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Lisa Frankenstein (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film

SUMMARY

A series of strange events leads to a timid high school girl's crush from the 1800s coming back to life and the two go on a journey to find him new body parts as they form a friendship and find love.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Set in the big-haired, neon-colored 1980s of goth music, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Cure, Lisa Frankenstein, directed by Zelda Williams (Kappa Kappa Die) from a Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body, Juno) screenplay is an oddball comedy-horror film about a mousy high school teenager who has a crush on a bust from an 1800s gravestone.

Lisa (Kathryn Newton) has lost her mother to an axe mother and is now living with her dad, her new mean stepmother Janet (Carla Gugino), and her popular stepsister Taffy (Liza Soberano). Lisa, a retiring and mousy girl lacking confidence has a crush on a bust atop an 18th century gravestone. Through a crazy series of events, after Lisa attends a party, unknowingly drinks angel dust, her crush is brought to life in the middle of a storm. “The creature” finds her in her home and she forms an attachment to him, pouring her soul out to him, and she begins a quest to find him body parts that he needs, like an ear and a hand. Through this new connection and quest she begins to come out of her shell and morphs into a new, uninhibited person with lots of confidence.

Lisa Frankenstein has the storytelling capabilities and wit of Diablo Cody all over it. Zelda Williams does her best job encapsulating Cody’s screenplay and 1980s vision of bold colors and vibrant pop music. The double entendres – not the least of which is Lisa’s name, Lisa Swallows – is signature Cody, but it is scaled down from the likes of Jennifer’s Body for its PG-13 outing in this film.

The updated references to Shelley’s Frankenstein work as well, making the film an enjoyable take on the cliché 1980s teen flicks, spinning the tropes around in new Goth horror washers and tossing them out in new ways. Soberano’s Taffy is excellent in this way as the popular girl who is also so clueless is almost insane. The comedy does not always click, but there is more than enough here to keep the laughs going.

Purchase Lisa Frankenstein on Blu-ray + Digital on Amazon.com

  • Cole Sprouse stars as The Creature and Kathryn Newton as Lisa Swallows in LISA FRANKENSTEIN, a Focus Features release.

Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC
  • Cinematographer Paula Huidobro and director Zelda Williams on the set of their film LISA FRANKENSTEIN, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC
  • Liza Soberano stars as Taffy and Kathryn Newton as Lisa Swallows in LISA FRANKENSTEIN, a Focus Features release.

Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC
  • Kathryn Newton stars as Lisa Swallows and Cole Sprouse as The Creature in LISA FRANKENSTEIN, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC
  • Lisa Frankenstein (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein Blu-ray (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein Blu-ray (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein DVD (Universal)
  • Lisa Frankenstein DVD (Universal)

The Video

Lisa Frankenstein comes in a 1.85:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The image is detailed and colorful with good shadow detail. There is not much to complain about here at all. The dynamic range is good, with bright white levels that have no clipping. There is a filmic quality to the image at times as well.

The Audio

The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix for Lisa Frankenstein has a full, well-extended low end that captures the 1980s songs from acts like The Cure and The Jesus and Mary Chain with a lot of punch and dynamics. There is also effective use of the surround channels for atmospheric effects, such as during the thunderstorm that creates “the creature.” Dialogue is clean with no clipping.

The Supplements

Universal supplies an ample number of features and more hilarious deleted scenes and a gag reel. The audio commentary from Williams is also an interesting listen.

Bonus Features:

  • Moves Anywhere Digital Code
  • Feature Commentary with Director Zelda Williams
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p; 00:03:37):
    • Get Me out of Hell!
    • Knock Knock
    • Music Lovers
    • Incredible Friend
    • Breaking News
  • Gag Reel (1080p; 00:02:26)
  • An Electric Connection (1080p; 00:04:43) — While it’s no easy feat to turn a 19th century dead guy into the perfect boyfriend, this piece explores Lisa and her charming Creature and what makes their relationship work. Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, and filmmakers explore how Lisa and Creature really need each other to truly thrive, why Creature is the “perfect man,” and Lisa’s choice at the end of the film.
  • Resurrecting the ‘80s (1080p; 00:04:34) — Set in 1989, LISA FRANKENSTEIN is a loving tribute to the wacky, tacky, yet totally awesome 80s. Every department of production embraced the stylized world Diablo Cody created in her script and brought their A-game to making this colorful world a reality.
  • A Dark Comedy Duo (1080p; 00:04:01) — Well-known for her ability to subvert genres, Diablo Cody delves into the inspiration behind LISA FRANKENSTEIN, what made her want to give the Frankenstein story a youthful, modern twist full of both horror and hilarity, and why Zelda Williams was the perfect choice to bring her story to life.

The Final Assessment

An off-kilter reimagining of the Shelley’s Gothic horror that has Diablo Cody’s signature writing style and competent direction by Zelda Williams. This won’t appeal to everyone, but anyone who loves a good quirky comedy will like this one.


Lisa Frankenstein is out on Blu-ray + Digital April 9, 2024 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Purchase Lisa Frankenstein on Blu-ray + Digital on Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for violent content, bloody images, sexual material, language, sexual assault, teen drinking and drug content.)
  • Studios & Distributors: MXN Entertainment | Focus Features | Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Director: Zelda Williams
  • Written By: Diablo Cody
  • Run Time: 101 Mins.
  • Street Date: 9 April 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: French DTS 5.1 | English Descriptive Video Service
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish | French
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A series of strange events leads to a timid high school girl's crush from the 1800s coming back to life and the two go on a journey to find him new body parts as they form a friendship and find love.Lisa Frankenstein (Blu-ray Review)