Monday, 5 October 2015

Going batty with Hotel Transylvania 2

Eddie has been begging me to take him to the movies, ever since we watched Shaun the sheep together. He also went to see the latest Minions with his Dad, but I was a tad reluctant to repeat the experience (we had very annoying neighbours who kept kicking our seats and putting their feet up next to our heads, a guy to my right kept eating smelly food non-stop etc). But my son kept asking, so I looked at the Cineworld listings for Sunday. It so happened that they showed a preview of Hotel Transylvania 2. I booked our tickets online.
And off we went - Eddie woke up early filled with enthusiasm, eager to go to the movies, and kept asking every few minutes if it was time to go.
We were lucky this time, as nobody bothered us. I did a grumpy old woman impersonation, as the ads and trailers took over 20 minutes. This is a film for children. A. Ads should be banned. B. How is a L'Oreal new lipsticks' range ad relevant to the audience of kids like my 5-year-old? Totally bizarre.

We haven't seen the original Hotel Transylvania, and knew nothing of the new HT2 apart from the latest release trailers which I share here, on my blog.
Starring Adam Sandler (Dracula). Andy Samberg (Johnny), Selena Gomez (Mavis), this is a sequel to Hotel Transylvania, but can be easily watched without knowing anything about the previous animation.

"Drac's pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 2! Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania...
Dracula's rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests.
But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson Dennis isn't showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny - and in for a major cultural shock of her own - Vampa Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a monster-in-training boot camp"

Image credits: Sony Pictures Animation

Drac is now not just an adoring Dad, but a totally besotted Vampa, or Vampire Grandpa. He calls his little grandson who looks like a close relative of triplets from Brave (the same red mane, and cute face) Denisovich. It sure sounds cute, though Denisovich is a patronymic rather than the first name (and would have been appropriate if his father was called Denis. Never mind).
Mavis might look like a Goth teenager, yet she has become an overprotective Mum who baby-proofs the hotel to make it safe for her son. Funny dude Johnny, on the other hand, is a more relaxed type who loves the Hotel's lifestyle. He does try to modernize it though. Good old Drac is not too keen on all those modern gadgets and social media.
Dennis is part-human, part-vampire, but reaching his 5th birthday, he doesn't display any of his vampire powers. Neither does he grow the fangs. Mavis wants to move to California which is meant to be more child-friendly. There are some ironic scenes of Mavis going bonkers in California, where she cannot have enough of "normal" things in life.
The vampire boot camp with its new "health and safety" regulations was a total hoot.
And there were a lot of in-jokes for fans of horror movies too.

I have read several reviews online from "serious" film critics. They already had a blast, ripping the film into pieces. I think they forget one major thing: the audience.
My 5-year-old loved the film, and enjoyed all the jokes (well, at least those which he understood). And judging from the non-stop laughter from the kids in the audience around us, it was a big success.
As for the critics, I find it with journalists, if they have an agenda, they pursue it.

If I confess that I enjoyed the film, does it make me childish? So be it. When I watch a film with my son, I watch his reactions, we laugh together. Later we discuss the film and repeat the jokes.

 ...And I have fallen a little in love with a vampire, and I'm not even into the vampire stuff.

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