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on 25 November 2009
This release truly was a gargantuan disappointment. "Heat" is one of my all-time favorites and Michael Mann one of my favorite directors. I actually did not have huge expectations to this first incarnation of Heat on Blu-Ray--knowing the problems that exist on both the original 1999 DVD release (which I might add was pretty ok at the time, but not by today's standards) and the subsequent 2005 "Special Edition" (which had some interesting extras and commentary, but no change to the feature itself.)

But I mean honestly, I am in awe that not only does this disc have basically _the same_ audio track (re-encoded into Dolby TrueHD)--complete with the same muffled audio which for the most part totally lacks any kind of force, and dialogue which in some places is so low it borders on being ridiculous.
I can honestly say that it had no improvement, whatsoever, over the Japanese DTS edition which was released a couple of years back (which also is far from perfect.)

Ok, granted. The audio is not 100%--that I might be able to live with. After all--this is close to being my favorite movie. However, it also has received a *minimal* upgrade on the video side.

No, I am not referring to the inherent film grain. This disc has many scenes which look like they are taken straight off the original DVD and upscaled to 1080p. The lack of detail is most prominent when pausing the movie at certain scenes. Background detail also varies strongly throughout. Yes, it is a Blu-Ray and obviously it will look better than the DVD but I have a quite respectable stack of older movies which completely puts this release in the dust. The bitrate is for the most part around 15-22Mbit/s, peaking at just under 30 in some cases; but seldom reaching this point.

Just to illustrate that minimal care has been given to the video aspect, note that it even has the _exact same_ color-change problem which occurs after Amy Brenneman's character (Eady) hangs up the phone with McCauley / De Niro (at 54:32)

While this is all bad enough, later on I actually notice that some of the dialogue has been *CUT OUT*. (Why haven't other reviewers noticed this?) Specifically where Diane Venora's character (Justine) is talking to Vincent Hanna / Pacino after the office party has ended. From the passage below, the first part ("you sift through the detritus") has been omitted(!). I actually had to rewind to verify this, as this kind of thing is pretty unusual, and not something I've noticed on any of the previous DVD versions:

"You sift through the detritus, you read the terrain, you search for signs of passing, for the scent of your prey ... and then you hunt them down. That's the only thing you're committed to. The rest is the mess you leave as you pass through."

Just to make it clear--this was not some one-off problem with my disc or equipment causing it to skip ahead at that particular juncture. No drop-outs to the digital audio signal was witnessed either.

To me, cutting out dialogue (especially something as relevant and beautifully phrased) in such a fashion is completely baffling. I don't know what on earth happened to this release while it was mastered on Blu-Ray, but this just topped it all off and prompted me to eject the disc. I could not bear to see what other flaws or edits it might have been subjected to.

I might add that, never once have I not watched this movie to the end. And I have watched it probably 30 times. But this was truly an abysmal experience. Warner, are you listening? You have plenty of other awe-inspiring releases, and some which are decades older than this one which look (and some which sound) a zillion times better--Superman, North by Northwest, The Road Warrior, Bullitt, The Dirty Dozen--to name a few.

After I submit this review I will create a return request for this item. I urge all others who truly love this movie to do the same; and not put up with what is basically a repackaged & cut version of the original DVD.

What a waste of a truly great disc format.
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This is one of my favourite films, and I now have it in three versions. I won't review the film as such, because others do it better, but mention has of course to go to the magnificent shoot-out. I could watch that again and again.

Anyway, to the blu-ray: The picture quality is better than DVD, but certainly not reference material. I was pretty disappointed by the sound, to be honest. I have a fairly decent system set quite loud, but found the dialogue to be quite indistinct at times. I also felt that the background music was simply too low in places. However, the shoot-out was pretty good, with glass tinkling at my feet, but the airport scene had the best effects, with massive LFE from taxi-ing planes and great directional effects from take-offs and landings.

Is it worth the upgrade? If you love the film like many do, you'll buy it anyway, as I did. I don't regret it, but feel that it can still get better, which means yet another upgrade in the future.
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on 9 January 2013
I agree with almost every other review written here. This is one top class film - plot, cast, action, dialogue, character development... you name it, brilliant!

However, this is a prime example of poor quality Blu-Ray conversion, does not do the format much justice at all. Seems as though it has been rushed through the conversion process far too quickly.

