Saturday Sequel presents A Bad Moms Christmas
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!
Sequel Saturday presents The Santa Clause 2
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.
Sequel Saturday Presents Home Alone 2
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!
The Christmas Chronicles Review
By Paul Anthony
So I know it is a year late basically but it is almost Christmas time and it was time to do a Christmas movie review. Now Netflix has been coming strong with the movies with having some big names attached to their projects. This film starred Kurt Russell as Santa Clause and Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Clause though she makes a cameo in this film though I have to wonder in the sequel if she will have a bigger role in the next film.
So the film starts in the opening credits, we see a family that continues to grow with each clip, we see the children grow then the opening credits end and we notice that the father is no longer with the family which we learn he had died in between the Christmases. This causes the son to become a rebel or future criminal of sorts. When the mother has to work and the brother Teddy has to watch his younger sister Kate against his will things go wrong when Kate spots Santa. The duo comes together to catch Santa and to the shock of Teddy, Santa is real and they begin to follow him and the see the reindeers and the sleigh, the whole nine yards but once they get in the sleigh and cause basically an accident and then the whole night becomes ruin and Santa fears that Christmas might be ruin if they don’t correct the wrong and fix the sleigh which leads them on a goose chase.
When everything comes together Teddy realizes that Santa could have solved the problem with his magic in a matter of seconds and Santa reveals that this was plan to help Teddy to get his Christmas sprit back in which he does in the end when we find out that Teddy did write Santa and all he wanted was to see his father one last time and Santa does his best by giving him a magic ornament in which his father tells him that he is proud of him.
The story was pretty much predictably but still one that with the right plot points were able to touch the heart. Having Kurt Russel as a Santa was a good touch to the film and have to admit I thought he was the best part of the film. Though the acting from the kids was a little stiff at times I didn’t see them really hurting the film. The Writing was basic as well you saw with the lost of the father, it was going to touch the heart which is a basic element of a Christmas movie. In the end I am giving this film an 7 out 10 or a good 70 percent. Though it was basic it still did enough to please the heart!
Sequel Saturday presents: Daddy’s Home 2
By Paul Anthony
Okay I know this week I am late but I away on break because we are gearing up for the new year and a new us but that is another story now let’s get to this weekends blog and this time I am reviewing Daddy’s Home 2 which is the third film of that Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and usually they do have magic. I loved The Other guys which came out in 2010, in which I did enjoy, so you know they would work together again and make magic which it worked with Daddy’s Home because it became Will Ferrell highest grossing movie of Ferrell’s career which came in at 242 million dollars world wide, which honestly isn’t much. I often find Will Ferrell’s movies very much a hit and miss, sadly most of his movies are misses and when he does have hits, I have to say its more because of who he is working with rather then him being funny. Well here we are Daddy’s Home became a hit which means a sequel was coming and this time we would get to meet the fathers of the fathers or let’s keep it simple and say we get to meet the grandfathers. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson and John Lithgow and the question becomes was this a hit? With a 70 million dollar budget it did gross 180 million making it a hit but was it really?
The movie starts with us seeing life after the events of the first film, Brad and Dusty are getting along and being Co-Dads but the love is becoming annoying for the kids who don’t want two Christmases so the dads come together with a plan to get a rental property and have a Christmas there with everybody which includes Dusty’s dad which is played by Mel Gibson and Brad’s dad which is played by John Withgow. Right off the bad we see how Brad became Brad and Dusty became Dusty, it was because of their dads. Which means the jokes were the same and the plot was going to be the same and sure enough that is what we got. The grandfathers were different people and the families and few crazy things bring them to bond and in the end we get the ending we thought was going to happen.
I think this movie fell flat with me, as I was watching it, the jokes didn’t catch with me which means the movie began to lose my attention, the plot wasn’t creative at all and very predictable. You might ask me what could have been different and I would answer that by saying give Brad the badass father and Dusty the weirdo father, just to make things very interesting and might have made the jokes funny. In the end I am giving this a film a grade of a D or 60 percent because the movie needed to thrive on the jokes and it didn’t and the story needed to be different and it wasn’t but hey if your a Ferrell fan then I am sure you will love it!