(Wonder how the production of this review went? Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YapcxRtXU5k&list=UU0v7m98XD_ENjQOoij2BRAA ))
Mostly Ghostly 2 is Property of whoever own it. Stine, maybe?
Hello, Spongey here.
You may wonder why you didn’t have a review a few days ago. Well, decided to take a break. Usually, if I skip a review rotation, it’s cuz I screwed up somehow and I must move on.
But for one, I thought I needed a break from this reviewing this…for a few days. Then I did for a couple more days. As you saw, I still worked on stuff, I just didn’t turn on a movie and nitpick it to death like usual. I just needed room to breathe, you know?
Now I’m back…in time for October! I’m a bit late, but I don’t care. It’s time for Halloween! Once again. I’ll be doing a bunch of Halloween-ish reviews. And we’re starting off with an interesting one.
Last year, I reviewed R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly, based on the first book in a 6 book series that never ended. I really enjoyed it, but you can read the review for more details. That film ended with a minor cliffhanger, but I never thought they would make a seuqel. Mostly because I did that review in 2013, and the film came out in 2008.
But they proved me wrong, because earlier this year, they told us a sequel was in the works. This…excited me, and confused me. I wanted a sequel, but I thought it wouldn’t happen for a big reason:
At least 2 of it’s stars are too old, ESPECIALLY Luke Benward.
How do you make a sequel with that fact staring you in the face? See, this is why you make a sequel right away, if it’s based on a book with a sequel.
But they went and did it anyway. It got no reaction out of people, but sadly, the Return to Halloweentown effect, as I like to call it, set in. With people hating cuz of cast changes, even though people care even less about this movie.
Also, it has a 4.7 on IMDB, but the first one has something around there, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Besides, Transformers 3 has a 6.3, so IMDB can never be trusted.
I’ve been rather interested in this ever since I saw the trailer, but I wondered how they would handle the cast changes. Yeah, spoilers, everyone is different now. Even the people who haven’t aged. The only one that stuck around was Madison Petis, even though she has aged significantly.
Though you couldn’t tell from this movie, where she looks a bit different than she does in those shows she’s doing now. Anyway, of course we have a director and writer change…sort of. The director of the first one, Rich Correl, is now the writer. Weird. AS a refresher, he’s a frequently director for Disney Sitcoms, as well as one of the 3 creators of Hannah Montana.
Also, he did episodes of The Nightmare Room. Now it all makes sense. For this one director, is the genius behind Garfield and Home Alone 5. …Weird chose, but so was Rich and that turned out okay.
I don’t have much else to say. I’ve been interested in this ever since it was announced. Will they jsusfity the long wait, or what? Let’s see.
Oh, and as a side note, I haven’t read the 2nd book, which this is based on. So I won’t be comparing, sorry.
This, is Mostly Ghostly: Have You Meet my Ghoulfriend?
After a 3 minute long title sequence, the movie opens with our hero..’s parents. Here is our first casting change. Instead of the Mom from Zack and Cody, and the Dad from Wizards, we have…no one, and the Dad from Good Luck Charlie.
They just changed from one dumb sitcom Dad to another. But at least his wife is more his speed here. They are carving pumpkins when the older brother comes in. Instead of Zeke, we have Dez. Okay, that’s actually a pretty good choice.
After some stuff, we cut to Max walking his dog. He is now played by Lanny from Pair of Kings. Yeah, google image these 2 actors and they look nothing alike. But that’s not the worst example of that, trust me. He looks…fine for the party on his own,.
They walk by a Cemetery, and he assures the dog that everything will be fine.
“I’m still wearing the magic ring”
I’m pulling out the pic, cuz after Vampire Academy, I’m pooped from that kind of thing.
We cut to to inside the Cemetery where we meet my main Phears again. No, he is not played by Arwin but I bet he’ll still be awesome either way. Wait, didn’t he get banished by the ring?
Either way, he randomly gets pissed and brings a corpse back to life. More specifically, an old woman who was in the Moscow Circus. …Okay.
For now, he’s doing this to give us an exposition dump, telling us exactly how Nicky and Tara’s parents came to find him. Yeah, I skimmed my review of the first one before diving in, and it seems like they follow it fine. I say that to assure you this wasn’t stated in the first movie.