1) The sound quality is lacking. This is particularly noticeable during loud action sequences, for example, even within the first 10 minutes during the fantastic 'secured car hold-up' scene - when the articulated lorry hits the van there is shocking sound quality: harsh and crackly, detracts from the film really. Gun shot sounds don't pack much punch either!
2) Picture quality is good but not what I'd expect from a Blu-Ray - particularly grainy in low light scenes (first noticeable in the enquiry Al Pacino's character makes after the hold-up).

Overall I am pleased because I now own my first copy of this film after a friend introduced me to it. But I am slightly disappointed that the film is not up to the usual high quality standard to be expected from a Blu-Ray! Hencce, 4 stars!
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on 19 October 2002
This is the ideal boxset for Robert De Niro fans and for movie fans.
'The Deer Hunter' brings Robert De Niro to Vietnam as a leader of a steelworker group. There is so much energy in all the characters that get involved in the deep story. They get captured by the viet Cong. I don't want to spoil it but it's a very emotionally powerful film which brings all the characters to extreme limits.
'The Deer Hunter' won 5 Oscars.
'Goodfellas' has to be the best gangster film I have seen. Im not a major fan but this was just ace. Ray Liotta tells the story about how he always wanted to be a gangster. As he grows up he becomes well known, influencal and gets involved with the big cats including Robert De Niro as Jimmy.
The gangster feeling goes so far and all the crimes in it are so real and exciting. In the end you find out the real end to these gangsters. Robert De Niro plays amazingly and not surpisingly the film got 6 Oscor nominations.
In 'Heat' Robert De Niro is a master thief against Al Pacino as the LA cop. The cast is so amazing that it has to be the best cop film of the 90s. The action sequences are superb and Pacino's furious, aggitated character makes the police investigations so thrilling. Robert De Niro playing the baddest of the bad has superb intelligence and lets nothing get in the way of him.
The best Boxset to come with 3 excellently directed, casted and acted films.
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on 17 May 2008
It's taken me years to pluck up the courage to this masterpiece. Much hyperbole has been written.. and it's all true. The re make of LA takedown and based on real life events in Chicago, Heat is Shakespearian dissection of it's two leads. Neil Mc Cauley (De Niro) is a cold blooded ruthless perfectionist, a man alone but not lonely, someone cool , not showey and prone to sudden acts of brutality or kindness. Vincent hanna (pacino) is his foil, a manic lunatic of a cop obssessed with tracking his prey, 2 marriages down and the third one crumbling, his suffering wife has to share him with all the filth of the city. A robbery goes wrong where the security guards are all shot courtesy of new team member Wayne Grove. Pacino is brought in to hunt the team down. Through bugging Slick (Tom Sizemore) he latches on and monitors the gang as they prepare their Opus magnus. He admires his nemesis so much that he has a coffee with him in what must be one of the most classic pieces of modern cinema. Both are a mirror image of each other. De Niro must do his job and Pacino will do his. Neither can change their spots, De Niro has to choose between his woman or settling some scores, Pacino must choose between his faltering marriage and troubled step daughter but can't resist the lure of the hunt. The character exposition is as good as ever commited to celluloid, the final shoot out is scarily realistic, the city looks beautiful is Mann's cerulean blue also seen in "Collateral" the cast is superb, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Hank Azaria, and even good old Senator/President Palmer Dennis haybert. Even good ol' Bubba from forest gump crops up as Pacino's colleagues. This is about as good as cinema gets believe the hype and own the film.
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on 26 November 2012
I've just bought the steelbook version of this, having previously owned the DVD. The picture quality is great, as you'd expect. Unfortunately the film is still dogged by poor sound levels. I must've adjusted the volume at least 30 times during the film - and even had to put subtitles on for some of it. Very disappointing - though not wholly unexpected to be honest. Heat - Premium Collection Steelbook (Blu-ray + UV Copy)[Region Free]
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on 12 November 2016
I can't add much to the other positive reviews. This film differs from ordinary crime movies by examining two flawed characters, one a robber and one a cop. Both are obsessed perfectionists about what they do and, perversely they have huge respect for each other. The cop (Al Pacino) allows his marriages to fall apart so he can pursue villains. The robber (De Niro) has a beautiful intelligent girlfriend, but he puts his driving ambition before their mutual happiness. Ashley Judd, Jon Voigt and Val Kilmer play supporting roles with great verve - as do the rest of the cast. There is an air of Shakespearean tragedy about this film and it's well worth watching more than once to get the full flavour.
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Michael Mann's 1995 film is more than just the long overdue screen appearance of Pacino and De Niro together. It's true it was a selling point (and pushed heavily in the promo stage) it's good to see both in action, but that doesn't make a good film on it's own.

