Friday, October 15, 2010

On Hannibal. . .

This isn't really a review, but here it is.

I can't really talk about Hannibal as a film. It makes me annoyed and I can't even think of it as a sequel because it really can't be compared to The Silence of the Lambs. You know that I'm not a sequel purist or a remake purist, so it's not the concept that bothers me, it's just how outright proud in its difference from the original it is, entitled, almost. If this film were a stand-alone picture I would have absolutely no problem with it, and I suppose some of this venom should rightly be directed toward Thomas Harris himself, since he's partially responsible, but ugh, this is exhausting me already.

Ridley Scott obviously knows what he's doing. I just don't know why he did this film. There were too many dream-like dissolves, the film itself was way too brilliant (light, we're talking light), and sorry, Julianne just didn't cut it. One of the things I liked best about the original was the dark and gritty nature of mise en scene, and despite being quite gory throughout, its subtlety. This film (Hannibal) was lit up like the fourth of July, literally, and everything was abrasive and in your face. Even Lector seemed completely different. Too chatty, too randomly aloof. I don't believe for a minute that the Hannibal Lector I know would screw around and make all of those silly mistakes and bad decisions. And do I even need to say anything about the mouth noises of MASON VERGER? I just nearly tossed my lunch just thinking about it. The one cathartic scene of the film was Cordell pushing Verger into the hog feed after Lector goads, "Hey Cordell! Why don't you just push him in? You can always say it was me!" And now that I think about it, the scene was satisfying, but still it was this new, different Lector and not the one I came to know and love.

Sequels can work. But I firmly believe that in order to be a successful sequel (Godfather, Alien, Matrix) you have to have the same crew, the same creative team all working toward the same vision. This sequel, Hannibal, was in a different universe from the first film, almost disrespectfully so. Take Terminator 3, for instance. Many people hated it, and it wasn't perfect by any stretch, but the director obviously was making a Valentine to the first two, and in so doing, did something right.  Ridley could have at least done something to acknowledge the first film. Anything.

And Donald, I'm with you. Hannibal as a hero who only eats rude people? Please. There were several perfectly polite people from the first film who met an untimely end or horrific injuries that make this silly theory just a bunch of bunk. Whose idea was it? Thumbs DOWN.

And Red Dragon?
I'm going to be honest with you. I ain't watching it. And this has nothing to do with the several unpleasant events that have been hitting this house in regular strikes since last Wednesday (sickness, torn Achilles, skin lesions, more sickness, chronic cat barf, etc.,) although I could completely justify taking a break and checking myself into an asylum for some temporary relaxation (ala Eddie Van Halen at the end of "Hot For Teacher"). . .

No, I'm not skipping it because I'm lazy, I'm skipping it because it's the first one on this list that really, honestly scares me. Killing of families and kids, and the kids watching the mom die, and the meticulous way he picks the families and spies on them . . . I just cannot do it. It's too BTK Killer, too close to home. And I love Ralphe Fiennes, like really love him. If it wasn't such a damned disturbing film and his character such an awful serial killer and everything I would probably have some really nice dreams about Ralphe and the full back tattoo.

In any event, I have a few unopened Netflix envelopes, let's just see what's on deck. . .
NOTES ON A SCANDAL? How the hell did that get in there?


Donald said...

Notes on a Scandal is a really good movie. That was one of those movies I only saw because somebody (probably my sister or some girlfriend) made me sit through it. It's a good film.

Hannibal, on the other hand, is a piece of shit.

As you said, there's a lot to respect about it, mostly how gorgeous and well filmed it is, the locations are amazing, and a lot of the acting is first rate, although Julianne Moore is no Jodie Foster, and Anthony Hopkins is this is no Anthony Hopkins in that.

I did love Giancarlo Giannini, however, and thought that all of the scenes just of him were outstanding. But then he died (SPOILER!!), and I lost all interest. Anyway, Giancarlo Giannini is just an amazing actor who's always good.

And the book is better... and worse. It's better because Harris is a wonderfully fun writer, but it's worse because the ending is even dumber, more offensive, and completely outrageous. If you wondered what they were thinking in the movie, just read the fucking book.