• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 30: Back to Work


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! This is coming to you right after an unnecessary long 8 hour shift, on a Thursday night. I’ve been going hard at work these last few weeks, extremely grateful in the fact I can be able to go back to work.


For the past couple weeks: Everything has been going by well. Health wise of course feeling great, not a single concern. Been keeping myself fairly busy, trying to figure out all possible ways in maintaining production, as well as remaining positive. This day however I feel as if... I wanted to move forward from this job. I’ve enjoyed reuniting with employees, regaining a sense of reality in socializing with other human beings. At the same time though... I feel as if I could do something much more productive with my time, than being there. That’s what happens when you’ve done literally everything at your disposal, to the point where there’s literally nothing left to do... The Boredom Really Drives You Insane.


But there is a fair amount of reasons, as why to continue maintaining this job. Making extremely solid money, working at a job that I genuinely enjoy, brings back some normalization towards my life, like a handful of people I work with, plus like life they’ll be better days at hand as not everyday will feel like today. Always drive through the motions of life, as you remain to maintain positivity and patience through it all. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day as it should be, I’m just fortunate in the fact I do have a job as of now, so just can’t take it for granted as to make the best of this situation. Further more: Let’s Talk About Some New Films, Finally I Missed you Guys, Been a Week!


Chemical Hearts Grade: B

Richard Tanne made an impressive debut with Southside With You, as I was looking forward to his sophomore film with Chemical Hearts.

Richard Tanne takes on yet another romance flick, this time around it’s fictional yet takes on the hardships of grief, as how romance can elevate ones character. This film may not be as good as Richard Tanne’s first film, yet I did enjoyed with what I watched.

The characters were honestly fairly written, as I can relate to our lead Henry (Austin Abrams). Not only can I relate to the theory, that being a teenager is fairly difficult, but I also can relate with the feeling that I’m nothing special, unless I’m romantically involved with someone. I think that’s a common theme for gentlemen that have deep feelings/emotions, we feel like a blank page without a significant other, so I get this character completely. Grace (Lili Reinhart) was fairly written as well, as a character handling grief and trying to move forward towards the lost of her loved one. I know quite a few friends whom were in a relationship young as their significant other passed tragically, as I felt the film did a good job portraying one dealing with that kind of emotion. Lili Reinhart does however over act in certain scenes, including ones that show emotion as it comes off silly.

The story feels like any ordinary chick flick you’ve seen in the past. It knows what it’s purpose is, as it fills in all the check marks required. Kind of felt underwhelmed with how this film concludes, as a certain detail doesn’t make much sense. Still as one who enjoys chick flicks: This is a solid watch, that is cute, has emotion, and has deep moments of dialogue as well.

Overall, Chemical Hearts is a good film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Amazon Prime.

Spree Grade: C-

The most popular rapper in the game Drake now has a production company Dream Crew Entertainment, as it helped produce this thriller/comedy film. Spree can feel similar to many films including Creep, Nightcrawler, Ingrid Goes West, and throw in Nerve as well towards style.

I honestly found the concept to be cool, feels like a featured length version of MaconLetsPlayer from Ralph Sepe. A teen struggling to become famous off of social media, within the likes of YouTube/IG Live/Twitch. As Kurt (Joe Keery) is extremely obsessed with the idea that followers and views truly matter in life, he goes through drastic measures, as he plans to going on a killing spree, just to gain followers. It’s kind of a sick twisted concept, yet can be relatable towards the unhealthy nature of today’s society regarding these platforms, that one has to literally murder someone to go viral.

I felt the film did a good job with explaining just how one can gain a following and go viral. The main issue with Kurt is that he’s an extremely boring human being, as he has literally nothing to offer to the world, which is why he struggles to gain a following. Sure Kurt thought he would receive a following taking on a murdering spree, but due to the over exposure of violence, some may just feel it’s not real. Also felt this film does have strong moments, regarding it’s moral message of just how dangerous being overly obsessed is regarding social media platforms, as well as none of this is actually importantly. Especially in the third act where Jessie Adams (Sasheer Zamata) goes off on her standup comedy act.

