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.
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!
Listening to “What is an Easter Egg??” at https://www.buzzsprout.com/285696/4704698-what-is-an-easter-egg
What is a Movie Easter Egg??
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
Sport leagues that we know like NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA. Have been around for a very long time and have earn the right to be at the top and then those leagues have minor leagues to groom their young talent. Let’s look at the NFL with 32 teams and each team has 53 men that makes a total of nearly 1700 players not counting practice squad. Now we know there are clearly more people who want to play pro football when they leave college either through being drafted or graduation. Look at how big the NCAA football system really is. It’s not fair to say those who don’t make it isn’t that good enough to make it, the sad point is there isn’t enough room for everyone to make it. There has only been one other true football league and that is the AFL or Arena Football league. Last year we had the AAF which folded midway through the season and left many players without a job. At This point we knew the XFL would be starting the following year, Which gave everyone hope or at least I thought so. XFL was around once before back in 2001 but folded just after one season. 19 years later they came back but will they last more than one season and will they grow?
I wanted to wait review the season after week 2 because the second week of these new football leagues are very important because now the hype is over, things are settled down and the season is in full swing. There is no doubt AAF folded because it ran out of money and we see the AFL teams fold as well because the league has shrunk but not folded. XFL is different though and that is because they have a little more money to work with and they have been drawing decent crowds which is averaging around 15000 per game and the ratings are around 1 million per game. these numbers sound low but things take time. With more money to spend and not spending like crazy which the average player makes 1000 dollars at the lowest each week and up to 2700 for winners with a salary cap of 4 million for each team it’s something the league can afford and I do hope they give us a second season.
Ratings are important and even at 1 million per average it’s still doing better than some tv shows that networks could use to replace it. Now If the ratings dip below a certain number then it could spell doom for the league. America loves football, we see that football in any market thrives. Just look now Las Vegas has a football team and a hockey team. XFL needs to use a good 5 year plan then see what happens, which I hope they can afford it and maybe even consider playing within the NFL season when people are craving Football more at. At this point XFL is doing good for being a baby league but they will need to grow but for now let’s enjoy more Football!
By Paul Anthony
After 7 films in the main series the X-Men films have come to an end and with that being said it did not end in with a bang in fact it fell flat.Some things made sense others did not but as the final film I believe this was the worse film of the series. X-Men films have been on the down fall recently but this was it. Who would have thought that doing a storyline twice would be worse then the first at least with the first time around they had Wolverine but we know Hugh Jackman retired from the role.
This movie opening weekend was the worse of any film and I kid you not, was the film a complete waste of time no, but it was pretty bad. First the crew was back and this time they had to deal with Jean Grey becoming the phoenix now in time film they make you believe it was a power from outer space however they must have forgotten about the ending of the previous film, where the film ends and makes it clear the phoenix power was in Jean Grey all along. Now another plot hole that I found and has been around was the characters ages. Magneto and Professor X should being looking the old guys that they are but instead they look the same as they did in the 60’s, these are big time plot holes that hurt the film.
Another thing that I was disappointed was that the fact that Quicksilver didn’t have one of his fun fast scenes that we were use to seeing, in fact he was hardly in the film except for a few and I do mean a few one liners. Now let’s talk about the action and the action came in the final twenty minutes of the film and when you have a two hour long movie that is suppose to be an action film but instead we got a bunch of running around with a story that was very thin as it was and to have no action to go along with it just made it a snooze fest.
Now as much as it seems like I am bashing this film, there were some good moments, when Jean grey got to use her powers it was a fun ride to see how powerful she truly was and even the performances of many of the cast were on par but hers really did stand out and I am truly sad not to see Sophie Turner do more X-Men films, Who knows maybe Disney will keep her when they reboot the series down the road. I am big Marvel fan and it breaks my heart to give this film a 2 star rating, it wasn’t bad and it had some good moments honestly I would say go see it on discount days and that is HOW X-Men ends!
