By TK & Rob Payne | Industry | July 5, 2011 |
By TK & Rob Payne | Industry | July 5, 2011 |
(Publisher’s Note: Due to a mix-up, both TK and Rob Payne wrote up the same trade item at the same time. Rather than choose one, I combined them both. Here’s a fun game for long-time readers: Try to determine which lines are TK’s.
Genndy Tartakovsky is a name you should know, and not just because of it’s improbability. He is the director/animator behind such classic shows as “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Samurai Jack,” and the not-shitty “Star Wars: Clone Wars.” There is a kinetic energy to his work that is unparalleled, and he is an expert at letting visuals tell his story. So, I’m always excited, when Tartakovsky announces a new project (see: “Sym-Bionic Titan”), and vaguely devastated when one fails (see: “Sym-Bionic Titan”*). His next assignment, Sony’s 3D animated comedy Hotel Transylvania is, to put it succinctly, a bit of a mixed bag of holy water.
The IMDB description makes it sound like a spin on Transylvania 6-5000, the best Jeff Goldblum/Ed Begley Jr. team-up of the 1980s, in much the same way that the premise of The Incredibles sounded like a new take on Alan Moore’s Watchmen:
“Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula, and the Werewolf are among a group of monsters hiding out in a hotel on the outskirts of Transylvania now that modern technology has made them seemingly irrelevant.” Heat Vision’s write-up also notes that this Dracula has a sheltered teenage daughter, who will be party to things “going awry when a human stumbles upon the resort and falls for the girl.” Because obviously. As generic and laborious as some of that overall description sounds, in the hands and mind of a creator like Genndy Tartakovsky, I’m more than willing to give it a shot. His previous TV credits are riddled with the absurd turned sublime, so it isn’t like Hotel Transylvania has no shot at being good, or even great — and not just “for a kid’s film.”
However, the problems begin to arise when one takes a look at the announced cast list.
Also confirmed to join the cast: Kevin James (ed. note: oh, fuckballs) will play Frank - also known as Frankenstein - with Fran Drescher (ed. note: Seriously? SERIOUSLY? who called for her return?) voicing Eunice, his in-your-face, over-the-top, and larger-than-life Bride. David Spade (ed. note: seriously, die in a pit of rabid badgers) plays Quasimodo, once the hunchback of Notre Dame and now a crazy, passionate gourmet chef always looking for his next piece de resistance. Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon will play Wayne and Wanda, a pair of married, harried werewolves, parents to an ever-increasing litter of pups, who are looking forward to their family vacation at the hotel. Cee Lo Green (ed. note: what in the mother-hating fuck?) is also joining the cast as Murray, a boisterous Mummy, once entertainer to the great Pharaohs, now the life of the party, and always feeling the urge to let loose and sing. Finally, Andy Samberg will voice the role of Jonathan, a 21-year-old regular guy, carefree and full of life, whose world travels land him at the Hotel.
For more than a decade, Sandler has been one of the world’s biggest comedy stars (ed. note: a world that deserves to be shot into the fucking sun), putting together a track record of comedies that have become must-see events around the world and showing a power at the box office that very few comedians can match.
Oh, Steve Buscemi. Really, man? Really? Have things gotten that desperate? If they add Rob Schneider to this shit show, the sky will turn black and the oceans will turn into pony shit.
I just don’t get it, but maybe I’m not supposed to. I’m certainly not the target audience for this movie, but Tartakovsky has proven many times that his target can be wider than nearly everyone else’s in the industry. Why handicap him? Better yet, why should you care? Because you should. When kid flicks are just as good as adult fare, the world is simply a better place to live, and oh, so much harder to survive when they aren’t. You can think a recent re-watch of Garbage Pale Kids for that revelation. The world doesn’t need more chum like that in its bucket, but that’s all much of the accumulated cast, especially the Happy Madison club, has made. I guess that should make one more worried about the script than the final product, and I hope that’s true, because Tartakovsky can salvage a mediocre script. But I’ve seen the things Sandler, James, and Spade will do for money, and it’s rarely for the benefit of humankind.
* I’m not kidding, see Sym-Bionic Titan.