• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 29: The Birth of Mitchy Mitch


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Eight years ago on this day, I released my first ever rap video on YouTube. I went by the name of Mitchy Mitch, as I released a short preview of a song that I had written “Maleni’s Song”. What a simple yet poorly shot rap video, that was recorded inside my own garage, was basically the beginning of an unexpected rap career. My whole life had completely changed since releasing that video out in public.


In the past where I had released a cover of a John Legend song back in middle school, I didn’t expect many people to watch this silly rap video. In a flash I would receive hundreds of views instantly, as I would hear my peers and those whom I’ve never met before, talk about it. When you look back on that video, you honestly don’t understand why anyone would give this video the time of day to talk about it, nor even watch it?! Seriously I can’t even watch this beginning to end, it’s extremely cringeworthy.


From then on I went on to receive treatment, that can be comparable to a celebrity. For some reason people wanted to meet me, as they would get extremely excited to get an opportunity to do so. I would be stopped and noticed randomly at school, stores, walking along the side walks, gyms, the freaking mall which that was the weirdest encounter I’ve ever experienced.


I never expected that lone poorly made video, would lead to a significant amount of success as a rapper, coming from an average Italian kid who enjoys wearing Hollister. Videos receiving a Thousand Plus views each video except “My Girl Remix”, becoming basically a headliner at my schools Talent Show where I would receive an extremely loud cheerful audience, performing at a Mormon’s High School Graduation party in which I got paid to perform, and making a remarkable achievement at my own Senior Assembly performance... Looking back on it all, none of it feels real at all.


The rapper lifestyle felt completely overwhelming. At times I felt a great amount of excitement, but at times I felt extremely unhappy. Not only did being in a stage of depression/suicidal tendencies came into play when I started, but the amount of popularity, attention, and especially the consistent amount of harassment I receive during those days were extremely difficult to handle.


I don’t regret rapping to the slightest. I’ve had some grand special times during those days, where it led me to some great memories, as well as meeting some great friends along the way. Word to a special friend of mine, “It’s easy to do nothing and laugh at someone, it’s hard to actually go out and do something.” R.I.P. Paul as always, always and forever in my prayers. Thanks to all my friends, family, acquaintances, supporters, and those Twitter watching my videos, while subtweeting about me... Da Don is always watching. I’ve always appreciated all the support, no matter if was genuine or not, the worst one could do is not click on my links at all and actually do something useful with their lives... I don’t know man, you tell me. Look no further more, let’s talk about movies!


Lucky Grandma Grade: C

What made me interested in Lucky Grandma is the title alone, as well as the simply done poster looked funny to me. I was actually enjoying this film from the beginning, as the concept alone was funny on paper, as when the plot is presented... It looked pretty promising at hand. There is one well done chase sequence between Grandma (Tsai Chin) and the gangsters, whom are after her.

I really wanted to love this film... Unfortunately I did not. You see when the plot is presented, moving forward it barely goes anywhere. The films pacing should’ve been a bit more energetic. However the films pacing completely slows down, as it becomes a slow barely engaging drama, while it should’ve been a fun action/comedy flick. I didn’t care for the Score in this film, felt the music didn’t mesh well with the tone of this film. Early on Tsai Chin had potential to have a solid performance, while delivering a fair amount of laughs. But unfortunately her performance was honestly not that good, in fact I found her pretty annoying in this film. The way she delivers lines becomes incredibly unbearable to watch, the way she whines makes my ears bleed... It’s the most annoying voice I’ve heard since Cardi B. Surely Tsai Chin is a sweet lady and who knows she probably gave better performances in the past, but for this film I expected her to be highly enjoyable and memorable, unfortunately that’s not what I got at all.

I don’t like how this film ends, I felt it should’ve ended earlier. There’s really no reason to keep the camera rolling on Grandma in her sons room, where nothing is happening. This had potential to be a dope film filled with laughs and adventure, unfortunately it underachieves towards it’s expected expectations.

Overall, Lucky Grandma was just ok. I don’t recommend this film, think there’s better comedies than this

We Summon the Darkness Grade: C

Over the course of time, My Friend Dahmer has grown on me just a tad compared to my first viewing of the film. So I was looking forward to see what Marc Meyers director of that film from 2017, comes up with next with this horror/comedy flick We Summon the Darkness.

We Summon the Darkness feels heavily inspired by Rob Zombie films. You got three women, whom are into Heavy Metal and into Satanic themes, and are cold blooded killers for fun... Feels familiar to House of a Thousand Corpses, The Devils Rejects, and 3 From Hell. I felt We Summon the Darkness had it’s moments, some of the slasher sequences were kind of cool. Surprising enough the performances weren’t half bad, seems like everyone was really into making this film, I can honestly say the performances are much better than House of a Thousand Corpses.

The problem with We Summon the Darkness, is while thinking of it being heavily inspired from the likes of Rob Zombie, I could just think it could’ve been much better if Rob Zombie was in control making this film. The style and tone feels too flat and even cute for my taste, when it should’ve been felt vile and disgusted. Even with the short run time, the pacing of this film sometimes can be dragging much. Takes awhile for things to set up, even when things are getting set up it’s barely interesting. Also the predictability in this film got on my nerves, I saw things coming from a mile away. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to like this at all, the poster looked atrocious with Johnny Knoxville’s reflection from the blade. Surprising enough it does have redeemable qualities, but I’ve seen better from it’s inspired successor.

Overall, We Summon the Darkness was just ok. I don’t recommend this film but it’s honestly not a bad watch as it’s on Netflix if interested. But much prefer The Devils Rejects.

The One and Only Ivan Grade: C+

Ain’t nobody love Monkeys more than this guy right here, who still carries a stuffed Monkey from Build a Bear since I was a child named Daniel the Monkey... Don’t judge me. This film was planned to be released in theaters, due to Covid-19 it had to be sent to Disney Plus, to hopefully spark up subscribers.

I gotta say for what I was expecting: This wasn’t half bad. This film is based on a wonderful true story, in which I felt the film makers did a genuine job portraying the events, as well as how they thought the animals were feeling at the time. With all the hoopla surrounding circus animals, this does give the audience a much better understanding just what the animals are going through as far as their state of mind. Majority of the characters were fairly well written, Ivan (Sam Rockwell) remains the consistent star of this film but is accompanied by fun and cute supporting animals.

Flaws regarding this film is tone regarding the leader of this circus Mack (Bryan Cranston). At times the film makes him out to be a good guy, then at times he’s made out as a bad guy. The film could’ve done a better job in making the audience understand him much better, instead of having to tell us in the end credits... They really wrote in the end credits, rather than develop him. I felt Ruby (Brooklyn Prince) should’ve been introduced, after Mack discovers that Ivan has an extraordinary talent to create art. It could’ve worked much much better and even be a nice rendition of Charlottes Web even, the film does rush this important element in the story. For what it’s worth this film works just fine for kids and adults, it was kind of cute.

Overall, The One and Only Ivan was perfectly fine. I actually recommend checking this one out, can be found on Disney Plus. Well guys after work today, I’ll be heading to the theaters to watch my first film in a theater, since March... EXTREMELY PUMPED! -Mitch Smietana

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