Weekly Roundup Episode 19: Passion
Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Food for thought: How times have we heard from a fellow athlete, film maker, or whatever profession may be, have said they would die for their passion?! Now with everything that has happened in the last few months, how many have stayed true to their words? It’s fascinating how one can say earlier they would die for what they love, yet they’re scared to continue to go forward, due to the fact their could be a slight chance of death.
There’s absolutely no shame in one feeling the need, to seek protection towards their own health and well being. I’m just saying if you’re going to say a powerful statement, of how much passion you have for something that you would risk your own life for, you better stand by those words for better or worst. I have a dear passion for cinema, more so when cinema is shown in theaters, as it brings me emotional comfort towards my well being. I love the movie theater more than anything in this world and all it represents, towards the misfits that need an escape to feel as they belong in society. Whether you think it sounds goofy to you, to me this place has given me a great amount of significance to keep on living. Everyone is touched in different ways regarding their experience with life.
If the theaters were open the last few months during this whole depressing process, you would more than likely see me in the theater every week like I have been since establishing Strictly Films. Some may criticize or be scared for my life, which I understand completely, but understand one that actually stays true to their character as one who would die for their passion no matter what is going on in the world. That doesn’t mean be reckless and not take precaution towards your health, it means if you mean by the words you say towards your passion, you can’t let fear get the best of you at any time. It’s been extremely difficult to not continue ones passion of the theatrical experience, sure I have access to new films, but being stuck in a household while society tears each other apart outside can really mess someone’s mental health. I rather be happy while risking my own life, than being depressed as I protect my own life... That’s what we do for what we love, whatever that might be for you and I.
Stay true to yourselves at all times. No matter if you stand out from the mass majority or getting heavily criticized, for whom you are and what you do... Don’t let anyone change the way you are, because you are special. Love, Patience, Peace, and Positivity... I love every single one of you, as I hope all of you continue practicing a lifestyle that is wholesome. As I wait ever so patiently for the theater doors to open, as it’ll bring me peace towards the insanity around me... Let us continue talking about 2020 films shall we!
365 Days Grade: F
“Are You Lost Baby Girl?” I think we all are lost, as to how the hell is this film so popular?! The latest 2020 release on Netflix is one of the most popular streamed films on the platform, during it’s weeks of release... Oh so the term Netflix and Chill really is real? It’s a 2020 release, so... I had to see what the fuss was all about. Does 365 Days or 365 DNI do anything remotely right in any aspect?! No. Does 365 Days meet my predicted expectations? YES. This film is extremely hilarious from start to finish, as you are delivered an extremely wild experience.
The story is about a man kidnapping a woman that had him at love at first sight, as if she doesn’t fall in love with him within a year, then he’ll let her go... WHAT?! The character development of Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka) as how she progresses, in gaining affection for Massimo (Michele Morrone) makes absolutely no sense. When Massimo says he wouldn’t touch her, unless she gives him permission... He disobeys the rules every single time. There is absolutely nothing redeemable about this character’s personality, that would make any sane woman fall in love with him. The only logical reason is the fact he’s good looking, has money, and I guess his sex game is A1?! Does that excuse his toxic personality? This is the same problem I have with Christian Grey in 50 Shades, only Massimo is less of a douche bag than him.
I think by the time you’re introduced to the plot, you start to throw away logic and sense in your mind, as you get on the rollercoaster on unintentional comedy from here on out. I kid you not: This dumpster fire is absolutely entertaining from a comedy standpoint, it’s Fall From Grace level of bad. We’re introduced to terrible dialogue, a side plot that will determine the faith of our beloved character as the story concludes, and over the top sex scenes that’ll have you choke on your popcorn, as you’re trying to gasp for air from uncontrollable laughter. If people thought 50 Shades sex scenes were “Sexy”, oh boy 365 Days obliterates that thought down to the ground. This film is extremely absurd and awful in every way, but at least it brought me a great amount of laughter and that’s good enough.
Overall, 365 Days is TERRIBLE! I don’t recommend this film at all, only if you want a good laugh.
Spelling the Dream Grade: B
I was pretty good at a spelling game in elementary school called “Sparkle”, probably due to the fact whomever wins gets a piece of candy. I also competed in my fourth grade class’ spelling bee, where I would lose in the second round... I was probably mediocre at best at spelling, but trash compare to the kids featured in this film, that’s for sure.
Spelling the Dream offers a fair amount of information, behind the kids competing in the National Spelling Bee. All bright good individuals, whom show you their unique ways of preparing for the competition. The segments on how the Spelling Bee impacts the Indian American culture was very sweet and informative, as I did learn a fair amount of information. It does warm my heart seeing how much love they have for this sport, as it almost felt like another child to them.
Flaws occur with the style of this film, as it sometimes looked like a slideshow presentation you would see off those news outlets on social media. I felt there was a miscue in focus, as I thought we were following the 2019 competition, instead of the 2017’s. It’s no Akeelah and the Bee, but for what it’s worth, it’s a cute documentary film that shall inspire anyone, that any dream is possible to achieve regardless if you appear different, as long you’re willing to dedicate your life towards it.
Overall, Spelling the Dream was a solid documentary film. I recommend this film, as it can be seen on Netflix.
The Quarry Grade: D+
The Quarry was one of the first films that skipped a theatrical release, as it headed to V.O.D. due to... Here I go sounding like a broken record again. Rightfully this film deserved to be on that platform, than in a theater because this film isn’t that good. How this film is written on paper sounds like an interesting concept, however it was either is blasphemous towards all the events going on, or was entirely flat.
The main issue with our film is the lead character The Man (Shea Whigham) whom is a wanted man and is impersonating a pastor. Not only does the decisions of this character make no logical sense, but there isn’t much character development or an arc as well. Nothing changes with this character partaking in a role, preaching to many townspeople whom believe in God. Sure we see one scene of him being happy, after he performed a baptism, but other than that it’s just a straight dead expressionless character, whom never is inspired to change at any point. Honestly would’ve just rather have this man on the run or have the real pastor, take on a challenging role helping shape this lower class town with the word of faith instead.
What annoys me is the town itself. Surely a town is not granted a new pastor at a church, without knowing anything about him or what he looks like. What annoys me even more is no one bothered to ask this man for identification, any bum could’ve pretended to be this acclaimed pastor they assigned, and these morons would’ve bought it. Let’s talk about how the townspeople were so heavily impacted by this pretend pastor... What the hell makes these people so excited?! All this guy does is read off the Bible word for word, without showing no signs of expression, knowledge, or even passion of what he’s preaching. You couldn’t fool me that this guy was a pastor. It’s not like the town has never had a pastor in the past, they’ve had SEVERAL pastors in the past, but quit due to the fact it was a challenge. The Quarry is nothing special or much interesting, as it’ll be a film that just exists and will be forgotten within a day.
Overall, The Quarry was honestly crap. I don’t recommend this film at all, just watch First Reformed instead. -Mitch Smietana