Saturday Sequel Presents The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia
By Paul Anthony
I am just going to start from here and let this be clear how do you title a movie with one state as the main title than have it take place in another state as the subtitle suggest. It weird that I start this blog off this way but since I first learned of this sequel, for some odd reason it would just keep bothering me. Like they could have called The Haunting in Georgia and that would have made more sense. Okay I am done ranting about the title. This is the sequel to the 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut. This film stars Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Abigail Spencer and Emily Alyn Lind. The film had a budget of 1.5 million and had a limited release and was on video on demand because of that it managed to make 5.1 million dollars. Though I am shocked that it made that much. Okay let’s jump right into the plot!!
okay now the film is inspired by the events surrounding the Wyrick house of Ellerslie Georgia. The film takes place in 1993 when Andy and Lisa (Murray, Spencer) move into a house which they got on a great deal because the bank wanted to drop the property and they claimed no one has lived there before, but shortly after they settle in, Lisa’s sister Joyce (Sackhoff) basically moves in with them. At some point their daughter Heidi (Lind) starts to have visons or people that were once on the property and Joyce reveals to her that the women in their family are born with a veil covering their face which allows them to see things that others can’t. Lisa has this ability as well but has been taking medication to suppress the visons. At this point Heidi meets a spirit name Mr. Gordy. After this basically the family starts to deal with paranormal activity, the family brings in a pastor who reveals that their house was once a part of the underground railroad, and it had a stationmaster that lived there and tells them all the good that he did and how they will be getting visitors and they should be nicer to them than Mr. Gordy was to them, which they are, and they learn these people are ancestors of the slaves that came here for freedom but were never seen again. Through more acts the family starts to learn the truth and that is the stationmaster though did good also did bad by killing slaves and keeping some for his personal collections which included a conductor and Mama Kay the visitor ancestors. They learn that Mr. Gordy was a direct ancestor of the stationmaster and tried to cover up the wrong regarding his family name and just have people remember the good. In the end everything works out of course in the end the family no longer have visons and they lived there for another 5 years in peace. The film in the end shows pictures of the real family that the characters were based on.
This movie was 1 hour and 40 minutes long and by the time the film was ending that’s when you realize what the story was actually about. The affects were fine, and I see most of the budget went towards and nothing else including the acting and cheap writing by making Murray truly look like some hillbilly. The scares and jump scares weren’t there as well so if you were looking to be scared than this movie wasn’t it. In the end I do have to give it a D or 60 percent. What saved this film was truly the affects for the low budget film.
Jackass Forever Review
By Paul Anthony
It has been 12 long years since the last film in this series, castmates have gotten order and had moved on and it hasn’t been the same since Ryan Dunn passed away. Just looking at Bam who once was a star and now got kicked out of the franchise that made him a star. From time to time I think we all would decide to turn on a jackass film regardless of it being 1,2 or even 3. There were talks of part four right after three came out. Jackass 4ever had just a budget of 10 million and managed to make 80 million, which makes it the second lowest only to the very first film. This film also introduces to the new cast members or as I like to call them the next generation. Here we have new members Sean “Poopies” Mclnerney, Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Eric Manaka and Rachel Wolfson. you add them to the original stars minus Bam and of course Dunn and you think you would have something special.
Now usually here is where we usually talk about the plot but there isn’t a plot. The movie is just full of pranks and stunts and celebrities that are fans of the franchise joining for some of the stunts, that’s the simple part but how can we judge this film? Easy by the stunts themselves and the cast. It made sense to have new cast members come in since the old crew were no doubt old and moved on with their lives, But the problem was this felt way too random. I can see maybe introducing a new cast for third film and having them get the torch for this film. Or even doing the show Jackass again first to introduce them. Instead, they are thrown at us and that is it. The stunts are what makes a Jackass film basically a Jackass film but here it seemed like they took a step back with the stunts and that to me hurt the film, now I understand there will be a 4.5 film because they did say they had filmed so much material but maybe that material should have been added to this film. As for the old cast, well no doubt this film was a passing of the torch kind of deal and given their ages the stunts and pranks were weaker than before minus Johnny Knoxville’s stunt with the bull which this time around ended poorly for him because he had suffered some major injuries which pretty much ends his career. The best stunt of the film was the cup test which Danger Ehren had to perform and suffered a rupture in his right testicle.
