'Hotel Transylvania'. Finally a vampire movie that is intentionally funny

September 28, 2012 

Hotel Transylvania comes in 3D or ordinary two-dimensions. While 3D is always more fun, either works.

Adam Sandler voices Dracula who operates a hidden hotel for the monsters of antiquity. Frankenstein, his bride, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and others whose popularity stretches from the 1930s to the 1960s show up once a year to celebrate Drac’s daughter’s birthday.

This birthday is the most special of all. Mavis is now 118 and wants to explore the world. Her dad hates the idea. That world — as Dracula and his cronies well remember — is hostile. It’s the reason Dracula took great pains to hide his swank hotel from humans.

In movies great plans always go awry. After years of secrecy, a human finally finds the place. He’s young, world traveler Jonathan. Mavis is smitten. Jonathan is smitten and Drac has a whole new set of problems.

Written by the very clever Peter Baynham (Arthur Christmas) and Robert Smigel (who helped pen the not so clever You Don’t Mess with the Zohan), Hotel Transylvania is packed with humor. Kids will love the film but it’s really done for baby boomer adults who grew up watching those wonderful grade-B horror flicks featuring Bella Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Cheney and others who did Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the rest.

Poking great fun of the genre and its charismatic characters, Baynham and Smigel’s script is flat out funny. Adding to the fun is exceptional vocal work by Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Jon Lovitz and Fran Drescher.

This leads to two last observations. Miracles do happen. At last Sandler — who in his mid-40s still refuses to grow up — does a character that is somewhat mature. Second. Finally someone has done a vampire movie — hint, hint Twilight — that is intentionally funny.

Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Fran Drescher

Rated R for mature themes, violence, language, nudity. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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