By: Justin Hopkins
Another trip back down the road. A calendar years worth of movies to weigh with invisible qualities that, only the one putting their list together can see. What movies made them feel something. Happiness, sadness, suspense and thrills. Fan favorites being taken off from the list cause of little tick. Making space for an unpopular one. Making a list that is uniquely your own. Which is what makes them so much fun. To see why they chose they way they did and pick up some that you may have overlooked or missed, because it was easy to do in 2021. So, with all of that said, let’s dive in shall we.
Style and creativity helps lock down the tenth spot on my list. Despite the fact I gave it a bit of a mediocre grade. Annabelle Wallis did a really good job as Madison. Which went a long way in paying off a climax that stays with you long after the movie is over.
9. Psych 3: This is Gus
I had to. I love this group so much and every time they put out a movie it is such a delight. James Rodriguez and Dulé Hill never fail to entertain. The fight in the bathroom was over the top in the best possible ways and Timothy Omundson can pull on the heart strings with almost ease. A must if you were a fan of the show and check out the show if you haven’t so you can enjoy this one.
I know, I am shocked to. Had given up on the Saw movies after 3, and was disappointed in that one. This movie was more then just look at the elaborate traps that the series had seemed to fall into. Presenting us with an intriguing story and mystery around it, and while there were a lot of solid performances, Chris Rock is the one that sealed it for me. He excelled in his performance and should stick to the genre for a while.
7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
This felt like the sequel that should have come out a long time ago. Cast, setting everything was spot on and future looks bright for them moving on.
I love this movie so much. This was such a fun movie. From the fight sequences, colors, music. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was spectacular, by making you care about a character that you know is doomed.. I actually thought it would be higher on the list, but it’s been that kind of year.
They made fashion war entertaining. Took a character as vile as Cruella and made her a sympathetic hero. Not a small feat, but they managed to pull it off. Of course, having Emma Stone as Cruella, makes it so much easier for them.
4. Resident Evil: Welcome To Racoon City
The fanboy in me had an absolute blast with this. Loved the changes they made to keep those who know the story off kilter and had they not made Leon a joke. This could have been number 1.
3. The Suicide Squad
Hey look, a dark, mature Comic Book Movie that is actually fun to watch. Margot is still excels as Harley. Idris Elba and Daniela Malchior were amazing additions and can’t believe it took this long to get villain John Cena. Even Joel Kinnaman made us care about the death of Rick Flag and he was awful in the first go around.
2. Spider-Man No Way Home
What can I say that hasn’t been beaten to death the last few weeks. It has everything. Nostalgia, emotional thrill ride, excellent moments and scenes. They took you on a ride throughout and ended on a bittersweet moment. An excellent movie that nearly knocked off the number one movie.. or well movies.
1.Fear Street Trilogy
Is it a cheat putting all three of them together; maybe, but the three work so well together that I can’t ignore them. Had me on the edge of my seat and emotions swinging wildly. Characters that I couldn’t stand and swung wildly the other way and was pulling for them to make it. Cliffhangers that had escalated everything perfectly, and a reveal that was a hundred percent the opposite of what I thought I was expecting. Had me hooked and engaged and they even had great and gruesome kills. 1994, 1978, and 1666 came together and fit together seamlessly and made for a stunning story, and claims the number one spot on my list.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to a new week where we look at the numbers at the box office and see who took the top spot in this pandemic world that we live in right now. This week we had four new films that came out. We had the Courier, City of lies, Last Call and Dark State. Of the four new films only 1 managed to crack the top ten which came in at number 3, so let’s see the other top 9 films of this past weekend.
- Raya and the Last dragon, which took in 5,150,000 and bringing it’s total of 23,432,606 in it’s 3 week run.
- Tom and Jerry, which took in 3,800,000 and bringing it’s total to 33,700,000 in its 4 week run.
- newcomer The Courier, brought their first week total to 2,012,582.
- Chaos Walking in its third week brought in 1,925,000 and bringing it’s total to 9,693,633
- The Croods: A New Age, in it’s 17th week made 620,000 bringing it’s total to 55,244,578
- Boogie, in it’s third week made 600,000 and bringing its total to 3,262,475
- The Marksman, in it’s 10th week it brought in 480,000 dollars, bringing it’s total to 14,268,447.
