The Big Heat Blu Ray Review

BH1Homicide detective Dave Bannion (Ford) lives at the high point of his career and at the low point of his life. He is put on the investigation of Tom Duncan, a cop that committed suicide. A suicide is a bum deal and really solves itself. It is not what cops want to handle and has a feel of bleakness and horrors. Bannion meets the late Duncan’s mistress, Lucy Chapman (Green), she has claimed that it was not a suicide. Bannion dismisses this but after speaking to Bertha Duncan(Nolan), Tom Duncan wife and suspect in the maybe murder. Chapman then is found in her flat dead with burns on her body. The investigation becomes darker and now the case is being handled outside his precinct. When he is threatened by phone calls to his home, he confronts Mike Lagana (Scorby). Lagana is amob hood and heavyweight boss. He runs things and would know why the harassment. People are scared, witnesses shut up and the bigger group have silenced everyone. Bannion carries on with his investigation until his car is blown up and his wife is killed. Now he has to solve the case before he is next.

BH3Fritz Lang made some of those grand films that are like templates for modern films. Edgy, bleak and action filled. He often understood the way that cinema could challenged a social taboo or construct. He also understood how to make this conversation both compelling and crafted. Take his other masterpiece M. That is a dark character study of a child murderer and the hunt for him. The social taboo challenged and then the wonderful constructs of hide and seek to find this man. This film is again a hunt for someone but more than anything it is the hunt for a cop after the death of another one. Ford is compelled to look at a suicide and via this look at his own exploration of the crime as if the suicide was his own. Lang then directs this chase to a series of violent acts and violent actions. Enacted on people, places and everyone around the circuit of this film. We are looking at the way violence and the law are interconnected. We are looking at how violence is a device of those both looking for the truth and trying to suppress it. The way that violence is a cycle and that it becomes a inescapable device for resolution. Ford and Lang blend this with the skill of framing and physical stance. It is almost to powerful at moments because it strikes you in the gut. The death of the wife and the implication of guilt is so well built and paid off that it is sublime.

BHHEADA superb film needs a superb set of extras. This has it in an audio commentary which I love with a passion. Dobbs, Kirgo and Redman should spend time talking about film together more. They are not only informed but are fun to listen to. Tony Rayns is a wonderful film voice and makes the films place much more significant. Much more deserved then it has for some time. It is worth watching before the first screening. Then after that first screening watch Scorsese. He gives it a proper amount of film history and film quality. Mann also does what the film needed in its discourse, he gives it energy and that is key to loving a film. Image gallery is ok, Subs are good but the booklet is divine. Kenny is awesome. Read it if you can.

  • Audio commentary by film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
  • New filmed appreciation by film historian Tony Rayns
  • Martin Scorsese on The Big Heat
  • Michael Mann on The Big Heat
  • Isolated score
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by critic Glenn Kenny
  • Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies
  • UK Blu-ray premiere

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