Author Topic: Michael Mann  (Read 53226 times)

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soixante

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« Reply #90 on: January 21, 2005, 01:28:03 PM »
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The best defense of Heat is an article in Vanity Fair from March or April of 2003.  I forgot who wrote the piece, but it makes a good case for taking the film seriously.

For me, what's cool about Heat is how it pumps fresh life and style into a stale genre -- how many bank robberies have I seen as a filmgoer?  Too many to count.  How many burnt out cops I have I seen as filmgoer?  Too many.  Still, Heat took these oft-used conventions and made them interesting.

Also, one of Mann's biggest influences is Tarkovsky.
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« Reply #91 on: January 21, 2005, 04:50:11 PM »
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Quote from: soixante
For me, what's cool about Heat is how it pumps fresh life and style into a stale genre -- how many bank robberies have I seen as a filmgoer?  Too many to count.  How many burnt out cops I have I seen as filmgoer?  Too many.  Still, Heat took these oft-used conventions and made them interesting.


I'll admit he revitalized a genre for many and even made a really good action film, but I don't think he climbed Mount Everest with this film. Of bank robbery films, I'd say Rififi is the pinnacle.

Quote from: soixante
Also, one of Mann's biggest influences is Tarkovsky.


He can be an influence, but I don't see where it shows in his work. Tarkovsky is as Russian as they come, while Mann couldn't be more American. I'd love to hear someone correlate the two in defense.

Myxo

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« Reply #92 on: January 21, 2005, 06:23:06 PM »
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SPOILERS

I loved Heat for everything that it had which so many action movies don't.

You've got an action movie with a protagonist and an antagonist who genuinely respect each other. But they are both living in a world where neither man is in a position to let anyone get too close. So, you've got Pacino who abandons everyone he loves and Deniro who does the same. It's wonderful because in seeing the struggles of both men we can all relate and sympathize. This is perhaps one of the very few films in it's genre where I was genuinely sad when the bad guy got killed.

Then you've got all of these awesome side stories and supporting characters who are going through struggles of their own to stay sane. Val Kilmer is a gambling addict who is abandoning his family. In the end, we feel sorry for Kilmer but believe that he doesn't deserve his wife or his kids.

There is even a story of possible redemption in the black getaway driver just out of prison. He is faced with a decision. Stay clean and keep working for his dictator boss, or get back in the action and give in to the only thing he can understand being good at and the only people who accept and respect him.

Not to mention the great moments..

- Pacino explaining how the armored car robbery went down..
- The tense moments in the cafe before they try and murder the fuckup..
- The phone conversation with the banker and Deniro where he tells him "I'm talking to a dead man on the other end of this fucking phone."
- Pacino and Judd's scene in the motel room..
- The look that Judd gives Kilmer when she tips him off..
- Pacino finding his daughter in law in the tub..
- Deniro leaving his girlfriend in the car when he felt the Heat around the corner..

God, there are a ton of great scenes. It's just an all around wonderful film and Mann's best. The Insider is great, but I think Heat is his opus and always will be.

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« Reply #93 on: January 21, 2005, 07:01:43 PM »
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Quote from: Myxomatosis
There is even a story of possible redemption in the black getaway driver just out of prison. He is faced with a decision. Stay clean and keep working for his dictator boss, or get back in the action and give in to the only thing he can understand being good at and the only people who accept and respect him.


Even though I'm just quoting this part, Myxomatosis does well to go the gauntlet of explaining all the situations that mattered to him. He felt the themes of the storyline bleed through. I never did and especially this one part here. As put here, this one supporting story could be its own film with the all the different notes it hits. What's always shocking is how little time in the movie is actually given to his story. Saying he is a supporting character even feels like too much. It almost feels like a cameo but with a little more to it and all of a sudden, he's involved in the heist and dead like that. Nothing more to be commented on. Thats the overall feeling I got from the story. Earnesty in attempt, but never enough time spent to everything it wanted to cover so all I could appreciate it for was what it is at its lowest dimension; an action film.

Ghostboy

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« Reply #94 on: January 21, 2005, 08:22:56 PM »
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Wouldn't you say, though, that the very fact that so little time was spent on it and yet the themes of that subplot were still so clearly evoked is a testament to the skill of the storytelling? Weak writing/directing would have thrown that subplot in and let it sink, but Mann, although keeping it extrememly minimal, also makes it memorable amidst so many other subplots -- to the point that one might even think it's more substantial than it actually is? I think that's quite skillful.

Myxo

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« Reply #95 on: January 21, 2005, 08:35:31 PM »
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Let's not forget that Mann also wrote Heat. That's really saying something when you consider films such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon were directed by and written by different people.

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« Reply #96 on: January 21, 2005, 09:40:19 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
Wouldn't you say, though, that the very fact that so little time was spent on it and yet the themes of that subplot were still so clearly evoked is a testament to the skill of the storytelling?


Honestly, no. It actually sank for me. Up until Myxomatosis (you need an easier name to spell) clarified the whole ramifications facing that character, all I remembered was just the scenes and thats it. Filmmakers can throw in subplots, spin them in so many ways and have the audience remember them and still be awful. Having something simply stay in memory does not attest to it being of quality. I'm forced to stick to my points, but I will say that even though I find Michael Mann to be overrated, I am always hopeful his next film will be a good one. He did it with The Insider.

Ghostboy

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« Reply #97 on: January 21, 2005, 09:51:57 PM »
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What did you think of Last Of The Mohicans?

(redirect if necessary)

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« Reply #98 on: January 21, 2005, 09:53:17 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
What did you think of Last Of The Mohicans?

(redirect if necessary)


Missed that one. Should I give it a rental?

Ghostboy

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« Reply #99 on: January 21, 2005, 09:56:22 PM »
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Well, using my own taste as a barometer, the answer would be a resounding yes. It's still my favorite Michael Mann film (even if The Insider is better), and one of the very best historical action films I've ever seen.

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« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2005, 10:00:27 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
Well, using my own taste as a barometer, the answer would be a resounding yes. It's still my favorite Michael Mann film (even if The Insider is better), and one of the very best historical action films I've ever seen.


I'll rent it next then. Your taste isn't a bad barometer for me at all. Your initial rave about Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...Spring got me to blind buy because I couldn't find it for rental.

Myxo

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« Reply #101 on: January 21, 2005, 11:49:45 PM »
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Oh and did I mention Heat has quite possibly the best shootout scene in any action film?

We used to use the DVD to test our sound systems at the electronics store I worked at. If we were trying to sell a package big screen and sound system it was always either,

A. Matrix lobby scene..
B. Heat gunfight in the streets..

:-D

cine

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« Reply #102 on: January 21, 2005, 11:53:38 PM »
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Heat is the best film of the 90's.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #103 on: January 22, 2005, 02:13:42 AM »
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Quote from: cinephile
Heat is the best film of the 90's.


give me a fucking break
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ono

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« Reply #104 on: January 22, 2005, 02:18:53 AM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: cinephile
Heat is the best film of the 90's.


give me a fucking break

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