*** Official "HEIST" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Nov 9, 2001.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Heist". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link .
    Again, without warning, I will delete all posts that are not a HTF member review!
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
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    Peter Staddon: "I didn't say you can put 'Monkeybone' back!"
    [Edited last by Robert Crawford on November 09, 2001 at 06:16 PM]
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, I was waiting on others to post their review of this film but seeing that they haven't so far, I might as well make my review known. I loved this film! I'm a sucker for films with sharp dialogue and plot twists that go every which way. Furthermore, some of the principal actors in this film are among my favorite character actors. People like Hackman, DeVito, Lindo, and Jay make watching a nice crime drama easy on the eyes and ears. Some of the lines of dialogue that Mamet wrote for this film are simply outstanding which let's face it, we're not used to hearing on a regular basis in today's cinemas. Matter of fact, I'm thinking of going back for the late show tonight to watch it again, so I can follow the dialogue a little closer without having to worry about figuring out film's outcome. Furthermore, the meaning behind that last line spoken between Hackman and Pidgeon is bothering me to no end. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure this film is going to generate some interesting conversation in the Official Discussion thread. My rating for "The Heist" is [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]!
    Crawdaddy
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    Peter Staddon: "I didn't say you can put 'Monkeybone' back!"
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    You beat me to it!
    David Mamet's latest film as a writer/director is something of a departure, because it doesn't rely primarily on dialogue to propel the plot. As you'd expect from a film entitled Heist, much of the action involves the planning and execution of robberies, and Mamet stages these sequences with great economy and wonderful attention to physical detail (I particularly liked the jewelry store robbery that opens the film). Like many Mamet films, the story is loaded with cons and double-crosses (not to mention triple, quadruple and quintuple), and the expert cast plays these devices for all they're worth. The film also benefits from the rich but natural-looking cinematography by Robert Elswit (a veteran of Tomorrow Never Dies, Magnolia and Boogie Nights).
    Yes, the one-last-score plot has been done many times before (most recently in The Score), but you're not likely to find it done better. And for those who avoid Mamet because they find his distinctive cadences "artificial" (a claim I've never understood, since all movie dialogue sounds artificial, and the virtue of Mamet is that he uses the artifice to make you listen more carefully), rest assured that this is a cast that could make even the phone book sound interesting. Even the smaller parts are beautifully played (watch for Patti Lupone as a customs agent with a drinking problem).
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on November 13, 2001 at 07:31 AM]
     
  4. David Ely

    David Ely Supporting Actor

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    I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival back in September. I'm not a fan of David Mamet, and this film didn't change my mind. I don't understand the new of plot twist after plot twist. I didn't feel that Mamet was able to pull it off with The Spanish Prisoner, and I feel that he REALLY couldn't pull it off here.
    Why couldn't David Mamet actually make an intelligent movie about a Heist without resorting to this style of film making?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] (1.5 stars for the cast only)
     
  5. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Just got back from my viewing and thought I would share. A few spoilers, but not enough to cause much harm.
    I was rather impressed with The Heist, but felt it doesn't rank as highly as other works by or based on his scripts. This is (to the best of my knowledge) the third dip into the con game pot, and he doesn't come up empty. I especially enjoyed seeing elements that go awry in the plans (such as Pinky and the FAA mark) that make you really appreciate their on-the-spot inventiveness. There are some wonderful dialogue exchanges, some masked by their very believability. I was pretty offput by the exchanges (the "place is burned") until I realized what it was all about. Then I really started to get into it.
    One of the nagging negatives is that the film dips into meanspirited violence twice, which I would have hoped it could have avoided. It seemed to remove some of the playfulness and ground the film back into reality. I hope to catch another run of this to appreciate the dialogue from the beginning, as well as try to place the major plot elements and when they are enacted.
    Overall, I would give it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]. I liked The Score a bit more, mainly because it felt playful the entire way through. This one definitely one-ups it in terms of plot complications and quintiple crosses.
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Well, I'm on the side with the ones that loved this film.
    I thought it was way much better than The Score.
    I agree with Crawdaddy, that I love a good crime drama, with great actors and intresting plot twists after twists.
    Gene HAckman gives another pleasing performance.
    The dialogue was sharp and the cinematography was nice.
    I do also like the score that played throught the movie.
    RATING=B+
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  7. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    I love caper pictures, but I have to say that this one didn't do a lot for me. The actors save this movie, simple as that. It reminded me of Heat more than anything, with the planning and execution of a daring robbery, but without the depth of that movie. The characters here are not well-defined, except Gene Hackman's, and that's because he's such a cliche that his character is automatically familiar to anybody who's sampled even a couple films in this genre.
    And maybe it's my own bias, but I expect good dialogue from a David Mamet film, and it was really lacking in this movie. Even worse, every single double-cross, triple-cross, whatever, didn't surprise or cause the slightest bit of shock. The boat thing at the end (those of you who've seen it know what I'm talking about) was so obvious that I felt bad for Danny DeVito's character for being suckered by it.
    One great quote by Hackman at the end though, which really impressed me, but otherwise not notable. And is it just me, or is Gene Hackman really, really, really starting to show his age these days?
    The whole film almost struck me as being insecure of what it was, like it was trying to be a clever heist movie, couldn't pull it off, then spent its time trying to prove itself as a clever heist movie.
    One caveat though, the audience I saw this with gasped at just about every little plot meander, so they seemed to enjoy this one a little better. I found it a bit erratic overall. Not my favorite picture Mamet has been involved with (for the record, that would be Wag The Dog).
    Overall score: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    Mark Evans
    Low Rent Movie Critic, Low Rent Home Theater Owner, Low Rent Everything
     
