The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 12, 2001, Page 5, Image 5

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i differs from
■ The sequel to'Silence of the Lambs'puts
more focus on the title character.
“Hannibal" is a grand, gruesome stroke - a
bloody, operatic sequel of a sequel, “Silence of the
Lambs" - a peculiar, weird little film that swept the
four major Academy Awards 10 years ago.
What worked in that film is conspicuously
absent here. Gone are the tight, sweat-inducing
1-(★★★☆Jagent Clarice
Starling, then
played by Jodie Foster, and Hannibal “The
Cannibal” Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins.
Gone, too, is the grisly perversion of the serial
killer hunt
“Hannibal” is hardly a police procedural.
Maybe that’s why Stalling, now played by Julianne
Moore, spends the entire film in a basement alone,
while Hopkins cavorts about Florence, Itlay, sam
pling the finer things.
Director Ridley Scott, who takes over for
“Silence” director Jonathan Demme, opens this
movie up significantly, and, save the very ending,
stays close to die spirit of the Thomas Harris novel.
The film has been criticized for not being
“Silence,” which is about as fair as criticizing that
film for not being the first in the series, “Man
hunter,” the 1986 Michael Mann movie. Those two,
unlike “Hannibal”, centered on investigations in
which Lecter played an outside advisory partici
pant, sinking his roots into the respective investi
“Hannibal” is a different film - by choice, not
error - and is, in many ways, every bit as good as
“Silence of the Lambs.” Its middle hour, which
largely concerns an Italian inspector’s (Giancarlo
Giannini) investigation of Lecter, is the strongest
extended sequence of the entire trilogy.
Hopkins is bulkier and more looming than his
Lecter of 10 years ago, but his performance again
belongs on the top shelf of the industry. All things
considered, including buckets of gore culminating
with an almost needlessly gross ending, I liked
“Hannibal” more than I expected. It’s alive and
thinking - as sophisticated and brooding as Lecter
io Dima suspense, me uue cnaracier stays
under wraps for a good half hour, as the film first
focuses on Moore’s plain yet stylish Starling char
acter, who leads an ill-fated raid on a drug lord’s
wife. The raid, and subsequent investigation, is
handled rather clumsily, as Justice Department
creep Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) offers Starling
redemption through re-opening the Lecter case.
Krendler works in collusion with one of
Lecter’s former victims, a pedophile by the name
of Mason Verger who cut off his own face and fed it
to his dogs at Letter's request Played by a skilled
and unrecognizable unbilled actor under a mask
of jellied skin and one gruesome-looking eye,
Mason sounds like a creepy James Stewart with a
lisp. It’s a rather juicy role and an equally impres
sive performance.
Mason offers $3 million for the return of Lecter,
and the Italian inspector Pazzi (Giannini) bites,
hunting down the doctor with his haggard look
and sad demeanor. His motivation is obvious
enough - a beautiful wife who needs better seats at
the opera - and his legacy of family ignominy
drives him further. Lecter picks up the scent, and
the chase is on.
Scott is at his best in Florence, with a few set
pieces of the city that are hard to compare to. One,
set in an outdoor opera, is reminiscent of the type
of grand ambition that embraced "The Godfather"
trilogy. Had the movie stayed in Europe, and
grounded itself in that story alone, "Hannibal"
' would have been able to surpass its predecessor.
Yet the connection to Starling is strong, and an
encounter with Pazzi, along with supplemental
information that proves that Mason is after him,
leads Lecter back to the States for a meeting with
all the usual delights. This leads to a breathless
scene inside a mall with a merry-go-round and an
eventual meeting between Mason and Lecter.
The screenplay, written by heavyweights David
Mamet and Steven Zaillian (more Zaillian than
Mamet) follows Hanis’ novel closely, and for good
reason, as the plot itself is intriguing, moving and
appropriately grotesque. It loses some of the expo
sition on Starling’s character, which is unfortunate
because Moore is left with little to do. She comes
off as rather unlikable.
The book's ending, which has Lecter and
Starling fall in love, has been lopped off for one
that suggests a sequel that will likely never come.
But the gory scene inside Krendler's summer
house has not been omitted and leaves viewers
with a sort of stunned, glazed-over look when they
leave the theater. Whether or not this scene,
among the most gruesome things I’ve ever seen,
overshadowed the film’s finer points, I don’t know.
