Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Luke Goss, Alec Newman, Julie Delpy, Nicole Lewis, Monika Hilmerová
Director: Kevin Connor
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Obsessed with violating the laws of nature & death scientist victor frankenstein constructs a creature from the limbs of the dead! once brought to life the creature proves more human than his creator.. Studio: Lions Gate ... more »
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Amy T. from ORFORDVILLE, WI
Reviewed on 10/11/2010...
Hallmark goes Gothic
Crypt | Arkham | 10/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I experienced the mild disappointment of Kenneth Branagh's film "Mary Shelly's Frankenstein", I had dreamed that someone somewhere would finally do a truly faithful film version of the greatest horror story ever told. I think I may have found what I was looking for in this three and a half hour long gothic melodrama. Most of Shelly's story is left completely intact with only some minor changes and additions. One significant addition is Victor's close bond with his teacher Professor Waldman (brilliantly played by William Hurt with a delightful German accent). This friendship is never fully explored in the novel. Another is Victor's ongoing hallucinations brought on by shock and brain fever. The novel mentions nightmares, but not hallucinations. Victor's childhood is explored deeper than it was in the book and presents us with a genesis of his morbid obsessions with life and death. It also fleshes out his relationship with Elizabeth. Another change is Victor and Henry's trip to Ireland, instead they return to Ingolstadt. Lastly, the part in the novel where the creature is shot after trying to save a drowning girl is left out. There are some other minor additions, but nothing significant enough to mention. So what we have here is something much, much closer to Shelly than even Branagh's version from 1993. It contains all of the questions asked in the novel, all of the dynamics of Shelly's vision, and all of the tragedy without being as over-the-top and bombastic as a Hollywood produced film. Now, is it a good movie? I admit I'm not a fan of Hallmark. Their films are far to warm, fuzzy and unrealistically optimistic for me, and I find many of them to be rather revolting. This is why I was amazed when I saw Frankenstein. Hallmark producing a depress-fest like this?! As a film, although it doesn't have the "cinematic element" of theatrical releases, I felt it is a far superior film version of Frankenstein than anything done since 1931. The acting is solid-to superb, the emotional element is there (I defy anyone who thinks they can get away without at least a lump in their throat after seeing this), the sets and costumes are excellent, and we have the best looking Monster since Karloff. Hats off to the makeup designers! By the way, Luke Goss steals the show as the Monster who only desires to love and be loved, but is driven to murder. Another thing they got RIGHT this time is that each time the Monster kills; he feels overwhelming remorse and is often driven to tears. Shelly's original vision of the Monster was a creature that was inhuman outwardly, but within, the epitome of Humanity. The Monster was never supposed to be soulless. He's portrayed by Goss as a noble and highly intelligent (if physically unattractive) Gothic Anti-Hero. Just as he was in the book. He even quotes Milton's Paradise Lost. A far cry from the lumbering, brutish, child-like killer we're used to. This film is highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in the Frankenstein myth. And if you're like me, a major fan of the original novel, you'll find this movie to be absolutely wonderful. It's a shame that it received virtually no promotion and was limited to being aired on the Hallmark channel. Go get the dvd!"
Finally, the Mary Shelley Classic Gets Its Due
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FRANKENSTEIN is a three and a half hour epic that recreates Mary Shelley's classic tale of the dichotomy of science vs humanities in a keenly wrought script by Mark Kruger. For all its length and emphasis on special effects, sets, costumes, flashbacks etc, this film produced by Hallmark for television proves its mettle when viewed non-stop on the recently released DVD.
Director Kevin Connor wisely emphasizes the morality issues in Shelley's novel and does not opt for the usual so-weird-that-it-becomes-comical focus on the manmade monster (a sensitive Luke Goss) of Dr. Frankenstein (Alec Newman). Through a series of flashbacks (the tale opens with on an ice-stranded ship captained by a man (Donald Sutherland) in search of his own scientific truths. Enter Dr. Victor Frankenstein, ill from his pursuit of the monster he created in his German laboratory under the tutelage of Professor Waldman (William Hurt). The film flashbacks to Victor's childhood and the impact of the death of his mother (Julie Delphy) that drives Victor to understand 'death' in hopes of being able to reverse it. We meet his adopted sister Elizabeth (Nicole Levin) who is later to become his love and his wife, and his childhood friend Henry (Dan Stevens) who will follow Victor through the trials of his life.
With tremendous veracity we see Victor's motivation to overcome death in a laboratory that is not eerie but wonderfully life-affirming, a place where he restores life to frogs and dogs killed by accidents. Victor becomes obsessed with his work and eventually creates a 'man' from the body parts of the dead laying in open graves in the paupers' graveyard. Using the electrical current from lightning he brings his creature to life - and from this point on the error of his creation pursues him.
The 'monster' is not the freak usually displayed, but a tender soul, hungry for love, for family, for tenderness. His outward appearance creates the 'bad monster' in the eyes of the public and the monster begins a course of killings, all in response to his need to have his 'father' (Dr Frankenstein) provide a love object/source for him.
Yes, the story and its conclusion are known to everyone. The difference here is the view that man must take responsibility for all his actions and that ignoring the emotional needs of anyone is committing a crime. All of the actors are excellent, the period evocation is elegant, and the special effects are subtly handled. Connor has a hard time making his crowd scenes credible: his cast of extras seems to be gathered from people who have no clue how to act. But given the flaws in a movie too long for one sitting, this film manages to be true to the reasons Mary Shelley wrote this book, a book that is among the most famous ever written. This is a FRANKENSTEIN that cares more about character motivation than being a fright Halloween film."
litefoot | CA, south | 12/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This tale has been current two centuries for a reason: it's damn good. No need for embellishment or special effects. Fidelity to the narrative pays off here: in sticking to the text, the film approaches Shakespearian dimensions.