Hotel Transylvania 2

Happy Marcho-wene! For those who read this months from now, I quite lazily decided to finally review Hotel Transylvania 2 in March. Hell, it even came out to DVD in January. No excuse valid, not even a busy Oscar season.

I thought Hotel Transylvania was only okay and really wasn’t surprised it had had a sequel. The animation isn’t top tier, so it is probably relatively easy to throw together a movie. And you know everyone in the voice cast is available for work. They keep busy, but they keep busy together.

Except for one person. CeeLo Green! He voiced the mummy in the last movie, but this time he is nowhere to be found. Instead they got Keegan-Michael Key to voice the mummy, keeping their “token black role” to one I guess?

Oh, and now old people might be voicing characters!

Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) are getting married! But that isn’t the important plot point. They invite all of the family over, on both sides, except for Mavis’ Grandpa (Mel Brooks). He apparently doesn’t like humans. That will come back later.

Then they have a kid. A little ginger kid (Asher Blinkoff), gross I know. Because he is a male, Dracula (Adam Sandler) assumes he has inherited the vampire DNA (because his genetics is weird) and can’t wait for him to go doing Monster stuff. But instead, he can’t fly, has no fangs, can’t turn into a bat, and does a lot of normal baby things. Mavis is now very protective of the baby, living in the harsh Hotel monster environment. Jonathan just wants her to trust a babysitter and let them spend some time alone together.

Now it is like, five years later and it is still the same. Mavis wants to move to California, where Jonathan comes from, to live a normal and safe life. So Jonathan agrees to take her on a trip, but he likes the hotel and likes working there. So Jonathan and Dracula agree to hatch a plan: While they are gone checking out Cali, Drac will take the kid and go on a fear-adventure with his friends (Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key) to scare him into going full vampire. Jonathan will try and make her think California is terrible so she won’t want to leave. Can’t go wrong.

Also featuring the work of Rob Riggle (Which was great), Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Dana Carvey.

Rainbow Teeth
Jonathan fucked up. How could you go back when you get rainbow teeth?!

Hotel Transylvania 2 doesn’t live up to its predecessor. It also doesn’t improve anything along the way, with the exact same quality of animation.

First of all, it takes a long time to really understand just what this movie is about. Sure, vaguely it is about the family the whole film, but that isn’t a plot, those are just characters. A good third of the movie happens at least before we find out that the plot is a dad and husband lying to their daughter/wife, on a very ridiculous idea.

Secondly, it is all over the place in terms of applying its own rules. Namely I want to talk about vampires. They early on make the joke about how vampires can’t have their reflection, commonly shown through mirrors, but also any other thing that would capture their image. So of course, the wedding photographs are a bit funny. But then they let the vampires use skype and appear on video cameras, like they are really anything different. And of course, if they were wondering if the boy had any vampire in him, all they had to do was take a picture of him and see what happened. Unless in this world the vampireness just can develop all at once, and literally zero traits show up before hand.

Finally, the ending is a complete disaster. It ends with a complete brawl, all of our main characters versus an army of other characters (I wouldn’t want to spoil it). But yeah, it basically ends the same way that Grown Ups 2 ends. The fight is unnecessary and a bit nonsensical. It is unnecessary because it is the type of thing that could have been prevented and stopped at any moment by one of the characters literally just saying something. The bad guys wouldn’t have a beef with most of the monsters either, so they’d have no reason to attack them. And it was nonsensical, given the extreme powers that apparently exist in tiny bat forms. They just wanted to end it on a silly note, and kids like brawls I guess. But it is a shit move.

There were the occasional funny jokes. But this film had no focus and had no great conclusion. Mavis should take the baby and leave her husband and family behind, I think.

1 out of 4.

Just Before I Go

Oh hey, so apparently Courtney Cox has directed a movie. She wants to go the David Schwimmer route now.

I didn’t know she was the director when I watched it though. I wanted to see Seann William Scott. I repeat, I watched Just Before I Go because it was starring Seann William Scott.

Scott isn’t a terrible actor, he is just terribly typecasted. Most of his characters are not smart, but they are all generally different. And fuck, Goon was the best. Fuck you if you think otherwise.

