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Victor Frankenstein (2015) - Blu-ray Review

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Victor Frankenstein - Blu-ray Review

3 stars

It seems the go to reason to revisit classic characters, if one is to ask creative folk, is revisiting their stories with a new perspective. Setting aside the realities of modern cinema, it’s with that assertion that I sat down to this, the umpteenth go around, of Mary Shelley’s The Modern Prometheus or as it is more often called Frankenstein.

Critically mauled during its brief theatrical run—the second such offering within a year to befall the sharpened knives of the jaded cinema going folk—this version tries to offer a well-trodden path through a new set of eyes: that of Igor (Radcliffe), a hunchbacked circus freak Frankenstein rescues when he recognises there is more to him than a lump on his back.

What follows is basically the story we all know, this time told from the perspective of Frankenstein’s observer. In this, they have made the story Igor’s, and points have to be given for at least doing that. But the narrative, especially in characterisation, is more miss than hit as we delve into the meat of the story. There are a lot of subplots added into the main story, that serve more to complicate the story rather enhance it. There are many questions posed throughout, (as there should be. Shelley’s story is one of the best cautionary tales ever written) that aren’t given time for the characters to make up their mind in natural or relatable ways.

Radcliff can do the underdog in his sleep, and does so efficiently here. But a missed opportunity frustratingly passes as his unique and fresh elements in the beginning of the tale are quickly dispensed with and made redundant. Plot driven stuff that doesn’t let his character be anything reactionary in the end, makes one wonder what was the point.

McAvoy’s Victor Frankenstein is a decidedly unlikeable character. Of course he’s not supposed to be an angel; but this version has made him egotistical, elitist, childish, unreasonable, antisocial and in love with his own voice. Some of beauty in the original tale is that Frankenstein’s dastardly creations were born out of tragedy, and get compounded by his inability to control his scientific hubris. It’s only when people he loves, people we spent time with and cared about, are hurt, that his hubris makes its cost know. There’s none of that in this Frankenstein’s relationships. There is no love for him, he looks down on everyone, and only shows the slightest concern for Igor when he’s agreeing with him. As a result, the point of the story, man playing God, has no consequence but to show how clever with action scenes they can be for the finale. The film is like its namesake: soulless.

Production design is the winner in this adaptation. It’s a sumptuous, textured, layer time gone past that the filmmakers represent here. It looks great, and wasn’t hard to keep looking at. I liken it to the Guy Richie Sherlock Holmes films; and it’s done on a far lower budget. But what’s achieved is impressive.

This isn’t the disaster it was made out to be. It’s a good looking film, with actor’s that handle their work with ease. But in characterisation and the one thing they tried to do to validate another version of this story, they drop the ball. Still, set your brain to stun and it’s a watchable version, nonetheless.

Victor Frankenstein - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Paul McGuigan
Writer:
Max Landis
Cast:
Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay
Genre
: Drama | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Meet your makers
Memorable Movie Quote: "Get back Victor, that thing is not your brother"
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/victor-frankenstein
Release Date:
November 25, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 8, 2016
Synopsis: James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor's experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

Victor Frankenstein - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 8, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps); French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1; Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-50); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Google Play digital copy
Region Encoding: A, B

The 1080p MPEG-4 transfer is a beautiful looking picture, deftly showing off the detailed, moody and grimy cityscapes of a Victorian London. Blacks only show the teeniest bit of artefact at times, but I suspect the colour timing’s deliberate lean to blue helps show that. It also, in rare moments, shows the substandard digital mattes up for their budget. Gore, of which there is plenty, is represented in squirm inducing detail, for the weal of stomach. Any problems will by and large go unnoticed.

The 7.1 DTS-HD audio mix is excellent, with the rear channels given a hard workout. Dialogue is strong and clear, even in heavy action sequences and throughout the rather bombastic score. Rich and layered like the picture.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Special features give you almost 15 minutes of deleted scenes, a typical featurette where all and sundry compliment the shit out of each other, and a theatrical trailer.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of Victor Frankenstein
  • Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

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