you cops and robbers movies that are realistic and aren’t cookie-cutter. That are different and clever and even funny, especially with Al Pacino who makes serious characters look like comedians simply because of how he delivers lines and with his ability to add flavor and character to his lines and work. Heat is not a cookie-cutter movie that looks and sounds like a lot of other serious cop movies before and after. That is solely based on style and special effects to look cool. Is has those things to, but with a lot of substance in the movie that the movie is based on.