Did you think Manhunter was a cool 80s thriller? Did you love the unsettling thrills and chills of Silence of the Lambs? Well, your favorite side-character gets his own movie with Ridley Scott's Hannibal - for better or worse. Kino Lorber Studio Classics gives fans a fresh new Blu-ray sourced from a new 4K restoration to replace their 2009 Fox/MGM discs. The picture quality offers up a notable improvement while the audio sounds as if it's been retouched a bit offering a fuller surround experience. Best of all, all of the archival bonus features from the old DVD have been restored for this release. If you need a cleaned up cannibal fix, this Blu-ray offers a clear upgrade. Recommended.
This is the uplifting story of one man's triumphs over adversity to become one of the most famous chefs on the planet. Well, that's half right. Hannibal - like its central character - is an interesting piece of work. Faced with the impossible task of following one of the best films made in the 90s, it's a mishmash of the problematic source novel and rewrites to appease upset fans. Ridley Scott stepped in for Demme, Moore in for Foster, and the results are a bloody good gothic horror flick that wears its production wows on its sleeves. Click Here to read our full review in the 4K UHD release.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Kino Lorber upgrades Hannibal to a proper collector's edition Blu-ray release. Pressed on a Region A disc, this disc is housed in a standard Blu-ray case with identical slipcover artwork. The disc loads directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options.
Hannibal gets to chew on a fresh new 4K Restoration supervised by cinematographer Jonn Mathieson for this 1080p 1.85:1 transfer. To say that it knocks the old 2009 Fox/MGM disc out of the running is a bit of an understatement. Detail levels are robust allowing fans to see and appreciate all of the ghastly gore effects and makeup. The previous release could look a bit lifeless as it was mastered from the old DVD master. Here fine details in facial features - for those who have faces - as well as clothing and set design are readily apparent. Shadows also feel better resolved as the image appears a couple stops darker and more natural looking than the old Blu-ray. The previous release could also look a bit more yellow where this one offers a cooler appearance that offers up healthier colors and flesh tones. The old 2009 disc also looked darker, murkier hiding details and was notably flatter. Three-dimensional depth is wonderfully restored here. Film grain is also much better resolved here providing a nice filmic appearance. Granted, the 2009 disc wasn't exactly a high hurdle but this release easily leaps over it.
For a full breakdown of the audio option, please read our 4K UHD Blu-ray Review. The short version is this: With 2.0 and 5.1 lossless options, Hannibal sounds pretty good here and may have even been improved since its original 2009 Blu-ray, which I found lacking, especially in the surrounds.
Where this release of Hannibal offers up another clean and clear improvement over the 2009 release, it manages to include all of the bonus features from the old DVD special edition release. While there isn't anything new here, it's great to see all of this content back in circulation. There's a lot of great stuff to pick through. It's another great commentary from Scott and the deleted scenes with optional commentary really showcases how the film was struggling with tone and fidelity to the novel.
Audio Commentary Featuring Ridley Scott
Breaking the Silence: The Making of Hannibal (SD 1:15:11)
Anatomy of a Shootout (SD 47:46)
Ridleygrams: A Featurette on the Art of Storyboarding (SD 9:11)
An Exploration of the Opening Title Design (SD 7:17)
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (SD 33:09)
Alternate Ending (SD 6:30)
19 TV Spots (SD 7:56)
Teaser Trailer (SD 1:09)
Theatrical Trailer (HD 2:18)
White Squall Trailer (SD 2:44)
Nixon Trailer (SD 4:42)
When Eight Bells Toll Trailer (HD 2:49)
If you need a new coaster, set a drink down on the 2009 Fox/MGM disc because this Kino Lorber Studio Classics release of Hannibal is a worthwhile replacement. While the film is nowhere near as good as Silence of the Lambs and isn't as tight as Manhunter, Ridley Scott's adaptation of the problematic novel does offer up some ghastly visceral entertainment.
This new Blu-ray offers up a clean and clear improvement in video quality thanks to a fresh new 4K restoration source and this disc comes packed with all of the archival bonus features that went missing from the Fox/MGM Blu-ray. If you're an Anthony Hopkins Lector completionist, you can safely replace that old disc with this vastly superior release. Recommended.