  8. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I had the highest of hopes for this one, being a huge David Mamet fan. I love his dialogue, though in real life, of course, nobody speaks that way.
    Being prepared by the labyrinthine plots for "House of Games" and "The Spanish Prisoner", I found myself scrutinizing every character's actions and presuming pretenses at every turn. Consequently, I was almost disappointed at its predictability. I also found certain actions not very plausible, particularly in the "job" which opens the film.
    Still, an entertaining enough diversion though nowhere near some of Mamet's other work.
     
  9. Sam C

    Sam C Stunt Coordinator

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    First of all I'm wondering why no one can get the title right ... The movie is named "HEIST" ... Not The Heist ... This is important because it refers to a string of Heists/Scams/Cons ... The Heist implies there is one heist and that is clearly not the case here ...
    Now that being said I saw this at the opening night of the Chicago Film Fest and I saw it again the other night ... It's great ... It completely wipes The Score off the map ... Mamet is brilliant ... I think his work is always above par ... Films like The Spanish Prisoner & of course the great Glengarry Glen Ross are Must See's ... Yes the twists in Heist are tough to follow and I believe that's a lot of the problem people have with the film ... They watch it ... They have no idea of what's going on due to the fact they can't follow ... So they chalk it up as no good ... I mean it's evident they don't pay attention to what's going on based on the simple fact they constantly refer to the movie as The Heist ...
    I think it's up there with the best of 2001 ...
    [Edited last by Sam C on November 13, 2001 at 04:16 AM]
     
  10. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    Caught this one tonight in a small theater in Parsippany, NJ.
    Fine performances, snappy dialog, fewer plot turns than I had been led to expect, and several holes in the storyline.
    Hackman, Lindo and Jay were superb. Pidgeon seemed to be posturing too much for my taste as if she were trying too hard to be the hard-boiled moll. DeVito was his usual over-the-top self and it worked (as usual).
    Not Mamet's best, but entertaining. A mild recommendation.
    And Sam is right, the title is Heist without the "The". Crawdaddy, you might want to change the header on this and the Discussion thread.
    Rob
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    "That suits me down to the ground."
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I thought this was an average film, nothing great, nothing horribly bad about it.
    Maybe I was disappointed with how stupid the gang from Devito's side were depicted in this film.
    I found the dialog to be nondescript. I didn't find much of any of the banter all that clever. Character motivations were one note, and not really that convincing to me.
    Gene Hackman and Delroy Lindo give their perfunctionary good performances, but Rebecca Pidgeon, as always, bugged me with her deadpan delivery of her husband's dialog. Devito played his character so devoid of humanity, it was just creepy and pathetic at times.
    I give it a grade of C or 2 stars.
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    [Edited last by Patrick Sun on November 17, 2001 at 09:32 PM]
     
  12. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    HEIST currently stands as my favorite movie so far this year. I've been longing for Hollywood to get back to plot-driven stories with minimal effects and strong acting, and this movie totally satisfied my need. I know that this is not a movie that everyone will go for, since a lot of it is subtle and open to interpretation, but that's what I LIKED about it -- it made me think. You just can't say that about most movies these days. And how can you not love lines like "My mother fucker's so cool sheep count him when they sleep."

    It has been a week since I saw this movie, and I'm still ruminating on that ending. I may have to see it again.
     

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