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Coppola's Dracula (1992)...how was it received? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Coppola's Dracula (1992)...how was it received?


ChineseCheckers
06-27-09, 11:22 PM
I just watched this movie for the 2nd time and confirmed my enjoyment from the first viewing (1st time was when it first came out when I was 11 so I don't remember too much about it). It was a very stylish movie with a memorable score to the film. But throughout the film I was left wondering what the reception to this movie was when it first came out. Was it liked by critics? by the public?

The Antipodean
06-28-09, 12:16 AM
Poorly by the public in general, I think, although the reviews were decent enough. I was disappointed in it when I saw it in the theater despite some good elements. I dunno, just wasn't what I expected from a "Dracula" movie even if it was fairly faithful to the book. Reeves and Ryder were terrible in it I remember. I suppose I should watch it again sometime, don't think I've seen it since 1992!

ChineseCheckers
06-28-09, 12:35 AM
I didn't think Winona did a terrible job...although I may be blinded by her looks. I hope she gets back on track with her career and stop doing bit parts in movies now

Daytripper
06-28-09, 12:42 AM
Well, the movie did 82.5M at the box-office in the U.S. (133M in the rest of the world). 215M total. And it's at 81% on RT. But I remember seeing mostly scathing reviews when it first came out. I saw it anyway, and hated it. And none of my friends liked it either. It's kind of like "The Flintstones". I recall hearing one critic saying that it's a blockbuster no one loves. Which is true. I feel the same about FFC's "Dracula". I still don't personally know anyone that liked it.

Solid Snake
06-28-09, 01:42 AM
I recently bought this for 5 bucks at Target. Was worth it. It has very cool in camera effects, has Monica Bellucci topless, etc. Gary Oldman is great in it. My issues with it are odd things from the movie itself. Like...why does Harker's hair go from a healthy black only to progressively go gray haired? That was never explained and it bothered me. Maybe I totally miss that when I watch the film but...wtf was all that about? I dunno...i think FFC has ego about himself. And I think it's all from his time on The Godfather. Yes, you did 2 amazing films, you later did Apocalypse Now...stop toting that around...do something else that's good and don't be in my face about it. That's the feeling I got from him in the special features of Dracula. I too never hear this film from anyone. I like it fine...it's good...some stylistic choices are a bit hamfisted but...it's a good film and well worth the $5 I paid for.

ChineseCheckers
06-28-09, 01:55 AM
why does Harker's hair go from a healthy black only to progressively go gray haired?

I think it was implied that the weeks or months of being drained of blood by Dracula's 3 brides, and the many unsuccessful escape attempts had left him weak and aged. That's my take on it.

There are a couple of scenes that did stand out to me in this movie...

The opening scene where Dracula vows his revenge on God...I think it was Gary Oldman's delivery with his arm gestures that sold it

The scene where Anthony Hopkins confronts Dracula in his 8 foot tall bat mode was a very visual scene

Solid Snake
06-28-09, 01:57 AM
See that's what I guessed..but...if we have to guess on it, kinda kills the purpose when it's never really mentioned in the film.

Mondo Kane
06-28-09, 02:16 AM
One of the few regrets I have for not seeing in it's original release.

From the blurry, Pan/Scan delivery from a PPV satellite-dish 1st time viewing of the film, I was still able to manage that I was missing out on one of the more adventurous and beautiful-looking films that I was ever to encounter. Although it's easy to blame the performances of Keanu for ruining mostly a lot (I never had a problem with Winona), that still wasn't enough to detract from the beauty that I saw in this film.
(Keep in mind that I originally thought that a hefty chunk of CGI--Since this was Post-Terminator 2--was involved with the movie, but I was astonished to later find out that a majority of the effects were practical and established on-camera)

Along with the Oscar-winning costume & art direction design, There's also the music score which is still emulated and promoted to this very day. And lastly, the makeup which proves how effective both the werewolf and "Bat-Man" costumes still stand up today in today's CG Euphoria.

Bitch and moan about the story,actors,and performances all you want. But very few contemporary films can still stand up to the sound and imagery that this film was managed to be delivered here.

ChineseCheckers
06-28-09, 02:31 AM
the makeup which proves how effective both the werewolf and "Bat-Man" costumes still stand up today in today's CG Euphoria.

