Archive for Igor

Victor Frankenstein

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

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.

What people are saying:

“Aiming to do for Victor Frankenstein what Guy Richie did for Sherlock Holmes, set in the past but with a playful, postmodern sensibility that zaps new life into Shelley’s 200 year-old Gothic masterpiece” 4 stars

“To avoid the accusation that it’s an unnecessary remake of an oft-told story, screenwriter Max Landis has reduced Mary Shelly’s cautionary tale to a bad comic book, bereft of soul and intelligence.” 1 star

“A different take on the Frankenstein franchise. This is more of a prequel than the typical Frankenstein movie. Like a lightning storm, some flashes of brilliance and a lot of wind and disaster. Radcliffe was pretty good and McAvoy does a good job of portraying the doctors spiral into obsession and madness. The movie is a bit long and has a completely worthless and misplaced love story. Could have been better, but it is imaginative.” 3 stars

“I expected too much I suppose. By the time we get to the monster, which was probably one of the better Frankensteins I’ve seen, he’s only there for a moment or two and then it’s over. I liked how Igor was more than just a bumbling idiot and how this was somewhat of a partnership, but it’s just a jumbled mess from bottom to top.” 3 stars

“Would have been really good if they kept with the buddy-cop-like-comedy instead pushing some of the dramatic elements. This dialogs between Igor und Dr. Frankenstein are hilarious and most times really good fun.” 4 stars

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Young Frankenstein

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is a respected lecturer at an American medical school and is more or less happily (though blandly) engaged to the tightly wound Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). Frederick becomes exasperated when anyone brings up the subject of his grandfather, the famous mad scientist, to the point of insisting that his name is pronounced “Fronk-en-steen”.

A solicitor informs Frederick that he has inherited his family’s estate. Traveling to said estate in Transylvania, Frankenstein meets his comely new lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr), along with the household servants Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman) and Igor (Marty Feldman) (who, after hearing Frederick claim his name is pronounced “Fronkensteen” counter-claims that his is pronounced “Eye-gor.”)

Inga assists Frederick in discovering the secret entrance to his grandfather’s laboratory. Upon reading his grandfather’s private journals the doctor is inspired to resume his grandfather’s experiments in re-animating the dead. He and Igor successfully exhume and spirit away the enormous corpse of a recently executed criminal, but Igor’s attempt to steal the brain of a revered scientist from the local “brain depository” goes awry, and he takes one labeled, “Do Not Use This Brain! Abnormal” instead.

The doctor and reassembled monster (Peter Boyle) are elevated on a platform to the roof of the laboratory during a lightning storm. The experimenters are first disappointed when the electrically charged creature fails to come to life, but the reassembled monster eventually revives. The doctor assists the monster in walking but, frightened by Igor lighting a match, it attacks Frederick and must be sedated. Upon being asked by the doctor whose brain was obtained, Igor confesses that he supplied “Abby Normal’s” brain and becomes the subject of a strangulation attempt himself.

Meanwhile, the local townspeople are uneasy at the possibility of Frederick continuing his grandfather’s work. Most concerned is Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars), who sports an eyepatch, a jointed and extremely creaky wooden arm, and an accent so thick even his own countrymen cannot understand him. Kemp visits the doctor and subsequently demands assurance that he will not create another monster. Upon returning to the lab, Frederick discovers that Frau Blücher is setting the creature free. After she reveals the monster’s love of music, and her own romantic relationship with Frederick’s grandfather, the creature is enraged by sparks from a thrown switch, and escapes from the Frankenstein castle.

While roaming the countryside, the Monster has frustrating encounters with a young girl and a blind hermit; these scenes directly parody ones from the original Frankenstein movies. Frederick recaptures the monster, wins him over with flattery, and finally fully acknowledges his heritage. After a period of training, he offers some illustrious guests the sight of “The Creature” following simple commands. The demonstration continues with Frederick and the Monster launching into the musical number “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, complete with top hats and tails, which ends disastrously when a stage light explodes and frightens the monster. He becomes enraged and charges into the audience where he is captured and chained by police.

After being tormented by a sadistic jailer, the Monster escapes again, then kidnaps and ravishes the not-unwilling Elizabeth when she arrives unexpectedly for a visit. Elizabeth falls in love with the creature due to his inhuman stamina and his enormous penis (referred to as Schwanstuker or Schwanzstück—a malapropism from German Schwanz, “tail”, and Stück, “piece”).

The townspeople, led by Inspector Kemp, hunt for the Monster. Desperate to get the creature back and correct his mistakes, Frederick plays music and lures the Monster back to the castle. Just as the Kemp-led mob storms the laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein transfers some of his stabilizing intellect to the creature who, as a result, is able to reason with and placate the mob. The film ends happily, with Elizabeth married to the now erudite and sophisticated Monster, while Inga joyfully learns what her new husband Frederick got in return from the Monster during the transfer procedure (the Monster’s Schwanzstück).

