Weekly Roundup Episode 4: Conclusion of 2019
Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! The Best Films of 2019 list is up now on the Strictly Films Twitter, FaceBook, and Instagram page! To wrap up the 2019 year, time to briefly talk about a bunch of 2019 films.
Chained for Life Grade: B
Chained For Life caught my attention from raved reviews and the poster itself. I assumed this film was going to be a charming romantic story, however I got something completely different. The film represents a metaphor about a problem with Hollywood that has lasted since birth. How we mainly focus on beauty rather than talent itself, how we don’t give others a fair shot on the spotlight as they’re not beautiful from the public eye as we also limit their roles. Though I wasn’t wowed by this film in anyway, I still truly appreciate what it was trying to say within it’s powerful message. It’s a beautifully shot film, well acted by the entire cast, and has interesting elements within the story. The main problem I have with this film is the level of interest within the plot, as the plot is loose and free. What keeps it upon my interest is the characters acting in scenes, I thought that was cool. I also enjoyed the final scene of our lead actress taking upon a conversation with a driver... Such an odd way to conclude your film, but heck it kept me entertained at least. Overall, Chained for Life is a solid little film and if you have the chance to watch it, do so it’s nice.
Greener Grass Grade: B-
I have mixed feelings about Greener Grass. On one hand it’s quite hilarious, I’ve had a few laugh out moments partaking in this comedy. It has quite a unique style to it, oddly weird composed score, and the entire cast were all in, in its weird nature. I enjoyed how every character has braces, it’s such an odd choice but it’s a nice marketing tool as it’ll remind you the first thing you remember about this film. I guess my main complaint is the completely absurdity of the film, gotten old after awhile plus I really have no idea what it all means at the end, as it just brought complete confusion to my head. Like how everything unfolds brings a big WTF across my forehead. Some have mention this film represents how aliens think how human beings live... Eh not far off. If you’re looking for an original comedy, in which doesn’t feel completely different than the other usual junk you’ve been getting, than this indie comedy should interest you. Overall, Greener Grass is a fairly enjoyable decent film and I do recommend experiencing this once, it’s on HULU. -Mitch Smietana
Long Day’s Journey Into Night Grade: B+
Long Day’s Journey Into Night was brought by my attention from Sean Baker. I really enjoyed the living crap out of this film. Though one may say this film is slow, I do believe the length was properly used as it was a completely well told story. It can also be a film worth watching if you’re trying to overcome a breakup after a long relationship you had with a significant other. Has a well sense of style/music, the cast was all around great, but the story itself really keeps the viewer not only upon interest in entertainment value, but as well as it makes the viewer think deeply. Overall, Long Days Journey Into Night is a pretty damn good film and I highly recommend checking this one out on Kanopy.
The Two Popes Grade: B
When it comes to thought revoking religious films that educates one’s faith into greater heights, I’m always here for them. As long as it’s not clear propaganda, that sees eye to eye to one whom believes and one whom doesn’t believe... I’ll support it. I’m truly surprised The Two Popes has gotten this much praise, I do believe it’s good but not as outstanding as everyone says. My main issue with this film is the Cinematography is atrocious. The close ups are not in full frame, as well as I found them quite terrible, majority of the shots I found just embarrassing at times. I didn’t like the constant cut to cut editing, as I found it all distracting. The story itself is fine, but one may say it feels formulated to any other grandpa tale for example 2017’s Going in Style. The film has it’s moments of strong dialogue, to where you can see the Popes converse in their differences upon their faith and how one thinks differently than the traditional values. I found Jonathan Pryce once again to be excellent in this film, has solid chemistry with Anthony Hopkins. Anthony Hopkins however I found his character better than his performance, as it was good but not worth an Oscar nomination at all. He’s doing nothing new or displaying a level of excellence in this performance, it’s a typical good performance from Hopkins. It’s a film that does it’s job just fine and will please any viewer, I just would’ve liked more out of this and be on par with Scorsese’s challenging film Silence. Overall, The Two Popes was a good film and I recommend it on Netflix.
Monos Grade: B+
Monos has been on my radar for quite some time now. I begged and pleaded for the theaters in Vegas to show this film... Nada... Morons. Monos though it’s nature can be completely nuts for some viewers, I do believe this is one of the better films of 2019. The Cinematography is quite stunning, I really enjoyed the atmosphere from a visual standpoint of this film. The Score was pretty good as well, a few simple tunes replaying at the right scenes and moods, I also found one composed tune to be similar to The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The cast all in all was really good as well as a whole. I’m really surprised in the year of 2019 for Moises Arias, the once beloved supporting star of the hit Disney Channel show Hannah Montana has a great year in performances. T’was solid in Five Feet Apart, now brings a whole new animal in his role in Monos... Good for Rico! The main issue with the film has to be no back story, as to how this American prisoner got captured by this small army of kids. I really enjoyed the script, it felt free yet very intense in quite a few moments. Monos is going to be an underrated indie film, many will talk about years to come. Overall, Monos is a great film and I highly recommend this film.
Well that’s it for 2019 everyone. Hope you all enjoyed the Best Films of 2019 list, look forward to many more reviews very soon! -Mitch Smietana