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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Bram Stoker's Dracula [Blu-ray]

 

(Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

 

Simple packaging Blu-ray version:

Wolf / Dracula / Frankenstein are available together at a significant savings in the Horror Classics Collection out on Blu-ray October 6th, 2009.

 

Studio: Sony Pictures / Sony (Supreme Cinema Series)

Region: FREE! / Region 'A'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 2:07:22.635 / 2:07:21.634

Disc Size: 47,199,227,687 bytes / 48,494,834,156 bytes

Feature Size: 32,794,558,464 bytes / 32,230,440,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.94 Mbps / 23.29 Mbps

Chapters: 16 / 16

Case: Standard Blu-Ray case + case cover / Clear case packaging

Release date: October 2nd, 2007 / October 6th, 2015

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Russian 640 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Dolby Atmos Audio English 5606 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5606 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: )
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Romanian, Icelandic, Bulgarian, none

English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary and Introduction by the Director
The Blood is the Life - The Making Of Dracula
The Costumes Are The Sets - The Design of Eiko Ishioka
In-Camera - The Naive Visual Effects of Dracula
Method and Madness - Visualizing Dracula

 

1993 Audio Commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola, Visual Effects Director Roma Coppola and Make-up Supervisor Greg Cannom

Audio Commentary with by Director Francis Ford Coppola

Exclusive new intro from director Francis Ford Coppola (3:55)

Reflections in Blood: Francis Ford Coppola and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (29:11)
Practical Magicians: A Collaboration between Father and Son (20:07)
Deleted and Extended Scenes (28:14)
  4 Legacy Featurettes

The Blood is the Life - The Making Of Dracula (27:48)
The Costumes Are The Sets - The Design of Eiko Ishioka (14:02)
In-Camera - The Naive Visual Effects of Dracula (18:46)
Method and Madness - Visualizing Dracula (12:06)

 

Theatrical Trailer (2:36)

'Beware' Trailer (1:31)
24-page book with rare photos

Ultra-Violet leaflet code for digital version

 

Bitrate:

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Synopsis:
Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Academy Award Winner Anthony Hopkins (1991 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Silence of the Lambs) star in Oscar winning director Francis Ford Coppola's (1974 Best Director, The Godfather: Part II) visually stunning, passionately seductive version of the classic Dracula legend. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Coppola return to the original source of the Dracula myth, and from that gothic romance, he creates a modern masterpiece. Gary Oldman's metamorphosis as Dracula - who grows from old to young, from man to beast - is nothing short of amazing. Wynona Ryder brings equal intensity to the role of a young beauty who becomes the object of Dracula's devastating desire. Anthony Hopkins co-stars as the famed doctor who dares to believe in Dracula, and then dares to confront him. Opulent, dazzling and utterly irresistible, this is Dracula as you've never seen him. And once you've seen Bram Stoker's Dracula, you'll never forget it.

****

 

 

This is it, the quintessential vampire movie. Based on Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic masterpiece "Dracula." There are many arguments as to who was Stoker's influence for The Count, and the most rabid purists insist that it is NOT Vlad the Impaler. However, this movie forms it's basis around the Vlad story, and I'm obliged to agree that this is the most familiar of all the various versions of the tale of Count Dracula, and whether or not this is where Stoker got his influence is a moot point and does not make this film any less of a masterpiece.
 

[...]

 

 

Casting for the movie is fantastic. I don't care much for Winona Ryder or Keanu Reeves, but the performances of Gary Oldman, Tom Waits, and Anthony Hopkins' masterful portrayal of Van Helsing more than make up for this oversight. The sets were epic, the use of shadowing was amazing. Basically this movie does a lot of what other vampire movies fail to do and that is to explain Dracula's aversion to mirrors (vanity disgusts him), crucifixes (he renounced Christ remember?), why he has to sleep in his native soil, etc. Dracula also keeps a pretty impressive stable of half-naked vampi-concubines (one played by the beautiful Monica Bellucci.) The three of which alone satisfy this movies nudity quota.

