(0:36-end mark from the theme from the final season of American Gladiators original run play the camera moves back to see James on top of the slab with the words “The Last Of The Americans” on it before cutting to James in his office physically)
I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans, and the views that I’m about to express are that of my own and some of yours. 2021 was a better year, but in comparison to 2019 and 2020, it wasn’t better by much. (Cut to moments from The Last Of The Americans in 2021 as James does a voiceover)
Between dealing with COVID compliances and having to go bare-bones with both the Number of people in the studio and how many things I could do with who I could get, it was tough. Having to deal with not only with Lucifer but also the return of an enemy that possessed a man who has driven me to quite a few breaking points this year as apparently, he wants to take control of what I’ve been doing, what I want to do, and how it should be done. But still, I can get my workload done. However, things will be more challenging as the next few years go on. (Cut to James physically)
And to explain correctly, Here I go! (James pulls out his Morpher and becomes James Faraci)
To get the support I need for my movie to be done correctly, I am now a student at my local college with my major being in Media Arts, meaning for now, while the movie I had planned isn’t happening now, I don’t care what I have to do, This movie will get made, and I WILL be getting it done, no matter what the cost! But having said that, You have spoken as to what your favorite moments from me this year were, and I’ve got my five so let’s get to “The Top 10 moments of The Last Of The Americans in 2021”
(Cut to clips of An Arthouse "Head" Trip as James does a voiceover)
This was one movie I wanted to talk about because I had heard about this movie and I wanted to get into the history of the subject which was the musical group and TV series behind the movie. I mean the movie is a product of its time and it shows but still, it is one hell of a movie that needed to be discussed and even further evaluated than how I did it. However, if you do decide to review it, understand it may mess with your head for a while. However, as I worked on this countdown Michael Nesmith passed away. So that might make this one a little more topical.
(Cut to clips of "School" Daze" as James does a voiceover)
This was the first review I did after starting College so I can get my movie done, one way or another, and a lot of the college humor I used to laugh at would now be subject for an episode of "Law & Order SVU". What surprised me though was that people missed the references in the opening and the first third of the review. All that sugar and caffeine was about the same amount Crow had to take to stop from being replaced with a Pod Person Doppelganger in the classic MST3K episode "The Giant Spider Invasion" and because I had to explain it. (Cut to the Clip of The Joker shouting "If you have to explain the joke, THEN THERE IS NO JOKE!". Cut to James physically)
I had wanted to discuss this series and I had seen the series on both YouTube and TUBI and somehow a lot of the materials are still relevant. Manliness as I knew it has been deemed obsolete and when they talked about how bad Valentine's day was for guys like me it was Kismet that guys actually agreed with my views on the series. It quickly became one of the best episodes of "In Defense Of..." I've done and in this case was worth all the laughs I got from watching and all the drinks I took from the toast at the end of each episode and the allnighter I did. (Cut to every male reviewer as they chant "Ziggy-Zockie, Ziggy-Zockie, HOI-HOI-HOI!" multiple times before pounding down their drinks.)
This was a movie that I had wanted to see and talk about and initially was worried that would not be well received because A) No one knew who in the heck S Club 7/ S Club was nor was any of their music known stateside outside of "Never Had A Dream Come True" which was talked about by Todd In The Shadows in a segment of "One Hit Wonderland". Also, I wondered if Mathew "Film Brain" Buck had heard of the movie, he did, he never saw it and for that matter neither did Todd In The Shadows. I wrote everything down and like how it was with The Blockbuster Buster when I worked on the "Wonder Woman" movie with him, I did all the work, the two just read what was given to them and that is the reason this review is not a crossover with the exception of Mathew and Todd doing some minor improvisations in the script all of it was done by these two hands. But what put this one on the list is the ending which set up the story for the eighth-anniversary review which I had wanted to include an old enemy, The Wicked. Which made this moment happen. (Show the "It Was Agatha All Along" parody moment) Yeah, everyone, I was the first one to actually parody the "It Was Agatha All Along." moment in Internet Reviewing. A list-worthy moment if I say so myself.
Initially, I had planned on a Mortal Kombat 2021 in August, however, I needed some more time to hone the review. Which led me to do a review of something I figured I would talk about eventually however to my surprise Kevin Smith was filming "Clerks III" at the time and I figured if I were to review "Jay And Silent Bob: Reboot" and if he were to see it, I could get a cameo in the movie. I didn't get the cameo but I got a list worthy review as Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes made this entry list-worthy.
