Thursday, August 9, 2018

Humans? Monsters? What's the difference?

This November, my wife and I (assuming she hasn't eaten my head like a lady praying mantis) will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Mr. Piven, your thoughts?

While the weekend getaway is always nice, at this point, staying at a hotel again is a bit played out. Not that I wouldn't enjoy myself, mind you, but I'm thinking my wife would like something a little more rewarding for putting up my brand of nonsense for a decade. Something a little more...beachy, perhaps. But being that we live in lame-ass Pennsylvania six weeks shy of Christmas, I don't think sun and fun are something we could pull of in a short amount of time. Unless, of course...we went on a cruise.

But who wants to spend valuable time stuck on a boat with a bunch of a-holes?

Perhaps surprisingly, after seeing Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, I'd be all for the open ocean, even if we too, were headed to the Bermuda Triangle. Sure, a cruise is essentially a hotel on water, but if it's this much fun, who cares?

Yes (possibly ex) friends, the third installment of a franchise that absolutely no one asked to go this long turned out to be a pretty good time. My wife had fun, the kids had fun, and even though I thoroughly loathed the second one [review], Hell, I had fun. 

A long, long time ago, Drac and his crew were attempting to travel by train when that goofy bastard Van Helsing showed up and tried to kill the whole lot of them. Ever since, Van Helsing has been obsessed with hunting Drac, the same way Elmer Fudd always twies to kill that wascally wabbit. But no matter how far he shoves that gun down the hole, Van Helsing always shoots himself in the face.

Fast forward a bajillion years, and we catch up with a lonely Drac scouring his phone in an attempt to meet a lady. Poor dude has been a widow for over a century, and even if he's got his sexy daughter and her family to keep him busy (um, and the hotel), he can't help but long for the warm embrace of a lady vampire. Aww.

But being that one can only (secretly) watch (certain scenes of) Alyssa Milano in Embrace of the Vampire so many times Drac hides this longing from his daughter, Mavis. Seeing her dad down in the dumps, her solution is simple: Dad needs a vacation. 

While like this blog, that idea may have sounded good on paper, the actual execution is beyond terrible. Drac is utterly miserable and isn't having any fun. Until the ships lovely captain shows up, that is, and Drac goes cuckoo for cocoa puffs, er, Count Chocula, and madly falls in love with Captain Ericka. She seems nice, too. For a Van Helsing.

I think Frank just noticed Captain Ericka's, um, buttons, too.
Speaking of things you totally saw coming (and aren't amused by), here are the Yays and Boos. There is nothing subtle about the Hotel Transylvania flicks, but between you and me, that's part of the charm. Not every animated flick needs to make me re-examine my childhood, it's cool if occasionally I simply get to relive it.

They're watching someone blow up every copy of Hotel Transylvania 2.

