Driven by the untimely death of his mother, Victor Frankenstein
(Newman) throws himself into his studies. He has hypothesised that electricity
is what drives life and if you can harness enough power you can actually
reanimate dead tissue. Taking this theory to the extreme and to the edge
of all that is ethical, Victor harvests body parts from graveyards and mortuaries
to make a man. Harnessing the power of lightening, he brings to his creation
but the Creature (Goss) he has created soon turns on him and his family.
There have been umpteen adaptations of the classic Mary Shelly
horror novel, so can this Hallmark TV version bring anything new to the
Following the narrative of the novel, the film is very similar
in structure to Kenneth Branagh's 1994 adaptation but with the first class
cast and brilliant cinematography. This is a TV movie and you can tell it
While the locations and sets are of a very high standard,
it is in the acting were the differences are most noticeable. Even the inclusion
of William Hurt and Donald Sutherland can't raise the standard, to deliver
the true power of book. The major falling point is the performance of Alec
Newman in the role of Victor. While he isn't a bad actor, he just doesn't
have the emotional rage to make the lead character as charismatic and driven
as he really needs to be. When you watch all tragedy in Victor's life, these
are the events that drive his passion for his research and his guilt over
what he has created but Newman just doesn't have the skill or presence to
instil this in the character. The same can be said of Nicole Lewis as Victor's
true love Elizabeth, as she seems almost too amateurish to be playing such
a pivotal part.
On the acting side the only saving grace is the performance
of Luke Goss as the creature. The pop star turned actor brings a lot to
the Creature, his confusion and disillusionment with his new life are extremely
well portrayed. The thing that lets his performance down however is the
makeup effects. This version of the Creature is simply too handsome and
ordinary looking. Apart from the odd scars on his neck and on the side of
his face, you find it hard to understand why people react to him with such
repulsion. He might not look like the classic Creature from 1931 Universal
movie but you have to at least feel that he was constructed from dead body
'Frankenstein' has been adapted numerous times in many different
guises since motion pictures and television began and none of the them have
been as memorable as the 1931 James Whale version starring Boris Karloff.
This Hallmark adaptation is very watchable and a complete version of the
story but it just doesn't have the performances to draw you in or make it
stand out from the rest. It is 'alive', but only barely.
Presented in 16x9 Widescreen with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack,
Hallmark's adaptation of Frankenstein looks very good.
Frankenstein Trailer (2.10 mins)
Watch the promotional preview for the Hallmark special.
Creating Frankenstein (5.29 mins)
Director Kevin Connor and stars Luke Goss, Alex Newman, Nicole Lewis and
William Hurt talk about the story and characters of Hallmark's adaptation
of the Mary Shelly classic. Photo Gallery A collection of publicity shots
from the production
Even though the movie is nearly 3 ˝ hours long, the decision
to include some bonus material is a welcome one. Even though the featurette
is short it, it still tells you the reasons behind this new adaptation and
has interview with the cast and director. As this is only a single disc
presentation, you could have asked for more really.
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