Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hotel Transylvania & Frankenweenie (2012)

In Hotel Transylvania, Dracula (Adam Sandler) is the creator and owner of Hotel Transylvania, where the world's monsters can take a rest from human civilization. Dracula invites some monsters to celebrate his daughter's 118th birthday. When the hotel is unexpectedly visited by an ordinary 21-year-old traveler named Jonathan, Dracula must protect Mavis from falling in love with him before it is too late.

And in Frankenweenie, a boy named Victor loses his dog, Sparky, and uses science to ressurect him.


Hotel Transylvania

A monster holiday

A 21st century Adam Sandler that's sometimes *gasp* funny? Yes its true, believe it or not.

Not a scene from the film, but a picture of those
who went to the cinema to see Jack and Jill
Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory, makes his directorial debut with this and impresses. The voice acting manages to be pretty good, but the biggest surprise was the script. While it may not give any surprises (at all!), it still manages to be well written and have some genuine heart to it. The auto-tuned musical numbers are forgettable, many comedic moments fall flat on their face and, as expected, a gag is made at the Twilight franchise, which manages to be eye-rollingly generic.

Despite stumbling on the comedy a few times and being very predictable, Hotel Transylvania is a nice surprise that shows Adam Sandler can be good when not going too over the top. Sadly, with Grown Ups 2 on the horizon, it looks like he won't learn this lesson anytime soon.


Frankenweenie

A dog's death life

Tim Burton was once one of Hollywood's best and brightest, giving us Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and the first proper Batman film. Yet for quite some time, he's been reduced to remakes and re-adaptations, with mostly mixed results, and now has joined the small group of directors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Haneke, who have gone as far as remaking their own film.

What, no glasses for Sparky?
Despite this, however, Frankenweenie is, without a doubt, the best film I have seen in years with Tim Burtons name attached to it. The simple tale of a boy friendship with his dog leading him to invoke Mary Shelley's famous tale will touch your heart. The story isn't limited to one monster movie homage, however, as it employs many homages and nods through the film's final act. The animation style is especially outstanding, as the brilliantly rendered stop-motion work is alleviated by the brave decision to make the film a black and white one.

Sadly, the films comedic attempts never manage to actually be funny and the mayor's scenes feel like unnecessary filler, but the main issue I had with the film was it's ending. Had it ended about a minute earlier, then I would've loved it even more and a harsh lesson would've been learnt, but Tim Burton opted out of this to deliver an ending which was sappy, tacked on and avoiding of an important message which could've been quite poignant.

Despite a tacked on ending, a lack of laughs and the Mayors unneeded scenes, Frankenweenie is much better than I expected from Tim Burton, considering his later works, and his best film in years.

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