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Hannibal
DVD disk
10.05.2004 By: Dr. Drew
Hannibal order
Director:
Ridley Scott

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins
Julianne Moore
Ray Liotta

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Set 10 years after the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, agent Clarice Starling (Moore) finds herself on the verge of getting fired from the FBI because of questionable behavior, while our old friend Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) is now roaming free in Florence, Italy. The two will eventually cross paths again in a tale of revenge, murder and some of the grossest things ever put to film.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Critics lambasted this movie and based most of their disses around the fact that it didn’t come to close to matching the sheer genius of the original. What they failed to realize is that this sequel sought to break free from the claustrophobia of the LAMBS and re-invent the series on so many other levels, by allowing Lecter to continue his mayhem beyond the confines of “the dungeon”. I really enjoyed this movie for that particular decision…I mean, why just rehash the same movie again? (as plenty of studios do nowadays) Everything is different here, the shooting styles, the locations, the actors and the music which basically translate into one extremely entertaining romp of a movie.

It’s a film that’s both beautiful and horrifying to watch and kudos to director Scott for slapping on some serious helpings of style, as it only added to my enjoyment of the whole thing. The choice to switch up the roles and place primary emphasis on Lecter rather than Starling allowed us to delve deeper in the mindset of the twisted maniac, a psychological journey which kept me interested from start to finish. Lastly, the movie’s dark (and I mean dark) humor worked well in balancing the macabre and the drama, particularly through the character of Mason Verger, Lecter’s arch-nemesis. While the movie may periodically wear thin in the plot and story department, as a character study and entertaining thriller, it does not disappoint. Well worth checking out.
THE EXTRAS
Kicking off the double disc set is “Breaking the Silence”, a five chapter and 76-minute documentary which dives into everything you could possible want to know about the movie, including development, make up effects, production and audience reaction. We also get cool explanations of the infamous Liotta scene which will, believe me, “blow your mind”! The documentary is extremely well done and dissects the movie piece by piece (On a side note, after having watched producer Dino De Laurentiis talk about the flick…he’s one of the coolest old guys EVER). Next up are 14 deleted and alternate scenes which run just a bit over 35 minutes, all offering the option of separate commentary from director Scott. They’re all worth a look, particularly the never before seen alternate ending.

“Multi-Angle Vignettes” allows viewers to “deconstruct” three separate scenes or sequences, by offering multiple camera angles as well as different audio mixes. The flick’s high tension fish market shootout, a short interview segment and storyboards with commentary from Scott as well as the movie’s opening title sequence (reminiscent of the SE7EN DVD) are all available for inspection. They even provide technical camera information (like the lingo for take, focus, etc) to understand what’s on the clapboards. It’s like a virtual film school and makes for a very sweet viewing experience. Rounding things out are the movie’s original and teaser trailer along with 19 (!) freaking TV spots. So if television commercials are your thing, Hannibal goes completely overboard in that department. "Poster Concepts" includes almost 40 preliminary poster designs which eventually evolved into the final product which found its way onto the DVD cover and into theatres. Still Photos" comprises a host of pictures taken during filming and while I'm exactly a fan of such options, was pretty impressed by the range of stills. In closing, the DVD features some super cool animated menus which suit the flick perfectly.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Given how much I liked the actual flick, the fact that the DVD includes some incredible audio and video and a host of worthwhile extras only sweetens the deal. Not only are we treated to a super commentary from Scott but the razor sharp documentary, crapload of deleted scenes and multi-angle featurettes make this double DVD a surefire purchase. Worth every penny.
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