3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars classic action/thriller
manhunter was released in 1986 and is a prequel to the silence of
the lambs.it was remade in 2002,with different actors under the name
red dragonand while both movies are very good,there are some
differences.man hunter is very atmospheric in tone,utilizing music
more.it is very stylistic,yet also has substance.the action and drama
scenes are well...
Published on Feb 26 2008 by falcon
3.0 out of 5 stars good, not great
After hearing all the rave reviews for the prequel that was better then silence, and reading the book that is one of my all time favorites. I bought this movie. It's true to the book but for some reason it just didnt hold my attention the way a great movie does. The "stellar" performance by tom noonan as francis dolarhyde is ridiculous, yes he did a decent job...
Published on Mar 16 2004 by David Finniss
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2.0 out of 5 stars Very overrated,
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series,
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhunter (DVD)-
Unlike the Dec. 26th troll down below who repeated himself (or herself) three times, I must say this is the best one out of the bunch. I saw it twice in the movie theaters when it came out and bought a cassette of the soundtrack, which has criminally been out of print since 1986.
Brian Cox was effectively creepy and didn't overact in a hammy fashion they way Anthony Hopkins did. And William Petersen beats the pants off Edward Norton, anyday of the week! Too bad the later films got all the glory.
I wish MCA or Rhino would re-release the soundtrack since my cassette wore out a long time ago.
5.0 out of 5 stars not as vivid and sharp as the 2001 DVD release,
4.0 out of 5 stars Manhunter (director's cut edition),
This review is from: Manhunter (VHS Tape)An FBI agent William Graham (William L. Petersen) comes out of retirement to examine a set of bizarre murders of families. These murders are suspected to have been the work of notorious serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy. Interested enough by the case, Graham makes use of profiling, or tries to think exactly like the killer in order to gain clues regarding his various whereabouts. He consults the incarcerated psychopathic psychiatrist that put him into retirement through near-fatal violence, Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), for further clues. Graham is put into considerable danger when Lecktor warns The Tooth Fairy via phone of the case. It is only a matter of time before The Tooth Fairy will create another victim.
Complicated, well acted, and absorbing, Manhunter is an original thriller that focuses on the unique psychological struggle to catch a heinous criminal.
Note: the director's cut edition has an alternative ending.
If you liked this film, I would recommend you see "Silence of the Lambs", in which Hannibal Lecktor's character is emphasized more.
Overall rating: 4 stars
Rated R for adult themes, sexual encounters, language, and violence.
3.0 out of 5 stars Too stylized for the 1980's.,
This review is from: Manhunter (DVD)This is an average film in terms of pacing, script, direction and acting. What's most memorable about this film is that it was made in the 1980's.
Red Dragon, a remake of Manhunter, offers a more compelling treatment of Harris' novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ORIGINAL RED DRAGON, AND A MASTERPIECE,
Manhunter was the first movie adaptation of Tom Harris' book called "The Red Dragon". Although this is a Hannibal Lecktor movie (yes, with a "K") the role of Hannibal is not that prominent here, although what little there is does leave a malevolent tinge. Apparently, Brian Cox (as Lecktor here) caused a lot of furore in 1986 but after having seen Anthony Hopkins thrice in the quietly sinister role I must say he is unmatched. The voice of Hopkins has much more current than Cox's. IMHO.
With the exception of Hopkins though, whom I prefer, almost everyone in this film is more compelling than the newer movies (Silence of the lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon.)
I found William Petersen as FBI manhunter Will Graham much more appealing than Jodie Foster's or Julian Moore's Clarice Starling. Petersen's portrayal of Graham as the haunted, introspective, reluctant hero is more complex and believable...you get the sense that he is driven by inner demons to solve the crime he is faced with, but doesn't really want to be there and would much rather spend the remainder of his days in the bosom of his family on the beaches of Captiva Island.
The centerpiece of the film though is the terrifying portrayal of psychotic killer Francis Dollarhyde by the underrated but talented actor Tom Noonan. Noonan's hulking build seems a stark contrast to his character's quiet, introverted, soft-spoken persona, which hides the inner embodiment of pure, psychotic evil. Here is a guy who runs a photo lab by day but returns every night to a spooky, surreal lair which obviously reflects his inner psychosis, which he has learned to hide from view. The symbolism of his relationship with the blind Reba (Joan Allen) is obvious. His character is able to present a normal appearance to everyone around him yet goes out on the night of a full moon and slaughters whole families whose pictures he has processed, simply to fulfill his fantasies.
