I Frankenstein

Warner Bros.

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Her Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) spends his days writing personal letters for customers to give to their lovers, families and friends, but in his own life there’s no one truly special. Still heartbroken and lonely after a recent break-up he pines for a romance he no longer thinks is possible. That negativity changes when he gets a new OS named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) that personalizes itself to the user. She’s witty, sweet and constantly learning about the world around her, and it’s not long before the two are in love. Spike Jonze’s latest is gorgeous, glorious cinema from top to bottom. It’s beautifully shot and scored, marvelously acted and interested in substantive ideas that most Hollywood films willfully ignore in favor of empty flash. This could easily have gone the Electric Dreams route, but it avoids anything resembling cheesiness through its sincerity, production design and honest lead performances. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Short film, featurettes]

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I Frankenstein

Where to begin? In 1795 Dr. Frankenstein creates a “monster” (Aaron Eckhart) who, contrary to past representations, is a pretty boy with a few nasty scars. The doctor considers it a monstrous creation of science, and while we’re never shown exactly why that is he attempts to kill the creature for the betterment of mankind. The monster survives and, as revenge, murders the doctor’s wife. Sounds fair, right? That’s a part of Mary Shelley‘s classic novel, but in this retelling, that murder does not fit in at all. Writer/director Stuart Beattie‘s film is all about the monster being as human as the rest of us even as he’s on a path towards true humanity. The problem is you’ll never care. He shows no regret killing the good doctor’s wife, and in one of the unintentionally funniest bits of the film he shrugs off a cop’s death as no biggie. It’s a strange choice to have a character an audience is meant to root for act so nonchalant over something like this to the point that he even makes a sarcastic quip over the cop’s death. Beattie and Eckhart are trying to create an anti-hero, but Adam (as the monster comes to be known) is too villainous for too long. His character arc is a flatline making it difficult to invest in whether or not he’ll come to learn about himself or grow as a “person.” Adam is a character passively wandering through a bigger story, and that’s not engaging movie […]

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I Frankenstein

Though not a sparkly vampire, Aaron Eckhart isn’t that much better as a rugged version of the Frankenstein monster (sorry, Adam Frankenstein) in the trailer for Stuart Beattie‘s I, Frankenstein. Far from the slow-moving, slow-witted monster we’re used to seeing terrorize villagers, the new reimagining of the Mary Shelley horror classic (this one is based on a graphic novel) has Eckhart surviving 200 years to the present day to become some sort of knife-wielding action hero. You see, being composed of various dead body parts doesn’t make him an abomination of nature – it makes him a superhuman with strength and speed that can surpass any regular person. Like a corpse Voltron. It’s up to him to lead other good supernatural creatures in a fight to save mankind(?) from bad gargoyles(?) led by dark prince Bill Nighy. Guys, this looks really, really bad. There’s also a savvy scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) who’s fascinated with his hot bod (it’s made of other bods!) who says things like “you’re only a monster if you behave like one,” and strokes his back. Mmm, pretty sure being the Frankenstein monster makes you a monster. But it’s a nice sentiment. Check out the trailer here:

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FIN03_IFrank_1Sht_Immortal

This week’s Comic-Con will finally give audiences their first real look at the upcoming I, Frankenstein, but Lionsgate is offering up a little tease before then. The studio has provided three new posters for the film that feature the three sides that duke it out over the course of the film – gargoyles (the good guys), demons (the bad guys), and Aaron Eckhart‘s titular monster (our immortal hero). Gargoyles fighting for justice is never not cool (the Gargoyles animated series is proof of that), but the monster vs. monster idea smacks more than a little of the Underworld series – two warring clans of gothic monsters with an undead hero caught in the middle. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that I, Frankenstein comes from the same producers as the vampire-and-werewolf-brawl franchise, even if this film is an adaptation of Kevin Grevioux‘s similarly-titled graphic novel. And like we’ve written previously, Eckhart’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster (here referred to as “Adam Frankenstein”) looks more like a regular guy after a particularly ugly knife fight than he does a reanimated patchwork of various corpse parts, although the hoodie is kind of a cool touch. And it keeps with the film’s modern setting, an alternate version of the present full of monster battles and undead creations. You can check out the other two posters after the break.

