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|Index||240 reviews in total|
An utter mess that wastes the talents of many performers and makes a classic novel look like a common Stephen King-based horror film adaptation. The title says it all as the mad doctor (played by director Kenneth Branagh) has a real problem with death. Thus he makes science run amok with the creation of a monster (Robert DeNiro) with shortcomings a mile long. Naturally the monster is discarded of, but the monster vows revenge and will stop at nothing until his creator feels the pain and degradation he has felt. "Mary Shelley's Frankestein" is somewhat true to the novel, but Branagh's unique take on the classic is more annoying than interesting. He takes depth away from an amazingly deep novel that poses many questions about life, death and the role that God plays with human beings. Branagh used high-class actors (Helena Bonham Carter, John Cleese, Ian Holm, Tom Hulce and Aidan Quinn) and gave them time-wasting cameos and dialogue that bored more than interested. DeNiro does what he can to salvage the ugly emptiness, but he too becomes lost in the shuffle as his screen-time fails to fill the dead spots the film has. Branagh's own self-indulgence hurts DeNiro's part immensely as well. Overall a fair film, but honestly a huge disappointment that never comes close to anything remotely impressive. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Yes, I do apologize, Boris Karloff is the master of the macabre as he was
the original FRANKENSTEIN. But, I feel that this 1994 updated version of
Mary Shelley's classic tale of horror is far better.
I love the way the story is developed and the way it actually holds your interest (like how the 1931 film did not). I love the gloomy art direction and the great performances from the well-known cast. Robert De Niro gives an astonishing performance as the monster.
The costume design and script were both done beautifully. 18th century Geneva is re-created almost so beautifully, I would almost want to live there. The sky is very gloomy and grey and it has that sudden ring that made a lot of people love SLEEPY HOLLOW. So, yes in my opinion, this film is far better than the 1931 version. I know many people consider it to be the greatest horror film ever made, but it just does not hold my interest, and this movie does. It takes Mary Shelley's classic novel and throws in some new twists and some thrills that may lead to some actual, genuine shocks. I left this film thinking only one thing: "WOW!"
FRANKENSTEIN (1994) gets 5/5.
If you saw the former Monster of Frankenstein played by Boris Karloff compared to this new one played by Robert De Niro, you will see enormous differences between both. Karloff's one is more horror while De Niro's is more literate, he is able to listen, to think, to read and to discover who is the bad doer. In any case, everyone is free to choose any of them. If you are looking for pure horror, then take Karloff, but if you want to see more reasonable film then De Niro is the choice. This film gives the opportunity to reason, in fact the bad is not the monster but his creator, and the film came at the time when some scientists are looking for human cloning not paying enough attention to the problems of ethics of this issue.
Unfortunately this fantastic movie is one of the most underrated classics of the mid-90's. What a shame considering how good "Frankenstein" really is. When I think of all the bad reviews I've read from the papers all I can say is those damn critics are merciless bunch of people. Of course it's their profession to run down terrific films - that's how they get their monthly salary. I have no idea what is so unsuccessful in this excellent and exciting film. Once again the ingenious Robert De Niro proofs he is the biggest chameleon among actors and Kenneth Branagh is fabulous as Victor Frankenstein - the creator of the unholy creature. "Frankenstein" is also visually more masterful than dozens of other modern horror flicks of today all together. This gripping and entertaining Gothic tale keeps on shocking even though the story is familiar. Shakespeare-director Kenneth Branagh's adaption of Mary Shelley's fascinating "Frankenstein" is one of the very finest horror movies of the 90's and that's the absolute truth. Brilliant stuff if you're looking for something that looks magnificent, sounds great and has an amazing acting. 9 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS WHAT MAY BE DEFINED AS SPOILERS**
This film is made by the incredibly powerful performances of Robert DeNiro and Kenneth Branagh. They bring an intelligent style to not a simple gore-fest horror story but a relevant and symbolic questioning of an age-old philisophical problem: Should science take the place of God?
Branagh brings his own style to the role of Victor Frankenstein with great effect-he is a sympathetic character who has the best of intentions but does not understand the complexities of his actions until it is too late. But it is Oscar-winner DeNiro that steals the show as the pitiful creature. He has a commanding screen presence as well as a yearning, inquisitive look that virtually demands empathy.
The days of a flat-headed giant with bolts in its head are over and this creature is much more believable (for lack of a better word). The creature is (as one user stated in a previous review) almost like an adolescent. It needs guidence and understanding. The scene which depicts the creature taking refuge in the barn of a family is one of the most memorable of the movie. The only person that the creature can relate to is the only one that listens-a kindly old blind man, until it is chased off by the man's son.
On top of all of this, Branagh's direction is, as always, impeccable. He captures the mood of Shelley's novel. The music and photography combine to create the intensity which is one of this film's many distinguishing features.
Mention must be made of the fine supporting performances. Helena Bonham Carter is mesmerising as Elizabeth. Ian Holm, Aidan Quinn and John Cleese also provide reliable perfomances.
If you are looking for a gore-fest, this film is not for you. But if you want intelligent filmmaking, put MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN on your must-see list.
****1/2 (out of *****)
MORD39 RATING: **1/2 out of ****
For some reason, this works for me as a retelling of the novel more than BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992) did. I think it's flawed, but more satisfying than Coppola's mess. It seems that the Frankenstein legend is more acceptable to play with than the Dracula legend.
I want to start by defending DeNiro's monster. I think it would be a good and acceptable performance in everyone's eyes if there never had been a Robert DeNiro in the movies before. The reason many folks don't like him as the creature is because it looks like Mr. Gangster DeNiro running around with scars on his face. Try to get over your preconceived picture of Bob, and he's fine in the role.
I like the choice of Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, but who ever thought of casting the too-American/Modern Aidan Quinn as the ship captain??? As for Branagh himself, I'm pretty indifferent to him one way or the other. He's more or less adequate.
We feel for the monster in this movie, and truly understand his plight. There is a silliness regarding some scenes I can only hint at ("Mine! No..MINE!"), but it doesn't sink the whole show.
The film's "look" is stunning.
I guess the bottom line for me is that MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN, while not a perfect interpretation of the novel, captures more of the feeling intended by its author than what Coppola failed to accomplish with his take on BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA.
This movie was easily on par with Bram Stoker's Dracula as one of the
sorriest adaptations of classic literature to make it to the screen. Far
too lavish in design and severely lacking in feeling, this is truly not
movie to try to unwind to.
The one exception was De Niro, who was only marginally melodramatic in his role. Everything else was predictable and simply unpleasant. It was like a train wreck that you foresaw and simply couldn't put an end to (without hitting the stop button, that is!).
Please heed my warning: Leave this one on the shelf.
Glad to see that I'm not the only person that liked this movie. Walking out of the theater, I thought this movie was a great experience. I loved the visuals and the performances. when I read what the critics wrote about it and how so many people hated the film, I couldn't understand why. This film is a great movie to watch. Branaugh did an excellent job. Because of the sweeping visual scenes, I recommend catching this film on a widescreen tv, you won't regret it.
I really enjoyed this movie version adaption of the Mary Shelley
I think that Kenneth Branagh did an exceptional job as Victor Frankenstein and Robert De Niro's portrayl of the monster is exquisite.
I also like Helena Bohnam Carter's portrayal as Elizabeth.
I donno. I thought it was fine. A little too frantic. Too much shock value
with the ripping out the heart and dancing with a corpse and sexual
references. I don't know WHAT to call Robert De Niro's
performance...and Kenneth Branagh was too bland. I read the script later
realized he ruined the meaning behind the dialogue. Great sets. Great
costumes. A valiant effort.
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