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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
dougspaulding said:
I am forced to wonder - has no one else seen these films?
I don't believe that is it at all. Most likely folks are doing other things and there are just some that are too pure ****ing lazy to make a coherent comment. We probably might have had other participants had I allowed for "It sucks," to be a legitimate answer, but it isn't so it will only be a few of us playing. An American Werewolf in London moves on to the quarter finals, which in turn takes us to match #2...

In this round we take on the counterfoil for the lycanthropes, Vampires. We bring in from the crypt two of the most extravagant books-turned-into-movies to date:

Bram Stokers, Dracula vs. Interview With The Vampire

Each one of these undead classics had an extremely large budget, big name actors/actresses, a known director and both were based on arguably two of the most important Vampire works in existence today. Will the Lord of Vampires fly away into the moonlight with the win, or will Anne Rice's homoerotic bloodsuckers rule the night? Let's see some posting people.
 

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Bram Stoker's Dracula! Frankly I like both movies, though I found Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stokers classic story to be a bit more shall I say interesting. Now mind you if I watch a Vampire movie the vamp must be vicious and not falling head over heels for some guy he saw in the street.
 

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This is a tough one for me to call. I really think both movies have strong points and weak points. Let's start, shall we?

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Gary Oldman as Dracula was a fantastic choice. He brings a more unique creepiness to the role than any of his predecessors did. Likewise, Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing was another excellent choice. He seems to excel in the role by seeming to take great joy and pride in all things macabre, especially vampire lore.

The choices in Winona Ryder as Mina and Tom Waits as Renfield were less than perfect however. I guess Ryder was "ok" as Mina (Helen Chandler was just "ok" as well), but Waits' Renfield doesn't hold a candle to the insanity of Dwight Frye's portrayal of the immortality-focused madman.

I've never read Stoker's original story, so I can't lay out any comparisons to that, but I think the way the story played out in Tod Browning's original was superior to this one, and that was without the benefit of a soundtrack to enhance mood.

The effects are top-notch as is the score. A very well put together production, despite the flaws I mentioned above.

Interview With the Vampire
I'll start this by saying I'm no fan of Anne Rice. I have a deep dislike of her books and her style in general. Despite that, I actually enjoyed this movie considerably. I hated the book, but loved the movie.

The decision to stray from the book in quite a few areas was very welcome. The homoerotic elements weren't nearly as rampant in the film as in the book, which is fine because it's not really something I'm interested in. I could have done without that stuff altogether, to be honest.

The choice in Tom Cruise as a bloodthirsty vampire seemed odd to me before I saw the movie, but afterwards it just seemed to make sense. Hell, even Pitt's portrayal of the more sympathetic Louis was very well done. The very young Kirsten Dunst also turned in a noteworthy performance.

My only gripe with this movie is it seems to drag in a few places. I think some scenes could have been cut down to move them along better. Also, there were a few encounters Louis had in Europe (in the novel) that could have been included to spice up that portion of the movie. Namely, the encounter he had with the nasty monster-vampire in eastern Europe (I forget exactly where he was). The whole vampire underworld also kind of bored me.

This movie also had a good score and effects. Looking at Neil Jordan's other films, I must say this is the only one in his arsenal that I can say I enjoyed him as a director.

Decision
I think I gotta go with Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's a classic story that I think I'll never tire of, whereas the Anne Rice story is something I can take in small doses and in viewings that are few and far between.

Bram Stoker's Dracula - 2
Interview With the Vampire - 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your thoughts about both movies mirror my own almost exactly, Z-F; however, I will go a few steps farther on each.

Bram Stokers Dracula: I think Keanu Reeves was woefully miscast as Jonathan Harker. His role more than anyone elses,was totally out of place. He can't feign the English accent very well, and his outing in Constantine proves this. I'm not 100% certain if this is his fault or director Francis Lawrences, but one only need go back and check out his former film where he played the part of an Englishman to see he was all wrong for the part. He did a great job as John Constantine, but not so as Jonathan Harker. Reeves is improving as an actor and slowly, painstakingly is getting away from the Ted Theodore Logan persona but hasn't quite made it. He definitely was still doing the Wyld Stallyns thing with Bram Stokers Dracula.

I also didn't care for the whole romantic angle going on between Dracula and Mina Harker. I suspect that whole thing was to draw more females into the Horror genre by giving them something they're more accustomed to, all the while hiding it under the pretext that the reason why Dracula was doomed to roam the earth a Vampire was because he cursed God for letting his love Elizabeta die. I'm not trying to sound sexist here, but if you check out what sort of fiction sells the most in the United States, Romance tops the list and I don't believe anything else comes close. If Julia Roberts had been cast as the female lead, just imagine how much more bankroll it probably would have made.

The rest of the movie was a sight to behold. It looked great, especially all of the scenes that had to do with Transylvania. Oldman owned that movie and was the closest interpretation to the Stoker character than any like you stated before, Z. Interesting tidbit of info: Popular exotic babe, Monica Belucci was one of Dracula's Vampire brides.

Interview With the Vampire: I also thought the movie would have been enchanced by the trip to Romania where the revenant was found in the village's graveyard. I find very little wrong with this film, despite that it was based on the Anne Rice book (I also can't handle Rice's style of writing or her whiny, candy-ass Vampires) I am however a fan of Tom Cruise and even I thought he was all wrong for the role of Lestat de Lioncourt--that was until I saw the film. He played Lestat to perfection. Neil Jordan was wise to touch only on what he had to, and leave the fat on the cutting room floor or in the book. Jordan directed another film I think is worth checking out The Company of Wolves I can't say the same for The Crying Game or We're No Angels. The only complaint I have with the film and it is a very minor one, was that every single one of the actors from Cruise to Kirsten Dunst were too old for their roles. Like I said it is a minor complaint, one hardly worth mentioning as the whole movie was acted so well.

I'm afraid I have to roll with Neil Jordan's film as it had fewer weak points than Coppola's outing. Both are great films, but Interview With the Vampire is slightly better.

Bram Stokers Dracula: 2 Interview With the Vampire: 1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So far, Drac is ahead of the pack. Only a few more days am I leaving this open for the voting. I'll probably post another outing this weekend or the first of next week. So Spaulding or anyone else get in here and start yer votin' if ya want a piece of the action. The winner of this battle goes onto Round Two to square off against An American Werewolf in London.
 

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Let me just say this: I know Anne Rice...OK, actually, I've just been to her house in NOLA...OK, actually, I've only stood in the street looking at her house. Now that I think about it, I've never read Rice (not even her husband, Stan, the poet).

Fancy pants French vampires have just never frightened me - sorry. I liked the film as such, but just couldn't get too into it as a vampire movie. It just didn't seem like a vampire movie to me - more like a gothic romance. "FFC's Bram Stoker's Dracula" on the other hand was just about all a modern telling of the Dracula story should be. Oldman's take was courageous, fascinating, and scary. The picture itself was beautifully filmed, and I think was a return to the original source, rather than a revision or an up-dating. In fact, much is restored from Stoker that had lost focus in previous adaptations. Lucy's dialectic of sexuality and male homoerotic violence is intact in this version, and in none other that I know of. The Dracula of the novel, of course, is another matter. The fact is the Count does not appear very often in the novel, mostly in the opening castle section and then a few brief glimpses before the final confrontation. The novel is really about how the antagonists respond to the results of Dracula's thirst. But, like the critic wrote: "The cinema seems to come into its own when it clings to the surface of things." Thus we must have a vampire on display - and on display he is!

It's a wonderful film.

"Dracula" - 3
"Interview" - 1
 
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