What are your thoughts on Universal's plans to revive its classic monsters?

Discussion in 'Site Polls' started by Dave, Nov 23, 2015.

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What are your thoughts on Universal's plans to revive its classic monsters?

Poll closed Dec 7, 2015.
  1. I'll wait and see.

    16 vote(s)
    35.6%
  2. Pretty sure they will screw it up.

    23 vote(s)
    51.1%
  3. Excited.

    4 vote(s)
    8.9%
  4. Don't care; no plans to see any of them.

    2 vote(s)
    4.4%
  1. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    "Vehemently disagree? Can't bear to watch it? Atrociously miscast?" Talk about chewing the scenery! :D:D:D

    [​IMG]

    (rim shot!)

    Suffice to say, when Keanu sees Dracula hold up the baby for his wives to eat and they zoom in on him as his boner is dying, I laugh my ass off. Either you get why Keanu works or you don't. Then again, if you go into this insisting on routing for Jonathan Harker I can see why your panties would be in a bunch.
     
  2. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    All of these actors brings this video to mind which I think you'll all like more than Bran Stoker's Dracula despite your stance on the film.

     
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  3. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I'm going to take a wild guess you never read the book. If you had, you would know that statement is false.

    I realize books are open to interpretation but there is simply no denying love and romance both have a heavy presence.
     
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  4. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've read the book. There is plenty of sexuality there, but no romantic sentiment or motivation when it comes to Dracula. His physical appearance is decidedly unromantic, as is his motivation to move to England. Numerous academic articles and even full-length books have been written about the disconnect between the literary source and the vast majority of the films, including Coppola's. You can find any number of academic articles discussing this in-depth online.

    I agree that all books and films are open to interpretation. But your reading goes far beyond any other I've seen if you're suggesting Stoker's Dracula is motivated by any semblance of love or romance.
     
  5. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    You obviously didn't see Love at First Bite. :)
     
  6. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Ha. That one definitely takes a few liberties with Stoker, too. It's pretty safe to say we'll need to live as long as Dracula to see another parody with jokes that are that politically incorrect.
     
  7. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I think the crux of the complaints of romance in Coppola's film is the love that spans time between Dracula and his reincarnated wife's soul in Mina; which is nowhere to be found in the book. Yet we are to believe this is somehow faithful and therefore "Bram Stoker's Dracula." To say there is romance within Stoker's book misses the point of the complaints charged to the film's assertions as a faithful adaptation. In this it's more a remake of The Mummy than an accurate adaption of Dracula.

    While the love between Mina and Jonathan is indeed strongly represented in the book, and arguably contrasted by Lucy and Arthur's, it's a stretch to say Mina and Dracula had any romantic entanglement. At no time does Mina think of Dracula and vampirism as anything but vile; an affront to God. In fact Stoker takes great pains to paint Mina as a pure soul and therefore able to hold back the vampire curse once infected.
     
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  8. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I'm
    I'm wholy with Shape on this one.

    Regarding the romance aspect: the "horror" aspect of the Dracula stems from the idea that these dirty foreigners will come in and corrupt our pure English ladies. That sort of zenophobia is a basic element of most gothic literature of the time going back to "The Monk". Yes, the Count does represent unbridled sexuality, but he also represents the idea that sexuality (and sin) are closely tied with the absence of God's grace. Yes, there are hints at a tragic aspect of Dracula in the line "I loved once" - when he is feeding the child to his brides. But, I always took that merely as the recognition that he has fallen or stepped out of the light of God and is no longer capable of feeling love due to his unrepressed sexuality. And, if you want to get all Freudian on the story, I think there is a strong case that Dracula represents Harker's lusts or more specifically Harker's fear of his own lust and that it will spoil the purity of Mina. Either way, the idea of Dracula as a romantic character goes well against any of the central themes in Stoker's text.

    And, I'm with Shape on the casting as well. I think Hopkins played Van Helsing as a boorish buffoon and turned him into comic relief. And, while Oldman's interpretation has its moments, there are other decisions he made that were just terrible. One of the most beautiful lines in the book was the "children of the night..." and Oldman delivered that like he was channeling Mel Brooks. I will say that he was really good in the romantic parts, but considering that they had no place in the story to begin with, I can't really praise them as a good performance of Dracula.

