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I, Frankenstein

Blu Ray

  • Score
    55
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'I, Frankenstein' fails as a reboot, offering shallow action and a forgettable plot, despite decent visuals and audio.

    I, Frankenstein Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    73
  • I, Frankenstein's Blu-ray offers detailed, shadow-rich transfers with strong contrast and depth. The 3D adds immersion despite occasional distractions; the 2D is solid yet intentionally drab.

  • Audio
    73
  • I, Frankenstein's DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix boasts immersive surrounds, bone-rattling LFE, and clear dialogue, though it's slightly relentless, with wide dynamic range and engaging action effects.

  • Extra
    65
  • Lionsgate's release includes engaging behind-the-scenes content and commentaries, focusing on special effects, production insights, and the creative process, all in 1080p with notable audio details.

  • Movie
    48
  • I, Frankenstein disappoints with its nonsensical plot and underdeveloped characters, failing to engage despite its eclectic mix of supernatural elements.

    Video: 73

    The Blu-ray release of "I, Frankenstein" by Lionsgate Films is available with both AVC (2D) and MVC (3D) encoded 1080p transfers in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, providing a good yet imperfect visual experience. The film utilizes a dark aesthetic, featuring deeply shadowed scenes and environments that, surprisingly, do not detract from the overall sharpness and detail present in the image. The fine details, particularly in character close-ups, are impressively captured—from the intricate scars adorning Adam's face to the subtle textures of costumes. Strong contrast aids in maintaining detail even within the predominantly color-graded, cooler hues. However, there's a noted presence of grain-like noise throughout, and while clarity is generally maintained, some softness and blurriness detract from what could be a razor-sharp presentation.

    The 3D experience of "I, Frankenstein" offers a mixed bag. While there are moments where the depth and immersion are commendable, especially in action sequences with well-defined planes and gradual transitions from foreground to background, it occasionally falls short of delivering a fully compelling 3D experience. Unnatural contours and a somewhat distracting pop-up book effect are apparent in places. The CG work shines in 3D, particularly during chaotic scenes with dynamic elements like spiraling fire extending into the audience space. Despite these strengths, the 3D conversion doesn't always hit the mark, sometimes seeming unnatural or forced. On the other hand, the 2D presentation, while lacking the depth of its 3D counterpart, offers a more consistent and arguably more natural viewing experience, albeit with slightly more noticeable noise and an intentionally subdued color palette.

    Overall, "I, Frankenstein" boasts a technically solid but inconsistently immersive Blu-ray presentation. The film's deliberate use of darkness and color grading works to its advantage in high-definition, ensuring that detail and texture remain at the forefront despite the challenges presented by its stylistic choices. However, viewers may find themselves weighing the trade-offs between the added depth and immersion of the 3D version against the cleaner, more natural appearance of the 2D transfer.

    Audio: 73

    I, Frankenstein's" audio presentation on Blu-ray, featuring a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, packs a substantial sonic punch that is both noisy and immersive in equal measure. The soundstage is broad and dynamic, presenting an array of effects that envelop the listener from all directions. The fidelity is of the highest quality, ensuring that every dialogue, from the softest whisper to the loudest roar, is rendered with crystal clear clarity, with occasional directional nuances adding to the immersive experience. Despite the relentless barrage of sound, including well-executed foley effects and bone-rattling low-frequency effects (LFE)—notably during a key demon's demise—the mix maintains a commendable balance without descending into cacophony.

    Accompanied by English SDH and Spanish subtitles, the audio mix manages to be bombastically engaging, particularly throughout the action sequences where the sound design truly shines. Thunderous demonic growls, the metallic clank of weapons, and environmental sounds like passing trains and booming thunder contribute to a lively atmosphere that complements the film’s visuals flawlessly. The mix, while not as layered as some might expect from top-tier action films, does not skimp on punch and power, with bass that, though it may not shake the room as one would hope, still impresses with its potency and depth.

    Overall, "I, Frankenstein’s" DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track effectively balances its more aggressive elements with detailed soundscapes that add a rich layer of atmosphere to the film's settings. The expansive dynamic range and distortion-free presentation highlight a sound design that, despite its few shortcomings in texture and layering, delivers an engaging and immersive auditory experience. Special mention goes to the action scenes, where the careful mix of dialogue clarity, ambient sound, and well-timed effects provides a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience.

