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The Last Of The Mohicans (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=185387&d=1284128452
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

78






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1992
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 114 minutes
Genre: Action/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeline Stowe, Johdi May, Wes Studi, Russell Means, Steven Waddington
Directed by: Michael Mann
Music by: Trevor Jones & Randy Edelman
Written by: Michael Mann & Christopher Crowe based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 5, 2010







"The first American hero"



Film Synopsis:

Based on the literary classic by James Fennimore Cooper, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS takes place in the majestic mountains and awe-inspiring forests of war-torn Colonial America. In the midst of a bloody battle between British, the French and Native American allies, Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe, Twelve Monkeys, We Were Soldiers), the aristocratic daughter of a British Colonel and her party are captured by a group of Huron warriors. Fortunately, a group of three Mohican trappers, including Hawkeye (Day-Lewis), a rugged frontiersman and the adopted son of the Mohicans comes to their rescue. A passionate romance soon blossoms between Cora and Hawkeye, but many forces test their love as they continue to journey through the Frontier.


My Take:

The last of the Mohicans is set in the Adirondack region of upstate New York in the late 1750’s amidst the conflict of the French and Indian War. Based upon the novel by James Fenimore Cooper, but owing more to the 1936 film adaptation the story focuses on Nathaniel/Hawkeye, the adopted “white” son of Mohican Indian Chingachgook, a skilled trapper and hunter. Hawkeye is devoted to Chingachgook and stepbrother Uncas and is known for his proficiency as a tracker and marksman. Unlike other Native Americans who have sided with either the British or the French, the three men avoid involvement in the conflict but can see the toll it is taking on the land and people in the region. Things quickly change for them when they happen across the trail of a group Huron Indians who are tracking and planning to attack a British detachment of soldiers who are escorting the daughters of Colonel Munro to his location at Fort William Henry. Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook catch up with the Hurons, led by Magua, after they have already commenced the attack on the soldiers. The only remaining survivors are Major Hayward, and the two women, Alice and Cora Munro. They engage the Hurons killing most while Magua, who seems to be targeting the women, escapes.

They decide to escort the Major Hayward and the women to the Fort which is still a distance away. During the journey Cora, a strong willed young aristocrat, makes an unexpected connection with Hawkeye, and he with her. They arrive at the Fort to find it under siege by the French. With his heart now guiding him Hawkeye opts to remain close to Alice and ultimately becomes embroiled in both the military conflict and what he later finds to be a vendetta aimed not only at Colonel Munro but his daughters as well. With Chingachgook and Uncas by his side Hawkeye pursues his growing love for Alice while trying to extricate them both from the impending danger that could separate them forever.

This is one of those movies that I always meant to see but never got around to. Eighteen years after its release it comes my way on Blu-ray. Well the wait was well worth it. This is an excellent film with an epic scope and multi-faceted storyline that’s quite involving. Of course I’m late to the game since most who are reading this probably already appreciate it for what it is. The magnificent cinematography captures the rustic spirit of the time period and the majesty of forest lined shooting locations. I like the film’s depiction of unflinching heroism, gritty frontiersman and the sociopolitical unrest that prevailed. The script interweaves these elements along with plenty of butt kicking action and a perfectly spun love story that integrates smoothly and never feels corny. Daniel Day-Lewis is at his charismatic best and balances Hawkeye’s tough as nails exterior with a discernable but not overstated edge of warmth and compassion that coincides so well with Madeline Stowe’s credible turn as Cora, the high spirited aristocratic woman whose devotion and internal fortitude shouldn’t be underestimated. I thoroughly appreciated their “what are you looking at sir”, and “stay alive, I will find you” scenes together. Wes Studi and Steven Waddington gave excellent performances as well although the entire supporting cast is deserving of praise. The last of the Mohicans is an epic style adventure with an engaging flavor that entices with plenty of action and an integral yet unassuming romance that appropriately underscores the story. After hearing great things about it over the years I am glad that my first experience with it was in high definition on Blu-ray. I think that made it all the better.



Parental Guide:

The film contains strong violence and mild sensuality.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699



Video: 78


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

The last of the Mohicans comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 38 Mbps and lossless D TS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.

This video presentation appears faithful to the film’s original source elements but doesn’t make for high definition eye candy. This is a dark film with an overall visual aesthetic that lacks vibrancy. Resolution is primarily stable however the rendering of fine detail can be a mixed bag. Close ups tend to look best and offer a perceptible level of detail and clarity however some mid range shots look quite good also. The earth toned colors appear natural with primaries such as red and blue appearing more vivid. Contrast and brightness are toned down so that even brighter scenes appear less dynamic and lacking punch. Much of the film is shot in low light and I found shadow detail to be intermittent. There were definitely instances where this presentation would have shone with improved depth and dimension but it never took me out of the film or proved distracting. I am happy to report that grain is intact and rendered naturally. I saw no signs of unwanted digital manipulation or artificial enhancement.

The DTS-HD lossless soundtrack makes the most of what it has to work with in the source elements present in the recording. Dialogue is predominantly clear and mixed to a prominent position within the front soundstage. There were occasions during some of the film’s active moments where I had a little trouble with intelligibility. Sound effects and panning sequences emanating from the main channels are seamlessly integrated with discernible separation and average sound field penetration. The beautiful music score doesn’t have the feeling of authority and quantifiable dynamics that you might find with today’s digital recordings but it exerts tangible influence that is highlighted by crystal clear instrumentation. There is no subterranean bass contained in this mix however, low frequency detail is present and detectable during a handful of scenes (such as musket blasts and the cannon fire barrage on Fort William Henry). The surround channels are used mainly for ambient spatial cues that extend the front soundstage to create a better sense of envelopment but not to the level of being engagingly immersive. The soundtrack is noticeably dated but sounds just fine.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by Michael Mann

  • (HD) Making of The last of the Mohicans – A three part documentary featuring cast/crew interviews and behind the scenes footage:

    1. Act I – 13 minutes
    2. Act II – 11 minutes
    3. Act III – 18 minutes


Final Thoughts:

Writer/director Michael Mann’s vision of The last of the Mohicans is a gripping, epic adventure film with an engaging flavor that entices with plenty of action that is underscored by an integral yet unassuming romance that doesn’t water it down. It’s a beautifully shot and scored film that features a marvelous ensemble cast headed by Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeline Stowe. It comes to Blu-ray for the first time in a Director’s Definitive Cut from 20th Century Fox that features faithful video reproduction, gratifying lossless surround sound, director commentary and a wonderful three part feature that documents the making of the film. This is my first time seeing The last of the Mohicans and I can’t think of a better introduction than this. Recommended.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 66
Nice to see a level-headed impression of this release here. The BD thread is pretty insanely swayed towards "it's too dark and too yellow". I get what Mann was going after here and think it's been transferred to BD very well.
post #3 of 66
Great movie, great review!
post #4 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Nice to see a level-headed impression of this release here. The BD thread is pretty insanely swayed towards "it's too dark and too yellow". I get what Mann was going after here and think it's been transferred to BD very well.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am one of those that thinks that it is too dark and the yellowish tint, if intentionally done, makes the film seem to be much older than it is. As I said in my comments on Amazon, I love the film as a film and would give it at least a 4 star rating but I didn't appreciate an appearance that made it look like it was actually made in 1757 and kept in a box someplace until this release. Makes me sorry I gave my DVD version away.
post #5 of 66
One question Fox, where is the Original Theatrical Version of this movie?, Couldn't you have included it Via Seamless Branching?
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingane Walker View Post

One question Fox, where is the Original Theatrical Version of this movie?, Couldn't you have included it Via Seamless Branching?

The original theatrical release wasn't ever even available on DVD in the US. I don't think they care.
post #7 of 66
Great review Ralph, I feel the same way and this is one of my favorite movies. This Blu-Ray for the most part looked great on my 132" screen projected by a Panasonic PT-AE4000.

One correction in your review, Alice is the younger Munro sister, Cora is Hawkeye's love interest in the film.
post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminator840 View Post

Great review Ralph, I feel the same way and this is one of my favorite movies. This Blu-Ray for the most part looked great on my 132" screen projected by a Panasonic PT-AE4000.

One correction in your review, Alice is the younger Munro sister, Cora is Hawkeye's love interest in the film.

Greetings,

Thanks for catching that. Had it correct in one paragraph crossed up in the other.

Regards,
post #9 of 66
Good review !!

I've always been a big fan of the movie, i first saw it in 1992, i was 8 years old, and it's still one of my favorite movie.

It's good to know some people think the blu ray release is a good release. I personally think the PQ looks pretty good. I watched the blu ray 3 times this week and the more i watch it, the more i like the PQ. It's way better than the DVD version, which have an over cranked contrast and brightness.
post #10 of 66
This was my first DVD which I still own.It has a haunting melody and I remember some of the day scenes had pristine colours.

I believe it will be much better in blu ray.

An excellent review with much thought and detailed information.
post #11 of 66
For me, it's a very boring movie.
post #12 of 66
I've watched my dvd copy many times so I am anxious to get the Blu-ray.
post #13 of 66
This is one of my all time favorite movies, in part because of the compelling story, but also because of the magnificent mix of cinematography and music. The opening sequence is one of the best pieces of directing/editing in any movie. It deserves your full attention when you watch this film. Since many people tend to talk through the opening of films, I usually have to quiet them down for this one's extraordinary opening moments.
post #14 of 66
One of my favorites, thanks for the review. I'll likely be picking this one up soon.
post #15 of 66
Saw this on BD last night, head and shoulders above the dvd in every way. Unfortunately, I found the movie a lot less interesting than I remember. The theme music gets quite worn after the first few times of hearing it (for me). It is a good movie however, especially for someone who has never seen it. I guess I've just seen it too many times even though it's been a few years. Highly recommend the disc itself, though. Striking detail in almost every scene. Very beautiful imagery throughout; captured and transfered well to Blu-ray. Enjoy!
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitod View Post

For me, it's a very boring movie.

WOW. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
post #17 of 66
double post, sorry
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by agcohn View Post

The original theatrical release wasn't ever even available on DVD in the US. I don't think they care.

I'm guessing this means the few scenes that were cut out are still missing??
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Lee View Post

I'm guessing this means the few scenes that were cut out are still missing??

I haven't seen the Blu-ray yet, but apparently it's somewhere in between the Theatrical Release and the Director's Expanded Edition. Some stuff has been put back in or removed, but not everything.

The only thing I care about is the ending, which thankfully, seems to have been changed back to the Theatrical ending.

It would have been nice if they had included all versions of the film (or at least the Theatrical + whatever new version they want), but they haven't.
post #20 of 66
I have this one on widescreen VHS, yes VHS. i don't even have a VCR anymore. I'll be adding this one to my Blu-ray collection soon.
post #21 of 66
Have this BD on order-thanks for a good, balanced review.

Since you mentioned the stunning scenery Ralph I'll mention that North Carolina was the stand-in for the Adirondacks of upstate NY(which is not news to many fans of this epic film).

as for me I saw the theatrical version in Richmond, VA & had the unique experience of having cast member Eric Schweig & many of the Native Americans who were featured extras in the Regency Sq. theater watching it with me-they were in the area working on a made-for-TNT movie called THE BROKEN CHAIN. this film rented & used many of the costumes & uniforms built for MOHICANS. I worked as a costumed extra on that project & can tell you the wool uniforms(I was used as an English, French, & eventually American soldier) were sure warm on some unseasonably cold Oct. mornings.

also in the original theatrical prints there was an error in the credits-the actor originally hired to play Captain Bougainville(featured in the surrender parlay) was listed in the credits even tho Mann fired him & replaced him with someone whose looks he preferred.

