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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2009
`The Silence of the Lambs' is the classic 1990 film based on the novel by Thomas Harris. Trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is asked to interview a cannibalistic killer named Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) and ask for his knowledge on profiling to help the FBI to find a vicious serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine).

This has always been one of my favourite films of all time - everything about it is first class. It's without a doubt one of the creepiest, most exciting and suspenseful thrillers that I have ever seen and still stand the test of time nearly 20 years later. The presentation and setting is dark, dirty and gritty, giving it the seedy feel that the book gave me, the script is nearly spot-on to the book too with not much left out (something that is rare with adaptations) and the acting from the whole cast is performed perfectly to their counterparts from the amazing novel, making this one of the best book-to-film adaptations ever. So as you can imagine, when I heard that this was coming to Blu Ray I couldn't wait to get hold of it and watch it in high def.

Well I watched it last night and I'm sad to report that the transfer to high definition was not really worth me re-buying this and "upgrading" it to Blu Ray. The picture quality was pretty bad with a very grainy look to it throughout the whole movie. In the darker scenes it looked as if there were white dots on the black areas of the screen and the rest just looked incredibly dark. I actually compared it to my DVD copy straight afterwards and I was shocked to see that the DVD version actually looked better than the Blu Ray transfer! The sound however was noticeably better.

Overall this is one of the best films ever that I strongly recommend seeing but if you already have it on DVD you should definitely not buy this version as it would be a real waste of money.

MOVIE - 5/5
PICTURE - 2.5/5
SOUND - 5/5
OVERALL - 3/5
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on 6 September 2007
You've heard of this film, it's been so parodied and referenced over the years since it's release that it's become firmly embedded in the public consciousness. The reason for this? It's absolutely fantastic. It's one of the few films I haven't a bad word to say about, it's pretty damn near perfect.
The story follows a young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Foster) who's sent to interview an imprisoned serial killer, the now world-famous Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). The interview coincides with the continuing activity of another very different killer, Buffalo Bill, and of course the two plot lines quickly become one as Lecter offers to use his undoubted psychological genius to aid the police in exchange for improving his circumstances of imprisonment.
Hopkins as Lecter is only on screen for about twenty minutes totaled up and yet he gives such a stunning performance that his presence is felt throughout the film. He is at once charismatic, dangerous, electrifying, creepy, hypnotic, menacing and deeply disturbing. The first time he stares into the camera you feel like he's staring into your very soul, and for Starling he is. He's behind glass and yet Hopkins manages to instill such a sense of danger to him that he seems infinitely more terrifying than Buffalo Bill - where Bill is deranged, confused and emotionally volatile, Lecter is cold, intelligent, darkly empathetic, and completely detached from that most basic drive that prevents us killing. That Lecter clearly has his own strict moral code based on manners and politeness makes him even more frightening.
Foster as Starling delivers a career best performance, perfectly realizing the character as both strong but vulnerable, sensitive but determined, by no means the 2D female lead the film would have produced in almost any other actress. We feel for Starling, we want her to succeed, we feel afraid for her as she becomes dangerously close to Lecter. Foster really has to drive this film, Hopkins makes us afraid but Foster has to make us care, which she achieves easily. Her performance is often overlooked in this film because of Hopkins, but they both won Oscars for their roles and both were well deserved, two of the greatest performances on film to date.
The directing by Jonathan Demme is superb, forcing his audience into every scene by keeping face-on to the dialog and way too close to the action for comfort so we feel like we're there without the need for shaky-hand-held-documentary-style work that works well in some films (e.g. the Bourne Franchise) but would have ruined this. This film is not rugged, it's precise. It's not about random violence, it's about calculated horror.
In conclusion this is an incredible film with stunning performances, intense atmosphere, perfectly calculated directing, and one of the best constructed and driven plots in cinema history. Buy it now, it doesn't matter which edition, just get your hands on this film and prepare to be blown away. Good? It's Perfect.
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on 24 November 2016
It's a fantastic film based on the Thomas Harris novel. Without the first class cast and screenplay, this could have been a really boring movie. Instead it has become a modern classic, winning Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and best Screenplay.

