Went to see Heat on the big-screen at the AFI's Silver theater last night with Galley Friend S.B. I saw Heat in a theater in December of 1995, and I've probably seen it 20 times since then on what have been reasonably nice AV setups at home. And there's just no comparison. To pick just one aspect: At home, I had come to think of the final shoot-out on the airfield as anti-climax--for me, the movie ended as soon as De Niro kills Waingro and spots Pacino walking toward his car outside the hotel. From there we know how this story ends. Vincent can hit or miss, Neil can't miss once. On the small screen, their final set-piece feels unnecessary.
But on the big screen, with the roar of the jet engines literally shaking your guts, it's a totally different experience. That scene, with the glaring, white, runway lights nearly blinding the audience and the eerie stillness between landings. It's fantastic. And Heat remains, for me, one of the best films of the '90s and high-up on my all-time list.
So while breaking bread before the movie, S.B. and I were discussing what our top 5 crime movies would be, crime being reasonably narrowly defined. The loose list we cobbled together went something like this:
From there we diverged. I'd go with some combination of Chinatown, Layercake (believe it, it's that good), L.A. Confidential, and The Maltese Falcon, depending on the day. Yes, this is waaaay too weighted toward recent movies and it ignores, say, all of Hitchcock, mostly because I think of those films as being somewhat apart from the crime genre.
3 hours ago