THE HOLIDAY RUSH

Although there have been a number of false starts within the festivities, the holiday season starts off this week and is the unofficial “end” of the 2021 calendar year.

To explain, during the final six week of the calendar year, those weeks place the so-called holidays that are celebrated in the USA in gear, listed in its order of appearance.

The season kicks off with Thanksgiving Day, this year falling on November 25th. This is the holiday where those gather together for the meal that would end all meals. Of course, unlike other times where last year, nobody traveled much to get from one place to another. That was due to restrictions related to The Pandemic. Some were scared to travel, while others couldn’t, although they might have if they had the opportunity. So there were get-togethers that were arranged through virtual means, or just didn’t happen!

Today, although restrictions are more relaxed than the previous year, folks are still concerned. And thanks to a runaway inflation rate, everything that would normally be placed on the table for a traditional Thanksgiving meal is going to cost a lot more than before. And for traveling, gas prices are at an all time high! Here in this writer’s neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, gas is going for $4.50 and up a gallon. Some stations are charging $5.00 a gallon. So perhaps that electric vehicle that people may have been putting off to get seems to become a better idea, assuming one can find such a vehicle either new or used!

Although up in Canada, Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 11th. However, there were similar trails and tribulations that were occurring there as they are on this side of the border! So we covered all of those bases in that aspect.

Then there used to be an invisible holiday called “Black Friday”. That was the day (or days) where retailers would open as early as 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving evening to kick off the “Holiday” shopping season. Of course, thanks to online shopping, many retailers started to offer Black Friday sales as early as the Labor Day weekend! So camping outside of one’s favorite (or not-so-favorite) retail store won’t make as much since as it once did. Besides, what would be offered at a reduced price that somebody would actually want to purchase? After all, getting a big sized TV device may be offered as a reduced price, but that is an item one would purchase once, and perhaps never again! This writer has yet to find any retailer that would be offering items of a practical nature for a reduced price, anything from laundry detergent to curtain rods!

Then there is Black Friday’s cousin, Cyber Monday. Those same (or other) retailers would be offering goods at a reduced rate, but only online. However, that day became rather blurred as for many outlets since every day became Cyber Monday. So there goes one’s proof!

Then there are the days in December that have been grouped as “The Holidays” that range from Christmas, Hanukkah (this year starting off on November 29th), Kwanzaa, as well as other holidays where gifts are exchanged, specialty foods are created, and celebration rituals take place. Those holidays make December what it’s known for.

Lastly, there is New Year’s, taking place on either/or December 31st or January 1st. As of last year, some celebrations may take place while others may be different, if at all! Again, The Pandemic is far from being “over”, so precautions must be in consideration.

So that’s what is going on folks. As we always state, stay happy and well, keep aware of what’s going on, and for the most part, remain safe and sane! It’s all you’ve got!

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KING RICHARD (Warner Bros.) stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, a working class father living in the city of Compton, California. It’s the early 1990’s, and Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles, is a crime ridden black community. Richard lives with his family that consists of his wife Brandi (Aunjanue Ellis) and their five young girls. Two of them are Venus (Saniyya Sifdney) and Serena (Demi Singleton). Richard, or “King Richard” as part of his nickname, has the hot desire to train his two daughters into the world of playing professional tennis. He uses a lot to influence with these girls stating that they can succeed in what they do no matter what! If Richard isn’t on a tennis court coaching his kids in playing their best, he spends a lot of his time going to the local tennis clubs that dot L.A. (mostly in Beverly Hills) trying to find a quality (and name) coach in getting his girls into real shape to play pro one day soon. Although his personality wins out, getting somebody to take time out of their busy lives to get Venus and Serena in gear is a lot harder, especially the fact that Richard can’t pay much for their services, if anything at all! However, after a long and vast search, he does find one tennis pro that can fit the bill, Rick Macci. (Jon Bernthalk) Rick has an upbeat and outgoing personality, as to Richard’s, and holds the same confidence toward Venus and Serena. But Richard, with his stern yet upbeat persona, will not take a “no” from anyone, including some agents and others from the tennis industry that keep coming into the picture with their interest in these girls. But the deciding fate comes when Serena is faced to challenge a player in a crustal match that can launch her from the junior league into being a pro. All it will take is a lot of skill, hope, and the personal coaching that only a loving, if not doting, father can ever create.

This titled film is another attempt (out of others?) that features Will Smith as a father figure that holds a good heart and the ability to look after his kid(s) no matter what odds are against him. (The other film this reviewer refers to is the 2006 release The Pursuit of Happyness.) In this feature, Will plays his role as the doting father figure as one that is stern yet kind with a lot of humor and good will added in. It appears that he takes much of his energy (too much?) in getting his girls ready for playing tennis, although it’s really never explained why his character chooses tennis as a sport in comparison to picking basketball, gymnastics, or even golf. However, it appears that tennis is the winner here.

Zach Baylin wrote this screenplay that mixes fact with a good dose of creative license thrown in for entertainment’s sake. That focuses the story not too much on sisters Serena and Venus, but on how Richard uses his parental skills in getting these two girls to perform the way he plans it. The other three sisters portrayed only fit in as background players, meaning that they are referred to occasionally.

And with a movie that holds a sports theme, there are a few lulls in the film, giving it a bit of a dull edge. This sluggishness, along with a good number of close ups of the characters, make this movie an ideal feature to see through a video screen rather than in a traditional movie house. Granted, movies in this post-modern age hold their longest shelf life through video applications. Not only that, Warner Bros. has been releasing their titles both in movie houses as well as on HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s subscription streaming service. And with these two outlets to choose from, one will receive their entertainment and amusement quota from using a video device to see Will et. al. in action. Adding a running time of some two hours and twenty four minutes, one can pause the movie to get a snack or two, or to answer the call of nature, whatever comes first.

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, KING RICHARD is another attempt to provide a “feel good” movie to its intended audience. It’s also a title where voting members of movie related groups or organizations can place a vote for the best of a category or categories that this title could conger up. After all, the move industry, as well as the movie theaters that show these vehicles off, are just getting themselves together after a disastrous year and a half. So why not release a feature that will hit those hot buttons (so to speak) so those can witness a story of champions being made, not born! If this is something the movie goer desires, then take a swing at this title. It won’t disappoint!

KING RICHARD is rated “PG-13” for mild cussing and TV-type violence. Now playing in theaters and on HBO Max.

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On behalf of the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line, we wish each and everyone of you folks out there a very Happy Thanksgiving!

-See you next week!

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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!