DRACULA UNTOLD | MOVIE REVIEW

Ahhh Dracula, a character that is loved and worshiped by many a goth and ordinary person the world over since Bram Stoker introduced as back in 1897. He is dark, a man of love, a man owned and consumed by his love and passion and also a man who sells his soul to the devil for his love, he is also a broken man who requires fixing and love in return. He is the perfect romantic and we all love him because of it. We also love him because he is one of the most awesome action heroes capable of feats of strength and conjury only limited by our imagination. Well he is back for the 43897461387th reincarnation of Dracula in DRACULA UNTOLD and Kernel Nick headed along to fill his chalice with a feeding on Dracula. DRACULA UNTOLD is out now thanks to Universal Pictures Australia, it is rated M and runs for 92mins. Enjoy Kernel Nick’s review………….all the best……………JK.

 

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DRACULA UNTOLD | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY NICK STANBROOK

DRACULA UNTOLD, is the latest Hollywood take on the most famous of all Vampires. Luke Evans plays Vladimir the Impaler, ruler of Transylvania. This version of the Dracula tale dips in and out of historical fact, it felt somewhat new and refreshing. Escaping from the over-told often repeated story of Dracula. A dark and brooding story, from the perspective of Dracula himself.

Vlad finds himself forced to gamble his humanity, as he makes a deal with an ancient vampire (played by a bloody dead Lannister, Charles Dance) for power to overcome his enemies.

I was intrigued by the new look at the old tale. I think vampires are cool, and they have the potential to be used in a film, dealing with big concepts like good and evil. The combination of quasi-historical facts and serious bad ass vampires looked very promising. Yet I was somewhat disappointed. With a bit more polish and a tighter script, with some more hashed out characters this film could have been great!

 

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DRACULA UNTOLD | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DRACULA (LUKE EVANS)

 

I do have a penchant for grandiose cinema. Where characters are based in ideals, instead of real people. Where grand speeches take place in front of armies. Where you walk the line between powerful archetypes and clichés. I tend to give movies the benefit of the doubt, and look over clichés. Sometimes it is nice to have movie about a battle between good and evil. Without too many layers of meaning on top. Dracula was on its way to being one of those big powerful films, dealing in big absolutes. Yet it fell short, due to some weak characters and heavy handed dialogue.

You need to build up to the over the top monologues, and lack of subtext. Filmmakers struggle to use subtlety when dealing with large ideals. The audience needs to be eased into it, before you can go around shouting about freedom and victory.

I felt that Dracula managed to tread the line reasonably well. Although crossing into cliché often, it was held together well enough that it didn’t end up as a full blown B grade horror/action movie. The powerful performance from Luke Evans, granted credibility. The over the top pain and screaming to the menacing glares were raw and real enough that his time on screen, was powerful and not hammy.

 

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DRACULA UNTOLD | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MASTER VAMPIRE (CHARLES DANCE)

 

DRACULA had its fair share of cliché moments. In general I felt that Vlad’s wife and son were weak characters. There dialogue was often cheesy and the only reason I was on their side, was because of Vlad’s attachment to them. Most of the other characters were forgettable due to their lack of depth.

It isn’t all doom and gloom. The artistic styling was great. Anything to do with the vampires looks incredible. The way they would transition between forms and react to sunlight, looked fantastic. The costuming to the sets were fantastic (except for one oddly geometric cliff face) Over all this was a very good looking movie.

If anything, it could have been more stylised, it would have matched some of the more over the top dialogue. It’s a tricky place to live, between gritty realism and stylised folk tale. I would have loved to have seen either version of this movie. A very stylised take would have satisfied my want for grand theatrics, yet a gritty movie, would have appealed to my more rational side.

 

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DRACULA UNTOLD | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DRACULA (LUKE EVANS)

 

DRACULA UNTOLD, is a slightly different take on the classic tale of the most famous Vampire. (Take that Mr Cullen). Luke Evans shines, well probably doesn’t shine, but does the evil version of whatever shining is. He is powerful in his portrayal, negating some of the effects of the overly clichéd dialogue. I enjoyed the movie, I was entertained, the battles were badass, Luke Evans was definitely badass. (I think I found a new man crush). If you are a cinema goer who can overlook some of the less polished details of a movie, and enjoy the occasional cheesiness, then you will most likely find this film entertaining. However if you are prone to nitpicking and cringing, then perhaps one to miss.

 

3 Pops