Goosebumps Series 2000-The Haunted Car

Hello, Spongey here.

Last month, I went big and looked at a whole trilogy from Stine. After that we need something simpler to deal with for this month’s review. I went back and forth and decided I wanted something in the Goosebumps world after so much Fear Street. But what could be both in the GB realm and simple enough for me to not have to analyze it super deeply?

For that, I settled on a return to Series 2000. I usually wouldn’t cover two of those in one year but after Scream School, I felt bad giving it a middling review. I wanted to visit the series again on the blog for a review that is more positive. Although I guess even if I didn’t, I could say The Adventures of Shrinkman counts.

But even with that, I wanted to do this one so here we are. We’ve covered some from earlier in the run, and one from in the middle, and with this we go towards the end. The last portion of Series 2000 was interesting to me. The last portion of the original series had a bunch of last minute brilliance before taking a dump at the last minute. Series 2000 switches between last minute brilliance and taking a dump, before sort of petering out.

I already noted some of the problems Stine had with Scholastic that likely lead to some of those lesser ones, but we’ll get to those in due time. For now, we’re focusing on this. Like plenty of Series 2000, it went unnoticed but in this case, the cover caught the eyes of the people making the 2015 film. Thus, the titular car not only appears in the movie, it also earned a reprint, making it more well known.

I first read it off the ebook back in 2019 or so, and so we’re here to give it a closer look. To get it out of the way, yes this is inspired by Christine. Stine’s cribbed from King plenty of times, so it’s nothing new. Hell, he’s even done Chrstine before with Fear Street’s The Cataluna Chronicles. Oh those are a can of worms, but that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, let’s peek under the hood. I’m not sorry.

This, is The Haunted Car

The cover is pretty good. It’s simple with some nice trees, and the car looks decently menacing. You notice more details the further you look at the car too. Nothing great but it’s a pretty solid and simple bit of art.

And here’s the reprint cover, which is also pretty solid. It’s more action-y, showing the car in a more monster-y form. I kinda like this one more for it being more action-y but both are equally solid. Good stuff here.

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Big Fat Liar

This movie sucks!

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s September once again, which means it is time for this year’s review for my brother’s birthday. First off, sorry for the lack of scene by scene reviews lately, as I went into on DeviantArt, I’ve been far more interested in other projects. There will be at least one a month for the rest of the year though. Anyway, Antony has brought us to interesting places over the years, ever since the Camp Rock 2 review in 2013.

When I presented the list of random stuff this time, I kind of expected him to pick this. I stick with things he’s likely to know, and they tend to be family movies, good and bad. This one happens to be a bit of a childhood favorite. I recall way back when dad getting for us and I don’t think we had heard of it. We lost that DVD over the years though.

That means I have to review this off freaking Peacock. It was on Netflix not too long ago but nope, this has to do now. Anyway, I do have strong nostalgic memories with this one. And of course I reviewed the Not-Sequel a while back. It was rough, so no matter how this holds up, it has to be better.

Released in 2002, the movie made an okay profit and got mixed reviews. It has gotten a following thanks to people like me, although it is still weird that the remake/sequel exists.

Anyway, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, this was written by Dan Schneider. That’s all I will say, although this does kinda feel like a Nickelodeon movie. The presence of Amanda Bynes adds to it. The director is Shawn Levy, who is best known as that guy whose movies you’ve heard of but you can never remember his name. Okay that’s harsh, it’s just his work is mostly is mainly seen as okay/merely decent, like the Night of the Museum trilogy and Date Night. He did recently have Free Guy though.

I also to point out that one of his TV projects was some episodes of the Animorphs show, which also had Ron Oliver, who directed the Not-Sequel. Amusing. Okay, with that said, let’s see how well this holds up for me.

