Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Films That I Saw: March 2021


It’s been more than 2 months since Joe Biden has entered into the White House yet the stench of the previous administration still looms. Even in violent acts across the country including here nearby in Atlanta as this wave of anti-Asian rhetoric has emerged where a number of Asian women were killed in massage parlors by some crazy white guy. It’s a world that is getting more insane as there’s been attacks on Meghan Markle because of her identity from someone like Piers Morgan who should never have a voice on anything considering that he has been friends with people who weren’t just racist but were also some of the vilest people on the face Earth. It shouldn’t have surprised me that Sharon Osbourne of all people would defend him as she just got fired from her show as I tend to forget that she is an awful person. After all, this is the woman who tried to sabotage Iron Maiden’s performance at Ozzfest in 2006 all because vocalist Bruce Dickinson didn’t like her show.

It’s a world that is going crazy as I consider what kind of world that my nephew has to endure when he grows up. Even now as I have gained a new member of my immediate family on March 11, 2021 in my niece in Cynthia Adalina Flores-Publicover as she is named after my late younger sister Cynthia yet we all call her Adalina. She’s been around for a few weeks yet is aware of all of us though she hasn’t seen my face properly because I have yet to be vaccinated. I’m still waiting to get the word to be vaccinated while I’m now dealing with what is probably the worst pollen season in years as it’s why I hate spring more than any other season of the year.
In the month of March, I saw a total of 23 films in 7 first-timers and 16 re-watches which is decent considering I had to spend part of my time taking care of my almost 2-year old nephew who loves to go outside to the playgrounds and run around. The highlight of the month has definitely been my Blind Spot Series film in The Great Escape. Here are my top 3 first-timers that I saw for March 2021:

1. Girlhood
2. Native Son
3. Homework
Monthly Mini-Reviews & What I’ve Been Watching

WandaVision (episode 9)
The final episode of the first season of the MCU TV series may not have been as emotionally-involving as its previous episode but it does pay off into a hell of a climax. Notably as it finally creates this conflict between Wanda Maximoff and her neighbor Agnes who is revealed to be a witch in Agatha Harkness as Maximoff eventually accepts her new identity. The episode has a lot of revelations about Maximoff’s grief but also with a lot of open-ended possibilities of what she is going to do with Monica Rambeau also helping out and understanding what Maximoff had done. The episode is a fitting finale as it play into Vision’s fate and the secret that has been unveiled into what S.W.O.R.D. had been trying to create. As for the whole first season, this is definitely one of the best things Marvel has created as it definitely raises the bar of what TV series could be while it gives Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and Kathryn Hahn some of their best work as well as a breakout for Teyonnah Parris as Monica Rambeau with Kat Dennings and Randall Park providing some amazing supporting work.

South ParQ Vaccination Special
This special from the famed animated TV series is an improvement over its previous episode as it plays more into Mr. Garrison’s return to the town as well as the friendship of the four boys starting to fracture. It also play into the paranoia of who gets the vaccines as well as the stupidity that is QAnon. It has some funny moments but it is a messy episode with an ending that is typical of the show in the fact that everything gets resolved but they always are going to find a way to fuck it up for everyone.

The Craft: Legacy
This was painful to watch as I do like Zoe Lister-Jones as I was a fan of her film Band Aid while I also like Cailee Spaeny and Gideon Adlon but this film was horrendous. It is really this unnecessary reboot/remake/sequel of sorts to the 1996 film as it never did anything original but it is often surrounded by this horrible music soundtrack that pops up every now and then. There was also some lame twists including a really lame villain in the film as it never does anything exciting nor does it have anything suspenseful as it feels really by the numbers as it was just an awful film.

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil (first 2 episodes)
Available on YouTube for free as this documentary series about pop singer Demi Lovato and her struggles with sobriety is a chilling series as it plays into a young woman who grew up a child star and then a teen idol but has trouble dealing with her own identity as well as having to please so many people. It is so far a film that really showcases what happened to her in 2018 when she nearly died of a drug overdose that involved heroin of all things. The revelation that the dealer who supplied her the drugs also raped her while she was unconscious is unsettling as it just adds to the air of discomfort while what happened once she arrived to the hospital and stayed alive is just as shocking. Heart attacks, strokes, organ failures, and being blind for a time. Yet, this is only half of the story so far.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (first 2 episodes)
The second entry from the MCU TV series that is also Disney+ is a completely different show as it emphasizes more on suspense, identity, and legacy. Under the direction of Kari Skogland and created by Malcolm Spellman, it is a show that is familiar with some of the films of the MCU yet it is more grounded into the struggles that both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are enduring post-Blip. The former being a free agent who is trying to save his family’s fishing business while the latter is dealing with PTSD and the guilt of his actions as the Winter Soldier. That’s all in the first episode as the second one features Wyatt Russell as John Walker who becomes the new Captain America and honestly, I hate this character. He is not my Cap. The second episode is so far the best as it goes head on into the discussions of racism as it features veteran actor Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley as an African-American super-soldier who fought the Winter Soldier during the Korean War and ripped his arm off only to be in prison for 30 years by Hydra and the government.

