Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review Four Heat

If ever there were two dicks I wanted to suck…well it would be my own I suppose. Blasted rib cage always getting in the way! If only there were more retards around I might never be thwarted in my quest for cock slurpage again, for all of my ribs would be broken. In case you were curious, no I will never let that go. The second dick lives in my butt hole and drives me forward, so that I may doll out swift justice to bad movies. It’s also hard to get at. Not to mention with my strict diet of whiskey and disdain, I can only imagine the variety flavors that have been marinating down there over the years. It probably tastes like ramen noodles boiled in left over Holocaust, mixed in with Roseanne Barr’s career (that’s a metaphor for shit. You can tell I went to college because I use metaphors for shit), and maybe a dash of male inadequacy.  I suppose there’s also plenty of spunk from when I cum all over myself after writing one of these reviews. Yes folks, we’re firing on all cylinders, and from both barrels.

The next set of dicks I would suck, after my own, would without a doubt belong to Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. It’s a man sandwich I would love to be a part of. With that being said, what else can I say really about the movie Heat? I honestly really like this movie. Yes friends, I at times actually like stuff, in case you thought it impossible. Though I would argue that I always like stuff, which is why I’m so hard on everything. I hadn’t seen the movie Heat in a very long time, and after the rewatch it quickly became one of my favorites again, and should be acknowledged as one of the best in films in the last twenty years. Now before we start sucking each other’s dicks, this movie is not without its flaws, because you see friends, no matter how good something is, people aka writers/directors, will always do that thing they do so well. That thing is being fucking bad at shit. Hollywood folks writing or directing anything is like adding the Biathlon to the Special Olympics. It’s messy, hard to watch, and by the end no one is left to hand out hugs.  So who directed this classic, almost masterpiece of filmmaking? Well it was Michael Mann…FUCK! I might have to take out my second dick and stick it in my eye. Here we go.

I’ll start by saying Michael Mann is not a bad director. He’s most famous for stuff like, Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Insider (1999), Ali (2001), and Public Enemies (2009). He also bestowed upon us the most excellent remake that was Miami Vice (2006)…oh wait…I keep a vomit bucket next to my computer for when I use the words remake and excellent in the same sentence. Though I suppose it’s not a true remake, and more of a television adaptation made sixteen years after the show went off the fucking air. Still I’ll forgive Mann for this since he is credited in one hundred and eleven episodes of the television show, and by credited I mean as the executive producer, which is a fancy way of saying he gave the show money. Good one. Though let us not forget one of my favorite sci-fi movies ever, The Keep (1983). This is a really fun movie to watch if you like ridiculous old sci-fi and I would strongly recommend it. It’s about a demon who is unleashed in this old castle being guarded by the Nazis during the war. Not only are the effects hilarious (but still pretty fucking good for 1983) but the cast will make you shit.  It has Jürgen Prochnow from Das Boot (1981) and The English Patient (1996), Gabriel Byrne from The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) and The Usual Suspects (1994), Scott Glenn from Apocalypse Now (1979) and Silence of the Lambs (1991), and last but not least Ian McKellen! Fucking Magneto Mc Gandalf face! Casts that make you shit will be important for later.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve brought any of this up in the first place since none of these movies are bad, and I can honestly say they aren’t. What they are is long. Michael Mann understands how to tell a story for the most part I would argue, but I would also argue he needs help with his structure. Michael Mann has a difficult time telling a story in what most audiences would consider a reasonable amount of time. The majority of movie-goers feel comfortable watching a movie that is 90 to 120 minutes in length. Now of course I don’t have anything to back that up really, but just think of your asses in those movie chairs after two hours and you’ll know I’m right. After two hours most people turn into the Sloth victim from SEVEN (1995), groaning and screaming with bedsore all over their bodies. Probably looks like a hooker’s vagina after a weekend at Sturgis. Technology has ruined everyone’s imaginations and attention spans. Here’s what we have: Heat 170 minutes. The Insider 157 minutes. Public Enemies 140 minutes. Ali 157 minutes. The exception is Mohicans at 112 minutes, but really when Daniel Day-Lewis is in your movie, you don’t even need a script. Just let him run around and do stuff. There Will Be Blood (2007) was 158 and minutes and I can honestly say I was very entertain, entranced even, the entire time. It was a combination of Daniel Day and Paul Thomas Andersons directorial style. Then there’s movies like Braveheart (1995) which is 177 minutes, or Lord of the Rings…well those movies are all fucking long. The point is, audiences can sit through long ass shit and not complain if the film is paced correctly and the actors are utilized appropriately, which I would argue Mann is close to doing.

