Archive | July 2021

Saturday Sequel Presents Phantasm 2

By Paul Anthony

This film series begun way back in 1979 and finally ended in 2016, from the title you know I am talking about the Phantasm film series. The first one which was released in 1979 off a budget of 300,000 managed to make 22 million with using such a small budget and a cast that up to this point were just amateurs and aspiring professionals. At first the movie was indeed considered a failure though it made money. The Director Don Coscarelli revealed that he was under pressure to make a sequel though he couldn’t come up with a good story until later in the 80’s. Part 2 was released in the summer of 1988. The film is the only film that doesn’t include a few people from the first film, the biggest issue was recasting the role of Mike Pearson which was now being played by James LeGros, which was only for this film. The film was made from a budget of 3 million and only managed to grossed 7.3 million. Now we know there were films after this one but for now let’s look at this film!!

The film takes places seven years after the event of the first film and meet a young girl name Liz who has psychic bond with Mike and the Tall Man and she is trying reach Mike because she fears that The Tall Man will come for her grandfather when he dies and she needs Mike’s help. Here at this point we learn that Mike has been institutionalized since the events of the first film and fakes his recovery so he can leave and help Liz out. Mike Knows he can’t do this on his own so he sets out to find his old friend Reggie, who believes Mike after his family dies and Mike tried to warn him. They begin to travel from small town to small town and finally the run into Liz who by now has lost her sister and her grandfather. With the help of Reggie’s new girlfriend who was just a hitchhiker they decide to take on the Tall Man and his army of zombies. In the end seems like the four beat the Tall Man and all the hope is restored except the movie ends with Reggie’s girlfriend being on the side of the Tall Man and The tall Man revealing he is still alive and they hope that this is a dream which the Tall Man reveals it is not a dream!!

Now honestly I have to admit I had to watch the first film to be able to do this review because up until like two months ago, I never seen the first one but was always a fan of the second because that it is the only one that I really watched before this of course. I understand the casting of Mike was one that the fans were bitter about but From watching the first film I didn’t have a problem with it to be honest. The Story felt random with adding Liz into it. Mike had enough reasons to finish the job. The acting was on par with the first film, same with how the scenes were put together. So honestly more amateur than professional. best part of the film had to be the Tall Man and the killing spares with the spikes. Everything in between has and always seem a bit cheesy. In the end I am giving this horror film of the 80’s a B or 80 percent!!

The Ice Road Review

By Paul Anthony

As many of you guys know that me and Justin was once truck drivers and even though we aren’t truckers anymore but I can speak for myself when I say this my passion for trucks will never go away. So When I heard about The Ice Road, I just had to give it a look but then I saw the trailer and saw Liam Neeson in it, I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my list. The Ice Road is a action thriller that was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh who also directed such films as 2004’s The Punisher and Kill the Irishman. So We know Liam Neeson is in it but he wasn’t the only big time star in this film another big name was Laurence Fishburne. The film was released on Netflix for the United States and Amazon Prime for the United Kingdom. When the film debut on Netflix it became their highest streamed movie for its opening weekend. The film was 108 minutes long. Now most critics who review the film gave it mixed reviews, well let’s take a look for ourselves!

The film basically starts with a mining accident, that leaves 26 miners trapped but time is against them because if they don’t get out they will all run out of oxygen and the carbon will kill them. At first we seethe company rush to get the help they need which will require tractor-trailers to bring part up to the mine to free the miners. This where we meet Mike(Neeson) who keeps getting fired from one job to another because he defends his brother who has PTSD and Aphasia. Now Jim Goldenrod gets handed the job to find truckers to deliver the parts which includes himself, Mike and another driver who goes by the name of Tantoo, also joining the team is Mike’s brother and a guy name Varnay who is a insurance risk assessment. As the film goes on we begin to learn that the company that owns the mine cut safety guidelines to save money which caused the explosion and they hope that the miners do in fact die because if they live they will reveal the truth and as for Varnay, he begins to mess up the trucks to prevent the team from making it to the mine. Jim is the first to die while he is trying to hook up his rig as the ice road begins to crack and Tantoo basically gets kidnapped by Varnay who turns out to be a pretty bad ass in his own right because every time Mike tries to stop him, he just gets back up for more . Finally with just one truck they get up to the mine and saves day and exposes the truth!!