Look at him, breathing underwater. That is acting folks!

The film opens with out main character, Ted (Scott) drowning. See above. Yep, he is narrating about his death at the start of the movie, much like the very recent review of mine of Catwoman. Man, having a Catwoman comparison right off the back is not a good thing.

Let’s back up, of course. Ted had a decent life growing up, until his dad died. Then he was full of grief and his life went to shit. He started getting picked on by bullies, both teachers and classmates alike. So he eventually moved away from his family and started a new life far far away. He had a boring job and a woman, Penny (Elisha Cuthbert), who accepted him. Until she left him because he was boring, safe, and stagnant.

Well shit. So now Ted wants to go back home, make amends with a few folks, and then kill himself. Poetic. Kind of. He has to beat up the local bully (Rob Riggle), berate his old teacher (I don’t remember and IMDB doesn’t want to tell me), and also thank a cute girl (Mackenzie Marsh) who was nice to him in high school.

Pretty simple. He even gets to stay with his dick cop brother (Garret Dillahunt), who has a wife (Kate Walsh) who doesn’t love him, and a son (Kyle Gallner) who has to hide his gayness. Woo, gayness. The actual plot of this movie comes when Ted goes to yell at his very old old teacher and ens up meeting her grand daughter, Greta (Olivia Thirlby), who ends up wanting to document his final days before suicide after hearing his story. Very sweet.

Also featuring another high school kid (Evan Ross) and his mom (Cleo King).

Picture chosen because I didn’t want too many of Ted drowning.

Again, no idea Courtney Cox was involved in this project until I looked up picture for the movie, and instead, got a lot of her walking the red carpet. It was quite odd and I was worried I missed her somewhere in the film. Maybe she was secretly the old lady?

Unfortunately for Cox, I think a lot of the blame lies on her side of the movie field. The story has elements that seem interesting. Some of them, sure, they are common, but there were some more unique elements as well. It just doesn’t feel cohesive. The film’s different subplots and stories don’t mold in a way that is pleasant to the mind. It doesn’t know if it wants to be funny, serious, or maybe even a dark comedy. By the end, it mostly just feels cheesy/Hallmark-y. It is all over the place, which can be a good thing, but in this movie’s case just falls flat. Scott doesn’t do great either. He feels like such a bland character, it is impossible to root for or against him. Like if he was an actual jumper, you would turn away apathetically not caring if he fell or not. You would go and wait in a long line at Starbucks instead.

For whatever reason, this movie is rated R. There is about one risque scene that happens about three times, but they don’t even show any nudity during them, making it one of the more tame R rated movies of recent months.

I have nothing more to say. It is a movie that tried to reach some deep and interesting subjects, but felt flat and just left me bored.

1 out of 4.

Dumb and Dumber To

I could start this review talking about sequels that never had to be made. I could talk about the long time between movies (twenty years, or I guess, eleven if you count Dumb and Dumberer).

But no, I will just be the bigger man and realize why this movie was made. Jim Carrey wants to revitalize his career after a series of not great films, and Jeff Daniels is currently really hot, from The Newsroom, Looper and other dramas. Basically, it is identical to how it was twenty years ago, I guess.

So here we are! Dumb and Dumber To. It could always be worse. It could instead have been a sequel to something unrelated, like Cast Away.

Wait? What is this? Is there a Wilson as well? Fuck.

Again, this movie is set about twenty years after our friends began their trip back from Colorado. Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) has been in a paralyzed state since he didn’t get the woman, apparently, and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) has been kind of taking care of him. But now Harry needs a kidney, so he has to go find one.

Well, it turns out Harry has a kid. Yeah. Right? He apparently got Fraida (Kathleen Turner) pregnant decades ago but just found out about it now. Well, she gave the daughter up for adoption. Now they have to travel and find her!

Well, again, Penny (Rachel Melvin) lives in a big rich house. Her “dad” is Dr. Pinchelow (Steve Tom), a super famous smart dude, rich as fuck. She has to go to a tech conference to accept an award in his honor, because he doesn’t like going to them. Also, Pinchelow’s new wife (Laurie Holden) is trying to slowly poison him in order to get those fat stacks of cash for herself. You know, with Travis (Rob Riggle), who I honestly forget how he is related to anyone.

