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The Sandlot 2 [Import]
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Ten years ago, a quirky group of kids invaded the Sandlot, in one of the most beloved baseball movies of all-time. Now, a new generation of kids are back in THE SANDLOT 2, a nostalgic return to the dog days of summer playing Americas pastime where dreams begin and heroes are formed in this heart-felt and fun movie for everyone.
A decade has passed in the small town where the original Sandlot gang banded together during the summer of 62 to play baseball and battle the Beast. Now comes the sequel, a campy romp back to the dugout where nine new kids descend on the diamond only to discover that a descendant of the Beast lives in Mr. Mertles backyard--a monster of mythical proportions known as "The Great Fear." Director/writer David Evans cleverly ties his two films together by introducing Johnnie Smalls, kid brother of Scotty Smalls ("Youre killin me, Smalls") who is well-versed in the legendary struggle for possession of the Babe Ruth baseball. Smalls befriends the sandlot gang (which now includes three girls) and its leader, David Vincent Durango, and relates the rumor of "a mutated, insane Bigfoot dog thing" behind the left field fence. Summer unfolds with baseball rivalries, rocket launchers, and the infamous Carnival kissing booth, but fate will forever change the history of the sandlot when a crisis forces Smalls and Durango to join forces against The Fear. Regardless of ones sentiments on sequels, Evans writing in this remake is nearly as fresh and full of memorable quips as the original, including his characteristically understated narration. And while the film may be faulted for its forced melodrama and unseasoned cast, James Earl Jones lends his star appeal and the 70s soundtrack will make you wish for the days when fireworks were legal. Rated PG for profanity and raunchy humor. (Ages 6 to 14) --Lynn Gibson
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But there is a twist. This time there are girls. Hayley Good fairer (Samantha Burton) and two of her friends end up rounding out the team and are just as good, if not better, than the boys. Right from the start some of the old conflicts start up: the sandlot kids have a rivalry with the uniformed little leaguers and someone hit's a ball over the fence at Mr, Mertle's yard (James Earl Jones) where there lives a descendant of the Beast called the Great Fear. It is at this point that Johnny Smalls relates the legend of the Beast and the rise of the Great Fear. Naturally mischief ensues.
If anyone has seen the first "Sandlot", that person has a very good idea about how the rest of "The Sandlot 2" is going to play out. The stakes are raised in this movie, though that is also a matter of perception considering the first movie featured a retrieval of a ball autographed by Babe Ruth. Even so, "The Sandlot 2" is not a very original movie. Perhaps this isn't a surprise considering this movie was direct to video rather than getting a theatrical release. But so much of it plays out exactly like the first movie even with the same dialogue. What is most disappointing about this is the fact that both this movie and the original were written and directed by David Mickey Evans. If anyone could recapture some of the magic of "The Sandlot", it would be him. At least this wasn't a low budget sequel written and directed with somebody who has no ties to the original. That's also why this is so disappointed. Evans essentially remade the first movie with small cosmetic changes.
But what I don't understand is why the kids didn't just go and ask Mr. Mertle for help in retrieving what went over the fence. Scott Smalls had been friends with Mr. Mertle for years, so Johnny has to know that he is a decent and friendly man. The brief explanation given doesn't really make sense except that it allows the last third of the movie to have a conflict. Without it, this movie would have ended after an hour. It was just a weak explanation, though, and it just let the kids go through some of the same things that occurred in the original movie.
I'm sure than a younger audience will enjoy "The Sandlot 2", but those who have fond memories of "The Sandlot" should probably stay away. This does nothing to tarnish the original movie, but there just wasn't a need for a sequel and even with the original writer/director on board, there is no comparison between the two movies. "The Sandlot 2" is an inferior product and is missing the charm and humor and fun of "The Sandlot".
This film is set ten years after the summer of 1962 in the original Sandlot, those boys have grown up and are off fulfilling their dreams. New Neighborhood children battle for the possession of the Sandlot against an all-star baseball team. Being set in the 70's, the film pays tribute to the "women's lib" movement when three girls battle against the neighborhood boys on the subject that "girls can play baseball too". This time, the spawn of the Beast keeps the Sandlot gang riled up as they seek to retrieve an irreplaceable model rocket. There are many elements that tie this film together with its predecessor that do not turn this film into a re-hash of the original, instead, the similarities pay homage to the great film the original Sandlot is.
Max Lylod-Jones and Samantha Burton potray young left perfectly, and their performances will bring smiles to your face. The acting is great, and the film captures the seventies perfectly. The seventies hits will definitely take you back in time. If you were skeptical about purchasing or renting this film, because you're afraid that it will destroy the magic that made you love the original. It has owned it's place next to classic film. This is a must have for your collection.
The comedy is not the same, neither is the seriousness of the characters, and then there's no powerful character like Benny who was the most memorable character from Sandlot. Nobody here is memorable and they don't give off the deep feeling the original cast gave. Then there is the part at the end where they make this story up about the Beast really wanting to be released because there was a female dog in another fence he was in love with and he couldn't get to her. If I remember correctly the backyard was so huge that there wasn't enough room for another fence or for the Beast to know there was a female dog around. I also hated that the beast was smaller than most of the kids and in the first Sandlot beast was huge. This isn't really a sequel it's just a lousy remake with a couple of changes to make it appeal to kids. It's hard to believe that I don't hate this film because it was made off of a film my cousin and I grew up on but I gave it a fair chance and it just didn't work. Maybe kids will get a kick out of it but I didn't, it's just better to watch the original over and over.
Now, like in those good old days, a new group of kids, including three girls have ascended on the Sandlot. New challenges face the kids with a descendent to that ferocious old dog called "The Beast." His name is "The Great Fear" and he lives beyond the left field wall where all the kids play baseball. It's a great sequel to Sandlot, the original movie.
Wow! So here it is, another action-packed, exciting, funny, intriguing baseball story for kids of all ages to see. I encourage everybody to watch it, I give it five stars, and I'm Marvin P. Ferguson, author of BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST.