• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 26: Baseball is Back


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Baseball is back, despite no fans allowed for the time being, at least people are treated to America’s past time. Nothing like a day or night out at the ballpark I tell ya, most relaxing peaceful experience you’ll ever get from any sport. On this day four years ago, will be a memory I’ll never forget regarding a baseball experience... For the wrong reasons.


So there I was on vacation with my friends Casey Take Your Bae Johnson and Ryan, as we headed to Anaheim to go see David Ortiz’s Farewell Tour. We were only planning on attending one RedSox vs Angels game, as the next day we would attend the U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, where they say many fine tings are there every year. But since David Ortiz didn’t get to play the night we went to the game, we all decided to go to another game instead so we can see David Ortiz play one last time. Very generous by Casey J I say, making a young mans dream come true, rather than be a show off at the beach as he would be the only one with tings I’m sure of it... Casey J is indeed the ladies man.


It was a hot day, as the crowd was electric towards David Ortiz’ last game at Anaheim. Unfortunately he went 0 for 5 that game, but at least I got to see him one last time before he retired. Here’s why this game was memorable. At the Top of the 7th inning, our friend Ryan wanted to go home, as he had enough of baseball. The score was 3-0 Angels, as the way this game was turning out to be, the RedSox was running out of gas. Typically I always stay till the very end of sporting events, just because you never know unless it’s a major blowout. But at last I gave in as we headed out a couple innings and a half early.


Remember that scene in Fever Pitch, where Ben blows off a Yankees vs Red Sox game, as they came back from behind in an epic comeback, as he missed a once and a lifetime game? This is exactly what happened to me. The RedSox scored 5 Runs in the last inning, 3 run home-run by Dustin Pedroia and a home-run by Xander Bogaerts, as they came back from behind and won the game. I was pissed the hell off, only I reacted like a damn fool on SnapChat to overcome my heart break of missing an epic comeback. This is why it’s a rule to never leave a sporting event early... Miracles always happen in sports, you just can’t miss it. DAMN IT RYAN, DAMN IT ALL!


Now listen: I don’t think anything less of Ryan, he’s a cool dude. But man me and Casey just look at each other, still to this day as we laugh at our pain, missing an comeback that would surely be awesome to witness in person. God Bless Casey J at least making the chance of seeing Big Papi’s Farewell Tour happen, that’s a great friend right there. I do miss my buddy Casey and miss partaking in sporting events with him, hopefully we’ll reunite at a game in due time. Alrighty let’s talk about movies!


The Other Lamb Grade: C+

IFC Midnight brings us a new folk horror film with The Other Lamb. Folk horror has become widely popular again, as a great amount of film buffs loved The Witch and Midsommar.

The Other Lamb is visually stunning, it almost felt like I was watching portraits partaking this film, so many wonderful nature shots. The film also has a nice composed Score, followed by a solid cast. Regarding the story there are elements I like about it, as other elements I didn’t necessarily care for. I like the fact the story is rather interesting, as were witnessing a cult go on about life with this false prophet. At the same time... I think where it lost me, is these over the top arthouse style imagery. I’m for one that enjoys arthouse films, but something but how this film presents itself can make one confused just by what certain scenes mean?! More so when Selah (Raffey Cassidy) bleeds, does it mean she lost her virginity with the Shepard (Michael Huisman), or does it mean she’s having a period!?! The film is more of a drama than it is horror, not sure why it’s categorize as a horror film in the first place, considering it’s not presentable as one whatsoever. The Other Lamb is a rather weird yet interesting watch, however prefer The Witch or Midsommar over this instead.

Overall, The Other Lamb t’was fine. I recommend giving this a try considering the fact it’s available on HULU now.

You Should Have Left Grade: D-

The audacity in Blumhouse charging people $20.00 to watch this is extremely absurd to begin with. I guess the only positive worth mentioning is the film actually delivered it’s moral purpose at the end. You understand Theo’s (Kevin Bacon) journey he went through in this house, in order to get where he’s at, so hooray movie you did something right.

You Should Have Left felt like torture for me, as I’m extremely impressed that I was able to finish this. The horror aspect of this film is extremely lame, where it features unnecessary jump scares and lame creepy imagery that was honestly laughable at times. Especially that entity that threw up water on Theo... I was laughing my ass off. I get where the story is coming from, but even then it’s very boring or extremely obnoxious. I feel if the film was more a physiological drama, than being this extremely stupid haunted house horror film that it’s forcing on us to believe it’s one, it could’ve been a lot better. Also felt the first few minutes could’ve been cut out. Sure you can keep the scary opening, but cut out the rest as we only need to be introduced to the house their renting, rather than go through a poor introduction towards our characters. Man 2020 certainly is not the year for Blumhouse, so much trash that has wasted valuable time in people’s lives.

Overall, You Should Have Left is terrible. I don’t recommend this film at all, stay far away from it and don’t give it a dime. Thanks RedBox as using my points to get this rental for free certainly helped.

Hope Gap Grade: B

The journey in which to obtain this rental was extraordinary. Debating from the start of release, then waiting around on Netflix DVD to come my way, as now the opportunity presents itself in which only cost a buck on ITunes... Patience is the key to life my friends.

It’s funny how I worked on the Before Trilogy Retro Talk, while Hope Gap kind of is reminiscing towards that vibe regarding the romance portion. This film may get under ones skin due to the fact how the main character Grace (Annette Bening) acts the entire film, as she’s constantly blowing things out of portion. But honestly moving on from the one you loved for so long, that doesn’t love you anymore is certainly no walk in the park. I honestly felt the pain Grace felt inside, as it felt reminiscent to some past tings that have crushed my heart too. The feeling can make one feel over the top, as it’s a bit of a challenge to encounter ones feelings during the process, which makes us go crazy as we feel incomplete without our other half.

I genuinely like the story, the content felt relatable while also felt engaged with both characters. We understand Grace’s perspective on why she feels broken, but we also understand why Edward (Bill Nighy) had to move on from her. Edward is a calm collective guy, whom only wishes to love his significant other, as he wants to relax and doesn’t see much of a point in engaging arguments Grace wants him to be involved, in order that he cares about his relationship, which I can relate as well. It’s crazy to believe Edward finally found love with someone else, given the fact Edward has been with Grace for so long. Then again couple factors come to play. Edward staying due to the fact they have a child together, while also Edward has received one thing Grace couldn’t give him: Acceptance for who he is. Edward felt drained by Grace’s demands on how he should be in this relationship, rather than just accepting for who he is. They’re completely two different people, as Edward just couldn’t give Grace what she needed out of a man.

I guess pacing and certainly Jamie’s (John O’Connor) character could’ve used more work. But the film still offers a solid story, a lovely visual display, solid performances from the cast, and characters worth following as the relatability does connect with the audience.


Overall, Hope Gap is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on ITunes. -Mitch Smietana

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