I am not saying this film was the worse of the bunch but no doubt that this film took a step back but with a younger cast now and maybe add a few more members this franchise can move into the next generation, how do I rate this film? Well, I have to give it an C or just call it an average film in the franchise. I will say knowing that there is a younger cast makes wonder what the future will bring but we have to see what happens next. We do know now that a new Jackass series is coming, that was announced just two days ago on May 3rd and it will be on paramount+
Saturday Sequel Presents Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
By Paul Anthony
I promise that this isn’t Tom Cruise’s week here, just backed up in assignments here, best way to return to this blog series, I had to start with this film because of the previous blog but here at SmashWriting, we have watched a lot Reacher in the past few weeks. so this blog will end that fetish. Now this film is the sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher. Filming on this film started in October of 2015 and the movie was released 1 year later and nearly four years later after the first film. The events in this film are unknown from his last big screen appearance. the film once again stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge and Danika Yarosh. The film was produce on a budget that was between 60 and 95 million and only grossed 162 million dollars nearly 60 million dollars less than the first film. The film received mixed reviews and up to this point this series is dead, now thanks to the Amazon hit show, which Justin can’t stop watching to this day.
The film starts with Reacher in a diner when he is busted by the police, who we learn is covering up a human trafficking case in which Reacher solved. Reacher warns the cops what will happen if they arrest him, and they just laugh it off, but they get a phone informing them to let Reacher go and they will be arrested and sure enough they are arrested. At this point we learn that during his travels he has been in contact with Major Susan Turner who is holding his former command post. Then he learns from Colonel Sam Morgan that Turner has been arrested and accused of Espionage. Which forces Reacher to travel to D.C. to see Turner and find out the truth. In the process he learns that he has a daughter that he never knew he had and the people that are framing Turner is now framing Reacher and they learn he might have a daughter which has made weak at times and even more protective. Well, they are on the run he even notices how the girl has some of his traits. Like always Reacher manages to solve the case and clear the innocent of any wrongdoing and Turner is reinstated in her post. Reacher then has dinner with his daughter in which he tells her he remembers everyone he has slept with, and she reveals that he isn’t her father because her mother is the waitress that has been serving them and neither of them recognize each other, Reacher parts ways with her and as he is walking, it is revealed that she slipped phone in his pocket with a text message saying do you miss me yet and the film ends with him smiling at the text message.
Now I have to say from learning what I know regarding Reacher, Tom made him show a lot more emotion than apparently the character normally does, the action was on par with the first film, which I might have been expecting more fight scenes or even better action overall. Adding the daughter element made him weaker or showed his human side, hard to be a judge in this case. The plot did have a lot of twist and turns to try to make it seem more intense but just seems like they got lazy or stupid or both honestly. Overall, I am giving this film a C or 70 percent because in the end this film just seemed averaged and when it seems like that then it will get lost in the shuffle of action movies. And that is exactly what has happened!
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!!
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.
Saturday Sequel presents Coming 2 America
By Paul Anthony
As we continue our Journey through this franchise, it is now time to take a look at this long awaited sequel which the title doesn’t make any sense because for the most part they aren’t in America. Right off the bat after seeing this title before I knew the plot or even watched the film I had ask myself is this an omen to come regarding this film. I have stated I am not a fan sequels that have been delayed forever or not needed. It may seem like I am bashing this film before I even review it but trust me I am not but the problem is that this film was just too late. This film takes place thirty year after the first one. Now I am sure if this was 1993 or something we would all be curious of what the princess and prince was up to but not thirty years later. Now prime claims this was the number 1 film in America nd though its hard to say if that was true or not. We know the budget was 60 million and Amazon bought the rights 125 million so in so many ways I guess that means the film made money. The film brings back nearly all of the cast from the first film and adds Tracey Morgan and the ever annoying Leslie Jones and also adds Wesley Snipes as well, but let’s check out the plot shall we?