It's a great thriller.
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on 8 November 2016
Now this one is just ACE !.....even after all this time....it's still ACE. Nice 1 Anthony & Jodie !....very well made film. Fantastic acting, great story, the suspense gets the heart racing in parts...so well made. Fantastic film !!!!
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on 2 January 2017
AUDIO: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
SUBTITLES: English HoH, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai
RUNTIME: 118:38 mins.
PICTURE: 1.85:1
REGION: FREE
EXTRAS: Making Of, Documentary, 3 Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Audio clip (Anthony Hopkins), Theatrical Trailer, Teaser Trailer, 11 TV Spots, Picture-in-picture video commentary

Video Quality: * * * / * * * * *
Audio Quality: * * * * / * * * * *

An undisputed masterpiece when it comes to thrillers, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS features a brilliant Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter and an equally brilliant Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in the Oscar-winning adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel.
Jonathan Demme's (CAGED HEAT) direction is perfectly paced and more of a character study mixing elements of thriller and psychological horror rather than brutal on-screen killings and gore.
Overall THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is one of the best novel-to-film adaptations ever made. The psychological aspect of the novel has been brilliantly transferred to screen, much is thanks to Hopkins' Foster's performances. Foster's best performance as a strong female lead. Unfortunately - unlike Hopkins - she did not reprise her role in the 2001 follow-up HANNIBAL.
Highly recommended.
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on 29 December 2003
Based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Harris and winner of five main academy awards, (Best Actor (Hopkins), Best Actress (Foster), Best Screenplay (Ted Tally), Best Director (Demme) and Best Picture), there can be no doubt that 'The Silence Of The Lambs' is an absolutely great movie that, by now, has secured its place in film history.
Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a trainee at the FBI academy who is put on a the 'Buffalo Bill' (Ted Levine) case. Eager for a lead, she seeks the help of serial killer Dr Hanibal 'the cannibal' Lecter, but in return, he demands the right to penetrate her most horrific memories, creating a wierd kind of intermacy between them.
Although this film is supposed to be a horror, its not really that scary as such (apart from the bit at the end where 'Buffalo' Bill is chasing Clarice in the dark basement), but some parts of it are pretty intense and two of these intantly spring to mind. The part where the dead is brought in for an autopsy, and the part where Lecter manages to break out of jail. The latter is extreamly violent and bloodthirsty, and will leave you gripping the seat. There are parts in this movie, like the two i have just described, that really make you want to hide behind the sofa, but there is somthing about it which keeps you frozen in your seat, like an invisible force field. I can't really describe it that well but if you have watched this film then you will know what i mean.
Overall, the acting is pretty amazing really. Jodie Foster was probably the best we have ever seen her, and Anthony Hopkins was absolutely extraordinary as the evil Hanibal Lecter, and it was probably his performance which got the film its five academy awards. 'Buffalo' Bill was just plain disturbing, but Ted Levine managed to make him better than he could have been.
So, as you can see this is a spectacular film all round and when you watch it you will see exactly why it has won so many awards and has become so popular throughout the film world.
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on 12 March 2009
When I saw "Silence" available to buy on bluray,I immediately placed my order.What a disappointment!

There is not a huge amount of difference in picture quality over the original DVD in fact it's generally a grainy affair.Brightly-lit scenes ("ready when you are Sgt Pembry!" feature better.We do not have an AVC encode here,rather an MPEG-2 higher bit-rate which is not good enough.

The sound is available in DTS-HD if you have the appropriate equipment.The extras are basically a re-tread of earlier collector's edition DVD extras apart from a HD extra delving into the psychotic mind.

I've no doubt that at some point we will see a subsequent collector's edition bluray with superior picture and improved extras.

That once again the consumer is ripped off does not really surprise me,but I just wish the powers that be would get this right at the outset.

Not even Dr Lecter would eat this sad piece of meat!

A movie classic gets the worst possible treatment.

YUM!
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2007
The Hannibal Lecter series has proved to be something of a huge success with fans of the horror/thriller genre, although moreso in viewing figures than actual critical acclaim. The only film of the entire series thus far that is actually worthy of receiving any critical acclaim has already received it, and that film is "Silence of the Lambs". The 1991 follow-up to Manhunter (the original adaptation of Red Dragon) sees Anthony Hopkins replace and ultimately outshine the previous Hannibal Lecter: Brian Cox. And despite Brian Cox probably having a wider acting ability than that of Hopkins, it is the character of Hannibal Lecter in which Hopkins outshines Cox and with immense ease.

Hannibal Lecter remains in a high-security mental institution and is in this film first visited by Clarice Starling -- Jodie Foster in one of the biggest roles of her acting career. Originally sent to interview Hannibal for research purposes, Clarice sees herself pulled into the ongoing "Buffalo Bill" case -- a series of grisly murders in which women have been starved and then skinned -- when Hannibal himself throws himself into the case by introducing Clarice, through vague directions, to Bill's "first victim". And, like Manhunter & Red Dragon, it becomes a story of a psychotic psychiatrist turned serial killer pitting his wits against both the FBI and with an at-large murderer.

