Amph 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die: Now Disc. "Heat" (1995)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Zaz, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    If Gibson were Shakespeare, I might give him a pass. But "Braveheart" is just a bunch of crappy cliches and anachronisms, which caters to his audience in a very unsublte way.

    One of the worst elements is the concept of nationalism, which was completely unknown at the time. Besides Gibson's narcissism and the inescapable homo-erotic element (which *always* seems to be present in actor-director movies), it's deeply stupid, leadenly paced (lingering close-ups of its star while he has an idea, which seems to take *eons*) and just plain egregious.
  2. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    I agree that Braveheart is simplistic nonsense and doesn't do its subject justice, but I just take issue with the idea that a narrative work dealing with a historical event must hew closely to he facts. Something greater can be achieved (and Braveheart isn't it, as I say).
  3. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Perhaps I need to make a distinction: I object to what they did with the facts in this case.
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Four Dot does good to bring up Spartacus. That's really an example of a film doing everything that Braveheart didn't quite manage and being, in the end, quite perfect. I recently saw Spartacus again on the big screen and it's still the gold standard, I think. It's inspired a lot of imitations, some of which work better than others. Braveheart and Gladiator are the two most obvious examples, I suppose, but there are others. Nothing touches Spartacus; nothing comes close.
  5. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Gladiator almost makes the exact same mistake as Braveheart, although to a lesser degree - the oppressors are just villains, nothing more. I guess Phoenix's performance is intruiging and all, but what the hell is Derek Jacobi doing? Is it just a reference to I, Claudius? They suggest something and then don't deliver on it.

    The Romans in Spartacus are the most interesting thing in the film. Crassus has this insane, almost sexual fascination with the sanctity of Rome (and is all over the shop with his sexuality otherwise), obsessed with controling every facet of his environment and ruthlessly destroying anything that invades his world (a dagger straight into the back of Woody Strode's neck).

    Gracchus similarly loves Rome, and is almost resigned to the inevitable change, while fighting it in his own way. Caesar is millitant and naieve, Batiatus has no concept of honour or nobility and wants to exploit everything he touches ruthlessly. What you get as a product is a world full of people with strong perspectives that are brought to the fore by the actions of Spartacus and his slaves, and although they are the adversaries to the hero(es), you get a vivid picture of why and how they respond in any given way. There's a ripple effect that can turn a "good" action in, say, Metapontum, into a "bad" action in Rome. Cause and effect is really strongly rendered in the film, which is one of its most appealing aspects.
  6. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Nov 4, 1998
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    I've realised that Bravheart is a 50/50 film. Half the times I watch it I can ignore all the things that annoys me and enjoy it as some kind of romantic adventure film, half the time I'm just sitting there cringing. Now my main issue isn't the telling of the historical events themselves. I am an historian, but I'm simply not good enough when it comes to English/Scottish history. No the thing I hate is that they managed to make the whole film feel so unmedieaval. The setting, the environments, the way people act and think, for example the whole "nationalism" issue. The film might have worked better if they had slapped a "fantasy" label on it instead of trying to show what life in the Middle Ages was like.
  7. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

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    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I definitely agree with Obi Anne on the setting. Everything about the time frame as medieval is just off.
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Phoenix's performance in Gladiator is one of the worst performances I think I've ever seen. He's really completely terrible and not at all interesting to me. Contrasted with Olivier's turn as Crassus . . . I mean, wow. It's Olivier's best performance, I think, and he's still the most interesting character in the movie to me. There are all these little scenes that just leave you reveling in the depth of the character.

    There's that moment when he pauses in the Senate foyer to listen to Gracchus rage against him. Olivier is magnificent in that moment. It's hard to really know what exactly Crassus is feeling or thinking at that moment. And then the climax of the film is pretty gripping, when Crassus finally confronts Spartacus face to face and you realize that Crassus cannot get it, he simply cannot understand what it is that Spartacus has that has made him able to do what he's done. The moment when he finally just snaps and screams at Spartacus is an astonishing moment; it's all the frustration that he's so carefully repressed throughout the film finally breaking loose. It's as though Spartacus offends him simply because he should not exist. It doesn't make sense for someone like Spartacus to exist in Crassus' world. Like you say, it's that control. It's the same kind of frustration you feel when your computer acts illogically; Crassus is seeing something act in a completely improper and illogical way, something acting in a way that it should have no reason to act. His scene with Jean Simmons in Rome is really great too; he's incredibly vulnerable in that scene, really amazingly broken and desperate to just figure out how this woman can be what she is and, by extension, how Spartacus can be what he is.

    But all the other characters are equally well sketched. I think Laughton, Gavin and even Ustinov are all very, very near career best in this movie, if they aren't actually right on it. And it's that depth of character, that real philosophical and psychological complexity, that shows up all the pretenders as what they are
  9. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Crassus suffering from IT stress? I love it.

    I don't necessarily like Phoenix in Gladiator, it's just that he's idiosyncratic and therefore more memorable than anything else in the film. They made Oliver Reed boring for God's sake.