Nicky and Tara’s father was a Scientist guy and he found an Urn containing Phears’ ashes…somehow. Dad was a klutz and the urn got smashed, release Phears.
They discovered his plans …somehow, and they created a magic ring…somehow that would use a spell to fight off his ghosts and keep him trapped in the Cemetery. He caught wind of this and attacked their family. However, Nicky and Tara escaped (as ghosts) and the parents wouldn’t tell him where they hid the ring.
Then this just goes into recapping the first one. Max’s family moved into the Rolan house and Max found the ring, and now he uses it to protect the kids.
Okay, now we now more about what happened. And I assume Phears is not saying where the parents are so they can squeeze more movies out of this. Also, why don’t they just….defeat Phears for good instead of sending him here?
Oh yeah, so this movie can exist.
So where does Emma, the old lady tie into all this? Well, Phears says she will climb into Max’s body and turn him into a berserker ghoul. Then she will urin his life and take the ring. Why can’t you just take the ring and not do the other thing? This movie would be over much faster.
Also, why you did pick an old Circus lady? Are the pickings that slim? As a side note, Phears is still a lot of fun, just not as amazing as before.
Back with Max, he’s still walking as he bumps into our new love interest, Cammy, played by Bella Thorne. …Still better than Blended. Yes, I’m okay with that chick from the first one being gone as she wasn’t important to the other books, and it’s likely she just dumped him or whatever.
Cammy is a popular-ish Girl who is flat out normal and nice. Well, that’s unexpected. They talk and Max goes home. And finally, 11 minutes in, we are reintroduced to Nicky and Tara. Tara is still Maddsion Peter, but Nicky…well. Here is him , circa the first movie:
And here is him in this movie:
DO THEY LOOK ANYTHING ALIKE!?
I mean, the other changes, I can role with. Except Max, they either look a bit like the orginal, or it doens’t matter. But here…just look!
Yeah, I know Luke is a bit too old but can’t you get someone who looks a LITTLE like him? Trust me, Luke Benward looks nothing like that guy from Shake It up.
And while Nicky has the same basic traits, he feels different because he acts more like…that guy from Shake It Up!
It doesn’t matter that much…but it’s still stupid.
“You don’t have time to make people think you’re normal. You have to help us find our parents”
Gee, I wonder what the conflict will be.
Max heads inside and sees his Grandma, played by Joan Rivers. Yes, this was her final role ….Let’s move on
She’s somewhat pointless in this scene, but she’s enjoyable nonetheless. They talk Max’s gym grade, and all of Dad’s dialogue sounds weird coming out the mouth of someone who I can’t imagine playing sports. At least in the first one, he TRIED to look the part.
“Try to meet a nice Ghoul, bring her home to to your mother”
Subtle foreshadowing is subtle.
They suggests Max get advice from Collin, and he reluctantly, he does so. And naturally, Collin will give him advice in exchange from magic pointers. He wants to do a trick to impress a girl.
He shows him a trick with the help of Nicky and Tara. Then he gets his Rope climbing advice.
“Yeah, don’t fall”
Then they ignore that, as Max shows his friends some info he sound on their parents. 3 years ago, Dad was arrested after being found doing research at the old courthouse. This was 2 days before they vanished for good. So that was the last place they were at before they vanished. So thus, they must get there before Halloween, when Phears powers will be at their peak.
So yeah, we have a plot until the titular Ghoulfriend shows up. They sneak into the old Courthouse to find what they need. But while they are there, Max bumps into Cammy …She works there, but why is there this late at night?
She doesn’t really question why he snuck in, of course. Instead they make small talk. Yeah, who cares about the plot? Let’s focus on this. They drop this as they get a box full of info on The Rolands, and go home.
Speaking of dropping plot points, they move on to the whole Rope Climbing thing. Nicky and Tara will help him with it. Yay. After a pointless scene, we get the Gym scene! His ghost friends help him climb the rope and Tara makes him fall cuz he taking too much time, impressing Cammy. That bit was filled until the dropping thing.
After a pointless scene with Dez, we get a dinner scene. Earlier, Max heard a cat but Colin said he hears nothing. But now the parents hear it and this becomes a problem. They leave to check it out and Nicky and Tara pop up to further the plot.