In his defense, however, I’ll say that for some writers it’s hard to write short things. Really bad writers have trouble writing enough, which is why there are so many movies where the characters are boring and don’t do anything, and why so much time is filled up with explosions and stuff of that nature. Then there are less terrible writers that struggle profoundly with precise writing. Getting the audience through the story with such efficiency so as not to take away from the story’s artistic integrity. I myself have this problem, which is why all my friends do is complain about how long my reviews and other things I write are. If things are too long for you guys then just stop reading and watching. My only hope is that you electrocute yourselves trying to insert your retarded genitals into your phones when you finally decide to fuck your Angry Birds. Assholes. If I were ever to start my own business, it would be a nonprofit organization dedicated to the manufacturing and distribution of personal sized fires for all you fucking troglodytes to die in. Here’s your fire, now go die in it. If mass audiences can’t read something that’s longer then a Facebook post then how the fuck can they ever read a regular book? Oh yeah, huge print, and stories about kids that can’t stop touching their wands, or vampire that spend eternity in puberty unable to masturbate. I would like J.K. Rowling and  Stephenie Meyer to know that they ruined an entire generation of people, much like every war ever. I can only hope Jesus finds it in his heart to resurrect himself and the mighty Tyrannosaurus so that they might smite you both from this earth by devouring you and those smoldering, maggot infested loins that no doubt spewed the abominations that are your books made into movies. I hope that inside the T-Rex are all the self-exploding Muslims that discovered there actually were no virgins in heaven, post death, waiting to rape you as you all dissolve in stomach acid. Don’t worry though, because when you get to Hell, I will have already killed myself and be there waiting to fuck you both with Satan’s dildo. It’s like a cross between that spear-like strap on from Seven mixed with Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s not small either. Well shit, there I go not being precise again. Oh well…to the cast!

This movie was made for Pacino and De Niro, so much to the point that I’d argue that Mann had them both in mind while he was writing it. Not only are they both very safe casting choices, because people will always go see a movie with either of them in it, but Pacino and De Niro are both very talented actors that will no doubt enhance a story just by being there. Aside from that, however, the cast is nothing but hilarious recognizable faces. The movie is literally packed full of famous people ranging from the ultra famous main characters to the very mediocre “why is this person in this movie” characters. Watching this movie went something like this for me:

Jesus is that Val Kilmer? His haircut is terrible! Oh my god is that John Voight? Why the fuck does he have a mullet?! Voight’s been in stuff like Deliverance (1972) and Mission Impossible (1996). Shit, is that Tom Siezmore? You might recall him from Saving Private Faggot…err Ryan (1998) or Natural Born Killers (1994) as the detective. Is Al Pacino’s character really married to Diane Venora? Didn’t she play Gloria Capulet in the Shakespeare adaptation Romeo + Juliet (1996)? Oh no Pacino’s touching her boobs! Oh my, De Niro’s girlfriend is Amy Brenneman. She was in Daylight (1996). I love Stallone movies! Lord De Niro touches her boobs too! Val Kilmer’s terrible haircut is married to Ashley Judd for some reason. She made at least two shitty movies with Morgan Freeman, and showed us her boobs in Double Jeopardy (1999). Horay boobs! Wait what? Mykelti Williamson works for Pacino? He loved shrimp in Forest Gump (1994). Wes Studi also works for Pacino. He’s cast as every Native American character ever, including last of the Mohicans. Oh sweet Jesus, Ted Levine has an awful mustache. He was Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs (1991). I’d fuck me. Isn’t he on Monk now? Yeah, I’d fuck me. Then there’s black guy number 47…err I mean Dennis Haysbert. You might remember him as the voodoo guy from Major League (1989). I think he was on 24 as well. Hold on let me get this straight…Al Pacino’s daughter is played by Natalie Portman, but like seventeen years ago? She walks into the bedroom after Pacino gets done balling her mother. I’ve dreamed of pornos that start like that. Tom Noonan is in the movie for like five seconds. He tried to hide from me under a huge hideous beard. You can’t hide from me Tom Noonan, you were the bad guy in Last Action Fucking Hero (1993) for fuck’s sake. I almost shit when Hank Azaria shows up for some reason. He’s the voice of Homer fucking Simpson! And he played a hilarious homo in The Birdcage (1996). Jesus Christ! Machete (2010) is in this movie? I love Danny Trejo. Then Jeremy Piven shows up. What? The guy from Entourage? What the fuck Henry Rollins! I love Henry Rollins, he’s in everything. Oh and in case you were curious, yes friends that other, other, black guy is in fact Tone Loc the rapper. Though he might have also talked to Jim Carrey’s ass in Ace Ventura: pet Detective (1994) and provided voice acting for the gila monster Goanna in FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). Let us not forget his amazing performance as Spence in Surf Ninjas (1993). The 90’s were a magical time. My butt boner definitely shifted when I noticed that the Mexican with no dialogue driving the armored car that gets shot, is also the same Mexican with almost no dialogue that gets crushed by the T-Rex in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). What’s your name!? I don’t know! Seriously though…if you’re a non-white person with no dialogue do not drive an armored car because the white people will shoot you. And for fuck's sake take your headphones off when there's fucking dinosaurs running around trying to eat you. Especially when Jeff Goldblum is your only protection. He’ll be too busy ruining Michael Critchon novels to save you. Whew!

