Autumn has arrived and honestly, this is where the real heavy-duty film watching season truly begins as I’m a bit excited about it while still aware of some of the bullshit that is happening around the world. Even here in the U.S. as there’s still a bunch of stupid anti-vaxxers who really have no clue to the fact that the pandemic is not over and they’re the ones keeping it going. George Carlin was right, never underestimate a group of stupid people as they will just make things worse. I’m just glad I choose not to be around morons though I see them every now and then whenever I’m out to a restaurant or to get groceries as I’m always taking my mother somewhere as she is currently overseeing a new paint job for our house.
One of the things I’ve been able to enjoy aside from my time with my niece and nephew is professional wrestling as All Elite Wrestling didn’t just deliver one of the best pay-per-view events of the year but followed it up with a major event in New York City as they performed in front of more than 20,000 people at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens for an episode of AEW Dynamite and a taping of AEW Rampage as it featured one of the best matches I saw this year between Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson that went into a 30-minute draw. The fact that AEW is making fans love pro wrestling again is proof that wrestling fans are now part of a newfound renaissance period and it’s not just in AEW. NWA, Impact, Ring of Honor, the hardcore GCW, AAA in Mexico, and New Japan Pro Wrestling have managed to provide that sense of joy again as well as bring in wrestling fans together instead of being forced to watch three hours of bad TV every Monday on the USA Network from 8 PM to past 11. It’s not just that there’s so much going on in pro wrestling that is good but also in the actions of these companies as AEW has been doing a lot of incredible charitable work yet the biggest news in recent weeks involves their work with the Owen Hart Foundation. Now Bret Hart maybe in my top 5 all-time favorite wrestlers along with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, CM Punk, and Randy Savage yet Owen was my favorite of the Hart family as I just enjoyed his ring work and exuberant personality as his tragic death in 1999 is something I still never got over. Yet the revelations about what happened on the night of his death were far more troubling as the years of anger towards his widow for not allowing WWE to honor his legacy subsided once the truth came out as I don’t blame her for not wanting to do anything with that shithole. The fact that she and AEW are working together in an act of charity and to honor Owen’s name made me elated while there will be an upcoming tournament named in his honor as it’s something I look forward to. It is proof that AEW is putting their money where their mouth is and bring some good in the world instead of using charity as a form of marketing like that shit-hole slop-shop at Stamford. In the month of September, I saw a total of 25 films 14 first-timers and 11 re-watches with five of those first-timers directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Slightly down from last month yet it was a solid month as a major highlight of the month is my Blind Spot film in Pixote. Here are my top 5 first-timers that I saw for September 2021:
2. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
5. Just Mercy
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching
Genesis: The Last Domino? Genesis has just started what might be their last tour and it is really likely that it is their last largely due to Phil Collins’ health and the fact that he, guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford, and keyboardist Tony Banks are in or nearing their 70s. With longtime guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer playing, the live band consists of two backing vocalists in Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth who both contribute percussions with Phil’s son Nic playing drums solely this time around. The documentary about this upcoming tour that just began more than a week ago showcases Collins’ struggle to sound right for this tour as he is unable to move around except in sitting on a chair and sing. It also shows that a lot of the preparation for the tour has taken a mental toll on him due to his personal issues relating to his ex-wife with the band and his son being really helpful as it’s something for fans of Genesis as the recent shows have been well-received as the band have been playing a lot of songs from various periods including the songs that Peter Gabriel sang.
One of two short films from Celine Sciamma that I saw as the first one (thanks to Brittani of Rambling Films for finding me this one) is a simple seven-minute short where the camera is still for a long time as a young woman talks about her sexual identity. Shot in one entire take, the film that was made for a government program to combat homophobia as Sciamma’s short allows Anais Demoustier to talk about her struggles and her desire to find happiness as it is really a gem of a short film that fans of Sciamma need to watch.
La Coupe Bernard Tapine A two-minute documentary short film from Sciamma that is really a tribute to her favorite women’s football club in France. Though it is really short, it does say a lot about the culture of football in France as well as what it means to women who do have a league of their own even though it’s small in comparison to the big football league in France. Still, it is a short worth watching on the link above as it proves that Sciamma is a true visionary.
When Nirvana Came to Britain
Given that September 24 is the 30th anniversary of a bunch of landmark albums from 1991 such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Bloodsugarsexmagik, A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica (in the U.K.), Pixies’ Tromp Le Monde, and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger. It is also the day Nirvana’s Nevermind came out as it would be the album that changed music culture as this documentary film from the BBC about the band’s relationship with Britain and how the country was able to discover them first before American audiences did. Featuring interviews with bassist Krist Novoselic, drummer Dave Grohl, radio deejays Jo Whiley and Steve Lamcq, Eugene Kelly of the Vaselines, Ana da Silva of the Raincoats, Biffy Clyro vocalist Simon Neil, the band’s U.K. touring dancer Antony “Tony” Hodgkinson, and many others.
