• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 15: Ban The Middle Seat

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Some airlines due to quarantining have eliminated the middle seat for the passengers. You know what?! I approve of abandoning the middle seat forever, even when this virus is no longer a factor. The middle seat of an airline is the most hated seat when partaking a flight. You’re far away from leaning your head nicely near the window on the left for a good sleep. You’re far away from getting an easy access to get up and use the restroom, without having to ask or being a burden for the person next to you. Plus you’re stuck between two human beings... Let’s do us all a favor and just get rid of that middle seat for good #BanTheMiddleSeat. Now let’s talk about some films!

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics Grade: C-

I had a friend, whom had a rapper named PsychedicDelly... Man I miss Delly, dude was the best. Now I never done drugs, however I did witness my friends taking shrooms at a Jack in the Box and they played basketball after... Felt like a normal experience, didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

This film has some highlights. I enjoyed the After School LSD Program segment, just the finale was eh. But before the finale the skits we’re absolutely hilarious, my favorite part of the entire film. There are a couple stories about taking these drugs that were actually funny, but also engaging. I do enjoy some of the artwork, including A$AP Rocky’s. One last positive is that the film does express no shame to those that partake or don’t partake in these drugs, while giving some safe guidelines. So at least for the documentary sakes it gives some useful information, if one is contemplating on taking one of these drugs.

What kills this film for me is the repetitive nature. Majority of the stories become very stale, as I started to get completely bored while watching this film. I guess hearing the same story over and over again can get tiresome after awhile. The thing I’ve always hated about people partaking in drugs, is the fact they can become extremely obnoxious. I sometimes feel that vibe, as some imagery and some conversations were giving me a headache, including Carrie Fisher’s which was easily the most unbearable segment. Nothing against her personally seems like a cool gal, just her segment made me feel nauseous while watching. The finale of this film can come off laughable. You have this one speaker just speaking a whole bunch of nonsense, how these drugs are so revolutionary that they started a bunch of movements... Like calm down dude it’s just a drug that gives people an experience and nothing more... Shut up.

Overall, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is mediocre at best and I don’t recommend this film, instead watch Gaspar Noe’s Climax. I feel like this film will inspire those to partake in these drugs during quarantine... Just be safe if doing so, don’t be an idiot.

Fantasy Island Grade: F

Quarantine will make you do things you never thought of doing... Like watching Fantasy Island, one of the early releases in 2020 from Blumhouse. This film comes from the same team that brought us Truth or Dare, a terrifically terrible Blumhouse horror film that at least brought us many good laughs. Somehow someway Fantasy Island is much much much worst than Truth or Dare, so bad that I gave up with twenty minutes left... This film was torture. Tone wise it’s all over the place. At one point it wants to be a heartfelt drama, at one point it wants to be another cliche jump scare horror fest, and at one point it wants to be a comedy... None of these elements ever worked once in this film. You don’t feel anything with the drama, you’re not scared of anything, and you never laugh once... Everything sucks. As I fast forward the last twenty minutes of the film, I can clearly tell I saved myself from being tortured another twenty minutes of this God awful film. As the film clearly offered more plot twists that didn’t make any logical sense, as you question the entire existence of this film?! Blumhouse sometimes has a few gems, but has WAY too many trash films like this one, which should’ve never been financed in the first place.

Overall, Fantasy Island is one of the worst films of 2020 and God no I don’t recommend this film. Only reason why it’s slightly better than The Grudge, is due to the fact I stayed and watched the fast forward footage, while with The Grudge I walked out and did not care less what happened.

The Painter and The Thief Grade: B+

People whom partake in the modern day “Cancel Culture” could learn a valuable lesson from this new Neon Rated documentary film. Instead resulting in negativity/hate, we should instead strive to help guide one towards progression, as they can learn from their mistakes and become a better person for the future... That’s what exactly this delightful documentary film teaches us.

I enjoy the fact this film shied away from wanting to be a documentary, offering little interviews as it’s showing a thoughtful story. Barbora is a struggling painter, whom had her art work shown in a gallery, only to have her paintings stolen by a couple men. Bertil whom was involved in the crime can’t recollect the events, due to the fact he was intoxicated while doing the crime. Barbora reaches out to Bertil in the court room, as they instantly grew a bond together. What’s intriguing is the fact though Bertil stole a prized painting from Barbora, she wanted to learn about this man, as she even falls in love with the idea of his troubled soul. The film represents a lovely story about the power of friendship, as how it can lead one towards a better understanding of their purpose, as they overcome the demons inside them. The film makes you care about both characters on screen. One wanting Bertil to overcome his drug addiction, the other wanting Barbora to actually have her art work appreciated in the world as she struggles to receive income which leads her a great amount of sadness.

Overall, The Painter and The Thief is a pretty damn good documentary film, as I highly recommend checking this one out on HULU. -Mitch Smietana

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