A FRANKENHOMIE

hoteltransylvania-1HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2012)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

Hotel Transylvania is a hotel owned by Dracula exclusively for monsters and certainly not for humans. On the eve of his daughter’s 118th birthday, a human being, Jonathan, stumbles into the hotel and these monsters would never be the same again.

Jonathan: Are these monster gonna kill me? 
Dracula: Not as long as they think you’re a monster. 
Jonathan: That’s kinda racist.

This was really funny and it reminded me a little of Monsters, Inc. where the monsters are actually afraid of humans! They think humans still wave pitchforks and torches to kill creatures of the night. So they are surprised to see Jonathan a.k.a. Johnnystein, who is so laidback and fun to be with.

hoteltransylvania-2

One of my favourites is the table-surfing scene. That was really cool and if I weren’t afraid of flying tables, I would want to play it too! And they got the parts about the contact lenses right as well. That bit was featured in the trailers and it’s true – us, contact lens wearers poke and touch our eyeballs all the time. Yucks!

Dracula: I do not say “blah blah blah”!

The part about the Zing! is kind of sweet too. Too think monsters believe in true love! The last scene where the monsters are all singing was nice too – Andy Samberg is rapping!

SPARKY THE HERO

FrankenweenieFRANKENWEENIE (2012)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

This is a remake of Tim Burton’s 1984 short of the same name. The entire stop motion animation is in black and white and is essentially a story between a boy and his dog.

Victor Frankenstein lives with his parents and dog, Sparky, in the town of New Holland. A loner, he spends most of his time with Sparky and he becomes devastated when Sparky is killed in an accident. Inspired by science, he attempts to bring Sparky back to life and his experiment becomes a success. However, it draws the attention of his classmates who wish to use reanimation of dead animals as their science exhibit. Will their experiments bring an end to their town?

Well, I have never had a pet so I probably won’t know how much Victor loved Sparky but it was obvious that they shared an incredible bond. Sparky was the star of his home videos! My eyes teared up when Sparky died. I was also happy when Sparky became reanimated, even though I know it is not the natural order of things and his tail fell out because he’s supposed to be in a state of decay. Victor’s classmates are quite creepy compared to your average classmates, especially the Weird Girl who predicts the future through her cat’s poop. Not to mention, her reanimated creature is the freakiest of them all! Though the sea monkeys are quite grotesque too. I never liked them when they were in fishbowls, definitely not when they are created with the power of lightning. The ending was between Sparky and the Weird Girl’s pet (told you it was the freakiest!) and OMG! Sparky is still so loyal to Victor!

Quite a nice break from all the blockbusters and it’s even in stop motion animation!

ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE

THE WOLF CHILDREN AME AND YUKI (2012)
4 out of 5 stars

This is a story of Hana, who meets and falls in love with a Wolf Man, who is the only surviving descendant of the Japanese wolf. They have two children, Yuki and Ame, both of whom are wolf children. After an accident that kills the Wolf Man, she moves to the countryside to raise her children.

This movie was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the mind behind The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars. I watched it because I heard rave reviews about this plus it was shown exclusively at Filmgarde Cinemas – something about exclusivity just draws people in, doesn’t it?

First of all, Yuki and Ame are really cute! One’s more outgoing while the other’s more shy and when they lose their temper, they change into their wolf forms. One thing about these transformations is that they still keep their human speech abilities so that means they still speak Japanese!

But the main theme was whether Yuki and Ame wanted to be wolves or humans. While Yuki showed lots of potential as a wolf – she helped her mother gather a healthy harvest of crops by “marking their territory”, Ame was more introverted and preferred city life. As the movie progresses, you can decide for yourself if they want to be wolf or human. And the inner romantic in me likes the story of Yuki and Shohei!

THE REAL ZOMBIES

PARANORMAN (2012)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

Norman is an outcast at school because he can see and talk to ghosts – which are all over his town of Blithe Hollow. During the rehearsal of a school play re-enacting the execution of the town witch 300 years ago, Norman experiences a vision of the past and learns from his dead uncle that he is the only who can perform the ritual that can stop the witch from raising the dead and destroying the town.

To be honest, I was kinda scared when the zombies came out. I mean, even Norman, a fan of zombies – he watches zombie movies, has zombie toys, posters and bedsheets – was afraid, what about me? But it turned out to be quite funny especially when his buddy, Neil, was around. When the zombies were out, their reactions were even funnier!

STAY TILL THE END OF THE CREDITS for an extra scene for the making of Norman!

THE BEAR AND THE BOW

BRAVE (2012)
4 out of 5 stars

This is definitely the year of the archers.

Brave tells the story of Merida, a Princess determined to escape the fate of betrothal. She chances upon a witch who promises to change her fate but the consequences become far worse than she imagined and she has to find a way to reverse the spell before it is too late.

Merida: Sorry I don’t speak Bear.

Everyone speaks in authentic Scottish accents – takes a while to understand but it’s actually not that difficult. OMG the triplets (Harris, Hubert, and Hamish) are simply adorable. They are extremely mischievous and that’s what makes them so cute! I loved the part where they used the chicken and a pail to imitate the bear. That was so funny! Even the bears are so cute!

STAY AFTER THE END OF THE CREDITS FOR AN EXTRA SCENE!

As with every Pixar film, there’s a short before the actual movie and La Luna is nice! I love it as much as the movie!

TALE AS OLD AS TIME, TUNE AS OLD AS SONG

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (3D) (2012)
– 4 out of 5 stars

The beloved classic from 1991 is now in 3D! I love this story! Seeing it in 3D is just another excuse to watch this again.

I don’t think I need to explain the movie because the title kinda says it all. Gaston is such an MCP and somehow, I felt the Prince looked better as the Beast than the man he later transformed into. Oh well, maybe the Beast looked better when he growled. It is always cute to see his staff of furniture and crockery educate him on how to control his temper and be a gentleman.

Like all Disney movies, you’ll be treated to an animated short before the actual movie starts and they played Tangled Ever After! Maximus and Pascal are as adorable as ever!

EVERYBODY LOVES MARSHMALLOWS

DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX (2012)
– 3 out of 5 stars

Based on the children’s book by Dr. Seuss, the movie tells a cautionary tale about the harmful effects on the environment when trees are cut down excessively.

In this colourful version, trees are represented by Truffula trees – tall, thin trunks with fluff on the top – and evil corporations by The Once-ler (Ed Helms), who chops downs these trees to make Thneed, his multi-purpose invention that takes Thneedville by storm and ultimately destroys the Truffula forests. After years of artificial air, hope comes in the form of Ted (Zac Efron) who wants to find a real tree to impress the girl of his dreams, Audrey (Taylor Swift).

I didn’t know Zac Efron sounded so much like a little boy – he sounds so excited all the time! I wasn’t aware that Ed Helms would be inside. But his voice was really recognizable especially when he started singing. The Nard-dog would be proud. The forest animals are super cute too – that baby bear! But seriously, I didn’t expect it to be a save-your-environment message kind of movie but I guess the children nowadays need it because they lead a relatively extravagant lifestyle and are mostly spoilt brats. Fact.