For starters you have a very strong supporting cast including Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, all of whom put in solid performances.
The story is simple enough Neil McCauley (De Niro) heads a gang who are rather fond of robbery, but they're an experienced outfit and know their stuff, the film kicks off with an armoured car robbery..but thing go too far when a gang member Waingro (played menacingly by Kevin Gage) turns a robbery into a murder investigation after killing the guards.

Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) heads up the investigation, and what follows is a clever and compelling cat and mouse game between himself and Neil, trying to outsmart each other at every turn. Neil decides to do one big last robbery and his crew agree, but Vincent is onto the gang and is out to stop them.

What follows is probably the best action robbery sequence to take place in a film (that I've seen), a sizzling 10 minutes of full on white knuckle action... just on it's own worth the price of entry. Even today I'm still impressed at this segment.

Though the two main members are at opposites, one a criminal and one a cop, there is a mutual respect between the men and Mann manages to capture this in some good scenes, esp one where De Niro is pulled over and Pacino takes him for a coffee.

There are some side plots, Pacino's on the ropes marriage and De Niro finds a new love interest, both at odds with the life the men lead. Pacino does have his usual rage scene (and he's good at it in a way few actors are) Eventually it's a show down between the two men one on one, I found the ending quite unusual and very welcomed it's not quite what you would think and the better for it in my view.

Mann has a way of directing that's full on intense and polished, he's able to really ramp up the drama to epic levels, backed up by his many time award winning cinematographer Dante Spinotti, the results are impressive and take things to a level many directors couldn't. Sound work is also excellent, as is the screenplay. I find the script good, more natural and rather less clichéd then some (people talking to each other in a normal way), you can attach to the characters quite well (all of them not just the lead two)

I like Mann's slightly OTT direction it pushes things hard and makes for a strong viewing experience.
It's true some complain the story might drag on a little longer than it could, there are some non essential scenes that could have got the chop, but as a package overall you can't help but be impressed.
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Featuring cinema's greatest ever shoot-out, this remains among my favourite films of all time. Beyond the expertly staged action set pieces, lies a multi-layered plotline with a teeming cast of believable characters and mood of tragic portent. The existential torment of the charcters is played out against an LA landscape that is itself a character - indeed the city has never looked as stunning and alluring.
The disc comes jam-packed with extras to please the die-hard fan, including a series a exhaustive documentaries charting the creation of this landmark movie.
A visceral and emotional thriller that stands alone as a stone cold classic.
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on 29 January 2016
Firstly i absolutely love this movie and have done since its release in 1995 with Hollywood Royalty actors Robert De Niro & Al Pacino

However whichever cretin!! in whatever company was responsible for this shambles of an upgrade needs a slap and sacking on the spot

The picture is no better than DVD and not in this lifetime is it 1080p or HD

As for the sound WHAT SOUND?? the vocal audio is non existent and no attempt whatsoever has been made to sync and marry the vocal audio with the back ground sound effects of car chases shooting helicopters etc, so what you are left with is an absolute dogs dinner which is an insult to this brilliant movie

Even my system which is high end Denon Transport linked to a Denon AV and Focal Dome 5.1 Speakers could do nothing with this mess of a Blu Ray
I turned the volume up to 70 which is wall shakingly loud on my system and still i could barely hear what the actors were saying

I was going to say that this is a DVD in a Blu Ray box but its not even that and it would insult DVDs even to say that

Brilliant movie but avoid this sorry excuse for a Blu Ray like the Bubonic Plague as it is so bad that De Niro & Pacino should sue for their dialogue being virtually reduced to Mute Setting

An insult to the actors director and everyone else that made this superb movie

Truly disgraceful and bordering on fraud to sell this to the public as a 1080p HD Blu Ray upgrade and the most disturbing thing here is that some so called professional!!! (don't make me laugh) in a remastering studio actually viewed and passed this utter disgrace of a remaster as acceptable to sell to the public under the Blu Ray format banner

Finally please Amazon introduce a Zero Star Rating system as this shameless rip off con of a Blu Ray does not even deserve the minimum default 1 Star i was forced to give here
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