MUWT 2: The Quickening


pulse (2001):
time-space compression and depression in the age of social media
ghosts of loneliness see an abandoned factory and the construction of a new social realm as a means to break out into our world
the internet doesn’t connect anyone actually, this is obvious now, but in 2001 what a crazy thing to say

mardi gras - made in china:
someone says something like ‘when i was a little girl i had a dancing doll that fascinated me so much that i took it apart to see what was making it dance and it was just metal rods and string. no i do not want to know what conditions mardi gras beads are made under.’

white right:
socially de-alienating and charging nazis with their own ideas is literally all it takes to make them not be nazis anymore. how silly is that shit. the fab 5 from queer eye could end nationalism. i truly believe this



I had no issue with Chris’ story. He survives because Ashley Judd’s character is ride or die, for him. I don’t think it was easy for him to leave her (they spend time showing how conflicted he is about how he treats her). But, she loved him enough to tip him off to get out. and he’s not gonna miss that opportunity afforded him. Neil doesn’t get out when he should have. And there is basically zero character justification, for that.

Neil knows his shit is probably fucked. And has already expressed that he has plenty of money. He could leave and more likely get away. But he goes ahead and does the last job anyway. Because of course he does, so that we can have an easy way to get him to face-off with Vincent. Its out of character. The whole movie he had always been very careful about what he does and they directly show us that he’s smarter and ahead of the police. He’s already weak for Eady at that point, but its not even about her.

I think it would have been much more effective for him to skip the last job and try to leave. But Vincent catches up with him due to a tip from Eady or eat least his wasting time with her. Because its setup that Neil’s only regret with his life, is that he doesn’t have an significant other. So Eady ends up his weakness because he doesn’t understand that a super bad dude has no chance for a normal and lasting relationship, with an regular civilian good woman. I mean, that’s all already in the film. I just don’t think they leveraged it correctly. and i think it was simply overstuffing that she decided to stay with him and then re-freaks out later and wants out again. I mean, I sorta get what they were trying to do. But as I said, I think it was too late in the run time to try and stack more complexity onto her. The point of Eady should have only been to reveal where Neil is actually weak. and let that be what gets him caught. It ties back to the diner scene! Not have him simply decide to do the last job because that’s how we are gonna get him and Vincent to faceoff.

I’m not sure what point you are expressing, here. But I don’t have any problem with how Vincent is written, in regards to his family. And its a good contrast because Vincent has the family and Neil doesn’t. While Vincent is pretty absent from his family, he does love and care about them. But ultimately, they are not a weak spot for him, in terms of getting his job done. And its also interesting because it allows you to hate the good guy a little bit. And maybe even hate the wife a little less, after cheating.

Neil doesn’t have a family or an SO and tries to ignore his desire for that. But ultimately, he can’t help but let it distract him and be a weak spot. But they still do not leverage it correctly.

Ultimately, Vincent is only able to catch up with Neil, because Neil stupidly decides to do the last job. Despite it going against everything built up, to that point. If Neil had decided to just cash out and go, Vincent either would have been waiting for nothing at the last heist location. Or he would have needed a new clue/tip, to catch Neil as he tries to leave.

Well, I didn’t want to see them succeed. She’s a good hearted woman. He doesn’t deserve to take her down with him. When she realizes from the news reports that he’s a criminal, its clear she is not ride or die. and they could have used that for a better transition to how Vincent catches up with Neil. I think its better for the smartest criminal ever to be taken down due to being blinded by whirlwind love; than to suddenly be stupid about everything he’s been so smart about.

As far as the shootout goes: I liked the audio. My wording probably confused that.

Otherwise, I just don’t think its great. Its loud and sounds real. So you feel on location. i do feel its a little better than I remembered, on a re-watch.

But two dudes on foot do way too well, to get out of being surrounded. The guys behind him stop shooting, once Neil and Chris get out of the car. So its like they really only have to deal with the police in front of them (even though Chris does spray back behind them once). In rewatching it, I think my real issue isn’t the framing, but the distances and then the numbers.

Neil sprays out the windshield of the car. But its never establish what he’s shooting at. They even slow mo on his face as he goes to pull the trigger, as if he sees something to shoot at. but we don’t see it.

