• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 39: We Want Dmon vs Nick Bugatti!


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!

Nick Bugatti.... You robbed Dmon Da Boss a victory at fatal four, when you tossed him out of the ring like a coward, and took Dmon’s pin over Chase Bell. So now we got a problem. And then you got your little Maserati on your arm... YOU WITH A SISTA?! NOW WE GOT TWO PROBLEMS! So I’ll tell you something, the next Future Shock Ima go to the boys in the office. I want you and Dmon ONE ON ONE, so then we can really see, who would win between you and Dmon.

Shouts out the bros Dmon Cotton, holding it down at Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas. That promotion video is unreal man, if you haven’t seen it watch on Dmon’s Instagram page @Dmon_theboss and also give that man a follow as well. Cool dude, funny dude, and also a great friend as well. Whelp in that case... Let’s talk about movies!

Possessor Grade: B

I was originally going to see this in theaters, but never gotten around to it. This comes from the film maker that brought us Antirival, a film in which I turned it off early by how nauseating it was. I also felt the plot was just going absolutely nowhere, so I just couldn’t take it anymore. So going in knowing this is the same director of Antirival, I had my doubts but still hopeful.

Fortunately Possessor is a major improvement from Antirival, as this was honestly dope. The attention in detail to this world and also violent sequences was quite impressive. This is a unique world that can be questioned, especially with the advance technology that comes along with it. The violent sequences were striking, but also have a fair amount of style to it. The performances by the cast were all solid as a whole, coming from Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbot, Sean Bean, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The story held it’s own quite well, though some details can appear confusing, it still manages to make itself an entertaining techno horror thriller. Lovely cinematography and a dope composed score as well. I like the concept as a whole: It almost feels like a matured Chappie in a way... 2020 bringing back Chappie vibes with Black Box and now Possessor. It’s definitely not perfect by any means, like I said there is some confusion that comes along with it. However this was... Dope.

Overall, Possessor was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out.

Castle in the Ground Grade: D+

Castle in the Ground is lead by two talented supporting actors Alex Wolff and Imogen Poots, who are not often given a lead role so it was nice to these two star in this film. It’s worth noting both actors both bring solid performances, of an individual whom is going through grief towards the loss of his mother, while the other going through the problems of being a druggie and being involved with some bad people. I think the start of this film comes off solid for the most part, definitely has a nice setup that makes you feel for our lead character Henry (Alex Wolff).

Unfortunately the rest of the film for the most part, was a frustrating experience. You see I understand why Henry would be involved with a girl like Ana (Imogen Poots) and why he would unexpectedly dump his girl. His girl was off to college as Henry would be hit with another challenge of handling a long distance relationship, while handling the grief process towards the loss of his mother. Henry needs a release from all his pain he’s going through, as Ana knowing she’s into drugs and the fact she’s attractive as well... Felt like a suitable companion in Henry’s mind. It’s certainly a wrong choice and an unhealthy one as well compared to his current girlfriend, however I understand during the circumstance he’s going through.

Though understandable, it’s honestly frustrating because Ana serves absolutely no purpose for Henry, as she only brings him more stress, worry, and certainly unneeded drama. Like I would understand Henry’s reasoning for being involved with Ana, if Ana provided him emotional comfort and closure, however she can’t even do that for him. You honestly scream at Henry as you’re wondering why the hell are you still around Ana?! There is really no connection between the two, it doesn’t better nor bring comfort to Henry in any way, plus dealing with a bunch drug dealers and addicts... What exactly is the moral purpose of him sticking around, knowing himself he’s unhappy in this situation?! A Long Distance relationship is more durable to handle, than handling Ana alone, like come on you gave up a good girl for this?!

It’s also worth mentioning while it’s a frustrating film to follow, it also uninteresting and quite boring as a matter of fact. Pacing just goes by ever so slow, scenes in which barely have anything to offer regarding dialogue and the setting. I also found most of the scenes involving conflict to be honestly goofy or obnoxious, as I watch a bunch of bumbling idiots make mistakes time and time again. Also worth mentioning a death occurs in this film and it leaves no impact like it should, due to the fact that character was briefly introduced for not even a minute, so it doesn’t leave much to behold. I do believe there is a good film in here somewhere, but unfortunately it’s a frustrating and dull movie.

