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Oct 192016
 

As much as I enjoyed the first film, I couldn’t wait to see its sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 and believe me it was well worth it.

Much has changed at Hotel Transylvania. Now that humans and monsters live in peace and harmony, Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) approves of human guests and his daughter Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez) is married to Johnny (voice of Andy Samberg). Could things get any better?

Yes they can. Mavis and Johnny have a son named Dennis (voice of Asher Blinkoff), who is half human, half vampire, (a.k.a. a dhampir) and just adorable. Dracula is very close with Dennis. In fact, he even disguised himself as a nurse to see his grandson. That’s just not something you would ever expect Count Dracula to do.

Johnny’s family is introduced in this sequel. His father Mike (voice of Nick Offerman) is always so serious as he tolerates everyone around him. Johnny’s mother Linda (voice of Megan Mullally) tries to be kind but always ends up putting her foot in her mouth, making things become awkward.

Dracula has high hopes for Dennis to show his vampire side, but it hasn’t surfaced yet. Secondly, Dennis’s favorite monster is Kakie (voice of Chris Kattan) a TV monster that’s friendly like Elmo and bit corny.

After seeing how the numerous wolf pups can move around like a wild tornado, Mavis believes that the hotel is not a good place to raise Dennis and considers moving to Johnny’s hometown in California. While the two of them are gone, Dracula sees this as an opportunity to inspire Dennis. So Dracula and his friends Frankenstein (voice of Kevin James), Wayne the Wolfman (voice of Steve Buscemi), Griffin the invisible man (voice of David Spade), and Murray the mummy (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) take Dennis on a road trip to their old haunts. Even Blobby the blob monster comes along for laughs.

Once Mavis finds out, she is so determined to get back to the hotel, she actually carries Johnny and their luggage herself while flying back to Transylvania as a bat. I never thought Mavis was that strong. I guess it goes to show that you should never underestimate the power of a concerned vampire mother.

Here’s a cool addition. The hotel has an organ player, who is none other than the Phantom of the Opera (voice of Jon Lovitz). It’s neat how he was thrown in so randomly. That got me thinking. There’s no mention of what became of Quasimodo after how he was left in the first movie.

It isn’t until much later when we see Dracula’s father Vlad (voice of Mel Brooks). Although Vlad dislikes humans even more than Dracula used to, the real threat is Vlad’s servant bat monster Bela (voice of Rob Riggle) and his bat crew, since they’re always up front about it.

I really like this movie and find it even funnier than the first one. I also saw online that there is a third installment in the works. I have no doubt that it will only get better from here.

Jan 102014
 

Monkeybone is a wacky animated monkey from a comic strip, but the real focus in this movie is on Monkeybone’s creator Stu Miley (Brendan Fraser). Stu always had terrible nightmares, but was able to overcome them thanks to his girlfriend, Dr. Julie McElroy (Bridget Fonda) who is a sleep institute worker.

One night Stu ends up in a coma after a car accident and he finds himself in a strange world called Down Town. It’s filled with all sorts of creatures, some of which are animated in the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

There are some friendly creatures that Stu meets like Miss Kitty (Rose McGowan) the sweet and sexy feline waitress. My only concern is that she’s only in a few scenes throughout the movie. I would’ve liked to see more of her.

I’ve met several actors who played some of the different zany Down Town characters. They include Rose McGowan (Miss Kitty) at Spooky Empire 2012, Doug Jones (Yeti) at MegaCon 2011, and Brian Steele (Jumbo the Elephant God) at Spooky Empire 2010.

While Stu tries to cope with his situation, he discovers that Monkeybone is real and wackier than ever. Monkeybone like to perform and dive right into things, particularly Miss Kitty’s dress. I must admit that he sure knows how to hit his mark, if you know what I mean.

Stu’s only real concern is that he never had a chance to propose to Julie and tell her that he loves her. Luckily, Hypnos (Giancarlo Esposito) the god of sleep grants Stu and opportunity to do so by having him swipe an exit pass, which is what allows a coma victim to wake up. Of course that not easy to do. Since when do reapers go off duty?

After Stu succeeds Hypnos doublecrosses him and Monkeybone goes to take over Stu’s body and his life. Normally, Stu doesn’t like the idea of merchandising his creation, but Monkeybone is all for it. Of course, Monkeybone’s real task is to provide nightmares for Hypnos. In Down Town, people’s nightmares are like movies. The ones that Stu had are like big box office hits. No wonder he’s a celebrity there.

Later, Stu ends up meeting Death (Whoopi Goldberg), who happens to be Hypnos’s sister. (She’s not to be confused with Lady Death.) Normally Death isn’t so merciful, but she has a soft spot for Stu because she is a big fan of the Monkeybone comic strip. She sends Stu back to the world of the living to stop Monkeybone by simply kicking him in the rear.

Stu winds up in the body of a dead gymnast (Chris Kattan) that’s getting his organs removed by a group of doctors. What I don’t understand is why the doctors aren’t freaking out over a corpse that wakes up during the surgical procedure. Instead they chase Stu all over town to get his organs. That’s just so weird.

This was a good movie that has a similarity to Cool World. From what I understand, Monkeybone was labeled as a dark comedy, but what do you think?