There are a ton of cops way ahead of them and they basically never get a shot off. Chris sprays and prays at them and kills them all, from a long distance. and then when Chris and Neil need to reload, the guys behind them should have been shooting. or hell, shooting when Chris and Neil were shooting forward.
Chris and Neil’s general tactics look real enough. but I just don’t think the coverage totally adds up, for a viewing experience.

I like the whole airfield thing. Right until the final few seconds. they blew it on the directing/editing, for the final shot. It felt really amateur how it was presented on screen.

I liked Heat a lot. I was just trying to point out that I was surprised at the flaws, especially considering the pedigree of people in the production. I admit the shoot out is probably my weakest complaint.


vincent and neil as good guy and bad guy is just a completely wild read

hating vincent’s wife for cheating is perhaps even wilder


why do you think it was ok for Diane to cheat?


because monogamy is evil


Vincent is positioned as the protagonist. He’s a bad(guy) protagonist. And the movie slowly sets you up on that. Him leaving his hospitalized daughter is the final and obvious chord, on that. But before that point, its kind of explained that Vincent is as good as he is at his job, because he his the way he is. Kind of a bad guy. No friends. Often absent for his family (and no friends helps him to keep doing that). But he’s also in the good guy role.

Neil has a heart. He encourages Chris to fix his relationship. He’s good to his friends. And he falls for a sweet woman. But I don’t think Neil is ever really setup as “good”. He’s the badguy. full stop.

As for “monogamy is evil”: I’m not even gonna touch that.


that the outcomes of the characters all follow the rules of the world of the film, including neil. there’s not supposed to be an eady until later, but now there is. so for him “the reward is now worth the stretch.” once he meets eady being out of character is in character for neil mccauley. not ignoring her completely in the bookstore was out of character, it happens in life sometimes.

well that’s your problem. and clearly she went with him in the end. christ give the lonely art student some time to adjust to the news of her boyfriend having just killed a fuckton of cops.

also neil mccauley’s victims in heat: a rich corporate money launder, a white supremacist serial killer of black sex workers, cops, banks. he was a hero and there should be a statue memorializing him at that airfield where he was murdered by vincent hanna.

neil is shooting at those cops way ahead of them. what else would he be doing. the next shot is literally his pov and the roadblock way down the street. the cops “never get a shot off” cause they’re way the fuck down the road with piddly beretta 92s being hosed with rifle fire. they don’t all just get killed suddenly, it shows the rest pinned down behind the cars.

which is the whole point, neil and co are not trying to hunt and peck every red target on the gta minimap until mission complete, they’re just trying to hose the place with suppressive fire and punch a hole through and get out. and they don’t just shoot ahead of them there’s several shots of every person in the group at some point both shooting in front of them and behind them. and it’s not two guys it’s three guys with rifles against a bunch of handgun equipped roadblock cops and vincents team of five people that is almost immediately reduced to three people when one is killed and the other injured.

neils team focuses their fire on the front when they’re first out of the car because they were just in a car, speeding away from vincent’s team that is on foot. and they do it again before they get through to the groccery store because vincent’s team has at that time peeled off to go after cherrito who gets separated from neil and chris, because vincent and team weren’t standing there with thumbs up ass the whole time, they were shooting at them from behind, with some success. Only one guy out of the entire crew got out unscathed.

plus it’s the 90s everyone has iron sights, hit percentages aren’t going to be the best, and neals crew is going to be way more trained than everyone else. even the actors were outshooting actual cops in no time in their training.


Mann’s films are always about the tension between rules and romanticism, and it’s so good especially within design. He wants to go off on these lyrical moments or escapes or even colors but he knows the rules, he knows how the studio game is played, he knows his craft like his characters do, and he has to play the whole bloody game to its end


oh, yeah, there were those people in the groccery store parking lot who were running around and caught some rounds too but you know what

“if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re gonna turn into a widow…”

hey hanna, you know what would of resulted in 0 widows. just letting them rob the insured bank you maniac.


The last couple shots before Neil and Chris turn off to the store, reads to me that all of the police at the cars are dead or incapacitated. and that’s why Neil is able to hobble away, dragging Chris.
Which doesn’t seem correct to me, considering the distances they were shooting from and the fact that they were mostly spraying. Cover fire, ok, yes. But nailed 'em all? Such that Neil isn’t shot in the back as he drags Chris away?

and then right after that, he whips around and shoots some cops from the hip, with Chris on his shoulder, at about 30 yards.

