By Paul Anthony
Let’s go back to 1993 and realize Jurassic Park was a instant classic, people loved the idea of dinosaurs. the movie made a lot money and though it made sense in both ways to leave it alone and make a sequel .The only problem was with a sequel was that there wasn’t any material to use, the studio and fan base reached out to Michael Crichton to write a sequel novel, so they could make a sequel film. Four years later we got The Lost World. the biggest question we were facing was could this film live up to the first film and the answer was yes they could despite the fact that only only character had more than a cameo role and that was Jeff Goldblum’s Malcolm. We didn’t have Sam Neil and Laura Dern. The film did in fact prove to be a big hit and made 618.6 million from a budget of 73 million and even earned an Academy award nomination for Best Visual Effects only losing to Titanic though that can be a debate for another time.
The plot picks up four years after the events of the first film. John Hammond has lost control of the company due to the disaster from the first film and now he’s greedy nephew wants to build arena in San Diego and house the animals there instead of leaving them to roam on an island and he can do this because he is now the CEO of InGen. We learn through a conversation between Hammond and Malcolm and also the opening of the film that, there are two islands, the first was the park itself and the second one was where the dinosaurs were bred and raised at which was called Isla Nublar. once the dinosaurs were grown then they would transfer them to the park which never happened since they abandon the park. Hammond wants Malcolm and a few others that he trust to go to the island and document the dinosaurs in their natural habitat so they can make these islands a nature preserve so the dinosaurs can live. The team is Malcolm, Harding which is Malcolm’s girlfriend and Owen. Once they are on the island things go from good to worse because they see the other team who rounds up the dinosaurs to take them to the states and also saving a baby T-rex only to piss of the parents. Chaos breaks out and then the two teams have to work together to get off the island but not until the Peter Ludlow’s team takes the baby and one of the parent T-Rex’s. Which we all knew was a bad idea because at some point on the ship ride back the dinosaur wakes up killing the crew then soon starts to attack people in San Diego. Once they put the dinosaur to sleep it is agreed to send the dinosaurs back in which they do and John Hammond wins his case.
This film did have a darker tone to it which did make sense. We knew people weren’t going to let this situation from the first film just be left alone, since it cost the company billions of dollars, adding a second island a good touch as well because we saw in the first film only a portion of what the scientist do. This film may not have had the same magic as the first film but in my eyes it was still just as good!! In the end I am giving this film a good A or 90 percent. This was truly a good follow up!
By Paul Anthony
How quickly can things change for a franchise. One movie was pretty good and now this film. It is like two different stories regarding the film. Now count this as part part two of my weekend with reviewing this series. Let’s keep in mind that this franchise was most likely never meant to be a franchise. At least that’s how it seems to me. The script was on ice for three years and then it became a good film which I did enjoy and gave it a good review, as quickly as I heard of the first film I then saw this film and thought hey why not let’s check it out and well let’s look at the plot first before I say anymore.
The film picks up two years later and Cole is now 14 and a junior in high school. Since the first film no one believes Cole and even his own parents decide that he needs help and maybe then he will tell the truth of what really happens that night. the only one who believes him is his only friend Melanie who now has a boyfriend named Jimmy and his friend Diego and also Boom-Boom . At insult injury Cole has a new classmate who is a total Badass named Phoebe. Just when Cole ready to be shipped off, Melanie decides have him run away to the lake where the teens are having a party, which Cole agrees to, there at the party Cole stumbles in room on a boat where he witnesses Melanie and Jimmy and Diego kills Boom-Boom, which they reveal they are part of the cult as well and now then out of nowhere the cult members return from the dead to complete their mission of killing Cole in order for them to be basically reborn and love again, It is at this point Phoebe comes in the room seeking gas for her Jet ski which Cole uses that as a way out and they escape with the cult members both old and new chasing after them. Once on land Coles reveals everything to her in which he believes she won’t believe him but in a shocking twist she actually does and shares her own personal horror story in a bonding moment and trying to fight off the cult they end up having sex but are caught shortly after that and with the demons taking their blood in which they drink it, they begin to die off and they realize that the two innocents had sex making them no longer innocent. At this point Bee returns to fight Melanie which Bee wins and sets Cole and Phoebe free. Bee tells Cole that it was him confessing his love to her that made her see the light and have a change of heart though she is still a demon she decides to drink the blood which kills her for good. in a Mid credit scene on the beach Bee’s book shows up and is still intact waiting for someone else to find it.
