Matthew Lickona 11 a.m., March 14
Fans of Adam Sandler will want to have a neighbor read them the following: the latest from Sony Pictures Animation has all the stylistic innovation and visual niceties of a Count Chocula commercial. An unduly protective vampire daddy (Sandler) who runs a restricted resort — the clientele is limited to “monsters only” - goes bat shit when he discovers that his teenage daughter (Selena Gomez) has fallen for a human (Andy Samberg). All of the background monsters appear to have been lifted from past sources; Sandler’s “blah-blah” Bela Lugosi impersonation is as original as things get. As if 8 Crazy Nights wasn’t proof enough, this further hammers home the fact that an anthropomorphic Adam is as annoying an impediment to entertainment as his live-action counterpart. Russian TV animator Genndy Tartakovsky (The Powerpuff Girls, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) succumbs to the pressures of a mainstream PG release by refusing to explore any of the subtleties to be found in a relationship between an overprotective blood-sucker and a virginal daughter who he wants to remain intact. Then again, Sandler’s craft is propelled by gaseous emissions, not nuanced wit. Fart-joke aficionados won’t leave hungry. 2012.
— Scott Marks