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agent 47

Manhunter 30th Anniversary

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agent 47

Thought it was worth noting that Michael Mann's masterful film Manhunter is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary on August 15th. I don't really remember there being much a Manhunter specific thread on here though I know it's popular enough around here to deserve one. The good news is the anniversary isn't going unnoticed as Shout Factory who have done a pretty good job at releasing a lot of the old MGM horror catalog on Blu-ray is planning a Special Edition Blu-ray for May 24th.

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=18402

No word yet on what all is included but I believe via Twitter they have noted it will be double-discs, include both the theatrical and director's cut of the film and Michael Mann is involved with the new release.

 

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Tommy Vercetti

Manhunter is a great. I think it's Mann's second best film. Thief is his best. Heat is #3 and The Insider is #4. A Shout Factory edition would be great. The special edition DVD is very good. It has an excellent featurette and a fascinating commentary by Mann.

I think Manhunter is the best Hannibal Leckter film. Silence of the Lambs is overpraised and overrated IMO. While Hokins was great in Nixon and The Elephant Man, his portrayal of Leckter is overdone and he comes across as a hissing pantomime villain. Brian Cox is much more restrained and subtle and is more terrifying. Many said that Leckter in SOTL was an unrealistic character but Brian Cox's interpretation of Leckter is much more realistic and comes across as a real genuine psychopath. I also think there wasn't enough of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. He should've had been in the film more as Ted Levine (Holman from Crime Story) was so good in the role.

I also find Leckter's escape from custody in Silence of the Lambs completely ridiculous, implausible and impossible to believe and it's really detrimental to the film in my view. 

Many have criticised Mann for giving Manhunter a Miami Vie look, but it still works as a film in my view. It does have some flaws. While Tom Noonan was great and so creepy, I think the character of Dollarhyde should have been developed a bit more and I think Mann should've gone with the ending of the book. Those are my only complaints though. Apart from that, Manhunter is truly excellent

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Mr. Calderon

This is almost a miami vice episode.....

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Mr. Calderon

This is almost a miami vice episode.....

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agent 47
7 hours ago, Tommy Vercetti said:

Manhunter is a great. I think it's Mann's second best film. Thief is his best. Heat is #3 and The Insider is #4. A Shout Factory edition would be great. The special edition DVD is very good. It has an excellent featurette and a fascinating commentary by Mann.

I think Manhunter is the best Hannibal Leckter film. Silence of the Lambs is overpraised and overrated IMO. While Hokins was great in Nixon and The Elephant Man, his portrayal of Leckter is overdone and he comes across as a hissing pantomime villain. Brian Cox is much more restrained and subtle and is more terrifying. Many said that Leckter in SOTL was an unrealistic character but Brian Cox's interpretation of Leckter is much more realistic and comes across as a real genuine psychopath. I also think there wasn't enough of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. He should've had been in the film more as Ted Levine (Holman from Crime Story) was so good in the role.

I also find Leckter's escape from custody in Silence of the Lambs completely ridiculous, implausible and impossible to believe and it's really detrimental to the film in my view. 

Many have criticised Mann for giving Manhunter a Miami Vie look, but it still works as a film in my view. It does have some flaws. While Tom Noonan was great and so creepy, I think the character of Dollarhyde should have been developed a bit more and I think Mann should've gone with the ending of the book. Those are my only complaints though. Apart from that, Manhunter is truly excellent

Having viewed all the Hannibal films minus Hannibal Rising I definitely agree this is the best one. Mann's craft had such a final polish and as far as I'm concerned the choice for shooting this much the way Miami Vice was is part of the reason it's such a masterwork. It might be dated to some but it gives the film flavor and atmosphere lost in some of the Hopkins films especially the re-do Red Dragon which was downright banal compared to this adaptation. The performances are also so stellar in this one such as William Peterson as Will Graham who's character risks coming off as cheesy at times but William puts so much into it that his character's obsession feels genuine. Brian Cox is a much more realistic Hannibal Leckter like you said reminding me a lot of some of the serial killer interviews I've seen on A&E shows like American Justice and such. Also like a lot of Mann's work the soundtrack here is top notch.

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mvnyc

I thought it was a good film, definitely very Vice-ish the way it was shot...William Peterson did a great job!