Yeah. So, road trip, murder plot, and trying to get with a lady or two. Basically the same movie, right?

This time it has cell phones! The thing that can solve most problems for everything made before the year 2000.

Dumb and Dumber To is kind of a hard movie to describe without hating yourself and feeling like you are giving too much away. But then again, so is the first one. But in some cases, if the description sounds terrible despite my best efforts, then again, it just might be terrible.

Maybe it is nostalgia. Maybe it is generally better. I have no idea, but some how Dumb and Dumber is good (is it?) and this sequel, arguably being of comparable humor, quality, writing/directing/acting, is not. Guys. Is Dumb and Dumber bad?

I mean it is of poor taste of course, but would people who didn’t grow up with it hate it if they saw it for the first time as an adult? Man, nostalgia can be a fickle bitch.

No matter what way I look at it, Dumb and Dumber To is just a boring movie, with old film call backs, and the occasional smile or chuckle. Rob Riggle felt terrible in this movie, but to be fair, he is terrible in most movies. It’s that douche face he has, forcing him to play douche characters. Any plot twists were boring as well.

And just…fuck. Fuck The Farrelly Brothers. Make them stop now. We are done with their work.

1 out of 4.

Let’s Be Cops

Let’s Be Cops. A movie that has been advertised for almost six months before coming out, despite for all intents and purposes, looking like a shitty cop comedy.

I mean. You saw the trailer. It just pumps loud rap music at you with scenes that aren’t really funny and situations that are so unbelievable that you glare. Well, maybe I am just talking from my experience.

But from the looks of it, it just looks like a collection of people from TV shows trying to get into a big movie. I also missed three different screenings before finally going to the fourth available one because of how little I cared.

This is clearly just a recreation of a scene from Tommy Boy.

Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) has a dream job, a video game maker in L.A. And by that, he works at a company but no one cares about his opinion or his game, especially not his boss (Jonathan Lajoie), and he kind of gets shit on. Non literally. He lives with his best friend, Ryan (Jake Johnson), who played college football but didn’t go pro due to an injury. He has been living off of money he made from a commercial for a few years, no prospects. Life sucks for them.

It sucks even more when they go to a reunion party and everyone there is successful and they are losers. They also showed up wearing cop outfits thinking it was a costume party. But hey, it turns out regular people believe them to be actual cops, since their outfits are authentic. They get to boss people around and have fun. Shit, even the ladies like them.

Well, Ryan gets really into this idea. He is the bigger loser. He gets the used cop car. Lights. Super illegal. Justin hates the idea. He has a job. Doesn’t like it. But likes the perks of the cute girl Josie (Nina Dobrev) at the diner they frequent finally paying attention to him.

But things quickly get out of hand when they end up pissing off a local mob crime dude, Mossi (James D’Arcy), who thinks a few actual street cops are trying to clean up the turf. They can’t handle this shit. They don’t even have real guns!

Also there are roles for Rob Riggle, Keegan-Michael Key, Andy Garcia, Natasha Leggero and Joshua Ormond as Little Joey.

Don’t give me that disgusted look just because there is a kid in this movie. There are dozens of them!

As expected, a lot of the humor in this film is crude and I didn’t find a lot of it funny. But then, every once in awhile, something made me chuckle. Generally they came from Damon Wayans Jr., who has been making me laugh for years. He just has those dance moves, you know?

The moments that I actually found amusing were apparently enough to warrant the film into okay status. On top of that, James D’Arcy made a pretty interesting mob boss. Classic eye scar and all.

It still had quite a few annoying plot points, especially near the end, that cause characters to react only in ways to save our stars / make the movie move forward, instead of what their character would actually do. Like, you know, shoot someone.

Whatever happens, this movie definitely doesn’t deserve a sequel. So I do hope it fails enough financially for them to not even think about it. Watch on Netflix eventually, maybe.

2 out of 4.


Clearly, it took me a long, long time to watch Killers. Like three years is forever in movie years.