REVIEW:

Mel Brooks’ film are the American equivalent to the Monty Python flicks. Hilarious spoofs and satire on society that never take themselves seriously, and yet they are some of the best films ever made.

Gene Wilder is a comic genius. Teaming up with Mel Brooks to make this film all but guaranteed this would be a hit. Wilder is eccentric, wild, and hilarious as Dr. Frankenstein…er…Fronkenstein.

Marty Feldman and Teri Garr are very capable supporting actors. Feldman uses his unique look to play the perfect Igor, as well as his comic background. Garr uses her God-given beauty to the fullest extent as the sexy lab assistant Inga.

Peter Boyle makes a great monster, at least for this film. Not saying that he was bad, but his portrayal fits more in the spoof version than in a more serious interpretation. Still, Boyle is an intimidating presence.

Kenneth Mars may have given the best performance of the film. His Inspector Kemp was quite eccentric and took a very capable actor trained in physical comedy to pull it off.

Mel Brooks fought to not have this in black and white, but in hindsight, I wonder if he would change his min about fighting that fight. Since this is a spoof on those old horror films of yesteryear, putting it in black and white just makes sense. I don’t think this would have worked as well in color, at least from a visual standpoint.

When I first looked at this film, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. Of course, that was at a time before I gained an appreciation for classic cinema. Now that I can appreciate it for what its worth, this is quite the enjoyable film, especially if you’re a fan of classic horror films like I am. All in all, though, this is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but then again, when has Mel Brooks ever made a bad film?

4 out of 5 stars

Igor

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film is set in the thriving village of Malaria, whose economy is based almost exclusively on agriculture. When a mysterious change in climate causes Malaria’s crops to wilt, the people are impoverished, allowing the newly-risen leader styling himself “King Malbert” (Jay Leno) to propose a new economy based on the creation of increasingly sophisticated, bizarre, monstrous, terrifying inventions, an idea that soon becomes the community’s cultural core. Thereafter the inventors of frightening machines, who are known as “Evil Scientists”, become the ruling class and are depicted overall as commanding, arrogant figures. Those born with a hunch on the back (an evidently common deformity) are forced to become laboratory assistants nicknamed “Igor”, who are treated as an oppressed lower class and often thought stupid by the Evil Scientists who employ them. The protagonist of the film is an Igor (John Cusack) who is scientifically intelligent, despite being shunned by his own master, Doctor Glickenstein (John Cleese). This Igor brings a cynical rabbit named Scamper (Steve Buscemi) back to life from death and has made him immortal, much to Scamper’s chagrin. Igor also transplants a human brain into a life-support robot, which is thereafter nicknamed ‘Brain’ (Sean Hayes), jokingly refered as “Brian” due to a spelling error on the jar.

As the film progresses, Doctor Glickenstein (John Cleese) invents a rocket to demonstrate his skill at the annual Evil Scientists’ Fair, but dies when the rocket malfunctions. Taking a chance to reveal his own powers, the protagonist Igor decides to participate in the Fair himself. He therefore assembles a huge, monstrous being from human tissue. When he brings her to life, Igor discovers, contrary to his expectations and the norms of Malaria, that the giant is gentle, polite, and affectionate. When Igor explains his expectations of her, the giant (Molly Shannon) mispronounces the word “evil” and converts it to “Eva”, which becomes her name. Igor surmises that the ‘Evil Bone’ (her version of a component that presumably bestows malice on any invention) had not activated properly, and therefore brings Eva to the “Brain-Wash” to correct this by having her watch violent acts on television. As she watches, a mishap on Brain’s part causes Eva to adapt the personality of a kind-hearted Hollywood actress. Igor uses this to his advantage by telling her that the Fair is an audition for the role of Little Orphan Annie, convincing her to co-operate with him. While preparing for her role, Eva becomes close friends with Igor and supports him in his goal of defying convention.

Meanwhile, a prosperous, ambitious Evil Scientist named Doctor Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) is at odds with the King, whose respect he has not earned despite having won seventeen of the annual contests. Upon learning of Eva’s existence, he attempts to plagiarize her, but is unsuccessful. Eventually, Igor comes to believe that his affections toward Eva have overshadowed his intentions and tries to overcome this factor, which he perceives as a disadvantage. Not long after, Doctor Glickenstein’s former assistant Heidi pays them a visit. When Eva inquires into the reason for this, Heidi admits she has become enamoured of Igor during his self-transformation, and adds a comment that puts Eva’s self-esteem in doubt. During the night before the Fair, Eva sees Igor sharing a kiss with Heidi, who is later revealed to be Doctor Schadenfreude’s girlfriend Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge) in disguise (she can change into thirteen different women, including Heidi, through the use of special pills Schadenfreude stole). Igor is subsequently exposed and arrested by the King, who throws Igor into the shaft designated an “Igor Disposal”. Eva is then approached by Doctor Schadenfreude, who persuades her to work for himself. He then activates her ‘Evil Bone’ by coercing her into committing an act of violence against him, which apparently by unlocking potential malice transforms her into a growling monster.

