The long-awaited Bluray of Michael Mann‘s Heat (Warner Home Video, 11.10) lacks that Bluray schwing. Here I am sounding like a plebian again, but dammit, you buy a Bluray version of a film you already own on DVD because you want enhancement — something with finer detail, more color gradation, sharper focus — a more robust pop-through quality. That’s what you pay for, right?

Diane Venora, Al Pacino in Michael Mann’s Heat.

The Heat Bluray offers a slight sense of enhancement, okay, but there’s nothing all that “extra” about it. The instant I popped it in last night I said to myself, “Oh…this again.” That’s because it looks almost exactly the same on my 42-inch plasma as the Heat Special Edition DVD looked on my 36″ Sony analog back in West Hollywood.

If I didn’t understand and respect what Mann has approved here — he wants a theatrical look and/or doesn’t believe in tweaking what a film looked like to begin with — and if I was in a pissy-type mood, I’d call this Bluray a bit of a burn.

As DVD Beaver’s Gary Tooze puts in his just-up review, “The Heat Blu-ray presentation “is significantly ahead of the DVD counterparts but doesn’t exhibit the demonstrative depth and detail that many have come to expect from this new format.”

The Heat Bluray is a very handsome and honest presentation of how the movie looked on the big screen under the finest of circumstances. There’s obviously nothing “wrong” with that — shot on film, looks like film, etc. I guess I’m just a Blanche Dubois type where Blurays are concerned — “I don’t want realism, I want magic!”

You know what does look significantly enhanced and more visually exciting than its previous DVD version? The Planes, Trains & Automobiles “Those Aren’t Pillows!” special edition DVD that came out on 10.20. I know the previous DVD very well and this, played on my 42-inch plasma, looks very nice. And it’s not even a Bluray.

So in a Pepsi-challenge battle with the Heat Bluray, PTA wins. I’m sorry, but it’s more pleasing to the eye.