The film showcases how the band first came to Britain in late 1989/early 1990 and the buzz they attracted during a time when British popular culture was trying to find a new identity in the decade. The film also showcases a lot of moments where vocalist/guitarist Kurt Cobain was quite happy as well as the fact that their legendary 1992 performance at the Reading Festival would be their last U.K. appearance as the band never played the U.K. following Cobain’s death 2 years later. It is not just something that fans of the band should see but also music fans as it showcased how this small band from Aberdeen, Washington would change the world for a bit as Grohl has managed to maintain relationships with those people that helped Nirvana become a big deal in the U.K. through his work as part of the Foo Fighters.
Nona The second SparkShorts film that I watched on Disney+ is another touching and winning short film as it’s about an old woman wanting to watch a wrestling show when her granddaughter appears all of a sudden. Torn between two things that she loves, she eventually finds a way to bring them both together as it’s something that is a lot of fun while it also has a lot of heart as it’s a short that fans of pro wrestling can definitely enjoy but also relate to their own grandparents or their grandchildren.
Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James While he’s known more lately for things he said on Dave Chappelle’s show through the stories from the late, great Charlie Murphy. There is no question that Rick James was one of the greatest artists that ever lived despite his troubles with drug addiction and such. Still, the documentary showcases his artistry with interviews from his widow, his eldest daughter from his first marriage, and various band members as they talk about the highs and lows along with his battles with MTV for not playing his videos. Even as he struggled with drugs as it is entertaining but also sobering of a man who was unable to cope with his demons.
What If…? (Episodes 4-8) The next five episodes in the season so far definitely show some major highlights as the fourth episode about Doctor Strange dealing with loss as it features some of the show’s best animation. The fifth and sixth episode were also inventive as the fifth one is about the Avengers dealing with zombies while the sixth explore the possibility of what if Tony Stark was saved by Killmonger who would later conspire to create trouble for the Wakandans and SHIELD. The seventh episode about Thor being an only child is entertaining as it is filled with some hilarious moments including Loki presented as a Frost Giant as he and Thor have this mischievous relationship while Darcy marries Howard the Duck. The most recent episode about the idea of Ultron winning is the weakest so far yet it does showcase what happens if Ultron had access to the Infinity Stones and how it ends up creating trouble for the Watcher character. It is definitely an excellent show with one more episode coming to end the season.
Dark Side of the Ring (season 3-episodes 8 & 9) Being a fan of pro wrestling and this series from VICE TV, I knew fans were about to get into some serious stories and the most recent episodes so far are intense. The eighth episode is about the infamous Plane Ride from Hell in which a bunch of WWE wrestlers are flying home from Britain to the U.S. where a bunch of bad shit happened including Curt Henning wrestling Brock Lesnar on a plane following a prank, a drunken Dustin Rhodes serenading his ex-wife Terri to great embarrassment, pranks involving Michael P.S. Hayes and JBL, a regrettable incident involving an intoxicated Scott Hall trying to make a pass towards a stewardess, and Ric Flair wearing nothing but his robe and flashing everyone while trying to flirt with that same stewardess. Henning and Hall were fired for their actions while Flair got a pass because of who he is as it really represented on a culture that never should be re-lived again as Flair has recently lost some commercial opportunities including a rumored spot in AEW as Andrade El Idolo’s manager.
The other episode on Chris Kanyon is a heartbreaking episode as it relates to a wrestler who didn’t get enough credit for his work in the ring yet he was a man that had a lot of personal issues including the fact that he was secretly gay. Featuring interviews with James Mitchell, Diamond Dallas Page, the Young Bucks, and Brian Cage, the episode revealed the man’s struggle and his anger as well as events that really destroyed his career including an unfortunate segment on WWE Smackdown in 2003 where he was dressed up as Boy George singing to the Undertaker only to be beaten horrifically with a steel chair. Years later, Kanyon would struggle with his demons as well as eventually coming out and sadly his own suicide in 2010 as he is someone that never got a fair treatment during a time when homosexuality was seen as taboo in professional wrestling as the industry has now changed for the better with a lot of openly-gay wrestlers being celebrated.
Top 10 Re-watches (that isn’t Lost in Translation) 1. Mirror 2. The Darjeeling Limited 3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 4. Big 5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall 7. The Mummy 8. I Love You, Man 9. The Mummy Returns 10. Major League II Well, that is all for September 2021. Next month is October which is often the time to watch films relating to Halloween which means a lot of horror films as I’ve made a watchlist on the films I hope to watch for the month. A few of which will include theatrical releases such as Titane, Last Night in Soho, and Dune and hopefully No Time to Die as that’s a film I hope to watch with my mother as a tribute to my dad who was a big James Bond fan. One film in that list is a Blind Spot film as it will be Perfect Blue as it’s usually a fun time to watch scary movies as I hope to introduce my niece and nephew to some animated Halloween-based films that aren’t scary but fun. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
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