As Clarice Starling; Jodie Foster delivers an excellent performance alongside the cold and seemingly sociopathic famed killer. The two find a real chemistry between each-other and really get across to the viewers the feelings that the two main characters of the story felt for eachother in the best-selling novel highly revered as one of the most brilliant suspense novels of all time. And it is the movie adaptation of the aforementioned bestseller that is equal in the sense of being easily one of the best movies of that genre ever.

As the body discoveries continue we witness the outstandingly bizarre "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine) successfully abducting his next intended victim, Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith). The two acting talents in that duo also develop and depict an excellent chemistry, albeit a much darker and completely loveless chemistry.

Also delivering stellar acting performances are Anthony Heald as the untrustworthy Dr. Frederick Chilton, Scott Glenn's portrayal of Jack Crawford (the head of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI in Quantico, Virginia), and several other excellent performances delivered by various actors playing police officers and detectives in this truly magnificent pulse-pounding thriller.

If you are wanting to witness a captivating, magnificently directed, magnificently acted and meticulously plotted thriller then look no further than 1991's "Silence of the Lambs". Being easily the best movie adaptation of the Hannibal Lecter stories, it is this film that best captures the human evil and thinking of the main villain and, although you'll find yourself rooting for him at the end, sees one of the best collective cast performances of any production. "The Silence of the Lambs" is a movie you must see!

- Edit -

The 2-Disc Ultimate Edition of "The Silence of the Lambs" that I am reviewing comes complete with a small handbook regarding the Hannibal Lecter story. Along with that there are some neat little menu cards for some of Hannibal Lecter's "favourite meals", without human ingredients of course.

Disc 1 is of the movie, including language selection and subtitles.
Disc 2 includes several featurettes and interviews. Along with trailers, TV spots and an Image Gallery.
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on 9 July 2004
Silence of the Lambs was the first horror film ever to win the Academy's Best Picture Oscar. It is also only the third film ever to win all four of the major awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress). Although a few horror films of the past were also deserving, Silence of the Lambs is certainly the best take on the modern serial killer film. Its grand success, in fact, paved the way for dozens of tasteless retreads, but that can hardly be held against it.
The film's most intriguing element, ironically, has nothing to do with the perpetrator of a recent rash of serial killings. It's the relationship between Jodie Foster's character, a rookie FBI agent on the trail of the killer, and Anthony Hopkins', a psychiatrist-turned-psychopath currently serving time in a top security prison for murder. Initially, Foster consults with Hopkins to gain insight into the mind of her quarry, but the relationship develops into a twisted, startling form of...well...professional respect and courtesy. Hopkins is the stand-out in the film, creating the unforgettable, truly terrifying character of Hannibal Lecter. Calm, composed, edgy, shocking, confident, abruptly violent, Lecter is a complete recipe for recurring nightmares. Hopkins' performance nearly overshadows Foster's excellent turn. She's the protagonist here, and although the role of an FBI agent is not often one the audience identifies with, she manages to grab the audience's sympathy early on. Her reactions to the horrors around her are unnervingly like our own.
A precautionary warning. This film is extremely unsettling in its frank depiction of evil and depravity. Although this is (appropriately and thankfully) not what drives the film's impact, it is disturbing, and the faint of heart should stay away.
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on 9 April 2002
Winner of the best film Academy Award "The Silence of the Lambs" is the kind of movie that makes you guess and get a fright. There are scenes that can be hard to watch, but it's so enthralling that you don't want to turn away.
A serial killer known as Buffalo Bill has been killing young women and keeping pieces of their skin. To get a profile of the killer, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), a bright and ambitious FBI agent-in-training, is sent to see Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) a former psychiatrist who is now locked-up and nicknamed Hannibal the Cannibal. Starling is told not to answer any personal questions, but when another woman disappears she is forced to please Lecter's weird desires because he knows exactly who the killer is and why he's done what he's done.
What's strange is that Lecter, as sick and evil as he is, becomes a partner to Starling. So, that means I had to root for him to a certain extent, but that's not difficult because he does have a lot of character. He could have made a great politician or a teacher had he not been such a psycho. This is one of the most complex characters in cinema. Hopkins is mesmerizing in the role and deserved his Academy Award.
The psyche of serial killers has been something we've wanted to understand for a long time, and here we catch a glimpse. Fictional or not, it's fascinating. It's also disturbing, but that's good because since there were times where I found Lechter likeable I needed to be reminded why he was so evil. Lecter and Buffalo Bill were both killers one just had more charm. Both create a tense-filled and sometimes scary movie that leaves an impact on all who see it. It's a mature thriller that delivers the goods and one of the best films of the year.
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