Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#26 - Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola. Written by: James V. Hart based on the novel by Bram Stoker.

Plot: An ancient vampire (Gary Oldman) travels from his home in the back woods of Romania to London in order to bother a beautiful young woman with an unconvincing accent (Winona Ryder).

Review: Mind you Winona Ryder’s accent sounds pretty pro compared to Keanu Reeves’ - my friend once said “it’s not an accent, it’s a speech impediment”.

This movie, though filled with sex and deliciousness, is almost more fun to laugh and joke about than watch. It’s very funny. But it’s also bursting with awesomeness.

First off, Gary Oldman is fucking hot (I mean, he was even hot in Fifth Element for fuck sake, even with that weird plastic thing on his head) and a kick ass actor besides, acting like a total spastic insane freak in this and still being oddly sympathetic. I will admit, he’s an actor’s actor, if you know what I mean, but that demented intensity works in this movie.

The whole movie is possessed of said demented intensity (see: Anthony Hopkins. Holy shit. Hey, I just realized they were both in Hannibal. Jeez. Sir Tony pwnd the bejeezus out of G.O. in that one too. Wow). Everything about it is completely exaggerated and over the top. I can’t help but love it.

Second off, back to the sexiness front. This movie is damn sexy. The book is pretty racy for its time, but this movie just doesn’t fuck around. It’s pretty much wall to wall sex and nudity for two hours (well maybe not, but it feels like that, especially when you’re watching it with a friend who says “Ew” whenever they see nipples. To be fair, I did scream “NIPPLE!” in the one shot with the nipple in Dancer Upstairs and forever after referred to it as “that nipple movie". How many more times can I use the word ‘nipple’ in this parenthetical? None apparently)

Third, the movie seems to take place in a really weird alternate reality where everything is weird and grotesque. I guess that’s part of the over the top, exaggerated comment, however, I thought it deserved its own number.

Finally, the casting of Tom Waits as Renfield was probably the best casting move ever made. He’s fucking amazing and blows my mind every time. Over the top and exaggerated, yes, but brilliant. And yet sympathetic!

Everything about this movie is deranged and disturbing but loveable. Example, who would like a guy who turns into a humanoid wolf-monster to rape a girl, then murders her, then seduces her best friend? And yet you do. It’s impossible not to. This movie is horrible, distgusting and utterly charming. Therein lies the horror. You know you would totally go for that guy. That’s the point of a vampire movie.

Actually, back to the casting, most of the roles are perfectly cast. The only problem is Keanu fucking Reeves as Jonathan. And Winona Ryder as Mina, but she is not so offensive. However, why they would choose to cast two Americans in those roles when the film is otherwise dominated by British actors (excepting of course Tom Waits, who was bat shit crazy so who cares and Bill Campbell who was playing an American anyway) is beyond me. Cary Elwes should have been Jonathan, anyone could have played Arthur (Richard Grant would have made a good Jonathan as well, but he pwnd the role of Jack - Arthur is much less interesting). Dammit. Cary Elwes needs to be in more stuff in the past, back when he was, you know, young and in stuff I actually wanted to watch (most recent thing I saw him in: Shadow of the Vampire).

Ah well. The movie has its flaws but they just accentuate its good parts. I love this movie.

Favourite Part: I like G.O.'s weird armour at the beginning. It looks like his skin's off.

Other versions: It’s fucking Dracula.

: None.

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