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Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
This was one of the films that concluded Film 4's "Frightfest" season, so I decided to watch it, considering it's a quite a famous and star studded adaptation of the most famous tales of the monstrous fiends that feed on the blood of the living... it's Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 take on Dracula!



The plot follows Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) as he travels to Transylvania in order to meet a peculiar and mysterious nobleman, named Count Dracula, who believes that Harker's fiance, Mina (Winona Ryder) is the reincarnated embodiment of his only love, which causes him to undertake extreme procedures.

Positives
The acting, on the whole, was terrific, but you'd expect nothing less from such prominent actors such as Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder (who contacted Coppola to adapt the novel, after apparently feeling guilty after hastily dropping out of The Godfather Part III). Ryder manages to portray innocent qualities associated with a character of Mina's ilk, yet she managed to just as accurately portray more sinister qualities during moments in which she under the command of Dracula. Speaking of him, I adored Gary Oldman in this role, he was utterly magnificent and his accent could have fooled me into thinking he was a native Romanian, yet he was very enigmatic and even charismatic, and any scene involving even an utterance of Mina's name provoked his finest acting. Yet that was probably due to my own personal tastes, because even though romance is probably my least favourite genre, when it's done right, I often fall in love with the film, and this was a sort of an example of that. Although, as we all know, the story between Mina and Dracula is complex to say the least.
Also, Sadie Frost was really good too, she portrays Lucy better than anyone else I've seen act out the same role, and I believe she, along with Oldman, definitely deserved a lot more recognition.

I thought the writing was really good here. I've read the novel, and although this will probably be quite controversial, I wasn't that big a fan of it, some excerpts were terrific like Harker's first experiences with the castle, but after that, I found it hard to keep going. Yet this film always remains interesting, with totally unexpected dialogue for such a period in times (i.e. young aristocrats talking so bluntly about sexuality), and new elements that really do shock (THAT bestiality moment), created something that felt quite refreshing whilst also remaining very faithful to Stoker's creation. It did have its downfalls though.

The costumes on display here were also terrific that truly reflected the elegance and extravagance of the European nobility within this time frame. The colours also acted as subtle metaphors too, reflecting the tone of whatever was about to unfold. Eiko Ishioka truly deserved to obtain the Oscar for best costume design!

Roman Coppola also deserves credit for achieving effects that were, at the time, thought to be impossible without employing CGI to achieve Francis' desired effects. I don't know the more intricate effects that were used within in the film, and I do apologise that I can't really elaborate, all I know is that he achieved something spectacular considering the amount of limitations forced upon him.

Negatives

Keanu Reeves.

There were also several actors who were pretty satisfactory, Anthony Hopkins included, and it's not hard to understand why Lucy didn't some of her suitors. Therefore, when some of them do perish, I just didn't care less, because they didn't make me care about them in the slightest. But a combination of a minimal amount of dialogue to use, and sharing the screen with an abundance of characters definitely didn't do them a whole lot of favours either.

The film also felt a bit too over dramatic, and almost theatrical in parts, especially towards the end, that I felt wasn't exactly rushed, but was inconsistent in regards to the pacing. In other words, I was quite bored by the end, and I wasn't disappointed it was over really. Nevertheless, details such as liquids dripping upwards, and shadows moving all on their own were touches I thought were magnificently creative, that emphasise the bizarre yet unsettling nature of Dracula.

Nevertheless, considering how supremely talented Coppola is, this was quite far from his best work, but then when you make The Godfather pretty much anything is going to pale in comparison. Additionally, I feel as though I can't give the writers too much credit, because this ultimately falls down to Bram Stoker.

Also, I always loved the brides of Dracula, considering this was written before the feminist movement gained serious momentum, these women are empowered and they always fascinated me. I wanted to see them developed and become more prominent in this adaptation... but they weren't. Instead, all they did was molest Keanu Reeves and unleash their boobs at any possible opportunity. Interestingly, I saw La Reine Margot not that long before watching this, and I genuinely believed Isabelle Adjani was one of the brides before I looked more carefully, and found it was Monica Belluci! In one of her first acting roles!

