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I Frankenstein

I Frankenstein is another movie I think doesn’t deserve the bad rap that it gets. As I have said before tastes are subjective and it is very evident in this case. One of the complaints about this movie is that it is like a video game come to life. That is actually one of the reasons I like the movie. It is pure mindless fun filled with CGI porn. The movie is based of a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. The film stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney and Kevin Grevioux.

Here is a brief synopsis of the plot:

The story begins in the late 1790s where Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein novel ends (although there are a few flashbacks to the story in the prolog). We find the Frankenstein monster, soon named Adam in the middle of a war between Gargoyles and Demons. Yes, the Gargoyles are the good guys defending humans while the Demons are seeking humanity’s destruction. Because Adam doesn’t have a soul he has an easy time defeating the demons. He is recruited to join the Gargoyles but he declines and departs after being given weapons that allow him to “descend” demons (destroying their bodies and trapping their souls in Hell). As the centuries go by we find Adam in our modern day and in  a battle with a demon a human is accidentally killed. Before he can be punished for this death by the Queen of the Gargoyles the demons attack the cathedral where the Gargoyles reside and capture the Queen. Meanwhile demon-prince Naberius who is disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex, and his right-hand man, Dekar, employed scientist Terra Wade to conduct experiments  with reanimated corpses as7 he is seeking Victor’s Frankenstein’s journal so he can create an army of undead demons. 

That is the basic plot and I won’t give away too many spoilers. Sounds a bit silly doesn’t it? Well, it is and that is the fun of it. There is not a lot of gore and the violence is basically cartoon violence and nothing graphic. Aaron Eckhart does a spectacular job as Adam, the Frankenstein monster and I really enjoyed him in the role. Miranda Otto, From the Lord of the Rings, is also very good as the Queen of the Gargoyles, as is Bill Nighy as the prince of the demons.  This is not a horror movie but an enjoyable and fun action adventure story. The CGI is great and the morphing of the Gargoyles into human form is down very smoothly and flawlessly. People also cry about character development in movies and while I often think that is overrated I do think the character development of Adam, Frankenstien’s monster is very well done.

This movie is a B movie with state of the art special effects. The kind of movie you pop in the DVD player on a rainy Saturday night just to have some fun.

 

I, Frankenstein

As much as I follow movies there are still some that slip underneath my radar. A picture was relased of Aaron Eckhart in Lionsgate’s I, Frankenstein courtesy of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. I had not heard of this movie! It will be coming out in January of 2014.

This is from wikipedia: I , Frankenstein is an upcoming 2014 Australian/American horror/thriller film written and directed by Stuart Beattie, based on the graphic novel and original screenplay by Kevin Grevioux. It stars Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy.

Here is other information I found on line:

Directed by Stuart Beattie based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grievoux, the film stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Mahesh Jadu, Caitlin Stasey and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein. Look for it in theatres on January 24, 2014.

Synopsis
Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality.

Frankenstein is one of my favorite non-Giant, or Kaiu, monsters. I am looking forward to this movie. Although I am not a big horror fan I do enjoy the classic monsters from Universal’s catalog; such as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Werewolf and the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Wrath of the Titans Review.

As a person that really enjoyed the 2010 Clash of the Titans remake, I was eager to see the sequel, the Wrath of the Titans. I was not disappointed. In some areas it surpasses the original. The special effects are absolutely stunning. The creatures and monsters that Perseus does battle with are rendered with breath taking photo realism . This self professed CGI junkie is very happy to be living in an age when the special effects have reached this quality.

Similar to Clash of the Titans the move has an uncomplicated straight forward story. It is also more of an action adventure tale than the first one. At the start of the movie we find Perseus living the quiet life with his young son. His wife, Io, has passed away. One day Zeus appears to Perseus saying he needs his help as the power of the gods weakens through man’s disbelief. Perseus refuses until hell breaks loose and Zeus is captured by Hades and Zeus’s son Ares who is jealous of the way his father has favored Perseus. With the help from Queen Andromeda and others Persues embarks on an epic quest to the mountain of Tartarus where Zeus’s father, the Titan Kronos, has been entombed and where Zeus is being held and drained of his power.

This movie also had a bit more comic relief and humor than the original and this makes it a more lighthearted, fun and entertaining experience. The acting is fine and the all-star cast brings an otherwise straight B movie up a notch or two in quality. Movies like the 2010 remake and this sequel remind me of the 50s golden era of science fiction, fantasy and sword and sandals movies. Those were all B grade moves but still a lot of fun. So I view the Titans franchise in the same light and as long as they’re enjoyable like this then I say bring on part 3!

What’s in the hopper?

Here is some more development news. Starship Troopers is being rebooted and there is some news on that movie. 

 Toby Jaffe mentions that the movie will not be as violent as the original. “The more expensive a film is, the harder it is now to make it that violent. With Recall in particular, we made a conscious choice to keep it tonally closer to something like Minority Report. It gives the studio, and us as producers, the opportunity to reintroduce it in a new way.”

