Hallowe’en DVD Review: Dracula 2000 (2000)

“You know not the depths of my vengeance”

Oh my days, this is not good. This is not good at all. The only thing that makes Dracula 2000 halfway watchable is looking at Gerard Butler before he discovered fake tan and protein powder as he wafts through the film like an art student version of the titular villain. But even that pleasure soon wears off with this horrendously dated (even in the last 16 years, yes) re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

To a heavily nu-rock soundtrack (where are the likes of Papa Roach and Linkin Park these days?!), director Patrick Lussier aims for (I think) B-movie schlock but just ends up with drivel, which somehow managed to get Christopher Plummer to appear in it as Van Helsing, yes the original one who has prolonged his existence by using leeches to siphon Dracula’s life-enhancing blood. Because he’s kept Dracula’s coffin in a vault, to look after it, forgot to mention that didn’t I. Continue reading “Hallowe’en DVD Review: Dracula 2000 (2000)”

DVD Review: Mansfield Park (1999)

“Life seems nothing more than a quick succession of busy nothings”

Eek. So having sampled the more recent ITV version of Mansfield Park. I next turned to Patricia Rozema’s 1999 film adaptation and adaptation is surely the right word for it felt like an entirely different story and not in a good way. Again, there’s a distinct modernisation of the heroine into something which was assumedly palatable for test audiences and/or studio bosses but consequently way misses the mark for anything truly Austenesque, Frances O’Connor isn’t exactly bad as Fanny but it never feels like a good fit.

Elsewhere, there’s a scything of some of the key characters, script changes altering others completely. And strangely, given how much of Austen’s novel has to be concertinaed into feature film length, Rozema opts to add in new material – an overworked strand about slavery is heavy-handed in the extreme, the hints of lesbianism (Embeth Davidtz’s Mary Crawford) a desperate ploy for scandal, opium addiction for Lady Bertram scandalously wasting the presence of Lindsay Duncan.  Continue reading “DVD Review: Mansfield Park (1999)”