Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment And AICN Want To Give You A Copy Of The New LAST OF THE MOHICANS Blu-Ray!!
...with an opportunity for AICN readers to snag one of 5 (five) copies of the brand new Blu-Ray of Michael Mann's THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS: DIRECTOR'S DEFINITIVE CUT , which hits stores today (find it HERE).
I've always truly, deeply loved this film and can not overstate its impact on my Geekdom. It re-defined my perspective of big-screen storytelling, and profoundly informed a number of my own creative endeavors. It taught me to see differently, to listen differently, and to think differently. It was, quite simply, a life changer.
This said, it had been a while since I last saw the picture - I was unimpressed with the previous DVD iterations of the film (either I didn't appreciate the editorial tweaks, or their overall mastering). Watching them pissed me off, so I didn't. I was cautiously optimistic that some of these slights would be adjusted on the Blu-Ray, but I was also concerned that, perhaps, MOHICANS may no longer hold the emotional/sensory impact it once had. The film is, after all, 18 years old. That's a long time for a movie to age - and many, many weeks and months in which any title could lose its luster.
I am thrilled to report that MOHICANS plays as well now as it ever did, and may have even improved with age. Not surprisingly, it looks better on Blu-Ray than it has on any other home video format, although this is not to say the new mastering/edit is perfect. Very early on I found myself tweaking my television's tried & true settings to brighten the image a smidgen, and even then some of the film's insanely dichotomous lighting pallet was a challenge to sort through during a few particular sequences. After seeing the "Making of..." feature included on the disc, I'm beginning to suspect that this issue is less a product of the Blu-Ray itself, and more an indicator that no video delivery system has been devised that can fully convey the texture and nuance of what Mann and Director of Photography Dante Spinotti put on screen. On the whole, however, such issues are few and far between. The overall quality of the image is here is vastly improved over what we've seen before - even over what you may've seen theatrically. It's consistently beautiful, with a few "wow" moments to see you through.
I've previously noticed a few Talkbackers slamming the "Director's Expanded Edition" which came out on DVD back in 2001. In that version, several small but significant editorial adjustments were made that many viewers (myself included) felt threw off the pacing and atmosphere of the movie; a haunting Clannad song was dropped (obliterating the effect of the montage it was backing), a closing monologue was expanded a bit (the movie didn't need that much talking as it was wrapping up), etc. I didn't have the time to run the side by side caparison I'd initialy intended to conduct, but my understanding is that the new "Director's Definitive Cut" contained on this Blu-Ray rescinds many of the changes seen in the previous DVD "expanded" version. Clannad is here - Russell Means' closing monologue is restored to its breezier, more effective, and more character appropriate theatrical length. If my numbers are correct - two minutes or so of footage have been re-incorporated into the original theatrical running time of the film, with some material previously expanded on the 2001 DVD excised. Unlike the "Director's Expanded Edition" DVD, this version of MOHICANS flows wonderfully and feels fully realized.
Extras on the disc are slim - but theatrical trailers are included, as is a commentary by Mann and a brand new 42 minuteish documentary that (much like the film itself) is low on bullshit and high on substance. Included in said documentary:
** Michael Mann...
** Owen Lyons (historian, Onandaga Faithkeeper)...
** insight from casting director Bonnie Timmerman...
** Madeleine Stowe (still quite, quite hot)...
** Daniel Day-Lewis (sounding unnervingly like James Horner. We get quite a few vids from his physical training, weapons training, fight rehearsals, etc.)...
** Col. David Webster (trainer & technical adviser). He trained Daniel Day-Lewis at a "Special Operations Center" (that alone sounds daunting). Col. Webster explains how DDL was taught to use M-16s, shotguns, and handguns - contemporary skills from which the actor was then "progressed backwards" to become period appropriate...
** Wes Studi (who seems as cool and nice as he can be, but still looks like he could kick every one of our asses)...
** Capt. Dale Dye (USMC, ret.) - Military Technical Adviser...
** Tommy Fisher - SPFX coordinator...
** Maurice Roeves (Colonel Munro)...
** Production Designer Wolf Kroeger, who explains that the homesteads, Fort William Henry, Native American Villages, etc. were created for the picture using real materials from the land around them - as they would've been back in the day...
** Director of photography Dante Spinotti (here Mann discusses the use of natural lighting - darkened corners of rooms, shade dropping out characters, etc. were allowed during photography to promote feeling of "reality")...
** Composer Trevor Jones, who says Mann "didn't want the music to overtly state what was obviously on screen." Jones discusses his "stacking" of music similar to how Mann "stacked" story layers, and talks about the true theme to LAST OF THE MOHICANS (per Michael Mann) isn't the music overtly associated with the film, but the bassline which accompanies different movements in the score.
