90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This release of Michael Mann's 'Manhunter' is about as perfunctory as it gets. It's packaged in a generic-looking triple pack with 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Hannibal' and there are absolutely no special features (there aren't even names for the chapter stops). It's a surprise, then, that it looks and sounds as good as it does. The movie is old (1986) and it's generally referred to as a footnote to the other two in this set. Still, I've seen it dozens of times over the years (on film, cable television, VHS, DVD) and this Blu-Ray picture is the sharpest I've ever seen it. The night time and darkly lit scenes are crisp; the lights and colors (sometimes used expressionistically) are clearer and show more detail than I've ever seen.
I'm not bothered by the lack of special features; this was such as unlikely candidate for Blu-Ray release, it's a treat just to have the movie in such nice shape.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
There is a review that states "read carefully" referring to only manhunter being widescreen. If you read the back of the Blu-ray it says widescreen
for all three movies. When I went back to the review I realized the format this person was reviewing was for the Dvd set, not the Blu-ray.
I don't know if it's the reviewer not paying attention or if Amazon just slaps our reviews on any format as long as the titles are the same.
I've noticed this with music cd's too. A standard issue original cd from a specific year, a remaster of same disc years later with bonus tracks,
and another remaster years later with different bonus tracks from a different label. If you go to any one of these different releases, all the
reviews will be the same. The same review cannot apply to a non remaster, remaster and completely different remaster years later.
People reviewing and/or Amazon need to apply reviews to SPECIFIC formats and SPECIFIC releases not just any given title across the board.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
As Amazon.com often confuses regular DVD sets and Blu Ray I wanted it clear I have just viewed this three Blu-Ray set. Firstly "Manhunter" was a primary consideration in my purchase and while the bonus features are missing....it did look surprisingly good based on my past DVD experience with this film on Anchor Bay in single and double disc configuration. "Silence Of the Lambs" is not bare bones in fact its the identical disc being sold separate with a full assortment of bonus features...and at times shows off the blu-ray quality but in some of the more muted scenes (and there are many) doesn't seem to be a big improvement over the standard DVD. "Hannibal" is missing all the wonderful bonus features and again...its shot in a less vibrant way so hard to judge the sharpness and quality of the upgrade to Blu-Ray. I purchased this used at a local store for $25 and at that price I'd give it 5 stars for content v price....at $50 I'd want a heckuva lot more.
41 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
manhunter is the only one of the three movies on this disk that is in widescreen format. the other two are in full screen.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I love the Hannibal movies. So I bought the three disc edition. The thing that was a little disappointing was that these dvds had NO BONUS FEATURES. I understand maybe Manhunter or even Silence of the Lambs probably wouldn't have any. But Hannibal definitely was released in the time frame to have special features. Regardless, they're still great movies, and I really enjoy them.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2003
While it is a bit sad that all four Hannibal the Cannibal classics will most likely never be released in a box set, I can understand it because of the different companies who have made the movies. This box set, however, is quite excellent. I myself feel that The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal are both equally brilliant and deserve a place in any person who calls himself a movie buff's collection.
The Silence of the Lambs was director Jonathan Demme's academy award winning 1991 classic. The success of the film, however, should not only be attributed to the director, because it was the work of the cinematographer, editor, writer, set director and, most of all, brilliant actors. Jodie Foster -IS- FBI agent Clarice Starling, brilliant, young, attractive (well, not really) and tough. Foster perfectly displays the emotions that go through her character and her growth throughout the picture. Some of my favorite scenes were where she discovers Buffalo Bill (the way she yells "freeze" is great!) and when she stands up to a crowd of men and orders them out of the room where an autopsy is taking place. Anthony Hopkins completely deserved his academy award as Hannibal. His portrayal of Hannibal and his personality was quite interesting. The way I see it, Hannibal is quite a nice gentlemen, but has a very large problem, that being his love for the taste of human flesh. I think you can tell from his scenes with Clarice Starling what a polite person he is. He might ask some personal questions, but the way he talks is courteous and friendly, if a bit intense. The cinematography of the film is fabulous, too. Clarice's descent into Lecter's holding cell is expertly handled, and the near final sequence with Clarice and Buffalo Bill is almost unbearably intense, thanks also to some wonderful music by Howard Shore. All in all, The Silence of the Lambs is a classic thriller which will live forever and deserves a place in everyone's collection.
