Two months into the New Year and already things are a fucking mess. What is happening in East Palestine, Ohio is scary along awful weather here in the U.S. as well as the war between Russia and Ukraine heating up. A shipwreck near the coast of Italy left a bunch of migrants dead while a flood/landslide happened near Sao Paolo, Brazil. Publishers deciding to re-edit books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming to make it less offensive to children when these people who are easily offended should just go fucking kill themselves since they can’t handle the word “fat” or anything that seems offensive so they can fuck off and die. That’s a lot of shit that had happened in the span of a month as things aren’t go so great in 2023 as it hasn’t been good to me either as I’ve contracted bronchitis again. I’ve been ill for a month due to a flu that I’ve contracted from my niece and nephew which they got from their mother who got it from a bunch of kids at the school she works for. My mother is also sick as she too now has bronchitis and it fucking sucks. I was forced to cancel plans I had in watching some films as I ended up re-watching Ted Lasso in anticipation for the new season coming March 15.
The one thing I hate about winter isn’t just the cold weather but getting sick yet it is these climate changes that has made things even worse. I hate having to cough in public as I’ve been wearing my mask again which doesn’t make things easier as well but for my mother. This is something she hasn’t experienced as she really hates this as it just takes much of her time with her work doing alterations for a few cleaners while also having to take care of her grandchildren during the weekdays as I’m helping out in picking up and dropping off alterations but this illness is making it nearly impossible. I’m more worried about the spring as that is my least favorite season though being at home has managed to help me do other things aside from watching my niece and nephew as I’ve started work on my LiT20 project which will come slowly but hopefully be ready in late August. In the month of February 2023, I saw a total of 22 films in 11 first-timers and 11 re-watches with five of those first-timers being films directed/co-directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Not bad despite my illness as one of the highlights of the month has been my Blind Spot film choice in Buck and the Preacher. Here is the top 10 first-timers that I saw for February 2023:
1. Zama 2. Fire of Love 3. Assembled: The Making of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 4. Aphotic Zone 5. A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here 6. Dustin 7. Genesis: Live at Bataclan 8. Dimension 9. Group Madness 10. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching
A making-of documentary film on the making of the 1983 comedy Yellowbeard is a fascinating doc that explores not just the silliness that went on during the production. It also showcases the mixture of different comedic styles that were present in the film as there was Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and John Cleese of Monty Python, Madeline Khan, Peter Boyle, and Marty Feldman from the Mel Brooks films, Cheech and Chong, and many others. The cast interviews are fun with David Bowie being a fun surprise as it explains how he got to do a cameo all because he was on location in Mexico having a vacation. Even seeing someone like a revered actor in James Mason having fun and goofing around is a joy to watch though the eventual film is a mess but a good mess.
Aphotic Zone A short film by Emilija Skarnulyte that revolves around the sea as it is this great mixture of documentary and fiction set in the deep sea. It goes into places that are rarely explored with its imagery is ravishing with jellyfishes, crabs, and other creatures make the film something that feels otherworldly as it is worth seeking out on MUBI.
Assembled: The Making of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever A new entry in Marvel’s documentary series is not just one of the best but also a look into the immense work that Ryan Coogler, cast, and crew did with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It is a documentary that showcases not just the impossible in creating a film without Chadwick Boseman but also the amount of research they did in wanting to expand the world of Wakanda as well as go into deep in exploring Mesoamerican culture. Water is a key factor in the film as they used not just accomplished swimmers and stunt people to help the actors with holding their breaths and swimming under water. It also play into this sense of peace and purity while showing how scenes were filmed without water and underwater as it plays into Coogler’s determination as a filmmaker.
A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here Another short that I saw on MUBI by Erica Sarmet revolves around a biker who catches a glimpse of young women as she realizes that things have changed but for the good as she is a lesbian. It is a short that is a celebration of the lesbian lifestyle as it is rich in imagery as well as showcase what was it like in Brazil during the 1960s/1970s for lesbians who had to hide their sexuality in comparison to what is happening in the present as it is a short worth checking out.
