While originally excited to see what Coppola had turned out with "BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA," it was only another major disappointment from the famed director. He didn't revitalize the horror genre, he just made it boring. Gary Oldman stars in the title role, and while he's always interesting to watch, even when overacting, as he does here in scene after scene, it only reminds the audience that it's not being scared, and only partially entertained. Worse, even with the casting of Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing, Coppola doesn't know how to pit these two against each other. The script by James V. Hart is just awful! While some have credited with it for "sticking close to the original source," it does nothing of the sort. Hart scurries in and around Stoker's material whenever it suits him, but never the audience. It's a mess! Coppola is all over the place too, never knowing who he wants to focus a scene around, or even the period. A totally wasted sequence demonstrates Coppola's indulgence as he presents Dracula taking Nina into a private booth to look at the magic of "film." Pretentious???
SONY has provided a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer with 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are vibrant, particularly in brighter moments. Blacks and grays are well defined. However, the darker scenes, making up the majority of the film, lacks the detail one expects from high-definition. There is a surprising amount of grain throughout the film, and the image is continuously flat. For a blu-ray, the image is surprisingly lack-luster.
SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix Surrounds are never utilized to their full potential. There is a decent amount of separation in the front soundstage, but it's never enough to make this mix feel dynamic. The lack of surround engagement is even more disappointing when the score is never boosted. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
There are some great extras here. A new commentary with Coppola is offered and it's outstanding. No matter the flaws of his more recent films, the guy is a genius and never dull to listen to.
A great documentary is included, along with featurettes, deleted scenes and more. Unfortunately, only the documentary is presented in 1080p.