Now it’s time to talk about the movie and let’s start with the plot. There wasn’t really any turns that you didn’t see coming even with Varnay. Killing Fishburne off early in the film when it seems like he would have an bigger role was a mistake in my eyes. Neeson being himself was just fine. The graphics were on the cheaper end and I expected a little better but not this. Neeson isn’t who he once was so the action was very little. In the end I am giving this movie a C or 70 percent as a review!

I Am Lisa Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

I was fifty-fifty with picking this movie for B Movie Sunday. Had a solid enough premise and found myself circling back around to it the last few weeks. Thinking about it but wasn’t too sure about it. Have come across similar movies and they always seemed to be a let down. Found myself circling back to it again today and decided to stop putting it off and give it a shot. Lets dive in and see if it was worth while.

**SYNOPSIS**

We kick things off with a woman running through the woods. Turning out to be a werewolf when she attacks the man. Only to be put down by the Sheriff. We jump to Lisa, going to work at a book store. Having a friendly chat with a woman named Mary about Werewolves and how Lisa doesn’t believe in supernatural. When Mary leaves, A group of women come in. Being led by Jessica. Who begins tearing into Lisa on everything. How she only came back because her Grandmother died and left her the store. Before stealing a copy of a Clockwork Orange. She goes out with her friend Sam later. Still upset but they can’t do anything since her Mother is the Sheriff. The next day Jessica brings the book back, and spits in her face when she opens up and her kiss is rejected. Threatening her when she throws her out. Having enough Lisa goes to the Sheriff, who tells her it was nothing. When she threatens to go over her head though. Her and her son, deputy start throwing charges at her. Then Jessica says she assaulted her to. When the Sheriff breaks her glasses she slaps her and the Sheriff knocks her out. When she comes to they proceed to assault her and knock her out again. Instructed Jessica to ditch the car in the River. Which gives Nick a chance to continue the assault in the woods. When Jess isn’t around to stop him. When she finally comes around later that evening. She is bitten by a wolf. She manages to knock him away with a rock, before blacking out. While a man watches from the shadows. Unaware of the woman sneaking up on him till she lays him out. This time, when Jessica comes around. She is in a bed and bandaged, by Mary. Who takes her home later that day. Trying to get her to talk but Lisa isn’t ready. Breaking down when she is alone and Sam comes. Checking her over, but all of her wounds, short of the bit have completely healed. Agreeing to take her home. The next day, after a long night. Lisa goes out. Needing to get air. When the Lycan takes over and she goes to pay a visit to one of her attackers and that is where I will leave it for now.

**Review**

This story had a lot of things going for it and for the most part, they handle it pretty well. Had Lisa going through the trauma of what the family did to her. To not wanting to talk and thinking she could handle it herself. While being tormented by nightmares. At the same time blending with rise of the Lycan inside her. Changing her both physically and mentally. Slowly losing her hesitancy and leaving you to wonder how the changes would take her and if she could come back.

For a low budget film, the y did a pretty good job on the gore. The make up on the woman Lisa dunked into the deep fryer being a favorite. To Lisa getting her arms nailed to the wall and branded. While the assault scene started kind of bad, with them staying on the kicks for a bit to long. Amplified in intensity pretty quick and the state she was left in by the end was brutal. Make up doing a great job on it.

Now, we got to talk the look of their werewolf and have kind of a like/hate mindset going on here. I did like how she looked for most of the movie. With the bigger, shined eyes and claws. Even liked the teeth. Now, the look we got at the end was pretty bad. It just didn’t work for me. As I have covered before, I am very picky when it comes to werewolves and this didn’t do it for me. Would have been better to keep her the way she looked during the rest of the movie. Would have helped differentiate her more. Since, she was overcoming the curse. Something to keep her out of that final look.

Kristen Vaganos did brilliant as Lisa. Starting off as a really likeable girl who made you feel a tremendous amounts of sympathy for. Bringing out all of the trauma and the changes to perfection. While Manon Halliburton was an excellent enemy for Lisa. She came off a heinous and gritty. A villain who was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Than we get Carmen Anello’s performance as Jessica. Who, did a great job. This is not shade on her but, I don’t think we got enough of Jessica. She was playing with a certain degree of remorse over what happened and think that could have been a fun avenue to go down and even help tell the story of revenge a bit more. If she could have had more time to build off that and while not have a full redemption arc. But becoming aware and changing along the way. Leading Lisa to have a question at the end on whether she should forgive and move on. Unless, I read it wrong, than my bad.