The controversial sequel, 2001's Hannibal, is really quite an underappreciated piece of brilliant cinema. Ridley Scott is in top form as director here. The movie is overloaded with style of every type. Slow motion, overhead views, stylish flashbacks, sped up film, intense action and a brilliant use of classical music all add up to create an extremely memorable viewing experience. As for actors, they are all perfect. I was surprised to not think once about how well Julianne Moore was doing in comparison to Jodie Foster, and that was because she was equal to Foster. Rather than copying Foster's performance in The Silence of the Lambs, Moore makes the character her own. The Clarice of this film is meaner, more cynical and has a much smarter mouth than Foster's Clarice. This is because Hannibal takes place ten years after The Silence of the Lambs, so naturally, she wouldn't be such a goody goody, follow-the-rules woman. Anthony Hopkins steals the show as Hannibal. He is just as great as in the previous movies. In this film, Hannibal is free and loose, and from Hopkin's great acting, you can tell how much he treasures his freedom. Just look at how he sips his brandy and his cappachino. I loved that Lecter was free to do what he wanted in this film. Critics like Roger Ebert didn't seem to, and felt it took away from his mystery and creepiness. As much as I love Ebert, I must disagree. Having Hannibal out of the mental home was a work of genius and added a ton of creepiness to the flick. I have read Thomas Harris' novels The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal and feel that both movies do the books extreme justice, and, unbelievably, outdo them. In the case of The Silence of the Lambs, the movie version very accurately portrays the book version. Hannibal, however, was changed quite a bit. One part of the book I really liked that is nowhere in the film was Mason Verger's lesbian, body building sister, Margot. Also, Mason's love of terrorizing kids wasn't shown much in the film. The ending was suprmemely changed, but believe it or not, I liked the movie ending better. Hopkin's and Moore's performances in the finale are pitch perfect. Nothing removed from the book lowered my love for the film.
This set comes with two fantastic special editions. On The Silence of the Lambs, we find two documentaries, one old and one new, with the latter being quite fabulous. There are twenty minutes worth of deleted material. Some stuff was worthless and some stuff was very good, like one where Clarice is suspended by the FBI (Krendler's hate of her is set up for the sequel). There's also a rather funny phone message Anthony Hopkins left on his answering machine. Finally, posters, TV spots and a trailer are presented. The movie is in excellent 1:85:1 anamorphic ratio and has great 5.1 surround sound. The sequel is a fully laden two disc extravagenza which includes commentary by Ridley Scott, a very long documentary, 38 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, trailers and an "anatomy of a shootout" feature. Also presented in 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen and with really good 5.1 surround sound. If there is any problem with these DVDs, it is the fact that the The Silence of the Lambs disc has almost none of the features found on the Criterion DVD, which included what I hear was an excellent audio commentary. It sounds like Criterion has a real problem with passing over any special features to a different company, so I can't blame MGM.
Overall, both of these films are masterpieces and the set is great. Also pick up Manhunter and Red Dragon on DVD from Anchor Bay and Universal.
If you found my review helpful, please vote for me. Thank you.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm having an old friend for dinner. Ta ta.
35 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2007
Thank goodness that Red Dragon is NOT included in this set. The set includes Michael Mann's excellent "Manhunter", Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs" and the surprisingly good "Hannibal" directed by Ridley Scott. I hate to say it, but Red Dragon was a bomb; it was a pale imitation of Manhunter and I am thrilled that, due to its release by another studio, it has been left out. If you have never seen Brian Cox's performance as Lektor in "Manhunter", you will be chilled to the bone. Anthony Hopkins actually seems to have emulated Cox when he first starred as Lektor in "Silence". This set is such a deal. "Manhunter" and "Silence of the Lambs" are true masterpieces and Hannibal does not disappoint - it is Hopkins' film -- a shame that Jodie Foster refused to reprise her role as Clarice Starling in "Hannibal". This is your rare opportunity to get the theatrical release of "Manhunter" in widescreen. Never, and I mean never, waste money on director's cuts of "Manhunter" on DVD. I have seen the director's cut and it is not worth it . . . thankfully it is out of print.
