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October 9th, 2015

Movie Review - Hotel Transylvania 2

Hotel Transylvania 2



Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Asher Blinkoff, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Megan Mullally, Mel Brooks, and more.


Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky Written by: Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler Art Direction by: Steve Lumley Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh


Premise: Now that Drac's daughter, Mavis, has married Jonathan, the crew at the Hotel Transylvania  move to a new phase in their lives when Mavis gets pregnant. Drac loves his grandson Dennis and knows he will soon show his vampire heritage (his just a late fanger), but everyone else thinks Drac might just have to settle for a 'human' grandson. But if Dennis is human, Mavis wants to move to California so he can grow up with others of his kind. (Rated PG)


Review:


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Adam Sandler is a total hoot as he reprises his role as Dracula. (Blah blahblah!) Asher Blinkoff is adorable as Dennis (aka Dennisivich). Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade are too much fun as Drac's partners in crime.


2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: One of the fun things about the Hotel Transylvania films is the artwork. How they take such iconic figures like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. and make them into average older folks. A mummy with weight gain and back issues, potbellies, slouching, and having to deal with the fact they are all getting too old for all the antics. And all of it just makes them all the more enjoyable to watch for it.


Kudos for Dennis' hair. It must have driven the animators nuts, yet they also have so much fun with it. The Batman scene is hilarious. And watching the feral, piranha like werewolf kids is a blast. There are a ton of visual jokes. Also tons of lovely artistic touches.


We also get even more old horror film homage sprinkled through the film. How many of these monsters will you recognize? :)


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up:  Just like the first Hotel Transylvania, the film deals with several themes and family oriented issues. Now that the humans and supernaturals are mixing together, the fact Mavis has a half breed child has opened up a whole slew of new possible problems.


Though at first look it seems obvious, possibly painful, and definitely cliche, Mavis as the overprotective mother is a lot more than you see at face value. As a vampire, she's still very very young, and in the film we see her struggle with the dichotomy of being a parent and needing to be an adult versus still wanting to be a kid and have fun. Deeper still is her worry that Dennis will be human rather than a vampire as the 5 year threshold approaches. Though she denies it, it becomes obvious she has her own doubts as to his survival out in Transylvania if he turns out as she suspects. And though it interferes with her relationship with her husband and her father, her fears very much come to rule her life.


Another fun theme will strike home with the older of those viewing the movie - mainly that things never stay the same - and the places of our youth and recollection can be quite different from what we remember.  The park and the vampire camp are perfect examples. Poor Drac just could not catch a break. lol.


4) Music - Total Thumbs Up: Mark Mothersbaugh does a great job with the soundtrack. The opening music was sublime and totally reminiscent of the old black and white horror films. It perfect for the creepy castle (hotel) entrance scene. Kudos!


Conclusion: If you enjoyed Hotel Transylvania, you should very much enjoy Hotel Transylvania 2. Some emotional angst along with some visual and audible humor. Fun for both kids and parents. No extra bonus at the end of the credits though.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


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The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


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"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

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INNER DEMONS

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It took everything from her, except revenge!


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The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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