    I will praise the film for the in-camera effects and some of the set design. But, there are so many bad decisions, so many moments where it gives in to indulgence to the point of being showy when it should have been restrained. My favorite moment in the film has always been the early scenes where Dracula's shadow is subtly out of sync. But, then it goes overboard and the shadow lunges for Harker. It blows the cool creepy effect and turns into a Bugs Bunny bit.

    And, as much as I want to praise the sets, I still don't think they surpassed anything in Badham's Dracula.

    But Coppola's was the first time I saw Monica Belluci. So, it will always get some props for that. :)

    And, while it's been a long time since I have seen the Louis Jordan version, it has always been my recollection that it is the most accurate interpretation of Stoker's story.

    And finally, there's this: - for those with really short attention spans, analysis starts at 2:40
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
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  9. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Some more on Coppola's Dracula:

    Overall, I am fine with the romantic interpretation of Dracula as a character. And, outside of the silly love scene, I am a really big fan of Badham's film. But, that idea really has its roots in the modern attitudes that resulted from the sexual revolution of the 60's and, particularly, Christopher Lee's very sexual portrayal* of the Count. But, the very Victorian Stoker would have been appalled by modern sexual attitudes and, I suspect, he would have been horrified that people viewed his Dracula as some sort of tragic her0.

    *somewhere in Phil Hardy's Encyclopedia of Horror there is a really good passage where he (or whoever wrote that particular critique) compares Lee's/Hammer's interpretation of Dracula to James Bond.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  10. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Which Dracula is that? What year?
     
  11. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    My error. I got my John's confused and kept writing Boorman when I meant John Badham. So, the 1979 version with Langella.

    Consequences of writing at 4AM
     
  12. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Yes, that makes sense. I do need to see that.

    While we're at it JoBlo has posted what I would guess to be a tentative release date for Wolfman:
    http://www.joblo.com/horror-movies/news/wolf-man-to-scratch-at-our-door-in-2018-287

    And rumors have it Tom Cruise is being courted for The Mummy. So I'm out.
     
  13. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    If he's completely wrapped in cloth (including his face) and doesn't speak I'll check it out. Otherwise I agree with you. I can deal with Eyes Wide Shut and Risky Business. That's about it.
     
  14. ImmortalSlasher

    ImmortalSlasher Active Member

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    I saw a report that said an actress was going to be the lead in the Mummy. The way it read made it seem like they were going to make a female Mummy.
     
  15. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same way about Cruise, but I'd consider Magnolia his high water mark--probably because he appears to be playing himself.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    I've actually never watched Magnolia. I've seen countless films with Tom Cruise, and I just don't see him as the superstar that everyone else does (or seems to).
     
  17. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Agree as usual. But you owe it to yourself to check this out. Go to youtube and search "Mackey seduce destroy." You will laugh until you're nauseous.
     
  18. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Johnny Depp reportedly cast as The Invisible Man and Tom Cruise's The Mummy as set for June 9th, 2017.

    I'm oddly worried about these remakes because they may influence how Universal handles the originals in the future. In support of Van Helsing we saw a giant boxset of all of them. With success we may see the usual suspects released in UHD with the rest perhaps on Blu-ray and maybe even UHD if the demand seems to be there. If not... they may be buried altogether in one mass grave (at least for awhile).

    With the sunset of their copyright in the not too distant future what will Universal's plans be?
     
  19. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    These are some damn strange star vehicles--and the presence of high-profile actors with cachet makes me uneasy. These projects need to be in the hands of visionaries who understand that you can't pander to a mainstream audience and make a great horror film. And once you have huge actor salaries, you have huge budgets. That gives too much power to clueless preview audiences. If these rumors are true these flicks will wind up being action movies with superficial horror elements, thinly-veiled comedies with contempt for the source material, or totally neutered examples of pure product.

    Just give us the rest of the Golden Age flicks in hi-def, Universal!
     
  20. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    It's a double edged sword, though. Without stars you get low budget stuff which doesn't support a grander vision. It's hard to make Dracula, or the Invisible Man, on an indie budget. The "middle class budget" has all but disappeared these days except for films that try to please international audiences (which has it's own set of difficulties).
     

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