I agree that the bat costume was well done but the werewolf costume was horrible in my opinion. It looked a lot more like the apes from the Planet of the Ape than the intended wolf. It's probably the one thing that distracts me from this movie

Giantrobo
06-28-09, 04:19 AM
It's one of my Favorite Dracula/Vampires films. :up: I loved it then, and I love it today.

The sets, costumes, score, closing theme(Annie Lennox), Anthony Hopkins, and Gary Oldman all worked for me.

Giantrobo
06-28-09, 04:45 AM
I think it was implied that the weeks or months of being drained of blood by Dracula's 3 brides, and the many unsuccessful escape attempts had left him weak and aged. That's my take on it.


Same here.

zero
06-28-09, 05:25 AM
One of my favorite films and I have to agree the opening is VERY powerful...the only actor I had issues with in this movie was Reeves...just....bad.
0ASlX4c0URs

And to think the story would be mirrored in one of my favorite Castlevania games...
tCWTPZj8_aU

I'm not sure if there can be another film like this one, but I'm sure Hollywood will find a way.

Giantrobo
06-28-09, 05:29 AM
Well they tried and we got "Van Helsing". :lol: Remember, "Van Helsing" was supposed to be Anthony Hopkin's spin off film. Instead we got Van Helsing's younger brother so some shit like that.

Reeves was miscast; AND, the other guys who fought Dracula with him were not only better actors but fun characters.

Ash Ketchum
06-28-09, 07:36 AM
I remember seeing this late in its run at an appropriately seedy single-screen theater in Manhattan a short time before the theater was closed (and eventually torn down). I don't recall the reviews being that great. A lot of people didn't understand the film and I recall making a case for it in my attempts to spread belated good word of mouth on it. It's a film that works largely on an emotional level, keyed to the psychological states of the various characters and pivoting on that moment in history when technology was beginning to play a larger role in people's lives (early phonographs, silent movies and typewriters all appear in the film) and the "old ways" that made people vulnerable to belief in vampires, ghosts, demons and such were giving way to psychiatric treatment of people's hysteria and sexual frustrations. Something like that. My only real problem with the film is...too much plot. Whenever the plot kicked in, it disrupted the dreamlike mood of the rest.

So it wasn't a typical vampire film. Which is why I liked it.

kurupt
06-28-09, 07:56 AM
I saw this at the theater when I was younger and I didn't appreciate it, as I was expecting something more visceral. As my tastes have evolved, I have developed a love for the film. The direction and cinematography are extraordinary and I now find the movie very haunting. Yes, Reeves was pretty terrible, but that's the only flaw I can see. I don't mind not being spoon-fed every piece of information (why Harker's hair turned gray). I like being thought of as smart enough to draw my own, fairly obvious, conclusions. It's one of the few films I view each and every October as part of my month-long horror marathon.

ChineseCheckers
06-28-09, 09:31 AM
After listening to the directors commentary, it seemed like winona ryder was the person behind the scenes for the movie. She apparently brought the script to coppola and suggested who to cast in the movie. Did she really have that much clout back in the early 90s?

Ash Ketchum
06-28-09, 09:55 AM
After listening to the directors commentary, it seemed like winona ryder was the person behind the scenes for the movie. She apparently brought the script to coppola and suggested who to cast in the movie. Did she really have that much clout back in the early 90s?

Winona was originally cast in Coppola's THE GODFATHER III (1990) and was to play the role that Coppola's daughter, Sofia, eventually played. She even made it to Rome for the shoot but got really sick and bowed out of the production. Her boyfriend at the time, Johnny Depp (who had "Winona" tattooed on his body somewhere), even rushed to Rome to be with her. Maybe Coppola felt bad about not having her in GIII (can you blame him?), so he wanted to do something with her. Just a guess. Winona was pretty famous back then, but I can't for the life of me remember why. Scorsese used her in AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993), so she did have some prestige. I just can't remember what made her so briefly highly thought of.

ChineseCheckers
06-28-09, 10:01 AM
Winona was originally cast in Coppola's THE GODFATHER III (1990) and was to play the role that Coppola's daughter, Sofia, eventually played.

Oh man. What could have been had Winona been in Godfather 3 and not Sophia Coppola. I respect Sophia as a director but just not an actress.

B5Erik
06-28-09, 10:31 AM
I remember the reviews being mostly positive when Bram Stoker's Dracula first came out. I also remember the reaction of moviegoers was also fairly positive.

The one thing that most people agreed on was Keanu Reeves was horribly miscast and out of his league in this movie. His performance isn't so bad as much as it seems amateurish compared to the talent around him. He was cast just to sell tickets.

