Hotel Transylvania

thisweekindiscs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Woodsman and the Rain (UK) A small mountain town in Japan is invaded by a film production crew making a zombie movie, but few of the locals seem all that interested. Katsu (Koji Yakusho), an older lumberjack, takes issue with their presence but soon comes to befriend the inexperienced director. The two men learn from each other This is a sweet and unassuming little film that manages laughs alongside a small amount of light drama. The townspeople’s reaction to the film crew ranges from indifference to awe, and it’s a joy seeing Yakusho in a fun, lightweight role. His enthusiasm once he joins the crew is infectious and clear on his face, and it’s an expression anyone who loves movies has shared more than once. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Deleted scenes, interviews, trailers] *NOTE: This is a UK region 2 release meaning US residents will need a region free player to watch.*

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Holiday Gifts for Movie Lovers

With Christmas fast approaching, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably starting to think about maybe thinking about doing some Christmas shopping. It’s cool. No rush. But what do you get the film geek who has everything when it comes to his DVD/Blu-ray collection? We collectors are a sick bunch, amassing hundreds if not thousands of discs, making it very hard for you to buy for us. Fear not, friend, for there are other movie related gifts that are not in disc form! Once, long ago, entertainment was something printed on pages of paper and bound. These objects, called “books,” were on a variety of topics, including many near and dear to the film nerd’s heart! So relax, check out this awesome selection of books for your film loving friends, and click on the image if you want to add it to your cart.

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Brave

In just a few months, a team of holiday warriors, an orange environmentalist and 19 other animated hopefuls will battle for an Oscar. Of course by then the number will have been whittled down to a handful (probably 5), but the astounding fact remains that this year features more award-submitted animated features than ever before. There are widely-released, popular entries like Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman and Pirates! (THR has an excellent run-down of the entire list), but the large and diverse queue once again raises the problem inherent in having an animated category: animation is not a genre. While most of the films are aimed squarely at the young and young at heart, there’s also the wildcard Liar’s Autobiography which uses 17 different animation styles to tell the story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman. That dark horse is awkwardly shoehorned into a category that might also be called “Best Family Film” at this point.There’s also Hey Krishna, an entry from India that tells about the childhood years of the dairy-loving God, and “Best Talking Animal Animated Film” could be its own subcategory this year (although it’s unclear what species The Lorax is). Since the category has cemented its own importance (and arguably achieved the goal of placing a spotlight on animated work), we have to ask every year whether it’s time for this style of movie to stand on its own in the “regular” categories. With Toy Story 3 being nominated for Best Picture at the 2011 broadcast and an undeniably […]

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Genndy Tartakovsky

Hotel Transylvania marks the feature debut of a renowned figure from the world of TV animation, Genndy Tartakovsky, whose work ranges from Samurai Jack to The Powerpuff Girls. Tartakovsky, for those of you who understandably don’t remember this lil gem of a movie, also did the opening prologue for Priest, by far the most ambitious part of that movie. Ambition is certainly something that shows through in a lot of Tartakovsky’s work. There’s an artistry to Samurai Jack work we don’t see in theaters, but Tartakovsky is hoping to change that. To start, he’s made Hotel Transylvania, which the director describes as the “ultimate issue of MAD Magazine.” With all the film’s monsters bolstering with small, playful details, a MAD Magazine reference is surprisingly apt for Hotel Transylvania. Here’s what the film’s director Genndy Tartakovsky had to say about that style of the film, the ups and downs of comedy, and why he isn’t preparing for Popeye by watching Robert Altman’s “classic” over and over again:

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Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania is an unrestrained, unabashed kids movie. Even with all the classic monsters involved, director Genndy Tartakovsky has no interest in joining this year’s ParaNorman in being unafraid to scare a few kids. Surprisingly, that happens to be Hotel Transylvania‘s most charming trait. As the classic mythology goes, Dracula (Adam Sandler) runs a high-end, invisible hotel for all his fellow monster buddies, from “Frankenstein” to the invisible man. It’s not exactly a business venture, though, as it was mainly created to keep his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), safe from the world of humans. Now, turning 118 years old, Mavis is coming of age and wants to explore the world, and Dracula will do everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen. With all the talk of humans, it’s no surprise one of them, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), actually turns up to both drive Dracula mad and fall in love with his daughter.