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I Hottie

If there’s one thing that Mary Shelley’s original “Frankenstein” was missing, it was eye candy, but that pesky problem is about to get solved in a modern adaptation if this first official still from Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein is any indication. Aaron Eckhart stars as Adam Frankenstein, who looks as if his creator was kind enough only to raid the graves of the most attractive shirtless dudes for his little science experiment (minimal scarring, thanks doc!). The film is based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, the co-creator of Underworld. A genetic quirk in Adam’s makeup allows him to live until the present day, but being immortal has its consequences. In the middle of a “dark, gothic metropolis,” he soon finds himself in the middle of a war between two immortal clans beyond his control.

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Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

Merry Christmas, everyone! Now let’s cut off all our hair and sell it so our children can eat! Wait, is that not how you celebrate the holidays with your family? Too bad, it’s how we’re celebrating this year. With the news that Universal has pushed back their Les Miserables to open on Christmas Day, the rest of Hollywood (completely relatively speaking) has joined in and mixed up their release date schedules like so much calendar Cobb salad. Just when will we see Aaron Eckhart as a new wave monster and where is that The Rock-as-concerned-dad drug film we all need and what the hell is Battle of the Year? After the break, let’s dream some dreams with the new release dates for Les Mis, Snitch, No Good Deed, Battle of the Year, and I, Frankenstein.

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Yesterday, our own Cole Abaius reported on the possibility of Bill Nighy joining Stuart Beattie‘s I, Frankenstein as a demon, but before we get official word of Nighy going evil, Deadline Manchester reports that Yvonne Strahovski has signed on to play the female lead and principal love interest in the film. Best known for her work on television series Chuck, the role will continue Strahovski’s steady slip into more feature work (she recently co-starred in Killer Elite). Beattie wrote the script for the modern take on the Frankenstein’s monster tale, working off a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. Aaron Eckhart is on board to play the monster (which any nerd worth their salt knows is not actually named Frankenstein, that name comes from the monster’s creator Dr. Victor Frankenstein, so I am at a bit of a loss when it comes to the name of this project), who wavers between his more hideous needs and a burning desire to be truly human. As if that wasn’t enough to make a monster go positively batty, he’s also being “pursued by demons wanting to gain the secret of his reanimated corpse.” Also? Those demons want to create an army of the undead. And I thought Mary Shelley’s novel had enough issues to keep the staggering one busy.

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According to Variety, Bill Nighy is in talks to play another immortal-yet-aged being for I, Frankenstein. The movie is being written and directed by Stuart Beattie, the screenwriter behind the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which Nighy was a part of. This will be Beattie’s second feature as director after Tomorrow, When the War Began. A modernized version of Shelley’s story which sees Aaron Eckhart playing a centuries-old Frankenstein’s Monster is an abstract idea, but it should push Beattie more into the minds of American audiences as a director. So far, it’s also the furthest along in a slew of Frankenstein projects that have yet to be struck by lightning. As for Nighy, there’s nothing ever wrong with casting him, whether it be for a villainous demon or an aging rock star trying to mess up the lyrics to a Troggs song. Hopefully here, he plays both. I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes.

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Kevin Grevioux is best known for creating the Underworld franchise, which tells the story of a centuries-old war between the vampires and the werewolves. He doesn’t just limit himself to writing about ancient vampires and werewolves though, it turns out he also has a penchant for writing about an immortal version of the Frankenstein monster. His graphic novel, I, Frankenstein is about a character named Adam, who is basically Dr. Frankenstein’s creation (who has survived to present day because of some genetic quirk inherent in his creation), going about his journeys and finding himself coming upon a stylized Gothic metropolis. After he arrives in said city, he finds himself caught between two immortal clans who have been warring for centuries. See? Kevin Grevioux writes about all sorts of things. The big news about I, Frankenstein is that it’s being adapted into a feature film. It has been adapted for the screen and will be directed by veteran genre screenwriter Stuart Beattie and, according to a press release sent out by Lionsgate, it will be starring Aaron Eckhart as the Adam character. Beattie says of the story, “Mary Shelley’s story is about the creation of the first human being. This is the story about that being becoming human.” Sounds like some pretty heady stuff. Luckily Lionsgate is confident that they’ve found the right actor to bring the character to life.

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The effects designer turned director has chosen another project. Where does that leave I, Frankenstein? Still available in comic form, that’s where.

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earlyedition-header

Start your morning right with a full blast of news. It’s better than coffee because it won’t get you all jittery and stunt your growth. Although, it might lower your sperm count. We’re still running some tests.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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