- Wonder Woman 1984, in it’s 13th week brought in 460,000 and bringing it’s total to 45,560,000
- The Little Things, in its 8 week brought in 340,00 dollars and bringing it’s total to 14,708,000
- The father in it’s 4th week brought in 321,701 dollars bringing it’s total to just 969,640
We will see who takes the top spot next week because we do have five films entering the crowded field, until next week!!!
By Paul Anthony
I know this one seems to be random considering up to this point all the films I have reviewed for this series has been part two’s and never reached part three’s yet but here I am about to review a part 4, trust me I know but I just had to. Today is Halloween and we all know that but I wanted to take a step back from hard horror films and focus on the light hearted films like this film franchise. Now this film is an interesting one because you this film would be made and excitement and ratings proved that but I think fans of the series was shocked to get the final product that we got, I know I was. Return to Halloween is fourth and final film in this Disney original movie Franchise. It started way back in 1998 and ended in 2006. I remember watching the first 2 and honestly after watching this film I do need to watch the third film but also each film was a new story so they have been indirect sequels minus part 2 which the story did continue in some ways with the first film.
In This film Marnie and her brother Dylan head off to college in Halloweentown. However Marnie soon learns that she can’t use magic which basically makes this college the same as any other college. She learns that she actually did this because of the events that took place in part 3 so basically this is her fault. At the same time there evil lurking at the school that want to use her to fulfil a prophecy which will turn people into slaves but they need her help. Which after a few basic twists they sucker her into helping them, she quickly outsmarts them to save the date. Pretty basic here but I wasn’t expecting anything crazy from a Disney Movie.
There are things that I didn’t like about this film and the major blow was the recasting of Marnie who from the first three films was played by Kimberly J. Brown, however in this film she was played by Sara Paxton. From the research I did there was never a reason given for the change though Brown stated she wanted to come back for the fourth film. With the casting change also brought character changes which made the character seem like two different people and also the youngest child Sophie was mentioned in this film but never seen. They explained this by saying she was off to train as a witch yet Marnie didn’t have any training and just went to school. The Graphics were bigger and also cheaper looking at times. I was okay with the plot, sure it could have been better but not by much. It does seem like Disney wanted to make this movie just to make it and because of this I have to say this might be the weakest of the four films. The Sara Paxton acting did make this film hard to watch. In the end, it does seem like an average Disney film which is sad to say because the series was fun up to this point. In the end this was just average or C rating Tv film. I am sorry if you were expecting better for this film.
By Paul Anthony
I want to make one thing clear and that is that I didn’t pick this movie as a random movie to review and talk about no. I picked this movie to review because of the unsettling times we are in. We have this whole virus thing going around but even more importantly we have people getting killed and turning us away from each other. One of things that actually brings us together is sports. We know sports aren’t going on right now when we need them the most but I decided look for a good film that through these troubling times could help us to see that we are one and united we should stand. In our country’s history we have seen this happen from time to time. the film I have decided to review is one of my favorites and that Film is called Remember The Titans. The film was released back in 2000 and starred Denzel Washington and Will Patton as football coaches. The movie is regarded as one of the best football films of all time. The film had a budget of just 30 million and a legacy that still stands after nearly twenty years after it was released.
The Movie starts ins 1981 and we see everyone attending a funeral but we don’t know whose, at that point we go back to 1971 where the town of Alexandria Virginia where a new school is formed from ending segregation. But there is hatred of course from both sides, no one is getting along there we meet Coach Yoast who is head coach of the team but also a future state hall of famer. Herman Boone arrives to be a coach under Yoast but the board voted him the head coach to make things look good which Boone felt unfair to Yoast until he sees how much this means to the black community, at that point Boone wants Yoast to join the team under him but Yoast pride as being an head coach prevents him until the players inform him if he doesn’t coach then they will quit the team which Yoast doesn’t want them to lose scholarships because of this matter. During a team meeting Boone introduces himself to the black players which they quickly learn he’s all about winning and nothing else. The meeting is interrupted by Yoast and the white players and tell Boone he wasn’t to join but full control of the Defense. The Day comes for the players to get on the buses to training camp Boone sees that blacks went on one bus and the whites went on another bus. It annoys Boone tot the point he orders one bus be for offense and one for defense and you must sit by someone of the opposite race. The players do and Boone orders them that they must get to know each other for training camp becomes easier. He then takes them on a long jog to the battle field of Gettysburg and explains the history when black and whites stood together and died for each other and it brings the team together. After camp though their newly formed bonds are testing but survives. However Boone is informed if he loses one game he is fired and Yoast will be the coach again but the team goes 13-0 and wins the state championship. It is revealed that the funeral is that of the former team captain who help bond the team was killed by a drunk driver and the movie ends with them saying their goodbyes to his coffin.
