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Now showing at Berry Theatre Wildern Lane,Hedge End,Southampton SO30 4EJ 023 8065 2333

  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • The Good Dinosaur

Hotel Transylvania 2 3 stars

The great and the good of the monster world gather at Hotel Transylvania for the wedding of vampire Mavis and her human beau Jonathan. They raise an adorable son called Dennis and consider moving to California to raise the child among other humans. Dracula is devastated - he believes that any heir to the bloodline should be raised in Transylvania, surrounded by other monsters.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastAndy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, David Spade.
  • DirectorGenndy Tartakovsky.
  • WriterRobert Smigel, Adam Sandler.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration89 mins
  • Official sitewww.hoteltransylvania2.com
  • Release16/10/2015

If the Twilight film series taught us anything, apart from how long werewolves spend in the gym to maintain their hirsute washboard stomachs, it's that forbidden desire across the vampire-human divide always ends in copious blood-letting and tears.

And if a love child of this unholy union comes mewling into the world, a sequel surely beckons. Once bitten, twice the box office takings. Genndy Tartakovsky's computer-animated family comedy obliges by considering the thorny parenting issues for a slacker dude and his fanged bride, who can't decide if they should raise their first child among monsters or mortals.

You could argue that war-mongering, power-hungry mankind is far more deadly than the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the frames of this lively and colourful romp. However, harsh reality has no place in Tartakovsky's fantastical adventure, with a screenplay penned by Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler that sidesteps the carnivorous natures of some of the cutesy characters.

As one vampire rejoices, "We don't need to kill any more. We have pop tarts," which begs questions about the ingredients of the jam that oozes from the toasted breakfast treats.

The great and the good of the monster world gather at Hotel Transylvania for the wedding of vampire Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) and her mortal beau Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Mavis' proud father Dracula (Adam Sandler) welcomes Jonathan's nervous parents, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), to his humble home for the nuptials, which pass without a hitch.

Mavis falls pregnant and gives birth to an adorable son called Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) and the couple consider moving to California to raise their child among other humans. Dracula is devastated - he believes that any heir to the bloodline should be raised in Transylvania, surrounded by other monsters.

So he takes little Dennis on a journey to all of his favourite ghoulish haunts, aided by good friends Frankenstein's monster (Kevin James), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray The Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon).

As Dennis' fifth birthday approaches, Dracula waits nervously for the boy's first milk fang to sprout, which will be proof that he has vampire blood coursing through his veins. "He a late fanger," insists Dracula. "All he needs is time with his vamp-pa!"

Hotel Transylvania 2 strikes the same jaunty tone as its predecessor, treading a linear narrative path so young audiences remain engaged by little Dennis' rites of passage. Visuals burst with primary colours, even in 3D, and the script exhumes mouldering, corny gags with relish.

Vocal performances are solid if unremarkable, including a fleeting vocal turn from Mel Brooks as Vlad, Dracula's estranged father, who hasn't always been the best role model for his boy. The family that hunts together - safely off screen - stays together.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 13th February 2016

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The Good Dinosaur 4 stars

Prehistoric beasts thrive including a family of Apatosaurus comprising patriarch Henry, his wife Ida and three children Buck, Libby and Arlo. A tragic accident robs the siblings of their father and soon after, Arlo falls into a river and is swept far away from his loved ones. Lost in the wilderness, Arlo meets a feral cave boy called Spot, who becomes the dinosaur's protector. Beast and human child embark on a magical adventure to return Arlo to his home in the shadow of the Clawed-Tooth Mountains.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Children, Children's, Comedy
  • CastFrances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright.
  • DirectorPeter Sohn.
  • WriterMeg LeFauve.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration101 mins
  • Official site
  • Release27/11/2015

Four instalments of monster mashing in Jurassic Park have taught us to be thankful that an asteroid supposedly impacted Earth around 66 million years ago and wiped out the various prehistoric predators. Pixar Animation Studios begs to differ. Director Peter Sohn and his animation wizards conjure an alternate version of events: the ill-fated asteroid bypassed our third rock from the sun, allowing Tyrannosaurus Rex and other hulking beasts to thrive. Consequently, the evolutionary food chain is reversed: dinosaurs learn to talk, build homes, raise dysfunctional families and expand their horizons while humans are an untamed species that roams the wilderness on all fours and communicates in crude howls and growls. It's a cute concept that provides a solid foundation for Sohn's life-affirming tale of friendship and loyalty, inverting the touching central relationship of How To Train Your Dragon with similarly teary-eyed results. At the heart of the film is a family of Apatosaurus comprising patriarch Henry (voiced by Jeffrey Wright), his wife Ida (Frances McDormand) and three children Buck (Marcus Scribner), Libby (Maleah Padilla) and Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). They own a farm and work hard to harvest crops for the bitter winter months. "You got to earn your mark by doing something big for something bigger than yourself," Henry teaches his offspring. A tragic accident robs the siblings of their father and soon after, Arlo tumbles into a raging river and is swept far away from his loved ones. Lost in the wilderness, Arlo meets a feral cave boy called Spot (Jack Bright), who becomes the dinosaur's protector. Beast and human embark on a magical adventure of self-discovery, bound for Arlo's home in the shadow of the Clawed-Tooth Mountains. En route, they fall foul of villainous Velociprators and a scavenging Pterodactyl called Thunderclap (Steve Zahn), and befriend a Tyrannosaurus herder called Butch (Sam Elliott) and his rootin' tootin' children Ramsey (Anna Paquin) and Nash (AJ Buckley). After the heartbreak, hilarity and narrative sophistication of Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur is a step backwards for Pixar. The plot is formulaic and predictable, and the finale is drizzled in emotional syrup. While the script lacks daring and invention, the visuals are truly jaw-dropping and push the boundaries of photo-realistic animation on the big screen. Gentle humour is concentrated in the opening hour, before the obligatory harsh life lessons including one pivotal scene in which Arlo and Spot communicate their loss and loneliness through actions rather than words. The pay-off is an emotional gut punch that has become the studio's trademark. The Good Dinosaur screens with the charming short Sanjay's Super Team directed by Sanjay Patel in which a young Indian boy daydreams about three Hindu gods becoming superheroes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 13th February 2016
Sunday 14th February 2016
Monday 15th February 2016
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Thursday 18th February 2016

This film is also showing at: