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Heat (1995)

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NOTE: This commentary track is only on the February 2005 Special Edition release.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Screenwriter/director Michael Mann Rating:7.9/10 (21 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on March 4th, 2005:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Mann contributes a characteristically solid audio commentary. He provides a lot of details into the backgrounds and motivations of the filmís characters. Surprisingly, there is very little overlap from the featurettes as Mannís comments start off strong but become more infrequent after the 90 minute mark.
Reviewed by Bickle, T. on May 19th, 2009:Find all reviews by Bickle, T.
Expect a lot of story details about the genesis of the film. But during the scenes youíre most curious about (ie the coffee shop, the post bank robbery shoot out), Mann delivers a plethora of solid, useful information.
Reviewed by Uniblab on November 2nd, 2009:Find all reviews by Uniblab
Unfortunately, Michael Mann's talents as a screenwriter/director don't necessarily carry over into his role as a commentator. There is indeed some interesting information, and he particularly succeeds in dispelling any notions of moral equivalence between the protagonists, that erroneously come up wherever the movie is reviewed or discussed. The sad thing is that these insightful tidbits get lost amid a huge amount of typical Michael Mann gibberish, whether it be a disproportionate display of his encyclopedic knowledge of both the police and criminal classes, superfluous descriptions of Los Angeles geography, and even thorough social and psychological profiles of his characters (?!)... Those aspects of his commentary frequently turn into plain scene narration/description, which is not something particularly pleasant to listen to for the movie's epic runtime.
Reviewed by badge on December 13th, 2009:Find all reviews by badge
A nearly-three-hour commentary of HEAT would be a daunting task for anyone, so it's no surprise that this doesn't fire on all cylinders - Mann is clearly a literate, informed film-maker but his soft-spoken delivery doesn't lend itself well to an audio track this long. Surprisingly, given his technical perfectionism, he says almost nothing about the practical elements of the film and spends nearly the entire track discussing, analysing, and profiling its characters, their motivation, and decisions. It's more the kind of thing you'd hear actors talking about. He probably didn't want to repeat the information imparted in the DVD bonus features, but I still would've liked to have heard a bit about the genesis/development of the film and his directorial decisions...
Reviewed by grimjack on May 18th, 2022:Find all reviews by grimjack
I wasnt quite sure how to describe what bugged me listening to it, until I saw these other reviews. Mann is really soft spoken here. To the point that it sounds like he doesnt want to disturb us from listening to the film. That is not too unusual with other commentaries, but Mann is usually much more excited during his wonderful commentaries. Maybe because he recorded this ten years after finishing it, he was remembering some of it, and in awe of some specific moments.

But still, this is not a bad track by any means, and well worth listening to. You get the feeling the film worked out exactly as he wanted it to. Maybe even better, as this was his second try at the script after the tv pilot that was about 40 percent the same.

Throughout he points out various background motivations not in the script, emphasizes why certain locations were used and what they meant, idolizes many moments of acting, and talks about the real life instances that inspired a lot of the film.

It is very educational, and worth listening to, whether you love the film, or just admire it.