Bram Stoker’s Overblown DraculaTuesday, October 27th, 2009
I get what Francis Ford Coppola was trying to do with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I really do. I bet he wishes it’d worked better. Or, at least he’d gotten some actors that knew how to fake a decent English accent. Clearly, he was trying to use a wide variety of camera shots and special effects across the spectrum of film history. I liken it to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that has too much of one of the elements. It looks good, it should taste good, and yet, the imbalance throws off the entire proceedings.
So, let’s get right to it. Keanu Reeves? What the fuck? You’re looking for someone to play a handsome English business man, and you pick…Keanu Reeves? He can barely speak fucking English as a first language, let alone emulate the accent of the mother tongue! And Winona Ryder? Okay, we all get that she was supposed to be in The Godfather 3. Perhaps it was better that she wasn’t considering the caliber of that film, but don’t make it up to her by letting her ruin one of the best monster stories of all time! And, those camera tricks. Okay, it’s cool. You know how to operate a camera from 18-when-the-fuck-ever(When-the-fuck-ever meaning a year here). That doesn’t mean you have to saturate your film with every goddamn camera trick you know!
But, let’s get back to the accents for a second. Minus Keanu, Winona, and Billy Campbell, everyone in this movie is English. But, let’s stop and think a second here. There’s Cary Elwes, a man who made it public that he fought long and hard to lose his accent, here forced to take it up again. There’s Sir (or Lord or God Almighty…whatever the hell he is now) Anthony Hopkins, who speaks with some kind of weird Dutch German mashup. Whatever it is, it makes him sound like a lunatic. And, of course, one of the best actors of all time, Gary Oldman, who provides us, convincingly with his best Hungarian. Campbell is allowed to keep his American, but tinged with his shitty rendetion of Texan, and Richard Grant and Sadie Frost get to stay English. You get all that? Or was that too convoluted. Shit! I’ve already confused myself!
For all it’s trouble the movie does end up looking pretty good. The costumes are magnificent. The sets are amazing. The makeup won a well deserved Oscar, and the visual effects, when not looking completely film school, are very good. You get almost the complete story of The Count here, along with some backstory that’s actually pretty decent for being added to a classic piece of literature. And, the music is great, if not a bit repetitious. And Oldman’s portrayal of Dracula is spot on! But, it’s Gary Oldman. You could tell him to act like a hunk of cheese, and ten minutes later, you’d be trying to put him on a sandwich. No shit.
And…dun dun DUNNN!!! BOOBIES! That’s right, Lucy and Dracula’s three brides want you to know that they’re not ashamed of their bodies, and let you get a peek…well, more than for most of their screen time. Included in Dracula’s brides is Monica Bellucci, who just looks better naked, I have to say. She looks good anyways, but, there you are.
Give it a look, but I would rent this one if I were you. Then see if you can’t find the Dracula with Frank Langella in it. That’s my favorite adaptation personally, but you can appreciate Coppola’s film as well. Plus, the ending is great.
Just like the ending of this review.