I have to admit that when I heard of the central idea behind Gary Shore‘s Dracula Untold–essentially the story of Vlad Tepes before he became Dracula–the first thing that crossed my mind was: “Who cares? People don’t watch Dracula movies for what he was before he became a vampire!”
Then again, Vlad Tepes isn’t just anyone. What we know historically about the man is arguably as interesting as anything in Bram Stoker‘s novel, Dracula. He was supposed to be a warrior of remarkable, in fact legendary, brutality and cruelty–impaling enemies on stakes was a particular favorite–and he was supposedly without mercy.
Dracula Untold appears to take a similar tact as Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula, namely treating the character as more of an anti-hero than an outright villain.
By the way, doesn’t Luke Evans look just like Doctor Strange? Scott Derrickson‘s Marvel Studios movie hasn’t been cast yet (as far as I am aware) but he’s the splitting image of the character from the comics.
I recently read a review, that claimed that John Hyams’ “Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning” was better than most of the ‘Universal Soldier’ films that were released theatrically (‘Day of Reckoning’ was direct to video). I am not sure if that’s the case, though it is more violent. And by ‘violent’ I mean lots of MMA-type violence that’s more physical than most are accustomed to seeing. And while I enjoy that most of the effects on display are practical, it’s a brutal film, though there’s something to be said about the way it doesn’t glorify any of the acts of physical violence on display.
The plot is more complex than traditionally found in films of this nature, and works best if you let it unfold at its own pace, because there’s a logic to the presentation, though you’ll won’t see it unless you sit through the entire film.
Jean-Claude Van Damme, as the film progresses, seems to be channeling Col. Kurtz from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” which can’t be a coincidence. All the other characters seem to exist just to get the stuffing beat out of each other, and don’t make much of an impression.
John Hyams happens be the son of Peter Hyams, who directed films like “Capricorn One,” “Time Cop,” “Outland,” and “The Relic,” among many others. John Hyams filmography isn’t quite as extensive, though it’s growing.
The first feature film Francis Ford Coppola directed from his own screenplay was “Dementia 13.” Now it appears that the’s going back to his roots with “Twixt.” Looking at the movie poster, one of four for the film, I definitely get a very “Carrie” vibe.
By the way, click ‘use original player’ if the video appears to hang.
The new Green Lantern trailer is now available via iTunes, and while he is one of my favorite DC Comics characters, I am not sure how to feel about this. The new costume is interesting, but I can’t get around the mask. It looks like it’s made of stone, and doesn’t work too well (for me, at any rate).