45 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Great collection of Hannibal Lector films. "Hannibal" wasn't as popular as others in the series, but it was a pretty decent film. The book, however, was much better and had a different ending, one that would DEFINITELY upset many fans of the films. Sorry, Clarice, but you were not the smartest person in the room.
The real joy in this set, however, is the added exposure this release gives to 1986's "Manhunter", the first film to feature Hannibal Lektor (spelling variation used in that film). Scottish actor Brian Cox originated the role that Anthony Hopkins made more famous 5 years later, but Cox's take on the character is not to be missed. Hopkins' Hannibal is imprisoned in a dark and dank dungeon. Cox's Hannibal is kept in a clean, sterile, all-white cell. No moody atmospherics used there. All the menace is in the performance, and there's quite a bit of menace, my friends.
Only question remaining is this: which version of "Manhunter" is it? There was the theatrical version (later released on VHS and LaserDisc) and no fewer than THREE different cuts of the film released on DVD over the years. For my money, the cut that was on VHS and LaserDisc (and the last of three DVD versions to be released) is by far the best one. I wonder if there is a way to find out which version is on Blu-Ray before I plunk my hard-earned on it.
Interesting trivia: In "Manhunter", William Petersen's character rescues Joan Allen's character from the clutches of the Tooth Fairy, this film's VERY creepy villain. Some 16 years later in Rod Lurie's movie "The Contender", Joan Allen's character is indirectly involved in a back-room scheme that publicly destroys Petersen's character's political career. They are sitting across from each other as the chips fall. I kept waiting for Petersen to look at Allen and say, "That's the thanks I get for saving your skinny butt from the Tooth Fairy? Some gratitude!" But he never does.
**** Follow-up ****
The version of "Manhunter" included here is the original theatrical cut (the one originally released on VHS and LaserDisc). In my opinion, that is the best version.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I do not care to provide the 100th summary of the plot and my opinions on the acting et al, so, as I usually do, this review focuses solely upon the quality of the 3 films on Blu Ray and my rating is for that quality and not the quality of the movie itself. All 3 films come on their own separate Blu Ray disc so nothing is overly compressed trying to get 2 films upon one disc.
Manhunter.....While I knew of the 1986 release of this film, I had never seen it either on broadcast or DVD and had no preconceived notions about it.
This film has a MPEG-4 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer with some pretty thick letterboxing. Overall the video, despite a high Mbps rate average in the low 30's presents muted colors with a soft contrast. Details tend to be crushed by the blacks in darker areas and a medium grain throughout, and while I am sure that it must be better than seeing it in Standard Definition, I strongly doubt that any remastering of the film has been done. I did see 2 jump cuts in the film that could not be as they were intended. It is possible therefore that this film was put together from a couple of different masters. While I said I wouldn't provided my opinion on the films, I must say that the later remake 'Red Dragon' was a far superior film. 3 stars.
Despite a lossless DTS MA HD 5.1 audio codec, this film stems primarily from the center channel and though there were many opportunities to righteously direct foley fx to discreet channels both front and back, only the front channels were used and used very sparingly. The dialogue is clear enough and the volume levels set properly but overall the entire sound track sounds a touch soft and muted.
Only an ad about how great digital downloads are. No real extras at all.
Silence of the Lambs...
An average bit rate in the high teens/low twenties...Silence of the Lambs on Blu Ray is the same video transfer as previous releases of this film on Blu Ray. Never the less, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Compared to this film on Standard Definition DVD, the movie is warmly color graded in most areas and details, while not outstanding, are clearly defined. Fine details like a character's hair or rocky background tend to be a touch soft but this does not distract from the film's presentation. Overall a video transfer of 4 stars
The same lossless DTS MA HD 5.1 codec creates a considerably more open and transparent listening environment. Dialogue is clear and does not fight the musical soundtrack or foley effects. The surrounds are used sparingly and primarily for the creation of ambience. Other than for gunshots at the range, the LFE channel doesn't have a whole lot to do. While the audio is not bad for this film, I must say I expected more use of discreet directionality.