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agent 47

Got an update on the new Blu-ray as Shout Factory earlier this week listed the special features:

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=18847

Quote

Disc 1: Theatrical Version of the film (HD)

NEW The Mind of Madness – an interview with William Petersen (18 minutes)

NEW Courting a Killer – an interview with actress Joan Allen (16 minutes)

NEW Francis is Gone Forever – an interview with actor Tom Noonan (22 minutes)

NEW The First Lecktor – an interview with actor Brian Cox (40 minutes)

NEW The Eye of the Storm – an interview with director of photography Dante Spinotti (36 minutes)

NEW The Music of MANHUNTER – including interviews with composer Michel Rubini, Barry Andrews (Shriekback), Gary Putman (The Prime Movers), Rick Shaffer (The Reds) and Gene Stashuk (Red 7) (42 minutes)

Original Theatrical Trailer

Still Gallery

Disc 2: Director's Cut of the film (HD with Standard Definition inserts)

Audio Commentary by writer/director Michael Mann

Director's Cut of the film (in Standard Definition)

The Manhunter Look - A Conversation with cinematographer Dante Spinotti (10 minutes)

Inside Manhunter with stars William Petersen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Tom Noonan (18 minutes)

While it doesn't look like they'll use a different transfer from MGM's current release the amount of new extras is really exciting especially the 40 minute talk with Brian Cox and the feature on the film's soundtrack. I'm glad Shout Factory is doing this as they always go above and beyond when it comes to getting interviews.

Edited by agent 47
Ever dream much, Will?

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Dadrian

SPOILER ALERT:

 

Great movie. Some unforgettable images/scenes, like the blind girl with the tiger. 

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Matt5

Yes I agree great movie :dance2:

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ArtieRollins
On 18.4.2016 at 5:33 AM, nofretz said:

Some unforgettable images/scenes, like the blind girl with the tiger. 

Yes, it is not just one of the films finest moments but a sure top 5 in my oppinion, or maybe even top 3 when it comes to Michael Mann's best movie scenes. Hauntingly beautiful, just as the film, and one of those that I always tend to skip back to anytime I see the it, and I guess that's why I only watch it by myself (but I enjoy that with special movies, see them alone with no "disturbances"), as friends/family would go nuts whenever I have to look through a scene three or four times in a row or more. :)

Manhunter is one of those few and rare movies where you can stop the film, almost at any time or scene and it still looks stunning. Well, I guess those who think of it as "outdated" or too "80s" might not agree with me on that, but I always thought of it as one of Mann's most beautiful and warm films. A real shame it took almost two decades before it began taking off with critics and audience alike, as it sure proved it was much more than just: "the one with the other Hannibal Lecter".

I got the limited steel book version on Blu-ray from UK a couple of months ago and I was very disappointed. The first few minutes has a very blurry/sloppy picture quality and throughout the film I thought the DVD of the theatrical version that came out in scandinavia around autumn 2002 was far superiour, both in sound and picture. Many of the great scenes from the 2002 DVD was missing, like: Will and Molly's rendezous and how they met up at a party, while staying in a hotel with the Washington monument in the background. Plus the one where Michael Talbott plays the real estate agent who meet up with Will Graham on one of his investigations. Sure it had the great and full version of: "My heart bleeds for him, someone took a kid a manufactured a monster" but still as a whole it was a letdown, hopefully this new Blu-ray version will be an update instead of a "downgrade".

Another great and a bit underrated Michael Mann/Manhunter scene, is the one with Will on a plane, taking a nap with the dreamy sounds of Kitaro, and seeing his beautiful wife in slow-motion, just before he wakes up to the horrors of reality:

 

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agent 47
2 hours ago, ArtieRollins said:

I got the limited steel book version on Blu-ray from UK a couple of months ago and I was very disappointed. The first few minutes has a very blurry/sloppy picture quality and throughout the film I thought the DVD of the theatrical version that came out in scandinavia around autumn 2002 was far superiour, both in sound and picture. Many of the great scenes from the 2002 DVD was missing, like: Will and Molly's rendezous and how they met up at a party, while staying in a hotel with the Washington monument in the background. Plus the one where Michael Talbott plays the real estate agent who meet up with Will Graham on one of his investigations. Sure it had the great and full version of: "My heart bleeds for him, someone took a kid a manufactured a monster" but still as a whole it was a letdown, hopefully this new Blu-ray version will be an update instead of a "downgrade".

I took a look at the screencaps on Caps-A-Holic this morning to see how the transfer used will stack up against other ones (the transfer in the upcoming Blu-ray for the Theatrical cut will be the same one from the MGM U.S. release) and saw that the one from the U.K. transfer does have some noticeably brighter color timing and sadly some overdone digital noise reduction which is why it looks a little smeared. Here's a few comparisons of the differences between the U.K. and U.S., you have to hover over the bigger picture to see the differences.

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=618&d2=619&s1=6283&s2=6295&i=0&l=0

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=618&d2=619&s1=6286&s2=6298&i=3&l=0

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=618&d2=619&s1=6292&s2=6304&i=9&l=0

On a side note. I recently played through Rockstar's Manhunt, a pretty disturbing and challenging stealth/horror game about a death row inmate who finds himself dropped into a rust belt city taken over by gangs and being ordered by a ruthless movie director to off them one by one while he films it all with cameras around the city. I mention the game here because as a nod to Manhunter Rockstar casted Brian Cox as the director, Lionel Starkweather.

