Blu-ray Review “Hannibal: Season One”

HannibalSeason1_BD_CoverArt_small[1]Actors: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Hettienne Park, Laurence Fishburne
Directors: David Slade, Guillermo Navarro, James Foley, John Dahl, Michael Rymer
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Lions Gate
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 561 minutes

Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

There has no shortage of Hannibal Lecter in films over the last 25 years including, “Manhunter”, “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Hannibal”, “Red Dragon”, “Hannibal Rising”. Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins and Gaspard Ulliel have all played the role of Hannibal over the years but I got to tell you Mads Mikkelsen really nails this character. He really does a great job and seals this show as a must watch. Laurence Fishburne is a beast and an awesome presence to the show. I wasn’t too familiar with Hugh Dancy but I am huge fan now as he also killed (pun intended) with this role. The show’s style is just so mesmerizing from the colors to the tone. I was in love with every episode. It is also quite brutal and may not be for those with a lack of stomach. Can’t wait for season two coming back sometime in 2014.

Official Premise: FBI Agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) hunts the most notorious serial killers. Graham is both gifted and cursed with an extraordinary ability: he can think like his prey, seeing what they see and feeling what they feel. What he doesn’t know is that his new partner is the most notorious serial killer of all. While pursuing an especially troubling, cannibalistic murderer, Special Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) teams Graham with a highly respected psychiatrist – a man with a taste for the criminally minded: Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Dr. Lecter tests Graham every step of the way, toying with him and playing a game all his own, while they work to unravel the mystery and catch the killer. Like only Lecter can, he twists Graham’s mind, daring him to question everything he knows about others…and himself.

Lionsgate Films really delivered an awesome Blu-ray presentation here. Besides the season’s 13 episodes, this three disc set also includes an episode that never aired and a “Producer’s Cut” versions of five others So it is a must revisit for fans of the series just for that alone. The episodes are gorgeous with their 1080p transfers in 1.78:1. Like I mentioned the style of the show, I just love the way it was shot and detail in this show just translate so well on this high def Blu-ray, especially Will’s “recreations” of the crime scenes. To accompany the video, the shows DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also hits a home run, especially with the very creepy and moody score from Brian Reitzell.

The special features are just as great as the first season. They are split over the three Blu-rays. Disc One includes an audio commentary track with Bryan Fuller, David Slade and Hugh Dancy on the pilot “Aperitif”. Must listen for sure. Also included are Pilot Episode Storyboards. Disc Two includes “Hannibal Reborn”, which is a cool featurette on the series with interviews including Martha De Laurentiis, the Executive Producer. “A Taste for Killing” is a fun look at the cannibalistic subtext of the character. Lastly there is a gag reel for those who can’t take the gory moments, or just a collection of spoofs.

Disc Three is another great audio commentary track with Bryan Fuller, David Slade and Hugh Dancy on the episode, “Savoreux”. Like the first pilot, also very enjoyable with some fava beans and a nice chianti ;-). “A Symphony for the Slaughter” is a great piece on the series’ composer, Brian Reitzell. “The FX of Murder” looks into the amazing visual and design effects from this show. Lastly there is a short deleted scene included. So that wraps it up and it left me feeling very satisfied even though we have to wait a few more months before we can get some new episodes. Almost forgot to mention that Lionsgate also delivers by included an HD digital download of this series, which can be redeemed on Ultraviolet sites.

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