Akeem and Lisa now have been married for thirty years and have three daughters who seemed to be more of a badass than their own father who has seemed to be grown into a soft hearted person. Akeem gets summon to see his dying father who breaks the news to him that he has son and that’s important because only a son can take throne. Akeem must explain this to Lisa because this takes places days before they truly meet, though she accepts, his daughter does not because she has been training to be queen all her entire life. Nevertheless Akeem travels to New York to meet his son Lavelle whos is a smart mouth but nothing more and his mother is played by Leslie Jones. We get the back story and basically this was a quickie gone wrong. They return to Zamunda where Lavelle and his mom learns the ways of the royal family but once again Lavelle must be in arranged marriage which he doesn’t like because he is falling for the woman who baths him basically. Lavelle over hears his father making a deal though he just showed up at the wrong part of the conversation . Lavelle leaves with his mother and returns back to New York. Though Akeem finds him and gives him his blessing and they return home and there Akeem changes the laws and makes his eldest daughter heir to the throne.
So this film was a let down on a few fronts. 1 the plot seemed to be basically the plot from the first film. Which meant the jokes fell flat because they were all the same. Not too mention it had Leslie Jones in it and we had less of James Earl Jones. I guess the omen of title basically Jinxed it. Honestly it seemed to ride the back of the first film and that was about it. Now Overall this movie gets a A for effort but for a review I am giving it a D for a grade, let ‘s hope there won’t be a third one in my life time.
Saturday Sequel Presents The Lost World: Jurassic Park
By Paul Anthony
Let’s go back to 1993 and realize Jurassic Park was a instant classic, people loved the idea of dinosaurs. the movie made a lot money and though it made sense in both ways to leave it alone and make a sequel .The only problem was with a sequel was that there wasn’t any material to use, the studio and fan base reached out to Michael Crichton to write a sequel novel, so they could make a sequel film. Four years later we got The Lost World. the biggest question we were facing was could this film live up to the first film and the answer was yes they could despite the fact that only only character had more than a cameo role and that was Jeff Goldblum’s Malcolm. We didn’t have Sam Neil and Laura Dern. The film did in fact prove to be a big hit and made 618.6 million from a budget of 73 million and even earned an Academy award nomination for Best Visual Effects only losing to Titanic though that can be a debate for another time.
The plot picks up four years after the events of the first film. John Hammond has lost control of the company due to the disaster from the first film and now he’s greedy nephew wants to build arena in San Diego and house the animals there instead of leaving them to roam on an island and he can do this because he is now the CEO of InGen. We learn through a conversation between Hammond and Malcolm and also the opening of the film that, there are two islands, the first was the park itself and the second one was where the dinosaurs were bred and raised at which was called Isla Nublar. once the dinosaurs were grown then they would transfer them to the park which never happened since they abandon the park. Hammond wants Malcolm and a few others that he trust to go to the island and document the dinosaurs in their natural habitat so they can make these islands a nature preserve so the dinosaurs can live. The team is Malcolm, Harding which is Malcolm’s girlfriend and Owen. Once they are on the island things go from good to worse because they see the other team who rounds up the dinosaurs to take them to the states and also saving a baby T-rex only to piss of the parents. Chaos breaks out and then the two teams have to work together to get off the island but not until the Peter Ludlow’s team takes the baby and one of the parent T-Rex’s. Which we all knew was a bad idea because at some point on the ship ride back the dinosaur wakes up killing the crew then soon starts to attack people in San Diego. Once they put the dinosaur to sleep it is agreed to send the dinosaurs back in which they do and John Hammond wins his case.
This film did have a darker tone to it which did make sense. We knew people weren’t going to let this situation from the first film just be left alone, since it cost the company billions of dollars, adding a second island a good touch as well because we saw in the first film only a portion of what the scientist do. This film may not have had the same magic as the first film but in my eyes it was still just as good!! In the end I am giving this film a good A or 90 percent. This was truly a good follow up!
Saturday Sequel Presents The Babysitter: Killer Queen
By Paul Anthony
How quickly can things change for a franchise. One movie was pretty good and now this film. It is like two different stories regarding the film. Now count this as part part two of my weekend with reviewing this series. Let’s keep in mind that this franchise was most likely never meant to be a franchise. At least that’s how it seems to me. The script was on ice for three years and then it became a good film which I did enjoy and gave it a good review, as quickly as I heard of the first film I then saw this film and thought hey why not let’s check it out and well let’s look at the plot first before I say anymore.