They tell us the cat belongs to Phears. But when he goes upstairs with his parents, they find out the sound is some cat from next door. They blame Max because reasons. He even gets grounded for..having a cat. ???
Back with Phears, he tells Emma to go posses Max. She leaves the graveyard and we cut to the next morning. Also, Colin slept in Max’s room so the ghost went instead him instead. Whoops.
So Emma makes Dez do…weird but amusing things. Then he starts floating. Then Max does that chant from the first movie and she leaves his body.
…Well, that happened. Emma goes back to Phears and tells him what happened. He figures out what happened and chews her out. Then she goes to sleep, planning to invade Max later. That also happened.
The next day, we have a school scene where Cammy asks Max to help her with an assignment. Emma pops up and invades Max’s body. Like last time, it leads to true insanity. Including him use a fire esthingher to fly into the air.
After that, things calm down and Max is in big trouble. Nicky and Tara pop up and they figure out that a woman is inside Max. Don’t think too hard about that sentence. The Principal shows up and she’s amazingly harsh. Thanks to Nicky and Tara…doing stuff, he gets in more trouble and he is forced to run laps.
He chews them out for getting into trouble a lot, which is far since…yeah, they do cause more trouble than they are worth.
t’s sort of dramatic…but it’s justified …so yeah. As soon as they leave, Max talks to Cammy who doesn’t really care that he went crazy. But then the Gym Teacher says “Wake Up” which makes Emma take over again. Uh-Oh.
But this time she makes up…play soccer with insane skill. ???
Once Emma goes back to sleep, everyone tells Max how amazing he is. The Gym Teacher asks him to join the team so he can lead them to victory. Max doesn’t question it. That…was weird.
Cammy asks Max to meet her at the Courthouse tonight for the Grand Re-opening. It happen to be Halloween so…shit will go down. That night, Nicky and Tara figure out that the ghost in Max is Emma.
They try to lure Emma out…and it works. Also, she’s Young Again…somehow. And Nicky says when this is done, they will leave Max alone forever. But Max apologies and says they are his friends no matter what.
STORY ARC OVER.
Seriously, that’s it? Whatever, it works.
Emma is shocked to see that Max is good, since Phears told her he is keeping her from moving on. But no, that honor belongs to Phears. They talk, and bond. and stuff. This part is actually pretty sweet, I must say.
Emma reveals that Nicky and Tara are not real ghosts, because Phears made them like this. They are Ghosts, but they are not Dead.
“You’re parents, are still alive”
Dun dun dun!
However, only Phears know where Nicky and Tara’s parents are, but there may be a way for Emma to visit the Ghost Parents or whatever. There’s a spell in that book from the first one that hasn’t been mentioned until now, that can help. They must go to the Graveyard but Max to man to the Trick or rteat bowl.
So Colin pops up and tells Dad Max has a special soccer practice tonight he must go to. He and Max have a nice moment.
“Thank you. I owe you one”
With that, they had to the Graveard, but it turns out Max left his magic ring at home. That’s not good, since it means no protection from Phears when he pops up right now. It turns out Phears picked Emma, knowing this would happen and he would get all the ghosts at once.
Eh. not a bad plan. I can’t find an holes, and unlike Transformers 3, I’m SURE of it this time. Phears incapacitates Nicky and Tara and starts blasting everything. He even brings some more ghouls to life.
Damn,. Phears is pretty awesome here, even if he’s not as hammy as before. Emma hides in Max’s body and we get a chase scene with the Ghouls. Because he has a Beresker Ghost inside him, he freaking fights the sword wielding ghouls. Now that is amazing.
The fight leads him to the courthouse, where they think Max is putting on an act. However, Emma falls asleep and it seems like the Ghouls have him…until Colin pops up and ties them up with a thing.
…Wait, people can see Ghosts now?
…Either way, that was awesome. They get rid of them and Max goes home to get the ring. But there’s still the matter of Phears cat. He finds it under his bed. He catches it and he heads back to the Graveyard, as Nicky and Tara have been captured.
