Directed by: Bill Eagles
Written by: Stewart Harcourt, based on the novel by Bram Stoker
Starring: Marc Warren, Dan Stevens, Tom Burke, Stephanie Leonidas, David Suchet, Sophia Myles, Donald Sumpter, Rafe Spall, Benedick Blythe
Yet another film adaptation of The Dracula, this one being the Masterpiece Theatre production. It differs from the usual plot (not that there is a 'usual plot'. I'm just talking about the one used in the book and the Coppola version) in a number of ways.
First off, the Count is summoned to England by an evil cult (much like that one on Buffy, actually. You remember, the episode with Buffy's old crush from Elementary School who has cancer of whatever and talks Spike into... oh dear.).
Also, Jonathan gets killed in the first twenty minutes or so, and Arthur has syphilis (enabling him to take over the role of Renfield). And there's less Van Helsing than usual, which is kind of a good thing. Van Helsing is annoying. In this he was more of a sad old man who was kept locked in a basement than an irritating maniac. Don't get me wrong, I like the Hopkins performance. He plays and irritating maniac very well.
The biggest problem the movie had was it's being made for television. It could have been a lot worse (if it had been made by CBC, for example), but it just didn't have a very high budget. (The other problem was my inability to get over the aforementioned Coppola version. This goes off in a different direction both plotwise and also artistically, though, so that wasn't too bad)
I wasn't all that crazy about the actors. I didn't mind Sophia Myles or Dan Stevens (he was playing a crazy guy, and therefore earns extra points), and the guy playing Dracula did a pretty good job. He was no Gary Oldman, but then again, who is? (Other than Gary Oldman, of course, and even then, I'm a little unsure). I didn't find the other people that exciting, though.
Anyway, the whole thing had that BBC feel, with all of its weird cuts and such. Actually, the editing in the movie was pretty crazy. BBC crazy, which is a good kind of crazy. I actually liked those little snippets of grotesque imagery. They didn't spend enough time on any one thing, but that probably had something to do with time. Dracula is very long and very boring and it's got a lot of shit in it, so naturally, one has to cut stuff out and get right to the point.
I can't say I was very impressed with the sound editing et cetera. It was rather poor. Oh well.
The whole thing was just kind of... well, mediocre. It had good parts, but most of it was merely okay. I think perhaps it needed a bigger budget, and a huge star or two. You know, Brad Pitt or somebody. That'd be interesting.