Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: The real highlight this week is that Misfits season 2 is finally available here on DVD; we've also got Dracula as an overprotective CGI dad, and a bunch of toddlers being dubbed with grade-Z action spy dialog.
For all that it's a big-budget 3D CGI Sony Pictures feature, in content and execution Hotel Transylvania takes an old-fashioned approach, aiming directly for the kids and ignoring the dry wit signalling that Pixar-loving grown-ups are the real demo. Directory Genndy Tartakovsky's primary credits are in TV animation--particularly Dexter's Laborator and the original, neglected 2D Clone Wars series that no one talks about now.
Formats: 3D Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray.
The story: On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters – Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more – to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem – but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Cee-Lo Green, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz.
Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky.
Features: Audio Commentary: Director Genndy Tartakovsky, Producer Michelle Murdocca, and Visual Effects Supervisor Daniel Kramer; Goodnight Mr. Foot (HD, 4:07); Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:21); Meet the Staff and Guests: Voicing Hotel Transylvania (HD, 6:29), Making the Hotel (HD, 3:44), Progression Reels (HD, 8:04); Music Video (HD, 3:27); Behind the Scenes of "Problem (Monster Remix)" (HD, 2:21); Previews (3D); DVD Copy; UV Digital Copy.
Season 1 of this aptly titled, iconoclastic series about young social castoffs getting superpowers in the course of their desultory community service was great, but season 2, with the ongoing plotline involving the strangely aloof hero fans have dubbed "Superhoodie" and a succession of solidly funny and oddly moving episodes, is even better, with breakout star Iwan Rheon really coming into his own.
The story: The second series kicks off where the first ended, with Alisha, Simon, Nathan, Kelly and Curtis still on community service and still trying to adapt to their new lives. But what's new is the mysterious, masked figure watching over them from afar... someone who looks remarkably like a real-life superhero, and who seems to know everything about them. Is he protecting them? Or is he a threat?
Starring: Iwan Rheon, Robert Sheehan, Lauren Socha, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Antonia Thomas, Craig Parkinson.
Directed by: Tom Green.
Features: Bonus Scenes; Shooting Misfits; Behind the Scenes.
Huh? They're still … making these? The original at least was an interesting pseudo-scifi idea badly executed, but who was banging on Gregory Poppen's door to write not one but three cheap-CGI-heavy, direct-to-video pottymouthed-superbaby sequels to his box-office bomb Baby Geniuses 2 9 years later, due to be released at intervals across the coming year, and for Sean McNamara (Bratz, That's So Raven) to direct them? Presumably that would be Steven Paul, producer of the two prior movies, something of a child prodigy himself (see what happens?), and, not so coincidentally, Jon Voigt's manager, says IMdB. Perhaps the strangest thing is that the kids in this film seem a bit old to really hew to the original idea of babies having their own intelligence before it's corrupted by socialization. Here's a franchise that's due not for insipid sequels but for a dark and gritty reboot.
The story: Beneath the Bobbins Day Care Center in Washington DC lies the headquarters of the Baby Squad Investigators: a top-secret international network of babies who solve crimes using high-tech Vortex technology. When Big Baby, the ultimate super-villain, threatens to take over the world (or the universe!), it’s up to the BSI team to put a stop to their evil plans. And with Moriarty (Jon Voight) appearing at every turn, bigger questions begin to surface.
Starring: Jon Voight, Skyler Shaye, Rob Bruner, Casey Graf, Jaime Andrews, Andy Pandini.
Directed by: Sean McNamara.