  • Honestly, I thought it was Patton Oswalt. Turns out, it was actually Jim Gaffigan who voiced Van Helsing...and somehow...that's even better.
  • There's a pretty awesome failure montage that's basically an updated version of every episode of Looney Tunes ever.
  • The giant puppy should be annoying and stupid, right? Wrong. Tinkles is kinda far as mutant dogs go.
  • Uh, Frank's arm-cousin? Rowr. Even if she's like that dude in Lady in the Water, I'm in.
  • I haven't been on a plane in waaaay too long, but Gremlin Air seems like it would be pretty fun, assuming it didn't kill me.
  • Those fish servant guys are the MVPs of this entire cruiseline. Seriously, even if they are entirely fictional, those damn wolf-kids stress me out.
  • That underwater volcano was so cool. Kinda looked like Bedrock, right?
  • I don't remember what he said, but DRac nervously asking out Ericka cracked me up. 
  • Was that you? Smooth, Drac. Super smooth.
  • Typically I hate unnecessary casino scenes (coughcoughLastJedi), but what we get here was super cool. 
  • As was that tango. Wow. Maybe up there with True Lies. Just kidding. Nothing is better than Ah-nuld and the lead singer of Crucial Taunt. Nothing.
  • If you've never played DropMix, I'd definitely suggest it. It's a fun music game. Even better? When your kids, no matter what's happening (say, being in a crowed cinema) feel compelled to lean over and whisper, this song is in DropMix. Every. Single. Time.
  • Speaking of, the soundtrack is the right kind of silly. I've never been so happy to hear the Macarena,
  • And finally, that epic DJ battle thing was pure joy. Andy Samberg is always funny, but in this scene, he's hysterical. Seeing Johnny not only set up his gear, but to try and fully soothe a savage beast with the most relaxing music ever was impossibly great. Rarely, in a silly ADHD animated film have I ever thought: that scene should have been longer, but here we are.
I wanted to hate this dog and his dumb face soooo much.
But it was impossible.
  • Let's just start with how sad it is that I find Mavis super-hot. Yep. I said it. She's like 200 years old, animated, and in a committed relationship but I don't care what none of ya'll say, I still love her.
  • The animation has vastly improved. The amount of jokes that are actually funny? Not so much.
  • Let me get this straight, a cruise featuring nothing but monsters...doesn't allow pets? Really? That's almost as pathetic as me pointing that out.
  • Eeeee...all this talk about zings and zingers is really just code for massive vampire boners isn't it? Won't somebody, anybody think of the children!?
  • Van Helsing's contraption is moderately terrifying is it not? *shudder*
  • I hope you like lots and lots of shiny stuff moving about for no reason. It's pretty much that Japanese cartoon that causes seizures. 
  • Hey, Lady in Front Row. Would it be possible you could turn your phone's brightness a little higher? Maybe it will explode and you'll die a miserable death. Signed, Everyone.
  • Oh it was played for laughs, but I'm pretty sure Captain Ericka shot enough wooden stakes to kill Drac's entire family. Attempted murder...hilarious!
  • When my parents kiss, I just close my eyes. C'mon, Johnny. It's not that bad. Is it? Is it?
  • And finally, as I believe there are very few absolute certainties in life, I was pretty thrilled to unequivocally know that I hated the Hotel Transylvania franchise. Yeah, the first one [review] was okay, but the second one was so bad it was guilty by association, you know? And, according to the laws of the universe, the third one is supposed to be the worst of all. But this? This was...kind of fun, actually. And now nothing makes any sense.
I don't think the cruise is going to be a good idea, not only because it's too expensive and we'd need to take time off from work (and ditch the kids), but honestly, what the Hell would we do on a boat for three days? All you do is eat and drink all day, right? Then what? Eat and drink all night, I guess. Then what?



  1. Oh you guys should go on a cruise, it seems so fun!

    God people who check their phones in dark theatre should have their hands cut off or something

    1. You think so? I can't imagine what you could do on a boat for three days. Maybe in a week you could actually go somewhere...but three days...I imagine you sail out and then turn around.

      'Check' her phone is bad. This chick was ON her phone.

  2. I'm actually thrilled to hear this isn't completely awful because my son wants to see it and I thought the trailer looked terrible lol.

    1. I thought the trailer looked beyond shitty, so I was shocked when the movie was okay, if not borderline decent. It's nothing mind-blowing or anything, but...Sandler has done way worse.

  3. I’m not surprised that the 3rd film is even worse but we will see it. My hubby loved the first film which is strange because he is usually not into animated movies but he likes this...go figure. I have never been on a cruise but my 2 friends go and have been on 2 of them since January and they love it. So hope you can get away

    1. No no! The third one is much better than the second one...or maybe, the second one was so bad there was no way to go but up. Way up.

      Hahaha thanks! I would love to actually try a cruise once, but I'm assuming if we ever did...we'd have to take the kids, you know? And that makes everything....super fun. Yay.

  4. My wife and I are figuring out how/when we can go on a cruise. It's not exactly high on my bucket list but she really wants to do it so I imagine it's going to happen. We recently went on a brunch cruise - just 2 hours long with all you can eat crab legs. That was good enough for me, but just stoked her fire. So like I said, it's gonna happen.

    Didn't bother with the movie because I feel the exact same way about the first two as you. That crappy trailer that gave away the Captain's intentions didn't help. To hear it's not the worst movie in the world bumps this up to a solid maybe for me.

    1. I'm not really all about it myself, but I need to come up with something fast. You two at least have the advantage of your kids being older...I'm afraid I'll end up on a boat WITH MY KIDS.

      A brunch cruise you say? That sounds...interesting? If I had two hours to eat, I can't imagine it would be anywhere near romantic. Just me vs. an invisible 120 minute shotclock....and my wife ducking in shame.

      Maybe it was the glory of summer, the glory of a then-functioning MoviePass, but it was shockingly not terrible, Dell. If you give it a might surprise you.