Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Films That I Saw: June 2021


Summer has arrived and things are starting to get a bit normal in this post-pandemic world we’re about to venture into though I am aware we’re not in the clear at the moment. People still wear masks and I have as well on a few places but it does feel like we’re getting back to that sense of normalcy even if it means more violence here and there. For anyone that has lived in Georgia or areas in and near Atlanta, there’s two places that we don’t go. One is Lake Lanier as I hadn’t been to that lake in more than a decade and have no plans to as someone always die there due to some accident or from a drowning as it’s one of these man-made lakes that’s just cursed. The other is Lenox Mall near Buckhead as it used to be this somewhat-posh mall where it had places other malls didn’t have but now it’s become a place where there’s a shooting or some kind of incident happening almost every day. I rarely go there and the last time I was there was last year during the pandemic as I have no interest in going there anymore. It’s just dull nowadays as it has me realizing that malls are on their way out.

Just because we’re going back to sporting events, restaurants, and such doesn’t mean we should deal with the fact that this pandemic could happen again but there’s also this realization that things might have to change. Having seen what just happened near Miami with this apartment collapse that has killed 12 people so far with 149 people still missing. It is a wake-up call that there are still things happening in the real world but also knowing that areas in South Florida including Miami might not exist sooner than we realize as there needs to be some kind of change in Florida to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, there’s the powers that be who are either ignorant or indifferent to what is coming and they will reap for what they sow.
In the month of June, I saw a total of 21 films in 8 first-timers and 13 re-watches with only one film as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge as it’s down slightly from last month due to other activities involving my niece and nephew. Still, a highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot assignment choice in Pink Flamingos. Here are my top 5 first-timers that I saw for June 2021:

1. The Sparks Brothers
2. Ford v Ferrari
3. Lean on Pete
4. Chyna
5. Boy Erased
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’ve Been Watching

Take Me Home Tonight
This comedy set in the late 1980s about an aimless rental video store employee who copes with his lack of prospects while going to a party as it stars Topher Grace in the lead role that features an ensemble cast that includes Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Teresa Palmer, Michael Biehn, Michelle Trachtenberg, Dan Fogler, and Angie Everhart. It’s a film that has some funny moments but it often tries too hard to be funny and to be compelling as it is just a mess.

From VICE TV is a documentary about the life and death of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer who was definitely a fucking icon in the world of professional wrestling in the late 90s and early 2000s as she was everywhere on TV and such and her popularity at that time remains unmatched. Yet, the documentary features footage from an unfinished and unreleased documentary about her final years as a woman is trying to clean herself up and get her life back together. Featuring interviews with some former wrestlers including Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, Masahiro Chono, Billy Gunn, and Sean Waltman as well as former WWE writer Vince Russo as they come off well in this with Waltman being remorseful for his time with Chyna when they were both doing drugs and such. The film also show cases what was happening as her manager was trying to get Chyna to do this and that upon her return to the U.S. from Japan as it only got her back into drugs and such.

During the making of the documentary, Chyna’s relapse that would include time with one of the film’s co-directors who would become a heroin addict and later go to prison for a time for supplying drugs showcase how bad things are. There is also an appearance from Dr. Drew Pinsky whose presence really makes things worse as there’s a scene of Chyna and her manager Anthony talking to her about prescription drugs she needed where Dr. Drew is just a fucking enabling quack who exploits people at their lowest. People also wonder why she never got a solo induction into the bullshit world that is the WWE Hall of Fame as her ex-boyfriend Triple H claims that if people who go to Google and find her name that it will showcase her porn career. Yet, there’s people in that fucking piece of shit hall of fame who have done worse. The truth is that a lot of people failed her and she never got the chance to be celebrated for what she’s done and it’s a shame that she’s gone now.

Dark Side of the Ring (season 3)
Also from VICE TV is the first half of the third season of the documentary series about the dark world of pro wrestling that begins with a two-hour special on the life and death of Brian Pillman who was a gifted high-flyer who could also do amazing promos in and out of the ring while creating a character that was unpredictable. Yet, a Humvee accident in 1996 would mark the beginning of the end as he would be severely injured and couldn’t wrestle the same way again as his addiction to painkillers lead to his death a year later. The piece also featured interviews with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jim Ross as well as Pillman’s sister who has been a real saint as she had been the one to help bring Brian’s children together including Brian Pillman Jr. who is right now part of a popular tag team in the Varsity Blondes with Griff Garrison and Julia Hart in AEW. The series also had pieces on extreme hardcore wrestler Nick Gage and his own love of ultraviolence as he’s been recently having a career resurgence along with a piece on the infamous 1995 Collision in Korea event in North Korea that is just insane about what WCW and New Japan did as it was just fucking scary.

