My 50 Favorite Movies -- Catching up with Dr. Lecter

I didn't do a movie post last week...totally forgot.

So, this week, I've got not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR movies for you.

And, in the spirit of Halloween, they all revolve around one man:

Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Silence of the Lambs is probably the best in this series of four, based on three books (three movies + one remake).  Its also my favorite, but the other movies are solid and stand up on their own, too.

We first got introduced to Dr. Lecter in Manhunter, then played by Brian Cox.  That's also the first time I got introduced to Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida, which is scary as hell if you're in a dark room chased by a lunatic, being captured by low quality camerawork.  Manhunter has a kind of low-budget Halloween feel to it, but the script is good and the charactors give it some depth.  Not a bad adaptation, and in, fact, I like it better than I liked Red Dragon.  I think Tom Noonan was better cast than Ralph Fiennes to play Dolarhyde, although the Dolarhyde charactor gets explored much deeper in Red Dragon.

Still, Anthony Hopkins is Lecter, and he redefines movie psychopaths in Silence of the Lambs.  A lot of people get really freaked out by this movie, and to be honest, I find movies like Se7en to be more disturbing, but that doesn't mean it still isn't an excellent movie.  Silence is the movie that will actually be going on my Top 50 list...  these others are just gravy in a great series.  Or... chiante rather. 

We lose Jodie Foster after Silence, but Julianne Moore does a good job as a replacement in Hannibal.  In fact, I almost think its better that we see the tougher, more agressive Moore here since this is supposed to be Agent Starling later in her career.  Hannibal is a beautifully styled movie with a great score by Hans Zimmer.  This time, we catch up with Dr. Lecter in Europe, coaxed out of hiding by a melted Cabbage Patch Doll, played by Gary Oldman.  The dinner scene at the end is over the top, but the rest of the movie is an admirable follow up to the favorite.

Red Dragon finishes up the series with yet a new and fresh take, telling the story of Dr. Lector's capture and the first case that he helps out on.  Edward Norton does a fantastic job here, as always and the movie is pretty suspenceful throughout, especially when his family gets roped into this terror.  I think I like the original Manhunter a bit better, I still think, as sequels and prequels go, this one is pretty good....  its a solid and scary series all the way around.