The casting to this movie is incredible. One spooge fest after another, which is another safe play by directors. If you pack your movie with enough recognizable faces, it will distract your audience away from flaws with the film, much the way magpies get distracted by shiny objects. Or retards. Or Americans…whatever. To this movie’s credit however, there are not many flaws. So without further delay, here are ten pages about the very intricate plot as we go scene by scene.

Just kidding! We’re aiming for precision here I suppose. In actuality I don’t want to give away too much, since I would like some of you who haven’t seen this movie to go watch it. So I’m going to mention a few things I think are really awesome before I remind everyone that this movie is too long. Here goes.

The entire movie revolves around the dichotomy between Pacino and De Niro. The relationship these two characters have is brilliant. It begins very simplistically, the cop versus the robber, but as the story progresses it becomes so much more. Through some very well thought out and executed dialogue, the audience gets to know these characters very well, and it’s made clear that these men are actually very similar. The conversations Pacino and De Niro have with each other and about each other make the entire movie. Also, to Mann’s credit, he found a way to balance action and dialogue almost perfectly. I might argue the movie needed a little more action here and there, but I’d also say that’s just a side effect of how long the film is, but I’ll get to that shortly. The best scene in the whole movie is when Pacino follows De Niro and pulls him over on the road. Instead of arresting him or inciting a conflict, Pacino invites De Niro to coffee and they chit chat about what kind of men they are. At this point the audience confirms without a doubt that these men are actually very similar if not the same. It’s implied that they both could have easily been each other if circumstances were different. As I said, this is brilliant. The most interesting good guy/bad guy relationships are when the characters are friends in some way or they have respect for each other and show empathy, in one aspect or another, for the other’s cause. This blurs the lines from traditional stereotypes of the flawless good guy versus the super evil bad guy. It implies that there is no good or bad, just people and their choices. 

Consider stuff like Professor X and Magneto, Darth Vader and Luke, or even the Joker and Batman. These are some of the most famous characters of all time, and no matter what form they take (movies, books, comics, etc.) their relationships are more or less the same. Professor X and Magneto were good friends but circumstance tore them apart. Their experiences were so closely intertwined the audience knows how easy it would have been for them to trade places if things had gone differently earlier in their lives. Luke eventually comes to understand how his father fell to the dark side, and respects it for what a large threat it is for him as well, if he isn’t careful with his choices. Then Darth Vader saves Luke at the end, because he loves his son after all, and knows that his choices were the wrong ones. This gives Luke a second chance at life. In The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker describes his relationship with bat man as an immoveable object meeting an unstoppable force. Another one of my favorite lines comes from a Batman comic, wish I could remember which, but it starts with a conversation between Two-Face and the Joker. Two-Face says he can’t wait to get Batman so he can take off his mask and see his real face. The Joker tells him he’s stupid because the bat mask is Batman’s real face. While they may be opposing forces the Joker really understands Batman, and to say Batman doesn’t understand the nature of evil would just be incorrect in every sense of things. This is excellent storytelling, because  complicated relationships like these make it very difficult for the plot to drive itself when convenient to the story. In the case of Heat, the characters are very dynamic, and it is 100% their choices that drive the story, which is how it always should be. I almost posted a clip of the coffee shop scene, but as I said, I like this movie and I’d prefer you all just go watch it if you haven’t already. So here’s a few things that happen.

