The Impeccable Pecs of Victor Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Released: 1994
DirectorKenneth Branagh
Writers: Steph Lady, Frank Darabont
Notable Cast: Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, John Cleese
PlotBased on Mary Shelley’s novel, ” .Frankenstein” tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a promising young doctor who, devastated by the death of his mother during childbirth, becomes obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. His experiments lead to the creation of a monster, which Frankenstein has put together with the remains of corpses. It’s not long before Frankenstein regrets his actions. (Source: Robert McElwaine on imdb.com)

Note – the format I use below was one that I used in a prior 31 Days of Halloween blog-a-thon, and I found that I liked it and that it helped me concisely express my thoughts around a movie.

Commentary: I viewed this film on home rental VHS back in 1994, and my opinion of it then and now, with a recent rewatch has not changed. This film should work, it should have been great and glorious with its A-List cast and its stellar production values.

So why do I feel like Kenneth Branagh drained the life out of this incredible, immortal story? Continue reading

Lumbering Doofus or Ninja? (Frankenstein, Chapters 22-24)

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Cover of Tor Books edition of Frankenstein by fantasy art master Boris Vallejo

In the home stretch, and here are my takeaways on the end of the novel! Of course, I don’t really have much more to say, not about Vic all of a sudden becoming a self-righteous avenger of justice, dramatically appealing to “spirits” etc etc.  What a drama queen! I don’t have much to say about the showdown in the Arctic, either, except that Vic kills a lot of huskies trying to chase the Monster. Nope, not a whole lotta sympathy from me, gotta tell ya. It also looks like Captain Walton is developing a man-crush or more on Vic. Find another thing, Walton. Continue reading

Milton, Geo-politics and Romantic Procrastination in Scotland! (Frankenstein, Chapters 15-21)

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Here is one of the most fascinating segments of Shelley’s novel, where the Monster, far from the image of the lumbering idiot that Universal Studios imprinted upon popular culture, eloquently relates his tale and reveals a depth of thought and soul that is heartbreaking. Actually, this all began at around Chapter 10 – where the Monster stalks, helps, learns from and is rejected by a poor and virtuous family, the De Laceys-  but I will address it here.

My takeaways: Continue reading

Get Agrippa! Thoughts on Chapters 1-7 of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

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No plot recaps: that would be tedious reading. For a summary of what happens in these chapters, click here. Instead, I offer what I noticed, what made me curious and what made me react.

Let me add that when I first read Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus I may have been in 7th or 8th grade, and as much as this type of literature can be a pain in the ass to a feckless tween boy in search of horror thrills, I fell head first into it and got through it smoothly. I loved it. Continue reading