Tuesday, December 19, 2006

List of the Week: Best Michael Mann Films, Number Three

List this week is of the three best Michael Mann films. Mann is one of my favorite directors.

Number three on the list is "Heat." "Heat" could have been a classic. Instead it is a near-miss. Pacino, who is my favorite actor, blows it. His performance is a little too hyper, a little too much "Scent of a Woman." Interesting note, they deleted a few scenes from the film of Pacino's character, Vincent Hanna, getting high on coke. Pacino crafted the performance around this, which, of course, explains why he is so hyper in some scenes. I don't know why they deleted the scenes, although my best guess is that the studios didn't want the "hero" of the film to be a cokehead. Anway, without that context the character of Hanna comes off as a little goofy in some scenes.

The second mistake is that DeNiro and Pacino are only in the film, together, for two minutes. Here is a three hour film, with the two best actors of their generation, and you only put them in one scene.

But the good far outweighs the bad. Music, cinematography, atmosphere are all outstanding. These are really the staples of any Michael Mann film. Performances, especially by Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, and DeNiro are great.

And, of course, the legendary bank robbery/shootout:

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