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The Silence Of The Lambs Criterion Blu-ray Review

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“The Silence of the Lambs” gets better and better with age.

Having previously been released by Criterion in other formats, 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs” gets a brand new two-disc Blu-ray edition that, while light on new extras, comes with a big booklet, a beautiful case, and a shiny new transfer. But what of the film itself? You probably already know the answer, but read on to find out anyway.

If you don’t know what the classic “The Silence of the Lambs” is about, I suggest you stop reading this review and pick it up immediately. It’s a simple but layered story of a young FBI trainee (Clarice) who is recruited into getting help from a brilliant incarcerated crazed cannibalistic killer (Dr. Hannibal Lecter) in order to find a serial killer on the loose named Buffalo Bill.

What is there to say about “The Silence of the Lambs” that hasn’t already been said? It’s expertly directed by a filmmaker (Jonathan Demme) whose prior credits wouldn’t lead you to believe he could handle this material. It catapulted Hannibal into becoming one of the greatest screen villains of all time (thanks in part to Anthony Hopkins’ chilling performance). Of course, Hannibal isn’t the only villain here as the skin dress making Buffalo Bill is equally terrifying if not more so thanks to a criminally underrated performance by Ted Levine. The film also launched one of the best female heroes in motion picture history with Clarice Starling (again, in part to actor Jodie Foster). It’s easily one of the best book-to-film adaptations in cinema history. It has become permanently engrained in pop culture. It’s endlessly quotable (‘It puts the lotion on it’s skin, or else it gets the hose again”). ‘Silence’ clearly influenced cinema and TV from 1992 and on. Howard Shore’s score is an instant classic.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has been given a 4K digital restoration and, for the most part, it’s a nice transfer. Some shots are a bit on the grainy side, but many scenes (particularly interior shots) look better than they ever have.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The alternate 5.1 track has a lot of depth (you’re definitely hearing more here), but the original 2.0 track is a fine option as well.

Extras:

* 4 minutes of illustrated storyboards. * A vintage behind-the-scenes featurette. * A thick booklet featuring photos, credits, an intro by Jodie Foster, an essay by film critic Amy Taubin, pieces by author Thomas Harris, an interview with Jonathan Demme, * A 2004 interview with legendary film composer Howard Shore. * “Understanding The Madness”- Interviews with former FBI agents about killers and profiling. * An episode of the Bravo series “Page To Screen” about the “The Silence of the Lambs” novel and film. * “Inside The Labyrinth”- A 66 minute making of documentary that contains a host of interviews with cast and crew members. * A 52 minute 3 part documentary interview series from 2005 with Jodie Foster and Jonathan Demme. * 38 minutes of deleted scenes of varying quality. Some of them are extended scenes. * “The Silence of the Lambs” trailer. * A new extra with film critic Maitland McDonagh discussing the history of serial killers and the cultural impact that “The Silence of the Lambs” had. * A 1994 commentary by Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Tally and John Douglas. Note: They are not all in the same room.

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February 6, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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