ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Hannibal (2001)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Ridley Scott

Starring:
Julianne Moore/Clarice
Anthony Hopkins/Lecter
Giancarlo Giannini/Rinaldo
Gary Oldman/Mason
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
What a blood soaked soap opera! One of Hannibal’s (Hopkins) ex-victims (he barely survived) wants revenge. A detective (Giannini) is on Hannibal’s tail and forces him out of hiding. Clarice (Moore) is not a happy camper and things get worse for her when Lecter re-enters her life. And then you got the giant pigs…WTF???
THE LOWDOWN
What a weird flick. I don’t see this quirky film appealing to the general public, that’s fer sure. I guess the first thing I should address is Jodie Foster’s replacement. Julianne Moore comes through with flying colors. She’s way better eye candy than Foster, handles the accent very well and I bought her as Clarice. She delivers a perfect blend of Foster’s hick nature and Gillian Anderson’s red haired sexiness. Too bad the part is thinly written. All I know about Clarice here is that she’s depressed and might be in love (obsessed perhaps) with Lecter. She’s not the fully rounded character she was in "Silence Of The Lambs". More insight into her mind and her relationship with Lecter would have made my day.

Hannibal (Hopkins) is also a shadow of the maniac he used to be. Yes, he’s still a nut but now he loves spurting out self-referential one-liners to other characters for the sake of the audience. The humorous lines softened the character up for me. I didn’t see a no holds barred, refined psycho anymore (like I did in "Silence Of The Lambs"), I saw Anthony Hopkins acting…sorry…Sir Anthony Hopkins!

The movie itself is full of plot inconsistencies. One example: Hannibal is on the FBI top ten wanted list but has no trouble going through customs with a hat as his only disguise. The transition between him in Florence going back to the States is clumsy at best. His return to the USA could have been a perfect place to slap in some suspense or maybe a chase scene. Too bad the movie moves around it and ignores the situation all together.

Speaking of tension, where was it in the second half? The first half had some but the second half drops it to become an almost absurd gore fest. What were those pigs all about? Why pigs? What’s with pigs lately anyway? (anybody else seen Snatch?). And what was up with that last supper? Was it supposed to be funny? Was it dark comedy? I hope so cause I was laughing my ass off. The flick really feels like two movies. The first half of the flick had a great set up, kool nail biting scenes (loved the detective subplot), a few bang bang scenes and some groovy murders. But the second half of the movie goes in a totally different direction, abandoning logic/suspense and embracing morbid humor instead. The last offbeat half is not necessarily bad, but I just didn’t see the movie going that way. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the sick stuff.

This movie is as far from "Silence Of The Lambs" as can be but we still get lots of fun stuff to lap up. It takes the unconventional route (ballsy move), the Gary Oldman (Mason) character is odd and funny (not to mention hard to look at), the beautiful Florence locations are well used, the directing is awesome (Ridley doesn’t pull any punches), Ray Liotta is still a great man (or should I call him Henry Hill?) and the puke inducing finale is a great endurance test (will you lose your lunch or not?). Should this series be silenced? Read on…
GORE
I almost lost my nachos. Intestines falling out of a man’s belly, slit throat and one really gross out scene that I won't give away (the sickest thing I’ve ever seen on film).
ACTING
Julianne Moore (Clarice) is one sexy talented woman; too bad they didn’t give her more to work with. Anthony Hopkins (Lecter) also does well but he doesn’t have the edge he had in Silence Of The Lambs. I really liked Giancarlo Giannini (Rinaldo). It helps that he’s one of the more sympathetic character in the film. Hope to see more of him. Ray Liotta (Paul) is hilarious as the token sexist jerk. You don’t see much of the actor Gary Oldman (Mason) (because his grotesque makeup covers his face) but his talent still shines through. I did have trouble looking at him though. Francesca Neri (Allegra) is way hot but keeps her clothes on. Her part is shamefully underwritten.
T & A
Julianne Moore looks great in that black dress but unfortunately it stays on. Anthony Hopkins reveals the same tasty treat he showed off in Silence Of The Lambs: his bald head.
DIRECTING
Scott goes haywire here. You want slow motion? Weird cuts? An eerie vibe? You got it! The flick really looks wonderful (stunning cinematography) and Scott milks every artsy opportunity he gets.
SOUNDTRACK
An eerie score, church like music and even a few kooky bits.
BOTTOM LINE
What hurts this movie the most is its script (by David Mamet and Steven Zaillian??). The characters are weak (except for the detective) and the plot holes are sometimes a bit too big. They also could’ve explored the bond between Clarice and Hannibal so much more. On the other hand, I can’t deny the fact that I had a morbid fascination watching this flick. It takes really weird turns and is far from conventional. They could’ve easily imitated the first one (winning formula) but instead they take a daring, gruesome, artsy and unorthodox approach. You don’t see that too often. What do brain snacking, giant pigs and a totally deformed dude have in common?? I won’t tell.
BULL'S EYE
At a certain point someone says JoBlo!

Rumor has it that there isn’t much left of Mamet’s draft on the screen.

The book’s ending which is very dark was changed for the movie.
Strikeback
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11:29PM on 06/18/2010
I really like it and think it gets a bad rap. Its more over the top and fantastical then Lambs, but I think that was a smart move because just trying to emulate the same tone as the first wouldn't have worked. Everyone seems to think Hopkins is more over the top in this then in Silence and I disagree. He actually seems way more over the top in the first film imo.
I really like it and think it gets a bad rap. Its more over the top and fantastical then Lambs, but I think that was a smart move because just trying to emulate the same tone as the first wouldn't have worked. Everyone seems to think Hopkins is more over the top in this then in Silence and I disagree. He actually seems way more over the top in the first film imo.
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3:45AM on 07/12/2007

I Liked It!

Just to check out one of the coolest and scariest serial killers in movie history once again was worth watching. I couldn't agree more with the Arrow on the plot holes and almost random u-turns the script does, but the source material was a big piece of crap to begin with. Thomas Harris is a freaking nutjob and went haywire when he wrote it... Guess success does not always come in handy.
Just to check out one of the coolest and scariest serial killers in movie history once again was worth watching. I couldn't agree more with the Arrow on the plot holes and almost random u-turns the script does, but the source material was a big piece of crap to begin with. Thomas Harris is a freaking nutjob and went haywire when he wrote it... Guess success does not always come in handy.
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