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Manhunter: 25th Anniversary Edition [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: 18
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray )
  • Studio: StudioCanal (UK)
  • Run Time:
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 26, 2011
  • RRP: £19.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004EMS0WA[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Michael Mann’s stylish film Manhunter, based on the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, hits Blu-ray from StudioCanal marking its 25th anniversary, and I have to think to myself, “where have the years gone?” This is the first big screen appearance of the infamous character Hannibal Lecktor, but just in case you don’t know, this isn’t the Hannibal Lecktor as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins (The Rite) in The Silence of the Lambs. This Hannibal Lecktor is portrayed by Brian Cox (Troy; Fantastic Mr. Fox).

Manhunter follows a story familiar to any fan of the films containing the Hannibal character. FBI agent, Will Graham (William Petersen; TV’s CSI; To Live and Die in L.A.) is drawn out of retirement to help hunt down a serial killer in Atlanta known as “The Tooth Fairy” owing to his uncanny ability to get into the minds of killers. He employs the help of his old foe Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, the serial killer he put behind bars, to help him find the Tooth Fairy, but as the pursuit draws on, Lecktor begins using mind games from prison to influence the investigation and Graham. Pushed to the edge of sanity, Graham comes dangerously close to losing himself, as he had done in the past, in the mind of not one, but two killers, Lecktor and the Tooth Fairy, while putting himself and his family in danger.

Personally, I prefer Hannibal Lecktor as played by Anthony Hopkins who portrayed the character with a stronger sense of lunacy and pyschopathy, but Brian Cox does a good job in this film, which emphasizes style over thrills.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Wow, for a film from 1986, Manhunter sure looks squeaky clean in this Blu-ray release from StudioCanal So much so that I’m inclined to day that they have perhaps overdone it with DNR. Bright scenes show almost no grain at all, but then darker scenes show a jump in grain with a hint of noisiness. I still think it looks rather pleasant overall, however, with good color reproduction, strong extension of detail well into the background, and nuanced shadow details, so I can’t judge it too harshly.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack offered up on this Blu-ray release doesn’t do much at all for the presentation of the material, sounding more like reprocessed stereo than anything else, and seemingly emphasizing some of the warts in the original source as well. You can really hear the crackle in the score and so on. I recommend sticking the LPCM 2.0 Stereo soundtrack that is also provided that offers a decent stereo spread with clean dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

While the Director’s Cut of the film is provided here on the same disc with optional commentary, it is offered as a separate option in standard definition. They would have been much better off either using seamless branching or offloading it onto another disc and providing it in high definition. There are also two featurettes on the disc, one being a run-of-the-mill “making of” and the other a fairly informative interview with cinematographer Dante Spinotti.

The supplements:

  • Director’s Cut (2.35:1; PAL)
  • Director’s Cut Commentary
  • Inside Manhunter (1.33:1; PAL; 00:17:24)
  • The Manhunter Look – A Conversation with Dante Spinotti (1.33:1; PAL; 00:10:12)
  • Trailer (1.85:1; PAL)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

To me, Manhunter is not as chilling as The Silence of the Lambs and Brian Cox’s Lecktor doesn’t make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like Anthony Hopkins’ Lecktor, but Manhunter still has its strengths. It is visually stunning and certainly has its own sort of thrills, just less of them.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004EMS0WA[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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