Episodes on the life and death of the Ultimate Warrior is a bit weak since they didn’t cover Warrior’s time in WCW in 1998 and the years between that and his death in 2014 while the darkest episode is on the wrestler Grizzly Smith and his children in wrestlers Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Sam Houston, and Rockin’ Robin and the abuse they endured as children and adults. The Grizzly Smith episode was intense in not just his exploits in pedophilia but also other things as his children have managed to survive though remain estranged from one another despite their desire to wanting to be together. The last episode of the series so far is on the Dynamite Kid who was known as a major innovator despite his small stature but the abuse on his body and horrific pranks on other wrestlers including Jacques Rougeau who would get revenge on him in the worst way are among the most compelling. The second half coming later in the year is going to be intense as it will profile on the lives of Luna Vachon, Chris Kanyon, and Ion Croitoru as well as promotions such as XPW and FMW, and stories on the 1992 steroid scandal and its 1994 trial and the legendary Plane Ride from Hell in 2002.

Loki (episodes 1-4)
From Disney+ is a series I’ve been waiting for and so far it’s just incredible as it focuses on the God of Mischief and his many misadventures as he is living in an alternate universe helping out a bureaucratic organization known as the TVA to protect the flow of time. Tom Hiddleston returns in the titular role as he is given more to do flesh out the character who learns a lot about his fate and everything else where he definitely showcase Loki’s own faults and the fact that there is good in him. The ensemble cast that includes Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Sasha Lane, and the voice of Tara Strong really make this show a joy to watch with Wilson having great rapport with Hiddleston as this is a partnership that I just love to watch with Mosaku being this no-nonsense guard of the TVA. Then there’s Sophia Martino in the role of Sylvie as this variation of Loki who is just full of surprises and charisma as she and Hiddleston together are incredible to watch.

Notably in the third episode that include these quiet moments where Loki and Sylvie are in a train talking as the former talks about Frigga. While Frigga may not have been featured enough in the MCU with Avengers: Endgame at least giving Rene Russo a chance to flesh her out more for a brief scene. It is proof that Frigga isn’t just this great character but also the best mom in the MCU that any hero could have. Credit should to director Kate Herron and showrunner Michael Waldron for creating this show that isn’t afraid to be silly but also showcase their influences in films like Brazil and Metropolis. The fourth episode is the best one so far not just for the twists and turns but also in the development of a few supporting characters and some unexpected twists and turns including a cameo from a supporting character from the MCU.

Top 10 Re-Watches

1. Das Boot
2. Thief
3. Moneyball
4. I, Tonya
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
6. Wildcats
7. S.F.W.
8. Mr. Mom
9. Night Shift
10. Wonder Woman 1984
That is all for June. Next month, the Cannes Film Festival marathon will officially return as I will make a formal announcement this coming Friday on the films I will be watching for the marathon. There will be breaks during the marathon that will include a viewing of Black Widow as I’ve purchased my ticket for that film as it will be the second film this year I will watch in the theaters with The Sparks Brothers being the first and it felt really good to return to the movie theaters. Now that I have a Blu-Ray/DVD player and a couple of new fireTVs, that means I have more to watch including my next Blind Spot. Plus, if there’s more stimulus money coming. I hope I can get tickets to see King Crimson at the Fox Theatre or the Atlanta Hawks going to the NBA Finals as the idea of them winning the championship would be a big deal but also an emotional one as I grew up a Hawks fan as did my dad. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and oh…. Loki is mine bitches!

© thevoid99 2021

1 comment:

Brittani Burnham said...

Even though I'm vaccinated I still wear my mask out. I don't trust the majority of the people around me, and I feel bad making my kid wear a mask because he's not old enough to get it yet when I'm not.

I need to watch the new season of Dark Side of the Ring. I finally got Hulu back temporarily so time to catch up on that.