Monday, November 30, 2009

January 16, 2010 - Carlito's Way & Heat

Back in the day when we made it out to the theaters to see new movies, these two were both must-see opening night screenings. You'd be hard pressed to find two greater contemporary crime dramas than Carlito's Way and Heat. These films represent Brian DePalma and Michael Mann's greatest achievements as directors, and make for a welcome double feature in our 40/40 program.

In my opinion Pacino has never been better than as Carlito Brigante. Yes, even better than Michael Corleone. The film is beautifully shot and paced, and even manages to instill an appreciation for the 70s Disco used to help establish the period. From it's opening shot to the thrilling climax in Grand Central Station, DePalma uses all the right techniques to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The pairing of Pacino and DeNiro in Heat was by no means a sure thing (Righteous Kill, anyone?), but in this case it worked brilliantly. DeNiro is at the top of his form, and while Pacino occasionally reverts to the screaming he's become famous for of late, he does a fine job alongside a very impressive supporting cast. Michael Mann has a reputation for making films that are beautiful to look at, and while he's done that with Heat, he's done much more. You'd never guess it was a near shot-for-shot remake of an original TV movie he had directed years earlier. While it has a number of impressive set pieces, it's worth seeing on the big screen for the bank robbery alone.

My only caveat about this particular screening - if you have an aversion to gunshots, you might want to avoid this night. It's going to be loud. In a good way.

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