By: Hawk Ripjaw –
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
I do not enjoy the Hotel Transylvania series. I’ve seen the first two, I thought they were both stupid, and the best thing to have come out of this franchise so far is that wacky short with the giant dog that played before The Emoji Movie (fuck, I almost forgot I even saw that movie and had to Google it just to remember what the puppy short played ahead of). The animation is colorful and creative, but the stories and humor just don’t stack up for a feature film.
That said, I’m cautiously optimistic (though still deeply uninterested) in this threequel, because it changes the setting, looks even better from a stylistic standpoint, and gets primary writing credentials from director Genndy Tartakovsky. Tartakovsky, of course, is responsible for a number of cartoons you used to love such as Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack among other things, and as a creative mind he’s a tantalizing extra ingredient this time around (he was not a credited writer on the other two movies). He’s written an episode or two of his show here and there, but I’m not exactly which ones they were and how good they were, either.
I’m still all for the animation style, but I don’t expect the third time to be the charm.
I’ve had my doubts about Skyscraper for a few months. It’s directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who did Dodgeball, We’re the Millers, and Central Intelligence. This is his first straight action film as far as I know, and that seems odd for a director to make such a tentpole genre shift like this. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, though–on the contrary, every new trailer that releases makes me a bit more confident that Thurber isn’t completely abandoning his former style for something straight and grim. In fact, this looks silly as hell. It’s a difficult balance for these over the top action movies to be compelling as well as fun, without pushing the needle too far into either camp or realism. Skyscraper, from the looks of things, takes itself relatively seriously but knows that it is very dumb. I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be throwaway entertainment and not outright stupid garbage.
Regardless of whether or not it’s good, I will always buy a ticket to a Thurber movie as thanks for Dodgeball and for that wonderful series of Reebok commercials starring Terry Tate, Office Linebacker.