I’m not trying to scrutinize every shot. But it just doesn’t seem any “better” than anything else, to me. Besides yeah, they look like they had a plan when they were going down the straight stretch toward the road block.


If I’m not mistaken, he already says he can pay for her to live, well before he decides to do the final job. I didn’t feel that doing the final had anything to do with her. and certainly went against his usual self.

But I mean, the Diner scene is supposed be a whole lot of stuff at once. and if anything, its really distilling who these two guys are. and Neil says and then re-affirms that that he doesn’t do jobs destined to lose and he’s ready to walk (away from a woman) at any moment.

Now, the entire movie we’ve seen how good he is at his “job”. So I really did not like him folding on that at the end. It reads to me as a convenient way to get to the final showdown. As soon as he didn’t walk away from the last job, I knew he was destined to lose. and didn’t feel as interested in the remainder of the movie.

We didn’t see throughout the whole movie, how he actually handles himself with love interests. So that’s all well and good that he might fold, here, when we actually see him in such a situation. Most people don’t always walk the talk. I just think the Eady sub-plot is the weakest of the movie, as it is. And actually should have been more directly the reason he gets caught ( a tip from her or having her along makes him sloppy or whatever). Cuz that’s supposed to be the whole surprise: he doesn’t walk the talk, with Eady. As far as he knew, he had nothing to lose. He had money and he had the girl. He could have walked away with everything. *Or he could have got himself back to consistency and just split and left with only himself!


there is a shot of a cop trying to poke his head out from behind a car in this very series of shots your talking about.

neal is behind that car in front of him here when he sees chris get hit. they’re literally just shooting across the street now at the spot they’ve been shooting at the entire time at this point. it’s fifteen feet (I measured on google maps). that’s close quarters distance with a rifle. not to mention sizemore gets a bunch of them from the other side of the street as well with the 7.62. the cops have handguns. I don’t know what you’re expecting here, some cop just called off his donut break with an iron sighted 9mm beretta he barely qualifies with once a year to stand up and trade shots against multiple vested up guys with easily controllable automatic rifles who know where he is? the fact that any of them stupidly try to take the title shot and shoot back at all instead of just laying on the ground waiting for their commendation for bravery is the unrealistic thing.

also you have the actual north hollywood shootout where some dummies who watched heat and learned nothing from it literally just stood there and shot it out with the cops for like a half hour.

I guess putting the moving and shooting parts together takes more practice than watching movies.

he’s saying that cause he’s thinking of the things he’s got lined up. he’s like caan in thief when he has a way to make the life he’s imagining happen “much faster now.” when kelso lays out the bank score neal is real impressed by the numbers, so we’re impressed, because we know neal is a highline pro. and he’s constantly working overtime to make the bank work, paying off kelso himself after the drive-in deal with van zant goes wrong etc, cause the reward is worth the risk, which he says several times.


Please sign my petition for a parker blog of painstakingly breaking down squad tactics and character motivations vis a vis outlaw values of every crime movie


Just now remembering for the hundredth time that parker was the best writer on abdn, I always forget this for some reason until it hits me again like a lightning bolt


(thread) in the final shootout of “the way of the gun”, they waste way too much ammo for carrying single stack 1911s. mcquarrie once said he’d like to remake the movie but that of course no one would ever let him do it. if such a remake were to exist however, here’s what firearms I think each character should carry to best reflect their personality and also modern gunfighting trends: (1/556)


james caan carries a hi power and one extra magazine in his wind breaker pocket it’s been there for 20 years and the spring’s probably fucked and so are most of the primers on the cartridges he has never, ever swapped out don’t fight me on this you know it’s true





a remake of this movie that is exactly the same in every way except the gun combat is even more realistic would be a hell of a thing


from where Neil is standing in that shot, to those cop cars, is probably over 30 yards.


yeah it is like 25 yards my first measurement was wrong. but I mean it’s not like rifles are 10 feet and in only weapons here, that’s still close quarters, across the street, at a roadblock. if I can land in the black on a b8 target at 25 yards with a handgun why can’t neil mccauley hit a sideways cop car with a rifle