on March 17, 2016
Love this 4K Blu-ray version, of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I only hope one day movie fans discover just what a treat this underrated gem truly is. The sets, the costumes, and the performances are incredible. Everything about this movie is breathtaking. I have loved this gorgeous love story since it first debuted in theatres, back in 1992. Only the miscasting of Keanu Reeves spoils the movies ...borderline perfection. Inside note: Francis Ford Coppola had originally cast Johnny Depp, as Jonathan Harker, but rumour has it, that Columbia, who was financing the picture, made the unfortunate last minute decision to force Coppola to use a more 'popular actor' (Reeves) to help sell the film to North American mainstream audiences. Reeves can be greta in the right film, unfortunately here he sticks out like a sore thumb. Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, and the 3 vampire brides, all give, excellent performances. It's a shame Depp wasn't used, because he would have offered a completely different & arguably brilliant take, on the Harker role. Still, it's a wonderful gothic love story. Even Annie Lennox made an impact with her often over-looked pop classic "Love Song For a Vampire" that should have won Best Song, at the Oscars. Ah, 1992, what year!!
on August 22, 2011
The classic tale is a litterary masterpiece, the atmospher & style stands out in BluRay. Vlad the Impaler's red suit of armour is visually stunning as he renounces God & stabs the heart of the cross. Sadie Frost looks sexy as the life is slowly sapped from her beautiful neck, while Winnona Ryder does a good job as her friend Madam Mina.
Strong performances from Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins & the supporting cast; as it is a proper projection of the novel, you should really enjoy this in HD if you have never watched it.
on December 2, 2014
I have seen a lot of vampire movies in my life and this is the best. Spanish Dracula comes pretty close and the Hammer movies are fun but this is the best. The visuals and costumes are inspiring. Everything about this movies is good. Dracula is depicted as a demon that lives outside the grace of God so he is vulnerable to crosses, holy water, communion wafers, etc. I don't like movies that depict vampires as scientific monsters that are allergic to sunlight. When I was 12 and saw this movie it really had a significant impact on my life. I didn't know there was an Eastern Orthodox church or very much about Christian history. This movie inspired me to learn more about the history of the Church. I even started wearing a cross for a few years to protect me from vampires. I am not joking about that. I don't like celebrities but I feel as time goes on people will forget all the other roles these actors had so then it will just be actors in this movie. Right now I have holy water in my house, again, probably because of this movie.
on June 28, 2004
Francis Ford Coppola breathed new life in to the classic vampire story by Bram Stoker, keeping faith with much of the original novel while adding his own touches that made it an artistic wonder.
The best parts of the movie are those that remain true to the book: Jonathan Harker's travel to the castle and fateful meeting with the Count; Harker's confrontation with Dracula's three vampire lovers; the newly arisen Lucy Westenra confrontation as a vampire with her loved ones in the cemetery; and the exciting race with the sun and the gypsies taking the coffin-bound Dracula to his castle.
The script follows Dracula's strengths and vulnerabilities faithfully. The Dracula of this movie walks in the daylight -- just as in the novel.
Even when the movie departs from the original and the plot lags with the romance of Dracula and Mina, Coppola creates breathtaking images with their own potent spell that held me enchanted.
Overall the performances are well done with one or two notable exceptions. Sadie Frost, however, steals the movie in the role of Lucy Westenra.
The movie, in my opinion, would have been better with more emphasis on horror. Dracula should be more scary than sympathetic.
Still, this is one of my favorite vampire movies ever and well worth repeated viewings.
on June 20, 2004
This is an awesome movie about the famous vampire Dracula. the good part is that it gives insight on the real legend behind this horror character, and it is not just a boring tale about crimes commited by vampires. it has a very good storyline and it is a remarkable love story between Dracula and Mina Harker. I do not understand why the movie is underrated, because it's probably the best of it's kind and the only movie that describes the legend of Dracula in detail.
on June 26, 2004
Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse now) delivers the best vampire movie ever. "Dracula" has great performances from Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Monica Bellucci (!). The only bad performance comes from Keanu Reeves -- everytime time he's on screen he looks like a pale moron. Anthony Hopkins role is even shorter, yet, he's great, as always. "Dracula" is very well written and directed, it has great sound & visual effects, a haunting soundtrack and it is very scary and erotic(!), see Monica Bellucci (Irreversible, The Passion Of The Christ) as one of Dracula's sexy undead brides.
This version of "Dracula" is fascinating because it's so different from the Bram Stocker famous novel. In the novel there was no mentioning of a love story between Dracula and Mina. In this film exists a sad love story.
There is a scene where Dracula and Mina drink Absinthe. That scene is hypnotic. It proves the film's tagline to be right: love never dies. See it for yourself if you don't believe me.
on June 21, 2004
Making a good vampire film seems like a rarity nowadays, perhaps because people are confused on what a vampire should be, apparantly the trend is to be oversexed and rich. You don't really see one that captures that haunting mood, and what people fail to realize is that you can be scary and erotic without having a bunch of blood and guts and constant nudity everywhere.
