Summer is coming to an end as it’s been somewhat of a tiring one but also with an air of sadness that came in earlier this month. After 42 years of service, Scalini’s is closing its doors for good and this was something I hope to never see as it is a sad one. It’s a place just a few minutes from my house that is a family staple as birthdays are celebrated there or special dinners during holidays and such. It was a restaurant that myself and my siblings grew up on as we were notorious for ordering francese plates as my mother and sister would sometimes go for the shrimp francese, my father would often order the red snapper francese, and myself the chicken francese while my youngest sister would just have spaghetti or fettucine alfredo. It wasn’t just the main course but also the salads and the rolls as we would order it plain with butter instead of having it drenched in garlic. There is a legendary story in the 80s as one of our longtime family friends in Jose was there with my parents and their friends as he hate about 50 or more of those small garlic rolls. The food was one thing that made it special but it was also the atmosphere and also the wall of eggplant babies as it featured pictures of babies on a wall supposedly because pregnant women would eat eggplant parmesan late in their pregnancy and it would cause them to go into labor. It is a great legend though my mother never age eggplant parmesan but I’m definitely sure there were pictures of myself and siblings as babies in that wall while I’m unsure if my nephew and niece are in that wall as well though they have eaten there. I think the last time my mother and I ate there was earlier this year but I have no idea when but I do remember the Christmas before the pandemic as it was Mateo’s first trip. He had spaghetti without sauce as his meal but it was really to play with it as he just loved it as it’s why spaghetti is something he and Adalina love. Of course these things are inevitable but it never had to be that way as I think the pandemic did a lot to hurt that restaurant’s business though it kept going in doing deliveries and such but eating the food at your home instead of being at the restaurant wasn’t the same. There are rumors that the reason the restaurant is closed is a staff shortage and that is probably true but it still sucks as I hate the fact that it is closing. Now there’s no real reason to come to that area in Cobb Parkway as the only other long-standing local business that is there across the street is House of Chan. Yet, that place is being dwarfed by the Asian buffet place that is next to Scalini’s as I have no interest going in there as my mother didn’t like the food there at all. I don’t like buffet places either as I feel like it is a breeding ground for obesity and I don’t want to be a part of that. Sure, there’s Carraba’s and Olive Garden nearby for good Italian food but it will never top Scalini’s. Thank you Scalini’s for being a big part of my life.
There is a lot going on around the world as Florida is becoming more of a Fascist enterprise as that’s not a place I hope to go to for a while and things at that shithole that is Mar-a-Lago is getting really fucked up. It’s not just Florida where things are bad as there’s a bunch of awful things happening here in the U.S. while there was someone that was at my father’s wake that I didn’t know of had killed herself a week or two ago after she had been reported missing. There was also this recent stabbing of Salman Rushdie as the guy who stabbed him is going to be charged yet I’m sure those who still support the fatwa on Rushdie are upset that he’s still alive and that the guy who stabbed him didn’t finish the job.
Then there’s the shitstorm involving Warner media and Discovery as I had hoped to be subscribed to HBOMax as I’ve heard great things about that streaming service because of its content that included films on Turner Classic Movies and some films from Criterion as well as shows I had hoped to watch like Peacemaker. Well, that’s not going to happen as I’m astounded into why Warner tends to put themselves into bad business deals. Back in 2000-2001, there was a merger between Warner and AOL that ended up being a bad business deal as AOL is almost obsolete and that deal didn’t do either company any favors. This deal with Discovery+ to create a new streaming service that is set to come in the summer of 2023 is going to feature all of the stuff from HBOMax but also stuff from Discovery as I’m not interested in that. I don’t watch Discovery channel and have no interest in what they offer.
What I’m upset about is the fact that this new merger has gotten rid a lot of things. Animation specials, laying off animators, cancelling lots of projects including shows and some films including Batgirl which was nearly finished with a $90 million budget that was to feature Michael Keaton returning as Bruce Wayne/Batman and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah with Leslie Grace in the titular role and Brendan Fraser in the role of the villainous Firefly. They announce this while one of those directors was on his honeymoon and it really sucks for all of those people involved to see that a film that is close to completion just be thrown away as a tax write-off. The bigger question I have is this. Why cancel a film that cost $90 million that features a legendary actor reprising a role that he became famous for yet still plan to release a $200 million film that is likely to cost more with its marketing budget starring an actor who has already been in trouble with the law despite his bullshit apology?