On to some soft negatives. The movie could feel a bit slow at times. Some of the scenes do drag on a bit to long and could have cut a few minutes here or there to make things move a bit more. Like I said, could have used a bit more time with Jessica. For better or worse, she was the one who initiated all of this. Only to become a bit character in it. None of these hurt the movie. Just a few nitpicks.

At the end, I did enjoy I am Lisa quite a bit. From feeling sorry for Lisa and wanting to see her pull through all of this and see her survive the ordeal of the Family and be able to leave with Sam. To some nasty pieces of work in the Huckins Family. While this movie can getting pretty dark. Would suggest giving it a watch.

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Fear Street 1666 Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

The hype was real going into Fear Street 1666. The third in a trilogy that has been simply blow away expectations by leaps in bounds. Me and Paulie did the reviews on the other two on the Podcast, where we did a bit of speculations on where they were going, but they were just minor. Had no idea on what to expect going in or the feintest idea on where it was going and was excited. Been such a wild ride and couldn’t wait to see the conclusion. So, lets not waste time and jump right in.

**Synopsis**

After the recap we get things going with Sarah Fier and her brother, Henry helping to deliver piglets. Taking one to Solomon Goode, giving us a chance to meet the people of the village. All secretly planning not only a party later, but Sarah, Hannah and other friend, head on out to the woods first. Sneaking out to a recluse Widow to steal berries. Telling various stories about the Widow along the way. When they finally sneak in. Starting to look, sure she wasn’t there. Sarah finds a book, detailing the way to make a deal with the devil. When the Widow arrives. Giving her a cryptic warning. To beware the devil before they make their leave. Heading back to the party around the bomb fire. Sarah stepping in when Caleb grabs Hannah. Hitting and humiliating him, as her and Hannah run off into the woods. Where they share a kiss and as it started to progress. A sound gets them running. Afraid of what may happen if they are caught. The next morning Hannah comes to get her. Her Father, Pastor Cyrus was acting strange. Sitting up in bed. Just mumbling and she was afraid that they brought the devil because of what they did. That they wouldn’t be able to see each other anymore. While Sarah was reassuring her that it would be fine. Hannah’s Mother comes back and is enraged. They had been spotted by Thomas who was telling the village. Throwing Sarah out and everyone is watching. Making it home and her Dad is blaming himself. As the day goes on, Sarah notices all the food is rotted and the Mother Pig had eaten all of the piglets. Through the town, similar craziness is going on. Bad food, horses are going wild. Sarah’s dog is found dead in the well and the locals start blaming the Devil. When she goes home, Solomon swings by and she tells him she is worried that it is her fault. It wasn’t just a dalliance she had with Hannah and those feels are what has brought the devil to Union. Which Solomon disagrees with. When they are interrupted by what was going on outside. Pastor Cyrus had taken the kids and barricaded them into the church. When Solomon finally breaks in. The kids are dead and have had their eyes cut out. Cyrus, has his eyes out as well, but goes for Sarah and Solomon has to put him down with a rake. A town meeting is called, which Sarah and Hannah watch through the window. Everyone wanting to find the culprit. Everyone yelling and screaming. Some blamed all the kids for partying. Another wants body checks for the mark of the beast. One even has a list. Solomon tries to talk sense into them, but that was when caleb lies about what happened at the party. That he was bewitched and humiliated by the two witches in town, Sarah and Hannah. Who are then spotted. They try to run, but Hannah is caught. Sarah manages to sneak her way back. Where Hannah tells her that they are going to hang her tomorrow. When Sarah concocts a plan. That they want a witch. She will give them a witch and that is where I will leave it for now.

**Review**

This was such a great end for the trilogy. Did a great job setting the stage for Sarah to be the witch and within reason. She was pushed into it by the village to protect herself and Hannah. All the things like the Widows warning and Cyrus attacking her. Putting the pieces together. Setting Sarah up to go full witch and then shifted direction entirely and you see the shift coming. When she goes to Solomon. You can see where this is going, but it doesn’t deflate you, but sucks you in. Changes how you felt and know about Sarah and what this means for what is currently happening in 1994. Speaking of which. I loved the fact that this was an almost even split of our time spent in 1666 and 1994. We got to spent enough time learning the truth behind Sarah Fier and what we needed. So, we can go back with more than enough time to properly round things out in a thrilling way.

