Re: LOTM on the DVD, Bloopers & Michael Mann

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Posted by Rich on January 19, 2000 at 05:13:05:

In Reply to: LOTM on the DVD posted by Jo on January 17, 2000 at 17:09:07:

: 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" least some progress! (But not much, in my thinking!)

: Jo

Gee, Jo ... Between you & Myrrh & Marcia I'm beginning to doubt my own findings! Yowsah!

OK ... pretty much, I guess everyone likes the clarity of picture & the awesome sound. That goes with the territory of the newest & best technology, DVD. So, we're all glad it was released on DVD? Right? The question then becomes, do we like WHAT was released on DVD, or should it have been kept simply the ORIGINAL in the new format?

At the risk of sounding like a Michael Mann paid employee, here goes ...

If the axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," was the issue, we would never have asked for a Director's Cut in the first place. Right? But, as much as we all loved the original, we wanted MORE! We wanted what we wanted! The fact is, we didn't necessarily get what WE wanted. We got what Michael Mann wanted. That's only fair.

Let's regress ... As with all films, much more footage was shot than was included in the theatrical release, all with the intent of possibly being included in the film. So, none of this is after thought, it's all stuff MM thought he could use at the time "The Last of The Mohicans" was originally being scripted & shot. MM goes through the editing process & presents a final product to 20th Century Fox. We may never know what was in that version exactly, but it is known that Fox ordered it trimmed, at the very last minute, by 15-20 minutes! Michael Mann's ORIGINAL vision of the film is NOT the one we have all come to know & love, but rather his pretty much rushed "20th Century Fox version". Ironic!

The years pass & MM is dissatisfied, somewhat, with the end result. But, time has tempered his vision, and this time around he sees things differently than he did in 1991 & 1992. So, naturally, his editing is somewhat different. If you have all these gobs of film, it seems natural to me that you might put it together differently at different times. Remember too, though WE, LOVERS of the film, might think it wasn't broke, audiences & the Academy might disagree. Thought the film did pretty well at the box office, it wasn't quite the block buster it was hoped to be. And, by his peers, it was nominated for but ONE Oscar ... Best Sound!

So, anything you see is really part of the original vision Michael Mann had, and I am grateful to be able to have seen more of it. It certainly isn't what I expected, but I feel he did a wonderful job at presenting the story in a slightly different light. That part is merely opinion, of course, but I think it not fair to criticize Michael Mann for doing what we asked ... but by his standards. It IS his film! So, I remain pleased that he did what he did & fully enjoy this new version of my favorite film. Perhaps, the more appropriate axiom to use here would be, "Be careful what you ask for!" Now ...

As for the bloopers ... I have no earthly idea why they are on the DVD, the THX VHS version, the laser disk, the theatrical FILM, but NOT on the original VHS release. Weird! Someone sent us a screen capture of the blue cap blooper just yesterday, so for those who've never seen it, here it is! That one, by the way, is visible in ALL formats & versions of LOTM. The only thing I can say here is that who knows how many bloopers like this are contained in OTHER films but haven't been noticed, or publicized, like this one has. Due to the intense scrutiny we have subjected this picture to, it has been exposed with all its warts & blemishes. Yet, it's STILL a great film! I had watched LOTM dozens of times before noticing the Blue Cap Blooper. Then, I was at the home of an extra, who also worked in props, and we were watching that segment frame by frame as he attempted to show me where he was during that scene. What a surprise!

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