(Yes, this is usually on his birthday itself but this worked better with my schedule, he’s fine with it don;t worry)

This, is Big Fat Liar

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The Fear Street Saga-The Burning

Hello, Spongey here. Today we conclude our Summer of Fear event, with the epic conclusion to the Fear Street Saga trilogy. So far this has proven to be pretty solid and interesting, as we dive into the past of the Fier/Fear family. It has had some flaws though, and the second one did have middle chapter problems. We’ll see how this last one fares. But first…

PREVIOUSLY ON FEAR STREET:

Susannah Goode was burned at the stake as a witch, even though she is not one. Her dad William got mad and used his secret problems to hunt down and curse the Fier family, who had her burned. Even the innocent Fiers started to die and also William pretends to be a teen and kisses a teen girl as part of his plan. Gross. Then one Fier made his head explode. Amazing.

Ezra Fier ends up being the last one standing, so he decides to take up some revenge, along with the family he creates. He runs his family ragged trying to find any Goodes, and ends up staying in a dead village, that was killed by a plague brought by George Goode. Then one of their daughters is killed by a ghost girl who is a Goode.

Years later, Ezra’s son falls for a girl and also the ghost of that daughter starts haunting them. Eventually it turns out the girl is a Goode and they try to marry to end this big feud/curse. But whoops, turns out she is not a Goode, but just part of a family of grifters that wanted to marry into the rich Fier family and figured faking a haunting was the best way build up to doing that.

It was weird. Ezra buries the amulet the family uses to be evil, to end this all. It works for 100 years, until Elizabeth Fier just finds it. It starts again as a Goode comes into their lives and pretends to be into Liz and eventually kills her and her sister Kate. The brother Simon escapes and is informed that Fier can spell Fire. To fix the problem of having a cursed name, he changes it something less evil sounding: Fear!

He is a smart man. And that’s where we left off.

We’ve been through a lot, mostly men wanting revenge and women wanting marriage. It’s fared pretty well, will Stine stick the landing? How will this connect to the present? Let’s find out.

This, is The Burning

The cover is about on par with the others. The woman’s face is goofy, quite the dull surprise face. The fire imagery still looks cool, especially with this other woman running. Otherwise, I like how they connect, but none are super eye catching. Still, the fire makes it cool enough.

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The Fear Street Saga-The Secret

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome back to the second chapter in my review of the Fear Street Saga. In case you need the reminder after just one day, or you’re reading these spaced out…

PREVIOUSLY ON FEAR STREET:

Benjamin and Matthew Fier are richer than everyone else, and re not so secretly super evil. They accuse innocent people of being witches, which they buy because it was the 1600’s. Ben’s son Edward falls for Susannah Goode but Ben wants him to marry some other girl to make their family even richer. Ed stands his ground so Susannah is tried for witchery.

Matt promises to help out and tells William, her dad, that he’ll have her untried but whoops he takes the money and runs. She is burned. As it turns out, William has dark powers and swears revenge. Years later, Ben, Matt, and Ed have some new family and William shows up to curse them all. They start to die. Ben’s son Mary falls for a lowly farmhand who turns out to be William Goode in a magic disguise. Matt uses his magic to make his head explode. Seriously, that is still amazing.

Edward, Mary, and Ed’s son Ezra get out of there while Matt eventually walls himself up and dies laughing. Years later, Ed dies and Mary goes crazy and then dies. Ezra takes the amulet the Fiers use for their evil powers and heads out to do some revenge.

And that’s where we left off. We’ve covered a lot, it feels like we’d be reading the part that connects this to the present but we gotta make this a trilogy. The first part was pretty solid but I am aware the middle chapter in a trilogy can often drag. Will this follow suit? Let’s find out.

This, is The Secret

Another cover that’s just fine. It’s the same template, just with two people in the firte and some graves. This woman’s face is less effective than the one on the first cover. The fire is cool, and I like the graves but otherwise it’s just kinda there.

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The Fear Street Saga-The Betrayal

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome the finale of our Summer of Fear event! We’ve been doing some Fear Street reviews during these Summer months, and it’s been a wild ride so far. The film trilogy I was tying into has all come out now, and there will be plenty of time to get into all that in due time. Trust me, it’ll be an fun/interesting discussion.