Spree however has quite a few problems. Some of the film making can get a bit obnoxious at times, especially when it’s focusing on many areas at once. Although I like the concept and can appreciate the themes/messages, I did however felt the story was meh. This is due with the fact that our lead character Kurt is really just how he’s written: Bland. Lead characters that have an unhealthy obsession, from the likes of Nightcrawler and Ingrid Goes West, those lead characters stand out from Kurt because they’re actually interesting and entertaining to watch, as they have more depth to them. With Kurt at times I could’ve fallen asleep, like his friend complains time to time by how he has nothing to offer... That’s exactly how I felt while watching this character, he’s so freaking boring. Because of this that’s why sometimes the pacing of this film can suffer, as it feels like it’s going by much slower, as I didn’t think a good thirty minutes wasn’t necessary as the film feels a bit too long.

Overall, Spree was just mediocre. I’d wait till this film hits a streaming service, don’t think it’s worth the $7 rental fee, this could’ve been a lot better.

Looks That Kill Grade: B

What brought my attention to this new Romantic Comedy flick, was considering the fact Eric Striffler from Pretty Much It liked this film. I’m genuinely surprised not many people has tune into this film, especially critics at hand.

From the plot synopsis of a teenage boy named Max (Brandon Flynn), who is so attractive, that anyone that looks at his bare naked face dies instantly.... Though it sounds ridiculous which it is, this was honestly surprising. The ridiculous vibe of the film somehow compliments the romantic side, as Max develops a relationship with Alex (Julia Goldani Telles) whom has a heart condition in which restricts just how she can be expressive with emotion. The comedy material was genuinely funny, does have quite a few laugh out moments that is uncommon for a modern day teenage Rom Com, especially that dark conclusion that is rather disturbing yet funny at the same time. Despite it being ridiculous, the emotional parts of this film does impact the viewer, as they too can feel what our main characters are going through.

Flaws occur regarding the plot holes, of just how can Max’s face be able to be noticeably visible, to the point where it has no effect?! There is a fair amount of skin showing within the face, as rarely his face is wrapped around completely as it should be, plus his eyes and mouth is visible at certain moments as nothing bad happens. Would’ve like that element to be consistent, as it brings much confusion of what are the limitations, of his face being able to be visible, without someone dying instantly. This film definitely deserves a lot more attention, just a sweet funny and nice watch.

Overall, Looks That Kill is a solid Romantic Comedy film. I recommend checking this one out, can be available for rental.

The Binge Grade: F

The film takes on a parody of The Purge films, as once a year for twelve hours, human beings are allowed to drink, smoke, and do drugs. If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, is the fact this plot would never happen, in fact I can see The Purge being more likely to happen than this. Not everyone is strong minded as myself, where they don’t see the point in drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. Majority of human beings from all over the world, especially in America would never be perfectly fine with this. If this ever happened... Well the entire world will go up in flames, that’s a guarantee.

I’m not too crazy about The Purge films as you know, but unlike The Binge, at least The Purge films are at least tolerable to watch from start to finish. The Binge however is by far the most obnoxious, stupid, and absurd comedy film I’ve seen all year long. The only positive I can say about this film, is there is one genuine laugh hearing Principal Carlsen (Vince Vaughn) read out aloud an absurd text message, towards one wanting to pregnant his daughter, at least there was one laugh.

Other than that: The Comedy Material is comparable to the likes of parody films, such as Epic Movie or Disaster Movie, where it’s honestly the worst experience you can ever imagine. The tropes and cliches can be seen about a mile away, because you’ve seen this sort of thing done a countless amount of times over and over again, only it’s worst because nothing about this film works at all. None of the characters are likable, interesting, nor entertaining as well. When the interest level of your characters, is simply them getting messed up by the countless amount of drinking and drugs they’ve partaken in... That’s a major problem, it gets old really quickly, as it also becomes extremely difficult to sit through. I actually shut this film off before it finished, but I couldn’t take it anymore, it drove me nuts just by how completely trash this is.

This film is a great reminder why I don’t partake in things, such as drinking, smoking, or doing drugs: It’s flat out stupid. You’re not interesting, engaging, nor can help someone’s growth because you do these substances. The fact this is considered a “Personality Trait” makes me vomit, I can not believe people in the right mind care about a person whether or not they partake in this garbage. I really don’t care what a film portrays regarding this subject matter, as long as you can make an entertaining, interesting, and most importantly funny out of your COMEDY film, I’m all good. But when your film literally offers absolutely nothing, but nonsense... How am I suppose to enjoy this?!

Overall, The Binge is one of the worst films of the year, somehow that one genuine laugh made it possible to rank above The Grudge (2020). I don’t recommend this film at all, critics and audiences should do the right thing and give the attention Looks That Kill rightfully deserves. I shall be back with more reviews within the upcoming days, see ya very soon! -Mitch Smietana

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