Isaacs Picture Conclusions

AN ISAACS MOVIE CONSIDERATION: MANHUNTER v RED DRAGON

CONSIDERATION

Well how about this – I can’t believe I’m doing another one of these. I had intended to do a bunch of these but never got around to it… oh well. Let’s have a look at an original and a remake, shall we?

MANHUNTER (1986)

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William Peterson and his beard are married to the girl from BRAZIL. He’s an ex FBI guy who got all fucked up when he arrested Hannibal Lecktor so he retired. It’s weird watching this and seeing Brian Cox as Lecktor – not just because we’re all use to seeing him played by Hopkins – it’s just weird seeing Brian Cox young. He’s always looked like he’s 103 in everything I’ve seen him in. Anyway, someone’s going around killing families and biting them – he’s called the Tooth Fairy and Dennis Farina and his moustache lure Peterson out of retirement to help track the Fairy down.

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I think the thing that’s going to stand out most about this movie – if you’ve never seen it and decide to – will probably be the appalling 80s music that goes ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON throughout this entire thing. There was so much synthesizer that I fully expected this to turn into a Peter Davison Doctor Who episode at any second. Anyway, if you can get beyond that you’ll also have to deal with some iffy, choppy editing that was just kind of weird and, of course, creepy looking Tom Noonan as the villain. And when I say creepy, just check out that scene in the van when he’s spying on whatshername the blind lady and her coworker. I can totally see Tyson stalking his prey like that.

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There’s also some questionable graphics but they can be forgiven since this WAS the 80s and all (and Peterson does a lot of talking to himself) but overall this was a pretty strong psychological crime thriller that’s worth a watch if you’re into the Hannibal Lecktor thing. Oh and there’s a tiger:

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RED DRAGON (2002)

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Ed Norton gets stabbed by Hannibal Lecktor as he takes him down for murdering and eating people. Later, he is called out of retirement by Harvey Keitel to help him find the Tooth Fairy. This time it’s a fucking studly Ralph Fiennes, his bare ass and even his weenie going around murdering whole families. I think this is a fantastic movie that far exceeds the original, hands down. The sets are great, the acting great, the blood effects great – it just blows the other one away. I can’t believe this is directed by The Rat. (Brett Ratner). What a good movie.

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What else sets this apart? Well, to start there’s a back story at the beginning, explaining HOW Graham caught Lecktor and how he was injured that was pretty awesome. Compared to the “Hey man I got hurt when I caught Lecktor” in the first one. And a cool opening credits featuring a very SE7EN-ish diary. And a wicked ass back tattoo. And a guy eating a 200 year old painting. And creepy dolls.  And creepy grandmother memories about her threatening to cut off her grandson’s dong. And a much cooler ending than the first one.

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Has anyone else seen both of these AND read the book? I’ve never read the book because I never learned how to read – which one is closer? The second one seems to be much more detailed and have better ideas in it. Like when he glues Seymor Hoffman to the chair and the diary and the painting and the big explosion. What else – did I mention Ralph Fiennes is a complete stud? I totally like this guy. And Ed Norton is pretty good too. Emily Watson plays the blind chick in this one.

DRAGON4Since we’re doing a comparison here, Red Dragon blows Manhunter away like a fart in the wind. I didn’t just fart in the wind to come up with that analogy… or did I? All respects to Manhunter but it’s extremely dated and noisy and that big money shot where Peterson goes jumping through that glass door is kind of dumb when you think about it. Why didn’t he just shoot the guy? If you remember seeing Manhunter back when it came out and think of it as a classic – I challenge you to watch these back to back like I just did and let me know what you think.  Isaacs out.

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44 comments

  1. GaryLee828

    I tried to watch “Manhunter” a few months ago, but was pretty bored. I didn’t make it all the way thru. I have actually been meaning to watch “Red Dragon”, so will try to check that one out soon, and report back to this post.

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  2. Red Dragon is an awesome movie. It also sticks to the book very well. When I first watched it, that scene at the end felt like a Hollywood add-on, but I later discovered that the book actually came up with it. Good write-up.

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  3. I am going to go with Red Dragon. It was simply amazing and gets me every time, and it is rather good in terms with keeping up with the book (yes, I am one of the few that actually did this!!!!) – I am actually planning to rewatch both of them after having read the book recently just to double check that. . Plus this had Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes AND Anthony Hopkins in it… I mean there is no real competition.

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  4. Never seen Manhunter, but I have hunted man, the most dangerous game. Actually they were pretty weak homeless dudes so they weren’t that dangerous, despite what that Ice-T movie would have you believe. But Red Dragon is awesome, and definitely blows away that piece of shit Hannibal.

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  5. I am loving all of these different features that you’re busting out. And seriously:
    “This time it’s a fucking studly Ralph Fiennes, his bare ass and even his weenie going around murdering whole families.” If that doesn’t sell movie tickets, then I just don’t know what will.

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  6. I know I have seen both and own both, but for some reason Red Dragon has completely replaced my memories of Manhunter, like a file that has been saved over. Now I’m planning to go back and re-watch Manhunter, although the fact that I remember NOTHING about it should tell me something.

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    • theipc

      LOL no – his weenus doesn’t actually kill anyone – it just kind of flops around when he runs up this staircase. You may or may not love it.

      Red Dragon is pretty awesome but, I suppose, you’d probably need to be able to buy into it. Maybe not for you.

      You having an OK day today??

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  7. Lem

    I am one of those guys who refused to see Red Dragon – because I’m so fond of Manhunter…for nostalgic reasons of course…there is no way you can top the In a gadda da vida scene…

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  8. Lem

    Well – I don’t know if you’re wrong – I will have to watch it and then…maybe I can confirm that you and all your dear readers are wrong :-). (I’m probably the oldest one out here so I’m alone out in my limb of nostalgia — new band name ‘limb of nostalgia’ – is there a character limit on this thing….

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    • theipc

      No limit – write to your heart’s content!!

      Limb of Nostalgia – I like it!! Much better than Lights Over Night Highways : )

      I saw this back when it came out too… maybe you should try it again…

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  9. I think Red Dragon is a fantastic movie and dare I say it… I even like it better than Silence of the Lambs (yeah, you can send me your hatemail). Manhunter is just too dang boring, I couldn’t get through it, it feels like a slow & terrible 70’s movie.

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  10. Haven’t seen Manhunter (and after reading this I’m perfectly happy keeping it that way), but I do really like Red Dragon. I love this original vs. remake thing! You should definitely do more!

    Also, “Tigers and Beards.” Yes.

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