But why? Well, the trailers made it look super un-interesting. So that is a downer. Second, it stars That guy who I only liked in One Movie. (But to be fair, I tend to dislike most of the cast of That ’70s Show in movies)

And it came out around the same time as Knight and Day, a “similar themed movie” which I loved. A lot. But I bought Killers anyways, knowing one day I would just have to suck it up and watch the dang movie.

Kutcher? Action Star?
There is nothing you can really do to make me look at him and think Action Star.

Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher) is not your ordinary dream boat, apparently. No, he is some sort of spy/assassin, but he wants to get out of the game. Good timing really, because he is in Nice, France at the same time that Jen Kornfeldt (Katherine Heigl) is, along with her parents (Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara).

But he wants to give it up, and now seems like a good time. He also runs into Jen and they start to hit it off quickly, while both hiding some secrets. Oh well.

Good news, they hit it off, and three years later, they are living together and everything is fantastic! Except, maybe Spencer’s boss never really accepted his resignation? Maybe he still expects him to help out? For whatever reason, the boss contacts him in this trying moments, where Jen thinks he is getting bored with their relationship and cheating on him. Next thing you know, one of Spencer’s friends is trying to kill him.

What?? For some reason, a $20 million bounty has been placed on his head. Shit. Now all these assholes are coming around trying to get their kill money on, which means he for sure has to tell Jen about his past.

The rest of the cast is full of cameos, of their friends, and coworkers, some of which might be other assassins sent to kill Spencer, some of which might be just actual friends. Who knows?! They include Rob Riggle, Usher, Katheryn Winnick, Casey Wilson, Lisa Ann Walter and Kevin Sussman.

Nope. Still Nope
Nope. Gun doesn’t help either.

Good news, the plot wasn’t what ruined the movie!

No, the plot ended up being okay. Not knowing who from your friends and family might be assassins sent to collect on a bounty? Leaves for a lot of potential action and comedy, not to mention improvised weapons.

Katherine Heigl wasn’t bad in this movie either. She played her role well. I couldn’t believe Kutcher at all, but I made that obvious. Selleck was nice too.

What kind of killed it for me is how long it took to get to the assassins, friend or foe, oh god danger, part. I think it was about 45/50 minutes into the movie. That is far too long! What was going on before that? A bunch of gossip, some love stuff, typical romcom secretive bull crap. Yawn yawn.

Because the second half was actually a bit entertaining, minus the extreme miscast of Kutcher. Maybe he could have been in the first half, and then they could have secretly replaced him with Gerard Butler for the second half. A man who is getting put into romcoms, despite only being great at action and musicals.

Oh well. I think I only spent a few bucks on this movie anyways.

2 out of 4.

The Internship

When you first heard about The Internship, you thought one of three things:

“Oh great, a movie where the jokes are only at the expense of nerds and old people trying to be hip!”

“Oh great, a giant advertisement movie for Google!”

“Oh great, an Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn movie trying to recapture the magic that happened with Wedding Crashers in 2005!”

Well, to be fair, I think all of these ended up being true.

Because why the fuck not, they also play some quidditch.

Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are a great team and have been for decades. They sell watches and they have personality. Sales have been down this year, and they find out in the middle of a potential big sale that their company has folded. Great, what are two unskilled salesmen to do with the economy like it is?

Well, get a job at Google, of course! Or at least an interview, for an internship, that could lead to a job. While not being extremely qualified candidates, they are able to smooth talk their way into the intern process, because not every applicant should be a perfect nerd 20-something with no actual life experience.

Needless to say, they are not popular amongst the other applicants. Only one team of interns will be guaranteed to receive jobs by the end of the summer and when it comes time to pick teams, they are stuck with the other nerds who weren’t picked (Tiya SicarTobit RaphaelDylan O’Brien) and the newest and most nervous group manager (Josh Brener, who you may remember last summer in this Samsung Galaxy S3 commercial before movies).

As expected, this turns into a group of ragtag individuals, trying to work together to overcome the odds and become the top team by summers end. Along the way, Nick has to try and woo a higher up Google employee (Rose Byrne), Billy has to overcome his inability succeed, and they all have to figure out ways to beat the supergroup made by Graham Hawtrey (Max Minghella), and also convince the head of the interns (Aasif Mandvi) that they aren’t complete losers.

