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Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation Review (2018) | Just Stop Already!

How should I put it? Umm….Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation feels like when you are changing channels on your Television and you stop to see what Drac is up to, and you end up seeing it anyway just for a smile. To frame it in a sentence – it’s not the greatest of things, and it’s not the worst of things. But it is definitely something in between.

To be really honest, nobody wants a movie that does not have a great plot, but Hotel Transylvania has these characters that people have slowly grown to admire. You put them in anything, and they are going to see it. Especially Adam Sandler‘s character of Drac. His voiceover remains as funny as it was when we heard it for the first time.

For all the characters of the franchise that we had grown to love in the past, this movie, unfortunately, doesn’t do all of them justice. Because Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation is not concerned about others. It is fully focused on finding Drac a girlfriend and how his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) reacts to it. It does all of it in the backdrop of a vacation spent on a cruise.

Period. That’s it! The whole story that the movie tries to sell. The rest of the things are mere fillers. The flick is terribly slow paced badly in need of a direction and what defines as good comedy.

hotel transylvania 3 summer vacation

The Bad Direction of Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation

Goes without saying that Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation tries to cruise in shallow waters without much substance to help it swim. Its jests feel a lot of times dumb and pointless. There are plenty of times when you feel even the transition from one scene to another appearing incomplete almost as if like a joke was zipped midway, lacking a punch or a proper closure.

There are so many moments in the movie when you realize the movie is badly in need of a direction that it is running out of content to hold the story. That’s when you realize how badly has it been edited.

For most of the comic stuff, it heavily relies on the clumsiness of its characters like Blobby (Genndy Tartakovsky) puking up Baby Blobby or Puppy wreaking havoc whenever it finds a bone. There is no genuine comedy embroiled in a situation that elicits some serious guffaws.

Genndy as a director needs to buff up his direction. What is he basically getting at? Maybe improve his script to milk all the great characters that he has.

Saved by the Final Showdown

I think what saves the Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation movie a little bit, if at all it swims through, is by its final showdown. Even though that feels really stupid in a way, it pays tribute to forgotten music bringing back all the classics making it all the way enjoyable. In a way, it tries to exhume a message that every father these days has been dying to blurt out:

Music, in our times, was good.

You laugh off eventually calling it an entertainer that blends in all the elements of fun by not taking anything seriously.

Just like Hotel Transylvania 2 had that GPS gig that was funny, this one might be remembered for playing Britney and Macarena competing against some deadly trance. I swear I could hear a father get up and say, “Yeah!”

Among other good things you can say the character of Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) was well animated. I mean even his mannerism and the way he spoke managed to bring a smile to your face. The CGI of the movie was great as usual. The team has done an excellent job there once again.

Adam Sandler as an Actor

Now this series does not technically use Adam as an actor. Since he basically does a voiceover in all of them. But it is probably the only good thing going on in Adam Sandler’s life as far as his movie department is concerned.

As a dialogue from Funny People:

He is really funny. I don’t know why his movies aren’t funny, though.

That’s a million dollar question that we don’t have an answer to. Is it his choice of movies?

He is really good with his comic timing and slapstick jests when you are creating certain situations. But when you put him in a movie, you know, basically ask him to run a marathon, he ends up becoming not so good. I don’t know, we need to do a case study on him or something. Interesting!

You can order Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation from here:

The Final Verdict

Hotel Transylvania movies take time to show up, around three years to be precise, thus allowing people to forget things, and then it becomes a refresher once they hit the theatres again. But it is somehow surreal that despite taking all that time, they don’t work on improving their script.

Why not come up with a real challenge and stop creating extra characters when you can basically create better food from what you already have? Handling all these evergrowing characters in a single movie is becoming difficult for crying out loud. I mean they should learn that management from Avengers Infinity War. Okay, that wasn’t a comparison really!

I think the makers need to stop. Genndy, in particular, needs to move on to a different project instead of coming back to this franchise that has run out of its juice. Instead of grinding his gears to come up with another sloppy mix, it’s better to come up with a new and original setup.

Genndy, are you listening?

The Boss Baby Review (2017) | Hilarious But With Less Substance

The Boss Baby is a cinematic animated adaptation of the popular book by Marla Frazee. Even though the movie lacks a good story to back it up, it stays hilarious nevertheless owing to its slapstick humour and witty comebacks. It sells ‘different’ with its extraordinary animation, merging fantasy with reality, which I think is one of the areas the movie was able to score in.