But, overall, I thought the movie was good. It wasn't perfect, but I thought it was a good movie. Watching it again on DVD (and later Blu Ray) just cemented that opinion.

Rad14
06-28-09, 10:32 AM
I remember going to see it when it first came out, and the 2 biggest points of criticism where Keanu Reeves's ridiculous impression of Prince Charles in almost every scene and Anthony Hopkins's eye-rolling, scenery-chewing performance!

I remember when Hopkins came into each scene, there was an audible groan from the audience, as they obviously felt he was way over the top, and I must admit, at the time, I felt the same. However, having watched the film countless times since, I now appreciate what he was trying to do with the part and accept him better now. As for Reeves, with each viewing his performance seems to get worse and worse. Sadly, I think he was simply miscast. Winona was okay, and the rest of the cast were good in support, but that was all they were really allowed to do -support.

When I heard Gary Oldman was going to play Dracula, I remember thinking, that he wasn't my idea of the Count, but I was well surprised, as he was actually excellent in the role.

The movie itself was a dazzling effects extravaganza, most of them, as has been mentioned, performed within the camera and those, plus a tremendous operatic score were worth the price of admission alone.

It remains, one of my favorite movies, and certainly one of the best Dracula's I've ever seen.

Just my thoughts. :)

Giles
06-29-09, 10:16 AM
I remember the reviews being mostly positive when Bram Stoker's Dracula first came out. I also remember the reaction of moviegoers was also fairly positive.

The one thing that most people agreed on was Keanu Reeves was horribly miscast and out of his league in this movie. His performance isn't so bad as much as it seems amateurish compared to the talent around him. He was cast just to sell tickets.

But, overall, I thought the movie was good. It wasn't perfect, but I thought it was a good movie. Watching it again on DVD (and later Blu Ray) just cemented that opinion.

there's a hysterical edit your own scene on the Criterion laserdisc, where you watch multiple takes of the same scene and to watch Keanu's acting is just cringe inducing.

It's funny, I saw this in the theatre initially, and it didn't wow me, but on multiple rewatches since then it's become one of my favourite Dracula movies.

trespoochies
06-29-09, 10:43 AM
One of my favorite films and I have to agree the opening is VERY powerful...the only actor I had issues with in this movie was Reeves...just....bad.
0ASlX4c0URs

And to think the story would be mirrored in one of my favorite Castlevania games...
tCWTPZj8_aU

I'm not sure if there can be another film like this one, but I'm sure Hollywood will find a way.

One of my favorite games as well, I love the Castlevania series, especially LoI. I know Paul Thomas Anderson had his hands on this one - and sure to make it as crappy as possible - but recently read it's now in "permanent" limbo. Hopefully someone can resurrect it and make a great action movie and video game adaptation.

riotinmyskull
06-29-09, 11:03 AM
One of my favorite games as well, I love the Castlevania series, especially LoI. I know Paul Thomas Anderson had his hands on this one - and sure to make it as crappy as possible - but recently read it's now in "permanent" limbo. Hopefully someone can resurrect it and make a great action movie and video game adaptation.

wrong. paul w.s. anderson had his hands on this.

trespoochies
06-29-09, 11:28 AM
I meant him. Kind of glad neither is doing it though.

Sean O'Hara
06-29-09, 11:29 AM
Like...why does Harker's hair go from a healthy black only to progressively go gray haired?

You obviously don't read Stephen King. Any time someone has a close encounter with malevolent evil, they go grey from fear.

i think FFC has ego about himself. And I think it's all from his time on The Godfather. Yes, you did 2 amazing films, you later did Apocalypse Now...

Not a fan of The Conversation, The Outsiders or Rumblefish?

sauce07
06-29-09, 11:33 AM
I've always wanted to like this movie but it just never happens. I watch it every 5 years or so and am disappointed every time.

rexinnih
06-29-09, 04:07 PM
I really enjoyed the movie when it first came out and own the BD today. Even paid the $100 for the Criterion LD back in the day. I saw it with a friend in the theater and he was bitter at it being tagged "Bram Stokers Dracula" because of deviations from the book in his mind. Oh well, I enjoyed it. Except for Keanu, annoying portrayal but brilliant costumes and cinematography.

