Tuesday, January 21, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 46
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX

HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: TV-14

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Editor’s note: Welcome to Hatewatch, our newest film column, where we revel in the shows and movies we just can’t look away from—shows so bad they’re good, flicks so awful we get that flush of self-righteousness, B-movies more guilt inducing than pleasurable. You know you hate-watch too.

I don’t feel great about the reasons I wanted to watch Netflix’s new mockumentary, Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein. The first was the title. Seriously, as an editor, I was drawn to the punctuation. It’s a technically correct messy mouthful. And second: David Harbour. My husband and I just finished season one of Stranger Things (yes, we’re way behind), and I have to admit I’d never seen Harbour in anything else, so his face caught my eye. 

Another reason: One of Arrested Development’s writers (John Levenstein) was behind this piece. How could it not be funny? And at just longer than half an hour, my husband and I had little to lose.

With eyebrows raised, we hit play. Once it started, we couldn’t look away. 

I love mockumentaries—especially the Christopher Guest variety (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and the current Documentary Now! series. But Frankenstein is a bit of a twofer—it’s half tongue-in-cheek, decent production-value mockumentary, and half super campy stage play that sends up dozens of tropes. I’m not a student of the theater, but even I was able to pick up on a bunch of in-jokes. I won’t ruin any whoppers, but one character’s name is a big no-no in the theater world. Chekhov’s gun is definitely a thing in the play within the mockumentary. And the fourth wall? Forget about it!

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein does have a bit of a plot—Harbour spoofs himself on a quest to answer questions about his fictional father and the stage career that went awry. After finding a film of his dad starring in a Frankenstein play, Harbour walks back through his father’s footsteps to try to get answers. This is enough of a framework to set up the absurdity that ensues on stage, in which Harbour plays his father acting in multiple roles.

We watched Harbour with wide-eyed delight—he deadpans his way through the mockumentary parts and hams it up mightily to play his egotistical father.

This messy little gem also manages to weave in bits from The Actor’s Trunk, itself a spoof of an acting craft show, which gives insight into Harbour’s father’s career. There are a few words from the play’s sponsors, including clips of Harbour eating and drinking a la Orson Welles in one of those infamous Paul Masson wine commercials. 

This Frankenstein’s monster of a mockumentary was entertaining, in a “what did we just watch?” kind of way, and also in a “you have to see it for yourself” way.

But if you need another reason to watch this weird one-off, here you go: Alfred Molina. (32 mins.) 

—Andrea Rooks




Weekly Poll
How do you feel about the proposed Strauss Wind Energy Project near Lompoc?

It'll kill way too many birds.
The county needs to significantly increase its renewable energy production.
I'm concerned about the birds, but climate change will kill a lot more.
It doesn't matter. This project will fizzle out just like the last one.

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