Continuing the themes of science vs nature, progress vs ethics, and playing god, Bride of Frankenstein is a fantastic follow up that expands the story, bulks up the characters, and delivers some of the most memorable moments in cinema history. James Whale returned to the director’s chair after apparently some serious convincing. Similar to how Sam Raimi returned for Evil Dead 2, both directors infused more humour and awareness of the sillier sides of their scripts while also retaining the creepy atmosphere and key elements that made the original films so beloved. Although named after the Bride, her screen time is very short, but her impact is huge. The majority of the films runtime belongs to the monster as Boris Karloff receives top billing (he wasn’t credited in the original film). The monster is far more complex here; still childlike and simple but prone to violence and more maliciousness as he develops awareness and intellect. He remains a sympathetic figure disgusted by his own existence, rejected for his differences, and only seeking a friend in this strange world he doesn’t understand. The scenes where he befriends a blind hermit are tragic as we see the creature develop mentally and emotionally, a stark reminder of how compassion and understanding could have shaped him.
1999 to 2003 and helped screenwriter Aaron Sorkin by providing him insider information about goings-on at Harvard at the time Facebook first appeared there.
Doctor Frankenstein is a more compelling character as well. He’s haunted by the failure of his experiment, but still intrigued by the results produced. Frankenstein is torn, he has become a god fearing man fighting the temptations of the larger questions his experiment raises but finds himself relapsing with the sudden arrival of his former professor, Doctor Pretorious. If Frankenstein is a mad scientist, then Pretorious is the Super Saiyan version of mad scientists. Pretorious is eager to bring Frankenstein back into the fold to once again create life, but Pretorious wishes to do it to spit in the face of god with no other motive than for the LOLZ.
"Inglourious Basterds." When asked how he got into the violent, baseball bat-wielding mindset of "The Bear Jew", Eli Roth partially attributed his performance to the historically accurate costumes: "Being in wool underwear will make you want to kill anything." He also stated (in a separate interview) that his girlfriend had secretly added some Hannah Montana (2006) music onto his iPod; when he listened to it, it inexplicably made him able to tap into the violent nature of The Bear Jew.
While it’s hard to criticize the film being a product of its time, the comic relief character Minnie is pretty insufferable throughout. Shrieking and bumbling like a court jester, actress Una O’Connor was clearly instructed to ham it up for the audience, only short of looking directly into the camera. It’s a shame because the films still delivers plenty of laughs with the monsters new found penchant for gargle and smokes.I may not be in the camp of considering Bride of Frankenstein better than the original, but I recognize that it certainly has improvements over Frankenstein. The script may be sillier but also asks bigger questions. The production is more impressive with fantastic cinematography that dips into gothic and whimsical; the acting is markedly improved as Clive Collins and Karloff are given meatier roles, and the score is fantastic. I hope to give this film a larger write up in the future, as I’ve only scratched the surface and barely delved into the film’s rich themes and sense of sexuality throughout.
"The Martian." Matt Damon admitted that the scene where Mark was getting emotional upon hearing Commander Lewis' voice was genuine. The other actors had wrapped and gone home, and their pre-recorded voices were actually being played to Damon from inside his spacesuit. When Damon began to think about how his character had been all alone on Mars for two years, alongside how he was only hearing pre-recorded voices of his co-stars who had already finished their scenes, he began to tear up. Ridley Scott was so impressed with Damon's performance, that he only did one take of the scene, which was used in the film.
"Star Trek." The sound of the automatic doors opening on the U.S.S. Enterprise, is a Russian train's toilet flushing.
This review is a part of this month’s focus on horror films as part of Halloween season. You can find the full schedule, along with weekly subgenre and previous reviews here.
Rating: 4 / 5 Glasses of Scotch