Heat Review

Heat is the latest film I’ve seen as I build up my Robert De Niro resume, and it’s the best one yet. The more I watch the more I realise I’ve been missing out on his body of work.

Simultaneously sprawling yet focused, Director Michael Mann crafts a story bristling with details. A hand movement here, a gentle touch there; it can be very subtle. Then there’s action the calibre of which is rarely seen on film. The main robbery and shootout is a thing of beauty. With realistic movement, and microphones picking up the real on-set sounds, it’s extremely immersive. You always know where you are in the scene. Val KIlmer even does a magazine change that’s so good it’s used in training videos.

Heat is a brilliant piece of cinema; a rare moment where everyone involved arrived with their A-game and delivered. Sure, it’s cops and robbers, but there’s so much more to it. There’s a cat and mouse element to it all, but it’s just as much about how the life these men lead affects those around them. The choices they’ve made have made them great at their jobs, but pretty terrible when it comes to relationships. Their initial magnetism gives way to resentment and longing; longing for something these macho men just can’t provide. Because when it comes to it, they’re defined by their jobs, and they’ll drop anything that gets in the way.

I’ve read up a lot on The Dark Knight, and it often came up how Heat inspired Nolan’s first sequel. Watching the film now (I did see it as a youngster, much like Taxi Driver), those inspirations are clear. Both stories contain a large cast, with a linear but multi-threaded story taking place across one city. They also both question the balance of duty vs love, and they both contain a cracking central scene between the good and bad guy. Even the black/blue colour scheme matches up. I could rate Heat highly just for giving me an amazing Batman film, but it’s such a good film on its own merit.

If you haven’t seen Heat, please do. In their prime De Niro/Pacino. A shootout to rival all shootouts, and a tightly written story that tackles adult subjects in all their shades of grey. A crime epic.

The Irishman Review

I’m jumping straight in and addressing the length of this film first. The Irishman is long; at 209 minutes it’s the sort of piece you need to make a commitment to. Personally, I don’t usually have over three hours to give to something in one hit. And I care not a jot for anyone…

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Ronin Review

An evocative title, with De Niro and Reno leading the way. An Audi S8 tearing through Paris, and a motley crew of characters with murky pasts and clashing motives. Ronin is a very cool film. Ronin focuses on a team of mercenaries tasked with stealing a mysterious briefcase. Their backgrounds are questionable, with most…

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Taxi Driver Review

It’s the 1970’s, and having returned from Vietnam, Travis Buckle finds himself at a loss. New York provides a broken and hellish backdrop to his lack of meaning. Struggling to sleep, he takes up a job as taxi driver, and ultimately resolves to fix what he sees as corruption in society. Bickle’s narration reminds…

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The King of Comedy Review

Having recently seen Joker I’ve heard a lot about the films that may have influenced it. So I’ve made an effort to watch some of them. Turns out that if I’d seen The King of Comedy first, I’d have been pointing at the cinema screen for all kinds of references. One thing this film…

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