Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: Hotel Transylvania

Adam Sandler spends the whole movie playing Dracula with an Eastern European accent which is unfortunate because it's this constant reminder of Steve Carell's accent in the much better, much funnier "Despicable Me."

You sit there and start analyzing. Why was "Despicable Me" so much better? Better jokes, better characters, better plot, better pacing? Pretty much all of the above. It's distracting, you stop paying attention to the film and keep recalling better-done scenes in "Despicable Me."

I saw it with my 5-year-old son and we both sat there for 90 minutes waiting for the movie to start getting funny, and with the exception of a few chortles, it never takes off. Granted it was a Wednesday night, the theater was empty. But the jokes and pacing were leaden.

The film is a mash-up of Rankin-Bass' "Mad Monster Party," and those '60s movies about uptight dads who can't stand the thought of their daughters growing up ("The Impossible Years," with David Niven, "Take Her She's Mine," with Jimmy Stewart. Also the 70s "Super Dad," with Bob Crane and Tony Danza's "She's Out of Control" from the 80s.).

(These movies are funny because the dad doesn't want his daughter dating hippies, and the guys she's hanging out with are squeaky clean Kurt Russell, Bruno Kirby types).

And I kept thinking about the monster jokes from "Mad Monster Party." They're pretty much the same jokes.

And if you can sum up all the many cliches in this movie in one line it would be: "He's in love and he must get to the airport!"

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