ANCHOR BAY has previously released “MANHUNTER” on dvd in two versions, the original cut and also a limited special edition, featuring the theatrical release, and the director’s cut. Unfortunately, the director’s cut looked horrible, like a bad VHS. ANCHOR BAY has fixed this problem for the newest remastering of the film promoted as “MANHUNTER: DiViMax Edition”.
Based on the novel “RED DRAGON”, it’s the first film introducing Dr. Lecktor to an audience. While it’s not Hopkins, but Brian Cox playing the role, he’s every bit as incredible in it! It’s a very different Lecktor, but equally chilling all the same.
In “RED DRAGON”, retired F.B.I. agent Will Graham is coaxed back into duty in order to try catching a serial killer. He’s been working on a lunar cycle, and they have a limited amount of time before the next full moon, to catch him. We find out that Will left the agency because of the emotional and physical damage forced upon him in catching Lecktor and his last crazy catch. In order to catch the new serial killer, he decides to visit Lecktor in jail, in order to get into the mindset of the killer. Against his wife’s wishes, he returns to work, and a brilliant cat&mouse thriller ensues, involving not only the serial killer he’s targeting, but Lecktor as well.
While a remake of “RED DRAGON” was released, it was just awful, lacking any of the creativity or atmosphere of the original as filmed by Michael Mann, in spite of having many scenes that were copied!
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT has preserved the films’ 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. While still not sure what qualifies as the “DiViMax” process, apparently the source material for this transfer was of higher definition than what was available previously, and it shows! Director/writer Mann supervised this transfer himself, and it looks magnificent, even better than the impressive theatrical version. The stylized, neon color scheme, so typical of Mann’s work in the ‘80s, looks flawless here. Colors are rich, and contrast is excellent, allowing for incredible detail in the darker scenes.
Our only disappointment is that we’ve only been given a 2.0 Surround mix, and not a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, available for the theatrical version. It’s still good, but lacks the full range of directional/surround effects found in the 5.1 version. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. The music score is well complimented through all speakers.
ANCHOR BAY has also included a commentary with Mann. It’s worthwhile, and Mann’s surprisingly candid while explaining the differences between his version and the novel. He offers some intriguing insight into the film’s development and production as well as specifics about his preference of the “director’s cut.”
There also still photos of deleted and extended scenes and more!