Of all the cinematic creatures of mayhem and horror none conjures more looking-over-your-shoulder-at-night feelings than Dracula. Ever since 1928's Count Orlock (Nosferatu) The vampire and specifically Dracula has been a mainstay of the theater. This latest incarnation finds a group of hi-tech thieves breaking into what they believe to be a vault filled to the rim with all manner of treasure. Instead, they find a locked silver casket containing the remains of everyone's favorite vampire...Count Dracula. Certain that the casket contains treasure and not a corpse, the thieves attempt to move it from its perch so as to get it into their waiting transport. The vault however, has a few security measures installed that make this prospect shall we say...unwise. In any event, they manage to move the casket and set out to plunder its treasures while safely ensconced in their Caribbean hideaway. En-route, The Count is rejuvenated and the crew take an unexpected detour by way of a plane crash, to New Orleans. Is there any easier locale than this for the Count to fit in?! Anyway, Van Helsing in the person of Christopher Plummer is hot on Drac's tail and will stop at nothing to regain that which he has lost. On a side note there is a very neat plot twist/complication involving these two foes that essentially casts a different shadow on Van Helsing. It's a decent twist in the story that surprisingly enough was never tapped in any prior version of the tale. Meanwhile back at the ranch...Van Helsing and his young assistant are up to their necks in vampires but, Drac is nowhere to be found. OK, I won't leave you hanging obviously they find him or the film would have been titled "Vampires in New Orleans 2000-a retrospective". In any event, D2K is definitely a mixed bag. It sports an incredibly stylish appearance but also a pretty curious ultimate "Guess-who-he-is" ending. While the story does answer all those nagging questions about Dracula's aversion to silver and crosses it doesn't really captivate you in the way that great horror movies do. That having been said, I liked the film but felt a little cheated by the film's finale.
The audio for D2k is a pretty aggressive mix. The surrounds are put to very good use and the sub seems to be in almost constant play. I found the listening area to be "aglow" with all the aural materials presented throughout the feature. The dialogue is clean and very easily understood as well. The Director's Commentary features a screen-specific commentary with director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Joel Soisson. The commentary is very interesting and showed just how important it was for these guys to make a "Dracula" film without re-treading all the ground that vampire films consistently cover. The video is simply incredible! The widescreen anamorphic transfer is exquisite. The color saturation levels are great, the Black and Blue's are rich and deep and the transfer is free from any and all chroma noise! Quite a first-class presentation.
The extras on the disc are as follows:
An extended scenes- segment, features three scenes that can be viewed with or without Director Lussier and Screenwriter Soisson's commentary as well as individually or all at once. Admittedly, I really don't think these lent anything to the feature but if you are curious about them, they are all included for your delectation.
Also included are four additional deleted scenes that are accessible as individual entries or they can be viewed all at once. The absolute best part of the extended/deleted scenes segment is the Alternate Opening Sequence which I found to be very cool. It should have made it into the film however due to the timing and pacing of the film, it too was culled.
Additionally, A nine-minute behind-the-scenes featurette is included which provides actual "backstage" footage as opposed to the usual fluff pieces that tend to inhabit the "Behind-The-Scenes" segments on most discs.. The remainder of the extras are Storyboards, the films' Theatrical Trailer which in some ways is better than the film itself, and lastly, Screen Tests featuring Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell and Colleen "Vitamin-C" Ann Fitzpatrick.
The "Sneak Peeks' section offers seven additional previews/trailers for: The Crow Trilogy-DVD Boxset, Scream trilogy-DVD Boxset , From Dusk Till Dawn-DVD Boxset, Reindeer Games, The Faculty, Immortality and Double Trouble Of all the trailers presented in this segment, Jude Laws' "Immortality" looks the most promising (excluding the first three titles of course).
Dracula 2000 puts an entirely different spin on the origins of Dracula than has ever before been entertained. The presentation is first rate however, the tone of the movie never really seems to rise above "B"-Movie level. To its credit the film has some very good stingers and is enjoyable to watch as long as you don't try to dissect and or analyze it too much. Recommended