The cinematography was stellar. I loved the camera work throughout. Especially on scenes like the town hall meeting. Making the descent into madness as the townsfolk all set their targets on Hannah and Sarah. The clashes between colonial times of being dirty and gritty to the neon aesthetics of the mall worked nice. The score was much better in this movie, without constant music changes in the first two. The gore was again, well done, including the visual of Sarah’s hanging body.

They did a great job at putting all the pieces in place and tying up the loose end. Explaining how her hand ended up where it did without being cheap. How her body was dug up and relocated by Hannah and her friend. Taking the secret with them so she could rest in peace. Explaining why Goode kept his mouth shut and didn’t back Ziggy’s story. Even having Ziggy bring Nurse Lane closure so she can find peace of her own.

The actresses and actors not only did a great job, but most did it twice. Since almost everyone that we have seen in 1994 and 1978 were back and killing it with a whole new character. Kiana Madeira was excellent as Sarah. The chemistry she had with Olivia Scott Welch was on point. When the two of them were on screen whether it was as Sarah and Hannah or Deena and Sam. They always made you care. From the very beginning with the mixed feelings from the break up to grief of Deena losing Sam to the madness she was in and the heart wrenching scene of Hannah helplessly watching them kill Sarah and being the last one at the tree to the feel good end we got. All coming together off their hard work. Ashley Zuckerman really used this movie let himself shine. First as Solomon but then we got to see the evil side of Nick Goode and he nailed it in that aspect. Same with a lout of the others. Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Gillian Jacobs, and while we didn’t get to see Elizabeth Scopel’s Sarah Fier outside of a scene or two. Her voice was chilling.

Negatives… I suppose we didn’t need the list mid credit scene of the book being snatched from the caverns by a mystery person. Could have really just ended it with Deena and Sam. I want to see more of course, but this felt like a close for the story we have been following. This is a nothing negative. Just didn’t care for it.

Leigh Janiak crafted a wonderful trilogy and Fear Street 1666 was a spectacular, wild ride of a finale. The cast all came out and pulled out multiple great characters and if you haven’t seen these movies yet. You should change that and check it out. Final Grade – S

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Money In The Bank 2021 Predictions

By: Justin Hopkins

Behind the Royal Rumble, the Money In The Bank has grown rapidly as one of the most exciting times of the year for the WWE. For good reason, the briefcase adds a level of excitement and unpredictability when the briefcases are in play. Well, for the most part. Some have been questionable but that is besides the point. With this being the first major crowd back, since Mania. I am expecting the wrestlers to go all out and that can only make these matches that much better and hopefully jumpstart WWE a bit more going forward. Lets put on the tin foil hat and try to predict some of these matches.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match – The Viking Raiders vs AJ Styles and Omos (Champions)

This feud has been alright. Could have been a better, but this match could be a fun little match with the Raiders trying to figure out a way to handle Omos and I kind of expect them to be successful to a point, but I don’t expect a title to change here. Not when there is a bigger match on the horizon.

Winners and still Raw Tag Team Champions – Aj Styles and Omos

Raw Women’s Championship Match – Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley (Champion)

The temptation to just put for periods, pick Rhea to retain and moving on is strong. Seriously, they have to start pushing more women on Raw.

Winner and still Raw Women’s Champion – Rhea Ripley

WWE Championship Match – Kofi Kingston vs Bobby Lashley (Champion)

This match is going to be a lot of fun. Especially following Bobby’s outburst at the end of the wall. Kofi is perfect to bounce off the powerhouse of Bobby and they can make some real magic happen, but since a later prediction ties into this one, will have to pick Bobby to take the W here.

Winner and still WWE Champion – Bobby Lashley

Universal Championship Match – Edge vs Roman Reigns (Champion)

Yeah, as much as I would love to see the Rated R Superstar take the belt off the Head of the Table, but Roman is the biggest story going and it isn’t coming to an end now.

Winner and still Universal Champion – Roman Reigns

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Kevin Owens vs Drew McIntyre vs Riddle vs Ricochet vs John Morrison vs Big E vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs Seth Rollins

This match is just going to be mad. while I do wish that Cesaro would have been apart of this. The guys in here are going to go crazy and let it all fly. Morrison and Ricochet are going to do stupid stunts off the ladder. Same with probably Owens. Drew and Big E going to be the powerhouse chucking people and ladders around and Riddle is a wild card on what to expect from him. When the match has concluded I think there can only be one winner that makes sense and we get a reunited New Day out of it.

