HOLIDAY CRUNCH TIME AND THE NEW YEAR AHEAD

It’s the ol’ time again where folks are starting to make their mad scramble on getting their seasonal tasks in gear.

And why not? Even though prices are a bit steep compared to last year, folks are still trolling in the stores or online grabbing the goods they feel they should pass on to somebody else on their list, or not!

Yes, a lot of comments have been floating around about how shopping for goods may be a bit challenging, but let’s face it! If folks really didn’t want to go through the hassles of shopping for goods that may or may not be available for those that they have a concern over, they wouldn’t bother venturing to a retail outlet, or to turn on their device that’s connected to the ‘net! Call these acts a “labor of love”, or something toward that effect!

So what about the year ahead? Well, 2022 will arrive on January 1st on schedule. And it looks like the electric ball is going to drop in Times Square with people around, although it won’t be as many people as it’s been in the past, but they will be there!

As we received word from some source that New Year’s Eve parties will resume, although it’s going to be different as well. These bashes will be a bit subdued. These parties will be more in the range of intimate get togethers that folks would normally pull throughout the year. But whatever the case be be, at least the ideal and spirit of the end of the year seems to be in check.

What will we do here at Accessibly Live Off-Line central for 2022? Well, that story will be told in the next issue of this same titled source the week of January 3rd of 22!

So keep your eyes on this space for that news!

And yes, it will be our birthday as we turn twenty six years old! Granted, it’s not really a milestone number or any kind. Nevertheless, we will be a year older and perhaps a year wiser! Let’s wait and see!!

This report will be a bit shorter as we would normally churn out, bet we gotta get our shopping done! After all, time and tide wait for no (wo)man–whatever that means!!

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On December 14th, The Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board announced the twenty five film titles that will be entered as part of the LOC’s National Film Registry.

Under the guise of the National Film Preservation Act, the LOC chooses twenty five titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least ten years old at the time of creation or public release, and must be an American production or co-production. Any motion picture can be chosen as long as it meets those guidelines, and do not necessarily have to be a commercial production. (Amateur and home movies can be selected.)

Each year, the LOC selects the titles are suggested by the LOC’s film preservation staff, moving image scholars, as well as the general public.

Listed below are the twenty five titles along with its year of release/creation. A “#” in front of the title indicates that it is a non-feature length film. (Short subject, amateur film, etc.) “D” indicates it is a documentary/non-fiction title.

Films Selected for the 2021 National Film Registry

(Listed in its chronological order of creation and/or release)

(#) Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
Jubilo (1919)
The Flying Ace (1926)
(D) Hellbound Train (1930)
(#) Flowers and Trees (1932)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
(#) Evergreen (1965)
(#) Requiem-29 (1970)
(D) The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Sounder (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Cooley High (1975)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
(#) Chicana (1979)
(D) The Wobblies (1979)
Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
(D) Stop Making Sense (1984)
(D) Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Selena (1997)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
WALL•E (2008)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2022 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film

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SING 2 (Universal) is the continuation tale of a one time rag-tag theater company who attempts to make it big performing in a show playing within a Las Vegas-type empire, and the process that goes along with it all.

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) the koala bear theater producer, places himself and the rest of his theater team consisting of pig mother Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), porcupine rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson), piano player gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), the shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), and the German pig Gunter (Nick Kroll) into pitching their show idea to a ruthless mogul/mobster wolf character, Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale) who runs Crystal Entertainment, a mega company set in glamorous Redshore city, a Las Vegas inspired mega town. While auditioning for wolf Jimmy, they discover that Jimmy is a big fan of the rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono). Buster makes a deal that if he can convince Clay to perform in their show, Jimmy would host the production in one of his stage theaters in town, and if Jimmy’s daughter Porsha (Halsey) is cast as one of the leads. However, Clay has been holding himself as a recluse for the past ten years. It is up to Buster and his crew to get Clay to perform, or there won’t be a show, and it will be curtains for Buster and his crew!

This feature, a sequel to the original 2016 release Sing, written and directed by Garth Jennings, is a very fast paced as well as a good looking feature presented by Illumination Entertainment, the animation house that brought the Despicable Me and the Minions franchises to where they stand in today’s animation world. SING 2 is fun for what it is, but lacks the charm that its original entry contains. And unlike many sequels, especially for animated features of this ilk, many of the original characters that appeared in Sing do not show up in SING 2. This could be the case for a number of reasons. Perhaps the original voice cast wasn’t available, or maybe those missing characters would not fit within the premise in this story line. Whatever the situation, the new and returning characters are very amusing for how it all stands.

And some of those new characters that appear in SING 2 consist of Chelsea Peretti as Suki, a dog talent scout that works with Jimmy, Pharrell Williams as Alfonso, an eccentric baboon choreographer, Letitia Wright as Nooshy, and Eric Andre as Darius.