That being said, "Bram Stoker's" Dracula is essentially a love story with, yes, lots of blood and sex. One scene in particular is pretty sick (when Dracula gives the baby to the concubines), but the movie isn't particularly graphic if you don't mind seeing some boobies and syrup. I guess why it's forgivable for me is for the love between Dracula and Mina, of course Dracula a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler" being portrayed as a romantic figure seems rather silly, but it's played very nicely by Gary Oldman. He showed the desperation and the joy he felt for her, which made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable versus if they didn't have him. Winona Ryder does a pretty good job as Mina, but I think they could have gotten somebody with a stronger presence to play her. Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing was cool, but they should have included a little bit more about his character, he was more of a secondary person. And as for Keanu Reeves, well, enough cr_p has already been said about him so I'm just going to say he adds a nice comic touch, luckily, you don't seem him TOO often.
I can't really tell you if it stays true to Bram Stoker's tale because I never read it, but since movies rarely ever do stay true to the book, I wouldn't doubt if it's different. But I must say it's not a bad vampire movie, better than most, and if you're a vampire lover who's looking for some romance I would definately recommend it. Peace.
on May 12, 2004
Dracula. The original version, not any of Anne Rice's fancy ones, nor any of John Carpenter's creepy ones. Just the original that started all of them- Bram Stoker's noble and ancient Dracula. Not truly based on the famous novel of Stoker's, it tells of Dracula's sorrow of his bride that died long ago, and how he is determined to have another woman named Mina as his and only his- despite the fact she is loved by another man, her fiance, who is played by Keanu Reeves- and this man is far than willing to let her go. And Anthony Hopkins, played as Van Helsing, a pure madman in this film that gives the film a twist of humor, will assist Keanu in protecting Mina from the seductive grasp of Count Dracula (although indeed he's only cute when he's in his young mode!)
I'm highly critical of occult films, especially of the vampiric category- but this film actually met my personal satisfaction. Sure, parts of the film were sprinkled with artistic dust from Hollywood- but what book doesn't get this treatment when formed into a novel? The goal is just not to pour too much of the artistic dust on, and I, in my own opinion, think Hollywood did a pretty good job of this in Dracula. They basically gave the essance of the story, and that was Dracula was threatening Mina's life, regardless that they made it more intimate than Bram Stoker truly wanted it to be. We all know how Hollywood is- romantics to the very R. But Hollywood is also sleazy to the very S at times as well. All the nudity was ridiculous; I mean, it makes the movie seem trashy, when truly it is a great and beautiful novel. I think they should have cut that stuff out, or at least have toned it down a bit.
But all in all, I did enjoy the film, and thought Gary Oldman was the absolute perfect vision of Dracula.
on May 5, 2004
I am somewhat perplexed by all the wonderful reviews for this movie, especially since "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is nothing of the sort. For all that director Francis Ford Coppola made this film out to be a loyal adaptation of Stoker's classic, it radically alters the source novel and is no more faithful to the spirit of the book than it is the letter. Turning Dracula into a vampirized Romeo is a bad joke, and the love affair between the Count and the all-too-willing Mina turns Stoker's gothic nightmare inside-out. And where did this version of Van Helsing come from? Gone is Stoker's scholar-crusader, replaced by a scene-chewing clown who badly needs some rehab. More's the pity because Anthony Hopkins is a great actor, and indeed the all-star cast of Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, et al, could have really shone with better material. The film is justifiably praised for its outstanding cinematography and the special effects are likewise excellent, so that the picture is good eye-candy if nothing else--and indeed, there is nothing else. Naturally, Coppola exaggerates the story's sexual component, which is typical of a post-Hammer vampire film but adds nothing of value to the plot--unless you count all the bare-chested damsels in distress, none of whom seem to know how to keep their clothes on. To top it off, the ending is a hurried anti-climax which closes with Annie Lennox's "Love Song for a Vampire," a totally out of place pop song barely a notch above "Lust For a Vampire's" infamous "Strange Love." If only they had actually adapted the novel. They didn't, and the result is a visually appealing but otherwise frustrating and sometimes insulting movie. Sorry, but if you want to see Dracula brought to life your best bets are still the Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee versions. This one just doesn't have the bite.
on April 24, 2004
I love this movie but I refuse to buy the current dvd. Why? It contains NONE of the special features, which DO exist. If you really love this movie, I advise you to wait for the Criterion Collection to put out their version. Criterion put out an incredible edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula on Laser Disc back in the early ninties, and it included TONS of special features - commentary tracks, cast & crew interviews, special effects featurettes, and scene comparisons to all the old black and white movies that inspired Coppola's visual approach. It was a really beautiful laser disc, loaded with REALLY in-depth extras. Since the dvd revolution began, the Criterion folks have been (very slowly, very gradually) re-releasing all of their classic laser disc editions on dvd, one by one. So if you are thinking about buying this product I advise you to hold out. It's only a matter of time before Criterion unleashes their version on dvd, and I can tell you (from having watched the laser disc many times) that it will be well worth the wait. You will get so much more for your money than this dvd, which yes, may look nice but really has nothing more to offer than the old widescreen video tape copy you probably already own.