That makes no fucking sense as it’s not just Batgirl and a Scooby-doo animated film that got cancelled upon their near completion but also other programming that include children and family programming including episodes of Sesame Street. It takes a special kind of evil to do that as it is clear that new CEO in David Zaslav is making a bunch of bullshit excuses and such as he’s also has a reputation of someone that hates LGBTQ content, anything geared towards Latinx/Hispanics, and all sorts of things while is OK with losing a lot of money in order to save his own ass. There is also this supposed 10-year plan for what is going to happen for DC Extended Universe and nothing has been revealed while there are some concerns that there’s only enough marketing budget money for two films coming out of Warner. Black Adam and Don’t Worry Darling as that is concerning.
Another thing about this merger that concerns me is what will happen with AEW as there had been rumors that AEW is trying to get a deal with HBOMax as possible home to stream their pay-per-view events as they only do 4-5 a year but also as a home for Ring of Honor. With this new regime, it isn’t likely to happen as it has me thinking back about what happened to WCW in 2000 during the time of the AOL-Time Warner merger as that was the year WCW lost $60 million in one of its worst creative period. Months later in 2001, WCW shut down because some asshole TV programmer named Jamie Kellner decided not to have wrestling be part of this new idea for Warner TV programming. Yet, in fairness to Time Warner at that time. WCW was just draining money and was on its way out.
With AEW, the timing of this is bad as there’s already some drama behind the scenes as well as lack of communication between wrestlers and Tony Khan as he’s hired people to try and help smooth things. Even as I have become concerned with some of their recent decisions as I really didn’t like that last episode of AEW Dynamite due to that awful unification AEW World title match and what it might lead to for All Out this coming Sunday in Chicago. The timing of all of this is bad with WWE starting to regain some momentum with HHH running creative with reports that morale has been high and everyone is starting to enjoy working again as there’s been some good stuff in WWE. In the month of August 2022, I saw a total of 33 films with 19 first-timers and 14 re-watches with 9 of these first-timers directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Similar to the previous month but there was a feeling that I managed to do more but also feel energized as one of the highlights of the month has been my Blind Spot film in Flowers of Shanghai. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for August 2022:
1. Burning 2. The Suicide Squad 3. Nope 4. The Recorder Exam 5. Nest 6. Psychomagic, a Healing Art 7. Cycling the Frame 8. One More Time with Feeling 9. Easter Eggs 10. Mainstream Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching
ASSEMBLED: The Making of Ms. Marvel The 11th film as part of the documentary series from Marvel doesn’t just showcase the work that is put into making Ms. Marvel but also a lot of attention to detail in having Bangkok used as Karachi as a lot of credit should go to the production design team in wanting to create something authentic. Even as this was a show made with a lot of people on board including those who wrote the comic series while the cast also talked about their characters and such. The subject of the Partition is touched upon that includes scenes from the fourth and fifth episode with a lot of detail into the migration problems. This documentary is definitely one of the best entry of the documentary series so far while it is further indication that for next year’s Emmys. GIVE THIS SHOW ALL OF THE FUCKING EMMYS!!!!!
Nest One of several short films on MUBI that I watched this month as this one from Hlynur Palmason as it is shot entirely on one camera position in the course of an entire year. It is about a trio of brothers trying to build a tree house as they go through moments of triumphs and struggles including bad weather and other awful shit. Yet, it is an incredible short that says a lot in just showing so little.
Squish! This short that mixes animation and live action that relates to Thailand’s history with animation is a mixed bag. It does play into people channeling their illness through art though it tends to meander at times where it wants to be one thing but also another thing as it is kind of weak.
The Recorder Exam From Kim Bora is a 27-minute short film about a young girl trying to practice her recorder for an upcoming exam as she deals with neglect and indifference from her family in 1988 Seoul during its Summer Olympics. It is a somber yet touching film that really play into a young girl just trying to get some attention but also just wanting to feel like she matters. It is 27 minutes of pure cinema that reaches for the soul and so much more as it is a film that everyone should see.
