Summer is coming to an end and it’s been one hot fucking summer as it’s not fun to be outside as it makes me worried for my niece and nephew as they both love to go outside but the heat is horrendous. My mother is from Honduras as she’s experienced heat that is intense but she will admit that it’s not like this here in Georgia as I even read from a fellow blogger who lives in Minnesota of all places stating that she experienced heat that is above the 100s. That is fucked up and with a hurricane coming to Florida as well as all of these wildfires and other shit. This has been a chaotic summer not just in terms of nature such as the hurricane happening in Florida as well as the wildfires on Maui but also what’s been going on all over the world as it relates to shootings, political barbs, and all sorts of shit as I’m just like “I’m tired of this shit”.
The WGA-SAG strike still continues with several films being delayed such as Dune Part 2 being pushed to next year which sucks but it does allow me the chance to save more money to see Priscilla hopefully as Sofia Coppola comes first before everything else. The fact that it’s still on-going is proof that these actors and writers are in need and with films and TV projects continuously being delayed. Studios are going to have cough up not just a lot of money but also these studio executives are going to have to take a massive up pay cut in order to keep these actors and writers not just happy but content. Even as the fall film season with its many film festivals coming and many of the actors appearing in these films won’t be able to appear because of the strike.
The world of professional wrestling was a big up and down this year as the big came in the form of AEW’s All In event in London at Wembley Stadium as it broke the all-time paid attendance record with 81,035 people at the event breaking 2 events from WWE in WrestleMania 32 and WrestleMania III as both events stated false records in 101,763 people at AT&T Stadium and 93,173 people at the Pontiac Silverdome respectively with real numbers being 79,800 for WrestleMania 32 and 78,000 at WrestleMania III. The events at Collision in Korea from WCW and New Japan at North Korea in 1995 doesn’t count because the people attending both shows in 1995 were forced to attend. The event itself is monumental for a professional wrestling company that hasn’t even been around for five years yet it shows that AEW is going to be here for a while no matter how much money and fake records WWE can tout. While AEW is going to do a second event in the U.K. next year and even opening the possibility of doing an event in Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
It is a company that needs to be successful despite the fact that Tony Khan doesn’t have a lot of guts when it comes to confrontation as All In had a recent incident once again involving CM Punk due to words said by Jack Perry during the pre-show and the two got into a brawl before Punk’s match with Samoa Joe as both men are currently suspended as they will miss All Out at Punk’s hometown of Chicago this coming Sunday. Even though Punk was in the right over what had happened with Perry, Punk’s fight with Perry didn’t make him look good as he’s already gotten into some trouble with other people as he had some of the banned from AEW Collision. It is Warner Discovery that wanted Punk back in AEW as did Tony Khan but it’s doing more damage than good as it’s another thing that David Zaslav has touched and has fucked it up even more. It’s bad enough what he’s done in cancelling films and gutting Turner Classic Movies but him getting involved in professional wrestling is a bad sign as it’s going to hurt AEW.
Then there’s the big downside in the world of professional wrestling in the passing of two major figures. The first is Terry Funk who is truly a legend in his own right having crossed over many different generations and decades through many different promotions and was always his own man. His work with his brother Dory Funk Jr. as a tag team to winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in the 1970s to his work in Japan in the 80s and 90s including participating in death matches with Mick Foley and Atsushi Onita in which the latter had both taken part in the exploding ring match in the 1990s. There was also his legendary feud with Ric Flair in 1989 that served as a prototype for hardcore wrestling in the 1990s as well as the empty arena match with Jerry “the King” Lawler in the early 1980s. The man did so much but he was also one of the most generous people in professional wresting as his passing at the age of 79 is sad but he lived a full life and a career that will never be duplicated. Even through is many retirements throughout the years including this great moment in Japan.
The day after the announcement of Funk’s death came another death but one that shocked me and in an unexpected way and that is in the passing of Windham Rotunda aka Bray Wyatt. Rotunda’s death at the age of 36 is tragic not only because he died so young but also leaves behind four children who will never grow up with a father as well as the untapped potential he had. While the booking of Wyatt in WWE for the past decade has been spotty with some amazing matches but also some shitty matches yet he did a lot in his brief career that many wish they would’ve accomplished. He had recently returned in late 2022 and did a match with L.A. Knight at the Royal Rumble which wasn’t a good match and was set to face either Brock Lesnar or Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 39.
Unfortunately, Wyatt was hit with COVID that triggered a serious heart condition and it was life threatening as he spent the last several months trying to recover. This passing just as he was set to return and also get married is just soul-crushing yet he did make an impact through his audience as well as other wrestlers as many of them from different promotions paid tribute to him in some way or form as he will be missed though it is a real shame that he never rose to a level that he should’ve had due to some poor booking by some aging old fart who is more into oily bodybuilders and jingoist attitudes than something different. In the month of August 2023, I saw a total of 17 films in 11 first-timers and 6 re-watches with four first-timers being films directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. A decent month despite the fact that I didn’t see much because of two energetic kids but I still saw a good amount of films. A major highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot film in Kiki's Delivery Service. Here is the top 10 first-timers that I saw for August 2023:
1. Oppenheimer 2. Education 3. Alex Wheatle 4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem 5. Eyes Two Times Mouth 6. A Pure Spirit 7. I and the Stupid Boy 8. Pitch Black Panacea 9. Then a Year 10. Sorcerers: A Conversation with William Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I Saw
Then a Year
A short film by Kelly Reichardt that I was fortunate to find on YouTube as it had been unavailable for years though its presentation is a bit substandard in comparison to the quality often shown on YouTube. Still, Reichardt’s experimental short film is a fascinating look into her arrival into Portland with images of the city and its nearby locations filled with sound collages including love letters by Mary Kay Letourneau, TV commercials, and other voiceovers as it plays into this air of disconnect that was looming in the early 2000s.