A comedy like this of course has a lot of cameos, including Will FerrellRob Riggle, and Josh Gad.

I know the entire idea of this movie probably is a turn off to a lot of you. It looks formulaic, almost like a 1990s comedy (Another aspect of the film that I cannot defend). But it also has something else that is hard to value that really turns it into a decent movie. It has heart.

Wilson and Vaughn have amazing chemistry together, which is a fact we already knew. But it is amplified so well into this film! The dialogue is just so great, the two are able to make the entire thing still feel real and natural.

The Internship is not the funniest film of the year, no where close, but reports say that I giggled pretty consistently throughout it. The film accurately also showed the pressures that college graduates face today, where they can be perfect their entire life and still have trouble/stress once they hit the real world.

I did hate a few of the “speeches” by the end of the film, when they were announcing the winners. I think they cheapened the results by going about them that way, and could have easily been more clever about it. I’d say The Internship is worth checking out, but only if you are want a feel good story and if it is a matinee.

3 out of 4.

The Lorax

I say a lot I try to make sure that movies based on books are given their own subjective look, without bringing the book into it. After all, they are different mediums. I need to judge the movie just on its movieness.

But The Lorax? That shit is classic. Here is an audio version for the lazy who have never heard of it. I think a movie version is definitely doable, but it will be weirder, and probably pretty short. Depending on what they set it in.

And just hopefully not extremely up in your ass on the environmental issues. That’s all I want. Lots of rhyming, damn it. Also, lots of Lorax!

Loraxes not
Well, these things arent the Lorax. Poor start so far.

The movie begins with Ted (Zac Efron) a very non Lorax human having big dreams in Thneedville, a completely “artificial city”. Everything is metal, plastic, or synthetic in some way. No trees or plants, that is all fake too. But no worries, they love their lifestyle and capitalism. They even love the fact that they by air, from O’Hare (Rob Riggle) for whatever reason.

But Ted is in love. With a girl! A strange girl who dreams of the world outside the walled city that they cannot leave. Audrey (Taylor Swift) wants a real life tree so badly, she even said she’d marry a boy if he gave her one. Simple needs! Despite the wishes of his mom (Jenny Slate) and grandma (Betty White), he escapes the city walls and goes to the barren landscape! And obviously, as I just described it, it kind of sucks. No trees anywhere.

There is a creepy house though, hopefully that is where the Onceler (Ed Helms) lived, a rumor of a man who is said to have tree seeds in his possession. And does he? Who knows, because he wants to talk to Ted first and tell him his tale, about how he met the Lorax (Danny DeVito) when he first came to the fields to start up a business and become a success.

Then you know, we get a really long version of the Lorax story, with lots of singing and dancing, and animation explosions, and lengthening. After the seed is received, where the book normally ends, the movie then continues to explain what he does with the seed and his attempts at taking down the O’Hare foundation in Thneedville.

Aw, there is the Lorax. Super caauyuute.

Interestingly enough, the first scene actually got me hooked into the movie. The first song titled after the city was actually catchy and interesting, minus the weird parts about extreme capitalism and being a zombie. But yeah! I was excited. But then it went more and more downhill.

After that I didn’t really like a single song, which is a shame. Especially the last one, Let It Grow, that stuff got weird. But after Ted meets the Onceler (who yes, you get to see in the flashbacks. Just hands would be weird in a movie), the story of him going out into the fields, finding the lorax, and then eventually destroying the ecosystem takes WAY TOO LONG. It is ridiculously long. And pointless. Especially since the destruction part doesn’t take a long time, just the part after 1 tree to get to oh man cut it all down.

The morals associated with the Lorax novel are basically simple. Hey, don’t over do it. That is about it. The movie kind of takes that message, amplifies it to show even further extremes (Thneedville) and smacks you over the face with it again and again. I didn’t like that, it was far stronger than it should have been. The ending, after the return to the city with the seed, was just a long chase scene that felt pretty annoying too. I didn’t hate the O’Hare character, minus the fact that he didn’t make much sense, but the way they chose to portray him (not his portrayal?) was annoying to me. Just his general look. I thought “Oh jeez, thanks storyboard artists. Couldn’t have made him more normal sized? Fuck your proportions”.