My apologies if I'm using the wrong musical terms here, but listen to the brooding underscore (bassline?) on the two pieces below. Each demonstrates different music on top of the same notes, essentially. You'll see what I'm talking about...
All the way around, it's wonderful to see the film looking and sounding this good. Anyone who appreciates MOHICANS...in any way...will find the documentary quite insightful, and this Blu-Ray is a fantastic way to introduce the picture to someone who has yet to see it. Conceptually and artistically, LAST OF THE MOHICANS is as potent and important today as it ever was, and it'll stay so for a long time to come. Emotionally resonant, iconographically stirring, and viscerally wrenching, this film is very much "the real thing" - and an essential work from one of our most gifted filmmakers.
So, what do you gotta do to get a copy? As mentioned above, it is now available (HERE), but...courtesy of the fine folks at Fox Home Video...we also have 5 (five) copies to offer AICN readers.
Please follow the rules precisely. In the past we've had folks unnecessarily disqualified for deviating from the simple rules laid out below, and we hate to see that happen!
** Sometime between the time you read this and 11:59:59 PM CST USA (i.e. one second before midnight CST USA) on Thursday October 7, 2010, send an e-mail to me *****via the e-mail link below*****. You can enter twice a day for the contest's duration.
** Include your name and mailing address in this e-mail. The address is to expedite prize shipment only and will be summarily discarded once Blu-Ray recipients are chosen and announced. No spam, no mailing lists, etc.
** Be sure to send from an ACTIVE (and frequently checked) E-MAIL ACCOUNT. If I try to reach you & my message bounces back? I'll trash your win and move on to the next closest winning contestant I can reach. Really not trying to be a jerk here, but I've no time to chase folks down.
** I've already pre-selected 5 (FIVE) times of day, on the three days between today (Tuesday October 5, 2010) and Thursday October 7, 2010. The person who e-mails me at (or closest to) these times will receive a copy of the Blu-Ray. NOTE: I've been asked this before, so...for clarity...I'm using whatever time is stamped on the Yahoo mailing address established for this contest as the determiner. I'm in Central Time USA, so I guess that's a CST time stamp (?)
** The five recipients will be announced on this site either Friday or Monday.
** You can only win one copy of this Blu-Ray.
** Contest open to U.S. and Canadian readers only.
** Fox Home Video will have your addresses in hand by Friday (October 8, 2010) & they've been kind enough to handle fulfillment in this contest.
** As a general FYI, you should know that...due to the number and frequency of entries..recipients in past contests were sometimes determined by matters of seconds. Literally.
And that's it!
Best of luck to you. And, enjoy!
--- Follow Merrick on Twitter! ---
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Oct. 5, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST
already said it
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST
by Darth Thoth
What beautiful music.
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST
So I'll assume the contest is open to those of us who don't live in the US.<p>Last of the Mohicans soundtrack is one of my all-time favourites.
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
Ahhh fuck, wrong movie.
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST
When Hawkeye says to Duncan, "Someday I think you and I are going to have a serious disagreement." I hope they put that back in.
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:55 a.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:28 p.m. CST
the last ten minutes, from when Uncas puts his hand on his father's shoulder to say goodbye, is just incredible.
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST
Really women once hotted over this twitchy thing. Makes ME SAD.
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:48 p.m. CST
right now. Chingachgook kicking ass!
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST
just before Natty yells 'Uncas!', watch him bump into a rather unconvincing rock..whoops!
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST
by Star Hump
Oct. 5, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST
It hurts my brain to even try to decipher the hipster garbage.
Oct. 5, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST
by Shaner Jedi
battle scenes. Love the attack on the garrison's column by Wes Studi's indians. Very good film.
Oct. 5, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST
by Shaner Jedi
terrific score too. Terrific with or without the movie!
Oct. 5, 2010, 1:25 p.m. CST
... is the so-called international version, which i saw in the theaters. It didn't had the Clannad song, it had more extended scens with the Nora's fiancé in battle showing what a couragous badass he was in combat, and in the finla moments there was no shot of Hawkeye and Nora embracing. I prefer by far that version, it was the one that made me watch it 3 times in a row in the theaters back then. And it was never released in DVD. For shame!
Oct. 5, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST
Hasn't held up well at all over the years. I'm always a little surprised by the deterioration on my dvd. Was this movie that ugly on the big screen? Its got more cigarette burns than a styrofoam ashtray.
Oct. 5, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST
by D o o d
a good movie instead..?
Oct. 5, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST
You're kidding, right?