Give this film a go if you can manage the tension and the buildup to the shattering climax. Then give the family a hug afterwards, and make sure your doors and windows are locked at night. Mann's filmmaking has a way to make your skin crawl.
5.0 out of 5 stars Manhunter (or The Great Red Dragon),
I know after watching Red Dragon (the Brett Ratner version) I wanted to write Michael Mann a personal letter (definitely not my style!!!) thanking him for the beautiful movie he made in 1986 called Manhunter.
It has always been one of my favourite, must have movies, and after seeing Red Dragon, I now knew why. For those who Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal/Red Dragon were first introductions to these characters, I wish they had only been acquainted with 'Manhunter' first, but generational and promotional gaps can't be helped. Mann's film was low budget, but he presented one of the most influential crime films of its time. The style and atmosphere were an inspiration to many a movie and television drama after it, despite its lack of monetary backing.
I rewatched Manhunter after Red Dragon, and even noticed that Jodie Foster played her character in Silence of The Lambs much like Petersen did, even down to facial twitches when speaking to Hannibal. There's something about the Frankenstein Dungeon atmosphere of the 90's adaptions of Hannibal that has always for me 'telegraphed' the menace of the cannibal psychologist, but I always felt that Anthony Hopkins was brilliant as Hannibal just by the sheer menace that boiled underneath him. Great actor, and I personally feel he saves all 3 films from a slight mediocrity when held in comparison to Mann's Manhunter. Hannibal in an all- white prison cell (as in Manhunter) somehow allows the actor to ''create'' that menace in a blank space. The big difference in Hannibal's (Cox & Hopkins) is the speed in which they deliver their insanity. Hopkins is very slow and menacing, manipulative and calculating in speech, Brian Cox quick and sure-footed, adapting quickly to each situation and response as it arrives. I feel both are suited for that character. But there was something about Cox's way of getting Will Graham's home phone number in Manhunter that I found more believeable and chilling at how easy it was gotten. Hopkins is a wonderful actor, and I can only imagine what Mann could have done if given the liberty to work with him, but Cox is certainly admirable and credible in the role as well. Understated is the word. Hopkins LOOKS crazy. I'm not so sure I would go to him for psychological advice. Cox is much more approachable, and thats where the danger is.
There is so much in Mann's Manhunter that stylistically, atmospherically and artistically dwarfs the later adaptions, even though it was low budget, that I cannot even begin to describe how well this movie worked on so many levels. The main one being, the characters are so much more defined. Details from the book are somewhat left out, but what is brought in its stead is 'mood'. Dennis Farina carries the protective air over Petersen's Graham to much greater effect. The feeling is that Farina's Crawford is just as in danger of falling over the psychological 'edge' as Petersen's Graham, but he serves as a foothold for the character should they start falling. You start caring about these characters and their dependency on eachother in mad circumstances, Lecktor/Graham/Crawford and The Red Dragon/Tooth Fairy Dolarhyde. The relationships are shown and explored through camerawork and very understated acting. Everything is very low key. Until the menace begins to grow.
Brilliant film. Too bad Mann was not asked to direct Red Dragon. THAT would have been justice!
5.0 out of 5 stars RESTORED DIRECTOR'S CUT DIVIMAX EDITION,
There is a notice at the beginning of this edition advising that some of the footage is of less than optimum quality due to some inferior source material for scenes that were not included in the theatrical version. That's an understatement. The image quality through 95% of this film is very good. However, several shots are of VHS quality and a few look like they were shot through cheesecloth. In the director's commentary, Mann explains this dissapointing result. But it's by far the best version available. Especially since the 2 versions released by Anchor Bay in 2002(the same distributor responsible for this new edition)are so awful.
How many fans of this film noticed that the theatrical version released in 2002, which claimed to be widescreen, was not? I thought something looked strange, so I compared it to the tape I'd made from TMC 15 yrs. prior, which was of course in standard full screen (1.33:1) format. I found that the left & right borders of the image stopped at exactly the same point and that image which appeared at the top and bottom of the frame of the VHS was covered by the black bars on the DVD. I was amazed & appalled; they'd taken a full screen original and plastered black bars over the top & bottom and pawned it off as widescreen. The Director's Cut that was simultaneously released had the worst image quality I've ever seen on DVD. I returned my copy for a refund.
