When Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) first came out I was pretty disappointed with it. Visually it was impressive, and I loved the stylized look of it and the low tech effects, but the script was really lacking, and the characters seemed like mere sketches rather than fully realized characters. I liked it even less on a subsequent viewing, and was reluctant to view it again.
So imagine my surprise to discover that I actually liked this movie quite a bit this time around. Yes, the same problems I had with it were still problems, and again, like most versions, Jonathan Harker's character suffers the most winding up as the blandest character in the story when he is the one with the most at stake. I was also underwhelmed by Anthony Hopkins interpretation of Van Helsing. Aside from that one great line about cutting off heads and removing hearts, there wasn't much to recommend him. He hardly comes off as a worthy adversary to Dracula. The romance angle which transforms this movie into something very different from Stoker's novel bothered me much less this time around since I've already long since gotten past the misleading, and outright untruth, that this was the most faithful adaptation to the time it was made.
Oldman's Dracula was a highlight as was Sadie Frost's Lucy. Again, the artifice, style, symbolism, design, and primitive special effects completely won me over again, as did the great score which has since been borrowed from in numerous movie trailers. While this movie was far from perfect I admire Francis Ford Coppola's willingness to take such an unconventional approach to such an obviously commercial property.