Movie Review: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

The Month of Spooks continues! So what’s on the menu this time? An adaptation of a classic novel? This’ll be interesting.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”.

Late 18th century. We follow Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh), a brilliant if somewhat unorthodox scientist. One night he manages to create life in the form of a creature (Robert De Niro) made up of many human parts. However the creature soon escapes and swears revenge on his creator. Basically it’s the classic “Frankenstein” story, but with a few smaller twists throughout. And while I love the ideas in “Frankenstein”, and even find some of the newer ideas intriguing, I thought the plot here was kind of bad. It manages to be slow and have some scenes feel slightly rushed at the same time. The tone is also a bit much, taking itself so fucking seriously that it almost becomes silly. I get it, “Frankenstein” is a serious story, but this is almost too serious for it’s own good. The plot here is just… not good.

The characters here are a bit bland. They try to have them be compelling and interesting, but that attempt kind of fails. Kenneth Branagh plays the titular scientist, and I am a little split on his performance. Because at times I think it’s pretty good, and at other times he is very theatrical and comes off as a bit hammy at times. Then we have Robert De Niro as the creature, a character that I actually found myself caring about a bit. A creation, abandoned by his creator, feared by society… that shit is compelling. And aside from like two moments, De Niro plays this very subtly and gives a really good performance. Then we have Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, adopted sister and love interest of Victor Frankenstein. And while she isn’t the most interesting of characters, I thought Bonham Carter gave a good performance. Then we have Tom Hulce as Henry, friend and pseudo-assistant to Frankenstein. And he’s fine in the role. We also get Ian Holm as Frankenstein’s dad, and he doesn’t do much… but Holm is fine in the role. The performances here are fine.

The score for the movie was composed by Patrick Doyle and it’s actually pretty damn good. It’s big, loud, and kind of epic. My problem with it is that it doesn’t exactly fit with the movie. To have a score this great in combination with a movie so sloppy just feels off. Despite the overall quality of the score, it didn’t really help elevate any of the scenes.

This movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh and he did an okay job. His direction has a lot of flair to it, but feels a bit too big for the story it tries to tell. I have a quote from Frank Darabont (who wrote the script for the movie) that basically encapsulates what I mean, but I’m gonna put that at the end of the post so it doesn’t interfere with the semi-flow of it. Anyhow, can I give any praise here? Well, not gonna lie… this movie is visually arresting. The sets, the cinematography, the clothing… it all looks great. And the creature makeup on De Niro? It looks absolutely amazing! As for scares… none. I think I recognized a couple moments that were supposed to be scares, but didn’t come off as scary or creepy or even slightly eerie.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 39% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert  gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,4/10. The movie was nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Makeup. 

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is not very good. It has a bad plot, meh characters, okay performances, great (if out of place) music, and meh directing. Time for my final score. *IT’S ALIVE!*. My final score for “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is a 5,54/10. While not the worst, I’d recommend skipping this one.

My review of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is now completed.

As promised, the quote from Frank Darabont:

I’ve described Frankenstein as the best script I ever wrote and the worst movie I’ve ever seen. That’s how it’s different.

There’s a weird doppleganger effect when I watch the movie. It’s kind of like the movie I wrote, but not at all like the movie I wrote. It has no patience for subtlety. It has no patience for the quiet moments. It has no patience period. It’s big and loud and blunt and rephrased by the director at every possible turn.

Movie Review: The Mist (2007)

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What’s up, people? Time to continue “The Month of Spooks” with another frightening movie review. And it is the second time we are taking a look at a movie based on a story by author Stephen King. Now let’s not stand around and make fools of ourselves, let us move on to the review!

Ladies and gentlemen, do not enter… “The Mist”.

This movie follows artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) as he and a bunch of other people get stuck in a supermarket because of a mysterious mist that brings out a lot of blood-thirsty creatures. So now they have to try to defend themselves inside of the supermarket. They have no idea what’s causing the mist and they have no idea where the creatures come from, all they know is that they have to survive. And was this survival story well executed? Yeah, I’d say so. Once again it is one of those situations of the idea not being original, but maybe the execution is done well enough. And I thought it was good. Not great, but good. I don’t know what to say really. I guess I can say that I thought it was pretty tense and suspenseful at times and I have to say that the ending is pretty tragic and maybe the best aspect of the plot. So yeah, good plot.

The characters in the movie are pretty much cookie cutter Stephen King characters. You have the main character dad who does art of some kind, you have the child, you have the elderly black guy, the religious nut and feel free to check off this list on your own. But how is the acting? It’s… good, I guess. Thomas Jane plays the main character of the movie and he does a fine job as the guy… except when he has to do somethign emeotional, then he kind of sucks. But I didn’t expect too much from him since I’ve never considered him that great of an actor. Andre Braugher plays the elderly black guy in the movie and he does a good job. The child actor who plays Jane’s son does a fine job, I have seen both worse and better child performances before, so I don’t feel that this kid adds or detracts anything from the movie. What was kind of fun though with the actors in this movie was how I saw a good amount of people who would later be in “The Walking Dead” which director Frank Darabont had a hand in. Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, Melissa McBride and Sam Witwer all appear in this movie at some point and that was fun seeing since i like “The Walking Dead”. Anyway, that derailed a little bit. Uhm… acting was fine and the characters were meh.

The score for the movie was provided by Mark Isham and I have to say that so far it is the best part of the movie. It isn’t something I can see myself listening to again, but it’s definitely a good score that really fit the movie. And to be honest, there wasn’t really anything sticking out except for one track called “The Host of Seraphim” which appeared near the end of the movie. Every other tracks in the score was fine, but that track is, no joke, fucking amazing. Held up by an eerie & slowly building backing note and the gorgeous vocals of Lisa Gerrard, it is one of the reasons why the score for the movie holds the movie up so well. That track is just amazing and the score overall is pretty good.

Okay, so far the plot has been fine, the acting fine and the score good, but is there something great about the movie? Yes there is… the camerawork is pretty damn great. It perfectly fits the eerie and a little creepy mood this movie conveys and actually manages to capture some pretty great shots. And I have to say that some of the writing in the movie was pretty great, and I am mainly talking about certain pieces of dialogue. And something I noticed early on in the movie which is kind of cool is that we see Thomas Jane working on a painting/poster which appears to be Roland from Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” books. As a fan of those books I just kind of thought that was a cool little easter egg.

This movie has gotten pretty good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Mist” is a real mixed bag of a movie. It has a decent story, decent acting, good music and fantastic camera work/directing. Time for my final score. Woaw, look at all that mist. What’s that in the mist? Wait, is that… Jeff? Oh my god, Jeff. Where have you been, asshole? Screw it! Do you have something for me? *Jeff gives envelope and disappears into the mist*. My final score for “The Mist” is a 7,99/10. I think it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “The Mist” is now completed.

Hearing Toby Jones tell someone to shut the fuck up is just magical.