 


Gary Oldman is by far the best Dracula ever. Showing the Count in all of his guises, wolves, bats, rats, old, young. He turns women's tears into diamonds (I hate when guys do that, how can we lesser mortals even compete with that?) More simply put, he's charming as hell, or slicker than whale shit in an ice flow if you will.... Waits' insect chomping Renfield is also one of the more notable performances of the film.
 

Excerpt from Horrorwatch.com located HERE
 

The Video:   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.


This looks like the same master source from the latest SD DVDs (some compared HERE), but here improved/adjusted for High-Def. The shadows and dark areas here are stronger than in the DVD, I didn't find the result bad since this is supposed to be a dark movie and the intention behind this enhancement of dark areas maybe be related to the special effects, too much brightness in High-Def could be revealing. After watching the extras I noticed that the hi-def images of the movie (I am not referring to the "behind the scenes" recording) used in the Making-Of are indeed less contrasted and more bright with more details available, also making the artificial environment perceivable.

 


By watching the movie itself I already noted the miniatures and the settings a lot more in this Blu-Ray than on the SD DVD. But since there is a theater feeling behind the whole movie and the acting, I didn't find this overly distracting. The special effects here are just a detail anyway, and I don't believe they were meant to fool the audience but rather in a 'minimalist old-school style', way to transmit this gothic environment without deviating too much attention from the superb acting and narrative.

 

 


So, having this belief in mind, I find the upgrades from the SD DVD are quite considerable. I couldn't actually find any disturbing flaws - the red cast that surrounds the movie is supposed to be there, the high contrast as well. This high exposure that sometimes hides details is also supposed to be there, but here it is more noticeable than before, but still I wouldn't consider it a problem.

The movie cinematography makes the background difficult to be seen and analyzed, not only by the intentional blurriness but by the exposure as well. On the other hand, everybody in the foreground is detached, the a possibly living dead appearance in the faces of the characters is now evident. I have to confess that watching this
Blu-ray was the first time I noticed Anthony Hopkins plays two roles here, the priest who announces the death of the Dracula's wife, and Van Helsing. Many more details made me appreciate this movie a bit further with this Blu-Ray release.

Luiz R.

Firstly, there is a less-glamorous package of this transfer is at Amazon HERE and also listed at TCM and Amazon Canada. It is cheaper than this one and I suppose a simple case and no Digibook. There is also a cheaper (considering exchange rates) Supreme Cinema Series with Clear case packaging (if you can go by the photos) HERE in Canada, but it comes out October 20th. This could be an error.

 

Cited as a new 4K restoration - simply put, yes, I can see the improvement. The new transfer is similarly technically robust to the 2007 Blu-ray but the image has richer and warmer colors and contrast is notably superior - darker dark scenes and brighter lit ones. It looks magnificently creepy in-motion showing a shade more information on the bottom of the frame and a bit less on the top. It looks beautiful. I don't think the static screen captures can do it full justice and you should toggle between the expanded caps to see more disparity.

 

NOTE: This is the 'Limited Edition Clear Case Packaging' and its quite a beautiful digi-book case. It looks and feels like glass but may be plastic. Very slim with the disc shoved into the side in a sleeve. Sweet.  

Gary Tooze.

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample Capture

Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region 'A'  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Audio:
Most of the scenes are conversations in a quiet environment. However, when present, the surround environment(s) make their presence known. The best audio option is the PCM 5.1 uncompressed, although I couldn't find much difference regarding the voices compared with the 5.1 option. The whistling wind sounds superior - ditto for the rest of the background and soundtrack. It resembles  CD quality. I mean a real CD like sound not that crazy propaganda most DVDs carry over. Other than that nothing much is left to evaluate the sound, but I feel this is an above-average mix for a Blu- Ray disc.

All the other languages seemed to have the same quality as the English Dolby Digital 5.1, the only differences are regarding the volume adjustment and the dubbing. The Russian comes in a 4.0 option instead of 5.1 but sounded quite similar to the others.

SUBTITLES:
There are plenty of subtitles available, I'll just comment about the Portuguese subtitle which is another language I think I understand. It is a bit different from a Brazilian edition I have previously seen, it is better at times but doesn't seem to keep with the classic English style spoken. Actually this style also varies during the film as the English accent quality osculates from actor to actor... in general I would say it is a good translation - certainly not worse than the previous one available.

Firstly, this is Dolby Atmos - described as "A revolutionary new audio technology that transports you into an extraordinary entertainment experience. With Dolby Atmos enabled receivers and speaker configurations, sound comes from all directions, including overhead, to create an immersive experience with clarity, richness, detail, and depth. With existing home theater systems, you will get a great surround sound experience."

My system is not Atmos configured but I can still hear it on my system (identified as 7.1 Dolby True HD) and it sounds.... amazing. Tight, rich and very deep. If I can trust my software it is 5606 kbps / 24-bit. Wow. Wojciech Kilar's (award winning music for this film and has done music for Wajda's The Promised Land, as well as Roman Polanski's The Pianist, and composer for other Polanklsi films; The Ninth Gate and Death and the Maiden - to name a few) score is awesome via the lossless - very tight and rich. The non-English in the film (Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, Latin) is subtitled in English (no fancy font - see below). There are also optional subtitle (English - SDH, English, French + Spanish) and the disc is indeed region 'A'-locked.

No fancy font for non-English dialogue subtitles in opening:

 

NOTE: My software recognizes this as TrueHD, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

 

EXTRAS:
This is one of the standard released Blu-rays with more supplements available. I believe they are the same release in the "Collector's Edition DVD", but some are now in high definition and the pleasant part is that all of them are subtitled, even the audio commentary, in English and some other languages like Portuguese and even Korean.

All the documentaries have their value, and actually I don't know if anything more interesting could be added to make this package more worthy. You have many features that range from the making of to the costume design. Two good short documentaries about the visual effects, that will give you an insight of the good and original ideas used to make this film.

The the amount of deleted scenes included is impressive, more than 30 minutes, including an alternative ending. IMO, they should stay as deleted scenes, but I still found this raw collection of cuts interesting to watch.

This is probably the best kit of extra I found in a single disc release and I am satisfied, even more considering the price.

Let's simply go over what is new in this Limited Edition Clear Case Packaging Blu-ray. We get the old commentary and a 'rare' 1993 audio commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola, Visual Effects Director Roma Coppola and make-up supervisor Greg Cannom and what is cited as an exclusive new intro from director Francis Ford Coppola lasting just shy of 4-minutes. New video featurettes include the 1/2 hour Reflections in Blood: Francis Ford Coppola and Bram Stoker’s Dracula with the director expanding on his love of the film beyond what he says in the introduction. Practical Magicians: A Collaboration between Father and Son is a 20-minute piece with journalist and critic F. X. Feeney talking to the pair about the production with specific details and interpretations of the original story. I believe the 30-minutes worth of Deleted and Extended Scenes are the same as the original release and the 4 Legacy featurettes, about 1 1/4 hours worth are also included. Lastly, is the trailer and shorter 'Beware' Trailer. The package is a digi-book of sorts with a 24-page book with rare and beautiful photos included. 

Menus

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Sony (Supreme Cinema Series) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

BOTTOM LINE: Well, this one is famous - this is that puritan love story about a Dracula who left Monica Belluci plus 2 bonus girlfriends behind to go after Wynona Ryder. And save for some casting discrepancies I consider this movie a great accomplishment in a chamber environment with theater like performances. This Blu-Ray was a pleasant surprise, and if I am not mistaken this is the first Coppola release in High-Def.  I am happy with the result considering the stylistic intent. I think this a good addition to any Blu-Ray collection and makes this film experience even more enchanting.

Bottom line - is the Supreme Cinema Series worth it? It always depends on how much you love the film. The 4K video, audio advancement, new extras and attractive case give this immense value. I admit I was initially skeptical, but I love this and it's the only way to watch this film in your Home Theatre. Our highest recommendation!

Luiz R.

Gary Tooze.

 

 

Simple packaging Blu-ray version:

Wolf / Dracula / Frankenstein are available together at a significant savings in the Horror Classics Collection out on Blu-ray October 6th, 2009.

 

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About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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