The movie begins with an armored car robbery. It starts with a bang and draws you in almost immediately. What I really like about it is that the scene is not over done. The action is appropriate yet captivating. One of my least favorite things about action movies is just nonstop explosions and stupid shit that doesn’t matter, meant to entertain stupid people that never learned how to read. Too much action takes all the suspense and imagination out of film. Not to mention it leaves almost no room for character development, which is what really makes the story. So again, Michael Bay I would do awful things to you if I could. Way worse than those book writing whores.  They may be ruining literature, but at least they’re trying. All Bay does is shit vomit for mongoloids to zamboni off the ground with their assholes aka their faces. Action movies should take a lesson from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). In my opinion, it’s the best action movie ever made. T2 has the perfect mix of action and characters. The movie is packed full of some of the coolest action scenes ever filmed. Not only have they withstood the test of time, but imagine how extra awesome they were in the early 90’s when computer animation was such a new thing, and stunts were so fucking important. In between all these amazing action sequences there is loads of dialogue to break it all up and set the pacing. Not only that, but it provides fantastic character development to move everything along. By the end of the movie the audience knows without a doubt how much John Conner cares about the Terminator, because we spend the whole movie watching their relationship grow. Then shit explodes a lot, and it’s awesome. Heat does almost this exact same thing.

So De Niro and his crew rob an armored car, and we know almost immediately that De Niro is a precise criminal free of greed. They had a contract to steal something very specific from the car and they succeed, leaving the rest of the loot behind. We also know De Niro isn’t a “monster”, which is an easy stereotype for bad guys to inherit. We know this because he didn’t want to harm the guards. The guards are killed anyway, by one of the men in the crew who is very unstable. This gets reconciled with the audience because we know the man responsible is not a regular member of De Niro’s crew. He’s just some guy they picked up last minute on a trial. The reconciliation continues when De Niro chastises the man for his actions, because that’s just not how they roll. De Niro does, however, lose his temper and tries to kill this guy. His name is Waingro I believe. Waingro gets away which starts a whole other plot twist that comes back to get De Niro in the end. These scenes also establish De Niro as a level headed man, but also a merciless leader. The fact that De Niro loses his temper and tries to kill Waingro, effects the entire story in a ripple effect, which is exactly what I mean when I talk about character driven plots. If De Niro hadn’t of lost his temper and just kicked Waingro out of the crew instead of trying to kill him, then Waingro probably wouldn’t have come back to fuck them later. De Niro’s later decisions effect the plot in a similar way. I won’t list them all because you should just watch the movie with these tidbits in mind. They aren’t hard to spot.

So now Pacino is on the case, and I must say he’s on fire during the whole movie. His performance is explosive, as usual. His line delivery is very entertaining because he will begin lines very calmly in a lot of cases, then scream at whoever he is speaking to intimidate them and really assert himself as the authority figure. This is very similar to how De Niro runs his crew. The dichotomy continues with the relationships both characters have with their respective women. We see Pacino’s relationship with his wife deteriorate through the whole film, as De Niro’s starts to flower with a woman he just met. Pacino’s wife is furious all the time because Pacino is such a dedicated detective and is very emotionally unavailable at all times. He’s also gone a lot because of how demanding his job is. The audience is reminded that Pacino legitimately loves his family, because of the soft and caring interactions with his step-daughter. Eventually he drives her into the arms of another man. He’s still available to his family, however, later on when they really need him. De Niro utters this line a few times in the movie, “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.” Then through random events he meets a woman and falls in love with her. It’s fast and impetuous, but it’s the kind of love affair I would argue a lot of people can relate to. It revolves around those first intense moments of fresh desire. There’s a great scene that reflects this very well when we see De Niro and his crew having a dinner together, and everyone has brought their wives and girlfriends. They’re like a family. The scene is mirrored when Pacino and his cops do the same thing. Suddenly the lines between good guys and bad guys isn’t so clear. This is a story about two men trying to do what they think is best, in accordance to how they’ve always lived. It isn’t about good or bad, it’s about carving a path the only way you know how. The fact that they meet each other provides both characters with clarity. They realize how easily their lives could have gone differently, yet at the same time fortifies their resolve since they know they’ve come too far to go back. Here’s a quote I think sums it all up.

