Customer Reviews: Red Heat [Blu-ray]
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on April 11, 2000
Arnold Schwartzenegger in the role of humorless, ultra-disciplined Soviet police-captain Vanya Danko, teamed with Chicago PD screw-up Art Ritsek (Jim Belushi), to track a Georgean drug kingpin... this is one of Arnold's greatest, but least-appreciated, action-films. The best scenes take place in Russia, in the banya (public bath), over the rooftops around Red Square, in the mafiya cafe. Arnold's Russian, spoken with his Austrian accent, is pretty terrific! What impressed me was the film's close attention to detail: Even Danko's handwriting and numbers were authentically Russian-style. The machismo of the personal battle between Ivan Danko and the smuggler was intensely Russian, as was Danko's unswerving conviction of Soviet superiority. His terse correction of the hotel clerk's question "Is [Viktor] another Russian, like you?" Danko: "Soviet.", is right-on -- Georgeans are not Russians, although many Americans don't know that. The scripting of a Georgean as the loathesome criminal is actually quite revealing, and surely a reflection of the film's "official" Russian input . Despite the grimness of the plot and Arnold's character, there is plenty of dark humor, mainly provided by Belushi's portrayal of undisciplined officer Ritsek. The humor frequently contrasts the strictly indoctrinated Soviet structure with the (to Danko) near-anarchy of American freedom. Much of the mayhem and carnage wrought during the process of Danko's personal war defies credibility; as Ritsek puts it: "Why aren't there any cops around when you need one!" The action genre's obligatory high-speed chase scene was ludicrous, yet appropriately Russian (everything Russian always seems so much "bigger"...). And the protagonists' exchange in the end, in which Vanya gets the better deal, is also typically Russian -- and proves that Danko is not so humorless after all. By the way, this movie (like all of Arnold's action-films) is extremely popular here, where it has been dubbed into the Russian language. Ironically, in the russkiy version, all the obscenities have been deleted from the dialogue.
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VINE VOICEon November 8, 2009
Cannot beat this deal for a fun 1980s film in BD that actually came across as good as can be without Lionsgate dumping too much money into it.

The clarity gave a decent showing - even with the amount of skin tones being shown by our fearless leader in that beginning Russian spa scene. The color was vivid, maybe too much so once they hit the snow with the flesh tones and fake injuries contrasting against the white. But the credit (pink colors) looked clear with no grain at all, and admittedly that DNR thingy (or whatever they call the removal process for some of these upgrades) did not blur/fuzz things at all. The Chicago street scenes looked good and the background signs are actually readable now. The DTS is mostly channeled to the front three, but they managed to add some decent bass here and there.

The supplements are from the 2004 edition in low def, but it is always nice to see that stunt man memorial featurette, recommend that if you pick only one to watch. The included TV spots and such are always nice for a before and after comparison on quality. For what they put into this, and the price being offered I feel you won't be disappointed.
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on January 7, 2005
Don't bother wasting your money if you think you are upgrading like I did. The earlier ARTISAN release is still much better than this special edition. The image is better and ALSO the sound. I don't know what Lions gate thought they were doing, but remastered? no. I compared both several times before writing this even though I only had to compare once. Might as well wait for a HD DVD to come out, this is a waste unless you want the additional features.
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on October 10, 2004
In RED HEAT, Director Walter Hill presents a view of capitalist America that is grim, squalid, and leavened only by the willpower of its residents to retain a sense of humor. And it is only Chicago detective Ridzik (James Belushi) who can see anything funny beneath the grime and slime through which he must daily wade. Hill contrasts the physical seediness of Chicago with its political sludge counterpart of Moscow at alternating points in the film. Arnold Schwarzeneger is Captain Ivan Danko of the Moscow Militia, a man much feared by the Russian underworld. Danko has no problem with strolling alone into a Moscow mafia bar and arresting a wanted hooligan. By the time both men meet, their sharply contrasting personalities have been etched in the audience's mind. Ridzik is a rules-bending cop who is in as much trouble with his superiors as is his arrest suspects are with the law. Belushi plays Ridzik with the same wisecracking persona that has come to mark his essential screen identity. Arnold as Danko plays the Moscow cop as a cross between the saturnine Terminator and the energetic Conan. When Ridzik is questioning a suspect in a Chicago precinct house and is getting nowhere fast, Danko shows Ridzik how a Moscow cop convinces a suspect to talk freely with a savage wrist wrenching.

