Set years past the events of The Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector (Anthony Hopkins) has escaped jail and is on the loose, hiding out in Italy. Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore, taking over for Jody Foster) is struggling in her career as an FBI agent, having recently been part of a botched arrest that sees Starling kill a mother who is carrying an infant daughter. Meanwhile Lector Victim #4, the only survivor, Mason Verger (played by a puppet and voiced by Gary Oldman) is ramping up efforts to entice the public to turn Lector in, with vast funds available for tips leading to his arrest. In Italy Lector is posing as a University lecturer whose predecessor disappeared under mysterious circumstances, being investigated by Inspector Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini). As Pazzi closes in, Starling picks up clues that he has found Lector and she returns to the case as well.
The Production: 2.5/5
Hannibal is a bit of a miss, a rarity in the history of Ridley Scott films. It’s missing star Foster and director Jonathan Demme from the original, and plots a cat and mouse chase sequence and the tribulations of a woman in a man’s world over the sexual tension and quid pro quo that made Silence so riveting. It’s not a bad film, it just doesn’t have the oomph or charisma of the first. Hopkins is of course terrific, but we’ve seen this before and we know that Pazzi is doomed to be a patsy in taking him down. A highlight is Ray Liotta’s chauvenist Krendler, and seeing him get his just deserts at the end is entertaining. As is the super creepy Verger. The interaction between Verger and Starling goes nowhere tho in there one and a half scenes together, and that’s a disappointment. Best costarring role in the film goes to a herd of super hungry pigs!
3D Rating: NA
Talking it over with HTFers who have seen both versions, including our esteemed Robert A. Harris, this 4k transfer is a bit uneven. Some scenes exhibit startling upgrades over previous releases on Blu, with obvious bumps in resolution. Others are so soft as to be frustrating. Not surprisingly the softest are on star Moore, and suprisingly some of the close ups of Liotta pop with details down to countable pores. Other dark scenes exhibit strong film grain, especially in darker scenes. I didn’t notice any halos tho, which is good! Overall it’s fine given its vintage, but it’s kind of a head scratcher as Kino’s premiere into the format. Keep trying KL, I think this wasn’t the best source material to go from!
Old school DTS HDMA 5.1 only I’m afraid. Nothing special. A few classical music scenes flow around you nicely but there’s not a lot else to sink your teeth into here.
Special Features: 2.5/5
On the main disk: Audio commentary by director Ridley Scott
On the Blu, all in lame SD, and repeated from previous releases
• Breaking the Silence: Making-of Hannibal Doc – including rare footage and interviews
• Anatomy of a Shoot-Out: A Five-Angle Breakdown of the “Fish Market” Action Scene
• Ridleygrams: A Featurette on the Art of Storyboarding
• An Exploration of the Film’s Opening Title Design
• Over 33 Minutes of Deleted and Alternate Scenes with optional director commentary
• Alternate Ending with optional director commentary
• 19 TV Spots
• Theatrical Teaser
• Theatrical Trailer
It’s a nice collection but it’s been done before. SD releases on a UHD pack tho? Insulting.
Overall I liked Hannibal when I saw it theatrically and was surprised to hear it was going to be Kino’s first UHD offering. I remain a fan of the film but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original Silence and there’s nothing here that jumps out as a reason why this would be a good UHD choice. The video doesn’t demand it, the audio is the same as previous Blus and even the extras are shovelled from previous releases in low res.B07NBDYJ8Q
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