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(December 2002)

We're Doing It Again
We had occasion to watch Heat when we realized that Michael Mann was repeating himself. Currently he has a network television show called Robbery Homicide Division starring Tom Sizemore. We like the show, particularly Mr. Sizemore and in looking at his past work, we remembered his role in Mann's film Heat. So we watched that movie again and it struck us: in Heat, Al Pacino is the head of the Robbery Homicide Division and Tom Sizemore is one of the thieves. In the TV show Robbery Homicide Division, made 7 years later, Tom is now playing the head detective of that very same division. Black hat to white hat. Anyway, in watching the movie, we noticed what an awe inspiring cast Mann had assembled. 

The Cast from Heat (1995):

Produced, written and directed by Michael Mann.Michael Mann directing Al Pacino in Heat

Some of his other great works: Thief (1981), Manhunter (1986), The Last of The Mohicans (1992), The Insider (1999), and the new TV show Robbery Homicide Division. Manhunter was the first appearance of Hannibal Lector, four years before The Silence of The Lambs. He is shown here directing Al Pacino in Heat.

 

Al PacinoAl Pacino

Role: Al is the head detective, boss of the Robbery Homicide Division.
"An acting legend, what can we add to the mountain of praise, adulation and awards this actor as already received? Some of his roles that we so appreciate: The Panic in Needle Park (1971), Sea of Love (1989), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) and Simone (2002)."

 

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro

Role: In Heat, Robert's character is the top thief, the leader of 'the crew'. 'The crew' is a gang of highly disciplined and professional thieves.
"What can we say about Bobby De Niro? For a reminder of the enormous talent of this actor just view: Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980) or Goodfellas (1990).  Plus many, many more. There were only two movies that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro worked in together. The Godfather: Part II (1974) and this film Heat (1995)."

 

Tom SizemoreTom Sizemore

Role: Competent, reliable and too-intelligent & too-honorable-for-his-own-good crew member.
"One of our favorite actors, Tom has thrilled and moved us with his roles in Flight of The Intruder (1991), Heart and Souls (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Black Hawk Down (2001). There is small irony in that in Heat, Tom plays one of the gang of professional thieves being pursued by Al Pacino as head of the Robbery Homicide Division and, currently, Tom plays the head detective in that same police unit in Michael Mann's television series Robbery Homicide Division. From bad guy to good guy for Michael Mann."

 

Val KilmerVal Kilmer

Role: Hard, professional and extremely competent, Val is one of 'the crew'. His character is married to Ashley Judd.
"Val is one of our favorite actors who has never quite broken into the 'A' list. Some of his roles that we really liked were in Real Genius (1985) - a favorite movie of ours -,  Top Gun (1986), True Romance (1993) and Pollock (2000)."

 

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd

Role: Ashley's character is married to Val Kilmer and lover to Hank Azaria and is instrumental in betraying 'the crew'.
"Ms Judd is from that talented show-biz family 'The Judds'. We first noticed her  performance in the little seen independent film Ruby In Paradise (1993). Since then her career has blossomed with terrific roles in Kiss The Girls (1997), Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) and the current running Frida."

 

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Role: Hank plays the lover to Ashley Judd's character and helps trap 'the crew'.
"A very funny guy; a character actor who works both on TV (Mad About You and The Simpsons) and in the movies (besides Heat, you can also see him in Pretty Woman (1990), The Birdcage (1996) and Mystery, Alaska (1999). He was married to the fabulous Helen Hunt."

 

Wes Studi

Wes Studi

Role: Wes is the crew member who rats them out to the police.
"Wes is a Native American (of the Cherokee Nation) and a Vietnam Vet who has graced many of our favorite movies: Dances With Wolves (1990), The Last of The Mohicans (1992) and Ice Planet (2001)."

 

 

Bud CortBud Cort

Role: Bud plays a hard-nosed, slimy restaurant manager. His role is un- credited.
"He is a terrific character actor who's been around for awhile. Bud is probably most famous playing opposite Ruth Gordon in Harold & Maud (1971) and providing the voice to Edgar, the computer, in one of our favorite movies, Electric Dreams from 1984."

 

Dennis HaysbertDennis Haysbert

Role: Dennis plays a paroled ex-con, a fry cook screwed-over by Bud Cort's manager and a last minute addition to 'the crew'.
"An excellent actor, Dennis has added to such movies as Navy SEALS (1990), The Thirteenth Floor (1999) and the currently running Far From Heaven. He also plays the President in that unique and thrilling TV show "24".

 

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman

Role: She is the screwed-up, adolescent daughter to Al Pacino.
"Natalie is a powerful actor who first put the world on notice with her astonishingly mature performance in The Professional (1994). Currently as Queen Amidala, she is the future bride to Anakin Skywalker (soon-to-become Darth Vader) and mother to Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker! For those of you living in caves, we're talking about Star Wars, Episodes I, II and III. Look it up."

 

Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman

Role: Amy's character is the innocent love interest to Al Pacino.
"A talented young actor, Amy currently has a hit television show (Judging Amy)."

 

Jon VoightJon Voight

Role: He plays the fence, the set-up man and provides intelligence to De Niro and his crew.
"Jon is a veteran Hollywood actor and has had many starring roles: Midnight Cowboy (1969), Catch-22 (1970), Runaway Train (1985), Anaconda (1997) and an eerie performance as Howard Cosell in Ali (2001)."

 

We apologize for once again listing a cast that we admire. We know we did this recently with the cast of Pleasantville (1998) but golly, when a stupendous cast jumps up and smacks us in the face, it's hard to ignore. We often wonder if filmmakers are proud when they cast someone early in their vocation and that actor goes on to a stellar career.

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