Winner – Big E

Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Nikki Cross vs Asuka vs Naomi vs Alexa Bliss vs Natalya vs Liv Morgan vs TBD

I almost have no idea who can walk away with this one. Asuka would be nice. Give her the chance with the case that she didn’t get last year Nikki Cross (I know it’s ASH but no. Superhero is one word so ASH does not work) could really use the win. At the same time she can ride the momentum she’s got to ride into a title match. Liv really needs it as well, but then you got the TBD and speculation is going wild on who it can be. Coin toss and the TBD can really throw a wrench into my pick but going to still with Liv as the one walking away with the case.

Winner – Liv Morgan

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Escape From New York Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

July 10th marked the 40th Anniversary of John Carpenters Escape From New York. A Science Fiction Action movie, starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken and I couldn’t think of a better movie to talk about for this months Classic 13. When I watched this movie when I was a kid to watch it a few times before it grew on me. See, I watched Escape From L.A first and the tone shifts were a bit jarring, but that is for another time. Lets jump in and see what makes Escape From New York a Classic.

Synopsis

We start off with voice over telling explaining that after crime had skyrocketed to 400 percent in 1988. New York had been converted to a Maximum Security Prison, for the entirety of the county. A fifty foot wall surrounding Manhattan Island with mines on the bridges. The only inhabitants are prisoners. If you go in; you don’t come back. We jump to 1997. Where we see two prisoners getting blown up when they tried to escape on a make shift raft. We jump back to the base and see the arrival of Snake Plissken. Who is in cuffs and being led down the hall and is stopped by someone. While that was going on, they had an issue of a plane entering the city. A terrorist had taken it over and flying it into the city. Going to crash it, when they run the name they learn that it is in fact Air Force One that is being taken down. The President manages to make it out in an escape pod. They rush in to get him, but he i s already gone and are confronted by a guy. Who shows them the president’s cut off finger and tells them they have thirty seconds to get out. Which brings us back to why they stopped Snake. A war Hero turned criminal. They offer him a pardon to go in and bring the president back in 24 hours, for the Hartford Summit. He agrees but while he is getting ready, he unwittingly gets injected with a heat charges. That will blow out his arteries if he doesn’t make it back in time. He makes it in with relatively no issues. Even manages to track the President’s Vital blip on the devise only it is not on the president, but a drunk and they are not letting him comeback without the President. Leaving him to have to track the President down in the city before it is to late.

Review

The Cinematography in this movie is gorgeous. Keeping the lights down and using the darkness to their advantages. Never knowing if what you saw is something important or just a crazy running around. The city being a dark and gritty place that you did not want to find yourself in. The score was spot on. From building up hype during the opening credits to the music going when the crazies were coming out if the sewers. Ambient noise was just as prevalent though. Just letting the sounds of what was going on carry and build the tension. Had a lot of fun with what the world the prisoners have concocted with what they had. I really want the chandeliers on my car asap. Carpenter did wonderfully in this area.

The story was a wild one but played really well and the pacing was good. On top of the ticking clock on Snake’s wrist, you ended up having so many pieces. Had Brain and Maggie working behind his back. Figuring out how he got in and went to save the President by themselves. To the tape floating out in the world. Leaving you wondering how Snake would escape captivity and pull it all together and generally had me enticed to see how it concluded. I loved all the little nods to Snake’s past. How everyone thought he was dead and the ties he had top Brain. Making you wonder, but never really telling or showing. Just letting his legend grow.

The cast killed it here. Kurt Russell created such an amazing, memorable character in Snake Plissken. He just went for it and owned every scene he is in. Brought such a presence and demeanor to the character that stays with you after it is over and it is almost a shame that we didn’t get an encounter between him and Frank Doubleday’s Romero, who was just the best. He turned up the charisma and eccentricity to this character. He was creepy and unnerving and it was amazing. Donald Pleasence was excellent as the president. Nailing the fear he had when he was prisoner. Especially with the line over not being able to stop shaking. Than on a dime, not caring about any of the ones who died to save him. Setting up for the end perfectly. Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Bardeau nailed it as Brain and Maggie. We didn’t get to see much of Isaac Hayes as the Duke and that is kind of a down, but the time we spent with the Duke was all postive.

The ending was fantastic and felt perfect. One small little move of Snake pocketing the two tapes to give them the wrong one was perfect revenge for what they did to him. Sticking it to the cops who used and nearly killed him and the President who couldn’t be bothered to show respect to those who died to get him here and just… perfect way to close off on.

I have no negatives. This was just a fun Sci-Fi Action movie. A memorable character in Snake Plissken, an excellent cast and a wild story. A classic for a reason. That is fun to watch at any time. Gladly suggest checking it out if you haven’t already. Final Grade – S

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!!!!

Vampire The Masquerade: Rivals Review and Discussion

By: Justin Hopkins

So, this is a new one for me. We have covered movies, shows, Video Games, Wresting, Audio Books and even a comic, but never a Bored Game. An ever growing hobby of mine during the Pandemic, thanks largely time spent watching to lovely folks over on No Rolls Barred at YouTube ( Who are fantastic and you should check them out if you are into bored games.) It was only a matter of time before it merged with my other budding love of the World Of Darkness, which has been taking over since Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. Have picked up the V5 Core book for some tabletop madness. Play test The Bloodhunt Closed Alpha, and got Vendetta, which I will play one day when I get more friends and now we get to the newest additions, Renegade Game Studios, Rivals By Matt Hyra. I didn’t know much about it, besides the fact it’s World Of Darkness and Card Game and that it can be played with 2 so I was sold. As me and my buddy started to play, was just amazed by how much fun I was having and decided wanted to talk about the game in the blog. So, lets dive in and see what the World Of Darkness conjured up in the Game of Rivals.

The Gameplay

While this game can be a bit difficult to understand and run with, but at the heart of it; It’s all about taking charge of a Coterie (Group), and take charge of San Francisco. The game comes with 4 premade decks to choose from, Brujah, Toreadors, Ventrue, and the Malkavians. Each having their own set of skills to collect Agenda Points. Brujah being the fighters, Toreadors being the ones to collect retainers (Humans) Ventrue building up ranks and Influence Points, and the Malkvains going for cerebral with their conspiracies. Along with an expansion deck so once you have a few games in, can start making coteries of your own, with differing vampires and agenda and such. Which ever you choose, you set up your side and in the middle goes the general store and the City Deck. City deck filled with events that can hinder or reward you, Second Inquisitors out to ruin your night and humans for the feasting. Along with the Prestigious, Prince Of The City Card. Can win in multiple ways, by collecting thirteen Agenda Points, knocking out your rival, or you lose if you run out of prestige.

Review

There is so much going on with this game that I don’t know where to start to praise it. There is simply so many ways to play that it feels fresh every time you. From building up influence and power with the Ventures. So, you can sway conflict votes and build up the Agenda Points that way. Racking up Retainers with the Toreardors. It’s always satisfying to win fights with the Brujah. That’s before I even mix up the decks and seeing how well things work and mesh together.

The balance of the game is handled pretty well. The game feels competitive throughout and on more than one occasion the games I played came down to the wire. Losing one game because I didn’t have a vampire to put a title on, and for me that’s what makes this game so exciting. Every turn really matters and makes you reflect. Think about what went wrong and get better because of it.

I loved the art style on the cards. From really bringing out and highlighting what makes the clans them, but making all the other cards pop as well. From the influence conflicts cards to the various weapons. A lot of work and love went into the art work and it shows.

This is a soft negative, but it comes to the Malkavians, most specifically their Conspiracies. This is a soft negative because I could just be overlooking some tactic to use with this side of the conspiracy and in a month, change my tune entirely, but for the most part it’s almost detrimental to play as them. The way it works is you got conspiracy cards you play facedown, and you can put prestige points on them. Show them to another players if you wish to pay on it, and when it has reached the pay limit you can enact it. Which can net you some rewards and come back to hurt who doesn’t, but none of this works in a two player game. You’ll just bleed prestige points and even in larger groups, the other clans just have to many ways to build a lead on you or just outright attack you and with Malkavians having some low Blood points. Can have some trouble weathering the storm.

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With all that said though, this game is still worth the purchase. The World Of Darkness did a wonderful job at putting Rivals together. There is so much replay value and with the fact they give you an expansion pack allows you to start making your own decks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is definitely worth the purchase.

