Plot: What’s it about?
It’s no secret that January is typically a dead month at the theaters. Sometimes you get a surprise hit, but more often than not, you’re not very likely to find many hidden gems. This film had its release date shuffled a few times, but the final product is still a stinker. I, Frankenstein follows in the vein of the Underworld film. It even features some of the producers from those films. You can look for traces of the Frankenstein you’re probably all too familiar with, but you won’t find that here. The film is such a departure from the classic films that it’s really only Frankenstein in name. Arron Eckhart stars as Adam, a soulless monster created by his Dr. Victor Frankenstein in 1795. Adam is created from various corpses. There’s a brief, but somewhat complicated opening narration by Adam, but really, that’s just an excuse to throw us into a world of special effects much sooner. Essentially, Adam is hoping to stop demons from taking over the world. You’ve also got Bill Nighy as a demon in disguise. Adam never seems to get the upper hand on anyone. He’s constantly overpowered and doesn’t exactly seem to know what he’s doing. Don’t get me started on the gargoyles flying around. After a while, you’re either going with this or you’re simply eager for it to end. Guess which camp I fall into. Sadly, it’s the latter.
The trailers for this film did little for me and I can’t say the end product differed from my initial doubts. The special effects are decent at times, but there’s little else here that held my interest. I grew bored quickly throughout its relatively brief running time. I enjoy Eckhart, but I don’t think he is the best leading man, especially in a film like this. He lacks the charisma that’s required to help drive the material. During the featurettes on the disc, the filmmakers talk about how they wanted the film to feel more modern than previous versions. While I don’t think that shifting the film to a modern setting is a deal-breaker, I do think a less contemporary setting could’ve added a bit to the film. Still, that’s only a minor setback. The story is lackluster, the acting is bad and the effects (while passable), are nothing great. Some scenes appear as if the actors are wearing Halloween masks. I can’t recommend this film. There’s simply little here that’s worth recommending. There are far better movies, especially in this genre that I’d advise seeing (either for the first time or repeat viewings) over this stinker.
Video: How’s it look?
This disc includes a 3D version along with a 2D version. Since I don’t have a 3D TV, only the standard version was reviewed here. Still, the image is consistently solid here. Details are constantly strong and colors deep and bold. There are really no complaints here, the print is pristine and effects reproduced nicely here. Flesh tones remained accurate and smooth. I could spot wrinkles here and there, stray hairs, all the little things that are heightened in HD. The 2D image is AVC encoded and the 3D MVC encoded with a 2.40:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is also solid. It’s constantly busy with shattering glass and various other effects in the background. There’s a constant bass and the sub-woofer gets nice usage here as well. Dialogue is always smooth and crisp with a nice natural sound. This is a very busy track and all the channels are given plenty to work with. Thankfully, the action doesn’t overpower the vocals too heavily. This track will please fans.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This is a combo pack that includes, both 2D and 3D versions on one disc and a separate DVD copy along with a digital copy code.
- Audio Commentaries – There are 2 tracks here. One with the writer/director and another with the filmmakers. Sitting through an extra minute of this film would be torture for me, so I didn’t listen to these, but they’re here if you’re more interested than I am.
- Creating a Monster – This is a brief featurette that discusses the effects and makeup. We learn that the crew was given a good deal of freedom when creating the designs.
- Frankenstein’s Creatures – Discusses the origins of the story and what they hoped to achieve. Everyone seems very proud of their work here. It’s too bad the final product was so lackluster.
- Previews – The theatrical Trailer is also included here.
- DVD/Digital Copy