Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola
Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins

Solicitor Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to make arrangements for Count Dracula to come to England, unaware of the Count's true nature and dark designs.

I remember this movie being a big deal when it came out. I believe it still stands as one of the major Dracula films. It's also one of the more faithful to the source material, even preserving a bit of the epistolary nature of the narration. There is some expansion with Dracula's backstory, which sets up the reincarnation romance angle with Mina. While the film does come off as a bit overdone, but this movie wouldn't be nearly as memorable if it wasn't. It's very striking visually (to include some crazy costumes by designer Eiko Ishioka, who won an Oscar for her work ) and accompanied by an effective score by Wojciech Kilar. Gary Oldman as Dracula and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing gloriously ham it up, Oldman in particular being rather versatile in his performance across Dracula's many forms. Poor Keanu Reeves was horribly miscast as Jonathan Harker. Try not to make too much fun of him. Winona Ryder is also not ideally cast, but she makes a more interesting Mina (or Mina-equivalent) than any of her predecessors I've seen. It's nice seeing the whole vampire hunting posse here for a change (including Carey Elwes as Holmwood!). Also note Monica Belucci in her American debut as one of Dracula's brides. The special effects are pretty good and the makeup effects in particular really stand out. The romantic angle seen in the '79 version is cranked up further and being as sexed up as it is may be an enticement and may not. The romance between Dracula and Mina seems to be fairly divisive. Bear that in mind going in. I definitely think this is worth seeing, but depending on your tastes, you may find it a bit of a mixed bag. Watch it and decide for yourself.

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