We went back to the very first entry, than the camp book. Now it’s time to end this on something very special, something that has been a long time coming. Yes, it is time to tackle a Fear Street trilogy. The concept is self explanatory, I think. In the early days, the book were self contained and released just every other month.

But in 1992 they introduced the trilogy idea, where we had one story play out over three consecutive books, released monthly, even before the series switched to once a month. This wasn’t just one story that spawned some sequels, this was a planned trilogy. This became a yearly thing, which I imagine had diminishing returns over time but we’ll cross that eventually.

I knew I wanted to do one and it was easy to select it. Aside from the fact the the film trilogy seemingly was going to cover this materiel (spoilers, it takes more from Cheerleaders), this covered something I really wanted to re-visit.

See, from the start the series had lore, but it didn’t go deep into it. We knew some basics, but it was pretty vague. This was likely to be a bit more realistic to how urban legends go, leaving it open as it if the titular street is truly cursed. But eventually that was going to break down, and here is where that happened.

Sort of. Party Summer actually had the first glimpse of the history, as Simon Fear III told a bit of the backstory. It said enough to give us an idea, but not too much, where details being uncertain. Aside from true to urban legends, it gave Stine room to go further. This is where we finally got that, and three books of it no less

Thus, in August-October of 1993, we got the Fear Street Saga. I’ve read this once back in the day but haven’t come back to it since. I do remember enjoying it a lot though. Stine has said this is one of his favorites, which is worth noting. I’ve noticed that he actually tends to do well with stories set in the past.

Think about. The best parts of Zombie Halloween, 12 Screams of Christmas, Wanted The Haunted Mask, and especially Nightmare Room’s Trilogy were the sections set in the past. I think it’s because he can’t fall back on some of his tricks quite as much, and he allows himself to go darker there.

Now he’s got three books totally set just in the past, so I’m hoping something solid here. With that said, let’s go all the way back to where all the terror began.

(Oh and I worked on this over the month so I can release them one a day this week, that’s why I worked on other projects early, to have other things to post)

This, is The Betrayal

This cover is fine. It’s just a woman staring at us, while there’s fire and some shadow-y person. I like the fire and shadow-y person, but the staring woman doesn’t do much for me. It just feels a bit generic but with enough of an edge to make it fine. Not my favorite but not bad.

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General Review: Paw Patrol the Movie

Hello, Spongey here.

General review time again already. This one should be…interesting. We’ve got a movie based on an animated series, but in this case it’s a preschool show. It feels like that doesn’t happen often. Even with shows that possibly deserve it. Come on, I think it could fit for Sofia but whatever. In this case, it’s not ultra surprising I suppose.

Paw Patrol has become quite the hit for Nick Jr, as it is currently in its 8th season with over 100 episodes. This also means they have marketed the hell out of it. Again, at that point a movie was kind of inevitable. It’s just even the bigger animated shows in general don’t always get theatrical movies. Even The Loud House had to move to Netflix…speaking on, I’ll get to that one when I can.

Because I haven’t reviewed the Nick Jr holiday episodes and have no plans to, I’ve never seen this show. I tend to only ways shows like this when I have to, so I don’t know much about it besides the basic idea of dogs going on rescue missions and stuff.

This movie is gonna be on Paramount Plus the same day, so that means I won’t need to say “one for Paw Patrol”. Thank god. It doesn’t even get the 45 day thing, guess they are worried about the Delta Variant stuff too. Anyway, onto the crew. Neither the director or writers worked on the show, which is interesting.

The director Cal Brunker did Escape From Planet Earth and Nut Job 2. Let’s hope this is closer to the latter. One of the writers worked on those with him, as well Son of Bigfoot and it sequel. The other writer worked on Madgascar 1 something called Monster Island, one of random direct to video animated movies you see everywhere,

So, let’s see how this ends up faring.