    Extra: 65

    The "I, Frankenstein" Blu-ray extras deliver a compelling dive into the film's creation, thanks to a diverse set of features including two audio commentaries and a pair of detailed featurettes. The first commentary, led by Co-Writer/Director Stuart Beattie, provides deep insights into the film's production challenges, special effects intricacies, and anecdotal delight, making it a must-listen for fans seeking a behind-the-scenes look at the movie's genesis. The second commentary gathers producers and visual effects crew members who share a broad range of topics from the film’s Dolby Atmos utilization to CG secrets and story inspirations, albeit in a less focused manner compared to Beattie's more singular narrative voice. The featurettes "Creating a Monster" and "Frankenstein’s Creatures," both in high definition, complement the commentaries with a visual and narrative exploration of the makeup, effects, story themes, and biblical allusions that breathe life into the movie's monstrous entourage, though they express more enthusiasm than deep analysis.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Stuart Beattie: Insights on special effects, shooting conditions, and production anecdotes.
    • Audio Commentary with Filmmakers Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, James McQuaid, and Kevin Grevioux: A mix of trivia on story inspiration, technology used in filming, and more.
    • Creating a Monster Featurette: A look at the movie's makeup, design, and special effects.
    • Frankenstein's Creatures Featurette: Behind-the-scenes footage and interviews focusing on the film’s story and thematic elements.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The cinematic promotional trailer for the film.

    Movie: 48

    In "I, Frankenstein," Aaron Eckhart stars as the titular character, immersing himself in a world far removed from Mary Shelley's original creation. The movie attempts to carve out a new mythos for Frankenstein's monster, now named Adam, who finds himself embroiled in an eternal battle between gargoyles and demons. While the film ambitiously tries to blend elements of various genres and iconic stories, it struggles to formulate a coherent or engaging narrative. The introduction hints at a promising reinvention of the Frankenstein legend, only to veer off into a convoluted plot featuring an unimaginative good vs. evil dichotomy, supplemented by a disappointing lack of depth or originality in its world-building.

    The screenplay, adapted by Stuart Beattie, leans heavily into action movie tropes without offering the necessary character development or compelling story arcs to engage the audience more deeply. Despite Eckhart's efforts, his character, Adam, is reduced to a mere participant in a lackluster spectacle that fails to meaningfully explore themes of humanity and identity which are central to the Frankenstein lore. The action sequences and visual effects, while adequate, do not compensate for the movie's narrative shortcomings. They lack the inventiveness and flair that could have elevated the film above its generic storyline and predictable outcomes.

    Furthermore, the amalgamation of various elements from different myths and stories into "I, Frankenstein" creates an awkward mishmash that neither honors its source material nor carves out a new niche effectively. Characters like the Queen of the Gargoyles and the demon prince masquerading as a businessman feel like missed opportunities to explore intriguing ideas. Instead, they serve as placeholders in a story more concerned with superficial battles than with the deeper moral and existential dilemmas faced by its protagonist. The film ultimately presents a squandered opportunity to reimagine a classic tale, leaving viewers with a forgettable experience that fails to resonate on any meaningful level.

    Total: 55

    I, Frankenstein" finds itself uncomfortably perched on the precarious edge of modern action filmmaking and legendary Gothic lore, embodying a mashup that could have been groundbreaking if it hadn't leaned so heavily into the pitfalls of genre clichés. The film attempts a bold reinvention of Mary Shelley's iconic creation, thrusting the creature into an overwritten world of demons and battles that feels more like a missed opportunity than a coherent vision. Despite the commendable effort in the visual department, where the film boasts a certain visual flair that harks back to the atmospheric dread of classic Universal horror movies, the endeavor is undercut by a plot that is both overly familiar and lacking in substance. The 3D video transfer, while solid, suffers from inconsistencies that can detract from the viewing experience, although the audio mix offers a robust accompaniment that does inject some life into the proceedings.

    The technical aspects of the Blu-ray presentation do offer some salvaging grace. With its strong audio mix bringing a dynamic layer to the action scenes and commentaries along with featurettes providing insight into the movie's production, hardcore fans of CGI-driven narratives might find glimpses of value here. However, given the film's inability to fully engage with either its action sequences or its narrative ambition, these technical merits are akin to polishing the armor of a fallen knight; commendable but ultimately in service of a lost cause.

    In conclusion, "I, Frankenstein" on Blu-ray encapsulates a squandered potential, marred by a convoluted storyline and inconsistent visual effects that distract rather than dazzle. It stands as a testament to the challenges of reimagining classic literature within modern genre conventions, failing to achieve the balance necessary for such an undertaking. For enthusiasts of Gothic lore seeking a compelling visual and auditory experience, this release may hold some interest, but it remains a flawed execution of a concept that could have resonated more profoundly. In a market teeming with superior examples of both horror reimaginings and action-packed spectacles, "I, Frankenstein" is unlikely to claim a distinguished spot.