Saturday, September 26, 2015

Movie Review: "Hotel Transylvania" (2012)

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Movie"Hotel Transylvania"
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Dracula (Adam Sandler) builds a secluded, secret hotel as a place of sanctuary for his daughter and the other monsters of the world to keep them safe from humans. Over the years, Dracula's daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) has grown increasingly restless and curious about humans, but her father has managed so far to keep her afraid. As all the monsters prepare for Mavis's 118th birthday, a human named Johnny (Andy Samburg), on a backpacking trip, wanders into the hotel and immediately clicks with Mavis, but his presence has created chaos in Dracula's life and his attempt to keep his daughter away from humans.

"Hotel Transylvania," the movie where Adam Sandler and his friends take a break from making terrible live action films together and to make a pretty decent animated one. This movie takes the standard monster mythology and popular culture and flips it on its head. In this story, Dracula, played by Adam Sandler, and all the other monsters of the world live in fear of humans, who judge them and assume they are bad simply because they are monsters. Shortly after Dracula's daughter Mavis, played why? by Selena Gomez, was born, Dracula's wife was killed in a fire when an angry mob burned down their home. Ever since then, he has lived in hiding and has taken it upon himself to build the Hotel Transylvania, a hidden, lavish palace where all monsters, especially his daughter, would be safe from the stares and stabs of the human touch. Living in isolation for the past century, they aren't aware of the changes that have happened in big wide world and still believe all humans would kill them on sight. As Mavis gets older, she becomes increasingly more restless, wanting to leave the safety of her home and castle to explore the world. This obviously reflects the fears real parents have as their kids get older and ready to move out on their own, just taken to the extreme with a monster twist. In fact, most of this movie hinges on stereotypes about marriage and parenthood with a monster twist as Drac isn't the only one in this tale. Wayne the Werewolf, played by Steve Buscemi, has too many unruly kids and his life seems absolutely miserable. Frank the Monster, played by Kevin James, has the nagging wife. Dracula is the overprotective single father, and so on. Of course, this being a Sandler film plus a kid's movie, there are quiet a few fart jokes and other toilet humor along with a lot of slapstick. Hey, you gotta please the youngins somehow, right?! As most animated films go, at its crux, it's about a young woman who has spent most her life isolated and the first person her own age she meets, in this case Johnny, played by Andy Samburg, is clearly her true love as they fall for each other at first sight, that is if her father can get over the fact he's a human. Talk about cliche.

With that being said, there are some laughs to be had and "Hotel Transylvania" does have a bit of heart to it, but it's doesn't have nearly the amount of heart and sentiment or a strong message you'd see in a Disney Pixar movie. It doesn't offer a whole lot of newness in terms of plot aside from the aforementioned monster/human switch, and it's a toss-up if parents will enjoy watching this movie with their kids. It's a bit too juvenile for most adults, and when coupled with an all-inclusive fart script, it's not so awful that parents will hate themselves for taking their kids to see this movie, but it probably won't stick out as an uproarious kids-centric comedy or a tenderhearted animated film.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 44%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Waking Ned Devine"

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