Posted by MMMMarcia on November 23, 1999 at 21:23:56:
Well...I've watched it. The clarity of the picture is lovely. The extra footage from the "Duncan's Diversion" scene is nice. But all in all, my honest opinion is, Michael Mann should have followed the ol' "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" advice.
The hardest thing for me is the fact that the sound has been remastered, bringing the dialog up a bit, but losing most of the intensity of the background music. That powerful soundtrack has been tamped down much too far for my taste.
What I think most of us wanted was some things ADDED, but as Mike's post mentioned, what we got was things SUBSTITUTED. Uncas fans will be very sad to find out that there isn't one additional scene or word between he & Alice that I could pick up on. Nor any further dialog from him at all. Not even the explanation of his wound that will seep and then draw. *sigh* Alice & Duncan do have two more lines in the meadow, before leaving for the fort.
But from MY perspective, the WORST possible sin is that two of my favorite HAWKEYE lines have been cut, and it makes NO sense to me, as they both were clearly intended to underscore the adversity building between Duncan and Nathaniel. They left out "Someday I think you and I are going to have a serious disagreement," and "Got nothing better to do on the lake today, Major?" I am curious as to whether or not anyone else finds that incomprehensible.
One added line I liked is at Cameron's cabin. Just after the Camerons hear the approach of our heroes, the men at the table grab their guns & walk outside, then John Cameron turns back towards the house & tells Alexandra to "set three more places." Other than that, the changes are for the most part, very small. One new line in this scene, one new shot in that one...nice, but they last only seconds.
There are some good additional lines at the parlay, but I do not like the new ending at all. Chingachgook's final speech seems totally unnecessary, though some will probably like it. I prefer the eloquence of the sad, sad look he gives Hawkeye in the "old" version. It speaks volumes, and I don't think this dialog improved it at all.
All in all, I will probably stick to my THX version, sorry to say. I like the sound so very much better, and the few new shots aren't enough to make up for that, for me. And leaving out Clannad is a BAD, BAD mistake, to my mind. Even Mark said that whole scene lost something special due to the omission. (The music is really wimpy at that point!)
I'm glad I have this version to go in my collection, but I doubt I'll watch it often.
Now to see if others agree, or whether I'm just so used to the old one I can't judge fairly. I'm quite curious to read everyone else's opinions.
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