Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
Young Victor Frankenstein with his dog, the title character of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. ART COURTESY OF DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
by Michael Berick
Two family movies with Halloween on their minds can be seen in cinemas in October. Sony Pictures’ Hotel Transylvania (opening Sept. 26) is an animated comedy about Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), who wants to protect his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) from troublesome humans – so he opens a monster-friendly hotel. At a big party for Mavis’ 118th birthday, a young man named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon the hotel, causing comic complications.
Tim Burton’s newest film Frankenweenie could also be called one of his oldest. This full-length black-and-white 3D stop motion-animation horror/comedy is based on a 1984 short film Burton made about a young boy named Victor Frankenstein, who finds a way to bring his beloved pet dog back to life – but also finds that this creates trouble for him. Like Hotel Transylvania, this Disney film (opening Oct. 6) serves as an homage to classic horror stories and is populated with characters inspired by legendary horror creatures.
Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas returns to the big screen at Hollywood’s El Capitan during Halloween week (Oct. 26-Nov. 1). There will be a pumpkin decorating contest Oct. 26 and the theater also is serving up a special Pumpkin King Dinner offer. Find out more at elcapitan.go.com.
The Academy of Motion Pictures salutes Universal Studio’s “Legacy of Horror” by showing some famous classic films: The Bride of Frankenstein and Dracula (Oct. 2), The Wolf Man and An American Werewolf in London (Oct. 9), Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Invisible Man (Oct. 16), The Birds (Oct. 23) and 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera (Oct. 30). The Academy will also screen Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Linwood Dunn Theater and have a holiday Oscars Outdoors ’50s double-bill of The Incredible Shrinking Man and Tarantula starting at 6:30 p.m. For ticket and film details, visit oscars.org.
Walt Disney Hall again will host a Halloween Silent Film event with this year’s film being the 1927 mystery The Cat And The Canary directed by German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni. This silent film, which is probably for more adventurous young cinephiles, will be accompanied by organist Clark Wilson. Learn more at laphil.org.
If you prefer to be scared in the safety and comfort of your own house, check out a Halloween DVD. Besides the new Monster High: Ghouls Rule movie, you can view vintage Halloween titles like Mad Monster Party (a 1967 movie created by animation icons Rankin/Bass and featuring the voice of Boris Karloff) and House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows (two ’70s features based on the TV show that inspired this year’s Dark Shadows movie by Tim Burton).
Two volumes of R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series, a recent Hub TV series, are now available on DVD. The Power Rangers Monster Bash features three Halloween episodes from the Power Rangers Samurai series. Similarly, Tom & Jerry: Tricks And Treats and SpongeBob SquarePants: Ghoul Fools collect themed episodes of these popular TV shows, although these DVDs offer more laughs than screams.
DVD Extra: Say “Hola” to new bilingual DVDs|
Hispanic Heritage Month continues into October, which makes it an appropriate time to introduce Spanish to your youngsters. One entertaining way to do this is through DVDs, and a trio of bilingual titles can help kids learn a second language.
The Perfect Game|
With the World Series happening this month, it’s a nice time to check out a baseball movie that’s good for the whole family.
Make Believe makes for a magical viewing experience.
Winnie the Pooh|
Oh bother. Eeyore has once again lost his tail and the quest to find it continues in Disney’s all new, “Winnie the Pooh,” now available on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD.
CD Reviews: Kids|
Kids *** Keller Williams SCI Fidelity, $14.99 Keller Williams is a name that’s been familiar to jam band fans and guitar aficionados, but with his 16th disc he’ll become well known to family music audiences as well. With Kids, Williams showcases his
DVD Reviews: A Charlie Brown Valentine|
There’s nothing like sharing a holiday with the Peanuts gang, from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to A Charlie Brown Christmas, or animated specials celebrating Easter, New Year’s or even Arbor Day.
CD Review: Sing-a-Ling With Friends|
From “Pop Goes The Weasel” to “Old McDonald Had A Farm," this may not appear like the most exciting set of tunes, but Dan Crow brings a freshness to his renditions of these family favorites.
Movie Review: Arthur And The Invisibles 2&3: The New Minomoys Adventures|
These films are follow-ups to the not well-known 2007 Arthur and the Invisibles. Like the original movie, these sequels are directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson.