Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Released 8-May-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Audio Commentary-Patrick Lussier (Director) & Joel Soisson (Screenwriter)
Deleted Scenes-8 (4 extended, 4 deleted)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Storyboards-8
Featurette-Auditions (3)
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 95:00 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:45) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Patrick Lussier
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Jonny Lee Miller
Justine Waddell
Gerard Butler
Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick
Jennifer Esposito
Danny Masterson
Jeri Ryan
Lochlyn Munro
Sean Patrick Thomas
Omar Epps
Christopher Plummer
Case DV-4
RPI $34.95 Music Marco Beltrami


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Italian Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Virgin... everywhere
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Vampire movies have been a great stable for horror movie writers along with the terrifying Werewolf. The tale of Nosferatu has been around for more than a century, captured by the writings of Bram Stoker. Dracula 2000 takes the classic tale of Dracula and adds a whole new slant to the story, a slant that is quite unexpected and unusual. This is one of the better Vampire movies around with a great mix of horror, style, and sensuality. This is not a classic depiction of the Dracula tale as written by Bram Stoker but it is certainly an enthralling, fast-paced, and modern tale for the Vampire lover in us all. In fact, there are numerous variations from the original story, mostly involving the history (nay, birth) of Dracula and his deeds through the ages.

    The opening scene introduces Matthew Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) and his young partner Simon Sheppard (Jonny Lee Miller) as successful antiques dealers. Discussion revolves around an ancient crossbow that Simon picked up cheaply at an auction. Van Helsing theorises that it was intended to fire metal bolts, most probably silver bolts. Solina (Jennifer Esposito) makes an entrance and there is some implied chemistry with Simon before he takes his leave.

    Meanwhile, a group of tech-savvy thieves break into the holdings of Van Helsing to steal what they believe to be a great treasure of untold value. Unfortunately, their search reveals a somewhat less exciting treasure - a metal coffin. Trick (Sean Patrick Thomas) is sure that untold valuables are hidden in the coffin. All they have to do is open it. This is a task easier said than done, so they steal the whole coffin to open at their leisure. They do not escape unscathed, or with all their numbers. Van Helsing becomes aware of the intruders and in what appears to be a turn of the century James Bond imitation attempts to capture the thieves and prevent them making off with the coffin. He fails - "God Help Us". It is fairly evident what happens from here. Dracula (Gerard Butler, in a fantastic performance) escapes and makes his way to New Orleans. Why New Orleans? Well this is where you find Mary Heller (Justine Waddell) and disregarding the plot for a moment why wouldn't you want to find her... Van Helsing and Simon are in a flight against time to find Mary before Dracula has his way.

    Wrapped amidst a soundtrack ranging from orchestral score to heavy metal this is a very modern and accessible tale of Dracula that will appeal to all horror fans. There is just the right measures of gore, action, sensuality, and plot (yes, you still need plot) to ensure your attention does not waver. I couldn't agree more with the tagline - "The Most Seductive Evil Of All Time Has Now Been Unleashed In Ours". Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is an excellent video transfer marred by the odd film-to-video artefact. In all other respects, this is approaching reference quality material.

    This transfer is presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 2.35:1 at a generous average bitrate of 8.40Mbps.

    Sharpness and shadow detail are very good. There is virtually no grain to soften the image or low-level noise disrupting the black levels. The local release would appear to have a slight advantage in sharpness on direct comparison with the R1 release.

    Colour is well-saturated throughout with Mardi Gras scenes in New Orleans faithfully representing the myriad of bright colours on offer.

    I could not find any MPEG artefacts throughout this transfer, however aliasing rears is ugly head on a few occasions. The aliasing is never particularly bad, although it is not present in the R1 transfer. Some examples can be found at 5:50 (wall), 11:56 (coffin), and 25:16 (coffin). I think the aliasing has been introduced by the superior sharpness of the local disc but it is never disruptive.

    There are numerous subtitles presented on this DVD - including Italian subtitles for the Audio Commentary. The English subtitles were accurate for the duration that I sampled them.

    This Disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change occurring at 60:45. The layer change is well-placed and not disruptive to the flow of the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer on this disc is superb with excellent soundfield use and support from the subwoofer.

    There are three audio tracks available on this disc; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 384Kbps, an Italian Dolby Digital track at 384Kbps, and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Commentary track at 192Kbps. The lower bitrates used did not detract from the quality of the audio.

    Dialogue quality was excellent throughout, even with Gerard Butler's extremely deep voice. Audio sync was fine throughout with no noticeable discrepancies between the audio and video streams.

    There is a wide variety of music used in the soundtrack for this movie. Van Helsing has an orchestral accompaniment, Simon has an electronic accompaniment, and the remainder of the score is made up of contemporary music often from the Heavy Metal genre.

    The surround channels receive an extensive workout throughout the transfer, often called upon to support the score and on-screen action, of which there is plenty. The excellent use of the soundfield successfully immerses the viewer.

    The subwoofer is used constantly throughout to support the score and the numerous action sequences. Although well-supported it is not overused nor overly loud.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a wide selection of extras available on this disc, most of excellent quality.

Menu

    The menus are static with no audio, identical to the R1 disc. A little boring really.

Extended Scenes (8:20)

    There are three extended scenes presented here. They provide a little extra background and/or character development and are not sorely missed. Presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 in the non-enhanced ratio of 2.35:1, video quality is relatively poor. The local disc misses out on commentary for these scenes.

Deleted Scenes (7:00)

    Three deleted scenes presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The video quality of these scenes is far better than the extended scenes. These scenes are a combination of deleted scenes and re-ordered scenes. The missing scenes are not sorely missed. The local disc again misses out on commentary on these scenes.

Audio Commentary

    This is an excellent commentary with never a dull moment. The director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Joel Soisson keep you informed and entertained for the entire commentary. Character development and scene composition are frequent topics of conversation along with numerous amusing anecdotes from the production of the movie.

Behind The Scenes (8:25)

    Presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Video quality is good but the audio is quite harsh. This is an interesting feature with a series of Cast/Crew interviews outlining their thoughts on the movie.

Auditions (8:20)

    There are three screen tests presented here. Gerald Butler and Colleen Fitzpatrick are recorded in 1.33:1 with decent audio/video quality. Justine Waddel has a 1.78:1 non-enhanced transfer with significantly worse audio/video. These are quite interesting and give the viewer an idea of the selection process.

Storyboards

    There are a total of 8 scenes presented that were not filmed or were altered in the final version. The storyboards are very extensive and require many presses of the chapter skip button. Very interesting feature.

Theatrical Trailer (1:19)

    Presented in full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The audio and video quality are acceptable although the massacred aspect ratio is disappointing.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     This is a bit of a tough one. The Commentary tracks for the Extended and Deleted Scenes are quite interesting. I guess you would have to weight that against the PAL formatting and make the decision yourself, although I would lean towards the R1 disc.

Summary

    Dracula 2000 is an excellent adaptation of the classic Dracula story. Highly enjoyable on an excellent DVD.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are plentiful and interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Friday, November 23, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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