Two Spooks Review

During our UEA daycation we saw a couple of the Halloween flicks that are out.

Taking the whole fam to a full price theater is a vacation/holiday occasion only because it’s so freakin’ expensive anymore! And now with all the 3D, D-BOX, 3D D-BOX, IMAX 2D, Mammoth Screen 2D, IMAX 3D, Mammoth Screen 3D options, it practically costs an organ donation get in the theater.

I don’t even know what D-BOX is.

So, in addition to wearing annoying glasses, now I have to sit inside a box to view a movie?

We usually try to hit the 2D showings to save those extra bucks. Watching a movie through glasses bugs anyway. The 3D effect isn’t that big of a difference to me. I know what depth is. I don’t need to spend an additional two bucks to know the trees at the front of a forest are closer than the trees at the back of a forest.

Have you been to Muppet*Vision3D at Disneyland?

Now that’s real 3D.

Unless things are flying out of the screen at me, it’s not 3D.

Anyhoo, the two flicks we saw were Hotel Transylvania and Frankenweenie.

Hotel Transylvania was awesome! I had no idea Adam Sandler had such mad vampire skills. He was a rad Dracula dad. I didn’t even know he voiced Drac until the credits. In my head he’s still Billy Madison, so it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea of him as the overprotective father of a 118-year-old daughter. I still think of myself as back in my Billy Madison days, even though I have a 17-year-old daughter.

That parental theme of the movie was especially endearing to me. I completely related to Dracula. My daughter is about to spread her bat wings and head out into the big scary world of humans. We’re filling out college applications, figuring out financial aid, and calculating housing costs and it’s freaking me out. She’s good, and smart, and ready to take on the world, but sometimes I wish I could trap her here in my haunted house to protect her because at least she’s used to the scary things that go on here. What scares me the most is the thought of her meeting her own “Frankenhomie.” Andy Samberg was a blast as “Jonathan/Frankenhomie,”  the human who accidentally happens upon the monster-exclusive resort and falls for Dracula’s only daughter, Mavis, just as she’s coming of age.

When I heard this movie was by the same creator as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs I was a little wary. I loved the book as a kid, and I liked the quirky Cloudy film, mostly. I can dig quirky, but some of it pushed too far. They totally lost me when Baby Brent finds his new identity wearing a roast chicken and decides to be known as “Chicken Man.”

While Hotel is quirky, it stays in do-able boundaries. The entire cast of monsters is fabulous and the animation is delicious Halloween eye candy.

Frankenweenie, on the other hand, is a whole different monster.

How Tim Burton got a Disney contract, I will never know. Perhaps Disney feels an obligation to counter the syrupy sweet with some dark obscurity. I know Disney likes to encourage and reward broad imagination, but Timmy B’s head could use a little shrinking, if you know what I mean.

With a title like “Frankenweenie,” you think the movie is going to be funny—at least a little bit.

It’s not funny.

It’s just way weird, creepy, and pretty slow, actually. It’s the lovechild of an old-time b/w horror flick and those puppetish-animated holiday specials from the 60s.

Tim Burton even steals a character from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with a “Mr. Burgemeister” who looks and talks exactly like the toy-hating “Burgemeister Meisterburger” of Sombertown.

The most disturbing part is when “Weird Girl”—that is her actual character name in the credits, and she’s suspiciously familiar to Harry Potter’s character, “Luna”—predicts strange things that are going to happen to her classmates based on the name initial her cat, Mr. Whiskers, poops in his litter box. She brings the pooped letter to school on a napkin to warn the next victim of his fate.

Poor Walt is probably rolling over in his grave.

The scene where Turtlezilla bashes through town is a little funny as a retro spin, but I think I only laughed because by that time in the movie I was desperate to release the confused tension that had been welling up inside me since the cat poop scene at the beginning.

In conclusion, the best part of this flick was the free refill I got on my large popcorn and soda.

But, it did give me an idea for Halloween. If you come trick-or-treating to my house, you might just get a napkin with your initial spelled in Tootsie Rolls on it.

Leave a Reply