A few not-so-shocking giveaways about this week’s new movie releases, including Justice League and Frank Serpico
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
The lively undead. Yes, that's the legendary Mel Brooks you hear lending his voice to Great-Grandpa Vlad in director Genndy Tartakovsky's sequel to his human boy-meets-monster girl romantic comedy for kids, Hotel Transylvania. Maybe that explains the relentless, unending, benumbing avalanche of gags (visual and otherwise), puns, and one-liners — it's an homage, silly! The onslaught isn't painful, but neither does it do much to distract from the ho-hum story: young vampire mother Mavis doesn't like her father's constant attempts to bring out the monster in her half-human son ("He's a late fanger!" insists ol' Grandpa Drac), so she considers moving with him to her husband's native California. Nor does it obscure the central problem: for the sake of drama, the film claims there is some legit tension between humans and monsters — as in, monsters live to scare and/or kill people. But actually, once you get past the fangs and stuff, monsters are people, too. (The real monster, don't you know, is prejudice.) This is known as having it both ways, and it's boring. With the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, et alia. 2015.