Okay let’s look at some terrible issues with this plot. One Cole is 14 in the 11th grade how is that even possible, next Melanie is in the same cult but when did she join and why. Next Bee looks like an angel but yet she attacked a Fire fighter at the end of the first film so when did she decide to have a change of heart instead of seeking revenge. To me this was clear that there was never meant to be a sequel and they did one on the go which causing the plot to be messed up. the same humor and cast was there but that’s as much of a positive as I can say about the film and sadly giving this film a D for a rating. For everything they did right in the first film they did wrong in the second film.
By Paul Anthony
You ever come a cross a sequel that you never knew was a round or even imagine that there would be one regardless of how it was released? Yeah that is exactly what happen to me. So lets start from the beginning to explain everything a little better here. The film I am reviewing here is Bulletproof 2. Which is the sequel to 1996 flop that starred Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler in which the film was a buddy cop movie that was just a waste of time. The film manage to gross 22 million dollars in 1996 but their rotten tomato score was only 8 percent, which means no one liked it. Now here we are 24 years later talking about the sequel which came out earlier this year but a direct to video release. Before I talk about the plot for this film I have to say it took me a minute to realize that the two main characters from the first film are in this film as well just not played by Wayans and Sandler instead they are replaced by Faizon Love and Kirk Fox. To the film’s credit they recast the people with two people that would match up with the previous actors in the sense of comedians and so forth. Usually I start with saying if this film has the magic of the first film but the problem here is the first film didn’t have magic, so could this film be any worse? You said yes then you would be somewhat right and let me explain in just a second.
The plot was pretty much on point with the first film. Carter has to go undercover to solve a case which he uses his old pal Archie Moses name but then things get a little crazy and he actually needs Moses to join him. Things go according to plan except when there is a crack in the foundation and Moses rats them both out thinking he would be saved but instead the bad guys or bad women won’t no loose ends. Nevertheless the film has Carter getting shot in the head again but this time Moses sticks by his side until he awakes from his coma which was just a month and Moses departs wishing his friend the best.
Pretty simple plot like I said, well the actor was okay at best but the comedy really wasn’t there. They were trying too hard to be funny and the laughs weren’t there much like the first film. One of the bigger issues I had was the nudity in the film. It took direct to video back a step. This isn’t the late 90’s where these films had to that to get the attention of audience. In the end I am actually giving this film a F for failure because it was pointless to even make this film and if you were going to make this film then the point was make it better than first film which wasn’t hard but in this case I must rather watch the first film then this.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to another edition of Sequel Saturday and this week I wanted to review a film that the moms could enjoy well a sequel that a moms could enjoy and only one film came to mind and that was Bad Moms 2 or better known as A Bad Moms Christmas. First let’s go back to the summer of 2016 when the first film was released. It had a small budget of 22 million, which is pretty cool when you think of summer movies, anyway the film was a hit for STX and was their first film to gross over 100 million at the domestic box office. Now with that being said, we knew a sequel was going to happen but did we expect the sequel to come out in less than 2 years in a time where hit sequels come out every 2 to 3 years and it became a Christmas comedy and it went up against the best Thor film in Thor: Ragnarok.
I want people to understand why this film came close to matching the first film success and yet failing at the same time. For starters the budget was about the same, the first film had a budget of 22 million and the film went on to gross 180 million worldwide. This film had a little increase of 28 million but only grossed 130 million. There are a few factors that may have played into the failure of this film from being better than the first in the sense of money. Bad Moms was a hit because it was something new to see how this generation of moms are, when the sequel came out it touch us in a soft spot because it was a Christmas which seems like we want to keep that tradition more family friendly, even though it did tone down the raunchiness, when they did that it tore the fanbase in half and it hurt the numbers, something we saw in Daddy’s Home 2 which came out a week later. So in one week’s time we saw two movies use the new age parent storyline with Christmas involved and it didn’t work as plan. If you have a idea you really have to plan when is the good time to come out because both of these movies came out at the same time as Thor and Thor killed it at the box office.
The plot was thin as we expected it would be because one it is a comedy and most comedies stories are thin. The moms wan to have a simple Christmas but their moms come into town and with so many personalities, a simple Christmas is no longer that. especially with Amy’s mom who must be rich and old school with Christmas. She becomes the main problem of the film but like any film the issues get resolve by the end and the families in return finally have a simple Christmas like they wanted. Told you it was a thin story.