I know that because I'm acquainted with both of them-Dylan Baker(Peter Parker's NYU prof in the SPIDERMAN trilogy) who was fired & Mark Edrys his replacement. Dylan is very talented but I guess just not very "French" looking to Mann's eyes.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tg5spd View Post

Saw this on BD last night, head and shoulders above the dvd in every way. Unfortunately, I found the movie a lot less interesting than I remember. The theme music gets quite worn after the first few times of hearing it (for me). It is a good movie however, especially for someone who has never seen it. I guess I've just seen it too many times even though it's been a few years. Highly recommend the disc itself, though. Striking detail in almost every scene. Very beautiful imagery throughout; captured and transfered well to Blu-ray. Enjoy!

Wow, I felt the complete opposite. After not watching it for sometime, to see it in such carity with the awesome vistas and emotion was great. The ending is so special because on the BD you can see the emotion in the actors/actress eyes, you can see into them. With the DVD you just see there eyes.

I did find the DTS MA track a little disappointing when it came to the score. The mix makes the musical score sound a little flat. Which is a shame since its one of my favorite motion picture scores.
post #23 of 66
Since vitod appears to see things backwards, I can only assume that he found this movie to be exciting. In that case I will have to agree. I really love the action sequences and the overall reality based details. I've seen quite a few scripts and action sequences that seemed to borrow from this film but fall short in execution. I really love this movie and it is high on my personal list. Can't wait to add this to my collection of blu ray.
post #24 of 66
One of my top 20 movies. Beautifully written. Beautifully acted. Beautifully filmed.

I found the scenery luscious and the colors vibrant. Big step up in the sound dept, too.

Quickly added this to my collection when it hit my local BB on sale.

Thanks, Ralph!
post #25 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

One of my top 20 movies. Beautifully written. Beautifully acted. Beautifully filmed.

I found the scenery luscious and the colors vibrant. Big step up in the sound dept, too.

Quickly added this to my collection when it hit my local BB on sale.

Thanks, Ralph!

Greetings,




Regards,
post #26 of 66
Pretty sure I saw this one on cable when it was new and always thought it was one of my all time favorite movies. Well acted, beautiful scenery, excellent story, and compelling characters.
I have the DVD of course and will eventually pick this one up as well, thanks for the excellent review.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsinger View Post

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am one of those that thinks that it is too dark and the yellowish tint, if intentionally done, makes the film seem to be much older than it is. As I said in my comments on Amazon, I love the film as a film and would give it at least a 4 star rating but I didn't appreciate an appearance that made it look like it was actually made in 1757 and kept in a box someplace until this release. Makes me sorry I gave my DVD version away.

I'm in agreement with you. My movie is also dark and yellowish. My standard dvd is a much better copy. I 'm not sure if its because, I don't have the latest upgrade to my player Sony Bd-S350. I'll be updating it soon and try the movie again...........
post #28 of 66
It is slow moving at times, but it's still a great movie.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentle THX View Post

I'm in agreement with you. My movie is also dark and yellowish. My standard dvd is a much better copy. I 'm not sure if its because, I don't have the latest upgrade to my player Sony Bd-S350. I'll be updating it soon and try the movie again...........

I'm using a PS3 . . . the BD is dark (what were blue skies in daylight on the DVD now look overcast and bleak), often yellowish (when Duncan meets Cora, he's riding a yellow horse now), and in at least one scene, oppressively dim.

I don't mind if Mann wants to change the overall color of the film (to make it appear older?), and I understand scenes filmed in the dark will look dark, but to have the final scene appear so dim when it was shot with full sunlight on the actors' faces makes no sense. It looks like my television's dying.
post #30 of 66
I'm wondering if maybe I've got a defective disc. Anyone else notice a lack of LFE on the DTS 5.1 track? It just lacks deep bass; almost without LFE at all.

I did a "A-B" comparison of DTS 5.1 to Dolby Surround to see if there was any difference. Sure enough, Dolby Surround has a much deeper bass effects. Really no comparison.
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