Jaffe further mentions that the new Starship Troopers will be able to have the “jump suits” as featured in Robert Heinlein’s book. “Working in a visual-effects renaissance as we are, we have the ability to do so much more now. We can do the Jump Suits with armoured exoskeletons from Heinlein’s novel for example, which I don’t think they could have done before.”

Source: Empire Magazine. 

I really liked the original and it was a lot of fun. I don’t mind the fact that they’re rebooting the movie. Actually, the reboot of Total Recall (which has a new trailer up), gives me some hope that if Starship Troopers reboot is in the tone of the New Total Recall then I don’t have a thing to worry about. 

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/56645
http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=34402

Edit: I think what Toby Jaffe is saying that times have changed since the original Total Recall and Starship Troopers were released. Both movies had an R rating. Today the special effects to do those movies is very expensive and with an R rating they would not attract a large enough audience to justify the cost. I am actually fine with this. The original Starship Troopers showed a militaristic and authoritarian state. The violence was a part of that world but I always thought it was a bit gratuitous and was there for shock value more than anything else. What more modern stories have demonstrated, such as the Hunger Games and Prometheus (a prequel to the R rated Alien) is that they could still tell serious stories with a PG-13. rating. 

Wrath of the Titans on DVD Today!

On DVD & Blu-Ray today is Wrath of the Titans the sequel to the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. Clash of the Titans got mixed reviews and I actually liked the remake of Clash of the Titans better than the 1981 original. With apologies to Ray Harryhausen the special affects of the remake are better in my opinion. The remake also received mixed reviews but did pretty well at the box office garnering $301,940,426 worldwide. I have not seen the sequel yet and I will be picking it up very shortly. Here is the trailer for the film.

Since it will be a week or two before I review the film here is my review of the 2010 original Clash of the Titans.

Comparisons with the 1981 original are inevitable. I see this new version of the Clash of the Titans as more of a reimagining of the story than a remake of the original. This leaves us with two completely different stories that are each outstanding in their own right. Although the story is pretty straight forward it is told as an epic quest that the demigod Perseus experiences as he wrestles with his identity while battling fierce giant scorpions, the three witches, the Gorgon, Medusa, and the condemned Calibos culminating in a final showdown with the giant and terrifying Kraken, mythic sea creature set loose by the gods to destroy the city of Argos and the beautiful Andromeda who is being sacrificed to assuage the wrath of the gods. The motive for this epic quest is that the humans have rebelled against the gods and after killing Perseus’ earthly family Hades has used the human rebellion as a means to defeat his brother Zeus to become King of the gods but he must also contend with a vengeful Perseus.

Liam Neeson was an excellent choice as Zeus with his booming voice and commanding presence and Ralph Fiennes does a spectacular job as the deliciously evil Hades, king of the Underworld. Sam Worthington also does an excellent job as the hero Perseus whom he portrays as a smoldering angry warrior forced into circumstances beyond his control as he comes to terms with who he is. The special effects of the movie are equally spectacular and top notch and as a lover of giant monsters this version of the behemoth Kraken of the deep is worth the price of admission. I just wish he would have had more screen time. As an epic action adventure movie the Clash of the Titans delivers 2 hours of enjoyable fun and exciting entertainment.

Total Recall

Total Recall

Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke

Director: Len Wiseman

Release Date: 3 August 2012

This was a movie I wasn’t really sure needed to be remade. The original was a classic movie released in 1990 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by Paul Verhoeven and loosely based on the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. The special effects for that movie still hold up after 22 years. So why bother? Also, after reading that this version, starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel takes place entirely on earth and there is no trip to the planet Mars nor is there a reference to the red planet left me pretty bummed. However it needs to be noted that this version of Total Recall isn’t really a remake of the 1990 version but a retelling of the original story. In the original short story the main character, Douglas Quaid, wants to travel to Mars but in fact never actually goes to Mars in the story. 

What turned my attitude around toward the project was reading more about the premise and how it sticks closer to the original source material. The original short story by Philip K. Dick is a story which deals with the theme of altered states of consciousness. This version of the story is more direct and upfront with the questions about what is real and what is imagined. The 1990 original was more ambiguous about the question of whether or not the events that were unfolding were actually occurring or were they all in the main character’s mind. Director Paul Verhoeven purposely kept the movie ambiguous allowing the matter to remain unresolved. 

In this version of the film Colin Farell is a factory work in the year 2084 and begins having nightmares about himself being a double agent but not knowing which side he is fighting for; either Euroamerica (the union of the United States and Europe) or New Shanghai (the union of China and Japan). Colin also starts to suspect that he’s a spy whose memory and personality were erased and replaced. The trailer and its depiction of the future, something which I am very curious about, also helped me turn my attitude around about this project. The movie is very well made and it looks like one of those movies you can escape into. While I am not always keen on dystopian views of the future this movie does look intriguing and interesting to me so I am going to give it a chance.