The film picks up two years later and Cole is now 14 and a junior in high school. Since the first film no one believes Cole and even his own parents decide that he needs help and maybe then he will tell the truth of what really happens that night. the only one who believes him is his only friend Melanie who now has a boyfriend named Jimmy and his friend Diego and also Boom-Boom . At insult injury Cole has a new classmate who is a total Badass named Phoebe. Just when Cole ready to be shipped off, Melanie decides have him run away to the lake where the teens are having a party, which Cole agrees to, there at the party Cole stumbles in room on a boat where he witnesses Melanie and Jimmy and Diego kills Boom-Boom, which they reveal they are part of the cult as well and now then out of nowhere the cult members return from the dead to complete their mission of killing Cole in order for them to be basically reborn and love again, It is at this point Phoebe comes in the room seeking gas for her Jet ski which Cole uses that as a way out and they escape with the cult members both old and new chasing after them. Once on land Coles reveals everything to her in which he believes she won’t believe him but in a shocking twist she actually does and shares her own personal horror story in a bonding moment and trying to fight off the cult they end up having sex but are caught shortly after that and with the demons taking their blood in which they drink it, they begin to die off and they realize that the two innocents had sex making them no longer innocent. At this point Bee returns to fight Melanie which Bee wins and sets Cole and Phoebe free. Bee tells Cole that it was him confessing his love to her that made her see the light and have a change of heart though she is still a demon she decides to drink the blood which kills her for good. in a Mid credit scene on the beach Bee’s book shows up and is still intact waiting for someone else to find it.
Okay let’s look at some terrible issues with this plot. One Cole is 14 in the 11th grade how is that even possible, next Melanie is in the same cult but when did she join and why. Next Bee looks like an angel but yet she attacked a Fire fighter at the end of the first film so when did she decide to have a change of heart instead of seeking revenge. To me this was clear that there was never meant to be a sequel and they did one on the go which causing the plot to be messed up. the same humor and cast was there but that’s as much of a positive as I can say about the film and sadly giving this film a D for a rating. For everything they did right in the first film they did wrong in the second film.
Saturday Sequel Presents BulletProof 2
By Paul Anthony
You ever come a cross a sequel that you never knew was a round or even imagine that there would be one regardless of how it was released? Yeah that is exactly what happen to me. So lets start from the beginning to explain everything a little better here. The film I am reviewing here is Bulletproof 2. Which is the sequel to 1996 flop that starred Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler in which the film was a buddy cop movie that was just a waste of time. The film manage to gross 22 million dollars in 1996 but their rotten tomato score was only 8 percent, which means no one liked it. Now here we are 24 years later talking about the sequel which came out earlier this year but a direct to video release. Before I talk about the plot for this film I have to say it took me a minute to realize that the two main characters from the first film are in this film as well just not played by Wayans and Sandler instead they are replaced by Faizon Love and Kirk Fox. To the film’s credit they recast the people with two people that would match up with the previous actors in the sense of comedians and so forth. Usually I start with saying if this film has the magic of the first film but the problem here is the first film didn’t have magic, so could this film be any worse? You said yes then you would be somewhat right and let me explain in just a second.
The plot was pretty much on point with the first film. Carter has to go undercover to solve a case which he uses his old pal Archie Moses name but then things get a little crazy and he actually needs Moses to join him. Things go according to plan except when there is a crack in the foundation and Moses rats them both out thinking he would be saved but instead the bad guys or bad women won’t no loose ends. Nevertheless the film has Carter getting shot in the head again but this time Moses sticks by his side until he awakes from his coma which was just a month and Moses departs wishing his friend the best.
Pretty simple plot like I said, well the actor was okay at best but the comedy really wasn’t there. They were trying too hard to be funny and the laughs weren’t there much like the first film. One of the bigger issues I had was the nudity in the film. It took direct to video back a step. This isn’t the late 90’s where these films had to that to get the attention of audience. In the end I am actually giving this film a F for failure because it was pointless to even make this film and if you were going to make this film then the point was make it better than first film which wasn’t hard but in this case I must rather watch the first film then this.
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!