First up, here’s Rob from over at MovieRob:
I am by far not the biggest fan of movies in the horror genre, but ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed the “generic” stories of the “original” four; Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman and of course Dracula.
When this movie came out, I avoided it like the plague because I had heard so many crappy things about it that it just didn’t sound worthwhile to give it a watch.
…But then came Review Club
So I decided that worse comes to worse, I wasted 90 minutes on a movie (which happens now and again)
Instead, I found myself sucked in to the story, because it wasn’t a horror movie, it was instead a historical action/drama with a supernatural element to it.
I could empathize with the characters and although this isn’t a Braveheart or Gladiator, it was still a compelling movie about love, honor and protecting one’s family and loved ones.
This really is an interesting take on the Dracula myth and I liked how it all comes full circle at the end in order to open up the possibility of continuing the storyline.
It’s too bad that it seems that this will be the last of the series because the idea to reboot the “monster” franchises of days of old is a great idea.
Next up is Eric, from The IPC:
When I first saw the trailer for this, I blew it off as PG-13 CGI horseshit and never gave it another thought. Then I saw a couple of positive reviews from some writers I believe in and I was all “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” You know – I dropped to my knees and aimed my head at the sky and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” much to the alarm of my co-workers. Eventually I composed myself and went on about my business and forgot that anything like that had ever happened and then Melanie started Movie Club and she took out her whip and snapped it a few times and said we had to watch this movie and I was all, knee dropping again and I screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” But, I am loyal and faithful to my friends so I ordered it up and it wasn’t too bad, actually. But I wasn’t really in love with this:
The opening and first third of the film was pretty good and I was buying into it. I thought it got a little dodgy when he killed 1000 men by himself but…. OK…. the rest of the thing wasn’t too bad – that part where someone falls off of the tower was pretty good but there were too many “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” moments for me. Would I recommend it? MEH. It’s better than I thought it would be, for sure, but it’s still a movie about how Dracula became Dracula filled with lots of CGI and melodrama. It’s a better vampire movie than that one Twilight movie I watched.
3 out 5 Men Screaming NOs
We continue with Abbi, from abbiosbiston:
Luke Evans plays Vlad, a fifteenth century Transylvanian prince who was once part of the Turkish army after being offered up by his father as a kind of hostage (like they do in Game of Thrones) as a child. During his rule his kingdom has been at peace with the Turks, mostly by paying them off. When the Turkish king, Mehmed (Dominic Cooper) – or I think he was the king anyway – decides he wants a thousand boys for his army, including Vlad’s son (again played by the kid who played Rickon Stark – he’s everywhere), Vlad cannot bring himself to acquiesce. He’s outmanned and outmatched though so he makes a deal with a vampire (Charles Dance) to receive his powers for three days. If Vlad can stay off the old claret for that time he’ll go back to normal if not he’ll be forever changed and the vampire will be released from the cave he’s imprisoned in. Vlad finds himself almost unbeatable but also tortured by an unslakeable thirst. Will he be able to resist and will it all be enough to hold off Mehmed’s horde?
So Luke Evans is super hot and Vlad has some pretty epic powers – infrared vision, sonic hearing, star gazing, he can turn into a fleet of bats… but that is about all that is good about this lacklustre film. The dialogue is stilted, most of the acting is wooden and there is zero character development. This movie is only 92 minutes long but it feels like it goes on forever, probably because it’s hard to give even a single fuck about any of the characters. I didn’t care about Vlad or his inspid wife or Rickon Stark and I half wished the Turks just mowed them down in the first 10 minutes. Oh and what was up with Dominic Cooper playing a Turk? He’s about as convincingly Turkish as I am, and it didn’t help that he’s been taking accent lessons from the Tom Hardy school of sounding not very Russian at all. What a load of batshit. 1/5
And lastly, here’s mine:
Mel’s 5 Second Review: Dracula Untold
(2014) Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston, Noah Huntley, Ronan Vibert
This film was torn apart by the critics, getting the abysmal score of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience liked it a bit more, but still only gave it 59%, and only slightly better on IMDB, with a score of 6.4. And I truly don’t understand why. I thought it was great. No, it wasn’t Shakespeare, but really now, it wasn’t trying to be! Taken as what it is, a vampire action film, it succeeds very well. This origin story starts with the same base as a lot of the films, that Dracula was born from Vlad the Impaler, but everything else is rather new, and interesting. Most of the acting was quite good, the action scenes were fun (if a little over-CGI’d at times), and the characters were engaing enough to keep us caring about them. And yes, the two leads were plenty pleasant to look at. I’m a bit sad that then open end took us all the way into the present, I’d have liked another period piece as a sequel (if they do indeed decide to make one), but then again, Dracula films in the present are relatively few, so it’ll (hopefully) be something fresh. All in all, I thought this film was great fun, and it receives an equally great score of 8.5/10.
This film isn’t currently on Netflix, but is rentable on On Demand. Enjoy!
And that’s it for this round! Join us again in 2 weeks for reviews of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters! 😀