The Last of the Mohicans: Director's Expanded Edition
You don't have to be much of a romantic to admit that Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans recreates a sense of romance and wonder from Saturday matinees of days gone by. It's a modern film with old-fashion epic flavor, directed by Michael Mann (from a screenplay by Mann and Cameron Crowe), loosely based on the James Fenimore Cooper novel of the same name. Set in 1797 New York during the French and Indian Wars, Daniel Day-Lewis is Cooper's Hawkeye, who comes upon a party of English soldiers, saves the life Englishwoman Cora (Madeleine Stowe), and falls in love. Day-Lewis is an excellent choice for Hawkeye, although his movies before this (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, My Left Foot, A Room With a View) would not necessarily have suggested that he would make a great action hero. But give the guy some hair extensions, put him through rigorous physical training, and open his shirt to the navel and you've got a matinee idol. It helps that Day-Lewis is a consummate actor. From a lessor talent, lines like, "You be strong, you survive. You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you!" would just be pure corn. But from Day-Lewis as Hawkeye, you know he means it and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for him to fulfill his promise and get the girl. The second DVD edition of The Last of the Mohicans from Fox features a new anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) and audio in DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1. Called the "Director's Expanded Edition," the DVD runs four minutes longer than the theatrical release and includes both additional footage that Mann specifically wanted to include as well as some deletions. The only regrettable aspect of the re-release is that Mann did not do an audio commentary. Keep-case.