Hotel Transylvania – 4 out of 5
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a movie that contained Adam Sandler and said, “Wow, I really enjoyed that.” Usually, when I watch something with him I say, “MY EYES!!! The fire of this monstrosity is melting my brain and destroying all that is good and hopeful in the world!!!” Shockingly, I didn’t say this when I watched Hotel Transylvania.
Adam Sandler voices Dracula who, after losing his wife and forced to raise his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) alone, builds a secret hotel where all the monsters of the world can come together and relax and have no fear of the evils that is the humans coming to tear their world apart. However, a lost human by the name of Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon the hotel and threatens the safe haven. Matters only get worse since Jonathan arrived on Mavis’ birthday and she wishes to venture out and see the world…and then she starts to fall for Jonathan..
|Look at him...a boiling cauldron of raw sexuality. No place is safe from his|
dynamic and arousing tyranny.
Hotel Transylvania is the first animated film directed by legendary animator Genndy Tartakovsky—the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory, the epic Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars (the pre-CG animated ones). For his first go-around, Tartakovsky did a great job of putting together a family friendly monster film that not only captures his unique style of storytelling and character design but delivers a fun homage to the classic Universal monsters that have become icons in our culture.
|Whoa...what they hell is this film rated?|
Even with Adam Sandler doing one of the four cartoon voices that he does in ever production he’s apart of, he wasn’t completely annoying like he was like in, say, Jack and Jill. But this probably has to do with the fact he wasn’t in complete control of the project like he is with such films as That’s My Boy or any other movie he’s done in the past ten years. That says a lot to say he was actually enjoyable as Dracula but, to be honest, the entire cast was pretty good considering that a majority was filled with Adam Sandler planetoids that have been sucked into his black hole of talent (I guess I could also use the analogy of Sandler being a talent vampire sucking out the future of those he comes in contact with considering he’s a vampire in this movie but whatevs). Sandler cronies like Kevin James and, newest to his harem of careers he hopes to destroy, Andy Samberg. Of course I’m being mean but all the voice actors, with their allegiances aside, we very good. Kevin James, however, was pretty uninspired as Frankenstein’s monster because he was just providing his regular voice and it just didn’t fit the body of a monster constructed from dead corpses and brought to life using evil science. Even Selena Gomez as Mavis was great and that says a lot considering her music and acting has, in the past, made my ears bleed and caused me to cry blood.
|He's got the trademark Dreamworks half-smile down.|
The cast is actually quite large in this film with CeeLo Green taking a break from hocking Sprite on the radio and milking his song “Fuck You” for all its worth to be the Mummy and he’s decent in his role—nothing special and the same goes for Steve Buscemi as the Wolfman character and David Spade as the Invisible Man character (even though I was under the impression that Spade disappeared into the hills and joined a cult). However, a lot of the smaller characters who weren’t offered many lines ended up being my favorite and giving some of the best performances. Actors like Jon Lovitz, Robert Smigel (who co-wrote the screenplay), Rob Riggle and especially Chris Parnell as a giant man-fly creature really did a great job and showed they deserved more screen time than some of the main stars.
|Now, for no reason, enjoy this adorable bat.|
Granted Hotel Transylvania isn’t the smartest of the animated movies to be put out into the world. It’s not an emotional rollercoaster like Pixar would release and a majority of the jokes are slapstick-based and are rarely anything deeper than a character falling down but the jokes come fast passed and occasionally the film offers up a great satire of the monster movies and the horror genre (particularly the use of zombies as bellhops at the hotel really cracked me up).
|Look at those zombies zombieing it up!|
The film’s reviews were overwhelmingly mixed but the majority leaned towards the positive. Granted I may lean more towards the positive than most that critiqued this film but when the credits ran, I really enjoyed it. The story was touching and fun, the animation was really good, the jokes may not have been the greatest but were still amusing, it was directed by an individual I really admire and enjoy and the overall product was just a great family film that never gets too stupid where it’s only for kids nor too mature where only adults can get it. Even more surprising is the fact that the film involved Adam Sandler and it didn’t make me want to renounce my very existence after watching it.