Of course, there are a lot of musical selections that are used within the soundtrack as performed by Buster’s theater company, ranging from K-pop, classic rock, jazz, hip-hop, and of course, a few numbers from the U2 music library as Bono (real name Paul David Hewson) voices the recluse Clay Calloway.

This movie will please all ages alike. The kids will enjoy this film as it’s family friendly (no suggestive images or dialogue depicted), and the adults will enjoy it as well since the music is geared toward a blend of “adult contemporary”, “classic rock”, as well as some new pieces as well. So all the songs cover all the bases.

Over the past few years, many other animation houses have stepped up to the place to offer titles that can be seen in theaters, as well as having a very long afterlife thanks to home video (yep, DVDs still exist!) as well as streaming. Some of these features range from very good to very bad. SING 2 falls within the “very good” side. It’s nothing special, but it will serve as a crowd pleaser, especially for those that have embraced the first title of this series. Only time and its general appeal will show if a Sing 3 will be worth the time, money, and effort.

SING 2 is rated “PG” for “rude material” and “mild peril/violence”. Now playing in movie theaters nationwide.

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BEING THE RICARDOS (Amazon Studios) is a tale that focuses upon America’s (and later the world’s), most famous comedic redhead and her husband, a Cuban American bandleader that were seen on 12” screens set upon on those newfangled electronic devices called the television set!

The Ricardos in this case is the fictional Lucy Ricardo and Ricky Ricardo, appearing as the lead characters in the hit situation comedy I Love Lucy, starring Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnez (Javier Bardem) playing a married couple where Ricky leads a Cuban orchestra performing at a local nightclub around New York City, and Lucy as a wacky housewife that desires to upstage her husband in whatever ways she can.

The movie opens at the start of the show’s second season. (Fall of 1952) I Love Lucy is the hottest TV show around, pleasing their network, CBS, as well as their sponsor, Phillip Morris cigarettes. Lucy and Ricky, who own the program through their production company Deslu, deal with a number of things while the two are on top of their game. There’s the co-stars of the program, William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda), and the behind the scenes folks that consist of their writers of the program: Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale) who is also the showrunner and executive producer, Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat) and Bob Carrol, Jr. (Jake Lacy). Outside of dealing with a load of situations that are far from the comical antics seen by as many as 60 million viewers every Monday night, Lucy and Desi face other circumstances, including on how to deal with Lucy’s upcoming pregnancy and how the CBS and Phillip Morris executives insist she should hide the fact that she is indeed expecting, to the stress of keeping their marriage intact and if Desi is wooing other women, to fighting a speculation as reported by Walter Winchell that Lucy may be going “red”–not as a “redhead”, but possibly being a Communist! In spite of all of this, Lucy was indeed loved by her fans. She and Desi just had to face their own personal demons in the process.

This feature film, written and directed by playwright and screenwriter Arron Sorkin, is far from being another telling (retelling?) about this first couple of television, but an inside look to what people who tuned in didn’t necessarily know about. The story itself isn’t linear from having a specific start and conclusion time wise, but jumps to and fro showing off what Lucy and Desi had to face in their lives. It shows how Lucy wanted to be a series actress in the likes of becoming another Joan Crawford or Bette Davis, to Desi’s working late nights playing at Ciro’s nightclub off the Sunset strip while Lucy worked all day at RKO, to the fact of Lucy and Desi argues over their issues in one moment while “making out” in another!

As bio films tend to go, there are a lot of points addressed within this feature. Also, it’s very talky! But with a playwright at the helm of this feature, it’s understandable why the characters talk more and walk less. Arron Sorkin has been known to create stories based upon actual people and/or events that made some kind of a difference, from Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, the “Chicago 7”, among others. And this title can be added to his bunch.

Outside of the talkiness this feature contains, there is a lot of eye candy to view in terms of the period sets and costuming as provided by Andress Cubillan’s art direction, Ellen Brill’s set decorations, along with Susan Lyall’s costuming. And there’s the cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth that does a rather decent job of recreating selected scenes of a few actual I Love Lucy episodes, although those recreations are rather brief for what they are.

This feature is presented by Amazon Studios that also offers their streaming service Prime Video. This means that this title will have a limited theatrical run in order to become eligible to be nominated for film awards, and will be part of Amazon Prime’s programming lineup. With this being stated, is this reviewer suggesting to readers of this review to experience this title on the big screen or on a small(er) viewing platform? Since this feature is about a TV show, why not view it as a TV program? Considering that it does contain some slower spots within its pacing. Those lulls in the story line makes as an ideal time to get up to some snacks, play with one’s phone, answer the call of nature, etc. without missing a beat and rhythm to this feature! So we did have some ‘splaining to do in this matter!

BEING THE RICARDOS is rated “R” for cussing. Now playing in selected theaters, and available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 21st.

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This will be the final edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line for the calendar year. We’ll be taking the next two weeks off to return on the week of January 3rd, 2022.

On behalf of the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line, we wish each and everyone of you a very happy holiday season and a better new year!

See you in ’22!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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