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July 12, 2008

Frankenstein

Frankenstein_monster_Boris_Karloff.jpg

I remember reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in High School and the book being a revelation to me. This wasn't some grunting monster stumbling around, this was a thoughtful creature who was genuinely hurt because he was rejected by his creator. And he could talk. I never knew that the original story was so smart, and full of such amazing themes...

All that to say, Universal's Frankenstein (1931) takes these things I loved about the book and flushes them down the toilet. It was exactly what you think of when you think of Frankenstein (and, is probably the reason you think of all those things). It was a lumbering monster groaning and strangling people.

That's not to say it's a bad film. For 1931 especially, it's quite impressive. And it's entertaining. But I much prefer the Kenneth Branaugh version from the 90s, because it's more true to the book.

I realized something while watching. You may remember that I wasn't completely thrilled with the style of the film 300. With all the digital backgrounds and scenery it felt really small to me (when I know that it was meant to feel epic and huge.)

It's the way films used to be made! No real locations, everything constructed and put together in a sound stage. Now the computer has replaced the sound stage, but it's the same idea.

It bothered me here with Frankenstein especially, where the backdrops were obviously cloth and everything was shot indoors. Both 300 and Frankenstein, I now realize, felt more like plays than movies.

And boo-hoo for me, the remake of Clash of the Titans (which I've been reallly hoping for for some time) is reportedly being made in the same style as 300.

2 out of 4

Posted by jason on July 12, 2008 02:31 AM

Comments

I prefer the Kenneth Brannaugh version, as well.

By saying that you have been hoping for a remake of Clash of the Titans did you mean that you liked the first one, or that you would like to see it done better? If you did like it, what did you like about it?

Posted by: Kathiek on July 13, 2008 01:21 AM

I love Greek mythology (my name is Jason!) and so I always loved Clash of the Titans and wanted to see it with updated effects.

Posted by: jason on July 13, 2008 02:31 AM

I love Greek mythology, too, so I was interested in watching this movie. I did enjoy it, but I agree with you. It would be nice to see it again with more updated special effects. Just the owl alone could stand a major overhaul. Do you have any idea who will be in it? Who would you like to see in it?

Posted by: Kathiek on July 13, 2008 07:21 PM

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