We’re almost at the end of the month of a new year yet it feels like a lot of the shit that has been happening for the past 7-8 years hasn’t changed. In fact, nothing has really changed as it is just further proof that no matter what steps we take to make things better. We end up going one step forward and five steps backwards as what happened in Memphis, Tennessee is an example of how little things have changed as a black man was beaten to death by the police who wasn’t even doing anything wrong. It does feel like nothing has changed while I’m now dealing with the flu that I got from my niece and nephew as the former is now running around like a fucking tornado. Still, that is life as I now have a new routine in driving 20 minutes from Smyrna to Mabelton to pick up my nephew who is in school at around 1:30 PM as he’s actually doing well in his new school as it’s given me some comfort despite my initial worries.
Things in the world of pro wrestling has started off terribly with the return of Vince McMahon to the board of directors in the WWE despite all of the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment as he just brushed it off as if it was nothing. Ever since he departed this summer, things in WWE creatively were starting to go well as I became interested in the product but his return and a possible sale to some hedge-fund company in Saudi Arabia makes me nervous. McMahon’s return lead to his daughter and co-CEO Stephanie to quit as I can’t say that I don’t blame her for leaving despite my issues towards her though she has been really loyal to the company and its employees. I am more worried for HHH and his team but also some of the performers as the moment McMahon decides to go back on the creative side is fucking bad news.
This wasn’t the only thing in the world of pro wrestling that has made major headlines as the other big news is an unfortunate one in the passing of Jay Briscoe (real-name is Jamin Pugh) in a car accident on January 17, 2023 as he was driving two of his daughters to a cheer competition when a car drove into the wrong lane and both Briscoe and the other driver were killed. Though the daughters are alive, they’re still dealing with serious injuries as I’m hoping they get better while this death is just shocking as I haven’t felt a death like this for a wrestler since Scott Hall last year. Jay and Mark Briscoe weren’t just one of the greatest tag teams ever but they were also influential as their trilogy last year with FTR is probably one of the greatest wrestling trilogies ever as both teams put their bodies on the line to create that trilogy. I first heard about his death on a live chat watch-a-long with various subscribers on Solomonster’s podcast as we were re-watching the very first episode of Monday Night Raw is when the news broke.
I didn’t want to believe it but it did happen as tributes immediately poured in while AEW wanted to do something really special for Briscoe since Tony Khan is also the owner of Ring of Honor which the Briscoes work for. Sadly, he wasn’t able to do a tribute immediately because of a bunch of assholes from Warner Discovery refused to have the Briscoes on AEW TV because of a bunch of stupid homophobic things Jay said many years ago that he’s apologized for and has been forgiven by the LGBTQ wrestling community. It’s fucked up considering that these people at Warner Discovery have issues over what some guy said many years ago yet they still plan on doing business with Ezra Miller and Dana White as the latter got into some trouble for slapping his wife at a New Year’s Eve party as they still put on his stupid slap-fighting show after AEW Dynamite. Thankfully, Khan and the fans were able to call out on Warner Discovery’s bullshit as last Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite had a great main event between Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal in tribute to Jay Briscoe. In the month of January 2023, I saw a total of 26 films in 14 first-timers and 12 re-watches with 3 of those films director/co-directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. The highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot film in La Chinoise that I watched on MUBI. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for January 2023:
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once 2. Pinocchio 3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 4. The Kingdom: Exodus 5. The Book of Mary 6. Hail, Mary 7. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story 8. A Short Story 9. Tuesday 10. For Ever Mozart Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’ve Been Watching
A Short Story A short I saw on MUBI by Bi Gan, as he has Long Journey’s Day into Night available on that streaming platform, revolves around a black cat encountering a bunch of people in its travels as well as robots. It is a surreal short that is filled with astonishing visuals as it has a nice 15-minute running time as it is something worth watching.
The Ballad of Nessie An animated short film that was released theatrically to precede Winnie the Pooh in 2011 is this whimsical short about the Loch Ness monster and why she is really just an innocent creature who got pissed off because some asshole decided to build a golf park over her pond. Narrated by Billy Connolly, it is a short filled with humor and heart as it also play into how she ended up creating a lake that would bring her happiness and such as it is a joy to watch as it is available on Disney+.
Mr. Bean: Blind Date
A short film made in 1993 for Red Nose Day involves Mr. Bean being a contestant in the game show Blind Date hosted by Cilla Black in which he was the winner. One of the contestants Mr. Bean competes with is played by Alan Cumming as they try to win the heart of a beautiful young woman where they go away to a weekend at the country. Yet with anything involving Mr. Bean, some crazy shit happens as it is just downright fucking hilarious as it’s why I fucking love that character. He doesn’t give a fuck in the shit he does and how he hurts people just as long as he tries to get what he wants.