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agent 47

Figured I should update this thread now that I've got the new Blu-ray and have gone through everything. First of all the transfer on the first disc is indeed the same as the previous MGM release although it does strong in motion with no real hint of any image manipulation such as grain scrubbing and such. The audio is a nice bump from my old Anchor Bay DVD. The special features on the first disc are tremendous and very informative and comprehensive. From Tom Noonan's interview I learned that the reason Mann didn't go with the book's ending was sadly due to budget issues and not just an aesthetic choice as this was made around the time producer Dino DeLaurentiis was having financial issues. The interviews with the musicians were great and the first time I ever learned of how Mann chose music for his work and how musicians got involved with said work. The Shriekback interview in particular was great as he not only brought up Manhunter but his thoughts on the use of the band's music in Miami Vice as well (Miami Vice is referenced a bit throughout some of the interviews and has a little context as to where the show fits in Mann's overall career arc). The forty minute Brian Cox interview was a real treat as he is just a joy to listen to and is frank and honest. He also went into his post-Manhunter career in terms of how he missed out on returning as Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs (the author Thomas Harris actually wanted him to return in the role).

The second disc does indeed mix standard-def footage with the MGM transfer for the director's cut as sadly the only existing prints for the scenes were only on tape and not on film. Thankfully though the standard-def scenes are in widescreen and while soft and hazy looking aren't a real eyesore. I honestly didn't feel a huge enough difference between cuts except for Graham's visit to who were the next potential victims of The Tooth Fairy were going to be although I still prefer the theatrical cut overall. There's also a weird bonus option to view the whole thing in standard-def I guess for people easily annoyed by the transitions between resolutions. The special features on the second disc are ported over from the Anchor Bay theatrical cut DVD which is great as sometimes you don't get the old features due to rights issues of some sort. The packaging of this is a marvel in itself. The artwork on the case is double-sided. One side is the new art work and when you flip the cover over you'll find an alternate cover with the original poster art (and thanks to them using a clear blue case you'll still be able to see whichever cover you chose not to view on the outside). Mine came with a slipcover (that cardboard sleeve they usually put Blu-ray cases in) which has the new artwork so I can have the original poster art facing up for the case and the new art externally so best of both worlds.

Overall this was a truly grand release and a good way to celebrate the anniversary.

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Tommy Vercetti

The interviews do sound great. Interesting to hear that the reason Mann didn't use the book's ending was due to budgetary issues.I do actually like the book's ending and it would've been cool to see how Mann would've done it. Although I do think Manhunter's ending is fine as it is but using the book's ending would've been great. I can see why Thomas Harris wanted Brian Cox to return as his performance was spot on and he really nailed it. 

 

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agent 47

Here's Michael Mann talking about the film with Robert Rodriguez including a bit more about how the ending came about.

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Tommy Vercetti

Great stuff. Thanks. Mr. Mann is always brilliant and fascinating to listen to. Interesting how he mentioned how he partially based dollarhyde on a real serial killer he knew so that's why Dollarhyde differs a bit in Manhunter then from the book

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Tommy Vercetti

Brett Ratner's Red Dragon is like Gus Van Sant's Psycho. It's pretty much the same film only it isn't done as well. Red Dragon is virtually identical to Manhunter. About 80% is the same as Manhunter, only done less well. Manhunter is more atmospheric, gripping, absorbing, compelling, exciting. The actors in Manhunter fit their roles better than the actors in Red Dragon and the contest between Michael Mann and Brett Ratner is non existent. The only plus I can give Red Dragon is the ending being closer to the book. That's it. I think Red Dragon is pointless. Why watch that when you can watch it done way better in Manhunter?

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agent 47

Couldn't agree more about Red Dragon especially the Psycho comparison. Everything from the direction to Ed Norton's meh performance to Anthony Hopkins performance which just screams phoned in make for a pretty pedestrian viewing. The film just feels like it only exists for people who absolutely dislike films from the eighties or maybe five people who wanted a Red Dragon adaptation with Hopkins. Even the presence of Harvey Keitel couldn't breathe some life into the Ratner film.

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Tommy Vercetti

Here's the Moviedrome intro for Manhunter with Alex Cox

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltIqVaxxM9Q

It's a great intro. I'll be playing this before watching the film from now on, as I do with many films shown on Moviedrome.
Alex rightly praises Brian Cox but describes Michael Mann as an  'incorrigible faddist'. This intro was from 1991 so it was before Mann grew in stature as a director. I disagree with him saying that Manhunter isn't tightly plotted. 
He says Will Graham in Manhunter is more like a TV producer than a cop. More like Michael Mann then.
Alex makes an error calling Hopkins and Cox English actors though.

I highly recommend Alex's Moviedrome intros. They're fantastic. There's a ton on youtube.

 

 

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