Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania

Posted 8 years ago by Movies

A wise, fresh prince once said, “Take it from me, parents just don’t understand.”  I have a feeling that Count Dracula’s princess, Mavis, would have to agree, in the new release, Hotel Transylvania.  It’s Mavis’ 118th birthday, and her father is throwing yet another party at his titular resort castle in the countryside, where all the werewolves, mummies, Frankensteins, gremlins, and even big foots (big feet?) can come to relax, safe from being pitchforked or torched by intolerant humans.

However, this year, Mavis’ birthday is supposed to be different: this is the day that her father promised she could finally leave the hotel and venture out into the dangerous world beyond the 400 acres of haunted forest and zombie graveyard that surrounds the castle.  The danger outside doesn’t lie with other monsters or even the burning rays of daylight, but the humans who, the Count believes, will never understand Mavis, and will only respond with violence.  Admittedly, the Count has good reason for his bias, as Mavis’ mother, the Count’s one true love, was killed by intolerant villagers over 100 years ago.
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Book Review: The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania

Posted 8 years ago by Books, Uncategorized

When I was a kid, we had a Betamax copy of a making-of documentary that played on PBS just before Return of the Jedi debuted in theaters.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I watched that tape, but I do know that when it was included on the DVD extras a few years back, the memories came flooding back.  I can recall the early concept sculptures for Jabba the Hutt, where the could-have-been crimelord had four arms.  There were drawings of long-legged, almost bird-like ewoks.  And the early designs for the AT-ST (AKA “The Chicken Walker”) were just as cool as the final vehicle turned out to be.  The show had a lasting impression on me because it showed me that there was a process to creating the iconic images I would grow to know and love.  Since then, I have been obsessed with concept art for movies.

If you’ve read my review of Hotel Transylvania, I think it’s unlikely that the film will ever be considered as iconic as any of the Star Wars films (including the prequels), but that doesn’t mean that it was thrown together without any thought whatsoever.  And thanks to The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania from Titan Books, the most impressive part of this otherwise underwhelming film will not go unnoticed.
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