Scamper and Brain follow Igor into the Disposal and free him. All three rush toward the Fair to save Eva. While searching for a means of approach, Igor discovers that the climate’s change over Malaria is caused and sustained by a machine implied to have been created by King Malbert. This suggests that Malbert himself caused the changes on purpose to assume the role of leader and re-organize the society according to his plans. Having discovered this, Igor rushes into the arena where all mobile inventions are fighting, including a deranged Eva, and tells Eva that potential for evil (represented by the ‘Evil Bone’) exists in all beings, but that each being may choose to disobey it. Hearing this, Eva regains her former demeanor and reconciles with Igor. Scamper and Brain, meanwhile, deactivate the weather-manipulation machine, allowing the climate to return to its temperate character, and drop the device onto King Malbert, killing him. For his heroism, Igor is soon dubbed the new king. Doctor Schadenfreude takes the throne for a brief few minutes, but is stripped of his occupation and respect. The Fair is changed to an annual musical theater showcase, with Eva as the centerpiece of the first event, while all of Igor’s former colleagues become equals to their erstwhile masters.

REVIEW:

As far as animated films go, Igorisn’t in the same league as the Pixar or Shrek films. That’s not to say it’s totally devoid of anything worth watching  though, it just doesn’t stack up.

The A-list voice cast for this film leaves one o wonder if hey spent more time getting the big names to be in this film rather than working on the script.

The idea is a pretty good one, but it doesn’t really develop the way it could/should have.

There are a few funny moments, some of which involve jokes that may be over the target audience’s head. A  point that is quite sad and takes away from the enjoyment one can achieve from this film.

I’m not too crazy about Molly Shannon as Eva, either. Nothing agains Molly, just the character seemed a bit, unnecessary.

After all this, I have to say this isn’t the worst animated film I’ve seen, but its far from the best. It tries to live up to the heavyweights of animated movies, but just doesn’t manage to do so. Still, it is worth taking the time to watch. How many of us can actually say we even thought about what Igors go through? Hopefully you’ll enjoy!

3 out of 5 stars

Van Helsing

Posted in Action/Adventure, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film begins in black and white, set in Transylvania, 1887. Doctor Victor Frankenstein brings to life the Frankenstein’s Monster but his triumph is cut short when an angry mob infiltrates the castle. Dr. Frankenstein has been aided in his experiments by his deformed assistant Igor, and Count Dracula. Dracula reveals that he helped Frankenstein so he could use the Monster for his own purposes, later revealed to be using the Monster to bring his undead children to life. Frankenstein refuses to help Dracula and tries to kill him, only to discover the Count is already dead. Dracula kills Frankenstein, but the Monster breaks free, knocks Dracula into a fireplace and escapes to a windmill with his “father’s” body. The mob pursue him and burn down the windmill. The Monster and Frankenstein fall into the ruins of the windmill and disappear. Dracula (who survived the fireplace) and his three brides, Verona, Marishka and Aleera, arrive at the remains, their plans seemingly lost. The film then changes to colour, introducing Van Helsing a monster hunter who works for the Knights of the Holy Order at Vatican City.

After unintentionally killing Mr. Hyde in Paris, Van Helsing returns to the Vatican where he is assigned his next mission by a priest. He is sent to Transylvania to help the last of the Valerius family, Anna, to destroy Dracula; otherwise many generations of the family will never go to Heaven. This is because one of Anna’s ancestors vowed that his family would never rest in peace until Dracula is dead. Van Helsing takes Carl with him, an intelligent but bumbling friar who doesn’t really mind blaspheming (as he swears several times and later sleeps with a Transylvanian woman). The two arrive in a town, where they meet Anna, who is the last Velarius after her brother Velkan fell into a river whilst fighting a werewolf. The three brides attack the town, but Van Helsing kills Marishka by firing arrows covered in holy water at her. Anna reluctantly accepts Van Helsing’s help and takes him to her castle home. That night, a werewolf shows up. He is revealed to be Velkan, bitten by the previous wolf. Velkan retreats to Frankenstein Castle with Van Helsing and Anna in pursuit, the werewolf killing a creepy gravedigger in the process. Velkan is strapped into a special device by Dracula, in order for Velkan to act as a conductor for electricity to bring Dracula’s children to life. The process works briefly, but the children begin to die shortly after birth. Anna releases Velkan but he becomes a werewolf again. Van Helsing meets Dracula, who addresses him as “Gabriel”. Van Helsing tries to stab him with a stake and burn him with a holy cross, but neither harm him.

