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MOVIE INFO
Synopsis:
Anthony Hopkins is "perverse perfection" (Rolling Stone) in his return to the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the sophisticated killer who comes out of hiding to draw FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) into a high-stakes battle that will test her strength, cunning… and loyalty. Drenched in terror, suspense and shocking visual effects, Hannibal is "as compelling a film as you will ever see" (Joel Sigel, Good Morning America)!

Director:
Ridley Scott
Cast:
Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Giancarlo Giannini, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta
Writing Credits:
David Mamet, Steven Zaillian, based on the novel by Thomas Harris

Tagline:
Break The Silence

Box Office:
Budget
$87 million.
Opening Weekend
$58.003 million on 3230 screens.
Domestic Gross
$165.09 million.
MPAA:
Rated R for strong gruesome violence, some nudity and language.

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 131 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 9/13/2011

Bonus:
• Trailers


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Hannibal (Single-Disc Edition) [Blu-Ray] (2001)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 29, 2011)

Sometimes sequels live up to expectations, sometimes they don’t. In the latter category, we find 2001’s Hannibal, the continuation of the story started in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. While not a disaster, Hannibal seemed like a major disappointment that didn’t even remotely live up with the high level established in Lambs.

At the start, we meet Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), a millionaire obsessed with Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Hannibal attacked Verger years earlier, and the disfigured man remains the only person ever to survive an encounter with the cannibalistic psychiatrist. As we gradually learn, Verger plots his final revenge against Lecter.

In the meantime, we catch up with FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore). An attempted arrest goes wrong due to inappropriate actions from a gung-ho DC cop named Bolton (Terry Serpico), and Starling takes the blame. Verger wants to use Starling as part of his scheme, so he agrees to get her off the hook if she comes to speak with him.

Verger tells the authorities he has new information to entice Clarice out to his Virginia estate. Department of Justice official Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) says he will take care of the media if she talks to Verger. This leads her back to former caretaker Barney (Frankie Faison) and puts her on the case again.

The movie then shifts to Florence, Italy, where “Dr. Fell” – a pseudonymous Hannibal - seeks the job as the curator of the Capponi Library. His predecessor went missing, so local Inspector Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) interviews “Fell”. Pazzi becomes more interested in Dr. Fell when he discovers that the FBI wants a copy of a store security tape for unstated reasons. Pazzi tails Fell and seeks the reward for the capture of Hannibal to keep his hot young wife (Francesca Neri) in style. The movie follows the various cat and mouse elements and watches the developments of the relationships.

Background time: I loved Lambs but I paid almost no attention to the progress of Hannibal before it hit movie screens. I didn't read the book, and I knew virtually nothing about the movie other than the fact that Ridley Scott would direct it, Anthony Hopkins would return, and Julianne Moore would take over for Jodie Foster. Oh, I vaguely recalled hearing that part of it took place in Italy, but that completely summed up my foreknowledge of this movie. If I know I’ll go to see a new movie, I like to remain "willfully ignorant" and know as little about them as possible.

Despite my affection for Lambs, I maintained fairly low expectations for Hannibal. Even with my lack of advance information, I just had a bad feeling about the project. However, I wasn't prepared for just how unpleasant this clunker would be.

While I don't want or expect a sequel to rehash its predecessor, Hannibal failed to deliver anything remotely close to the chilling and creepy experience of Lambs. That movie was a sublimely unsettling psychological thriller, while Hannibal was nothing more than a gross-out hack job. The film's scenes of graphic gore existed for no reason other than to hide the movie's extreme lack of substance.

I like Moore very much – in general, I prefer her to Foster as an actress - but she was a dud as Clarice, and Hopkins seemed without fire as well. There was absolutely no spark between the two. Since the chemistry between Clarice and Hannibal fired the first film, the second couldn't survive without it.

Hannibal also faltered because it offered no suspense or memorable drama. It was an exercise in the inevitable; no real twists or turns made things interesting. The film moved at a glacial pace and never went anywhere.

Even the "leaving room for a sequel" ending of Hannibal felt incredibly unsatisfying. With the first film, the conclusion felt a little like they wanted to keep the door open for a sequel, but it still fit the movie's theme and finished the story on an appropriately unsettling note. In Hannibal, it just seemed like a cheap and stupid way to end the picture.

"Cheap" and "stupid" are two excellent ways to describe Hannibal. The original film succeeded because it rose above its genre trappings, but the sequel simply wallows in them. While it’s good that the filmmakers didn’t simply remake the first movie, they certainly could have done something more distinctive and engaging than this.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C / Audio B+ / Bonus D-

Hannibal appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As I watched this disc, I often wondered if I’d slipped in a DVD by mistake. That’s not good.

Sharpness was a definite concern. Most close-ups demonstrated decent definition, but anything wider than that ran the risk of looking mildly fuzzy and soft. The lack of clarity wasn’t shocking, but the presentation virtually always lacked the crispness I’ve come to expect from Blu-ray. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but I noticed mild edge enhancement through the film. A smattering of specks also cropped up, though source flaws remained minor.

The palette of Hannibal often came across as stylized, but it generally appeared fairly natural. The movie often displayed a reddish-brown tinge, and the disc replicated the tones with good clarity and accuracy. The colors were tight and clean. Black levels appeared nicely deep and dense, but shadow detail created a few problems. Low-light scenes came across as a bit muddy and hazy, though they mostly seemed acceptable. Ultimately, Hannibal was always watchable, but it never achieved the satisfying clarity of a good Blu-ray.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hannibal also came across as good but not up to reference levels. The soundfield presented a nice sense of environment. For the most part, the film displayed a forward bias that featured solid stereo imaging for the music as well as positively delineated atmospheric elements. The effects seemed appropriately placed and meshed together well to create a clean sense of location. Surround usage mostly tended toward general support of the front, but the rear speakers came to life pretty well during some of the louder scenes. For example, the gunfight sequence early in the film brought a good dimensionality to the proceedings.

Audio quality appeared positive. Speech came across as distinct and natural, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Music sounded bright and dynamic, and the score offered good low-end response. Effects also seemed clean and accurate, and they portrayed a fine sense of depth. Bass response packed a good punch that appeared tight and smooth. Overall, the audio of Hannibal worked fine for the movie, and it earned a “B+” mostly because the soundfield lacked a great deal of ambition.

How did this 2011 Blu-ray compare to the 2009 “Hannibal Lecter Trilogy” disc? Both were identical – literally. This version just offers the 2009 platter on its own.

Although the DVD of Hannibal contained a good roster of extras, the Blu-ray omits all of them. Instead, it simply includes trailers for The Silence of the Lambs, The Usual Suspects and Bulletproof Monk. Weak!

For fans of The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal comes as a major disappointment. The movie fails to capture any of the original’s creepy intensity and character depth. Instead, it substitutes gore and nastiness and omits any sign of cleverness or life. The Blu-ray provides very good audio but visuals seem bland and the disc provides virtually no extras. This is a disappointing release for a bad movie.

To rate this film visit the original review of HANNIBAL

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