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January 24th, 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! :)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


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It took everything from her, except revenge!


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The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



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“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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