I couldn’t agree more with calling this film one of the better football films and even to this day brought tears to me to see how powerful people can be when we are together as 1. Everything was on point and it was hard to name something I didn’t like. In the end I am calling this a must watched film and giving it a grade of an A!
By Paul Anthony
I have to admit I am missing hockey and with my beloved Penguins already basically set to be in the playoffs before this mess even happen, and with the news that the NHL does have an plan and agreement to resume action, I needed to find another hockey movie to enjoy and another fun sequel came to mind. Of course I am talking about D2: The Mighty Ducks. Which was released in March of 1994 and became a beloved hit with fans and even spawn another sequel. Now sadly I was not able to find an budget for this film but the first film was ten million and it made 50 million for a gross. Part two didn’t do bad either and came close to first films gross and that gross was around 46 million. If I would have to put number on the budget I would say around 12 to 14 million, in any case I do believe it made a decent little profit.
Anyway let’s get to the plot. The film picks up just after the offseason when the Ducks won the State Championship and their coach left to be a minor league hockey player which he was so good that he was just one step away as the announcers would say from being called up to the NHL despite only playing one season. However a dirty player decided to ruin Bombay’s career by busting up his knee which ended his career for good. So he returns home to figure out what to do next and that when a sponsor shows up to recruit him to coach Team USA with some of his Duck players and some new talent around the country. The team heads out to Los Angles California where they begin to work as a team and win games. Slowly fame goes to Bombay’s head and he begins to change the way he acts and coaches the team and when he full out changes, the team gets crushed by Iceland which has become the number 1 favorite to win it all. After losing the game and losing his team Bombay begins to find himself and realizes the only way to win is to be himself and so it begins and team USA returns to their winning ways however they meet Iceland in the finals which goes to a shootout and uniform to spark the ducks to win the shootout and game and the team returns home where they enjoy a camp fire which happens during the credits.
I don’t think this film was bad not at all actually. I think the biggest problem was that it felt like the first film all over again and I think that was the biggest problem. Some elements like the timeline with Bombay’s career didn’t make sense like how was he so ready for the NHL. Some of the cast from the first film are missing without being explained. Then at the same time too many of the Ducks were on the team and not so many were around the country. Overall though it was still a fun family film to enjoy if you and the kids are missing hockey like I am and in the end I am giving this film a B plus for a rating!
By Paul Anthony
I have seen plenty of films, since I was born and some films and one film that I haven’t watched and forgot about was DR. Dolittle 2. Now I haven’t seen the latest Dolittle film which I am guessing is a true reboot because it stars Robert Downey Jr. The franchise once had another big name star and his name is Eddie Murphy. In this era Murphy had to become the most famous Actor and everything he was in was gold though that would start to change the next year with Pluto Nash. The film franchise overall has been up and down with fans. The very first film was a bomb in the 60’s though it became a cult classic and the 2020 reboot was a failure. But the Murphy led films were hits. Part 1 came out in 1998 and grossed nearly 295 million on a 70 million dollar budget and you knew what that meant, a sequel was coming and three years later we got a second film. This film didn’t need a bigger budget, which is something you don’t see often like the first film this budget as well was only 70 million. The gross numbers weren’t the same however but it was still a hit because it grossed 176 million which was down nearly 120 million but never the less it made money. This would be the last Murphy film as the following 3 sequels were direct to DVD and focused on his youngest daughter who inherit the family trait, something we saw her trying to do in this film.
The plot starts a few years after the events of the first film and now Dolittle is more famous than ever because his ability to talk to animals. Just when Dolittle thinks his life can’t anymore busier, raccoon shows up telling him a godfather beaver wants his help to save the forest, which will be torn down and the animals are asking for his help. Of course he agrees but learns the only way to save the forest is to have two endangered animals breed there. That’s when he comes across Archie whos is a circus bear but also the last male pacific western bear and he recruits the bear to help him which Archie must breed with AVA the last female pacific western bear. This is no easy task because he realizes Archie is use to the good life and not a bear life. At the same time Dolittle begins to realize since he has become famous he hasn’t focused on his family and everyone is drifting apart but his family comes back together when he needs their help and even learns his oldest daughter can talk to animals as well and even Archie learns the bear life just in the nick of time because the log company owner begins the process of tearing the forest down but the animals band together and attack him every way they can. In the end the forest is saved and Dolittles return home and Archie and AVA breed and have two cubs and the movie ends on a high note.
