Suspense

The Many Faces of Hannibal Lecter

imageI’ve said a few times that I’m a big fan of the NBC adaptation of Hannibal and think this new portrayal of Hannibal is intriguing and suspenseful. I’ve never been that big of a fan of the original movies though- and by original movies I mean Silence of the Lambs. I saw it years ago and didn’t think very highly of it. I seem to be in the minority in that respect since the vast majority of people think it’s an amazing movie and Anthony Hopkins put in an award winning performance. I thought the movie was quite boring and found Hopkins to be annoying and almost comical as Hannibal Lector. This seems a direct conflict to the Hannibal we see in the TV series. So I thought it was time to go back and watch the movies over again and how it all blends together. When taken all together we now have an "active" Hannibal who works alongside the FBI and is quite adept at carrying out his crimes. We have young Hannibal who gets thrown an incredibly dark path due to horrific events involving his sister. And then we have the jailed Hannibal who works to put other serial killers away. Finally, we have an escaped Hannibal with a bounty on his head. How do all of these flow together if in fact they do flow together?

Red Dragon – The movie that should (or perhaps was if you take into account Manhunter) have been released first. Since we were thrown into Silence of the Lamb, the character of Hannibal never made sense to me. In this introduction to Hannibal all the characters are presented and to be honest they all come across as incredibly flat. We see that Will just barely escapes with his life after Hannibal attacks him, but the reasons for that never really show themselves. We’re supposed to fear Hannibal but we never really see why. All we know is that he’s a cannibal and a brilliant psychologist, but I never really felt a fear of Hannibal. He acts foolish and juvenile and doesn’t strike me as someone who could hide an Easter Egg let alone be responsible for all the crimes leveled against him. He doesn’t come across as being smart enough to get away with anything.

Silence of the Lambs – A very slow and boring movie. Even after all these years and all these rave reviews of Anthony Hopkins, I still don’t like this movie. Even when Hannibal kills his guards and wears a face he carved off he doesn’t instill fear or panic. His mannerisms up to that point just make him seem on the verge of shaking his head and foaming at the mouth like you expect to see from Charles Manson. He doesn’t seem sophisticated, he doesn’t come across as calculating, he doesn’t give an air of cool planning or reserved danger. He just comes across as a lunatic who’s no more capable of controlling his emotions and behaviors than a 5 year old on the playground. This was supposed to be award winning performances and I struggled to get through.

Hannibal – A movie with a plot and storyline that made no sense whatsoever. Everything about this movie felt forced and pointless. All the sequences with Mason Verger as Hannibal’s nemesis didn’t strike a chord with me. Someone is going to take the time and spend the money to do away with Hannibal using feral pigs? Oh for heaven’s sake. Talk about an overly elaborate and easily escapable plan. None of the over the top violence made sense either. Fine you can have Hannibal twisting open someone head like a can of beer to expose their brain, but that really doesn’t do much for the character. Yeah, it was gross, like a lot of other scenes, but this doesn’t make Hannibal sinister or foreboding. Since he has nothing else it’s just a shock factor.

Hannibal Rising – A movie that seems universally disliked, but a movie I like quite a bit. While I don’t fully buy into the origin story I do like and understand this Hannibal. He is cold, calculated, plotting, reserved and always thinking ahead. The misdeeds against his sister have thrown him out of whack and his heart and mind burn for revenge. This explains his initial motivation, but is that really enough to sustain his serial killer desires?

Hannibal the Series – Here we see a tormented Will Graham and a sophisticated and lurking Hannibal. Will is being worn down by the atrocities he has to face on a daily basis. Hannibal steps in to watch and feed off that downward spiral. I think in this series we see all the characters that were lacking from the movies. Hannibal is calculating and sophisticated and a master of misdirection and suggestion. He points the FBI away from him at every turn. He’s twisted and manipulated Will so no one will believe the wild stories he tells. His calm and sophisticated exterior make you like him, but the staging of his victims make you fear him. And you always have it in the back of your mind as to whether or not Hannibal is responsible for the crimes. We see him commit some, but he’s able to throw enough clues and suspicion on others that we can’t be sure of some things. I think Mads Mikkelsen is a far superior version of Hannibal Lector. He has a smooth and comfortable presence that draws you in. By comparison I felt Hopkins wasimage abrasive.

Of course you have to watch the movies in a completely different order than they were released. Silence of the Lambs was a confusing mess and Hannibal Rising feels like a forced origin story. I still think the movies are terrible and don’t understand or agree with the draw people have to them. The movie portrayal of Hannibal is cliché and lacking. The TV portrayal of Hannibal feels dark and menacing. In the TV series, Hannibal feels like more like Jack the Ripper – a ghost of a killer that no one can catch, that disappears into the night after leaving behind a wake of devastation and fear. He’s the gentleman killer that will cozy up to you and you’ll never know until it’s too late. None of that comes across from the movies.

I’ve read about the direction the TV series want to go and I would love to see Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal re-written using these characters and personalities. I think it will make for a far superior story and will far eclipse anything the movies have to offer.

