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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 32.71%
Average: 1.87%
Pretty Bad: 9.35%
Total Crap: 12.15%

7 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Gods and Monsters
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by Erik Childress

"A Little Too Gay"
2 stars

Gods and Monsters (**) - Gods and Monsters may go down in history as the gayest film I have ever seen. Now when I say that - I don’t mean that it was a dumb film - nor a happy film. I’m talking about the sheer homosexual imagery that jumps off the screen at the audience saying “Hey - this is a film about a truly flamboyant gay man.” I kept hearing Bill Murray in Stripes saying - “You mean like flaming?…”

Now I said gay man and not gay director - because this film is supposed to be about the Frankenstein director James Whale - but I didn’t learn a single thing I already didn’t know about him making the character just a mere gay man who coaxes a young boy in the film early on to basically play a game of strip questioning. For every question Whale answers…You get the idea. The film relishes in showing us how gay this guy was and unlike a better screen biography, Ed Wood, the humor of the situation doesn’t come off as quirky or - it comes off as creepy. Watch the way Whale plays with a giant cigar or how he refers to the Hollywood crowd as a bunch of “hard pricks”. McKellen gives what I can describe as a certainly competent performance, not one worthy of all the attention that its being given. With all his posturing that his nomination is a “declaration for gay rights” - I wouldn’t count on McKellen to win Best Actor on March 21. Brendan Fraser does another nice turn as the homophobic lawnmower. But I didn’t believe for a second that Fraser’s character would drop trou late in the film to model for Whale no matter how sorry he felt for him. Lynn Redgrave is truly terrific though. She’s the one actor who makes the material worth sitting through and finds the perfect tone for her performance. It’s only a shame that she disappears for most of the second half. Damn was I disappointed with this film. There are some good moments and a wonderfully stunning shot of the silhouettes of McKellen and Fraser that could easily be mistaken for Frankenstein’s monster and its creator. The little Hollywood backstage stories concerning Whale come in the form of a mere flashback to the set of Bride of Frankenstein and a party for George Cukor. To fully pull off the metaphor of Whale creating his “screen monsters”, we should have seen more of the movie set material and less of the homoerotic imagery which runs rampant and takes over nearly every scene.

In the end, Whale comes off as not the director of such Hollywood classics as Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Showboat, but nothing more than a dirty old man who likes to look at young boys. It makes you wonder at what age Michael Jackson will get his biography on the big screen.

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originally posted: 02/16/00 08:17:59
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User Comments

