Sunday, August 20, 2023

Nightcap 8/20/23 NYFCO, BlueSky, more festivals, reviews and random stuff


A few quick random bits


I am now a member of the New York Film Critics Online.

I’ve always been hesitant to join a critics group since my taste in films tends to be outside the critical community so I always feared not fitting in.  

I want to thank the board for letting me join.


As Elon Musk continues to pull the wheels off Twiiter (I will not call it X) for no rational reason, I want to restate I am over at BlueSky at

I will continue at Twitter until it burns to the ground, largely because I want to see its world burn.

The question will remain what in the holy hell is Elon trying to do as each turn by him loses him more users and more money.

How can anyone think that doing any sort of business with him is a good idea?


There will be coverage of Venice and Toronto.

Before anyone else asks, I am not certain what I will be doing as far as curtain raisers for either. I mention this because I am getting emails asking about my curtain raisers will be. Since I don’t know if I will have seen enough films to put something together I’m punting down the road.


A reminder I am kind of coasting until the New York Film Festival. While I know there is going to be Venice and Toronto coverage over the next  few weeks in addition to some new films, I am also going to be covering some older films and releases from the last year that I hadn’t seen before.

I am trying to cover films I want to cover as opposed to those I don’t and have taken out of obligation. I am telling PR people I am passing on some films because I don’t want to write any more boiler plate pieces.


And now some reviews:

UNTOLD: HALL OF SHAME is a look at the Balco Scandal that rocked professional sports as it was revealed that some athletes were using performance enhancing drugs. Focusing on Victor Conte who ran the company, it reveals things were not how the media portrayed them. It’s an interesting tale that,as told here, didn’t need to be as long as it is.


THE MONKEY KING that just hit Netflix World Premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival. I had tickets because I bought them blind. I didn't know what the film was until close to the screening. However since the trailer didn't thrill me I decided to go to dinner with Peter Gutierrez instead. 

Having caught the film on Netflix I'm pondering why NYAFF ran it since it's just okay no better than most others the studios pump out. (Oh wait Netflix was a supporter of the fest)

Resembling more some of the "big" Hollywood films and less of the big Chinese animated films, thanks to a lack of background details and the belief that smart ass remarks makes for character development, MONKEY KING only shines in the oh wow action sequences. The lessons of the original stories are to lost to a simple Hollywood style telling where everything is telegraphed.

In a year where Netflix gave us SEA BEAST, NIMONA and WENDEL  & WILD  THE MONKEY KING is disappointing.

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