Dustin Another short film that I saw on MUBI that is by Naila Guiguet focuses on trans DJ/actress Dustin Muchuvitz who plays a woman at a rave that is dealing with a crumbling relationship and other issues in the course of one night. It is a film that studies this woman that is trying to have fun for her night as it also feature other trans actor/actresses that appear in films that Muchuvitz was also in that are also available on MUBI.
Genesis: Live at Bataclan
A 1973 concert film that was originally filmed in 16mm at the Bataclan venue in Paris has been given a recent 4K restoration that gives the small concert short film a presentation that isn’t just visually beautiful but it also sounds incredible. Featuring songs from that time period with the classic line-up of vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist/guitarist Tony Banks, and Phil Collins on drums/backing vocals. It is something fans of Genesis should see despite the lack of shots for Hackett’s guitar solos as he is continuously underappreciated for his contributions.
That ‘90s Show (episodes 8-10) This show was better than I thought it would be as the last three episodes of the first season definitely has me enjoying these new characters as they were able to show some personalities while not trying to be like its predecessor. It also has me anxious for the second season as well as what would come the season finale does sort of end on a cliffhanger as it relates to Leia returning to Chicago as it is clear she is confused with her feelings for boys but also is going to miss the friends she had made. I look forward to the next season as well as Eric Forman’s reaction to the 1997 special-edition versions of the original Star Wars trilogy and the eventual meltdown he will have for The Phantom Menace as he might be even worse than Red.
Wrestling Match of the Month: Bryan Danielson vs. Timothy Thatcher-AEW Dynamite-2/1/23
The build-up for the upcoming pay-per-view event AEW Revolution has admittedly been lackluster as last week’s major announcement about a new reality TV series for AEW was considered a let-down as audiences were more concerned about the state of the Ring of Honor tag team titles or maybe a new TV/streaming deal for the company or anything that could help AEW. Still, the news is good for the company in the eyes of Warner-Discovery as it relates to TV rights negotiations though the only other positive thing about the show is that it will hopefully replace that stupid Power Slap show hosted by Dana White. Despite some of the lack of buzz for AEW, the wrestling remains strong as the match between Bryan Danielson and British wrestler Timothy Thatcher is a true technical powerhouse. Notably as it’s a match that Danielson had to win in order to face MJF at the main event of AEW Revolution in a one-hour iron-man match for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. It was a punishing and brutal match that gave American audiences to see not just Thatcher and mixture of technical prowess with the bruising British strong style. It also showcase what Danielson could do with an opponent like Thatcher.
Top 10 Re-Watches
1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 2. Three Men and a Baby 3. Finding Dory 4. Four Falls of Buffalo 5. Ant-Man and the Wasp 6. Four Days in October 7. 42 to 1 8. I Hate Christian Laettner 9. Elway to Marino 10. Ted Lasso: The Missing Christmas Mustache Well, that is all for February. Next month, I’m not sure what theatrical release I’ll watch next month as I will focus on films that are available on the streaming services I have while I anticipate the new seasons for both Ted Lasso and The Mandalorian. For my Blind Spot, it is likely I’ll do The Quiet Man since it will be March as I hope it will still be on Amazon Prime. Before I bid adieu, I want to express my condolences to the friends and families of those who have passed such as Raquel Welch, Stella Stevens, animator Burny Mattinson, Gordon Pinsent, basketball legend Terry Holland, Richard Belzer, Barbara Bosson, Patti Love, George T. Miller, Chuck Jackson, pro wrestling legend Jerry Jarrett, film producer/Telluride Film Festival co-founder Tom Luddy, cinematographer Oliver Wood, Hugh Hudson, Burt Bacharach, and Lanny Poffo aka the Genius. May all of you enjoy the afterlife as until then, this is thevoid99 signing off.
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