The interplay between Belushi and Schwarzenegger hits exactly the right note throughout. The fine contributions of a stellar supporting cast of Gina Gershon, Peter Boyle, Lawrence Fishburne, and Ed O'Ross all meld to serve as a backdrop against which Belushi and Schwarzenegger play out what is essentially a pre-glasnot international Cop Buddy movie. On a political allegory level, the co-operation between the two must have, at the time, served to remind a world that even with two widely opposing world views, it was possible for co-operation to exist if only the parties involved could see that behind the more obvious differences in uniform lay a less obvious commonality of a shared purpose whose ultimate goal could be reached with a little laughter. RED HEAT is a fine movie that entertains even as it preaches. Not many comedies can do that.
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on January 23, 2001
Schwarzenegger and James Belushi make a great team in this crazed action film. Schwarzenegger plays the serious Captain Ivan Danko, a Russian detective. Opposite him, James Belushi, is the comical cop, Art Ridzik, always good for a laugh. Who could guess what would happen when these two got stuck together?
On the downside of the film the beggining is all Russian. You'll be forced to read English subtitles not able to enjoy any of the visuals, until around ten to twenty minutes into the film. Unless of course you speak Russian.
The final word. If you're looking for something to do on a boring afternoon, I recommend sitting back and enjoying Red Heat.
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on April 20, 2001
The film was funny just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I must say it has become hilarious today after the fall. It is not even a real caricature because there is a nostalgic dimension to it. Nostalgic about a time when things were simple in the world where there was us and there was them. We were necessarily on the right side by identifying with the side we were geographically on. And the rest was only politics.

But with the distance, there is no us and no them, there is only one global mess and we all have to live in it, parakeet or not, East-German watch or not, Georgian mafia against Chicagoan mafia. And now this mafia or these mafias have turned into terrorist armies. All over the world the game - because it is a game, a killing game - is no longer Miranda versus totalitarianism. It is kill them first versus totalitarianism.

These mafiosi are choir boys when compared with the Ben Laden and the Prabhakaran of today, and note I took two dead examples for whom there were no Miranda rights. These people are responsible for thousands of people killed, hundreds of thousands of people mutilated by mines or other assault weapons. They have no rights any more. They lost them when they decided to enter a war against humanity, a war of pure violence and crime.

The film is showing that so well including with allusions to Dirty Harry or Dr Zhivago. These people do not sell drugs to make money but they are selling drugs to break the law, make money and kill anyone they can come across on their way. They kill for the pleasure of killing. When the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet system came down, and we were liberated of the good terrorists who were fighting for the liberation of humanity. For those people who admired such "patriotic" heroes people like Gaddafi or Prabhakaran were revolutionaries. All that has changed and they have become what they were all the time, nasty terrorists.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, little by little all the self-calling "revolutionary" movements in the world have had to change identity and enter the political arena with only political weapons and drop the other weapons in some kind of ditch forever. The guerilla movements in Angola and Mozambique were forced to drop their weapons, the IRA was forced to move towards a political solution, the various diamonds wars in Africa were also forced to drop their weapons and their diamonds had to go back on the market without any blood stain, the Sandinistas were obliged to concede a defeat before then regaining power in elections.

We could multiply examples. The Basque ETA is a die-hard movement like the Corsican independence movement. The LTTE was in Sri Lanka the first major victory against that terrorism and since then many things have changed in the Arab world and as for Al Qaida. That's why this film has become so funny with years.

Some could have said it was a Cold War comic film at the end of those events. But now it is the most hilarious film on the subject of the end of a revolutionary vision that was not really revolutionary but just violent. But today it is the Soviet of the old days who are right: criminals may have Miranda rights, but that is only if they survive their arrest. If they don't they have no other right than to shut up. That's why these criminals are not supposed to survive their arrest. Just make sure they have the fair chance to shoot or try to shoot first and that they are the real big ones, not some manipulated non-entities.