Then again if you put The Boss Baby against the likes of Pixar flicks, it stands nowhere and feels like a dispensable drag. Surprisingly a concept very similar was shown to us in Storks last year and there was at least more substance to that if we compare it to this movie. So, in a way, it is Storks just with less story.

Metaphor in the Boss Baby

The movie is one apparent allegory that tries to depict how a baby is, in fact, the real boss around the house. Hogging up people’s lives by doing things as he prefers. He calls for attention, takes away all the focus away from his siblings. In short, bosses around everyone to get what he needs.

Even though the story here actually tries to image a baby wearing a suit all the time, who prefers talking with platitudes of  bossiness, and who is on an evident mission to stop an evil mind from creating a perfect ceaseless cuteness machine in the form of the most adorable pup, the obvious metaphor is hard not to notice.

The best ones come from the mind of the fantastical child Miles Bakshi, who prefers seeing the world his own way, where things aren’t quite as they are supposed to be. The movie capers with the imagination of a young child who takes everything in our real boring life and tacks it against his flights of fancy. It is a joyride then when you begin seeing mundane things with his perspective, and you can’t applaud the creators enough for thinking that way. Almost makes you want to be a child once again.

That’s also when you realize the editing of the movie is done brilliantly. Bakshi’s talking wizard alarm clock, Wizzie (voiced by James McGrath) is one perfect example of his inventive imagination that tries to envision inanimate objects with life.

Even when the bad guy chooses to tell the story of his evil ingenious, he does so with an amazing pop-upgreeting card that mixes up great things together. All in all, the animation was simply brilliant. The presentation was properly done.

Story of the Boss Baby (Spoilers)

The one place that I felt the movie run out of substance – what it has to say. It is almost as if the flick is groping hard for a message but unfortunately there is no proper build up for one. Even though for a child, it could be that it’s alright to have a sibling and that we need to focus on the good stuff and not the unpleasant feeling of being left out.

Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) and Janice (Lisa Kudrow) are parents of a single child Miles. Then comes along a baby in a suit mysteriously arriving through a cab and through the door (are you trying to confuse children more on how babies are born?).  It’s none other than Boss Baby, voiced by Alec Baldwin who is all dressed up in suit and behaves like a boss. Miles can see through the feigned identity of the baby but his parent’s apparently can’t. All his attempts to catch the baby red handed goes in vain as it’s hard to outsmart a toddler who has a bunch of toddlers working for him as employees.

The Boss Baby movie wallpaper

Comparisons

Miles ends up getting grounded, his room, he compares to be like a jail he can’t leave. Another beautiful comparison there! Feeling sorry for Miles, the baby tells him who he really is, and what he aspires to be via a pacifier. Them suckling on a pacifier forcibly might chuckle you up.

He takes him to Baby Corp, a place where babies, who are all grown up in their minds take care of infant love all across the globe. They have to assure they be the first preference in a war for cuteness. Boss Baby’s mission is to see why puppies are being preferred to infants more, and that since Miles’ parents work for Puppy Co. he has a better shot at seeing things up close on the “take your children to work” day.

Oh! and there is a Secret Baby Formula involved that he has to take regularly otherwise he would turn into a regular baby.

The Antagonist

Miles and Boss Baby work together on a mission to discover the big puppy plan which talks about a “Forever Puppy”. They end up getting trapped by the Puppy Co. boss Francis E. Francis voiced by Steve Buscemi. The antagonist tells them that he used to be the head of the Baby Corp. but his lactose intolerance issue had got him fired. As part of his maniacal revenge, he plans to release Forever Puppies all across the globe infecting them with Boss Baby’s secret baby formula.

Posing as caretakers to stop the kids from actually doing something, he leaves his bodyguard Eugene home as a babysitter while taking their parents to Las Vegas where he plans on releasing a rocket full of Forever Puppies. Fooling the babysitter the kids try to cut them in the airport but fail. Miles blames Boss Baby for pushing his parents in harms’s way, however, forgives him on being asked for forgiveness. They reach Las Vegas dressed up as Elvis impersonators to meet a furious Francis who locks up their parents in the same rocket.

After a fight-off, Francis falls into the formula which turns him back into a baby. They release their parents and the Boss Baby goes back to Baby Corp erasing all memory of his existence in their lives. But Miles and Boss Baby begin missing each other. Boss Baby fed up with his life ends up coming back to their house as his little brother.