This, is Paw Patrol: The Movie

Ryder and the pups leave Adventure Bay to face their arch-rival, Mayor Humdinger, after he becomes the mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc. While one of the pups must face his past, the team finds help from a new member, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Together, armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City.

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A Look at Disney Sitcom Finales

INDEX:

Lizzie McGuire-Bye Bye Hillridge Junior High

Even Stevens-Leavin’ Stevens

Phil of the Future-Back to the Future (Not the Movie)

That’s So Raven-When There’s Smoke

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody-Mr. Tipton Comes to Visit

Cory in the House-Mad Songs Pay so Much

JONAS-Band of Brothers

Sonny With a Chance-New Girl

Hannah Montana-Wherever I Go

The Suite Life on Deck-Graduation on Deck

Wizards of Waverly Place-Who Will be the Family Wizard?

Zeke and Luther-There’s No Business like Bro Business

Pair of Kings-Long Live the Kings

Shake it Up-Remember Me (It Up)

Good Luck Charlie-Good Bye Charlie

ANT Farm-the new york experiANTs

Crash and Bernstein-Double Header

Kickin’ It-The Grandmaster

Dog with a Blog-Stan’s Secret is Out 

Mighty Med-The Mother of all Villains

Jessie-Jessie Goes to Hollywood

I Didn’t Do It-The Rescuers

Austin & Ally-Musicals & Moving On/Duets & Destiny

Lab Rats-The Vanishing

Lab Rats Elite Force-The Attack

Best Friends Whenever-Revenge of the Past

Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything-The Big City

Girl Meets World-Girl Meets Goodbye

Kirby Buckets-Yep, Still Happening

Liv and Maddie-End A Rooney

K.C. Undercover-The Final Chapter

Walk the Prank-The Wedding

Stuck in the Middle-Stuck in Harley’s Quinceañera

Bizardvark-The End of the Beginning

Coop and Cami Ask the World-Would You Rather Move?

Just Roll With It -Before the Beginning

Bunk’d-Frien’ds Forever

Hello, Spongey here.

We’ve had a Disney sitcom sample a bit back with the Dwayne Johnson thing, but I think it’s time for a bigger meal. Next month I’ll be doing a post I’ve been wanting to do for ages, where I cover some of my favorite Disney sitcom episodes. In that, there’s a certain kind of episode I am not allowing and that would be finales.

Finales are pretty major for TV in general of course. It’s just appealing to have a good finale to wrap up your series, especially if it meant a lot to you. It can hurt if they bring it back but ideally it’ll end well. Disney sitcoms tend to hype up their endings, especially with their big deal shows.

Over the years, they’ve had different types of finales and have done them differently over the years. To me, they tend to be fairly good and there have been some standout ones. It’s a bit too easy to pick the finale as a favorite, as I’ve shown with some of my lists. So I decided to not allow them on that favorites thing.

But to make up for it, I cooked up this idea. Yes, we are looking at every single Disney sitcom finale ever…except for one but we’ll get to that when it comes up. That’s a tall order but I did it, and you’ll see how they fared. It’s worth noting one even aired after I did the main work on this, so even this year they had a couple.

Their treatment of shows and how the finales turned out…varies, as you’ll see. So, how have they ended their shows over the years? Which ones worked, and which ones fell short? Let’s find out.

This, is A Look at Disney Sitcom Finales

Before we get into it, I am aware for these first two, the movies were the true finale to their shows. But it would be odd to leave those shows out and I wanted to see how these compare to the movies as finales. So yeah, let’s do it.

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Help! I’m Trapped in the First Day of School

Hello, Spongey here.

I think it’s about time to do a random book review. I wish I could do more but there’s only so much room so I guess there’s always Goodreads for what I can fit in reading wise. I keep thinking I’ve brought every book series I was into as a kid but I keep finding more I hadn’t mentioned before.

