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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but horrible DVD transfer!, 23 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Frankenstein: 10th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Review of this version's DVD quality:

I must say I am very disappointed with the UK 10th anniversary re-release of Frankenstein starring Luke Goss. The picture quality is terrible. It's too dark, far too dark. As a long time fan of this version of Frankenstein this is the worst video picture quality I've ever seen for it. I know the American version by heart and have the Dutch DVD and Asian DVD, and Italian DVD and Spanish Blue Ray so I know how much better the picture quality used to be. If you wish to watch the 2004 Hallmark version of Frankenstein starring Luke Goss stick to the older DVDs. This one has surprisingly awful picture quality. It's like someone left the contrast too high. There are scenes that are very hard to see that used to be very easy to see.

Well, disc 2 has slightly better picture quality. I wonder if there's a defect with the first disc. It's like the contrast was too high. I'd seen that on old VHS tapes but never DVD. Disc 1 is nearly unwatchable. I think I'll stick with my American DVD.

I contacted Kaleidoscope home entertainment about this issue and even sent them screen grabs.

I hope they do not intend to leave it as is under the assumption that those who have never watched the American version would not notice the difference. There are scenes so dark all I can see are the glisten of teeth. And their second disc (quality wise) looks nothing like this overly-dark part 1 disc.

I have poor eye sight and I can tell there's something very wrong without even referencing the original American DVD. This isn't right. I would not have been able to follow the movie without the original American DVD to serve as reference.


Review of the film itself: (Why it actually should have 5 stars and a distributor with more integrity):

For a very long time I was on a quest to find a faithful film adaptation of Frankenstein that followed the plot and physical appearance of the creature from the novel. Just last week a friend suggested I check out the 2004 version of Frankenstein starring Luke Goss as the creature. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised to find that it would be Hallmark that finally made a version of Frankenstein that actually followed the novel. The film from 1994 actually called "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" was not as faithful as the title would imply. It had the creature bald with a distorted eye and speaking like a stroke victim. It also had Elizabeth's heart torn out of her chest and then brought back in the style of the Frankenstein creature.

For years after that I had searched for a version of Frankenstein that had a creature portrayed the way he is described in the novel.

First let us begin with the popular idea of the Frankenstein monster. Everyone imagines the creature as a simple minded, green skinned creature with a flat topped head, and bolts in his neck.

I don't understand the popularity of the "simple minded" Frankenstein creature. I know it was popularized over eighty years ago now thanks to Boris Karloff but think about it. In the actual novel the creature figured out how to dress himself (and that he'd need clothes!) in a matter of moments after his "birth". He learned to read and write (or remembered it) in a matter of months. That's equatable to an eleven-month-old baby with an adult reading level. He could read, write, was as articulate as his creator, if not even more so. He even had a favorite work of literature (Paradise lost). That's not a simple minded creature. That's a super genius in the making. I'd like to see more intelligent incarnations of the Frankenstein creature but not pretentious (as he was pretentious in the film Van Helsing). For good intelligent incarnations of the creature check out the 2004 Hallmark version of Frankenstein staring Luke Goss, Ultrasylvania (web comic / graphic novel), and perhaps to a lesser extent (because he still moves and talks like a stroke victim) the Robert de Niro version.

Not only did this version (The Hallmark version from 2004 starring Luke Goss as the creature) have the creature physically look like, talk like, and move like the literary version of the creature but it also restored one of the novel's secondary morals. Everyone remembers that Frankenstein teaches you not to tamper with nature but most people forget that it also had the creature learn (a bit too late) that revenge was not the answer and that revenge would bring him no peace. In my opinion this was as important a message as that of not tampering with nature. So why do so many film versions leave this aspect of the story out all together? Why are only the inaccurate or incomplete versions remembered? It's not fair that this version of Frankenstein is almost entirely obscure.

Here's where I am going to get a little nitpicky. It's a very good adaptation. The biggest changes deal with Victor's mother's death (in the novel she dies before he sees lightning strike a tree, not after). Also later in the story another body (after Elizabeth's death) is blamed on the creature in a village but it could be that someone died by coincidence that the creature (happening to be there) got blamed for it. Oh, and the creature's eyes. They're blue in this and yellow in the book. And Victor's father lives but seems to be going crazy. In the novel I thought he committed suicide. But these are petty details. This version is probably the most faithful I've seen. And the creature is VERY accurate.

The creature is the best thing about this film. If you want to see the creature the way Mary Shelley intended him to be, watch this version of Frankenstein. Admittedly there are a few dull parts and some parts that felt unnecessary as filler and dragged on a bit but this was the most faithful adaptation of the book and is unfortunately highly under-rated. Luke Goss is simply the best portrayal of the creature I have ever seen.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Feb 2016, 12:07:32 GMT
D. Parsons says:
Hi Amanda, two years after your review and the darkness problem with the "10th Anniversary Special Edition" by Kaleidoscope has not been corrected. I'm shocked that it is still on sale in this condition... it should have been pulled from sale. Something went wrong in the mastering of the video levels before production of this special edition, and Kaleidoscope are probably just hoping that people will keep quiet about it. I will be contacting them tomorrow and then leaving a review of my own. I thought the problem was with the contrast or gamma settings at first, but I found that the picture can be fixed by increasing the brightness on the TV. My brightness setting is ALWAYS at 45% for all of my Blu Ray and DVD viewing, but for this DVD I had to increase the brightness to 80%. Try doing this on your TV - hope that helps, but it is ridiculous that I have to keep a note inside the DVD case for special picture level adjustment for one DVD!
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