Saturday, September 30, 2023

Films That I Saw: September 2023


The fall season has arrived which usually means (hopefully) cooler weather as well as a lot of other things such as American football season including college football. Yet, I’m more concerned with what is happening in baseball as the Atlanta Braves just won another division title while remaining the best team in Major League Baseball as the playoffs are about to happen yet I’m trying not to jinx anything. Even as the Braves have been breaking records and dominating all year though I’m also aware that the Oakland A’s have completely fallen apart as they’ve lost more than 100 games this year as they’re set to finish dead last. A sad way to end a year that has seen a lot of drama for a team that is about to move to Las Vegas despite the protest of their fans.

The WAG-SAG strike is coming to an end for the Writer’s Guild though the Screen Actors Guild is still on strike though it looks like it might end soon as a deal is being made. Yet, the strike has sadly caused several shows to be cancelled while there are those like Bill Maher who tried to re-start his own show without writers as an act of defiance though it only proves that he’s a fucking asshole with outdated views and guests who have nothing interesting to say about anything. While Drew Barrymore tried to do the same in order to pay her staff, she at least apologized for trying to get her show back on the air though I think her intentions were honorable though she should’ve not have done anything in order to support her writers and her fellow actors.

While there’s a lot happening in the world, professional wrestling is often a place where I can escape from the realities of the world although sometimes things get too real. Last August should’ve been a historical and triumphant moment for All Elite Wrestling as they were able to put their first show in London at Wembley Stadium for AEW All In where they did break a paid attendance record though only 72,265 people attended the event due to the turnstile numbers recorded. Still, it was a success for the company but not without controversy due to the backstage fight between CM Punk and Jack Perry as more was revealed where it is clear that Punk had absolutely lost it. The incident happened after Perry’s match with Hook for the pre-show and just before Punk was to face Samoa Joe to open the main show. Perry never threw a punch as it was Punk who was getting physical to the point that he was putting others in danger including his boss Tony Khan as TV monitors were falling around him. Punk also went after Khan as Joe was the one mediating everything and after their match (which Joe should’ve won) is when things just unraveled. Perry is currently suspended for his comments at the show while there was no word about to what to do with Punk.

Then on September 2, 2023 before AEW Collision was to air and Punk was supposed to face Ricky Starks at All Out the next day. Tony Khan made the decision to fire Punk just one year after the incident following the media scrum at the previous All Out event as Khan made the right decision. As a now former fan of CM Punk, I’m glad Khan made the decision as I should’ve known that things weren’t going to work out the day Punk made his return this past June at the first episode of Collision where he mentioned David Zaslav’s name. That should’ve been a red flag as Zaslav is already disliked by many people in the entertainment industry. Plus, the fact that Punk was the one sort of running things in Collision only made things worse as he banned the company’s head of talent relations in Christopher Daniels all because he is close to the Elite whom Punk had gotten into a fight with the year before after the 2022 All Out media scrum. Then there was Ryan Nemeth, who is also friends with the Elite, as he made a tweet about Punk being the softest person in the room and Punk got confrontational with him and banned him from Collision.

It is things like this that makes you wonder what Khan is doing as his greatest flaw as a boss is that he likes to be friends with everyone and you can’t do that to run a business. The Elite were considering about meeting Punk to sort things out because of these little things that were happening before All In made them not wanting to do business with him and I don’t blame them. Especially what would happen later as nearly everyone behind the scenes wanted Punk gone as Khan made the decision to not only fire Punk but also his longtime friend Ace Steel who had been a producer for Punk via zoom due to the fact that he had gotten physical with the Elite including biting Kenny Omega’s arm at the post-All Out media scrum. Now that Punk is gone, AEW still has a lot to figure out in terms of their booking as they’ve gotten some criticism for playing it safe though they should be grateful for at least having Bryan Danielson around as he would take Punk’s place for the strap match with Ricky Starks as many see him as a leader. Even as Danielson has made the announcement that he might retire as a full-time wrestler sometime next year to spend more time with his family.

With WWE having just finalized their merger with Endeavor as part of this new thing in TKO and releasing several people due to budget cuts including wrestlers such as Mustafa Ali and Dolph Ziggler (real name Nick Nemeth). It is a shame that many people are out of the job but thankfully there’s opportunities that these performers could take. Even in the independent wrestling scene where former WWE star Matt Cardona (previously known as Zack Ryder) has become this mega star in the indies winning many titles including the New York City-based House of Glory promotion as its top champion. Cardona expressed some words of wisdom for those who have been released about what to do with this next stage of their careers though many of them have to wait in 90 days due to a no-compete clause in their contracts. There’s AEW, Ring of Honor, Impact, GCW, and many other promotions in North America they can go to. Ziggler and Ali could find a home in AEW due to the fact that they have friends and family who work there while others could find a new home somewhere else.
In the month of September 2023, I saw a total of 28 films in 13 first-timers and 15 re-watches with 8 of those first-timers being films directed/co-directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge which I have surpassed with 54 films so far as I think it’s been a pretty good month. A highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot film in India Song. Here is the top 10 first-timers that I saw for September 2023:

1. Air
2. Under the Sun of Satan
3. Showing Up
4. Stane
5. I Thought the World of You
6. Outer Space
7. Groot’s Sweet Treat
8. Groot’s Snow Day
9. Groot and the Great Prophecy
10. Are You My Groot?
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching


The newest entry in Miu Miu short film anthology series known as Women’s Tales is from Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic as it follows a Croatian-American woman who is about to become the head of a Croatian church that is to be built near New York City as she deals with a lot of personal chaos in her life as well as the men trying to maintain some control into her own fate. Starring Danica Curcic, the short is a strong one as it plays into this woman who is also protective of her son due to the fact that her husband has been cheating on her while her father is also trying to maintain control as she just couldn’t take it anymore.

