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#1 Jon Kukla

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 12:11 AM

Wow, that was very enjoyable. I saw the Director's Cut DVD, which apparently cut 20 minutes and added 30 minutes of different material, so I have no reference for the theatrical cut, but it seemed pretty decent to me. Only major complaint I have is the whole CIA and Sese Seko angle - it just led NOWHERE! While it was interesting to get a COINTELPRO reference, I felt that the "cameos" of MLK and other notable people/events were better handled as important points tangential to the plot but essential to the context. The CIA stuff actually seemed to imply that it was going to payoff, but...oh well, maybe it was clearer in the original release. It certainly isn't here and maybe would've been better pared down further.

But as for the cinematography: bang on! Gets a good period feel without using cliche tricks. And it was actually refreshing to see scenes bathed in less beautiful shades of fluorescent green. I'm still somewhat skeptical about the HD work - while it definitely was able to capture images in otherwise impossible situations (an important precursor to Collateral), it felt jarring, particularly for odd scene choices like the lovemaking. Although the minicams that were used for the fight POVs were a great way to freshen up the conventions of fight sequences.

I was able to read the ICG article online, but I haven't managed to wrangle a copy of the AC article and wanted to know what exactly the development and printing workflow was? It seems pretty obvious to me that this had some silver retention at the neg, print, or both, but it would be nice to know what exactly was done. And I couldn't believe that it wasn't anamorphic, since I could've sworn that I saw horizontal flaring, classic anamorphic DoF, and so on. The ICG article also mentioned the cockpit scene being done in a real flying plane, which was another surprise.

Anyway, anyone else have anything to share?
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 08:18 AM

I rewatched this film last week and it is still my favourite Michael Mann film. The mise-en-scène is simply amazing, his shots are so expressive, yet feel very organic. Also I think the lighting is top notch (better than any film that got the Academy Award nominations that year), I love the flares and burnt out highlights as well as the colors, especially for the earlier scenes. Of course the boxing scenes are the best ever, way better than 'Raging Bull'.

The script is very brave, it just throws you into this world without introducing any of the characters properly. You have to know your history to immediately get who is who. It's very refreshing to see a bopic that doesn't try to fit a person's life into a three act story with a happy ending, but instead shows him in all his complexity.

I'd completely forgotten that there is a director's cut, I must get it immediately. I only hope that they cut out that horrible running through Kinshasa scene with the kids, I always skip that one on dvd since it is the one week point in the film. Michael Mann's films always have a tendency to go on for a bit too long, so I'm curious what he did with the director's cut. I know the filmed at least one more fight (with Ken Norton Jr), is that one in the DC?

And to think that after this film he went on to make such crap as 'Collateral' and 'Miami Vice'.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:45 AM

Nothing that constuctive , love the look of the film , iam all for green flous and still like and do it if its the right shoot blue daylight windows in shot , must be by doco. training , really hate how loads of movies shot nowadays with everything corrected and same colour temp , so boring and safe .
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