Today we have one I’ve been wanting to look at for ages. Seriously, I feel like I wanted to do one back in the earlier days of the blog but never got around to it. I’m glad I waited as that means the review will actually be good. Anyway, the series in question is the “Help! I’m Trapped in” series. Every title is “Help! I’m Trapped in __’s body” typically, which makes it hard to name overall.

The author is Todd Strasser, who has been writing books since at least 1978. This is arguably his best known work but he has a bit of random hits as well. He’s still writing to this day if his website if any indication. He also did some YA horror under the name “T.S. Rue”. I can’t say I’m familiar with his works outside of this though. Still, plenty to respect, including the Home Alone 2 novelization.

This series has 17 entries from 1993 to 2001, with usually about one a year with more per year as it went on. They aren’t numbered so despite having the same cast it’s not super tightly knit it seems. The first was called “Help! I’m Trapped in My Teacher’s Body” and it was roughly what the title suggests. A teacher creates a machine meant to transfer information or something like but it ends up switching bodies. It seems like it meant as a stand alone but of course there were tons more as the characters swap bodies with everyone from the gym teacher to a dog.

Of course, there’s only so many options so eventually they got more out there, with aliens and vampires. Weirdly I never read the first one as a kid so I don’t know totally how the start fared. I have strong memories from certain entries, especially the Alien one due to an interesting twist. I haven’t come back to them since so I don’t know how they generally hold up.

I thought it’d be fun to revisit the series and I picked one I remember pretty fondly. This is a bit different though. This was the second book, and I feel like Todd wanted to do something if he was gonna do a follow up. So instead this is a groundhog day story. Oh this will be fun. But after this it was mostly body swap stuff again as I suppose that formula did better.

This type did come back later on for “Help! I’m Trapped in the first day of Summer Camp!” which I recall being pretty wild with the ending. But let’s focus on this outing for now. And yes, a certain Mr. Stine did do this idea too way later, doubt it was inspired by it though. An additional thing before we begin: On Todd’s website there was a contact page with an email, and I was pretty curious on the background of the series…so I did my thing and emailed him nicely asking.

And he responded. Here is that response:

Well, that’s cool to find out. I don’t much to say that, it’s roughly what I expected. I was sure it was possible that the series may have been about other adventures besides just the one type but ah well.

Anyway, does this one hold up to my memories? Let’s find out.

This, is Help! I’m Trapped in the First Day of School

The artist is not credited but this cover is okay. The other covers in the series are more memorable though. It’s just Jake screaming at time I guess. Decently eye catching but nothing super special. That tagline doesn’t help the comparisons to the Stine book though.

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General Review: Vivo

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s time for a general review and with it we’re back to the world of theatrical releases being pushed to streaming. It’s another movie from Sony Pictures Animation. They are having quite the year. First Mitchells vs the Machine finally got released and was put to Netflix to much success and acclaim. Then Wish Dragon, which is one of those movies that only has their branding, finally got released to Netflix to decent reception and success.

The thing about these streaming releases is that it’s somewhat out of necessity. After 2020, the studios had even more movies to release in 2021 than originally planned. They needed to save up some marketing power so it makes sense to put some on streaming so they can deal with it. The reason that Sony doesn’t seem to be doing the same with Hotel Transylvania 4 is that it’s a big enough franchise…and they need at least one animated movie in theaters this year I guess.

That leads into today’s subject. This has been pushed around the schedule, at one point being planned for June 2021. But as it came close to date, there was still no trailer or anything like that. So it wasn’t too much of a shock that it was being pushed to Netflix, especially after how Mitchells did.

Although there hasn’t been a ton of ads for it, which has been talked. Yeah, given some of the pedigree it is a bit weird and it indicts they aren’t banking a ton to an extent. However, Netflix marketing tends to happen just a month before release, mostly. When a new Netflix movie drops, it tends to do well since they usually are put on the front page.