This new edition actually is widescreen. The extras are only so-so. There's the usual theatrical trailer and production stills. Michael Mann's commentary is interesting at times, but doesn't provide much insight into the movie making experience. Unless forgotten original film negatives of the added scenes are found in some studio storeroom, it's unlikely that there will ever be a better version of this excellent film. In spite of the technical flaws, this disc is a must-have for any "avid fan".
5.0 out of 5 stars Smell Yourself....!,
3.0 out of 5 stars Better looking than the Limited Edition's Directors Cut,
I remember Showtime advertising a Director's Cut of the movie and I remember it being so much better than the theatrical version. The one scene that especially stands out in my mind is the final confrontation between Dolarhyde and Graham. First off, Graham has a 38 Bulldog special which only holds 5 rounds. Also, he is using Glazer safety slugs. In the theatrical version, Graham gets off six shots. WHOOPS! In the Director's cut, they get it right. He only fires 5 shots. Also, with Glazers, the bullet does NOT travel through the body. The whole point of Glazers is that they explode on impact, preventing them from passing through the intended target and possibly hitting someone behind them. In the theatrical version, you see blood spray after the 2nd or 3rd shot hitting the kitchen wall behind Dolarhyde. This would not happen with Glazers. Also, due to the impact and explosion of the bullet upon impact, anyone hit would have been down on the first shot.
In the director's cut, the blood spray never happens, although there is blood on the back wall. I guess Mann decided to cut out the scene that contained the spray rather than reshoot it since the director's cut came out on Showtime some couple of years after the movie was released in theatres.
With the theatrical and limited edition that Anchor Bay released, I got what I was looking for, but only to a degree.
First off, the DVD theatrical version is NOT the true theatrical version. There are extra scenes added that were NOT in the theatrical version. Also, a scene where Graham sympathizes with Dolarhyde before the final confrontation is left out for some unknown reason. The Director's Cut is still not the TRUE director's cut that I saw on Showtime because of the missing scene just mentioned. However, it was the only version available, but the picture was horrible. Colors bled and overall, it appeared to have been copied from a pirated copy on VHS. That's how bad it looked.
Much to my surprise, I was looking at a local store and saw the Restored Director's Cut. I was excited to finally have what was not given to us before. Or, so I thought. I guess the sentence that sold me was the one on the back of the DVD case: "The restoration of this Director's Cut was overseen by Michael Mann to bring you the definitive version of this chilling classic." I guess I thought since Mann oversaw this version, I figured it would have the complete movie in it.
To begin with, unlike the theatrical version that Anchor Bay released, this is only in Dolby 2.0. Not a big problem. The picture through MOST of this version is excellent. Apparently, they used the theatrical version for most of the movie. However, you can tell when it switches to the director's cut scenes because they are not as crisp and clear as the theatrical scenes, but it is still a big improvement over the first Anchor Bay Director's Cut. However, the scene with Graham sympathizing with Dolarhyde is STILL missing. The actual scene is as follows:
Agent Jack Crawford FBI: You feel sorry for him.
This scene is still absent for whatever reason and many of us fans feel it is too bad that it's missing. It's a powerful statement that actually hints as to what drives Dolarhyde to become such a brutal killer. It actually coincides with what is explained about Dolarhyde in the book.
What is nice is to have Michael Mann's commentary. At one point, he does briefly explain that DEG went bankrupt in the 1980s, making it impossible to find the original film prints for many of the scenes. So, this possibly explains the reason why the Director's Cut scenes are still grainy and also why the ommitted scene is still missing. It's too bad, but apparently, there are European versions of the theatrical release that contain the missing scene, so why they could get ahold of it, but Anchor Bay could not doesn't make much sense.
Other than that, this DVD doesn't have much to offer. There are still pictures of deleted and alternate scenes, a trailer, and those with a DVD ROM can read the script in PDF format. Since many scenes were filmed with Tom Noonan with the Red Dragon tatoo on him, it's too bad they couldn't have put those into a deleted scenes section. But, then again, maybe due to DEG going bankrupt, they couldn't find the original prints for those scenes.
If you have the Limited Edition and theatrical version, keep it since there is nothing else special about this DVD. Still, to have a better looking Director's Cut, this DVD is worth it.
Due to the lack of special features (except for Mann's commentary) AND the still missing scene, this DVD release gets a 3-star rating. Still, it's worth having to complete your Hannibal collection (and I still think it's better than the remake, although that's a good movie as well).
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Manhunter [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray - 2011)
CDN$ 20.36 CDN$ 20.19
Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks