Heat ★★★★½

The chunky cell phones and baggy suits date it, but otherwise this thing still feels incredibly vibrant and alive. Its use of film stock to capture the liminal light that Mann seems so fixated on in retrospect points so clearly to his switch to digital. There’s a scene with DeNiro and Brenneman running up a grassy hillside in early dawn that’s both the peak and end of what Mann would think can be captured on celluloid. It’s insanely gorgeous and dreamlike (and I noticed this time how scenes between these two actors are purposefully dreamlike) but also artificial and constricted in a way that seems foreign to similar scenes Mann would capture in later films. As I said in my review of “Miami Vice,” this feels like the conclusion of Mann’s modernist mode.

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