A Pure Spirit One of two short films I saw on MUBI as the first is from Mia Hansen-Love as it is mainly a silent four-minute short film of a young woman walking through a park. Even as she watches a lot of things happening around as she thinks about the world around her as it is something fans of Hansen-Love should seek out.
Pitch Black Panacea The second short from MUBI that I saw is a strange mixture of live-action and animation by Thomas Hardiman as it explore two people with lazy eye who live in a dark room for 10 days as they endure surreal moments through animation. It is a short filled with a lot of imagination as it also play into what these two people have to endure in order to cure their lazy eye as it is worth seeking out.
Sorcerers: A Conversation with William Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn
This 77-minute film of sorts made in 2015 revolves around a conversation between William Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn in talking about the former’s 1977 film Sorcerer. It is an entertaining conversation that has Friedkin busting Refn’s balls throughout the whole conversation while they talk about Friedkin’s original casting idea that was to include Steve McQueen, Marcello Mastroianni, and Lino Ventura along with other things that impacted the production. Friedkin also revealed into why it didn’t do well in the box office when it first came out as well as how films were promoted then as to how they would be promoted in the 21st Century. It is something fans of both filmmakers and the film Sorcerer should seek out in lieu of the recent passing of William Friedkin who will be missed as he died earlier this month.
Ahsoka (season 1, episodes 1-3) The stuff that the Star Wars franchise has been doing with TV in The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor has been great though there’s been a lot of negativity towards this show before it even came out as it reminds me that there’s a group of fanboys who are nothing more than a bunch of whiny little bitches with sand in their vaginas. Three episodes in so far and I’m enjoying what Dave Filoni has created as it is set years following the end of the Empire where Ahsoka Tano teams up with her former Padawan in Sabine Wren and their old friend in General Hera Syndulla over rumors that Admiral Thrawn is alive. Rosario Dawson is perfect as Tano with Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Wren and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Syndulla who both provide great performances. The show also features Ray Stevenson in one of his final performances as a former Jedi in Baylan Skoll who has his own Padawan in Shin Hati, played with such grit in Ivanna Sakhno as they both are great antagonists so far. It’s already starting to come around as I look forward to watching the rest of the series.
Wrestling Match of the Month: MJF (c) vs. Adam Cole for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship – AEW All In – 8/27/23
The main event at AEW All In is also the hottest story in professional wrestling as it involves two guys who started off as rivals early this summer only to team up via raffle to fight FTR for the tag team titles to suddenly become best friends. There is a lot of intrigue into the growing friendship between Adam Cole and MJF as neither of them are trustful but they somehow made it work. The match they would have at Wembley in front of 81,000 people is full of drama but also hesitation from both men along with false finishes and interference from Cole’s soon-to-be-former-friend in Roderick Strong trying to help Cole cheat. It is a match that is just fun to watch as well as the fact that it will continue the hottest story in wrestling right now that isn’t from WWE or has any relation to the Bloodline or the Judgement Day.
Top 6 Re-Watches
1. Sex & Lucia 2. Thor: Love & Thunder 3. Sleeping Beauty 4. Ring of Fire 5. South Beach 6. Dead Tides Well, that is all for August. I am not sure what theatrical release I will watch other than My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 with my mother who wants to see it as she rarely goes to see films in the movie theaters. Aside from whatever I can watch on various streaming services, I hope to watch Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up as I’ve managed to get a few things for my Auteurs profile on her written while I plan on pushing the one on Michael Mann to early next year as I’m not sure if I will do J.C. Chandor next in anticipation for Kraven the Hunter or just push him to next year in favor of David Lean. As for my next Blind Spot choice, I’m unsure what film to do as it’s likely to be India Song.
Before I leave, I want to express my condolences to those who have been lost in these recent events in shootings and deaths to Mother Nature as well as the following in filmmaker Nancy Buirski, Belgian actor Roger Van Hool, cinematographer Gabor Medvigy, Notre Dame sportscaster Tony Roberts, Bernie Marsden of Whitesnake, voice actress Arlene Sorkin, Hersha Parady of Little House on the Prairie, TV writer David Jacobs, Ron Cepha Jones, Bobby Eli of MFSB, original Pavement drummer Gary Young, Sir Michael Parkinson, American football legend Gary Barnes, Robbie Robertson, Johnny Hardwick of King of the Hill, Sixto Rodriguez, John Gosling of the Kinks, music composer Carl Davis, Mark Margolis, and the greatest game show host ever in Bob Barker. We will miss you all. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
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