Conclusion
With a terrific cast that managed to deliver some terrific performances, alongside one of the most respected film directors of all time, adapting one of the most iconic horror films of all time, it actually falls a little flat. This had several flaws, and was a little tedious on places. So, this gets a:




Uuh, you also got a review up today!

Unfortunately I haven't seen this, though I have had it on my watchlist for several years. I even began watching it once, bur realized I wasn't in the mood.

Even if I haven't seen it, I did read your review, I just skipped a little here and there when it became a tiny bit spoilery. I don't care though, I will probably never watch it, I feel like your rating of 'Dracula' will reflect mine (hah, get it? reflection! no? okay...)

But anyways, another good review, CiCi!



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Uuh, you also got a review up today!

Unfortunately I haven't seen this, though I have had it on my watchlist for several years. I even began watching it once, bur realized I wasn't in the mood.

Even if I haven't seen it, I did read your review, I just skipped a little here and there when it became a tiny bit spoilery. I don't care though, I will probably never watch it, I feel like your rating of 'Dracula' will reflect mine (hah, get it? reflection! no? okay...)

But anyways, another good review, CiCi!

I did quite like that reference actually!

Thanks very much as well! My timetable for Sixth Form is amazing so I'll have more time to spend on reviews than I first thought!

I'd say if you like vampires, maybe give it a shot, but in all honesty you're not missing much except for some pretty costumes.



Dracula is one of my absolute faves. Everything's great. Well, except Keanu. The scenery is the best part of the film, imho. The castle, Transilvania, and all that. I think I agree with your review 100%, actually. But Oldman is my favorite thing in it, since I adore him, one of my faves. And he gives an insanely brilliant performance, one of the best in cinema history, imho. And I also think it's his own best. It's a travesty he hasn't won an Oscar, but he can't stand the lime light, Hollywood, so Hollywood can't stand him neither, hence no Oscar.

I only saw a few others, so I'll say a thing or two about The Thing.

As a kid, when it came out, I enjoyed it. But now I'm just too disgusted by the thing. Those scenes are simply too abominal for my eyes any more. Probably the only thing I like is the suspense, not knowing who the thing is. That blood testing scene is great.

Anyway, thanks for the thread!



Coppola's Dracula is flawed, but great. How can you deny Reeves' greatness in that film? He's brilliant!



Coppola's Dracula is flawed, but great. How can you deny Reeves' greatness in that film? He's brilliant!
He is. I was being subjective. I'm not to wild about him as a person, sorry, but am I entitled to my opinion?



I wasn't replying to you, Beatle, I was just making my own general comment on the film.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Coppola's Dracula is flawed, but great. How can you deny Reeves' greatness in that film? He's brilliant!
You could have cast a wet dish cloth and got more variety out of it, he was abysmally bad in this film, I think even he's admitted it

But I'm worried Swan! Has MM possessed you, only he has shown such levels of delusion before on this thread



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Dracula is one of my absolute faves. Everything's great. Well, except Keanu. The scenery is the best part of the film, imho. The castle, Transilvania, and all that. I think I agree with your review 100%, actually. But Oldman is my favorite thing in it, since I adore him, one of my faves. And he gives an insanely brilliant performance, one of the best in cinema history, imho. And I also think it's his own best. It's a travesty he hasn't won an Oscar, but he can't stand the lime light, Hollywood, so Hollywood can't stand him neither, hence no Oscar.

I only saw a few others, so I'll say a thing or two about The Thing.

As a kid, when it came out, I enjoyed it. But now I'm just too disgusted by the thing. Those scenes are simply too abominal for my eyes any more. Probably the only thing I like is the suspense, not knowing who the thing is. That blood testing scene is great.