It didn’t for me. But it’s unclear why it has been
included or why it was in the book. Simply to say it
was done, I suppose.
Either way, it draws to a close an intriguing film
so unlike its leaner older brother, it bears worth
t considering on its own merits. This film, like the
book, is no retread. But “Hannibal" the movie is
more appealing than the book, as Scott is able to
' broaden his lens to the grandeur of the Lecter
character. A fantastic world is what Lecter needs to
hold him. That’s what he's been given here. Hence,
the movie’s title: for him, by him, of him. It works.
“Hannibal" Starring Anthony Hopkins,
Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta and Gary Oldman.
Directed by Ridley Scott. Rated R (for supreme
violence and gore) Playing at the Douglas 3.
f i
Jerry Morgan/DN
Film smashes box office marks despite
poor reviews,final gruesome scene
LOS ANGELES — Hannibal Lecter
made mincemeat of the competition
— and the record book.
The grisly “Hahnibal,” sequel to
“The Silence of the Lambs,” debuted
with a colossal $58 million in its first
three days. It grossed more than the
next 15 movies combined, according
to industry estimates Sunday, and
easily beat the $34.7 million record
for a February opening set by "Scream
3” last year.
Only two other movies, “The Lost
World: Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars:
Episode I — The Phantom Menace,”
grossed more in their first three-day
weekends. “Hannibal” also had the
best opening ever for an R-rated
movie, topping the $42.3 million
debut of “Scary Movie” last summer.
“Hannibal” was “the most widely
anticipated follow-up since
‘Phantom Menace,’ and it’s the return
of one of the greatest cinematic char
acters of all time,” said Paul
Dergarabedian, president of
Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., which
tracks the box office. “It proved to be
an irresistible combination to movie
“The Wedding Planner,” No. 1 for
the previous two weekends, slipped
to second place with $7.8 million.
The weekend’s only other big pre
miere was the comedy “Saving
Silverman,” which opened in third
place with $7.4 million.
The martial arts epic "Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon” took in $5.1
million and topped $60 million over
the weekend to pass "Life Is
Beautiful” as the domestic box-office
champ among foreign-language
The overall box office rose again,
with the top 12 movies grossing
$107.6 million, up 43 percent com
pared with the same weekend in
2000. The box office has increased
every weekend this year.
Playing in 3,230 theaters,
“Hannibal” averaged a stellar $17,957
per cinema, compared with a $3,000
average in 2,467 theaters for "Saving
Based on me best-selling sequel
by Thomas Harris, "Hannibal” follows
Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) a decade
after “Silence of the Lambs” as one of
his old victims plots revenge against
the serial'killer.
“‘Hannibal’ just devoured every
body,” said Larry Gleason, president
of worldwide distribution for MGM.
Since “Silence of the Lambs,”
Lecter has become a pop-culture
icon, an almost universally recog
nized bogeyman.
“It’s like Batman or Superman,”
Gleason said. “You don’t have to say
much more than ‘Hannibal.’ It’s truly
become part of the worldwide vocab
mum, wnicn co-proaucea
“Hannibal" with Universal, sorely
needed a success. Struggling to over
come more than a decade of financial
troubles and shifts in ownership and
management, MGM’s last hit was in
1999 with the James Bond flick “The
World Is Not Enough.”
Audiences did not seem to care
that Hopkins was the only principal
to return from “Silence of the Lambs."
Julianne Moore subbed for Jodie
Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling,
while Ridley Scott (“Gladiator") suc
ceeded Jonathan Demme as director.
Moviegoers also were not swayed
by “Hannibal’s” mixed reviews. Many
critics said it was weak compared to
its predecessor. Some critics were
nauseated by a gruesome banquet
scene at the end of "Hannibal."
But that scene simply whetted
audience appetites, Dergarabedian
“The pre-release buzz about the
gore in the final scene, that just added
to the mystique,” he said.
men fill
■ Two musicians have become
apart of downtown culture with
weekend performances.
As freezing rain and heavy
snow pelted downtown Thursday,
people hopped over snow banks,
ran with their hoods shielding
their heads and slipped to their
favorite watering holes. Two
musicians continued playing a
musical set on the comer of 14th
and O streets, just as they do most
weekends. For some street musi
cians, the code for playing on
nights like these is the same as the
The two musicians, Charles
LeMan Barnes and Rupert
Gutierrez, have been a staple of
the downtown scene for the past
few months. Barnes’ stage name
is LeMans. And while LeMans has
played to crowded houses in
Maine, Wisconsin, California and
Minnesota, his most current stage
has been the epicenter of college
activity on weekend nights.