There were 3 out takes or bloopers and I liked all 3 but more could easily have been included. Several alternate or deleted scenes and both an older and new documentary on the making of, real insights into serial killers, trailers more.
A very nice video transfer with a warm color grading sometimes moving into the reds/orange areas. Contrast is good, not too harsh and details, while not the sharpest are not bad at all. I do believe that many of the scenes shot in Italy could have shown a greater number of fine details I can't complain too much. At no point did I see any artifacts or noise in this film. Like 'Silence of the Lambs' the Mbps rate is in the high teens/low twenties but, overall, the film looks fine.
Consistent with the same DTS MA HD 5.1 soundtrack there are a few areas where the audio system kicks in with some nice pans across the front stage. Surround usage is primarily for ambience and not discrete directionality for either the front or rear sound stage. Overall, the is a greater, more encompassing audio feel to the film than with the other two films in the collection.
EXTRAS.....NONE unless you count previews of other films as extras. I don't
All my reviews focus solely upon the quality of the transfer of a film to Blu Ray and do not reflect my opinions about the movie, it acting or plot. I do hope this review has been of some help to you.
Thanks for reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2003
1992: "Silence Of The Lambs" struck a chord with audiences, causing them to visit their therapists more often, it was said, and people became fans of Anthony Hopkins' portrayal as the elegant, intellectual, charming but psychotic cannibal ex-therapist Hannibal Lecter. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, the movie won a host of awards, including best picture. Jodie Foster portrayed the novice FBI agent Clarice Starling, whose chemistry with Hopkins was what carried the weight of the film and made it an Oscar winner.
On DVD, the experience is very thrilling and state-of-the art. Silence Of The Lambs still sends chills down our spines, and engages us in a disturbing world of madness, tinged with cynical humor and engrossing conversations between Hopkins and Foster. Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal Lecter, the former therapist turned cannibal and criminal. It's undoubtedly Anthony Hopkins' trademark role and one that he will be remembered by. We are unnerved when Hannibal Lecter first meets Clarice Starling in the dungeon of the prison, where he confesses that he once "ate a man's liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti". To extract information revolving the transvestite skin-collector Buffalo Bill, Clarice must reveal deeply personal and traumatizing events from her childhood. She recalls running away from an abusive home only to witness the slaughter of innocent lambs in a farm house. The memory continues to haunt her and is reawakened by the hypnotic power of Dr. Lecter. The movie ends with the capture of Buffalo Bill and Clarice Starling's promotion. But Dr. Lecter manages to escape his cell and vanishes into Italy. Which brings us to the next film in the collection, the sequel, also based on the book by Thomas Harris. The follow-up "Hannibal".
2002: Ten years after the release of "Silence Of The Lambs", and ten years after the plotline of that particular film, we find Clarice Starling in a precarious situation. She has been demoted during a violent incident and is still haunted by memories of Dr. Lecter. A lonesome woman, she receives letters from Dr. Lecter, who (like old times) wishes to help Clarice get her career going again and capture another notorious psychotic killer. Dr. Lecter has been living a comfortable and reclusive life in Florence, Italy, a city which had always enchanted him. In Florence, Lecter attends operas, plays Bach's "Goldberg Variations", sips champagne and yes, still hungers for human flesh. Clarice and another agent (played by Ray Liotta) attempt to foil Dr. Lecter's machinations, but are captured and imprisoned in the dining room of Starling's home. In a disturbing sequence, Dr. Lecter, Starling and the FBI agent eat a dinner with the main course being the agent's own brain. Dr. Lecter manages to escape once again.
Most recently, the pre-quel to the events in "Silence Of The Lambs" was released, based also upon the successful Thomas Harris novel "Red Dragon". Red Dragon is still to be released on DVD. These films are the perfect "thriller" collection, each with its own striking features, plus interviews with the actors and director. For fans of the Thomas Harris novels and fans of the films, this is a genuinely superb gift.