Oct. 5, 2010, 2:50 p.m. CST
It's great to see, or hear I should say, of the re-integration of the Clannad song during the "chase". It's removal is THE reason I do NOT watch that DVD from 2001. Cant wait to watch this on Blu.
Oct. 5, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST
When is this bad boy out in the UK? I fucking love this film, second only to Jaws.
Oct. 5, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST
but I absolutley love the music. Everytime it's on TV I have to watch the scene which ends with Jodhi Mays Alice jumping. Have to cry every time.
Oct. 5, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST
by D o o d
I have to be honest, I didn't think anything of that movie. I think it's over rated but that's just me. It made a shit load of money though, so what do I know!
Oct. 5, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST
Mohicans is definitely a bonifide classic. pity there's no commentary by Mann, his commentary for Heat is absorbing
Oct. 5, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST
Also my favourite Michael Mann film, and one of my general all time Favourites. Good to see this getting some love... it's a film that wears its heart on it's sleeve. They don't make epics like this anymore, unfortunately. I now have the intense urge to watch it again.
Oct. 5, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST
There is a commentary by Mann (I haven't checked, but I suspect it's ported over from a previous issuance). Neglected to mention it.
Oct. 5, 2010, 6:56 p.m. CST
by Rocco Curioso
Exercise patience, hoss... wait until the day after Thanksgiving (November 26th this year). I snagged (online) a $300 Sony Blu-Ray player for $200 during last year's sale. No doubt you will be equally fortunate if you wait until then.
Oct. 5, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST
How this film got snubbed by the oscars will always be a mystery to me. The last 20 minutes when Uncas runs up the hill to save Alice are pure visual poetry. I guess it was snubbed because academy voters thought it was relying too much on the score but stupid bullshit like Braveheart (that pretty much ripped off Mohican's style of bloody 'period' action) won all the awards two years later and total shit like Gladiator won too. I guess that just tells you that Hollywood has drastically lowered it's standards. Merrick is dead on though, I saw this movie when I was sixteen at it profoundly changed me too. It's like the perfect action/period piece/date film.
Oct. 5, 2010, 7:24 p.m. CST
Managed to steal the whole fucking movie in about 20seconds.
Oct. 5, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST
This movie was filmed in the area in and around Asheville, NC....partially on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate and in Chimney Rock State Park.
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:28 p.m. CST
"serious dissagreement' I watched teh DVD over and over and have always been like WTF I know he said that! I am going to buy this tomorrow! Favorite film of mine, agree with all you said above. Changed my life for the better and as a young teen made me realize that a historical love story could also kick ass
Oct. 6, 2010, 2:25 a.m. CST
I really hope someone tries to argue that. the music, the cinematography, the HUGE stakes for every character involved, the editing, the pacing, the (for lack of a better term) bad-assness...it's phenomenal.<p>honestly, I know the quality on YouTube is terrible, but just watch this...watch how much happens in 7 and a half minutes. it's astonishing. <p>if that's not in the top 10 of all time for final scenes, I don't know what deserves it more. just breathtaking. <p>this movie is up there with Shawshank Redemption and a handful of others that are truly as close to perfect as can be imagined. everything works, everything fires on all cylinders, nothing is half-assed, every person involved knew they were going full force for a classic and gave it their all.<p> Merrick is right. there may not be any droids or phasers in this movie, but if you're a film geek, and you don't love the shit out of this movie, you are seriously in need of some self-examination. it's amazing, period.
Oct. 6, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST
there are virtually no words in the last 6 minutes of the film's finale. and yet they manage to be powerful, suspenseful and completely engaging. <p>if you invest enough in the characters, and thrust them all together, you don't need yappity yapping, do you?<p> and here's the scene, that I forgot to link to before:<p> http://tinyurl.com/266hoql
Oct. 6, 2010, 2:37 a.m. CST
by So What?
of this masterpiece. (Mann's greatest film in my opinion). Saw it at the cinema in 92 and it blew me away!!! I have the dvd of the original version, and its still awesome. ( The Clannad part is great WHY cut it????). Could never bring myself to watch the recut version, BUT if this version does indeed restore the Clannad section and the pacing of the original cut, then I'm buying this..
Oct. 6, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST
by David Assholehoff
No disrespect intended, I loved this movie almost as passionately as Harry. Kinda made me want to NOT like it so much. Does that make me a bad person?
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST
Though I love the musical score, that description of the European cut sounds intriguing. Is it available anywhere?
Oct. 6, 2010, 1:54 p.m. CST
stand up tall. Actually it's Madeleine Stowe. Aw who am I kidding it's the music. Schwing!!!
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