Other Articles of Interest:

Hannibal – Takiawase – S02E04

imageAs we jump into the latest episode of Hannibal we see Will trippin balls and seeing hallucinations or perhaps the realities of what Hannibal has done to him. Did Hannibal induce seizures in Will to cause time loss and gaps in memory? From the "flashback" we see, Hannibal overstimulates Will with drugs and flashing lights. That’s how we get the deformed clock Will drew.

We also have another serial killer on the loose – an acupuncturist gone wrong. She has decided the body would make a fine honeycomb for her bees. This is of course after using the icepick to take their pain away. Don’t try the honey kids!

But the idea that the bee stings hide the acupuncture wounds leads Beverly to recheck the wounds on her previous serial wherein she learns the liver is gone. Will declares Hannibal is behind these deeds, but where are all the bodies? Based on his memories, Will says Hannibal is eating them. That doesn’t go over very well.

Finally, Beverly checks out Hannibals house while he is at the hospital with Jack and his wife after he foils the wife’s failed attempt at a morphine overdose to end her suffering with cancer. Beverly discovers and unlocks a couple of secrets room including one underneath the kitchen. She may have bitten off more than she can shew as this curious Katz is now face to face with Hannibal in his lair. Darkness and gunshots ensue and one of them isn’t getting out of there alive.

Other Articles of Interest:

Bates Motel – Caleb – S02E03

imageThings are getting downright creepy in the world of Norman Bates. In this latest episode we see Norma meet up with the Stepford Wives when she gets invited to the party that Christine is throwing at her insanely large and most likely paid for with drug money mansion. We also see Norman hanging out and attending Bradley’s "memorial" with his new buddy Cody, the smart talking cashier he met when buying hair dye for Bradley and now one of the techs for the theater production his mom was rejected for. She seems to be a sassy, worldly broad with designs on Norman. How does he keep ending up with these ladies?

But the big and nasty part of the episode is the revelation about Dylan. Norma has been hiding a lot about her past including Dylan’s father. Turns out it not who Dylan thinks it is. Oh my goodness, do we really have to go down this road? Is Norma just spouting her usual lies and mistruths or is this the real deal? Has Dylan been mislead about his father that Norma supposedly killed which caused all the strife in beginning? And did you see the way Norman threw his brother around like a rag doll? My word, when he loses his mind people get a serious ass kicking.

And let’s not forget all the disparaging remakes being made about Miss Watson. It seems the entire town may have been hot for teacher and she wasn’t one to say no.

Things are just getting bad. Bad, Bad, Bad.

So for next week we get to see the aftermath of Dylan learning the truth. Is he hanging out the window of his truck in a drunken stupor, because of brawl or perhaps him dealing with the news of parentage in a less than complimentary manner?

Other Articles of Interest:

Bates Motel – Season 2 Premiere

image For the Season 2 premiere of Bates Motel we catch up with Norman 4 months after the murder of his teacher Miss Watson. Norman has no real memory of the events after the dance that took him over to her house nor does he have any idea where he got the pearls he keeps playing with. But, the life of Miss Watson isn’t all it appears to be and we get the impression her past has more blemishes than her prim and proper demeanor would have us believe.

But apart from Norman sinking into depression and obsession about his teacher we have Bradley who’s gone over the edge quite literally. Her tether to the earth has pretty much snapped and she finds herself on the ledge of a bridge. Alas, there is no one there to catch her as she makes her leap of faith. This lands her a plum position at the local sanitarium. After her therapy she’s released, but she quickly goes over the edge another way.

It appears that Gil is intertwined with Miss Watson and perhaps the death of Bradley’s father – the fiery accident we saw in the first season. Seems Miss Watson enjoyed the company of Bradley’s father and Gil was none to pleased about this.

After some of the saucy details are revealed we find Bradley’s over at Gil’s house trying to learn the truth. It seems Bradley is pretty persuasive with a gun and one hell of a shot. Gil meets with a "premature" end and his brains meet the window. Bradley has severely stepped in this time by not only committing murder but by shooting the head of the drug cartel. Oh the wrath that will be coming.

But fear not, she has a desperate plan and ends up in the doorway of Norman’s room asking for help. His boner for Bradley all but assures he’ll do anything to help her.

Quite a riveting start to this new season. Mom is beginning to worry that Norman had something to do with the murder, a murder Norman has no recollection of. Sheriff Romero starts to wonder about Norman and his odd behavior. Bradley is off the deep end. And once again it seems that Dylan is the sane one in the family. And with Gil out of the way, is he going to step into the role of head of the organization? Lots of things in motion in this opener. Looks like we’re going to learn a lot about Miss Watson and the "cartel" of the city. Norman will more than likely have some sort of breakdown so who knows will meet their end at his hands. And Norma will be so overbearing as to make someone snap. This should be one hell of an amusing season. I almost shudder to thing where this will lead us.

Other Articles of Interest:

Recent Comments

Items of Interest