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Looper

Finally the summer movie season is over. It was decent, never truly great or terrible. The main films that left any lasting impression were the little guys, besides The Avengers and maybe one or two other exceptions. Now that we’re out of summer, it’s fitting this month seems to be a hybrid of what we expect from the previously exited season and awards time. We got the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, while we are also in store for the movie you all really care about: Dredd 3D! Overall, it’s a light month ahead of us, but one with enough potential. Plus, even if we were getting a new Resident Evil pic every weekend this month, we’d still have The Master to overshadow all that blandness and Milla Jovovichness.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ve got like 610,000 words in this article, without actually typing any words! Ain’t the internet the greatest? Take a peek at what we thought was the coolest stuff around on Thursday and then dive into our expanded gallery! Above: Some characters from Hotel Transylvania. We found these two weirdos wandering around the floor and had to say hi. The Mummy is looking pretty righteous!

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Hotel Transylvania

The first thing you notice in the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania is Adam Sandler doing his impression of Adam Sandler doing a vampire voice. It’s unmistakable, it’s annoying, and it’s a key argument against movie stars taking jobs from trained voice over actors. However, the feature directing debut from the remarkably talented Genndy Tartakovsky looks about as charming as they come. The plot is simple: Dracula creates a hotel haven for his monster pals (and to keep his daughter Mavis safe from the Hawaiian shirted humans), but a couch surfer stumbles upon their hideaway and proceeds to fall in love with the blood-sucker’s offspring. Some of the jokes are obvious – Kevin James’s character falls down a lot even in the world of animation – but it definitely shows potential. Check it out for yourself:

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Seeing as he’s largely built his entire career on doing stupid voices, it’s kind of strange that Adam Sandler hasn’t done more voice work. It seems like working in animation would work well with his approach to acting, which basically consists of showing up on set wearing shorts and a hoodie, and then looking into the camera and yelling something like “gobbledy-goo!” Give the man something more appealing to work with than 8 Crazy Nights, and animated movies could be the perfect way to utilize his talents. It’s probably too early to go jumping to conclusions, but the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania shows some indication that this might be that material. The big thing that Hotel Transylvania has going for it is that it was directed by the great Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars), and if this new ad is any indication, that’s going to translate into a lot of impressive visuals and attention to detail. The Gothic scenery here is certainly more pleasant to look at than the wall-to-wall product placement that we get in most Sandler movies, so that’s going to put this head and shoulders above something like Just Go With It right out of the gate. And somehow, hearing Sandler do a goofy Dracula voice alongside animated visuals is so much easier to digest than hearing him do a goofy lady voice while dressed in drag was in Jack & Jill.

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Game of Thrones Season 2

What is Movie News After Dark? Tonight it’s the column I’m filling in on as Neil Miller journeys to the mystical, frozen land of Chicago. It’s also a list of links to movie or entertainment related things that I either found interesting, noteworthy, or that involved super famous young girls from the Disney channel. Tonight we begin by getting a glimpse at the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. WinterisComing.net has a whole host of pictures from the second season that have reminded me of how much I like the show and reinforced the three reasons why I’m looking forward to new episodes so much: boobs, blood, and Brienne. Hopefully we’ll be getting a lot of each.

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When it was first announced that Adam Sandler and his friends were going to be providing the voice cast for the upcoming animated monster movie Hotel Transylvania, I didn’t panic. Even though Adam Sandler movies have been traveling on an increasingly downward slope to the point where he’s now one of the most embarrassing figures in Hollywood, and even though these are the guys who are responsible for the crime against humanity that was Grown Ups, I didn’t throw a fit. And that’s mainly because the movie is being directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who has done pretty universally amazing animated work on things like Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Surely he wouldn’t mess this movie up, right? And Sandler and his buddies won’t have near as much opportunity to goof off, throw a bunch of half-baked, juvenile crap at the screen, and call it a day when working in the world of animation. So there wasn’t much to fear here, right? Well, I must have either missed the fact or blocked out the fact that Miley Cyrus is going to be voicing the character of Dracula’s daughter Mavis, because now I’m really starting to get scared about this movie. There are few things in the world I find more gratingly incompetent than the sound of Disney actresses trying to deliver comedy on Disney TV shows. If Cyrus brings the comedic sensibilities of Hannah Montana to the big screen, where comedic delivery means shouting things as […]

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Normally, when I hear that either Adam Sandler or Kevin James has a new movie coming out, I wince in anticipation of it. Kind of like when you know you’re about to get hit by a baseball. I didn’t quite have this reaction to the news that they’ve signed on to Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, however, and there are a couple reasons for that. The first reason is that the new film is set to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who has done some great TV work with Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Dexter’s Laboratory. Everything I’ve seen from Tartakovsky has been slick, stylish, and interesting. I’m excited at the prospect of what he might come up with when jumping from small screen to big, and Sandler and James’ recent track records aren’t enough to deter me from seeing this one.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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