LeMans is a towering pres
ence. Standing about 6-foot-4 in
his trench coat, brightly colored
tennis shoes and thick, dark
blonde dreadlocks, LeMans looks
like he could easily join the
Parliament Funkadelic
LeMans has lived in Lincoln
off and on for the past two years.
Around 9^p.m., he and Gutierrez
will set up their equipment,
which indudes a Harmony guitar,
a Casio keyboard, an amplifier
that can also play tapes and a
black case to display some of
LeMans’ recorded works as well
as a spot for tips.
“I do a lot of Otis Redding
style soul, but I do alot of original
stuff, too,” LeMans said.
LeMans has played music
since the second grade. Proficient
in bass, keyboard and piano, he
played with various bands before
moving to Hollywood in 1989.
While in Hollywood, LeMans said
he rubbed elbows with some
well-known musical figures.
“I shared a locker with
Christopher Cross once,” he said
Gutierrez said he occasionally
played with LeMans when they
played with a band called the
Nightwalkers, out of LaMiranda,
Cal Guiterrez plays electric guitar.
LeMans said the public
response has been good whenev
er the two have played. LeMans
said he has made up to $200 in
tips in one night LeMans said the
money he made primarily goes to
motel fare.
“I’ll be dedicating stuff by Otis
Redding, Michael Bolton and
even myself on some nights,” he
The occasional encounter
with an intoxicated person is
inevitable on the comer of 14th
and O streets. LeMans said he has
dealt with a couple of belligerent
“Sometimes they'll run over
our stuff, but for the most part, the
people have been pretty nice,”
he said.
George Kholousi, night man
ager at the Gourmet Grill, 1400 O
St, said the two musicians attract
little business to the restaurant.
He has watched people come up
and talk to the two musicians and
ask for a dedication.
“(LeMans) is pretty consis
tent,” Kholousi said, "That's what I
like about him.”
'Silverman' brings humor to friend vs. girlfriend dilemma
■ Jason Biggs stars in the movie
about the two relationships that is
full of side-splitting laughs.
The girlfriend vs. the best
friends is a battle we all know, and it
usually isn’t very pretty. “Saving
Silverman” contains all the crotch
kicks, food fights and insane insults
that result from choosing a lover
over life-long friendships. It's ugly,
crude and utterly hilarious.
Darren (Jason Biggs) and his
childhood friends, J.D. (Jack Black)
and Wayne (Steve Zahn), live a mea
ger existence. The guiding light in
their lives is the music of Neil
Diamond (they have a cover band).
Needless to say, they are very lonely
men, and when the moment arises
for Darren to get the girl, he goes for
After he and Judith (Amanda
Peet) go from zero to 60 with their
relationship, he finds out that she
can’t stand his friends and forbids
him from seeing them. Thus, J.D.
and Wayne kidnap Judith and make
it appear that she is dead so they
can set Darren and his high school
, crush up. Ahh, let the comedy
Biggs, best known for his affec
tionate apple pie scene in
“American Pie,” is more the heart
felt romantic than the butt of the
joke. He is escaping the dumb-ass
persona and is entering into the
caring, sweet, want-to-love-me
type, and he looks quite promising.
Peet is an up and comer from
the TV series “Jack & Jill” and has a
' few movie credits to her name. She
plays a very forceful and demand
ing woman. She fights, curses and
yells to get her way. She is either
goofy or the sex-bomb in most of
her roles, but being the royal wench
is a role she plays well, and she adds
her comedic sense to spice it up.
Black, who starred in “High
Fidelity,” and Zahn, from "That
Thing You Do” and “Happy Texas,”
are the bumbling idiots who think
they can outwit Judith and get away
with the crime. They work so well
together and play off of each other’s
quick wit and timing to pump the
movie full of quirks and crazy
The movie is full of off-the-wall
antics and funny one-liners that
catch the audience off guard and
explode them into laughter. Black
and Zahn, with the humor of Peet,
make “Saving Silverman” a side
aching, eye-tearing pearl of a come
“Saving Silverman.” Starring
Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet, Jack
Black and Steve Zahn. Directed by
Dennis Dugan. Rated PG-13 (adult
language and adult content).
Showing at the Plaza 4 and