Overall, Castle in the Ground was crap. I don’t recommend this film, if you’re looking for a better watch, just watch Babyteeth.

Girl Grade: C

Bella Thorne Mania... We back in the building! I think this was featured in some film festival from this year, as someone claimed this was Thorne’s best performance to date, as I had to check this out myself. I will say Bella Thorne performance wise... I mean there are issues including her attempt at a Southern accent, however she’s ok in this film. I honestly had more issues with the character she’s playing Girl, as her motivation of staying in this shit hole town was honestly not smart nor safe as well. However worth mentioning if Girl didn’t stay in this town, surely wouldn’t have wrapped up a solid conclusion so I’ll give it that.

Girl could be described as a LifeTime Television film, in which your reaction would be, “Ya know for a LifeTime film... This is not half bad, I’m surprised!” It does give off that vibe, only this film is kind of engaging and even has it’s moments of entertainment value as well. I will say the violent sequences are underwhelming, as they cut away to what could be some bad ass sequences, but wanted to keep it PG... I understand Bella Thorne was in Disney in the past, but as of recently she’s been in a lot of R Rated stuff, so go for it! For a Bella Thorne film: This was honestly better than a lot of the crap she’s been in as of lately, it’s honestly refreshing to actually say this was watchable and has something to offer. Certainly isn’t good, however it’s not bad as well.

Overall, Girl was just ok. I wouldn’t recommend checking this out for a full $6.99 rental, wait till he hits a DVD rental at your local RedBox.

The Deeper You Dig Grade: B

The Deeper You Dig comes from The Adams Family: A Family that consists of a Mother, Father, and Daughter that like making horror films. This film has actually been on my radar for awhile, ever since a critic on Roger Ebert’s website rated this an outstanding three and a half star rating, so I wanted to check it out. The Deeper You Dig shines on charm and even on quality as well.

This film is a well written story, that succeeds within the horror element but also providing a well earned thought revoking message as well. What I also enjoy about this film as though it’s a serious subject matter as a child gets killed in a hit and run situation, it’s also a bit campy as well regarding the supernatural elements involving a physic medium. Like there is an unexpected comedy aspect that actually sometimes works and isn’t unintentional, like I genuinely laugh at the jokes it was going for. The charm comes in, with the fact you can tell the low budget quality in the film making sticks out, but it doesn’t stick out like you have a problem with it, you honestly admire it as it brings off that homemade feel to you but done well. Like you honestly appreciate this film as this small little family brings their A-Game solely on story telling, while doing all they can with what they got as it’s kind of impressive they pulled it off, letting the audience know that if you have a story worth telling... Everything else doesn’t have to be picture perfect, it’s all about quality over quantity.

The Deeper You Dig does have it’s issues however. I do think some of the style choices regarding the random sequences, of Ivy (Toby Poser) going through strange places felt unnecessary. I do appreciate the creepy element in the first occurrence, however devouring the snake skin was extremely corny. It’s worth mentioning the third occurrence was extremely unnecessary, like it honestly did nothing right. It’s also worth mentioning Ivy’s daughter Echo (Zelda Adams) asked her mother if she would still love Echo, if she were to kill somebody she loved. I honestly didn’t get what that meant? Did she basically gave her mother a warning that she could possibly kill her? Why would she say that knowing she has no intention of killing her mother? Just strange. It does try to get cute at times, especially the ending as it’s doing a bit too much. But this film man... If you enjoy films that excel on quality within a solid script, solid acting, and has charm to offer... This will certainly work for you.

Overall, The Deeper You Dig was solid. I recommend checking this one out, definitely worth the time.

Antebellum Grade: D-

When I was first shown the Antebellum trailer back in winter of 2019, I atomically said, “Oh this is gonna bomb!” Was supposed to release back in Spring of 2020, however Covid saves it from becoming an epic box office flop, as they switched over to a V.O.D release in August, robbing people $20.

