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First and foremost I want to say that I love the book. That said the movie and especially Keanu Reeves, shit all over it. The book is a great creepy story that is so much more thrilling than the movie. I must say however that Gary Oldman by far does the best job and plays his character pretty well but Anthony Hopkins is just alright. Mostly though the film is comprised of bad effects, bad acting, bad script and bad accents. Bad bad bad bad!

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gary_oldmans_changing_appearances_640_12.jpg

 

DRACULA IS DISPLEASED WITH YOU

 

Seriously though, no, the only thing wrong with this movie is Keanu Reeves, and he actually kind of works anyway because his part is supposed to be that of a bumbling idiot. The effects are deliberately low-grade because Coppola insisted on only using techniques available at the dawn of cinema to give the movie an eerie and unsettling vibe. It's a lot like Hugo, in that it's a kind of love letter to that early era of film making.

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As someone who loved the book and was hugely disappointed with the movie, I think that this would be a very tough sell. I think that it's hard to convince someone who hasn't read the book how inferior the movie is. At most this movie could be considered dated. Really this movie made enough changes that it shouldn't have had "Bram Stoker's" in the title, but that alone doesn't warrant an hour long discussion.

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As someone who loved the book and was hugely disappointed with the movie, I think that this would be a very tough sell. I think that it's hard to convince someone who hasn't read the book how inferior the movie is. At most this movie could be considered dated. Really this movie made enough changes that it shouldn't have had "Bram Stoker's" in the title, but that alone doesn't warrant an hour long discussion.

 

Really? I found that the movie followed the book far, far more closely than any other adaptation I've ever seen.

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I admit that it has been a long time since I've seen the movie or the book, but from what I remember the titular character seemed very different in the movie. There was a whole backstory that didn't exist in the book and there was a connection to a lost love that shared Mina's appearance that also didn't exist in the book. I thought it completely changed the character.

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Oh they definitely fleshed out Dracula's backstory, though to be fair every adaptation tends to do that because Stoker just didn't provide much of one (other than implying he was Vlad). Coppola definitely went with the more romanticized notion of the vampire, but I thought it worked. Those opening scenes where he lays out that backstory interspersed with real elements of Vlad Tepes life (whose first wife did commit suicide) are a real thing to behold.

 

But he follows the events of the novel pretty darn closely, and he includes most of the background characters like Lucy & her 3 suitors, Renfield, etc. Even just the little details, like Lucy hunting children after becoming a vampire or Dracula slowly picking off the ship crew transporting the soil from his castle. I thought he was more faithful than most.

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Plus I love the fact that Oldman's Dracula isn't cursed to become a vampire. He becomes a vampire through sheer force of will. He literally just demands to rise from the dead and then he does.

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I just felt that giving Dracula this tortured soul motivation took away most of the reason to fear him. In the book he was driven by an animalistic need to feed, not a desire to reunite with his long dead wife. It's a general pet peeve of mine when vampire movies humanize vampires too much. There are a few that have done it well, but for the most part if you stay yourself but just become mostly immortal then why should anyone fear becoming a vampire?

 

You are right that it does follow the basic storyline, but I feel like they changed that one crucial element enough that it changes the the story in a fundamental way. Imagine if someone made a very faithful adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in every way except that the Montagues and Capulets were ok with each other. That's what this movie feels like to me.

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I think a better example might be say, Baz Luhrman's Romeo & Juliet, where the story is the same but it's presented in a radically different way. That seems much closer to what Coppola did with Dracula. He just expanded on something that's given very little detail in the book without actually changing the familiar plot.

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It's probably more like when George Lucas changed Star Wars so that Greedo shoots first and I am one of the fanboys who makes it a bigger deal than it really is.

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When it comes to vampire movies there can only be one prince of darkness.

 

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I wish this movie was in 3D, then it would be perfect.

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