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Saturday Sequel Presents Independence Day: Resurgence

By Paul Anthony

Well you know what the problem is when a film becomes a legendary film like the first one did? The problem is people will want a sequel and studios will find a way to make sequel happen. We know Independence Day was a big hit and so we knew a sequel would happen, twenty years later is crazy long though. But plans for this film started back in 2001 and ran into issues like any script does then you had the factor that the biggest star in the world, Will Smith wanted his normal 50 million dollars to do the sequel and that was number that Fox did not want to pay which probably was a mistake on their part but at the same time 50 million dollars is a lot. the budget for this film was nearly 100 million dollars more which was coming in at 165 million and the film only grossed 389 million which was far less than the first film and that’s not even counting inflation.  Many have to wonder was the film really that bad or what? I know I stayed away from the film for so long because Will Smith wasn’t in and When major stars don’t return for a sequel it does usually spell out bad news for the film. See why it is important to have actors under contract. Well there is no doubt more to it than just Will Smith not being in it. First like always let’s take a look at the plot.

The plot actually makes sense for the most part, the film picks up twenty years after the first film, where humans learn to use the technology from the alien’s space ships that were left behind which help bring the earth’s countries together  and make better weapons to fight off any other invaders, we know have force shields as well and moon base camps and even crazy looking space fighting jets, basically taking their technology made our world seem so different. But these Aliens want revenge and little did the humans know but the previous group of invaders sent out a distress call minutes before their defeat for reinforcements which took twenty years to reach the back up and tis time they brought the big guns, more aliens and a bigger mothership which is carrying a much bigger queen, but as the humans are trying to get a grip on wants happening, they start putting pieces together that these aliens aren’t the only ones out there, they do have help from another group which they blew up the ship that was sent to help rescue them when they do finally speak to this alien which you don’t actually see, they learn these good aliens are willing to share more technology for better travel and weapons and would like to have planets come together and fight these bad aliens once and for all by bringing the fight to them since the Humans are the ones to defeat them twice! which the film ends with them wanting to go off into space to fight the fight.

Now killing off Will Smith’s character was a big mistake because it closes the door on his return, then you also killed off Bill Pullman character during the film as well. CGI is a gift and a curse as I always say and, in this film, it was a curse to the point certain things just looked so cheap. Sure, some was needed but not all. Unlike the first film where they executed the plot correctly, they failed this time around. The light for a part 3 pretty much died out because this film failed to achieve the heights of the first film. In the end I am giving it C or 70 percent for just being another average film instead of being something better.

Independence Day Review

By Paul Anthony

After so many years of writing now and seeing SmashWriting grow to all platforms, the one thing I haven’t done was review a film that I have watched so many times and have yet to give it a review. With Independence Day upon us I figured to do a weekend worth of blogs and of course I had to start with this film, well let’s waste no time and start discussing this movie. The film had a star studded cast which was being led by Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn and Judd Hirsch. A whole lot of big time stars here. People may wonder why I didn’t put Will Smith first but his character was a co lead not the main lead and Will Smith wasn’t a big movie star just yet when this film came out in fact this movie plus Bad Boys which came out a year early started to launch him into superstardom but that is a discussion for another day. The movie was made on a 75 million dollar budget and ended up grossing 817 million dollars worldwide. Making it the highest grossing movie of 1996 and the second highest grossing film of all time at the time. the Movie was nominated for Academy award for best sound and won the academy award for best visual effects. The film was released on July 3rd but had a limited release on July 2nd in which the film takes place from July second to July fourth.

Honestly the plot is simple aliens begin to invade earth randomly, which of course catches the earth as whole off guard, though they had warnings those warnings were just too late and the aliens begin to destroy certain cities once again for unknown reasons at this point. The attack happens on July second and by July third the world does a counter attack which does nothing because the learn that the Aliens have some type of force shields that make any outside attack useless. When the president arrives at Area 51, we do learn that these Aliens at some point arrived on earth in small waves because here they had the old ones that arrived and also justified crazy character Russell Casse played by Randy Quaid. At this point we learn that the aliens can communicate through humans by basically chocking them and leaves the humans mentally linked to them but it is a two way thing because the presidents sees images and learns they are here to suck up the Earth’s resources which would also kill all of Mankind. But they come up with a plan to install a computer virus that will lower the aliens force shields and allow the attacks to happen which in time does work after a few tries and all ends well!

First let me say this about the cast, I thought the cast put on a pretty good performance, at first Randy Quaid’s character was just annoying at first and almost made the film cheesy but ended up serving a good purpose as the film went on. For a budget of only 75 millions the effects were on par, even using practical effects was a good touch. The story was honestly predictable but that was okay because it worked. Even keeping the aliens a low profile was brilliant because too much of them would ruin the shock value of them. In the end, I have to give this film a A plus or 95 percent for a rating and this film will continue to be one of my favorite films!

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