GUO4 Another short I saw on MUBI is from Peter Strickland as it is mainly a music video of sorts for the band GUO4 which mainly involves two naked swimmers fighting in a locker room. It is an odd short to watch yet it also intriguing considering that it has a lot of gratuitous shots of penises including when they’re touching one another in this film as it is really homoerotic but for all of the right reasons. Ladies, boys, seek this shit out.
Tuesday With the praise that’s been given towards Aftersun with its star Paul Mescal nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, Charlotte Wells’ first film revolves around the day in the life of a teenage girl as she is dealing with loss as it is about how she is coping. It is a short filled with gorgeous imagery but also a lot of restraint in Wells’ direction as it a short that anyone who loves Aftersun should see as it is now available on MUBI and YouTube.
The Book of Mary Another short film that I saw on MUBI as it actually came as part of a double-bill with Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail, Mary is a short by his partner Anne-Marie Mieville that revolves around a young girl dealing with her parents’ separation as it is an odd yet endearing film in the way this young girl copes. Starring Aurore Clement as the mother and Rebecca Hampton as the daughter, it is a short that is a real gem as it is better than the Godard film mainly for its innocence and offbeat humor.
Willow (season 1 episodes 3-8) This is definitely an incredible series that isn’t just filled with a lot of adventure and excitement but also ends on a high note with an ending that definitely might make the second season really intense. It is a show that is funny while it also has some unique developments with the ensemble cast being a major highlight as I enjoy the performances that Warwick Davis, Tony Revolori, Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, and Amar Chadha-Patel have done as they have great chemistry and are always a joy to watch. Even as the guest appearances from Joanne Whalley and Kevin Pollak reprising their roles from the original film while a guest appearance from Christian Slater is a joy to watch. It has a killer finale that definitely opens up a lot of possibilities but also revelations as it relates to what Willow will have to face.
That ‘90s Show (season 1 episodes 1-7) I was wary about this show as I was a fan of That ‘70s Show back in the late 90s/early 2000s for about six seasons with a messy seventh season and a final season many fans would rather not talk about. Seven episodes in so far and it’s managed to be a bit of its own thing with elements of nostalgia as it gave me reasons in why I don’t want to remember the 90s such the awful shows, awful haircuts, and awful clothes but the new characters are actually fun to watch. Eric and Donna’s daughter Leia is a bit like both of them while there’s also Jay Kelso who is the son of Kelso and Jackie as they make a brief appearance in the first episode as does Eric. The new kids are a bit like the cast from the series but the most interesting is the Asian kid Ozzie who is openly gay as he is just hilarious as I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and see if there’s a second one coming.
Wrestling Match of the Month: Bryan Danielson vs. Konosuke Takeshita-AEW Dynamite-1/11/23
With rumors that the main event for AEW Revolution coming in March for the AEW World Championship being MJF vs. Bryan Danielson in an iron-man match. MJF is making Danielson go through hurdles in fighting different array of opponents as it has given Danielson some great matches in this series with Bandido and Brian Cage so far with Timothy Thatcher coming next on AEW Dynamite this coming Wednesday. The first match of the series between Danielson and Takeshita is just pure technical wrestling as these two men just killed it with Danielson being this effective veteran and Takeshita as this newcomer who is getting over with the fans.
Now I haven’t seen anything from Wrestle Kingdom 17 as I’ve heard great things about the Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and Will Ospreay vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP U.S. Championship. They are in my watchlist as I’ve created a log of matches for the month and for what promotion to create a list for the end of the year that will be
Top 10 Re-Watches
1. National Lampoon's Vacation 2. The Kingdom II 3. Nature Boy 4. Live Aid 5. Of Miracles and Men 6. Jazzin' for Blue Jean 7. The Day the Series Stopped 8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO 9. Geri’s Game 10. Waking Sleeping Beauty Well, that is all for January. Next month, there will be a review of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as well as some films that I have on my queue such as City of Women and Zama on MUBI. There’s also stuff on Netflix and Disney+ that I plan to watch though I still have my DVR box as it’s unlikely I’ll watch anything there as I’m trying to figure out what limited series to watch next while my next Blind Spot will be Buck and the Preacher. Before I leave, I want express my condolences to the families and friends of Jeff Beck, Tom Verlaine, Cindy Williams, Lisa Marie Presley, Bobby Hull, Annie Wersching, Lisa Loring, Sal Bando, Gina Lollobrigida, Robbie Knievel, Barrett Strong, and Tatjana Patitz. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
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