These revelations as well as the fact that government are willing to cover up these stories just add to the discussion as well as a discussion of globalization as the group Sam and Bucky have to go against are just young super-soldiers trying to be people helping the unfortunate and thought that things were better during the Blip. That sense of complexity add to the show’s charm with both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are doing great work as it’s just the start of great things to come.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changer (episode 1)
Having grown up in the 90s and seen all three films of the franchise, this was a curiosity that I wanted to see on Disney+ as it stars Lauren Graham as a single mom who is trying to help her son be part of the Mighty Ducks team which is a completely different team from the band of misfits from the film series. Yet, it is more of a study of the modern world of youth sports and how insane it is with parents hiring special coaches, psychologists, and all sorts of things in the hopes that they get their kids to a great school and become professionals instead of just playing for fun. The first episode also features Emilio Estevez reprising his role as a bitter and resentful Gordon Bombay who reluctantly helps Graham’s character in forming her own team with her son and other misfits who just want to play and have fun despite the fact that it’s also full-contact.

A Must-Watch

AEW Dynamite: St. Patrick’s Day Slam-Unsanctioned Lights Out Match: Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa
It’s been more than two years since its inception as All Elite Wrestling has been this great alternative to the lame sports entertainment that is Meekmahan-land (WWE). The show that was launched since the fall of 2019 has been a show I’ve watched every Wednesday as they’ve always had some solid matches and moments with a stacked tag team division, faction wars, and amazing single competitors. The women’s division has gotten to a shaky start though it slowly improved in 2020 yet the biggest thing to come out of the division has been a feud between Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and NWA star Thunder Rosa that started ever since the latter made an appearance in the late summer of 2020 as part of a working relationship between AEW and NWA. This was a feud that involved Dr. Baker, who had turned heel early in 2020 following a bland run as a babyface, as she felt insulted by Rosa’s presence leading to a few matches and incidents that had the two going at it.

What happened on March 11, 2021 when the match was taped for the next week is monumental not just for the AEW women’s division but also for women’s wrestling in the U.S. This wasn’t just some hardcore match with tables, ladders, chairs, and thumbtacks with both women showing blood. This was a war that had both women going at it and putting their bodies on the line. I rarely stood up and applauded for a wrestling match but this is a true masterpiece in professional wrestling. Many wrestling podcasts and people on social media just talked about this match and this is a match that definitely raised the game for women’s wrestling. While Rosa remains under contract with the NWA until probably next year, she is already the hottest star as there will be a time when she will be in AEW full-time. For Dr. Baker, this puts as the face of the division and it’s time for her to become the AEW Women’s champion while there are others such as veterans like Riho and Ryo Mizunami as well as home-grown talent like Red Velvet and Jade Cargill making their mark while former WWE/NXT talent Tay Conti has become popular. It’s things like that makes me proud to be a fan of pro wrestling as I hope that AEW, New Japan, Impact, NWA, ROH, and other companies around the world work together and put WWE out of business for good.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Dr. Strangelove or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
2. Shock Corridor
3. A Hidden Life
4. Rocky
5. Cinderella
6. Lethal Weapon 3
7. Death Becomes Her
8. Purl
9. 13 Going on 30
10. Drumline
Well, that is it for March. Coming next month, I hope to get back on board into watching a couple of films by Kelly Reichardt and return to work on my overdue Auteurs essay on her. Along with films from my never-ending DVR list and probably a few from my A Little Something Extra list as well as the next film in my Blind Spot Series. I am going to be vaccinated in a few weeks but I’m not going back to the movie theaters immediately unless it’s for something big while I do plan on writing a review on Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2021


Sara said...

Soooo many great things on this list! I loved WandaVision. It was so different than anything else I was watching on television and I adored the end. I hate to say it, but Agatha is one of my favorite characters now, which I attribute to my girl crush on Kathryn Hahn. I'm really enjoying F&TWS too, and I agree with you... I do not like John Walker. He's not Cap and he doesn't deserve that shield. Watching him tote it around makes me so angry!

Often Off Topic said...

So glad you're enjoying these Marvel shows as much as I am! I have to admit, I wasn't planning on watching them but when Wandavision was released at the start of lockdown 3, I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did. They've really raised the bar since other comic book shows I used to watch like Arrow and The Flash.