I really did enjoy this film, to me everything was on par with the first film, the only drop I saw was the comedy wasn’t there as much as the first film. That could be because the plot required less comedy giving the subject but it was still a good family comedy. The drop in the gross could honestly come from other films because this film went up against the fast and the furious as well as other summer hit of that year and there was a lot of them. In all I am giving this film a high B for a review and say its good film to watch with the family.
By Paul Anthony
The things I love besides entertainment is history and science. What if there was a movie that was good but also was about history and it was an adventure movie. Well that is what we got for this weekend edition of Saturday Sequel. Today we are going to be talking about the 2007 hit film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. the has the cast from the first film pretty much intact from the first film. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel. The film takes place a short time after the events of the first film. Once again these films peaked my interest because of how they blend their own history with real history. The film made a good amount of money which is a great sign, the total gross was nearly 458 million dollars compared to the first film which made 348 million. The budget was bigger but only by 30 million, in which the budget was 130 million to the film which was 100 million. You would like the grosses to be a little higher than 500 million but Disney can afford it as long as they make their money back.
Here we are back in the civil war era when the film starts, two men one of which is John Wilkes Booth, they ask Thomas Gates to decode a message in which he does but when he realizes what the message is he decides to burn it, which angers the men and they shoot him in which he tells his son clues to what the message was and of course Booth shoots President Lincoln. They fast forwarded to modern day where Patrick and Ben is giving a speech about that situation. They get interrupted by Mitch who is another treasure hunter, that needs to find the city of gold, decides to convince people in which does that Thomas Gates was apart of the group that planned for Lincoln to be killed. This was a trick to get Ben to search for the city of gold, which he does. He pieces together clues from the White House and London and even France that leads him to Mount Rushmore where that mountain is a cover up of the city of Gold. The problem is Mitch isn’t a good guy here, he’s the bad guy that makes his money in the black Market, so he attacks Ben’s family in every sense to get Ben to work for him in which he does. In the final moments when they find the city which is rigged with traps, Mitch shows his better sign telling Ben he just ruined their family’s name to get his help to find this place and allows them to go by sacrificing his life so the crew can get out alive and return Ben informs the president that Mitch deserves the credit as well as him.
The Movie may have not been the best of it’s kind but it did enough, sure I do believe more action scenes may have helped the film a little more but for a Disney film that reached all families I have to say they did a good job overall I am giving this film a high B. if you find something to knock about go ahead because there is much! Part 3 was finally announced, so I am curious to see what they will do with part three, just sad it took this long to announced it!
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to another edition of Roundabout and sorry for the delay, as we all know this has been a tough week for all of us. We know what has been going with the virus and how everything is shutting down for the next two weeks or so, and hopefully that will work.
Let’s get into some wrestling news because I touched upon this with my blog earlier regarding WWE biggest event WrestleMania but that is still a few weeks away but they do have shows to do. For a couple of days we knew Smackdown was going to be switched from Detroit to the Performance Center in Tampa without an audience. other sports leagues were thinking about doing this but instead just paused their seasons all together. Now we know Monday Night Raw which was suppose to take place here in Pittsburgh will now also be at the Performance Center. it’s sad for us here because we were all excited to see Stone Cold Steve Austin for the first time in 17 years and on 3 16 but now that will have to wait until next time. However we can expect that WWE will do their shows without the crowds for the next few weeks until things become safe again.
AMC which is one of the bigger movie theater chains will remain open even though most state governments have order that there should be no mass gathers. now I don’t know what AMC plans to do because movies are getting delayed left and right. I guess some companies want try to remain normal through this period of time.
As we know a lot of studios are pretty much shutting down production on all of their shows and movies. Netflix and Disney and AMC all pretty much came out and said their shows will not finish production at this moment.
T.V shows aren’t the only thing being pushed back. Some big time movies have pushed their release dates way back, here are some as of right now F9, No Time to Die, Lovebirds, Mulan, The New Mutants, A Quiet Place Part II, and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and My Spy. It’s unclear if more movies that are done will follow. We know Vin Diesel new film Bloodshot is expected to take the number 1 spot.