There are a couple positives to talk about. I felt the first act was ok, it was on par with Nat Turners Birth of a Nation as far as mediocrity goes. At least with the first act there was kind of something there, there was some interest there. The other positive is there is a good movie in here somewhere. I mean if you restructure the entire film... You could potentially have a narrative that works, that can also be an original idea. It may not be great or certainly be deep in any sense... But at least you could have possibly a solid thriller on your hands.

Antebellum is a complete disaster of a film, that provides a great amount of confusion, not finding common ground with logic, while also being extremely dull. Yes our first act was ok, I’m not giving it a ribbon but at least there was kind of something there. But then the second act is introduced where we are shown in the present time and man oh man... Everything from then on went South. You know what I find insulting? No it’s not the lame Television interview scene, no it’s not the extremely dull speech at the conference, no it’s not the horrible attempt at comedy in this second act... It’s the fact there is a horror like composed score, in which is played in the background towards normal scenes, that are not scariest to the slightest unless you live under a rock. Just imagine scary composed music played in scenes, during sequences of a normal Skype call? Or a gentleman handing you off flowers? Or making a dinner reservation with the front desk lady? Really?! I’m just sitting here laughing every single time witnessing these sequences, it’s just flat out embarrassing and completely silly. This second act is tremendously awful, it’s extremely boring, takes away any interest you had while watching this film, also it’s misplaced as well.

The third act maybe not boring, however regarding logic it completely wrecks the entire project. Especially towards a death of a significant supporting character, in which you no longer care about because there was either not enough time with this character or not enough development with this character. Then the whole “We’re leaving tonight” corny line holds absolutely no value in this story, because we remembered there was a second act in this film that wrecks the timeline. None of this honestly makes any damn sense, sure if you reconstruct it then it would make sense because you’ll have a narrative that works... But in this case looking at this narrative alone... I’m just baffled by the level of stupidity the writers/directors were on honestly. I believe the problem is they wanted make an extremely deep film, that can be considered “Woke”, however they only came out to be complete fools. When you don’t have a narrative that works in any sense, all the deep metaphorical things you want to express in your film is tossed out the door, because audiences don’t really care unless your story actually makes sense, there is actual interest partaking in this story which it’s not to the slightest, and if it works as a whole narrative. I think Janelle Monae’s comment about Antebellum being a film that is “Perfect timing” to what is going on today is correct... It’s perfect timing because like this film, the health experts, leaders, and especially almost everything about this film... NOTHING MAKES ANY DAMN SENSE, NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING, AND EVERYTHING SUCKS!

Overall, Antebellum is beyond garbage. I don’t recommend this film at all.

The Secrets We Keep Grade: C

I was going to see The Secrets We Keep in theaters, never gotten around to it. End up watching this for free, as RedBox gave me a promo code for $2 off... Gotta love RedBox, always clutch with them membership deals.

The Secrets We Keep is honestly on par with this years Resistance, both do share a similarity of World War 2 elements even though they’re completely different, however quality level is about the same. The storyline keeps it’s interest for the most part, it’s nothing ground breaking by any means, but you would like to see how this situation unfolds. I will say I thought the performances were solid as a whole, from Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, and Chris Messina.

My main problem with The Secrets We Keep is stalling with the storyline and logic issues. For awhile it feels like the story keeps repeating itself, as you’re just waiting for them to get it over with and not having jerk us any further. The logic issues stand out like a sore thumb. For example: The neighbor hears Thomas (Joel Kinnaman) screams out for help in the middle of the night, while everyone else is asleep. I have no problem with that, however... A scream for help is on par with the sound level, if not sounds weaker than a gun shot repeatedly shot five times over and over, in the middle of the day... Yet no one noticed that?! You know how loud a gun shot is? It can be heard many miles away. Also worth noting a cop, a neighbor, and the missing man’s wife are in the house as they question if Lewis (Chris Messina) is home? As Maja (Noomi Rapace) says no, there is loud talking coming from down in the basement... Though the cop notices, it simply is ignored. It’s also worth noting that while the cop is on the search to find this missing person, as Lewis comes unexpectedly upstairs having a big black and blue mark on his face, claiming he cleaned the basement... The cop doesn’t even bother checking down the basement?!

Overall, The Secrets We Keep was just ok. I would wait till this becomes available to stream on Hulu, most Bleecker Street films end up on HULU. -Mitch Smietana

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