To stave off the insanity that was the first couple of months of this year, I figured I would check out something I have been dying to see, "The Disaster Artist" which would have to be made with COVID compliances. However, when I told people I was planning on reviewing it, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero wanted in on the review. I told Tommy that I was in charge and he had to listen to what I had to tell him. However, production was insane as Tommy Wiseau had made comments about "The Lumberjack Song" that I am not sharing. Then came the moment in which he tried to tell me how to time my gags in the therapy session when I had to break it into different days as I was allowed only a certain number of people. Then he had to cry about putting on facial prosthetics. It was for half a day that he and Greg had to wear the facial prosthetics! He then went on to ask why we had to film two gags at the same time! The gags he was talking about were the Hallway gag to signify the end of the first half of the review and the end one which had me trying to outrun everyone in the therapy session who wanted me, Julia Alexa Miller and Chad Narducci! And had Tommy not talked at all until he was asked to do his lines. It would've taken minutes. But because he wanted some say in how the scenes were to turn out and he ad-libbed with what he felt was right and Greg had to reign him in, it took HOURS! The filming process dragged for what felt like a month when it was, in fact, a full week, and again with COVID restrictions, I had to limit the time everyone could be there to film. Everyone was willing to knuckle down and told me to power through the worst points in producing this review. It was literally the shoot from hell! Yet we survived and by the grace of God, I finished the review on time and on schedule. A Crazy Film about a crazy cinematic experience and the review that was the most intense experience of my entire career as an internet reviewer!
This one, I actually had outside help when it came to the timing of the jokes in the episodes, and everything else in the review. I actually had Steve Kidd come in and co-write this episode with me! When I decided to do "Cruella" the initial idea was to make it a talk show ALA how The DC movie "Joker" was like and it would be similar to that. This is where Steve came in and helped. He and I did a lot to make this one work and I have to give Steve the credit for this because he went and took what I did over a finer toothed comb than I did and it really showed. Especially since I had the idea to have the talk show be worse than "Demo Reel"! "DEMO REEL"! For that talk show to be that bad, things went off the wheels right from the get-go! And for Steve to help make this happen, I had to put this one on the list!
To celebrate the eight years I had been doing this I pushed myself to get through the highly awaited sequel to one of the few good movies DC has done in the past decade. When I saw it, I said "It's Review Fodder", the question was how to make it a review that I could put my own stamp on it. So I looked at Pedro Pascal and I remembered him in "Kingsman" and I remembered Kristin Wiig in "Ghostbusters: Answer The Call" and I had been watching the finale of "WandaVision" at the time so a lot of my inspiration came from those moments led to this moment! (Cut to the clip as Team TLOTA, The Blockbuster Buster, Linkara, James, and Julia Alexa Miller as they try and stop "The Wicked" once and for all.) Yeah it's amazing and knowing Chad is now a thorn that James cannot get rid of as he is now a reoccurring character to drive James mad every now and then
Okay, this all started back at the end of my 2020 Holiday Guide, I wanted to let people know that much like everyone that year, it ended on a down note and of course, the only song that would be apropos was the end music of "Batman Returns" like I'm sure most of us had in mind. However "Cool Like Keanu" had me in a quandary. If I played it right and had gone with the original ending, it would've killed my movie right then and there. The Alternate ending would've seen me surviving my self inflicted stabbing only for the Doctor as played by my friend Thorn Winter handing me Emmalina's Amulet, just the final nail in the coffin for my relationship and as for Julia Alexa Miller, she would disappear as Chad Narducci runs up to her and as the audio has him talk to the police we see her emerge on a rock in the ocean as the audio of the officer asking if she was alone. Julia Alexa Miller's last words are "I am" as she spends the rest of her life as a mermaid and my character is alone killing the movie at the end. However, I felt that there had been enough negativity and sadness from 2020 and the best thing I could think of to make everyone feel better is watching a Keanu Reeves movie. I also wanted to purge the darkness of the last year by having to deal with his darkest movie ever and an awesome movie in his resurgence of popularity.
Before we go to the number one spot, let's check out some Honorary mentions
Since I talked about the differences between a Cooking Show and a Cooking Reality Show, that opened the door for me to review a series or at least an episode of a Cooking Show that I loved, and since I still watch "Good Eats", I decided to check out an episode for the possibility for a review. Thanks to Alton Brown's creativity, I was able to do a review of his Halloween Special "The House That Dripped Chocolate" which when I saw the first time scared the crap out of me as much as I learned how to make some confectionary classics. Which has me thinking about revisiting some episodes next year, say around Thanksgiving.
