Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Heat review.

Last night (just for a change) I dreamed about a film I haven't seen, containing an actor I'm 100% sure isn't in it...

By the by, I've abandoned the star ratings. They're pointless, and mean nothing - I don't really expect to ever see another 5 star film anyway. And they can't express any more than the review does - after all, lots of bad films are very enjoyable, and similarly lots of good films can bounce straight off.

On that note, let's progress to a review of Heat - a name I had scrawled on the back of my hand for a day or so. Because it was very very good. And mostly, it has bounced off. The below review is pretty much spoiler free.

"Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner"

I don't normally do quoting - I just really liked that one. It's a nice mantra to live by - not that I ever could.

Perhaps it was just our TV lopping the edges off the film - I hope not, as the edgy effect caused by people falling out of shot all the time was really nice.

The cinematography, while not being brown, had at least had thought put into it - cold blues, concrete, hard and inscrutable as the men who we followed. This did produce an uncomfortable problem - a total lack of emotion. Both our heroes were pretty unpleasant, totally unreadable and the unloving style did nothing to improve on this. Add to that the way the audience's sympathy was being yanked one way and another, and it failed to engage me emotionally.

The music was 70% Blade Runner with the occasional Pink Floyd moment thrown in for good measure. This continued to produce the effect in the paragraph above - icy synths washing over the action. I'm not sure enough was done with needed to be louder, methinks. It was a little too bland - there really needed to be a really cool bit of music done louder, Lost Boys style. Mind you, as I was struggling with the mumbly dialogue already...

I was a little taken aback when I discovered it was 3 hours long, and I'm sure some of the subplots could have been lost. I don't think Natalie Portman's squirt was totally necessary. I know Vincent has marital difficulties - but she wasn't one of them. She was his girl's ex-husband's marital difficulty, if you understand me. I don't see any story point in seeing the long-haired guy and the slut. That would have shaved about 20 mins off the plot. I didn't mind the length - I adore long films - but the extra time could have been better spent.

Looking back, it seems it's all complaints. That's not entirely true as it was pretty gripping once I got into it.

There were lots of great moments. The blonde standing on the balcony waiting for Chris. Timing how long the police are going to take with a stopwatch. Abandoning a break-in on a hunch. I thought the Neil's romance was really sweet.

Ah yes. That cup of coffee, right? Cos all the best bits were when they were together - especially the first time their eyes "meet", which was electrifying. I liked Neil's smile when Vincent worked out he was spying on them. In fact, That Conversation just got better and better and that's what really drew me into the film. They really open up to each other, which is pretty sweet in a round about way. Funny how honest you can be to somebody who wants you dead.

Dear Al - who had my undivided attention right from his first scene *ahem* - didn't quite glitter as much as I'd hoped. However, he did get all the good lines - "Hi Honey, guess what? I walked into this house today where this junkie asshole just fried his baby in a microwave because it was crying too loud, so let me share that with you" and a few others I don't recall, delivered with weary sarcasm.

And I'm starting to get Robert de Niro a bit. I've seen Brazil and GFII and while he was good in both, in neither did he actually shine - certainly not enough to merit his living-god status. His moment of the film was undoubtedly in the car near the end, straight after putting the phone down. Whoa. You can see the train of thought. It's almost like there's a line for acting/directing/whatever - if it's really bad, you can really tell. Then it passes through mediocre and not-too-bad unnoticed, because when it's superlatively great you can tell also.

The end? Well, I mentioned that my sympathy flickered all the way through - in the last five minutes was unbearably tense, and I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen - and when it did, it really for the very end, the very very end, that gesture...well as Heat is a serious wuss-free-zone crime flick, I probably shouldn't confess to tears. I was really really touched. It's the type of finale that took me a nap and 4 hours the next morning to get over.

All in all, I would like to see it again - I only started to get into it half way through, and was only really involved, like, five minutes before the end. It was very good, the direction was brilliant and I can find very few flaws with it - it just didn't affect me all that much. Final 30 secs aside. I had a look at the imdb board and the passion some of these people have for this film is wonderfully infectious.

PS - today I was overjoyed to add the wonderful Memento theme to my music streaming thing...


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