There were some good moments, but man, I do think this would have been better at 40 minutes max and less acid trips.

1 out of 4.

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street (the movie) is nothing like 21 Jump Street (the TV show). Have I seen the show? No. But I know “about it” enough so that I get it. That was more of a crime drama thing, not really a comedy. The movie is a straight up comedy, with tons of references to the show.

You can like both the show and the movie, because it is clearly not a “Remake” but its own thing, taking the basic premise of the show. You know, in case you were curious. But I should also note that when I first heard about it my reaction was a resounding “What The Fuck!?”

But are these two knuckleheads at all believable in these roles or as cops?

Movie begins in 2005, when Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum‘s characters were in school. Hill, nerdy and shy. Tatum, athlete and dumb. 7 years later, some how, they are both wanting to be cops. They remember each other, and agree to work together (helping study / train) and become great friends and partners!

And after a bad first arrest while being park patrol on bikes, they get re-sentenced to an undercover gig on Jump Street, because they are “young looking” to infiltrate a high school and try and stop this new drug from being spread. Could be lethal, but they know nothing about it! So they have to infiltrate the dealers, find the suppliers. So says Ice Cube, their sergeant.

They meet the “cool kids” Brie Larson and Dave Franco, and accidentally switch their identities. ROLE ROLE REVERSAL. They find the dealers, and work on befriending them in order to find the supplier, and you know. Hopefully save the day without getting fired or expelled.

This also features Rob Riggle as a PE teacher, Ellie Kemper as an AP Chemistry teacher, Jake M. Johnson as the principal, and Nick Offerman as their former boss. (This was my paragraph of “People you probably recognize from a TV show”).

Greg the soccer player
Yes, that is the younger brother of James Franco. And it would have bugged you the whole movie noting how similar they looked. He is formally known as “Greg the soccer player” in Superbad.

But outside of all of it, was it funny? Yeah, shit was funny.

It was a self aware comedy too, making obvious jabs at the idea of recreating an 80s drama show into a modern comedy movie. Very easy to catch jokes too. Not everything has to be very subtle.

The made up drug is great, and the moment when the characters were forced to use it? Some of the most funniest consecutive minutes of my life.

Ever joke I don’t think hit the mark, but a large percentage of them did. The action scenes they threw in got to be quite heavy (and slightly predictable) and at one point they actually made a claim that goes against the teachings of South Park, a very hard pill to swallow.

3 out of 4.

The Other Guys

I have been told that The Other Guys was a great movie. By looking at the cover a long time ago, I assumed that was not true. This also came out around the same time as Cop Out, so I need to spread out my police cop comedy thrillers. Cop Out seemed to be a good movie at the beginning, very funny, and try and turn into a more serious thing by the end, causing me to care less. The Other Guys, on the other hand, seems to be a comedy throughout, yet still, I lost interest.

Cop Out
I am fine with this level of seriousness.

This movie starts out as an over the top action movie. Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock are chasing some criminals in NYC, and lots of damage get done. Sure, they had about only 3k worth of pot on them, and they caused 12million in damages, but who is counting? Crime has been stopped. They are heroes!

But the movie isn’t about them. It isn’t about Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. either, they are just normal guy. No, it is about the Other Guys. Will Ferrell, desk cop accountant who loves paper work, and Mark Whalberg, overly angry and paranoid detective who has to work with him.

The movie plot is pretty much, SLJ and The Rock end up dying with their reckless ways, and some people need to fill their shoes!

I loved the beginning, had me “lol”ing more than once. But as it got into the story (which was heavy on banking and monetary things, which is something I don’t understand well anyways), I didn’t get confused, I just cared less. Hard to describe it. The jokes did seem to get less funny, or be the same joke over and over. Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton are also both in this movie.

“Two possible pictures here, you chose one with Michael Keaton???” – Angry Gorgon Review reader.

I also didn’t like Whalberg’s character. Normally in a duo, one is annoying, and one is normal. You take Whalberg to be the “normal” part of the pair at the start, until later when you find out he is way annoying. Always yelling and freaking out. Part of the design, but not one I liked to see. So to me, it started out strong, then just got okay.

2 out of 4.