Overall with the laughs the movie failed in that department, once again the magic wasn’t there, sure we got some laughs but with them aiming to be a Christmas movie the jokes weren’t fully there. Then you add in the thin story which was much different than the first film and the finished product becomes this a shell of the first film. Its not horrible to watch but just wasn’t enjoyable as the first in the end I am giving this film a high C for the efforts and that is about it!
By Paul Anthony
With Black History month coming to an end, I decided to review a sequel that honestly I long have forgotten about. Whoopi Goldberg has been famous in this generation for being a talk show host and all of that fun stuff but for previous generations she was a comedian and a actress. One of her more famous roles was in the Sister Act franchise, which she played Deloris Van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence. the first film of the series proved to be a big box office hit because the budget was 31 million and the movie grossed 231 million and when you make a 200 million dollar profit you know a sequel would soon follow and they didn’t waste no time. Just under two years and honestly it doesn’t seem like because the first film came out in 1992 and part 2 came out 1993 just towards the end of the year. Now with rushing a sequel would it be better than the first better question would it do better? Well the budget was 38 million just 7 million higher than the first film but the gross was far lower than 231 million in fact it did not even clear 100 million. The total gross came to 57.3 million which basically made it disappointment but was it really that bad?
Sometimes when a movie comes out and its a hit but the story proves that it doesn’t need to be a sequel. I felt like this was the case but here we are. In this film since the events of the first film Deloris is a headliner in Vegas and all seems to be going well until her old nun friends come to see her with some bad news. The nuns are actually teachers at St. Francis Academy where Deloris went as a child. Problem is the school is going to close if the school’s reputation does not change. So the Nuns need her to be Sister Mary once more and teach Music because the school use to be good in music, where they won awards and everything, so they need her to teach music and get these kids to sing. The problem is the school’s administrator, Mr. Crisp, who wants to shut the school down and retire. Sister Mary now has to deal with him and getting these kids to see that they have beautiful voices. In the end everything works out well because they school win the state championship in Choir. Of course Sister Mary saves the day and the school and once again she part ways for Vegas until she is needed again.
Now I will have to say this movie didn’t have the magic and charm of the first one and jokes well flat. To be honest it felt like the cast was tired and didn’t want to return. The acting from the rest of the cast seem stiffed at times and the plot was predictable. Now In the end I am giving this film a C or 70 percent because in the end it felt like an average sequel!
By Paul Anthony
In this edition we are going to talk about Final Destination 2 now this was one of those franchises that was something different and something new. Now part 1 came out in 2000 and was massive hit when the budget was 23 million and ended up grossing 112 million like always when a movie is a hit you know a sequel was coming but like many horror franchises the story doesn’t stop with part one but the problem becomes the story doesn’t get any better and changes come that weren’t needed to make the story better when it makes it worse. This film came out three years later and was once again it was a hit but the money wasn’t as high. The budget was 26 million and the movie grossed 90 million dollars which was 22 million less then the first film but yet it was successful however a failure in some ways as well.
The story is the same a group of people led by the survivor of the first film and new lead who has the ability to cheat death by having visons and she can see how to prevent death from happening. Her first vison is an epic traffic accident on the highway which she saves some lives but her friends die when their SUV gets crushed and burns. She is now determine to find a way to stop death but as the movie goes along it is revealed that the people she saved are all connected and because of the flight 180 from the first film these people lived because those who got off the plane from the previous film caused a ripple affect and basically caused Death’s plan to go down the drain for the moment at least because slowly but surely the group that she saves dies one by one until ones has a baby which is the key to beating this curse and stops the order. It seems like in the end she manages to save her life and her love interest’s life as well.
Now It has been a long time since I watched the first but I don’t remember it having many laughs or over the top acting like this film did. Sadly this film fell in that era where someone thought adding comedy to a horror film was such a good idea well it wasn’t. The comedy didn’t hurt the film but didn’t help it either. The deaths seem to be over the top as well and maybe that was the goal it just didn’t work for me. The plot twist was a nice touch but I would say the film could have and should have been better, in the end this film is basically a C on the grading chart it was just that Average.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to the end of the year edition of Sequel Saturday and we are continuing the trend of Christmas and or holiday movies. Now I am one of those people that can’t stand the cheesy normal films this time of the year. However when you have a movie starring one of the best comedians of all time you know you have to watch it. Tim Aleen has been in countless movies and shows, now one of the first movies of his that I ever watched was The Santa Clause. The film came out in November of 1994 and the movie was a hit. The budget was only 22 million and the film grossed 189.8 million, which if you do the math the movie made a good profit which means a sequel was coming. The sequel didn’t happen in the normal 2 to 3 year window instead it took 8 year to come out and it was suppose to be called The Santa Clause 2: The Escape Clause during the first trailer but the title was later dropped before the release and saved for the third and final film. Now the budget went up from 22 million to 65 million. Part 2 ended up making 172.9 million. Which is 17 million less then the first film.
The plot is simple pretty much Scott being Santa is in full swing and life at the north pole is going well. Until Santa learns that his son Charlie made the naughty list despite everyone at the north pole loving him, there Santa learns Charlie been getting into trouble for unknow reasons which Santa is determine to find out but just then he learns of new problem. They learn there is a Clause and that is there needs to a Mrs. Claus, that is right Santa must get married in a month’s time or else he won’t be Santa anymore. So he sets out to return home to solve both issues but someone needs to run the north pole so the clone Santa, allowing Scott to return home. As Scott tries to find a wife and fix the issue with Charlie which he learns Charlie can’t stand living a lie with who his dad really is. Not too mention Scott starts to fall for Charlie’s principal. Things are getting revolved but the Clone Santa begins to form his own identity and that is an evil Santa, which he makes Nutcracker robots and put everyone on the naughty list forcing the elves to produce coal instead of toys, this forces Scott to return to stop him which after a few rounds he wins and gets married. Not only that but he saves Christmas and all ends well.
Now We know this film didn’t make as much money as the first and I do feel like this film was a step down from the first film in pretty much ever sense of the way. With that being said I didn’t feel like this was a bad film at all. The Money wasn’t well because of the step down and the amount of time but you also have to factor the movies around that time as well. In the end I am giving it an average rating of C or right at 70 percent. There was just nothing that truly stands out in my eyes.
By Paul Anthony
Once again sorry about the delay there is no doubt the holiday season has been rough on our schedule here at Smash Writing but no worries 2020 will be a fun year but anyway let’s get to the movie shall we! Okay so one of the all time classics when it comes to a Christmas movie is Home Alone 2, now it is a movie we as saw maybe a billion times by now but I never got to review it, so as we march to Christmas I figured hey why not. Now we know these movies pretty much made Macaulay Culkin a household name. In 1990 he starred in Home Alone part 1. Culkin played an 8 year old boy who in a large family was forgotten at home when the family woke up late to catch their plane. The family was heading to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Here Kevin played by Culkin must protect his home from the Wet Bandits played by Joe Pesci and David Stern. Needless to say he did protect his house and didn’t get into too much trouble from his family. Now The movie made nearly 480 million and is regarded as one of the best Christmas movies with all tat being said you know there needed to be a follow up and 2 years later we got Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Trying to follow up one of the best Christmas movies is tough because you can’t do the same thing twice can you? The events of the movie take place just one year later this time the family wants to travel to Florida for Christmas and of course Kevin does not, like the first film the family wakes up late and rushes out the house this time they make sure they have Kevin, which they do until a little mistake by Kevin leads him to the wrong gate which takes him to New York. The family doesn’t realize this until they land in Miami which is raining. Mean while Kevin with his dad’s wallets which includes a credit card and cash checks into a hotel and is enjoying a vacation to himself but it is short lived when he runs into the Wet bandits who now go by the Sticky bandits, this time they planned on robbing a big time toy store which Kevin finds out and uses his uncles house as his torture chamber for the bandits and well the plot plays out like the first film.
I know Kevin being only 9 years can’t fight these guys but using the same tricks basically over again then having the family forget their youngest kid yet again to me this hurt this film from living up to the first film. With that being said everything else was on par and I didn’t think overall this was bad follow up. If they were just little more creative with this film it could have been better. Now with that being said overall I am giving this film an B plus or 85 percent and will always continue to enjoy the film!
By Paul Anthony
Last week I reviewed Rocky 2 and I gave it high remarks and I don’t think anyone would disagree with me. As we know the Rocky franchise began to shift away from Rocky the Boxer to Rocker the trainer storylines where Rocky is now a supporting character rather then the main character, there the series brings in Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed whos is the son of Rocky’s former rival turn friend Apollo Creed. Now I must have to admit I never saw the first Creed film and I am disappointed in myself but I am sure I will see it sooner or later. In some ways Creed 2 storyline followed Rocky 2 where the boxer now has to deal with fame this time Adonis didn’t retire and lose money no he became the champ and lived a pretty good life. Now the film received pretty good reviews and made a good profit. The film was made from a 50 million dollar budget and grossed 214 million, which was a increase from the first film which grossed 173 million dollars so a modest increase.
Now the film takes place 3 years after the events of the first film, Donnie since that lost is now on a 6 match winning streak gets a shot at the title and wins the title. Life is going good until Rocky’s old enemy who killed Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago trains his son to become even a bigger machine then he was, Viktor Drago starts to win fights and thanks to a snake of a boxing promoter they bait Creed into a fight with Viktor. Ivan meets up with Rocky and reveals he lost everything including his wife because of the fight he lost to Rocky. Creed agrees to the fight but Rocky doesn’t want him to do and soon they part ways. Creed proposes to his girlfriend Bianca, life gets even better when he learns Bianca is expecting their first child, Creed begins to train without Rocky and then the fight takes place and Creed barely surviving the fight suffers from major injuries and it is clear that he is about to lose however because of a dirty hit Viktor gets disqualified, Creed remains the champion but has a long road to recovery. Viktor realizes that Ivan wanted this fight for himself to get the fame he once had in the end Viktor doesn’t care about the people who left them behind but still wants the title and they begin to campaign for a rematch. Creed in the mean time battle his inner demons and even reconnects with Rocky who once again trains him for the fight, the fight takes place in Russia and at first Viktor gets the upper hand but Creed continues to fight back and wears him down and soon Ivan sees his son is now on the losing end of the fight throws in the towel and tells him its okay. The movie preaches the importance of family. Donnie brings his newborn daughter to his father’s grave and Rocky reconnects with his son and meets his grandson, life moves on.
This move had great acting to it and I loved the character development it made me feel the pain the characters emotions and how they are dealing with what comes their way, this is my favorite part of the whole film and with everything on the wall I have to give it and A or a 93 percent. Creed 3 might not happen instead Rocky might be training a new boxer which could set up a cameo of sorts, we shall see what the next film will be!
By Paul Anthony
This time last year the movie called Creed two was reigning supreme at the box office. Now we know Creed is a spinoff of the Rocky film series, so with that being said it is only natural we take a look at first sequel that started it all and that is Rocky 2. Rocky 2 came out three years after Rocky part one and is a direct sequel picking up pretty much after his fight with Apollo Creed ended and they were heading to the hospital. Rocky part 1 proved to be a big hit with a budget of 1 million and grossed 225 million dollars which in 1976 was a great deal of money, even better when you say the budget was only 1 million. In This film they got the entire cast to return and the budget was bigger at 7 million and the film though grossed less then the first still grossed 200 million, not bad all and even though it didn’t make as much money, many people still considered it a great follow up.
Like I said before the movie starts right after the match with Creed and Rocky who then announces that he is retiring and moving with his life. Which he does, he gets married and buys a new home and car and brings in some money through commercials but then that doesn’t end well and the money stops coming in. Meanwhile Apollo Creed isn’t doing much better despite being the champion and making the cash, he starts to be criticize for the split decision because it means he was awarded the win because he was the champion. Still despite them agreeing to a no rematch, Creed begins to smear Rocky’s name to get him out of retirement and at first Rocky blows it off like it is no big deal but then times begin to get hard for Rocky, who loses his job at the Meat Market, which forces Adrian to return to the pet shop for money. Rocky unable to get a job realizes he is a fighter and nothing else but he has to convince his wife to let him return and so he does agreeing to fight Apollo Creed for the title once again. This time he needs to train to protect him and his injured eye which means he needs to lead with his right hand instead of his left. So the fight begins pretty much like their first with Rocky taking the bulk of the beating until the end when Rocky goes back to being lefthanded and gets the upper hand and in the final moments he knockouts Creed for the title and he yells to Adrian whos is watching from home “I did it” and she returns by saying yes you did and the film ends.
Now For a sequel I am giving this film a very high praise and the film never skipped a beat and the story made sense. it gave us a good follow up story because we knew the story couldn’t have ended the way it did. I am giving this film a A plus or right around 95 percent, it was very hard to point out anything that I didn’t like maybe a second or two but that is about it. Even If you don’t sport’s films I would say this is a must see film.