Conclusion: French label Carlotta Films' Limited Edition Blu-ray release of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate is a thing of beauty. It is the most elegant Blu- ray release I have seen produced in any region. I think that fans of the film residing in Region-B territories who could not take advantage of Criterion's release will be very pleased once they see what Carlotta Films have done to celebrate and promote the film's recent restoration and reconstruction. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Excerpt: So, cut to 2012, and Criterion has given this tale of 1890s Wyoming’s anti-immigrant cattle wars another chance on Blu-ray, giving full deference to Cimino’s vision with this 216-minute director’s cut. Typically the only thing I like more than a Western is a long Western, but I met my match in this one; this review is based on the 124 minutes of Heaven’s Gate I could stand to watch.
Excerpt: Heaven’s Gate is one of the most legendary, and possibly one of the most infamous, films in the history of the medium. Essentially a western, the film is notable for not just its immense cast and lush photography, but how it changed the filmmaking industry for the worse and, to most film fans and critics, it’s the last film of Michael Camino’s career that was noteworthy.
Excerpt: As a student of film one of the most continually intriguing aspects of Hollywood production history is the "flop", I've always been interested in some of Hollywood's biggest mistakes, whether it were linked to inflated budgets, inflated egos, or simply a terrible script, badly directed vanity piece.
Conclusion: Colossal fail or misunderstood masterpiece? Most will probably place Heaven's Gate somewhere in between those extremes. Michael Cimino's sprawling epic certainly has a number of intriguing qualities to it, but doesn't add up in a very satisfying fashion. Criterion's Blu-ray undoubtedly stands as the film's definitive release.
Conclusion: Neither the unwatchable failure its reputation would suggest nor the masterpiece it wants to be, 'Heaven's Gate' is an ambitious, often fascinating, even more often frustrating Western epic with big ideas on its mind, but that never completely comes together. The 1980 release of Michael Cimino's movie had major repercussions in the film industry. Unfortunately, the supplemental content on Criterion's Blu-ray fails to put any of that into context.