Posted by MMMMarcia on December 02, 1999 at 10:13:10:
OKay...now that Elaine & Rich have seen and commented on the DVD, let the games begin! I'd love to hear from EVERYONE as they view this. In response to a couple of comments made by Rich...*me, doing my best Nixon impersonation*...let me say THIS about THAT:
A Director's Cut or No? We've all been using the term "Director's Cut" a lot when expressing our likes & dislikes about this version. When I stated that I do NOT consider it a Director's Cut, I really should have said, I do not consider it a "director's EXPANDED" edition. To add a mere three minutes to a film, and to accomplish that by leaving out many things from the original release, doesn't seem like much of an "expansion" to me. Perhaps they should have called it the "Director's CHANGED Edition." As for making the film stronger with these changes, here we'll simply have to agree to disagree. I thought the film was utterly and completely PERFECT before. I, personally, liked the mystery of the Uncas/Alice relationship, and would not have cared much to see a love scene between them, so leaving that as it was seemed right to me. The only thing I would have been curious to see were some of the extra shots (like Duncan's Diversion) and the explanation of Uncas's injury.
Whether or not the omitted lines was a good change is a matter of personal taste, I suppose. I absolutely hate the "serious disagreement" line being gone. It was very important to the development of the Duncan/Hawkeye relationship, to me. I can live without the "nothing better to do on the lake" line, though I think for Hawkeye to completely ignore Duncan's threat with the gun makes very little sense. A reply of some sort would seem warranted.
And I definitely feel the ending is much WEAKER, rather than stronger, with the "dialog" from Chingachgook, if speech is too strong a term. But again, that's just personal taste. I gathered every bit of what he was saying from the powerful look he gave Hawkeye in the THX version. However, I'm sure many feel that a "summing up" of events is a good thing, so I'll probably be in the minority with that feeling. (I don't care for "narrations" in most films, either, as I think a well-written film should be able to get its message across without those types of explanations.)
As for omitting Clannad, I think the extra footage of them running, running, running along there is excessive, and really sounds lame without that music. Again, just my taste. I'll take my THX version of that particular scene any day. I did like the one shot of the sunset behind the captives a lot.
What puzzles me most, though, is the lack of comment about the jerky, unprofessional "splice-jobs" (for want of a better term). Are you saying, Rich, that you didn't notice those, or that they aren't on your version? Or is it a player-related thing? Every time there was a change made, the movie skipped or jerked when I was watching it. Now that surely isn't a matter of taste, but rather, something that just isn't right. Whether Mann did it himself, or his editors, or what...it doesn't flow from scene to scene as it once did, and that really bothers me a lot.
I guess I won't get all the answers until I have my own DVD player, and can watch this version some more. At this point, the negatives still outweigh the positives for me, and that isn't because I'm so used to the version I have now. As I said in another post, I have about 4 different versions of this movie, and I've always loved them all. I was expecting to love this one, too. It will be interesting to see if most fans like this version better.
At any rate, I have all the currently available versions, and can watch any and all of them when I want. Maybe I'll learn to like this one a little better in time, maybe not. Doesn't matter a whole lot, as I'll always have the videos.
I DO agree that once I get my hands on my own DVD player, I'll probably never buy another video tape. I love all the features that come with it, especially subtitles. No more going, "What'd he say?" And playing Titanic in French with Spanish subtitles was a real hoot!!
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