He uses that chant to free them but Phears isn’t having any of it. So Max uses the cat to get Phears to let them go. He lets them go in exchange for the cat…but Max uses the cat to lure Phears into the swirling vortex thing, made by the ring.
So our villain is defeated by him being a total…pussy.
Also, our baddie got stopped on the 1 hour and 12 minute mark of a 1 hour, 25 minute movie. What the hell are we gonna fill that time with?
So Emma leaves and things are fine. So what will we fill the time wit? Soccer! Yeah, that pointless part is now…even more pointless. You could end right there!
Max used as the team’s secret weapon, and Nicky goes insdie Max to make him kick ass. But Nicky is knocked out by accident, and Max is forced to do this on his own. And despite showing litterly no skill on his own, he helps them win.
Seriously, what was the point of this? To make him happy? Yeah, befriending his brother, stopping an evil dude, getting a girlfriend, and helping his friends, wasn’t good enough. You could have done all of this without the soccer crap.
Cammy talks to Max and we get our romantic moment. They walk away and Nicky and Tara let him go. Glad that…really minor plot point was resolved. Yeah, Tara had an issue with Max doing girl stuff but unlike the first movie, it didn’t amount to anything. Maybe they don’t want to imply she likes Max since…yeah.
Max and Cammy head to the courthouse and have do romanc-y things. They kiss and Max is happy. He heads home and everyone is proud of him cuz of the soccer thing. But there’s no time for that, as Max has a new computer they can use to research stuff on Nicky and Tara’s parents.
Oh my god, will it just end already? I’m all for stretching out the ending so it’s not abrupt, but you could have woven a lot of this stuff into the climax and ending instead of dumping it all in for no reason!
With the help of Emma, they get…a message from their parents.
“We cannot tell you how relived we are that you’re okay. Emma tells us that you’re looking for us, and there’s no doubt we’ll all be together soon. Never lose hope….We love you more than anything”
If Emma can contact them to get this message, can’t she figure out where they are?
Whatever. Roll credits! …No? You’re just gonna have a weird street dance party for no reason?
Okay, now roll credits! Good. …Oh, you’re gonna fill the credits with bloopers? That’s fine cuz I can skip it. The end!
….Wait, who was the Ghoulfriend?
Despite my endless bitching, it was fine. It was a bit as Good as it was going to be, given it’s limitations. They put effort into it, and judging by the bloopers, they had fun. It’s not as good as the first one, but it works fine.
It did feel a bit more basic. As in, the parts that had hard in the first one were nerfed here. The acting wasn’t quite as good, the humor wasn’t quite as funny, and the characters weren’t quite as interesting.
The returning main characters worked fine, but Max didn’t have the snarky edge he had before, so he’s kind of bland. Tara is still okay but she’s not quite as likable, and Nicky is less dick-ish but less interesting as a result.
Their new actors do a good job, but the materiel could have been better. Colin gets some of the best parts, and his character actually kind of grows. The parents are just there, but Bob Duncan is always welcome in my book. Phears is just as awesome as ever. He’s not as hammy but he’s actually a better villain, for the most part.
Cammy is just sort of there…but I like her more than Ali Lohan since she’s a bit better in the romance scenes. Emma is the best new character so she gets amusing parts, and even some sweet scenes.
But then there’s the plot. It’s a bit more basic, and the stakes feel lower this time. It’s fine but near the end, it gets muddled. The plot seemed to change a lot but if the climax as stronger and wrapped up things nicely, I could forgive it.
But nope, we need a 10 minute epilogue that really gives us nothing. The romance stuff is nice but they could have put it near the climax, not here. It just exists to wrap up plot lines that could have been wrapped up much better.
But despite all that, the movie is decent. The humor is mostly funny, the plot includes some sweet moments, and I did like visiting these characters again. As as a sequel, it’s fine. It does rehash elements but it makes up for it with some interesting parts.
But like in the books, they don’t seem closer to their goal. They know that the parents are alive…and that’s it. That’s all we learn. That’s more than we learned in the books, but still!
Overall, If you ignore some elements, it’s a good movie. Not as enjoyable as the first one, but I still liked it. If you make a 3rd one, please give us more plot, make the characters stronger, and don’t dump everything in the last 10 minutes.
So yeah, it was good.
Next time…something special