Van Helsing and Anna escape but fall into an underground cavern, discovering the Monster hiding from Dracula. Anna suggests killing the Monster, but Van Helsing decides to take him to Rome to protect him from Dracula. Picking up Carl, the group (Van Helsing, Anna, Carl and the Monster) head off in horse-drawn carriages. However, the remaining brides and the Velkan werewolf chase after them. The carriage falls down a ravine, the brides pursuing it but discovering it is a decoy with a box of stakes inside. The carriage hits the ground and explodes, catapulting the stakes in all directions, some of which impale Verona and kill her. The real carriage containing the group nearly gets away, but the werewolf appears, setting the carriage on fire. Van Helsing fires his shotguns on the werewolf and kills him. Anna finds Velkan shortly before he dies; she also discovers Van Helsing was bitten in the process and will become a werewolf. Anna is then kidnapped by Aleera, who bargains with Anna for the Monster. Instead, Van Helsing knocks the Monster out and places him in a tomb to keep him from being stolen. Van Helsing and Carl sneak into Dracula’s summer palace where a ball is occuring. Van Helsing rescues Anna from being bitten, but discovers the Monster has been captured by the undead, who are then sent after Van Helsing and the others. The undead are destroyed by a weapon created by Carl that releases a bright exploding lightsource.

The trio returns to Anna’s castle and piece together that Dracula was killed in the 1400’s, made a deal with the Devil and became a vampire; Dracula is actually the son of Anna’s ancestor; and the only way to kill Dracula is by using a werewolf. The group then discover the door to Dracula’s lair: a large map owned by Anna’s deceased father. A missing piece is in the possession of Van Helsing, who received it from the Vatican priest. The three travel through the door and find an icy fortress: Dracula’s lair.

Inside, Van Helsing sees the Monster, who explains that Dracula has a werewolf cure. Anna and Carl force a captured Igor to take them to the cure, but are attacked by Aleera. Carl heads off with the cure to find Van Helsing, who must kill Dracula and receive the cure before the final stroke of midnight, or he will permanently become a werewolf. Carl is pursued by Igor, who attacks him with a tazer-like weapon. Van Helsing manages to free the Monster but not before Dracula’s children are brought to life. Dracula attacks Van Helsing, transforming into a demonic winged vampire. The Monster falls off a tower and is propelled through the air on a wire, which collides with Igor, sending him plummeting down a ravine to his demise. The Monster distracts Aleera, allowing Anna to escape. However, this distraction lasts for only so long when Aleera confronts Anna. Anna stabs Aleera with a concealed stake, killing her. Van Helsing, transformed into a werewolf, fights Dracula until the full moon is blocked out by clouds. Dracula takes this opportunity to reveal that Van Helsing is the Left Hand of God, another name for Gabriel, and it was he who killed him in the 1400s. Dracula attempts to get Van Helsing to be his partner. Van Helsing refuses, returns to werewolf form when the moon comes out again, and kills Dracula by biting his neck. Dracula and his children all die. Anna rushes in with the cure, after receiving it from Carl, and races to save Van Helsing, but he attacks and kills her in werewolf form. However, she has managed to inject him with the cure. Restored to humanity, he holds her body in his arms.

Van Helsing and Carl cremate Anna’s body by the ocean shore, honoring Anna’s unfulfilled desire to see the ocean. Van Helsing briefly sees a vision of Anna and her family in Heaven, before he and Carl head off back to Rome. The Monster, having survived, rows off on a raft to an unknown future.

REVIEW:

This is the film that let America know that Hugh Jackman could do more than just be Wolverine in the X-Men movies. While not the best performance acting wise, it does cement him as an A-list actor.

Kate Beckinsale, is a little underused. Her character is supposed to be the strong female type, but ends up getting utilized as a damsel in distress.

Carl is a good comic foil. Dracula is one of the better interpretations of the count on film, until he becomes a giant bat. Dracula’s brides don’t really have any purpose other than playing around with Kate Beckinsale. One review I read about them, said they were belly dancers with wings. In a way, that’s what they seemed like. Frankenstein’s monster, as in every other film adaptation, is a tragic character.

I found the scene with Mr. Hyde entertaining, yet unnecessary. I underdtand they put that in there to give a little bit of development for Van Helsing and all, but in the context of the rest of the film, it just seems thrown in there.

After saying all that, I really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it for anyone that’s into action/adventure flicks.

4 out of 5 stars