January 26, 2014

I, Frankenstein Write-Ups

There’s a new Frankenstein film rolling out this weekend in 3D, up on the big IMAX screens, with speakers cranked up to Eleven. I, FRANKENSTEIN stars Aaron Eckhart, all abs and stitches as Adam, the Frankenstein Monster reassembled as action hero. Villains include fallen angels, gargoyles and CGI. The trailer plays like a video game ad. The film is written and directed by Stuart Beattie from a concept by Kevin Grevioux, who also created the Underworld franchise.

As the only new film in wide release this week — and reviews slow coming in because no press screenings were held — I, FRANKENSTEIN is still getting a lot of ink. Seems like everybody had the same idea: Use this opportunity to run a feature on Frankenstein movies, peppered with jokes, if possible. Here’s a roundup…

A group of film critics at Craveonline weigh in with their favorite Frankenstein films, yielding an interesting list that includes BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, ROBOCOP and SPLICE. Barry Paris of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette considers the eternal appeal of Frankenstein’s Monster with a list of 20 Frankenstein movies that favors jokey titles such as JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER and DR. FRANKENSTEIN’S WAX MUSEUM OF THE HUNGRY DEAD. Over at IGN, Scott Collura goes all out with humor and offers The Weirdest Frankenstein Movies Ever. 

Brett Weiss in The Charlotte Observer knows his stuff and provides an informed overview of Frankenstein over two centuries, touching on films, TV, print, song and The Monster as pop culture icon.

Gary Wolcott of The Tri-City Herald covers a handful of Frankenstein films, expressing his preference for spoofs, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN being perfectly wise choices, but he stumbles badly, ditching Boris Karloff as “a low-rent, not-too-talented actor”(!) and admits nodding off, “bored”, to the 1931 FRANKENSTEIN. Mr. Wolcott is also one of several writers this week who mention the Branagh/De Niro MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN of 1994 as lacking, though “the most faithful to Shelley’s book”. The film is indeed problematic but, don’t be fooled by the title, it isn’t very faithful to the novel at all.   

The lightest, perhaps most lightheaded offerings play off the hunk factor of the new Monster. After all, Aaron Eckhart is the first Frankenstein Monster to make the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine. VH1 has a photo gallery of the Most Boneable Frankenstein Monsters, number one being Susan Denberg of FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, in which, sigh, “Frankenstein is played by Grand Moff Tarkin”. In a similar vein, Buzzfeed ranks an assortment of Frankenstein Monsters by “hotness”, with Srdjan Zelenovic of FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN a clear winner. Though he’s on the list, let’s admit that Jack Bloom’s Monster from DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN never had a chance.

Getting serious, Adrian Ma on the CBC website takes an historical survey of Frankenstein appearances through the ages. It barely scratches the surface — a whole book would be needed for that —but it makes good choices. It’s also the only article to name check T.P.Cooke. 

The best of the bunch here is Brian Truitt essay in USA Today, despite his placing Franc Roddam’s THE BRIDE among the bad Frankenstein films. The article wins in terms of presentation, with a commissioned collection of 9 dynamic digital portraits by artist Jerry Mosemak. 

Finally, circling back to I, FRANKENSTEIN for a solid article about the film itself,  Charlie Jane Anders explores “The Deeper Meaning of the Frankenstein-vs-Monsters Film” on I09.

Now, we’ll see if all the Frankenstein copy can translate into box office action for the movie. Barely out of the gate, first word — from Variety — has this Frankenstein “Dead on Arrival”. Better hurry up this coming week if you want to see it in a theater.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They shud make ifrankenstein 2 or something