You can order the movie here:

Humour

Things are deliberately kept squalid because let’s accept it, babies make stuff poopy. So, I think it was one area where Tom McGrath, the director might have thought, people are going to relate to the most. So there are butt shots, close up drools etc. everything that might make you go “Eww!” at times. But there are some good punchlines too that will crack you up every now and then.

The time when Boss Baby does nothing but motivate Miles into doing things will definitely make you smile as it tries to make an allusion to bossy behaviour. Him talking about sending Memos, saying “We have to let you go”, talking about profits, hikes and salaries are subtle digs at the Corporate world.

With the level of jokes the movie retains, you can say it’s quite mediocre. Sometimes you are forced to shake your head as you can see through all the deliberate acts of chasing and fighting scenes. You know exactly what the movie intends on doing – making kids laugh.

The Final Verdict

The Boss Baby will beam you up on a lousy day anytime. It’s not a work of genius, we can establish that, but the animation gets very thoughtful at times. It can be watched if you are looking for something light-hearted and fun.

It isn’t thrilling exactly and you know that nothing in the movie is serious. Has a cartoonish feel to it that is simply meant to make you smile.

You can check out the trailer of The Boss Baby here:

What is the Terminator Boy Edward Furlong up to these Days?

When was the last time you heard that name? Eddie or Edward Furlong? You might remember him as the Terminator Boy who played John Connor in the 1991 blockbuster by James Cameron. Ring a bell? I know it’s hard to bring back a lost decade. Here a picture of him might help:

image of a young Edward Furlong from Terminator 2 Judgment Day

I was only three years old when Terminator 2: Judgment Day had rolled out. But it wasn’t until 8 years later that I saw the movie for the first time. I know that was some gap. But if you had been in my country and time where Hollywood was frowned upon by parents, I might as well gain some sympathy votes and stand for election.

So there I was watching T2 on Star Movies, alongside my Dad for the first time, who by the way was already mesmerized by the concept of having a robot around for bodyguard, and I realized that the Terminator Boy was really good. Hell! I wanted to be like him. I loved how he looked, and that attitude he wore, I found it to be sheer badass! Soon enough I started copying him, his hairstyle in particular, but for a kid with frizzy hair and a Dad who never allowed me to grow hair long enough to even cover my eyes, I came nowhere near. I had somehow convinced myself that I looked like him when I combed in a certain way. Then I would flick my head as if I pushing all those locks behind.

Post an Early Fame

It was about the same time I came across the movie Before and After. I was jumping on my chair when I found that it was Eddie in there. I watched the movie with utmost attention appreciating every bit of him, and the movie in whole. Didn’t even know that the real actors in the movie were none other than Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson. It had a beautiful theme where a child accidentally kills his girlfriend in a petty scuffle. Being a child, and no girlfriend, I had related to him the most. You see empathy has been my superpower ever since I was a kid.

Somewhere along the way, I came across Pet Sematary 2 too. They used to show dud movies on HBO, yes.

I must implore you to reserve your judgment. I was a kid back then, and I loved even pathetic movies, even those that had pointless themes. Of course, things are different today. But back then I used to be super psyched for everything that TV showed.

I later came across the first part, and then realized why the second one was plain stupid. But I liked Eddie nevertheless. I secretly wished to be Drew Gilbert his friend played by Jason McGuire from the movie. I was fat then, yeah!

Big Projects

still of Edward Furlong as Danny Vinyard in American History X

It was not until I saw him in American History X that I realized there was a whole lot of potential in the kid, and that he was definitely headed somewhere. It was an arresting plot introducing Furlong to a strange world of possibilities. His colossal chance of making it big in Hollywood gawked at him not to forget the success of Terminator 2 that had already shot him in the air.

By that time, our Terminator Boy had already visited T2 in 3D and was looking solid in those acting shoes. I came across Detroit Rock City on HBO and loved it instantly. That rebellious attitude was singing songs in my head too.

That’s when I also encountered the Steve Buscemi movie Animal Factory which I instantly fell in love with. The Edward Bunker story was great and I couldn’t help but cry alongside his seriousness.

