2014, Stuart Beattie
Definitely the second best movie ever made where Aaron Eckhart plays a character with a disfigured face.
Trying to conjure up legitimate thoughts for I, Frankenstein (I hate this title) is probably going to end up making me like it less, but while watching it I actually didn’t think it was as bad as its reputation suggests. Yes, it’s unquestionably nothing more than an ironic assembling of scattered parts from other terrible movies like Underworld and Legion (with a little Beauty and the Beast thrown in) but I didn’t mind it as long as you’re able to leave your intelligence and standards at the door. Going in with the knowledge that the guy leading this movie is the same one who gave remarkably brilliant performances in films as varied as In the Company of Men and Rabbit Hole definitely puts a sting in, and it takes itself way too seriously for something with such a silly B-movie premise (a continuing habit with these stupid gothic action movies) but it’s almost like they made the first half hour so bad in order to make the remainder more tolerable.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way to make the case for this being anything other than a bad movie, but I’m sure by the end of the year it won’t even be close to the bottom of the pack for me. And apparently Yvonne Strahovski is Australian, which is something new I learned from watching this. She also gets the only genuine laugh in the movie, although there are plenty of unintentional ones gained from the wretched dialogue (I chuckled every time Eckhart said the word gargoyle) and ridiculous premise. If only they had done this whole thing with a more tongue-in-cheek attitude and gone for a hard-R instead of the CGI-heavy PG-13 this could have been a lot more fun. As it stands, it’s nothing beyond a derivative clunker but its worst crime is really just that it’s generic and too serious. There’s a really poor attempt to give Frankenstein’s monster (given the name Adam here, as in the original text) an emotional arc and it comes off so flat, but hopefully the bombing of this one critically and financially will kick something into Eckhart to make him realize that he’s a very talented actor who needs to stop throwing his skills away with this low-rent nonsense. Four years is enough, let’s get back to real business.
I watched an interview with him recently that was done during the Olympus Has Fallen press tour where he talks about his dream being a movie where he can just get completely raw, exposing himself emotionally to the very core and not holding anything back. It’s a nice thought, but in the past four years there has been absolutely no sign of that so who knows what he’s talking about. I want to see that guy, not the star of Battle Los Angeles and Erased. Here’s hoping the recently announced Bleed for This can be the right step I’m dying for because he could be one of the best actors in the business if he stopped doing what he’s been doing. It was inevitable that this turned into another piece about how disheartened I am by the direction Eckhart’s career has gone in because there really isn’t much to say about I, Frankenstein. You shouldn’t ever watch it, but I honestly didn’t mind it for what it was. I’ll stick by Eckhart until the bitter end, hoping that one day my perseverance will pay off.
Miles Teller is taking on a film that is being sold in Berlin that veers close to his own experience. In true story “Bleed for This,” written and directed by “Boiler Room“‘s Ben Younger and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Teller plays young boxer Vinny Panzienza, who has to recover from a terrible automobile accident.