LOTM on the DVD

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Posted by Jo on January 17, 2000 at 17:09:07:

Well, I have had the DVD version at hand, now, for "days and days" but have mulled over in my mind what I thought of it....I suppose I am on the fence about it, so have waited to give my review.
What can I say, the colors, the vibrancy of the print, hey, I thought I would have to get my sun glasses, the print was sooo BRIGHT, "perfect" and clear! (as opposed to my VHS print!). I saw scenes I had NEVER seen on my VHS print; the fort being one of them! Well, I had always wondered why a fort would be on an island, (or so I thought;) I never, on my VHS print saw the fort as being on the land beyond the island...that is how dark my print is. (But the "enemy" stalking them; funny, on my VHS, they are clearly visible, on the DVD, not so much....)
And John Cameron's sentence: "set three plates": obviously he saw more in the dark than I ever saw in the movie; he KNEW three people were to arrive?? And he didn't even say "please" to the wife???? (I think a very misplaced sentence...Mr. Mann never did set a table, I think!)
There is a sunset during scenes at the fort I thought were in the dead of night, in fact, I thought most of the scenes in the movie were in the dead of night, as my VHS was so dark; what a surprise to see most in daylight or sunset...you can see the torches through the windows, being held by the band who were to arrest Hawkeye....and the sound!!!!!!!!
Clearly, Alexandria says "Welcome" while my VHS has a muddled word; it was intriguing to hear the movie in French for a bit! I had NEVER on my VHS version heard "Uncle Ongewasgone"(not sure I got this right, still); my nine year is in school, so can't turn on the DVD yet to check it; a few more lessons...(to the timid of mind, ours goes through preamps, amps, sub woofers, etc...we have, count them 6 {SIX} remote controls to not only find but I have to figure out how to control the machines....)...this was such a garbled sentence by Hawkeye, I always figured he'd been speaking Mohican which the film guys didn't translate...(and thought all of the posts on the board were very daft....how did they come up with this guy?????)
And to read the credits? Well, where as before, it was a guessing game....had to jump up and down in unison with the tape to try to read everything....now they are crystal clear....what a treat!
So, my end all feeling; I have grown accustomed to my VHS; I did not, and still, after 4 playings, have yet to like the "sound mix" of the new DVD version....I am beginning to wonder; did Michael Mann really have a hand in this; did he "hate" the music so much he relegated it to the background so badly...was he jealous of their Oscar??? We have surround sound, woofers, (don't know if I spelt it right) sub-woofers, everything but the Mr. Lucas THX theater of the sound here, and this DVD sound is AWFUL compared to a few other DVD's we've heard since LOTM. Maybe it is my DVD print. But I am not impressed with the background music mix at all. Hey, I heard every twig, bird and cricket in the wood....(like the book) but the music, besides the scenery, is what struck me the most (and yes, DDL, what can I say???) and I miss the music being upfront. (and the Clannad song missing...what a flat scene...without something else.) Some of the reviews I remember of this movie in 1992 mentioned: running, and the poor use of the Clannad song. Maybe someone, Mr. Mann, bowed to their wishes??? and what else do we get - more running....to what end?? Would have been nice to see some more character development...)(So they Cora, and Alice and Duncan walk until sunset and then...enter the village in broad day light...did they walk through the night? rest? or what?)
I am hoping there is another setting to get the music "up front" as in the VHS tape we have; but I think it is mixed way in the background.
And my other huge problem with this DVD version; hey, I finally saw the guy in the red cap during the elk hunt scene...and now I can see the top of the buses anytime I want...now these were NOT in my VHS version...so how much time did Mr. Mann spend on this "Director's Cut" version.....so, now, even though the VHS version I have doesn't have these two "bloopers", I can see them all the time if I watch the DVD; now I don't know, all I have read about Michael Mann is he is a perfectionist; and here we have, what wasn't on my VHS version, two "bloopers"...it is hard to believe, even if the company told Richard, that Michael Mann had anything to do with this version...how would anyone, with TIME include these bloopers, when they were, (as someone took the time to exclude them from my VHS)on the DVD????? I know the movie was over budget, overtime and a lot of the crew had walked off the site; but there is to me, no excuse, during the spring/summer of 1999 to include these bloopers. And not to include any really new scenes??? My hubby has mentioned in a prior post, he was able to align the VHS version in the small square in the right hand corner while the DVD was playing; what a site! Almost every site lined up (giving the difference between the CD driver and the tape driver....); what was taken out was made up for in nano seconds; (the battle scene was added to/taken away from to end up almost the same amount of time as the VHS version) and Mr. Mann threw this tape on the floor back in 1992 only to find bits and pieces to re-insert in 1999???? How much time would it have taken him to re-insert these nano-seconds in the original...or who was in charge of that final print??? Or this print??
Oh, well, just a thought....as to all of these comments.....
How do I feel about the new DVD version???????? Well, the clarity is so good, I will probably watch it (as soon as I can figure out the controller...) as much as my old "dark" "VHS"...but, I agree with what Marcia said, what's not broken, don't fix...(or is believe that is MMMMarcia's words..???) will probably spend my time between the two of them...
But I am glad we have a "direct directors" version...at least some progress! (But not much, in my thinking!)


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