I Thought the World of You
The second of four shorts I watched on MUBI as this experimental short by Kurt Walker revolves around a young man who rediscovers this album from the 1980s that was lost in obscurity as it was created by someone who would put a lot of work into this record. It is largely a silent film yet it is filled with wondrous imagery as it is worth seeking out.

Outer Space
Peter Tscherkassky has been a filmmaker that I discovered through MUBI as he has made these strange yet incredible short films that definitely break the rules of what films could be. This short he made in 1999 where he takes footage from Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity starring Barbara Hershey and completely butchers it to the point that it becomes this weird sci-fi film with collages and distorted imagery as it’s just a phenomenal watch.

Radical Hardcore
This short that I saw on MUBI by Thomas Hardiman that stars Natalie Gavin and Shahid Ahmed revolves around a woman who goes to a carpet store where she falls for a clerk while trying to the perfect carpet. The plot is simple yet it is largely dominated by this electronic music that is all over the place as it makes the film offbeat as it’s worth watching.

I Am Groot (season 2)
The second season of the MCU short film series has definitely been a joy to watch as my nephew Mateo got to watch a few of them and really liked them. The first episode revolved around Groot finding a bird and taking care of it while the second episode has Groot gaining a nose where he discovers the concept of smelling as it is a funny one though the weakest one of the season. The episode of Groot in the snow is hilarious as it’s just Groot creating a snow man and things go wrong but the best episode of the season is the fourth one involving Groot seeing an ice cream spaceship and trying to find money to get the ice cream as this was the episode that Mateo loved. He laughed so much over it. The fifth and final episode features a guest voice appearance from Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher who narrates the episode as it plays into a prophecy that Groot ruined. This is something that both kids and adults can watch and just have a laugh.

Ahsoka (season 1 episodes 4-7)
The one major complaint about the series early on is how short the episodes are as things do pick up in the fourth episode of the season yet it is the fifth one that isn’t just the best episode of the season and series so far but it is up there with some of the great moments Disney and Lucasfilms have created with their TV series. It’s an episode that features Hayden Christensen returning as Anakin Skywalker and man, he delivers as he is able to provide a more restrained approach to the character and it works while having Ariana Greenblatt playing the young Ahsoka in a flashback scene of sorts also worked. It is a show filled with suspense and action while its sixth episode brought in the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn as Lars Mikkelsen completely embodies all of the gravitas of that character while also making Thrawn one of the most cunning and insightful antagonists on this show. There is one episode left as the long-awaited reunion between Sabine and Ezra Bridger finally happened as let’s hope it brings in an awesome ending and hopefully a second season.

Wrestling Match of the Month: Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs – AEW All Out – 9/2/23

AEW All Out ended up being an incredible event despite the lack of build as well as major changes being made in the coming days due to CM Punk’s termination from the company. Yet, the show had incredible matches that included Jon Moxley challenging Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship as its main event plus Bryan Danielson and Ricky Starks having what many consider to be one of the best strap matches ever as it was violence galore. The show also had Konosuke Takeshita beating Kenny Omega as it would put him on another level yet the match that stole the show was a hoss fight between two big men in Miro and Powerhouse Hobbs. Great wrestling matches often involve telling a story or some kind of technical wizardry but not this match as this was two big guys beating the shit out of each other. What made the match even more special were the fans chanting for “meat”. Stuff like “meat forever” and “holy meat” whenever the two men hit each other. It added the entertainment value of the match with a post-match event in which Miro’s real-life wife in C.J. Parker (formerly known as Lana in WWE) making her debut to help her husband. After all, like what Big E says...
Top 10 Re-Watches (that isn’t Lost in Translation)

1. Ms. Marvel
2. The Big Sick
3. Frozen
4. Young and Beautiful
5. Mulan
6. For the Birds
7. The Lover
8. Raw Justice
9. Point of Impact
10. Sensation
Well, that is all for September. Next month will be devoted largely to horror, suspense, and other weird shit in celebration to Halloween as well as the new shorts from Wes Anderson. As for theatrical releases, I hope to see Priscilla and whatever big is coming out in the month while my Blind Spot for October is definitely going to be Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Before I leave, I want to express my condolences of those that passed away this month in Dianne Feinstein, Sir Michael Gambon, pro wrestler Joyce Grable, the Sycamore Gap Tree, Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles, David McCallum, Terry Kirkman of the Association, Katherine Anderson of the Marvelettes, Phil Sellers of the Detroit Pistons, actor Byun Hee-bong, pro wrestler/promoter Emelie Dupree, Billy Miller of the Young and the Restless, actor Michael McGrath, pro wrestler Brett Sawyer, actor John Cairney, Atlanta movie theater owner George Lefont, pro wrestler Adnan Al-Kaissie aka General Adnan, American football coach Paul Roach, Gary Wright, and Mr. Jimmy Buffett. We will miss you all. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2023


ruth said...

Interesting balance of animated and steamy movie rewatches, Steven! I haven't heard of Sensation but got curious after seeing that still image you placed here.

Glad you saw AIR and loved it too, I'm excited to see a few buzz-worthy movies later this month w/ TCFF, esp. American Fiction w/ Jeffery Wright.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-Well, it's most SFW image I can find as the film is more of an erotic suspense film with Eric Roberts as a professor who is suspected of killing coeds as he preys upon one of his new students in Kari Wuhrer who has some ESP as she tries to figure out the case.

American Fiction is the film I am eager to see as I love Jeffrey Wright.