He was a Hollywood heartthrob alright, and he looked so cool that I just wanted to be like him. He smoked and everything which isn’t a good thing to copy but I kind of liked that reckless demeanor I guess. All those photos with his love interest Liz Levy used to come so rad that I copied his style, that messy hair that carefree attitude, everything secretly hoping Liz to show up sometime.

The Lost Terminator boy

Then I lost track of him. Some serious life stifled me up good and I guess I forgot everything about Eddie Furlong and my obsession to watch his films and be like him. I used to find his photos every now and then. I heard he was doing The Crow: Wicked Prayer and he looked a complete badass in that crow avatar. But I never got a chance to watch that movie, only to realize later that it fell face forward as a mighty flop.

People have a hard time keeping it together. That’s when the drug and substance abuse happened to him. I didn’t even know it had swallowed the Terminator Boy so much that it started affecting his life. It started skewing his looks. He went into rehab in 2000, and the return wasn’t that great.

Then I saw him in Jimmy and Judy which I found to be ‘Okay’ compared to the movies he had been doing during that time. The movie was entirely shot on a handheld video camera which felt unique to me at that time. Later he went on to marry his co-star Judy played by Rachael Bella after having a serious relationship with her.

still of Edward Furlong the Terminator Boy and Rachael Bella

The Real Life Makeover

All of a sudden I came across The Green Hornet one day, and I almost missed him because he was unrecognizable. There was this cameo where he showed up and I felt so sorry for him watching him struggle to bag a role in a movie. From riches to rags, that’s all I could think about.

I googled him and found him looking utterly disgusting. His teeth were all yellow, he had an obvious podge that disfigured him so much that it was hard to fathom how a man could throw his life away like that.

Rachael Bella had divorced him in 2011 on grounds of irreconcilable differences. He was still a cocaine and heroin addict, doing movies that would always somehow go straight to DVDs.

He was put on 3 years probation when he tried to contact Rachael. Then he was put in jail for violation of probation against his ex-girlfriend Monica Keena. Put away for domestic violence a couple of times, and then arrested again in 2013. So far he has served 61 days in prison!

Wishing Eddie a Revival

Now that I think of it I feel utterly bad for him. Even though I haven’t lived in his shoes, or tasted his life. Somehow deep down I feel I have known him all my life. A life parallel to mine that I tried to imitate at one point. All that coolness however vanished with time, role models changed, fandom moved from one actor to another.

But I would always come back to find him, just to see how he is faring in life. I would often check on him if his movies are doing okay or if he ever made out from that chasm of hell he had inadvertently ended up in.

He had found some ground in Aftermath but then again was quick enough to lose it. The Reunion was yet another fail. I see IMDB flaring up his next projects as The Endless Whispers and Karma beyond which his existence as an actor is a blur. It feels pretty weird when you see him constantly struggle to make a living like that scouring for whatever that comes his way.

Personally, I wish the Terminator Boy all the best. Things could begin to look up for him if he regains his posture, and becomes once again the lad who had it all, and who was loved by all. Our very own child with dreams in his eyes – The Terminator Boy Eddie Furlong!

Hotel Transylvania 2 Review (2015)

Hotel Transylvania 2 is here to tickle you once again.

The Drac is back!

This time around with a plot that we could have probably seen coming years ere.

Okay, so this was the next reasonable thing to do, if you wished to rake in more money from a title that worked well. Genndy waves his magic wand once again, and lo we have yet another sequel to Hotel Transylvania. Also, this fictional hotel is the only place where Adam Sandler seems to be doing fine for himself. (and Madison wink intended)

So we have the whole Drac gang back again in Hotel Transylvania 2, which was quite pleasant to watch. Humour was yet again quite mediocre, but at times good and would occasionally throw you into fits of laughter. There are ephemeral humorous frames punched in at some junctures like that of Family Guy’s. Some were good, some were meh!

The beginning part simply fast forwards to the original plot, and was quite poorly made, until of course, we meet the true hero of the flick – Dennis aka Denisovich, who is part cuteness blended perfectly in with sheer innocence. The mystery as to whether he is a vampire or a normal human being turned out to be the core of the story, and basically steered the flick forward. Obviously Genndy had little in his bag but he still managed to helm it quite beautifully.

CGI is good. All the voices were great! That Adam Sandler voice would occasionally do it for you. Frankenstein, Wayne, Griffin, Murray, and Blobby complemented him and made humour even more enjoyable.

Watch out for that GPS! It made me want one with that funny voice!