In a lot of ways, Winslow's book is about how easily civilized, upstanding San Diegan Frank Machianno goes back to being Frankie Machine, descending Dante-style into Hell to try and get out; it's a juicy part for De Niro, one similar to some of his more iconic roles and yet very different; Winslow's book makes no bones about the age of its protagonist, and Frank's sense of honor will make for ripe stuff in the hands of the men who created the principled-yet-predatory jewel thief Neil McCauley in Heat. With Mann on board as the director, this film just moved up several notches on my radar; now, if we can just get Peter Berg to return to that film version of California Fire and Life he was supposedly attached to, it'd be a very good time to be a fan of California crime on the big screen. ...
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