By Paul Anthony
When you are in show Biz, you realize that it is hard work to make it in Hollywood and sometimes the hard work is just not good enough. Recently a star of a hit show called Empire which is on Fox decided just to throw it all away. We don’t know why this person decided to do this but whatever the reason is we know that it wasn’t worth. Empire been on air since 2105 and Jussie Smollett has been apart of that show ever since it started. So if you live under a rock I will explain what he did and why it might have just ruin his career.
The reasons why he did what he did is still unclear but the biggest rumor has been the money, which Fox has denied which implies they believe everyone is getting paid the right amount and the fact no one else is complaining, but let’s start from the beginning Jussie Smollett reported to the Chicago Police that he was attacked by two light skin men who screamed MAGA, which stands for Make America Great Again which is the slogan President Trump uses. Part of the report also stated that, they threw a white Chemical substance on him during the attack. He also stated he was a target because he was black and gay. With this happening in Chicago where the racial tension is at a high which is the reports and nothing to truly back it up but in any case this didn’t help matters. The Police started the investigation and what they found was what no one was expecting. The “Attackers” weren’t light skin or white no, they were two African America men who are in fact friends with Smollett. After awhile they finally admitted that Smollett paid them 3500 dollars via check to staged an attack and that they are not racist by any means. Oh that chemical substance was nothing more than tyenol.
Since these are facts now Fox decided to cut Smollett character out the final three episodes of Empire this season and we are still waiting for them cut his character out all together which i am guessing they will do if he is truly convicted in this crime because he could face jail time in this case. This is one of those dramas that could follow him through his career if he still has one. Studios will think twice about casting him because of the fear of the blacklash they will get when they do cast him in a role.
I hope we do find out why he did what he did because he was willing to throw away everything he worked for. Did he want more money? Did he want a brealk from the show? These are the two biggest question of this whole situation. I never watched the show to be honest, I don’t know how big his character is or if he wanted more screen time and thought since he is gay, they were holding him, who knows but we will know soon enough.
By Paul Anthony
Some would say going to the movies is the thing of the past here in the States. Well 2018 are in and the numbers proves that at least last year that was not the case. The numbers also prove that if you produce a good film people will go out to the movies and not do something else. Last year was one of those years where it seems like so many good movies came out and with that being said 2018 set a new record. Last Year Hollywood made 11.9 billion dollars, so I would say business is doing just fine.
In 2018 there were 140 films that made a difference, now within those films Disney released 13 films, Warner Bros released 49 films, Sony released 28 films, Universal released 38 films and then there is Fox with 17 films and Paramount releasing 12 films. Disney may have only released 13 films but they lead the way with 3.092 billion in the Domestic box office. Universal was close with 1.959.76 billion, Warner Bros was next at 1.940.69 billion. Then Sony at 1,283.72 billion and Paramount at a low 757 Billion.
If we think these numbers are just a fluke then guess again because these studios have some big titles coming out this year and could even top 2018. Disney has films like Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Avengers: EndGame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Artemis Fowl, Frozen 2 and Star Wars 9. Warner Bros has titles like The Lego Movie 2, Shazam, Detective Pikachu, Mine Craft, Godzilla king of the Monsters, Shaft, IT 2, Joker and the gold Finch and another Conjuring film. Sony could have a great year as well with titles like Men in Black: International, Spider-Man: Far from Home, ZombieLand 2 and a third Jumanji film. Universal might have an off year with small titles like US and Happy Death Day 2U but could rebound with titles like How to Train Your Dragon three and Hobbs and Shaw as well as The Secret Life of pets part two. This could Be Fox.s last year before they join Disney and they will ride the Marvel way with Dark Phoenix and New Mutants and Alita. Paramount is banking on films like What Men What, Pet Sematary, A Terminator film, Rocket Man, Dora explorer and Sonic.
Now we know these titles sound good but could flop we can look at Alita right now though it open at number one the numbers haven’t been there just yet. But it is hard to believe with certain titles won’t do good or even great but in any case let’s sit back and enjoy the year.