FOX has released one of the best thrillers of all-time, "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS," on blu-ray! Based on the best-seller from Thomas Harris, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice, the intelligent FBI newbie, having to work alongside, although through reinforced plate-glass windows and bars, a vicious, infamous serial killer, "Hannibal the Cannibal" Lecter, in an effort to track down a serial killer on-the-loose, responsible for numerous mutilations and hte kidnapping of a Senator's daughter, and dubbed "Buffalo Bob."
At one time, Gene Hackman owned the rights to the novel, wanting to helm it himself. While that would've been interesting, it's hard to imagine anyone doing a better job or more deserving of the Oscar that was won by Jonathan Demme for the craftsmanship achieved here. Sure, "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS" deals, in excruciatingly disturbing intensity, with a more vicious kind of villain than found in cinema decades ago. But, Demme demonstrates sizable skills as a director, easily on par with film history's best, in creating a true "classic!" The pacing, imagery, and overall intensity of "SILENCE OF THE FILM" has seldom been matched, either before or since this film! Demme's attention to detail and even his restraint during key moments wherein it's typically a director's nature to go the opposite direction with actors, is remarkable! "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS" is a remarkable achievement, deserving to be in every film lover's collection.
FOX has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/MPEG-2 blu-ray. While detail is notably better than previous dvd presentations, "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS" will probably never stand out as one of the better looking high-def presentations of any format! Demme's intentional dulling of color, in order to create a cold, environment, creates less than ideal depth. Colors are solid, but never rich. Detail is fine, but never conveys "jump-off-the-screen" depth. Blacks are decent, but never inky. It's good, but not one of the better examples of what blu-ray can look like.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. It's evident that nothing was done to remix- the original elements, as presented here. Adequate, but not overly impressive, the surrounds lack the kind of clarity and natural feel, found on many other FOX lossy mixes. This likely is due to the limitations of the original mix, never too impressive on laserdisc or dvd, for that matter. Unfortunately, the lossy mix hasn't improved upon the dynamic range, either. And, that's always been problematic in every format the film has been released in thus far. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. But, the lack of a better than average mix, is somewhat disappointing for such a great and long-awaited blu-ray release.
Fans should enjoy the loads of extras provided by FOX. Trivia, interviews, and more, are available to viewers on a picture-in-picture bonus extra, running alongside the film for its duration as an option. There's also a 1080p featurette, exploring the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, and numerous other goodies, including deleted scenes, a retrospective look back(10 years later) at the film and its impact, featurettes examining other aspects of the production, including its score, and much more! All of these are offered in 480p.