Easter Eggs An animated short by Nicolas Keppen that is about a couple of guys trying to get money to buy a mountain bike by trying to find some exotic birds. The short is really a study of toxic masculinity where one guy is giving orders and is a real dick to people as he also forces his friend to do things as he would often get hurt. It is like a Belgian version of Beavis & Butt-head except that one of them is an even bigger dick than Butt-head often is towards Beavis who at least has some balls and compassion. Still, it is a fascinating short to seek out.
From filmmaker Katie Lambert in collaboration with Suede as a promotional short of sorts for their upcoming album is a film about the ups-and-downs of a gay couple as they deal with a lot of things. It moves back and forth from them being young and being big fans of Suede to them as adults where one of them is hoping to see the other at a major club show with Suede as the band of the night.
Cycling the Frame From Cynthia Beatt is a 27-minute short shot in 1988 during the final years of the Cold War that is essentially Tilda Swinton riding a bike in West Berlin to see the Berlin Wall and how much it covers. There are glimpses of East Berlin from afar with Swinton going to certain sites and such as it is this intriguing and fascinating film that also has a sequel set 21 years later with Swinton doing the same to see where the Wall used to be.
I Am Groot From Disney+ and Marvel is a collection of five shorts directed by Kirsten Lepore as it all play into the misadventures of Baby Groot. With Vin Diesel doing the voice role of Groot with James Gunn and Bradley Cooper providing voice cameos for an episode each. The shorts play into Baby Groot’s development as he grows up from the moment he takes his first steps to discovering a tiny civilization and being challenged to a dance off. There is also an episode where he takes a mud bath with great results where he proves to be fashionable while he also shows what he can do in order to make great art. This is a series that I think is great for kids to watch as I’m also happy to learn that there’s five more shorts that are in development.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (episodes 1-2) I’m not surprised by some of the review-bombings the show is getting from a bunch of salty fanboys with sand in their vaginas as it is clear that there is a certain audience that really don’t want to watch shows about young girls or young women. Well you know what? FUCK ‘EM!!!! This show, two episodes in so far, is fucking awesome. Notably as Tatiana Malsany is just killing as Jennifer Walters as she just provides a lot of personality and nuances to the character as well as being She-Hulk while also showing some reluctance in having to be a superhero. I love the moments where the 4th wall is broken while the appearances from Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Smart Hulk is a joy to watch while I also feel for him given that he’s lonely and is need of companionship while is trying to help his cousin. It never takes itself seriously while there’s some great meta-jokes in there while I also love the tone and visuals of it as I’m liking the visual effects as I thought it helped bring a lot of attributes to the She-Hulk character.
Wrestling Match of the Month: Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia (2 out of 3 falls) AEW Dynamite
Despite all of the shit that is happening in AEW right now, there was a great match they did pull off this month as it is leading to an angle for the soul of Daniel Garcia who is becoming one of the best young wrestlers working today. He’s in his 20s and already, he’s cultivating a collection of great matches as well as being in the main event on several episodes of Dynamite and Rampage. Having tied 1-1 against Danielson who is already known to the world as the best technical wrestler out there (unless you count Zack Sabre Jr.), it was inevitable for these two men to meet again as the match also included the legendary Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the guest timekeeper. What they did is put on a clinic in terms of what technical wrestling is and what it should be. Though Danielson won the match two falls to one with Garcia winning the first one, it is Garcia that became the star here as he is now going to be at the center of a big match between Danielson and Chris Jericho on who does Garcia side with. Does Garcia want to be a pro wrestler or be a sports entertainer?
Top 10 Re-Watches
1. Police Story 2. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis 3. The Lion King 4. Captain America: The First Avenger 5. The Love Bug 6. Hawaiian Vacation 7. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 8. Small Fry 9. Clock Cleaners 10. Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago Well, that is all for August. Next month, I hope to see Moonage Daydream while watching out for what is happening at the film festival circuit in Venice, Toronto, and San Sebastian as it the preliminary for awards season. My next Blind Spot will definitely be Devi as I will watch a bunch of films by Satyajit Ray during that time as well as other films on whatever I have on my DVR or in streaming. On a final note, while there has been some notable figures that have passed on. One in particular has been Olivia Newton-John who is truly one of the greatest singers ever and a truly lovely person who will definitely be missed. The idea of her not being around anymore is unthinkable as she just lights up the world whenever she smiles and we smile with her. We will miss you ONJ. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
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