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The story: Drac operates Hotel Transylvania, a place where monsters can vacation without having to worry about running into those horrendous humans who the monsters fear.
Things are thrown into a bit of a Transylvania twirl when a young hiker stumbles into the hotel and develops feelings for Drac's daughter, Mavis.
There's rich comedic material here, with monsters like Frankenstein, the wolf man, the mummy and so many more showing up at the hotel. Thankfully, it's not too scary. The monsters are mostly silly instead of sinister.
The real difference here for Sandler is that he's forced to work clean and create some truly funny moments instead of using his typical lazy, off-color stuff.
Yes, there have been more than enough kiddy cartoons lately, but this one has a little something different to make it fun and funny.
Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images. 95 min. [MC, RA, RF]
"WON'T BACK DOWN" (PG) HH
VIOLA DAVIS, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, HOLLY HUNTER
Though at times this film strikes an emotional chord (who isn't inspired by folks trying to fix a failing school for their children?), it never quite feels real.
Though Viola Davis is compelling as a teacher who knows her school is failing, Maggie Gyllenhaal and the whole "system is broken" setup both come off as forced.
Gyllenhaal plays the parent trying to create a new school. Oddly she has the same silly smile on her face the whole time, as if it's all a joke.
Yes, there are very real problems in education, with the bureaucracy in large cities sometimes to blame. But this film tries to make the problems and solutions all so simply black and white that it doesn't hold water.
Here, we find out that the teachers' union is at fault. The twists and turns of the battle between parents and the union are so simplistic and overdone, the story suffers.
Rated PG for thematic elements, language. 101 min. [MC, RA, RF]