Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Lecter-riffic!!

So, we go from a guy who fights monsters that want to "swallow your soul", to a guy who swallows your liver with a nice Chianti.

And, we're not starting with the one you think...


The film-

Well, see my review on Red Dragon...

Added note, the novel of "Red Dragon", also inspired the family slaughter scene in "Henry: portrait of a serial killer", but, that one's upcoming.

Also, and I think I'm the only one who's observed this, both Manhunter, and Lambs end with people walking away from the camera sped up by a few frames as the credits roll.

Odd random coincidence, or deliberate nod to Manhunter?
You decide.

The history-

Watched this with my grandfather when it was fresh to HBO.

I was desperately trying to keep up with it to show I wasn't a dumb little kid, and I remember saying "so...he thinks he's turning into this Red Dragon? Like, some kind of werewolf or something?".

Gramp looked at me like I had lobsters coming out my nose.
I get that look a lot.

Anyway, after seeing Red Dragon, yeah, I fuckin' nailed it.

Also, this was the last tape I bought when Nicely's liquidated their VHS stock.

Silence of the Lambs

The film-

First, I'll quickly re-paste my super-quickie review from this post....

This fucking saved 1991.

Well, if you haven't seen this, you've been in a wooden box under a sex maniac's bed for 20 years, or in a coma, or just recently overthrew your dictator of 40 years.

Whatever the case, if you're reading this, you're free, so snap to it.

So, yeah, this is the one that got all the Oscars, and launched Anthony Hopkins into the stratosphere.

Course, notice, The Academy has made goddamned sure horror never gets a look in ever again.
Oh, your film can have gallons of gore if it's about war,  and the ending is all uplifting, and preferably syrupy.
Or, it CAN end dark, but you have to be French, or Swedish, or something.
Tch, hypocrites...
*Head shake*

And for cultural influence, this one's a juggernaut.
Everything from South Park, to "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back", and too many other shows and films to count.
Never mind that EVERY DUDE ON EARTH does either a Hannibal, or a Buffalo Bob.
Its memes are everywhere.
Truly an immortal classic.

The history- special viewing experiences spring to mind...I did watch it in Film History class, which was the only one I ever got a B + in.

So, it was kinda neat being tested on Lambs. :P
Think I got an A on that one.


The film-

Okay, re-pasted from this post...

Fuck yeah.
"Lambs", and "Dragon", were more like a hybrid of horror, and cop movie, this was straight-on gothic horror with Hannibal as the new Dracula.
Hopkins is just magnificent.
Lot more gore in this one too.
Oh, it may be all cute to hear Lecter talk about eating a liver...but to see him actually fry up Tommy Vercetti's brain...suddenly everyone's aghast.
*Evil laugh*

The history-

My mother barely withstood the aforementioned brain frying scene.
*Naughty giggle*
I miss moments like that, I need new victims.

Red Dragon

The film-

Re-pasted from this post (boy, I'm glad I wrote those)

Well, this one does some things better than "Manhunter", and "Manhunter", does some things better than this one.
I wish I could mash them together somehow.
I think overall, I prefer this one.
Hopkins ain't as great in this one as "Lambs", or "Hannibal", but he's good.
Some critics say he "sleepwalked", through it, bullshit.
It's more about Dollarhyde in either version, anyway.
Fiennes is good as Dollarhyde, sadly sympathetic.
The Dollarhyde in "Manhnter", is scarier though.
I wish I could mash those performances together.
Well, I can in my mind, if I ever read the book.
The Hannibal trilogy is a solid set of horror flicks.
Worth owning for anyone who likes film.
They're dirt cheap by now, no excuse for not getting them.
Doo eet!!

The history-

Um...again, no special viewing experience...I did find the DVD for 3 bucks at Big Lots...*shrug*

Hannibal Rising

The film-

Batman Begins with cannibalism.

The kid who plays Hannibal is nice and creepy, and he does a good job, and it's actually a nice watchable horror flick, but..y'know, those Hopkins ones are just so great....big shoes to fill.

Most fans must have agreed, because the planned trilogy of these never materialized.
I dunno, I woulda given 'em a chance.
Ah, well.

The history-

Watched it once, haven't had the desire to collect it.
Well, that's what really decided it, I didn't fork up my money.

So, that's the Hannibals.

The most solid series I've reviewed so far.
The closest thing to "a dud", was Hannibal Rising, and that was only the least good of the bunch.

Anyone having a Halloween horror marathon could do a lot worse than to fire these babies up.

Next up, West is best!!!

1 comment:

Paladin said...

The Hannibal Lecter films are terrific and "Silence of the Lambs" has been one of my favorites of all time for many, many years. My thoughts on each...

Manhunter: Dammit, I just like so much about this film. I like the Michael Mann/Miami Vice vibe this thing has. I like the cheesy rock music ("Heartbeat," over the closing credits, is one of the most relentlessly annoying songs that will ever get stuck in your head). I love Will Graham (William Peterson) busting through the window like Batman while Iron Butterfly pulses on the soundtrack. I love Tom Noonan's sensitive and isolated portrayal of the Tooth Fairy. I like Brian Cox as Lecter. I *love* that moment when Graham figures out the connection between the murdered families, how he KNOWS what the label on the film cans are going to say. "Just you and me now, sport." Fuck yeah!

Silence of the Lambs: Awesome on every level. Every moment Hopkins is on screen, he's mesmerizing. Too many things that I love to list, but here are a few: Lecter's devastatingly accurate deconstruction of Clarice ("You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube."); Ted Levine's creepy performance ("Wait. Was she some great big fat person?"); Lecter antagonizing Senator Martin; the moment when Crawford (Scott Glenn) realizes that, since the FBI's got the wrong house, Clarice is in danger of finding Buffalo Bill; Lecter's brilliant (and gruesome) escape from the jail; the astoundingly suspenseful sequence with Clarice hunting Bill (or is it vice versa?) in the basement of his house. Terrific actors, terrific story, tight, suspenseful...not sure you CAN make a better movie.

Hannibal: after "Silence," this was bound to disappoint and, yes, it's not as good. Still, I love all of Lecter's scenes with Pazzi, concluding with the grim lynching of Pazzi from the Palazzo Vecchio; I liked the Mason Verger character; Hannibal's great one-liners ("I'm giving serious consideration to eating your wife." "No, Mason. I prefer you just as you are." "Okey-dokey, here we go-oooo..."). Julianne Moore works well as Clarice and that final scene between her and Hopkins is great ("Not in a million years." "That's my girl."). The climax relies a little too much on horror and not enough on suspense, but this is still a good entry in the series.

Red Dragon: Pretty good re-telling of the story, though I prefer Manhunter. Still, it's hard to deny the appeal of Hopkins playing Lecter, even if circumstances force him to have little activity in the plot. Norton's okay; although he's a very good actor, his Will Graham doesn't have the world weariness that he should...see William Peterson's take. Ralph Fiennes take on the Tooth Fairy was nicely nuanced; I felt pity as well as revulsion for him. Love the dinner party opener ("I'm afraid if I told you, you wouldn't even try it."). A decent entry, but, like "Hannibal" one of the weaker films.

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