|Bram Stoker's Dracula (Blu-ray Disc, 2007, Canadian; French)|
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Average review score based on 101 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Let's look at this film's high and low points. First of all, if you're looking for a movie rendition of Bram Stoker's novel, this isn't quite it. I honestly don't know why they threw his name into the title. It's close, but not quite faithful to the book. Gary Oldman is in fine form here, making a memorable Dracula with his emotional performance. Keanu Reeves on the other hand still hasn't lost his baffled 'Bill and Ted' expression and makes any scene he appears in about as believable as his fake accent. The sets, and lighting especially, look more like stages than reality, but I'm sure that Coppola was shooting for that anyway. The only bad set would be the exterior views of Dracula's castle, which for some reason looks more like an abandoned factory than a castle. The effects are great, especially for the time, and the movie preserves and expands on the novels eroticism. Lucy's transition from coquettish young woman into a very sensual nosferatu is captivating. However, her beau, Cary Elwes, is nearly as laughable as he was in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. The real shame as far as this movie is concerned would have to be the character of Van Helsing. In the book, he is the protagonist, the kind old man staring down evil. In the movie, he is nearly contemptible. He says crude things merely to shock the girls (which is completely out of character), humps one man's leg, and all in all, you will find yourself rooting against him instead of for him. I was completely disappointed by this departure from the novel. Though Van Helsing's character her is an utter diaster, Renfield is played quite admirably by musician Tom Waits. Overall, any horror fan should see this film. If you like the artsy aspect of a stage show and aren't put off by a few terrible choices in casting, you should love it.
The menus on this release of Coppola's extravagant blood romance are so awful that it is no wonder the movie starts right up on insertion. Truly disgusting interface, worse than what you get from the cheapest home-burnt dvd maker. And there are absolutely NO extras (unless you count subtitles!)
As for the film itself, if one can watch it with blinders, ignoring Keanu Reeves' HORRIFIC (not in a good way) performance and Winona Ryder's likewise weak emotive abilities (Coppola is said to have berated her on the set for her lack of commitment-- can anyone say studio casting decisions?), then one can enjoy what is truly an amazing film.
Much is made of Gary Oldman's compelling grotesqueries, but beyond this, the master filmmaker Coppola calls upon all of the Jean Cocteau, Eisenstien and Fritz Lang he can muster and one-ups their theatrical visuals with special effects employed not for fleeting, Hollwoodesque spectacle, but for mood and symbolism. Finally Holywood's arsenal of effects has been put into the hands of a master artist.
A wonderful post-Victorian Romantic take on Stoker's classic.
Francis Ford Coppola took a different approach to Dracula by making him a sympathetic character looking for his lost love; Elizabeta. There is the requisite gore and horror and excellent special effects without CGI based on the fact that this was made in the 90's. Gary Oldman's performance as Dracula is the centerpiece, but gets less credible support from the supporting actors; Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and others The only other standout is Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing. The art direction is unusual, but effective (you might be put off by Dracula's Granny Wig) and the oriental influence to his costumes. The Blu ray transfer is excellent, but the audio is only Dolby 5.1; not remastered to the newer HD audio formats. Still an entertaining film, and well worth owning if you're into this genre.
First of all Johnny Depp isn't in this one that's Keanu Reeves..now for the review..this stellar cast of thousands includes Anthony Hopkins, Richard E Grant (Redferne the witch hunter on Warlock) Gary Oldman (Serious(sp?)Black Harry Potter)and yes I even enjoyed Winona Ryder even though she in my opinion is a useless Actress..she was pretty good here..I also loved her in "Mermaids", but that's the extent of it! I believe this film captures the essence of Dracula as told by Bram Stoker in the original novel..one tends to feel bad for the soulless Count by the end of the movie..A really great movie, but not for the wee ones..turn down the lights and enjoy!
Bram Stoker's Dracula is probably the best modern version of the original book, not just in its loyalty to the original text, which was done in the 20's by F.W. Murnau's film Nosferatu, but by adding elements to make it work as a movie. The "original" Dracula portrayed by Bela Lugosi was an interesting, charismatic yet still terrifying character that all but associated sex appeal to vampires. However, by adding the backstory, drawn from mythology about Vlad Tepes, the man Stoker loosely based his character on, Dracula becomes more of a tragic figure than some monster intent on destroying London from the inside. It's also a good way to brush up on the original (if you don't want to read, which your probably should) before two movies come out in 2011-2012, one called "Vlad" which is a historical action thriller that will tell the true tale of the man who was Vlad Tepes, and the other called "Dracula Year Zero," starring Sam Worthington which mixes mythology, history, and hopefully action. We'll see which is better.