Pacino: What are you, a monk?
De Niro: I have a woman.
Pacino: What do you tell her?
De Niro: I tell her I'm a salesman.
Pacino:  So then, if you spot me coming around that corner... you just gonna walk out on this woman? Not say good bye?
De Niro: That's the discipline.
Pacino: That's pretty vacant, you know.
De Niro: Yeah, it is what it is. It's that or we both better go do something else, pal.
Pacino: I don't know how to do anything else.
De Niro: Neither do I.
Pacino: I don't much want to either.
De Niro: Neither do I.

Great writing. As I’ve said, there are so many examples of all the stuff I’ve been talking about, but instead of going through them all like I have in the last couple reviews, I just want you to get an idea of what I’m talking about so when you watch it, you’ll be able to spot these things. So here’s what I don’t like about this movie, as quickly as possible.

I’ve already confessed that I think Michael Mann is a good writer. His dialogue and storytelling seem very solid to me, but he is not very precise in a lot of cases. The movie is too long, plain and simple. To be more specific, no matter how captivated I am by the characters and the dialogue, and the cool actions scenes, there’s just too much crammed into this film that could easily be cut. In a lot of cases it causes the movie to drag on, and honestly it makes the movie pretty fucking boring at times. Here’s a few examples: First and foremost, Ashley Judd shouldn’t even be in the movie. The Val Kilmer/Ashley Judd sub plot, while serves as a mild character device for De Niro, could very easily be taken out without losing anything.  Judd’s entire character could be replaced with a few lines about her character and have the same effect. Honestly, as the audience, I don’t give a shit that Judd is mad at Kilmer, or they’re having problems. The movie isn’t about them. My theory is that they were both pretty famous in the 90’s so Mann probably felt obligated to give them more scenes and lines. Nope! They’re boring, cut them out. In the middle if the movie there’s a huge firefight scene, that takes place in the middle of crowded L.A. streets and Kilmer is shot. In my opinion the movie should have ended not long after this. Instead the movie drags on for almost another hour, where the characters more or less drive around and get frustrated. Kilmer is shot, but not killed during the firefight, which spawns quite a few scenes with him and Judd which are really tedious to watch, because she’s not interesting. Kilmer should have been killed during the gun fight and the audience would have had just as much closure with his character. And since my version doesn’t even have Ashley Judd, we’re not worried about her either. That saves the viewers about twenty-five minutes of boredom. 

De Niro also goes on a revenge spree during the last hour. A few lines of dialogue could also replace much of this, because while the scenes are adequate for their action, they’re still pretty pointless to the story. Not to mention, De Niro spends so much time talking about being able to walk away from anything when the heat is coming down, how am I supposed to buy that killing various people for revenge, while he’s supposed to be fleeing from the cops is prudent at all? It’s stupid actually. I realize it’s also to serve as a character device, but I’d still argue that if you cut all those scenes out and just stick with the core scenes and the ending as is, where De Niro is forced to walk away when he literally sees Pacino coming around the corner (again I’m trying not to give too much away), nothing is lost. The integrity of the story stays the same, the same points get across. The same goes for the extra scenes with Pacino’s family. I think they should have stopped after Pacino finds her with another man, and walks out with his TV, and not even bothered with all the drawn out scenes at the hospital. If all this stuff is taken out the movie is probably two hours instead of three, and remains awesome. Instead it’s awesome with a side of, “Ugh! Why is this still going?” All one would have to do is alter the setting of the last scene a bit where Pacino and De Niro have their final showdown.

All in all, I think Heat is a really good movie, but it would be an incredible movie if it was more precise and trimmed out some unnecessary stuff. It’s all up interpretation in the end I suppose, but as a person who reads and writes a lot, and watches zillions of movies, this is what I think would benefit this film most.  The characters and the dialogue are still amazing as far as I’m concerned, so watch it and decide for yourselves. I’d also take into consideration that Michael Mann has spent more time in his filmography working on television than actual movies. This would explain why his style is so long winded, because a recurring television show has so much more time to develop things,  he’d actually need those scenes I’d think should be cut.  Not bad sir, not bad. Personally I blame it on the four episodes of Starsky and Hutch he wrote back in 70’s. Try doing that without hookers and a garbage bag of blow. GOOD ONE!

No comments:

Post a Comment