Heat ★★★★★

This has always been one of those movies that I appreciate on a very visceral level to begin with, but seeing it on the big screen was always something that, until now, eluded me. Remembering that this was released sometime around December, 1995, a time where I was expressly forbidden to see R-rated movies, I'd often fantasize an alternate scenario of my life at the time. What if I'd been a fresh-faced young college student, and, while on holiday from school for the Christmas break, me and a few of my fellow students had decided to check out this new movie at the local cinema, probably later at night. I would have already been blown away just a month earlier watching De Niro in CASINO (around Thanksgiving), thinking there was no way he'd top that performance. And yet, there I would have been, with the temperature outside slowly getting colder, watching ANOTHER 3-hour De Niro epic, this time with the added bonus of a slightly unhinged, yet strangely in control Pacino. And seeing it all, at the age of 20, for the first time on a big screen. With the incredible workmanlike skill that Michael Mann puts into this, a film that is way artier than it needs to be, with that slow-bore of finale, both hypnotic and almost wordless. I like to think it would have been the best Thanksgiving/Christmas era ever, and that maybe, just maybe, I'd be a better person than I am now.

There's something strangely cathartic about seeing Pacino throw Henry Rollins through a plate glass window.

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