Friday, September 09, 2005

Bram Stokers Dracula

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Coppola

Ya know, I gotta give Frank props for the following:
  1. Richard E. Grant

  2. Tom Waits

  3. Gary Oldman

  4. The film looks great.

Fifteenth century: the Turks (read: progenitors to modern Islam) have run through Constantinople, renamed it Istanbul, and set their sights on the rest of Europe.  They get to the Carpathian Mountains and run into the Rumanians and Hungarians.  Bad day for the Turks.  But, of course, that sets the stage for Columbus trying to find another way to get Pepper and Silk for the rich Europeans and subsequently running into the Americas.  Bad day for the Europeans.  

So, anyway, Prince Vlad goes out to beat up the bad guys and by the Grace of God he wins the day.  Unfortunately, his One True Love believes he is dead and kills herself.  In a fit of misdirected rage, Vlad blames God and curses himself to a life of the undead.  Ho hum.  Just another sad love story gone horribly wrong.  

Bram Stoker was Richard Wagner’s stage manager.  Stoker also managed the Lyceum in London.  Bram had to have been reading all the Elizabethan Blood Dramas.  This is the best he could do?  

See, even though the antagonists rage at God in the good-ole’-everybody-dies-a-bloody-death dramas, they kill everyone on stage, including themselves, and have done with it.

Ok, so, Vlad spends 400 years pretty much killing everything around him that he hasn’t seduced into his sex lair.  Then comes Keanu into the story.  At this point you can pretty much go to sleep.  Except for the scenes with Sadie Frost.  The girl likes to get naked.  I’m not going to complain.

Eventually, of course, Vlad is overcome by Elisabeta/Mina’s True Love before the last petal drops off the rose, and the furniture and servingware turn back into people before the spell becomes permanent and everyone waltzes into sunset to the sounds of Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson.

I may be thinking of the wrong movie.

So, let me get to the good things.

The film does look great.  Sorry, Frank, but I feel you have fallen prey to the Hollywood mind set that it is better to look good than to be good.

Gary Oldman: Sid Vicious, Rosencrantz, Sirius Black, and Stansfield.  What more can I say about this versatile actor?

Tom Waits: If you’ve not spent hours listening to Rain Dogs ten- or twelve-times through at a sitting, you haven’t lived.

Richard E. Grant: Here’s your basic Working Stiff who has the looks and chops to be a superstar but never quite gets above that mythical line.  I suppose (hope?) it’s because he likes it that way.  Besides, what superstar would ever have the balls to retell It’s a Wonderful Life as Kafka’s Metamorphosis?

No comments: