Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 260, March/April 2022

WSR Score4
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Arrow Video
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Kenneth Branagh
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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A classic tale of gothic terror, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" is set at the turn of the 19th century. Visionary scientist Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) embark on an obsessive quest to conquer the mysteries of human mortality. But his hubristic bid to create life out of death goes hideously wrong, and succeeds only in begetting a deformed monster (Robert De Niro). Horrified by what he has wrought, the scientist attempts to destroy his creation, but fails. Rejected by his ceator and shunned by the world of man, the tormented creature swears vengeance against Frankenstein and his family. As the monster begins to enact his murderous revenge, Victor must face a terrible reckoning with the tragic consequences of attempting to play God. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by film historians Michael Brooks and Johnny Mains, "Frankenstein: A Liberal Adaption," a 1910 screen adaption of Shelley's story in 2K (SD 12:55), the documentary "Mary Shelly And The Creation Of A Monster" (HD 29:37), the featurettes "Dissecting Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (HD 15:33), "We'll Go No More A Roving: An Interview With Composer Patrick Doyle" (HD 12:40), "Stitching Frankenstein: An Interview With Costume Designer James Acheson" (HD 14:53) and "Making It All Up: An Interview With Make-Up Artist Daniel Parker" (HD 13L22), original trailers, reversible sleeve and artwork by Laz Marquez and an illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Jon Towlson and Amy C. Chamers.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on film stock using the Arriflex 35-III, Panavision Panaflex Gold II, Panavision Panaflex Gold and Panavision Panaflex Platinum camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The 4K restoration was from the original camera negative by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Film grain is nuanced and never objectionable. The picture's appearance is excellent and exhibits a vibrant naturalness. The outdoor scenes in Switzerland are bright while the scenes at the university and in Frankenstein's laboratory are soaked in warm bronze hues. At times, colors pop on women's clothing. Flesh tones appear natural under various settings and interiors. HDR contrast is well balanced with naturally deep blacks, revealing shadows and natural white levels. such as during snow scenes.. Resolution is superb, especially during closeup and sharpness permeates each scene. Facial feature are finely detailed including skin pores, lines, hair and beards, and the deformities on the monster's body and face are convincing. Clothing and objects are realistically defined. This is a convincing depiction of what one would imagine as gothic times and environments. Frankenstein's laboratory is magnificently complex in texture. This is a well-crafted filmic visual telling of the horror classic. (Gary Reber).

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is quite active with all manner of realistic-sounding atmospherics and sound effects. Foley sound effects play a significant role in creating realism within Frankenstein's laboratory and other settings. Sound effects are comprised of mostly mayhem. Patrick Doyle's orchestral score is active throughout and delivers a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds. Fidelity is excellent. Dynamics throughout are effective both in terms of nuances and boldness. Bass sounds naturally realistic. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with good spatial integration. This is an effectively produced holosonic® soundtrack that supports the period imagery. (Gary Reber)