• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 11: #ReopenTheDriveIn

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Just when you think you found sanity behind the madness, you end leaving disappointed. Yes I’m well aware the day I discussed my local drive-in reopening, the day after the governor decided having a little source of happiness, in the own safety of your own car is too much to ask for, making our local drive-in close yet again... Damn it all! I was looking forward to seeing Capone or Scoob at my local drive-in, but looks like the simplest dreams can’t be fulfilled, who knows maybe they’ll reopen in a couple weeks in May. But let’s look at the bright sides: Still have more 2020 films from the safety of our home to partake in, so at least there’s that. Let’s talk about a few 2020 films shall we?


The Willoughbys Grade: B

From the director of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, comes his newest animated creation The Willoughbys. Netflix animated films have been on a consistent run recently, as they found yet another solid gem with The Willoughbys. A beautifully animated film, filled with a great amount of creativity, originality, and just an adventure from a visual standpoint. It also displays lovely music, likable characters that either make you laugh, have joy, or cry while watching. You know the ole saying: Honor Thy Mother and Father?! Will this film says FOOK OFF with that saying, as this film takes on a heavy risk, of young innocent yet gifted children wanting to become orphans. The Willoughbys had a great history of having a beloved household, where pride, respect, and love were shared. Unfortunately for this young group of children: Their parents want nothing to do with them, in fact the children are an absolute burden to them. They don’t want to spend anytime with them, feed them, as if their bothered to the slightest... They send them down to the basement, where a coal fire is presented as punishment. Oddly enough while this is a kids film, this can also be a valuable lesson for those not to mess around while being in a relationship, to be responsible for your actions. If you have no desire in raising children: Please don’t make a mistake then, because those future children will end up like these children... Hungry, Alone, and Neglected of Love... For some reason this kids film is much deeper than what it is and sheesh I admire the fact it brings up this conversation. The story itself t’was cute, kept my interest with playful story telling, mixed with laughter and emotional moments here and there. I enjoyed the narration from Ricky Gervais as the car, couple moments where some comments were not needed, but it was cool. I felt the ending was a bit much in a couple moments, but the finale was kind of sweet. This is an animated film that can be enjoyed by children and even more so by adults as well, very fun yet mature as well. Overall, The Willoughbys is a solid animated film and I do recommend watching this film on Netflix. Oh before I go: This film is what everyone thought The Addams Family (2019) was going to turn out... Eh at least we got it when we needed during this dark age, am I right?


Uncorked Grade: C+


Anytime I watch footage of BBQ food, my heart, mind, soul, and mouth race like a motha fucker I tell ya. Unfortunately this film is about a man wanting to become a Sommelier, one whom is knowledgeable on wine. Uncorked is a very basic film, with a basic story, with a simple yet basic message. One of the main complaints I have with Uncorked is the music selections in this film, they all felt misplaced and don’t match the tone of each scene when presented. The film is really heavy on the rap scene, including Memphis rap and surprisingly French rap, unfortunately majority of the selections just don’t work for a film like this. It should’ve had a more elegant classical style of music, I mean this film is based around a character whom loves Wine. The last thing I would think about when describing a Sommelier is trap music. Another huge complaint is the film really doesn’t influence others, to be more interested in the art of Wine, the way our lead character does. If you’re going introduce a profession many of us never really have looked into, in which takes a lot of time in studying and mastering the craft of wine... How about make the profession fascinating for the audience?! Will this film make anyone more interested in wine? No. Will this film make anyone immediately buy a bottle of wine? No. I find it rather disappointing the film maker of this film, didn’t capture the fascination of one wanting to become a Sommelier, a major missed opportunity. At least the film though it’s basic, does have a nice message: Always keep going after what you want in life and never give up till you reach your destination. Overall, Uncorked is a perfectly average film and if you’re completely bored with nothing to do, check it out.


StarGirl Grade: C


Disney Plus rolls out another new original film with StarGirl. StarGirl felt like a mixture of The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Bridge to Terabithia, only not as good as those films. I will give credit to StarGirl: It has some rather touching emotional moments. The opening of the film was very strong, makes us have a soft spot for our lead character Leo (Graham Verchere). Leo and StarGirl’s (Grace VanderWaal) relationship though completely rushed, I did find some of their moments together adorable, especially the bedroom side scene lovely. I also enjoyed StarGirl’s speech scene, as well as the winter ball scene as well, t’was very fun. The problems with this film rely on three things: It’s rushed, very ridiculous at times, and a very weak finale that’ll have your head scratching. The film is about ninety four minutes, this is without the ridiculous ten minutes worth of credits, somehow we rush some important elements of the story. StarGirl and Leo have their first kiss, as their entire relationship is completely under developed with some montages. The ridiculous moments come from the auto tune musical moments, which honestly were just... Weird. I didn’t mind it in the Winter Ball scene, it felt natural and fun. But during the football games it just doesn’t work, plus it’s ridiculous because no one could possibly hear her sing without a microphone. The ending of this film left me quite pissed off, where we actually feel a reasonable amount of anger towards StarGirl. I can at least say this is much better than Timmy Failure, but yet again a film that had potential in being good, just ended up with mediocrity yet again... Least it had it’s cute corny moments. Overall, StarGirl is just ok and I guess give it a try, especially if you’re into chick flicks I suppose. -Mitch Smietana

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