Friday, January 24, 2014

Movie Review - I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein



Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Caitlin Stasey, Mahesh Jadu, Steve Mouzakis, Nicholas Bell, and more.

Directed by: Stuart Beattie Screenplay by: Stuart Beattie Screen Story by: Kevin Grevioux and Stuart Beattie From the Graphic Novel by: Kevin Grevioux Based on Characters in the Novel by: Mary Shelley Cinematography by: Ross Emery Music by: Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek

Premise: Picking up where the Mary Shelley novel left off, the creature brings Frankenstein's body home to bury him at the family graveyard. A final act of grudging respcet after the scientist died while still pursuing his creation. While doing so, the creature is attacked by demons, who seem to know who and what he is. Rescued by shape shifting gargoyles, the creature is given a name and instructed about a conflict most are not aware of. And he's now become a part of it, whether he likes it or not. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Aaron Eckhart was a great choice to play Victor Frankenstein's reanimated creation. Yvonne Strahovsky was a lot of fun as the eager scientist. She even wore sensible shoes! (Something usually unheard of in movies.) Bill Nighy continues his tradition of playing high ranking supernatural villains. Which works very well as he does such a great job of being a suave and persuasive type of evil.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: "I, Frankenstein" has a ton of awesome special effects. The way the demons and gargoyles 'descend' and 'ascend' are incredibly flashy. The demons 'descending' even drill into the ground as they are ejected to the plain of Hell, which made for some cool visuals.

The switches between CGI and reality and back again, were close to seamless. This let them create some fun combat scenes as the actors fought one another and then their bodies would catch flame and deteriorate in moments while still moving. The shape shifting of the gargoyles looked good, but the demon changes looked even better.

Yet as in any Frankenstein film, it is the scientific gadgets that look coolest of all. Dr Wade's electricity chamber looked amazing in IMAX 3D. Loved the see through computer screens. And wait until you see the giant chamber of bodies and the electricity conducting coils - very impressive.

3) Story - Thumbs Up: I'd just recently seen the Frankenstein play by Danny Boyle, which shares the thoughts and feelings of the creature as well as Frankenstein's, so a lot of the general details of the Mary Shelley story were still fresh in my mind. So I was thrilled when the film began and they picked up pretty much were the story left off - the chase of the monster by his creator in the Arctic. They even quickly mentioned things from the novel that had already transpired for those not acquainted with the original work. Even better (despite what the name of the film makes it look like), they don't confuse 'Frankenstein' as the name of the creature. (The very end of the film ties back to the name they chose and it works quite well.)

In ancient times gargoyles were thought to be good for scaring away evil and for protection. It was one of the reasons they were used on so many buildings (and also as a way to funnel rainwater away from the buildings). So I loved how they took the old stories just one step further and made gargoyles shape shifters as well as actual defenders of humanity against 666 hordes from Hell. I almost laughed out loud when I saw their main headquarters - the choice could not have been more apt.

Even the symbol for the gargoyles order has basis in fact, as it looks very close to an upside down Papal Cross.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: There are a lot of fights in the film, and like I mentioned earlier, the combat using both real people and CGI combatants was great. I especially enjoyed the combat scene at the old building where Adam was staying.

5) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: I have to give the costuming department major 'kudos' for actually having a beautiful woman on screen who wears sensible shoes! As a research scientist, Dr. Wade would be on her feet a lot, and flats are just the thing. In most films, however, they would have still put her in heels to make her more appealing. So it was wonderful to see reality/common sense win for once.

The makeup department did an outstanding job as well. The makeup work on Adam was fantastic. The scar tissue on his face and upper body looked like the real thing.

Conclusion: If you're looking for some good supernatural action or are a fan of Frankentein, this movie is for you. Great visuals and special effects, as well as a fast paced solid plot, all of which will keep you thoroughly entertained.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)


Also, if you're looking for a fun read, go check out my short story "Bloody Hell" which is now live at 4 Star Stories. And it's free! :)
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