Now the next big film to be released is Black Widow which is set to come out in the first week of May and many are wondering if this film should get pushed back as well and I have my answer and as of right now it should be no. May is still over a month away and already because we are following in China’s foot steps we should be able to contain this outbreak, there are cases now where people already recovered from it. At the very least we should wait another three weeks or so and see if it got worse before we start to cancel the summer.
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced that they tested positive for Covid-19 in Australia where Hanks was filming a new movie. he updated us with him saying they are taking things day by day. This is our first true case where we can see as a public of how bad it is or how bad we think it is. Here at Smash we want to say we hope Tom and Rita make a full recovery.
By Paul Anthony
Recently Johnny Depp has been in the media’s eye for abusing Amber heard well that is what she claims but then a tape got recent and it was Amber who was the abusing luckily the truth came out and cleared Johnny’s name. So With that being said I decided it was time to review a Johnny Depp movie and then I decided on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Here is the run down, Dead Man’s Chest is a direct sequel to the first film which is The Curse of the Black Pearl, which came out in 2003 and grossed over 650 million dollars from a budget of 140 million. Which back then was a pretty good amount, by today’s standards that would be the low point where a movie should be at. Nevertheless a sequel was coming. Three years later we got Dead Man’s chest. Like always the budget got larger it went from 140 million to 225 million which is an increase of 85 million, did it pay off for them in the end? Well it sure did because it grossed over a billion dollars and ended up becoming the highest grossing film of the series only the fourth film came close to it. it’s one thing to make a lot of money but another to live up to the film so the question is did?
The film starts with Will and Elizabeth wedding which comes to an halt when they get arrested for allowing Jack to escape at the end of first film. At this point I would have to assume the events of the first film was only a few months ago because it couldn’t have taken years for Lord Cutler Beckett to arrive and arrest them. At this point Will’s father Bill visits Jack on his ship to reveal that the debt he owes Davy Jones needs to repaid which Jack made a deal with him years ago to raise the Black Pearl and jack would join his crew for 100 years or 100 souls, this debt was something Jack was never going to repay and forgot all about it. Commodore James Norrington who gave Jack a one day lead to escape is on the run and disappears but is also set to be arrested for his action. All Three men want Davy Jones’s chest which contains his heart for their own goals some better than others. Will wants the heart to free his father and Jack wants it to free his debt and Norrington wants it so he can join the navy again. The adventure begins and they have a good one on one on one sword fight but Davy Jones’s crew catches up with them and battle begins and at first Jack runs away when the Kraken is released Elizabeth realizes the monster only wants Jack so she tricks him and chains him to the ship which allows the others to escape and Jack goes down. Its not long after that we learn Norrington won the battle for the heart and rejoins the Navy. The group now decides to rescue Jack but first they need a captain whose been there and the resurrected Hector Barbossa to lead the way and the film ends.
the film overall did get better but did seem at times that they couldn’t figure out when to actually end the film but found the perfect ending. The story had a good twist with the good guys not truly winning, which was gambit if this film would have failed. The highlights for me was the sword fight and the ending of course but other than that there wasn’t too much magic that carried over from the first film. In the end I am giving this film a good high B grade or 89 percent.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to a new week and oh wow what a weekend it was, we had Bad Boys for life and Dolittle going head to head. Many people figured this would be a battle to start the year off both films are big budget films and had star power to go with it but what we ended up getting a no contest. Bad Boys for life took the number 1 spot by a landslide and for Dolittle it failed to come even close to Bad Boys. In fact Dolittle came in third behind the war movie 1917 which took the second spot and Dolittle took the third spot and with a budget of 175 million, this film has become the first big bomb of the year. For the winner this blog I am giving it to Bad Boys because it just crushed anyone and the losers for this week was Dolittle and Under Water. Dolittle because it is becoming a flop and Under water because it fell from 7th to 11th an no longer in the top ten.
1.Bad Boys For Life, 62.150 million
2. 1917, 22 million
3. Dolittle, 21.950 million
4. Jumanji: The Next level, 9.680 million
5. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, 8.302 million
6. Little Women, 6.350 million
7. Just Mercy, 5.770 million
8. Knives Out, 4.323 million
9. Like a Boss, 4.35 million
10. Frozen 2, 3.918 million.
Now here are the prediction for how next week’s top ten should or could look like.
- Bad Boys For Life
- The Gentlemen
- The Turning
- Just Mercy
- Jumanji: The Next Level
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
- Little Women
- Like a Boss
- Knives Out