5/23/14 kingface The movie touched me and it was completely unexpected. My adoration for Ian McKellan soared 5 stars
5/22/09 Meggie This movie was absolutely powerful. Amazing performances from everyone. 5 stars
11/06/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
3/27/05 Victor Toledo Great Film. I've seen it quite a few times. 5 stars
12/03/04 froggy a real insight- brilliant by mckellen and made me respect fraser 5 stars
10/25/04 Tom Ciorciari Sadly beautiful. McKellen and Fraser soar. 5 stars
7/01/04 DM Falls apart towards the end, but the performances are spectacular 4 stars
2/18/04 tatum Unexpected humor lifts maudlin story 5 stars
12/03/03 Michael Good Movie, but a bit lacking 4 stars
4/08/03 Mystique McKellen is a GOD ! 5 stars
9/10/02 Jake Lost interest 3/4 through as it was overrated and dull. Who cares? 2 stars
1/21/02 Andrew Carden It Treats Homosexuality Badly, but It's Still An Excellent Movie. 5 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Brendan's body is fucking awesome in this one. This movie was okay 4 stars
3/29/01 Keely Ian McKellan and Brendan Fraser give 2 of the most compelling performances I have seen 5 stars
2/21/01 Steve in Prague teen critic really should NOT be allowed to review such complicated stuff 5 stars
2/20/01 Greg This was a powerful and moving film 5 stars
1/06/01 Emily this movie is artisically shot, and has substance to back it up. 5 stars
10/03/00 Jed Overrated & is certainly NOT one of the best films ever though it is not a bad one. 3 stars
9/19/00 homer simpson interesting 4 stars
9/06/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Bought the DVD. Good extras, but slow moving movie can be a bit dull. 4 stars
5/13/00 Elvisfan What the fuck is wrong with you people? hey, teen critic, BUY A CLUE!! 5 stars
1/02/00 Anthony Burroughs Good indi film, a rare piece that may change lives, but was almost lacking in parts. 4 stars
11/30/99 hum see it for the acting 4 stars
9/17/99 strike McKellen was robbed at the oscars. Benigni was good,but nowhere as masterful as this master 4 stars
7/28/99 sydney brilliant! McKellen and Redgrave were fantastic! 5 stars
7/03/99 Ed Wood expected to hate it, but it was fantastic. McKellan & Redgrave show how it's done. superb! 5 stars
6/21/99 James E. Laczkowski Ian McKellan is amazing! A bit slow, but compelling nonetheless. 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Ian Mckellan is obviously typecast for the role of James Whale. Total fucking yawnathon. 2 stars
6/11/99 The Bomb 69 great acting, got slow in some parts, but overall well made 4 stars
3/30/99 Powrhug Interesting movie-best Fraser acting to date-liked the parallels within the movie 4 stars
3/02/99 MissDelicateFlower c'mon, it ain't all THAT. 4 stars
2/19/99 The Graduate Brilliant performance by McKellan--I hope the Academy agrees! 5 stars
2/16/99 Suzz Superb acting 5 stars
1/23/99 Heather Great movie, Ian McKellen & Lynn Redgrave are fabulous! 5 stars
1/16/99 madlowry best of 199hate. 5 stars
1/14/99 Rodger Pille Fantastic characters played by fantastic actors. 5 stars
1/12/99 Miss Scarlett A really great movie, probably not for you closed-minded folks 5 stars
1/04/99 Landru The sort of story you would expect to see on Masterpiece Theater. BORING!!!! 1 stars
1/03/99 Leon Russell Boy, I can see that this film is popular! 1 stars
1/03/99 Critic Deluxe This film is somniferous in nature. Shallow dialog and boring characters. 1 stars
1/03/99 One Hung Low A fad movie for campus types and wimpy know-it-alls. 1 stars
1/02/99 Oscar Goldman Dialog is overrated. Hollywood mogul past his peak and hitting on young guys. 1 stars
1/01/99 Jack Ripper Blows! 1 stars
1/01/99 Gregg Gerard This is one of the best films that I have ever seen. Many layers of meaning. A must see. 5 stars
12/31/98 Jack Mehoff This film is aimed at geeks who listen to NPR and select their acquaintances by quotas. 1 stars
12/30/98 Peter Fitswell Truman Capote's soulmate. 1 stars
12/30/98 Zena Yawn. Much verbal ado about practically nothing. 2 stars
12/29/98 Hugh Jass My wife had to wake me when it was over. McKellen is quite believable as a fag. 1 stars
12/28/98 Mercury Hayes A film that only a c*cksucking pseudo-intellectual would love. 1 stars
12/27/98 Thing This film is technically good. The acting by Frazier was weak. A little too artsy fartsy. 2 stars
12/27/98 Clint Beastwood It is a great movie to take date to if you want to kill a romantic evening. 1 stars
12/26/98 Bridgette sir ian is great 4 stars
12/25/98 Jack Wilson A "must see" for PC jerkoffs. Blows by standards of people living on planet Earth. 1 stars
12/22/98 Movie Geezer very diappointed in film---ian is better in apt pupil and George of the Jungle can't act. 3 stars
12/19/98 Louis Munro The sort of film that people who carry PBS fund-raising book bags would love. 1 stars
12/11/98 Mike McFarland wanted to see more about his rise and fall as a director...felt like I was watching a play 4 stars
11/23/98 elizabeth i agree with what mitchell and christine said, this is a filmmaking at its best 5 stars
11/23/98 Mitchell+Christine A must see....only if you're intelligent though... 5 stars
11/19/98 katie it was awesome 5 stars
11/13/98 Lord Of The Dunce Really good movie. Nothing to bitch about. 5 stars
11/12/98 Chris excellent 5 stars
11/03/98 darlene it was excellent.....brendan fraser rocks 5 stars
10/21/98 grunter Faithful adaption of the Christopher Bram novel; some awkward superfluous imagery. 4 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool Wouldn't recommend this film to anyone who is not an avid movie buff. 4 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee Astounding. An awesome film based on the life of horror film director, James Whale. Sweet. 5 stars
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  04-Nov-1998 (R)


  24-Jun-1999 (M)

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