    I think it's important that Olivier still approaches Crassus as a villain, though. The character, despite being really well fleshed out, is still vindictive and just plain horrible. One of my absolute favourite moments in the entire film is when Crassus holds up the slaves when he spots Antoninus. Olivier leans down, sets his jaw, and grins - finding Antoninus is almost compensation for having to endure the embarassment of the "I'm Spartacus" scene.

    There's a complexity to the performance, and not necessarily the writing itself that is difficult to replicate. There are so few, if any actors of that calibre who could do that, who could enrich the material (that they rewrote liberally as well - especially Ustinov). There are actors who can provide a film with much-needed spark an entertainment value, but only a handful could actually give a film subtext that the writer and director hasn't provided. Gary Oldman would be one and... I can't think of many others.
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Safe" (1995)

    US/UK 119 m. Colour

    Director: Todd Haynes

    Producer: Christine Vachon, Lauren Zalanick

    Screenplay: Todd Haynes

    Photography: Alex Nepomniaschy

    Music: Brendan Dolan, Ed Tomney

    Cast: Julianne Moore and a bunch of unknowns

    Moore plays a suburban housewife who becomes allergic--to everything.
  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
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    That's a fair point on Phoenix. There's one scene where he's so upset about how unpopular he is that he's kind of sobbing so hard he can hardly speak. It's profoundly uncomfortable and, I think, pretty awful. But I think he is kind of trying to do what you mention a bit later there: he's trying to give more depth to a character that is actually pretty shallow. I don't think he's entirely successful, but I suppose he deserves a nod for trying. Of course, Crowe does the same thing; he brings some real gravitas and emotion to a character that isn't really written as much more than an action hero.
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Toy Story" (1995)

    USA 81 m. Colour

    Director: Jon Lasseter

    Producer: Bonnie Arnold, Ralph Guggenheim

    Screenplay: Jon Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Peter Docter, Joe Ranft, Joss Whedon, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow

    Photography: N/A

    Music: Randy Newman

    Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles

    Joss Whedon?
  13. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I think Whedon was brought in as a script doctor. I remember seeing Toy Story when it came out, I must have been six years old. Obviously I didn't appreciate what a cinematic milestone it was then.

    Richard Gere. :p
  14. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I love the Toy Story movies.
  15. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    This. This should be ammended to the Toy Story Trilogy.
  16. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The original give rise to one of the great cinematic masterpieces ever-- Toy Story 2. All three are excellent, of course. The middle film is the best of all.
  17. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    I consider Toy Story 3 to be better myself, but all are worthy of this list and stand high on the Pixar pantheon. When you can get me to like a Tim Allen performance, even if it is just his voice, you've likely won me over to the whole film.
  18. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    This. Tim Allen was pitch perfect. I simply cannot imagine anyone else as the voice of Buzz Lightyear.
  19. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Casino" (1995)

    USA 178 m. Colour

    Director: Martin Scorsese

    Producer: Barbara de Fina

    Screenplay: Nicholas Pileggi

    Photography: Robert Richardson

    Music: N/A

    Cast: Robert de Niro; Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles

    Described as a 'companion piece' to "Good Fellas" at times it seems like a remake. It starts wonderfully and is full of vitality, but it peters out a bit because it's too long. And what can you make of scenes where Pesci, in a chummy voice, narrates the scene where he's murdered?

    But the central relationship, between De Niro and Stone, and his inability to understand the psyche of a prostitute that she's been and remains, is very well done. He imagines that she's going to react to love and trust positively. This guy has no clue whatsoever.
  20. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Scorseses most underrated overrated film lol. Great cast and great acting. Way too long. A real life story too. Whereas Goodfellas took parts of reality, in Casino they literally just changed the names. And i dont think its anything like a remake. It was definitely sold that way but its a very different film.
  21. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Really enjoyed "Casino", and definitely think it's one of Scorsese's best films - I agree it's wrongly compared to "Goodfellas", when in reality it's a completely different type of film (IMHO the comparison is largely because of the characters that DeNiro & Pesci portray in each film).

    One of the many reasons "Casino" is so amazing is that it's a truly great period piece - LV of the '70's/'80's may as well be another character in the film.
  22. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    It's Scorsese, so it has some interest and excellent directing. De Niro, Pesci, and Stone are all solid, and it has its moments, but this is lesser Scorsese.
  23. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Heat" (1995)

    USA 171 m. Colour

    Director: Michael Mann

    Producer: Art Linson, Michael Mann

    Screenplay: Michael Mann

    Photography: Dante Spinotti

    Music: Elliot Goldenthal

    Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Nataline Portman
  24. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    Once saw this film years ago. The only thing I can remember from it is the scene where DeNiro's and Pacino's characters sit together in the cafe and talk.
  25. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    "Heat" is one of my all-time favorite crime dramas; I just re-watched this a couple of weeks ago and it really holds up. Great, iconic film from start to finish, with excellent acting by DeNiro, Pacino, Kilmer, etc. Like all good films taking place in a real area/location, the city of L.A. (circa the mid-'90's) may as well have been another character in this film.

    I would have to say it's one of the best crime dramas of all time, and IMHO it's also THE best non-gangster crime drama of the '90's.