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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just the Features: Manhunter: Collector's Edition (Scream Factory)




Released by Shout! Factory

Release Date: Aug. 15th, 1986 (Theatrical)
                       May 24th, 2016 (Blu-ray)

Region Code: A (locked)

Run Time 2h 0m (Theatrical)
                  2h 4m (Director's Cut)

Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 
             English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 

Video: 1080p (2.35:1 Aspect Ratio) (Theatrical Version)
            1080p with 480i inserts (2.35:1 Aspect Ratio) (Director's Cut)
            480i (2.35:1 Aspect ratio) (Director's Cut)




Note: My review for the film is located here.

THE FEATURES [3 out of 4]

Disc 1: Theatrical Version 

       Making of Manhunter:

The Mind of Madness: Interview with  William Petersen (18m 16s, HD)
William Petersen gives a good account of how he became involved with Manhunter. He also talks about some of the behind the scenes drama between Michael Mann and Dino De Laurentiis and his relationship with the cast and crew. Petersen genuinely likes the film and enjoyed his time on set.

Courting a Killer: Interview with Joan Allen (15m 54s, HD)

Allen talks about how Michael Mann was a very freeing director and let the actors do what they thought their characters would do. She talks about shooting the sex scene and how weird it is. She also talks about going to a school for the blind and working with the teachers and the students on how to act like she was blind. Allen seems like a very nice person, but she seems a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera. I have seen many actors who don’t really like to be interviewed. Most of them are jerks about it but Allen seems like she wants to tell the stories, but seems at odds about talking. Her favorite scene is the tiger scene.

Francis is Gone Forever: Interview with Tom  Noonan                     (22m 3s, HD)
Noonan gives us a bit of history concerning his career. He talks about how he likes to stay in character and he never reads the script. He talks about keep a journal and writing the note the prison guards find in Lecktor’s cell. He has a lot of stories to tell and they are really good. I will not dare give them away. Noonan is comfortable in front of the camera and doesn’t come off as creepy. This interview is one of the highlights of the set.

Eye of the Storm: Interview with Dante Spinotti (35m 56s, HD)
This is a very technical interview. Spinotti was the director of photography on the film and as such we get a lot of info on lighting and composition. Spinotti is a very well-spoken man who tells a story like no other. He brings up a lot of things that I didn’t know about like how green is a menacing color and that the film is full of green light. He also talks about working on Red Dragon. Spinotti is one of a handful of DPs who have worked on two versions of the same story. The other being Daniel Pearl and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The Music of Manhunter (42m 22s, HD)
Michel Rubin (Composer), Barry Andrews (Shriekback), Gary Putnam (The Prime Movers), Rick Shaffer (The Reds), and Gene Stashuk (Red 7) are all on hand to discuss the score to Manhunter. As long as this interview is, it seems very basic. Each of the interviewees talk about the same thing: “We wrote this piece and Mann did or did not like it. Then we wrote this piece and so on and so on.” I wanted to like this more, but it was so boring. Unless you are a music person or have to watch everything on the disc, you can not feel guilty about skipping this one.


The First Lecktor: Interview with Brian Cox (40m 29s, HD)
Cox is one of my favorite actors, so I was looking forward to this interview and it does not disappoint. Cox talks about his history of acting up to the point of getting the role in Manhunter. He talks about the other actors who were up for the role. He also talks about working with Mann and Petersen, really the only two actors he is with in the film. He talks about how he likes the film except for the music which dates the film. He also talks about Silence of the Lambs. He wanted to be in the film, but he like Anthony Hopkins in the role. This is a great interview. Cox tells a lot of stories and they are all very interesting. This is the best special feature of the set.

Theatrical Trailer (2m 5s, HD)
I don’t know if I would have seen this film based in the trailer. I think I would have stayed at home.

Still Gallery (8m 25s, SD)




Disc 2: Director’s Cut (2h 4m, HD with SD inserts)

Director’s Cut in Standard Definition (2h 4m, SD)
This was included because there people out there who get offended when standard definition material is included in a high definition presentation. There are also those who are offended that this feature is included in this package at all. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

Commentary with Director Michael Mann
Mann doesn’t start talking until a minute of two into the film so I thought that I hadn’t turned on the track. This is a fairly good track. Mann speaks very clearly and gives us a lot of info, but he pauses a lot throughout the track. When the info is given it is good, but the gaps in the track made me not want to listen anymore. I did though and the tracks is decent.

The Manhunter Look (10m 4s, SD)
This is an interview that was on the Anchor Bay disc from the early 2000s. Spinotti covers the same material as he did in the other interview. This is for completests only.

Inside Manhunter (17m 17s, SD)
Like the Spinotti interview before this, Inside Manhunter was found on the Anchor Bay DVD and covers everything that the first disc of this set cover. Again, this is for completests only.

The Packaging: This is Scream Factory we are talking about here so we get a beautiful slip cover that is adorned with newly commissioned artwork. The artwork is very nice and fits the film very well.

Taking off the slip sleeve we are greeted with the same artwork as the slip. On the other side of the commissioned artwork is the original theatrical poster artwork.
The discs come housed inside of a standard blu-ray case, no eco case from Scream. The two disc feature artwork from the film. Both discs are region A-locked.

Overall: I am not the biggest fan of Manhunter. I find the film slow and at odds with itself. The film spends a lot of time with the agent investigating the murders and less time with the actual killer, which gives the film an uneven balance. The film looks great and the acting is pretty good. There are things to love about Manhunter, but not  enough for me to recommend it.

The blu-ray, on the other hand, is damn good. Scream went above and beyond with this set. I figured that the interviews would be about 15-20 minutes a piece, but was pleasantly surprise to find a few of them clocking in at more than half an hour long. Almost all the interviews are worth watching except for the music one, just because it is so monotonous. The only person missing from the set is Michael Mann. Sure, he is present for a commentary, but that track was recorded more than a decade ago. Mann was supposedly involved with this disc so it seems a little bit odd that there is nothing new from him. That being said, this is a great disc. Scream keeps getting better and better with each film. This is a must buy for fans of the film.





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