I had decided as a follow-up to my "In Defense Of... BAYWATCH" to check out the reunion movie and after the first time, I felt a blend of sadness and sorrow. The only things I could equate it to was when Siskel and Ebert had to review the movies "Frozen Assets" and "She's Out Of Control" at the beginning but as I continued on watching, I felt the same loss of joy as Joel and The Bots felt by the time they got to the third act of "Castle Of Fu Manchu" leading me to break down, cry and contemplate my future as "The Last Of The Americans"! I thankfully survived the movie and I was capable to move forward.
I had heard Phelous and Allison Pregler had gotten engaged earlier this year and as a Wedding present, I had told them that I was going to do a list of episodes of my favorite episodes of "The Real Ghostbusters" and Phelous was going to guest appear in the countdown at key points and it allowed me to rewatch a series that I liked until ABC and Q5 made the series unpalatable which is what led me not to put ANY of those episodes into this list. Now if you enjoyed those episodes, good for you. But those non Q5 episodes were the best the series made and those episodes were the ones that made my list.
A couple of years ago, I decided to reward myself for putting up with some rather crazy things with getting "Scales: Mermaids Are Real" and when I first saw it for the most part it was your everyday average straight to DVD fare, that is... until the ending! It was such an "Out of left field" thing to do that it shocked the hell out of me! And this movie was given the Dove Foundation Seal Of Approval! But then again, The Dove Foundation has approved the "Norm Of The North" films and Kirk Cameron's cinematic opuses so take that for what it's worth. But I digress, That ending! The ending in which the character of Siren as played by Emmy Perry and her biological mother played by Hannah Frasier decides to take care of one of the henchmen to the main villain who wasn't going to stop until he got what he came for had led to the moment that ruined all the goodwill and decent moments the movie had up to that point! (Cut to the clip as James screams in fear as the scene of watching Brody being reduced to water then it cuts to "Rob Zombie's Halloween" as Dr. Loomis screams out "WHAT THE HELL?! JESUS CHRIST!". Cut to the moment in which Brody is now a pile of water as James calls the movie sick, Babbles incoherently about what happened and continued to call the movie sick.) Yeah, I didn't hold back because a supposed family-friendly movie about a young girl coming of age and becoming a mermaid quickly turned into a movie about killing to protect a secret, and if you don't, you will meet the same grizzly fate the character of Brody did! So even though it took me some time to get to it, I reviewed it. However, I was disappointed with myself because originally I had planned on making this a crossover with The Captivating Christian Chris T. Ian! When he didn't call me back, I knew flying solo was the only way for me to go. (Cut to the clip of Brody being reduced to water as James screams in fear and hides.)
And The Number One Best moment of 2021 is
To me, this was the one set of Different Cuts that I wanted to do with only one person who loved the original Christopher Reeve movie and that man is James Daniel Walsh, the boss of Manic-Expression.com! I had told him of the idea and he loved it. We worked out the details of the "Different Cuts" and basically when I read his parts in the review, I knew that this was reviewing gold! I knew that for this one I had to be on my A-Game, especially when it came to the subject matter. So when I discovered that there were three different versions of the same movie, I trusted my judgment to let James Daniel Walsh take the lead and when it came out everyone loved this, and became one of the best episodes of "The Different Cuts" I have done so far, and I got a chance to talk about one of my favorite movies all three versions, Warts and All. Plus I got a chance to talk briefly about a fan cut that should be released for public consumption through Warner Brothers. However, as I finished working on this episode of The Different Cuts, Richard Donner died! Well, ain't timing a pain in the tuchus. In spite of all that, this was for all intent and purposes the best moment for The Last Of The Americans in 2021. (Cut to James Faraci The Last Of The Americans as he walks out looking annihilated saying who he is and falling down. Cut to James Daniel Walsh as he whistles the Superman Theme. Cut to James in his office.)
What's gonna happen in 2022 besides me turning 40, celebrating nine years of doing The Last Of The Americans, continuing my college education, and if by some grace of God I make the movie? Quite a bit, I might even get another Summer Retrospective in, if I have the time. But in order for that to happen (James pulls out his Morpher and morphs into The Last Of The Americans.)
It's time to get the mojo going with a lot of Powers! I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans saying "OH BEHAVE!"