This happened with Wish Dragon, it didn’t have tons of hype but did well. So it’s likely this will be do the same. The way movies are marketing is ever changing in the streaming age, but Dragon doing well shows it’s not a bad thing per say. Anyway, onto the backstory of this one.

Lin Manuel Miranda pitched a movie to DreamWorks in 2010 but due to some resurrecting in 2015, they dropped the project. In 2016, Sony picked it up so this had better luck than most rejected DreamWorks projects at least. This was combined with an original idea from Peter Barsocchini, who is the writer of the High School Musical movies. Yes, really.

He’s just credited on story though. The actual writers include the director who we’ll get to, and Quiara Alegría Hudes who wrote the original musical of In the Heights as well as the recent film version. The director is Kirk DeMicco, who worked on The Croods. I suspect this movie is why he couldn’t be be on the sequel.

Now that the movie’s out, how does it fare as a musical adventure? Let’s see.

This, is Vivo

The film follows a one-of-a-kind kinkajou named Vivo, who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively Havana square with his beloved owner Andrés Hernández. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval, inviting her old partner to her farewell concert in Miami, Florida with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: a love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to the distant shores of Miami, Vivo will need to accept the help of Andrés’ grand-niece Gabi Hernández – an energetic tween who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum.

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A Look At the holiday episodes I missed

INDEX:

HALLOWEEN:

Disney’s Doug-Night of the Living Dougs

Teameo Superemo-The Haunted House on Horror Hill!

Little Einsteins-A Little Einsteins Halloween

My Friends Tiger and Pooh-Darby’s Halloween Case

Ying Yang Yo-The Howl of The Weenie

Young Justice-Secrets

Wabbit-The IMPoster

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012-The Curse of Savanti Romero

Wacky Races 2017-Backseat Drivers

Wabbit-Duck Duck Ghost

Animaniacs 2020 Episode 11

CHRISTMAS:

Shnookums and Meat-Jingle Bells, Something Smells

All That-Episode 225

Journey of Allen Strange-Starwalk

Stanley-Little Dog Lost

Teacher’s Pet-The Blight Before Christmas

Teameo Superemo-Happy Holidays Mr. Gruff

Romeo!-A Little So’em So’em for Christmas

Little Einsteins-The Christmas Wish

My Friends Tigger and Pooh-Super Sleuth Christmas Movie

Ying Yang Yo-Season’s Beatings

Kung Fu Panda Legends of Awesome-ness-Present Tense

Gumball-The Lie

Awesomeness TV-The Thank You Mask

Wacky Races 2017-It’s a Wacky Life/Dashing Thru the Snow

Wabbit-Tis the Seasoning

Wacky Races 2017-Signed, Sealed and Wacky

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz-Christmas in Oz

Hello, Spongey here.

Since 2015, I’ve been reviewing holiday episodes in big chunks. The idea came from Pieguyrulz, who had reviewed the classic Nicktoon and Cartoon Network Halloween/Christmas episodes. I wanted to do the later ones from those places, but I thought first it would be fun to apply it something else. So first was the Disney sitcom holiday ones. I did the Christmas ones on Deviant Art before putting it on the blog later.

Thus began this whole thing, and now I’ve covered about everything, as well as doing each years offerings. Or so you think. It was fun doing those but I am glad I don’t need to do big work loads all the time…until this year when I’ve had to do that a few times. However, over the course of these, I couldn’t catch everything.

There were some I was aware of but couldn’t find them, either because that show is just hard to find or that episode alluded my usual places. Then we had ones I just didn’t know about for some reason or another. I try to be complete with these but things slip through. Heck, I was still finding out about more as I was working on this.

So now I thought I’d fix this. Some of the previously lost episodes are now easier to find to get to through various means, and I know about some of the ones that slipped past me. It’s time to finally get the ones I skipped over their due. You’ve heard of Christmas in July and I did Halloween in July, now get ready for both at once!

Which ones did I miss and how good are they anyway? Let’s see.

This, is A Look at the Holiday Episodes I Missed

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