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Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part I

ARTICLE INDEX


"Hannibal Rising" (HD DVD Import)

Hannibal RisingSynopsis

In Red Dragon we learned who he was. In Silence Of The Lambs we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the saga of Hannibal Lecter - the one that answers the most elusive question of all - why? Written by Thomas Harris, the best-selling author of the Hannibal book series, this journey reveals for the first time the metamorphosis of a brilliant medical student into "Hannibal the Cannibal."

Specifications

    • The Weinstein Company
      2007, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 54 min
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • 1080i
    • English DTS-HD MA ES 5.1
    • English/Polish DD+ 5.1
    • Directed by Peter Webber
    • Starring Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Dominic West, Kevin McKidd, Rhys Ifans
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Themes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I read this book last year and was excited about seeing the big screen adaptation. Unfortunately, I missed it during its theatrical run due to work and was upset to see The Weinstein's skip this one on HD DVD. Luckily it can be found on-line from Poland on HD DVD complete with the original English soundtrack and no region coding. The film is faithful to the book, but leaves out a lot of the character development that made the book so riveting. What's left is a good movie, but not on the level of the other films from this series. Had they just fleshed out the characters a bit more I think this one would have been near the level of Silence of the Lambs. While I still think it is a great addition to the series, it is one of the weakest of the bunch.

Technical

The HD presentation is quite good here with exceptional contrast and dimension. The flashbacks of Hannibal as a child are usually quite cold, with stark whites and rich contrast. I loved these sequences from a visual standpoint. Later the film is a bit warmer and the Paris backdrop serves for some nice eye candy. Color saturation takes a step forward, and detail is still quite good.

The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. There is a scene in this film that exhibits probably the most impressive dynamic range I've ever heard in a film to date. It is a very short scene (and it will make you jump, I guarantee), but it left a lasting impression on my wife and I. The rest of the soundtrack is also quite good, with nice low bass response and ample use of the surround environment. Dialogue is imaged nicely in the front channels, and the balance is perfect. While I wouldn't call this a reference soundtrack, it never disappoints.

Extras

This release features a second disc that is a PAL DVD with SD extras in Polish.