I am genuinely surprised that Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is debuting on a thing like Netflix, and not randomly during the 4-4:30 AM slot on Adult Swim ..
Directed by Daniel Gray Longino (Kroll Show, PEN15) and written by John Levenstein (Arrested Development), this oddball mockumentary runs a brisk 28 minutes and doesn’t appear to be attached to anything other than the idea that watching David Harbour do his best blowhard Orson Welles impression for a half-hour would be really, really funny. And you know what? It is. Nailed it. A+ for absurdity. I don’t know what strange electrical storm brought Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein off the slab, but I’m not mad this monster is alive.
The gist is this: Actual actor David Harbour, star of Stranger Things and the Hellboy reboot, is investigating the life of his father, classically trained thespian David Harbour Jr. (also played by David Harbour.) His star power on the wane and career in a downward slope, the elder David Harbour put on one last big teleplay, Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, a gothic tale of horror and deception co-starring Monica Fulton (Kate Berlant), Aubrey Fields (Alfred Molina), and Harbour Jr.’s Hollywood nemesis, the upstart young talent Joey Vallejo (Alex Ozerov). The deeper David Harbour III digs the more secrets emerge, including jealousy, lies, and quite possibly…murder.
Again, there’s not a whole lot to this thing, but what you do get is a delightful ham sandwich with a heaping portion of cheese. This is the salve Harbour fans need in the wake of that truly dreadful Hellboy movie and a divisive Stranger Things season 3 performance that saw Jim Hopper going from “loveably grumpy” to “just yelling literally all of the time.” The reason that floral shirt might’ve been a little snug on season 3 Hopper is that Harbour chews the scenery to shreds in Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, and it’s a joy to behold all the way through. As modern-day David Harbour, he’s an intense, stone-faced detective even while flanked by posters of his father’s movies like “The Crying Detective” and “The Pirate’s Husband”. In the “archival” footage from the teleplay itself—shot to look like old grainy film stock—Harbour delivers a masterclass in overacting. I honestly think one of the hardest things a performer can do convincingly is act badly on purpose, and Harbour does so with gusto, eating David Harbour Jr.’s overlong monologues like a full meal. (His constant refrain of “…and THAT is how I got into Juilliard” is never not funny.) Berlant, too, is a joy; an improv veteran, there’s an unscripted looseness to every one of her punchlines here that brings to mind the wonderful lo-fi nature of something like Wet Hot American Summer.
Really, the joy of Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is that it never really explains or justifies itself. It’s just a brief weird thing made by some very funny people during, I assume, whatever lunch breaks Harbour had while shooting Stranger Things. That it landed on an international streaming service with endless resources honestly just makes the whole thing funnier. In that way, it reminds me of The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, the absolutely brilliant 30-minute “visual album” The Lonely Island dropped on Netflix that is so endearingly stupid that I still kind’ve can’t believe it’s not a prank in some way. Or, hell, even I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, which delivers incredible bite-sized episodes of absurdity, good car ideas, and mud pies. With non-original staples like The Office and Friends headed out the door and competition like Disney+ looming on the horizon, Netflix is in for a few re-shaping years ahead. If part of that is a little niche for uber-talented comedians to drop weird shit like Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein? That’s a mad scientist’s dream actually worth supporting.
★★★★ Very good
Paramount is feeling confident about their long-in-the-works sequel, Coming to America 2. The original 1988 comedy that saw Eddie Murphy‘s Prince Akeem head to America with his servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall) will get a second chapter next year as the studio has set an August 7, 2020 release. With that date announced, an official production start date and cast reveal shouldn’t be too awful far behind, especially since the team will want to get the cameras rolling sooner than later/BY
Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the script for the sequel, and Hustle & Flow filmmaker Craig Brewer will direct. The plot follows Akeem as he learns about a long-lost son in America, so he returns to meet the unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. That plot has some very basic similarities to the subplot of Black Panther, so one wonders if that film’s success provided the motivation and momentum needed to get another installment of Coming to America off the ground. Barris rewrote the script by the original film’s writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield and remains onboard as an executive producer.
Eurovision 2019 winner, Duncan Laurence, has given his thoughts on what the United Kingdom can do to improve at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Duncan Laurence, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, has spoken to the BBC, about how the UK could improve its results at the contest.
The singer who won last nights contest with the song “Arcade” told the BBC that:
I think the UK does well, but I think the UK could up a bit with the entry because you have a lot of amazing songwriters, a lot of amazing artists unknown or relatively unknown, send them, send them.
I want to watch the Eurovision UK entry that I’d like to buy an album from, like yes, I want to follow you, yes you’re my new Sam Smith, you’re my new Adele, your’re my new upcoming artist who I like to follow.
The United Kingdom finished in last place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Michael Rice performed “Bigger Than Us”, but finished last scoring just 16 points. The singer picked up 13 points from the jury and 3 points from the televote.
Focus Features has taken international rights to Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse,” ahead of its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Universal Pictures International will distribute the film internationally. The film, which stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, will debut at the festival in Director’s Fortnight on May 19.
Eggers highly-anticipated sophomore feature following his 2015 breakout “The Witch,” “The Lighthouse” is described as an hypnotic and hallucinatory story of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. It is co-written by Eggers with his brother Max Eggers.
“The Lighthouse” is produced by Jay Van Hoy for Parts & Labor, Rodrigo Teixeira and Lourenço Sant’ Anna for RT Features, and Youree Henley. A24 and New Regency co-financed the production.
A24, which co-financed the film with New Regency, will distribute the film in North America. Focus and A24 also collaborated on Eggers’ “The Witch.”