Numanoid
06-29-09, 04:31 PM
See that's what I guessed..but...if we have to guess on it, kinda kills the purpose when it's never really mentioned in the film.1) The hair changing color is directly taken from the book. 2) It's part of public consciousness, and has been for a couple thousand years, that your hair turns white from fright. Didn't need to be pointed out.

Numanoid
06-29-09, 04:33 PM
I remember the reviews being mostly positive when Bram Stoker's Dracula first came out. I also remember the reaction of moviegoers was also fairly positive.Same way I remember it.

Numanoid
06-29-09, 04:33 PM
Bitch and moan about the story,actors,and performances all you want. But very few contemporary films can still stand up to the sound and imagery that this film was managed to be delivered here.Agreed. I remember walking out of the theater and commenting on how the American public was supporting an art film, without them realizing it.

Cardiac161
06-29-09, 05:27 PM
Personally loved it the first time I saw it in the theater. I was a big Coppola fan and was really rooting for him after Godfather 3 (which I loved as well).

I think the reason I really admired the film was due to the use of physical & practical visual effects (such as the shadows, the cameras rigged upside down, scenes shot backwards), and not relying too much of on computer-generated effects.

Chrisedge
06-29-09, 05:34 PM
I remember getting the $125 Criterion LD for $39? because the mismarked the CAV version for the CLV version!

Wow, lasergeektalk.

islandclaws
06-29-09, 05:37 PM
I remember when this hit theaters, I was in 6th grade. My parents forbade me from seeing it, but one of my friends went with his older brother and he told us about all the good stuff. The film became a legend in my mind until I was finally able to rent it on VHS without my parents knowing. I totally dug it, still do.

ChineseCheckers
06-29-09, 07:00 PM
My parents forbade me from seeing it, but one of my friends went with his older brother and he told us about all the good stuff.

There were some nice boobies in this movie!

trespoochies
06-29-09, 07:50 PM
I remember getting the $125 Criterion LD for $39? because the mismarked the CAV version for the CLV version!

Wow, lasergeektalk.

I bought the Criterion laserdisc for $49.99 and the special edition 2 disc CLV for $34.99. Good times those were.

wm lopez
06-30-09, 07:34 PM
I remember nothing but good reviews by the press.
Only Reeves got his usual reviews for his performance.
Only thing that stuck out in my mind was A. Hopkins performance.
I didn't like it. He played it too like campy.

Ash Ketchum
06-30-09, 07:41 PM
I bought the Criterion laserdisc for $49.99 and the special edition 2 disc CLV for $34.99. Good times those were.

That seems like a lot of money to spend on one movie and still call those "good times."

Hokeyboy
06-30-09, 08:19 PM
Enjoyable, visually stunning, good, not great. I saw it in theaters and dug it. Haven't seen it in a few years but I'll get around to it.

Winona and Keanu were BEYOND FUCKING AWFUL. Every scene they were in was ruined by their shitty performances.

Sadie Frost was beyond fucking hawt. As was Bellucci, natch.

matome
07-01-09, 09:03 AM
That seems like a lot of money to spend on one movie and still call those "good times."

The $50 Criterion was the CHEAP barebones version of the laserdisc. Criterion also has the $125 version which allowed for crystal clear individual still frames without a special player and had cool stuff like a scene-editing workshop which was pretty cool back in those days. One of my fave laserdiscs.

As for the movie, I'll admit I saw it mostly because I had a crush on Winona back then, but I really did end up enjoying it since it seemed so different as a movie with the sets, effects and general flow. Oldman was damn cool as Dracula and the score was so powerful, especially during the storm scene on the ship. Keanu's bad acting just added to the charm of the movie for me. And oh yeah, a lot of boobies didn't hurt it too much either.

trespoochies
07-01-09, 09:25 AM
That's why I was so excited when I found the $125 CAV version for $49.99. Never bothered on the CLV as I had too many versions of this movie already. I did really like the editing workshop. Makes me wonder why we never saw more of this.

wm lopez
07-01-09, 06:52 PM
Oh man. What could have been had Winona been in Godfather 3 and not Sophia Coppola. I respect Sophia as a director but just not an actress. Like what a better death scene?
GODFATHER 3 blows. Sophia was not the problem. Why she gets the bad press instead of the goof who played Michael's son. An opera singer what a great character.:bmonkey:

Solid Snake
07-01-09, 07:48 PM
How about we just blame FFC instead of anybody else? He buckled under Paramount and gave a crap job. And yet it still got nominated for Best Pic, just cuz it was Godfather.