In 1988 the film was advocating Dirty Harry's methods. Today it justifies the use of such methods: these scumbags have to be brought home, but in a corpse bag if possible. The bullets are already too much of an expense to bring them back home, so let's avoid the trial that would ensue if they were still able to speak or at least move one single toe. Something changed in 1989, even if the Bushes Sr. and Jr. did not understand it properly. I can imagine the mess the Bushes would have done in Libya sending the Cavalry for sure.

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on June 17, 2015
Russian cop (Schwarzenegger) is sent to Chicago to reclaim a felon criminal. He is assigned to team-up with local cop (James Belushi). The gilm
is drawn out and boring at times if you aren't REALLY into police films. I didn't care for Arnold Schwarzenegger's character. This, i think, was before anyone realized he could actually act. Schwarzenegger has some nice nudie work scenes for those interested. The film is sybtitled in English for the deaf but, NONE of the special features are.
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on February 3, 2015
Arnold schwarzenegger & James Belushi are a Great team in this fantastic 80's Action/comedy
from Director Walter Hill
James or Jim Belushi is Hillarious throughout the whole film & Arnold plays the Russian captain Ivan Danko perfectly
not to mention Actor Ed 'o ross who plays Russian criminal Victor roster

Lionsgate have upgraded this film with a new High Definition widescreen transfer in 1:78:1 ratio thou
the old special edition dvd had a 1:85:1 widescreen version
so for some stupid reason Lionsgate thought to reduce the screen ratio, very ridiculous
there's no reason why Lionsgate shouldn't have left the ratio as it was 1:85:1
very very pathetic
i must say the picture quality is much clearer & sharper quality than the old DVD release that's for sure
plus a new 5.1 Master audio mix has been added
the special features are exactly the same as the old special edition DVD, nothing new here
EAST MEETS WEST featurette which is 10mins interview with executive producers Mario kassar & Andrew Vajna
who talk about the making of RED HEAT etc
tragically no new interview with Director Walter Hill, no new interviews with James Belushi or Arnold either
pretty pointless & pathetic featurette really
I'M NOT A RUSSIAN, BUT I PLAY ONE ON TV, a 5mins interview with Actor Ed 'o ross
about his role as Victor roster
STUNT MAN FOR ALL SEASONS featurette on the stunts of Red heat
and the original making of TV broadcast from 1989
plus Theatrical trailer, TV spots

nothing special on this new blu-ray release, the same extras from the old DVD release
no new interview with Director Walter Hill, Jim Belushi, or Arnold schwarzenegger
as i said very very pathetic and pointless featurette EAST MEETS WEST
plus the screen ratio has been reduced to from 1:85:1 down to 1:78:1, very pathetic
the old special edition DVD had 1:85:1 screen ratio
the only thing Good about this blu-ray is a new upgraded picture quality that's all
so either keep the old special edition DVD anyway, but if you don't mind the reduced screen ratio than gets this new blu-ray
3 stars i give this blu-ray just for the new picture quality, the extras are pointless
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on November 19, 2014
Great old school 80's action comedy, by Walter Hill, but for some strange reason about 95% of the English sub-titles are cut off during the Russian conversations, which the beginning of the movie and the conversations between Arnold (hero) and Ed Ross (villain) have. To me that's just inexcusable to cut-off the sub-titles, which is why I gave it only 4 out of 5.
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on January 23, 2014
Who'd have thought that a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it could have a moral that we could adopt in real life. This one does for sure. Furthermore, I actually enjoyed Mr. Schwarzenegger's performance, though I won't lie...I liked James Belushi even better. These two brought a fresh, exciting film to the buddy cop genre we all know too well. Perhaps this is all largely thanks to the time during which this film was made (1988 (scenes were actually filmed in the Soviet Union.)) I also enjoyed the fact that everything that happened behind the Iron Curtain happened in's always a downer if a film set in a foreign nation suddenly has all it's characters speaking fluent English. While these people obviously knew English as they got around Chicago just fine, it made sense that it wouldn't be their primary language back home. Ultimately I most enjoyed the very last scene between our two somewhat reckless leads...I won't discribe it and spoil the ending. There was baseball, watches, cops, and talk of politicians. You'll just have to get the DVD, which I highly recommend. Enjoy
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