DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Heat

HEAT

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Before diving into another viewing of Michael Mann’s 1995 heist movie, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, arm yourself with these 15 fascinating tidbits about the film.

1. Heat was adapted from a 1989 TV movie.

Heat director Michael Mann developed the story as a potential TV show after the success he had in producing Miami Vice and Crime Story for television. While it was never picked up by a network as a series, NBC aired the made-for-TV movie L.A. Takedown in 1989. L.A. Takedown represents about 40 percent of Heat’s eventual storyline.


2. Heat’s story is based on the exploits of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson.

Mann and Adamson met while working the TV show Crime Story, which Adamson created and Mann executive produced. Adamson really did track down and ultimately kill a real life master criminal named Neil McCauley, though it wasn’t at LAX like in the film. McCauley was killed during an armored car hijacking outside an Illinois supermarket.


3. The L.A. Metro stop used in the opening appears in another of Mann’s films.

It’s the same station seen at the end of Mann’s 2004 film Collateral.


4. There are no CG effects used in the heist that opens the movie.

The production actually tipped over an armored car while shooting on location—it was top-heavy and weighted to make the stunt possible.


5. The graphics on the side of the tow truck in this scene have personal significance for Mann.

The side of the truck reads “RAJA,” which are the first initials of director Mann’s four daughters’ names. His daughter Ami served as the second unit director on Heat.


6. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were the director’s first picks to star.

In fact, they were the only actors offered the leading roles.


7. Heat is the first movie to feature De Niro and Pacino onscreen together in the same scene.

While they both had roles The Godfather: Part II, they never appeared onscreen at the same time. Following Heat, De Niro and Pacino would go on to appear together in the 2008 film Righteous Kill. They are also scheduled to reunite in an upcoming Martin Scorsese film titled The Irishman (slated for a 2015 release).


8. De Niro and Pacino hardly appear onscreen together.

The two stars spend less than 10 minutes of the entire 170-minute film in one another’s presence.

9. Heat is Natalie Portman’s second feature film.

Her first is Leon: The Professional; in it, she plays a child assassin.


10. Jon Voight’s character Nate is based on ex-con and writer Eddie Bunker.

Mann made Bunker’s book, “No Beast So Fierce”, required reading for the actors in De Niro’s criminal crew. Bunker also served as a technical consultant on Heat.


11. Michael Mann did a lot of research for the film.

He spent 7 months on ride-alongs with the LAPD’s robbery and homicide department.


12. In preparation for the bank heist sequence, the film’s technical advisors had the actors case a real bank without anybody noticing.

Tom Sizemore (who plays Cheritto) actually began fake negotiations for a bank loan with a bank employee during the stunt.


13. Heat’s robbery scenes are thought to be so accurate that real thieves have copied its tactics.

In fact, the 1997 North Hollywood shootout was allegedly inspired by the heists in the film.


14. To prepare for the downtown shootout sequence, the actors went through three months of firearm.

An estimated 800-1,000 blank rounds were used per take while shooting the scene.


15. All the gun sound effects in the shootout sequence were taken from onset audio.

Mann originally planned to add gunshots to the audio in post-production. But when he tried to do so, he didn’t feel like it sounded real enough, so he kept the audio as is.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.