Anyway, thanks for the thread!
Yeah, I've never thought about it too much before, but Oldman did deserve at least a nom for this film, he was far and away the best actor in this. I'm surprised the BAFTA's didn't nominate him in all honesty.
I'd have to say the same for Sadie Frost though, she was perfect in portraying Lucy, she's exactly how I imagined her to be.

As for The Thing, it is very suspenseful yeah, although I still prefer Halloween I have to say.

And thanks very much, it's comments like that that make this all worth while!



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Oh, he's horrible! In such a terrific way though!
I don't know, it's not like Tommy Wiseau where you're reaching for the toilet because you're not sure you're going to make it. Keanu is just, bad, it's like his face was paralysed or something, it was a miracle he avoided a Razzie nom for this



Yeah, I've never thought about it too much before, but Oldman did deserve at least a nom for this film, he was far and away the best actor in this. I'm surprised the BAFTA's didn't nominate him in all honesty.
I'd have to say the same for Sadie Frost though, she was perfect in portraying Lucy, she's exactly how I imagined her to be.

As for The Thing, it is very suspenseful yeah, although I still prefer Halloween I have to say.

And thanks very much, it's comments like that that make this all worth while!
I also prefer Halloween, but my all-time fave horror is A Nightmare On Elm Street.

You're welcome.

Some recommendations, pherabs?

Deliver Us From Evil
all those Saws, 8 or what?
Ouija
Carrie, both versions
The Devil's Due
an honorable place for The Omen
and, of course, Rosemary's Baby. If you haven't seen that, I highely recommend it. It's imho the best horror, but I still prefer ANOES, because of an original idea with dreams, the humor, and, of course, Freddy.



While I think Reeves is both wooden and has an appalling accent in this, to single him out while not mentioning the scenery chopping competition between Oldman and Hopkins is a little remiss of you, I think. Of course, Oldman wins thanks mostly to the Transylvanian portion of the film, but Hopkins does his best in the second half to show him that he's still got it.

For the record, I love this film. I like it mostly because it is so OTT and theatric.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



In this list i like i spit on your grave most from other horror movies. But your reviews on every movie is so interesting.



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
I also prefer Halloween, but my all-time fave horror is A Nightmare On Elm Street.

You're welcome.

Some recommendations, pherabs?

Deliver Us From Evil
all those Saws, 8 or what?
Ouija
Carrie, both versions
The Devil's Due
an honorable place for The Omen
and, of course, Rosemary's Baby. If you haven't seen that, I highely recommend it. It's imho the best horror, but I still prefer ANOES, because of an original idea with dreams, the humor, and, of course, Freddy.
I've seen all of the Saw films, I don't know why I've never reviewed any and there was 7 although an 8th one is in talks the last I heard about it.

I think we have very different tastes in horror, I really am not much of a fan of supernatural horrors, and a lot of these are, and I know that a couple like the Carrie remake and Devil's Due were torn a part by everyone, so I think I might avoid those. Thank you very much for taking the time to recommend them though!

I will, however, watch Rosemary's Baby, because Satanic worship does tend to frighten me more than ghosts and such, and I've never seen it before!

In this list i like i spit on your grave most from other horror movies. But your reviews on every movie is so interesting.
I loved Camille Keaton in that film, it's such a shame she didn't have a career outside of that film, I think she could have went far.

And thanks very much! That's so kind of you to say



On a separate note, the Suspiria remake is gaining leverage and Empire magazine have now even covered it... I can't even cope do not expect me to review that when it comes out

The new director, Luca Guadagnino, told them today...

[My version] is going to be set in Berlin in 1977. It’s going to be about the mother and the concept of motherhood and about the uncompromising force of motherhood. It’s going to be about finding your inner voice – the title is very evocative on these grounds.

Isabelle Fuhrman and Isabelle Huppert are no longer attached to star, and I have to say, this looks crap, I mean I just can't at the part in bold. It's also hard to imagine anyone but Jessica Harper playing Suzy.