Franklyn (2008/Image Entertainment Blu-ray)
Sound: B- Extras: C+ Film: C+
Sometimes a feature comes out that is trying to be like
many others that are popular or hip and hopes to become at least a cult item. Writer/Director Gerald McMorrow’s Franklyn (2008) is one of those films
that throws in everything but the kitchen sink, but he takes on much more than
he can handle and the result is a film that is all over the place, adds up to
little and does nothing you have not seen before. You can even connect the dots to see what
they hoped to pull off.
The film takes place in the modern day London (V
For Vendetta) and a religiously-oppressive future (read Dark City, et al) as Ryan Philippe (Breach) plays a masked
detective/assassin (Watchmen) who
intends to assassinate key targets, but gets caught. Can he escape? Can he win?
There is the woman of interest Emilia (Eva Green from Casino Royale) who is in conflict with
her mother (Susannah York) in the normal reality section, but Emilia will soon
find herself in the middle of the action.
Bernard Hill, Art Malik, Sam Riley and James Faulkner also
show up in what are intended as key roles, but the melodrama seems secondary to
the action, which is ruined by too much melodrama and nothing meshes well here. The actors are likable and as one watches,
you hope this will all add up, but towards the end of its 98 minutes, you
realize it is not. I wonder if a longer
version (even after you add the deleted scenes in the supplements here) was
intended, but even their addition cannot help the practical problems this
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in
the Super 35mm film format and has more than its share of weakness throughout,
likely from its digital effects and stylizing from its Digital Internegative,
but Director of Photography Ben Davis (Layer
Cake, Hannibal Rising) can at
least produce a stylized image with some distinction. Too bad it does not work here. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix
is uneven, sometimes dialogue-based and the surrounds rarely kick in. Music and some action comes through nicely,
but this is flat more often than not and only so engaging or dynamic.
Extras include the original theatrical trailer, aforementioned
Deleted Scenes, interviews with the Producer, Director & Cast and a
- Nicholas Sheffo