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#018 Michael Mann: Heat vs. Blackhat


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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Michael Mann’s best and worst rated films, Heat (1995) and Blackhat (2015), respectively. Austin enhances, Nate enhances, we all enhance.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting (1997) and Psycho (2015), his best and worst rated films.


And check out this behind the scenes clip of the shootout scene from Heat:


Blackhat Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

  • Ratings: IMDb 5.4 | RT 34% C / 24% A
  • Released: 2015
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Writer(s): Morgan Davis Foehl
  • Cinematographer: Stuart Dryburgh
  • Notable actors: Chris Hemsworth, Leehom Wang, Wei Tang, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany, Andy On, Ritchie Coster, Christian Borle, John Ortiz, William Mapother
  • Budget: $70 million
  • Box office: $19.7 million

  • Fun Facts:
    • Composer Harry Gregson-Williams claims that most of the music featured in the film is not his, even though he’s given on-screen credit. His since-deleted post on Facebook after the premiere said “I would like it to be known for what it’s worth that the ‘score’ for Blackhat maybe credited to me, but contains almost none of my compositions. I attended the premiere of the movie at the end of last week and discovered, to my horror, music that shocked and surprised me… quasi emotional (synth) string pieces that I’d never heard in my life before. I knew of at least one other composer, a good one at that(!), that had put in months of work on this movie just as I had, but this appeared to me to be in addition to both our contributions. I can say nothing for certain except that I was not the author of most of what is now in the movie.”
    • Hackers served as on-set consultants during filming.
    • Wei Tang and Leehom Wang’s first Hollywood film.
    • Following its debut at the US box office, Universal Pictures International opted not to release the film theatrically in Australia on 25 February 2015 as originally scheduled, releasing it straight to DVD instead.

 


Heat Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.2 | RT 86% C / 94% A
  • Released: 1995
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Writer(s): Michael Mann
  • Cinematographer: Dante Spinotti
  • Notable actors: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wed Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan, Kevin Gage, Hank Azaria, Susan Traylor, Danny Trejo, Henry Rollins, Jeremy Piven
  • Budget: $60 million
  • Box office: $187.4 million

  • Fun Facts:
    • In June of 2002, the scene involving the shootout after the bank robbery was shown to United States Marine recruits at MCRD San Diego as an example of the proper way to retreat while under fire.
    • In an interview with Al Pacino on the DVD Special Edition, Pacino revealed that for the scene in the restaurant between Hanna and McCauley, Robert De Niro felt that the scene should not be rehearsed so that the unfamiliarity between the two characters would seem more genuine. Michael Mann agreed, and shot the scene with no practice rehearsals.
    • In the director commentary, Michael Mann noted that Al Pacino ad-libbed the line “Because she’s got a… GREAT ASS!” and Hank Azaria’s look of exasperated shock was totally genuine.
    • For the restaurant sequence where McCauley and Hanna finally meet, Michael Mann ran two cameras simultaneously in order to generate a greater level of fluidity between both rivals. Since there were no rehearsals for the scene, this approach afforded both men a more generous margin for improvisational experimentation.
    • Kevin Gage’s Waingro character is based on a real Chicago criminal named Waingro who ratted out some influential Chicago criminals. According to Michael Mann, Waingro went missing; his body was found in northern Mexico, where it had been nailed to the wall of a shed.
    • When actor Kevin Gage was imprisoned for 2 years in 2003, he was universally addressed by fellow inmates and prison guards as ‘Waingro’, his character from this movie.
    • Filmed in 65 locations around Los Angeles, without a single soundstage.
    • The first film to ever feature both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino acting together, which created much hype prior to release. They both starred in The Godfather: Part II (1974) but never shared the screen together as split chronology prevented this. When this movie was finally released, even its advertising material promoted the film as a De Niro/Pacino “showdown.”
    • The meeting between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino over coffee was shot at Kate Mantilini on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The L.A. mainstay was a noted top spot for a stylish late supper. The restaurant had “heat” spelled in neon above the door and a large poster of the actors in the now famous scene. Diners could request the very table featured in the scene, table #71, which wait staff were familiar with as “The Table”, and were happy to seat De Niro and Pacino fans at their famous meeting place. The restaurant closed in late 2014.
    • In an early draft of the script, Vincent Hanna had a cocaine habit, which, according to Al Pacino, explains his bombastic outbursts.
    • Amy Brenneman disliked the script and didn’t want to be in the movie, saying it was too filled with blood with no morality. Michael Mann told her that with that mind-set she would be perfect for the role of Eady.

 


 

Intro music by: Calm The Fuck Down (Broke For Free) / CC BY 3.0

 


 

The Best and Worst of the Best Podcast is a show where host’s Nate and Austin compare a film director’s best and worst rated movies to see where they went wrong.



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