• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 43: Happy New Year

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! The New Year is here everyone... What a year 2020 was. Where in the beginning had potential for pure greatness, turned out to be a major disappointment. People have all the right to be frustrated, angered, or upset about the outcome of 2020.

But ya know what?! As one would: Always think of the positives of every situation you’re in, as it’ll make life a whole lot easier and gives you more reasons to be extremely grateful for every single thing in life.

To all my readers/supporters, acquaintances, friends, and family... If you have made it to 2021, I want to say from the bottom of my heart... I’m not only extremely proud of you, but consider yourself as a strong individual. The world may have rooted extremely hard against you, as your mind/heart was truly convinced that life isn’t worth living anymore. Whether it be your spirit or someone in mind... You fought so hard and somehow pulled off a miracle to be with us today. Let this be a lesson that no one or nothing can stop you from achieving anything in life. You’ve all done a tremendous job with yourselves, the best is yet to come for all of you.

I know there are those in power or health officials that don’t give a flying damn about human beings or Mental Health, as the subject of matter doesn’t come about because all they care about is themselves and nothing else. You’ve been treated as just tallies on a stat sheet, so you can be used as a worthless never ending Blame Game... God has given you people a significant role in life and you waste it on negativity, hatred, greed, selfishness, and hopelessness rather than providing positivity, love, giving, and hope to these people. Sincere apologies and prayers towards all the families that have lost someone due to suicide... I would trade my life to have them back with you all, they all deserve and need a longer life, where they can continue to provide love and security to their loved ones, and achieve on their promising futures.

I want to address an important message to everyone. Your value to this world is not define by a piece of paper or materialistic junk... Your value to this world is define by what you do for others. Anyone can act as a guardian angel to all those immensely struggling, as all it takes is a simple act of kindness or a caring heart by putting in the slightest effort to reach out to others or help them in plain sight. The way to heal others and this world is with Love... Love always wins, Love has always been the cure, Love brings out the best in each and everyone of us. Just because you aren’t somebody in the public eye, doesn’t mean you can’t be someone’s world in an individual’s eye, by being the guardian angel they need during hard times. Strive to better others and give them a legitimate reason to continue moving forward.

For what it’s worth: Thank you all so much for another successful year. Continuing to Share my Love and Passion for Film with you all has been a pure blessing, as you helped contribute not only success but a place that can be considered therapeutic as I can express my thoughts and feelings. It’s been another great year in film, as I look forward to another year filled with new releases. Brighter days in 2021 are bound to come in due time, as we approach this new chapter in our lives... Time to talk about films!

Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You Grade: C-

I’ve been familiar with Ariana Grande since her up and coming days on the TV show Victorious. Showed great promise showing off her vocals on the show, as well as making a cover to Drake’s song Take Care with Leon Thomas. After Victorious she started making her own music and songs, as she succeeded on her expectations and even rise above them as well, becoming a very well known pop artist. I really enjoyed her first couple albums and had her debut album as a Christmas present. Her music after her second album lost my interest, as I thought the music she was putting out was extremely underwhelming and not suitable to her style. In my opinion: Ariana Grande should be making classical ballads, I think she has way too much talent to settle for mediocre bubble gum pop songs, but who honestly cares as long as she’s proud of what she makes, as that should only matter. Before we get to this concert film: I enjoyed her recent album Positions... There are some really fun catchy tunes on that joint.

Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You takes place around end of 2019, during her Sweetener Tour performed I believe in the O2 in London. Majority of this film’s run time is centered around the concert, while here and there we take a brief behind the scenes look of Ariana Grande like we never seen her before... Not really. The concert was honestly tolerable, not great but certainly not a bad performance by any means. I would consider the concert a Satisfying Your Date concert: Though you have no interest in seeing this artist, but since your girlfriend really wants to go, you do the right thing and get her tickets, as you would settle watching an artist you have no interest in seeing because making your gal happy means the world to you... It’s that type of concert, it’s fine.

The film making was honestly rubbish, poor lighting in many sequences followed by poor slow mo effects which honestly is not needed at all. Regarding the behind the scenes look from Ariana Grande... Boring. I will say there is one cool informative moment, regarding Grande providing us information on artists that have inspired her music. I think the main issue regarding the substance within the behind the scenes look, is solely on the fact they introduced details about Grande’s views or an event taking place such as Mariah Carey requesting Grande to do something, as Grande hopes to be selected... But they don’t explore it enough, to where we get to learn about the artist. It honestly makes Ariana Grande an extremely boring person, because there is absolutely nothing interesting about her coming from the film alone.

It’s also worth noting during her last song in her performance, she brings the dancers and crew out to wave Pride Flags. Listen that’s cool and all... But why is there nothing, regarding Ariana Grande and her involvement in the LGBTQ community?! Like we should have been provided information as why she ends her shows with waving pride flags, as what made her inspired to do this? Is she passionate about helping this community? Like I want to learn about this artist, but unfortunately this film has no desire to do so, which provides an underwhelming look. At least Ariana Grande forces her crew to watch Midsommar... That scene was dope.

Overall, Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You was meh. I don’t recommend checking this one out, I guess it’s fine for Grande fans, but honestly you’re not missing out much compared to just watching her concert video on YouTube.

Sylvie’s Love Grade: B

A romance taken place in 1950’s New York over the course of years.

Sylvie’s Love felt like a good ole fashion old school romance film, in which provides the hardships, frustration, emotion, desires, and the highs of a beloved romance between two significant others. Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha both display wonderful performances as the love pair Sylvie and Robert, followed by great chemistry as you believe in their hot fire romance they share within each other.

Sylvie’s Love is followed by an authentic visual look that captures this era, as the style and film making is adored. The composed Score is extremely delightful, displaying some wonderful classical jazz tunes. The story at hand is a very traditional romantic story, that is steadily paced from start to finish, as you’re truly involved with this couple and never get bored with it.

My main issue with Sylvie’s Love is certainly the ending of this film, as I don’t quite understand Robert’s choice making. I know it was explained, however it still doesn’t make logical sense. Lovely story, lovely performances, lovely setting, and a lovely experience... That was refreshing indeed.

Overall, Sylvie’s Love is a solid romance film. I recommend checking this one out.

After We Collided Grade: F

Our 7th ranked worst film of 2020 comes by After We Collided! This is the sequel to a romance film called After, in which was inspired by a fan fiction romance story between a couple popular singers I guess. After felt familiar to 50 Shades, only there is no unbearable soft porno scenes, which thank goodness for that. I will be calling this series of films if they do choose to make a third film: The Kidz Bop Shades Film Series.

The only good thing I can say about After We Collided, is the fact they chose a Sufjan Stevens song in one scene... It was poorly placed, but who cares let’s thank those behind this film that brought attention to Sufjan Stevens!

After We Collided perhaps is considered a treat, it’s an extremely entertaining film despite how tremendously awful it is. The Cinematography was extremely cheap and lazy, the performances are awful by everyone, every single character is unlikable, the plot is not thought out completely as they glossed WAY TOO MANY make out and PG-13 sexual sequences, followed by a baffling cliff hanger that makes you go... Why?! However... There is something highly amusing of watching complete trash, especially in a teenage/early twenty romance story. Just watching a bunch of incompetent writers, trying to come up with modern day younger individuals problems whether it be inside the romance or just themselves individually... It’s fascinating the great amount of stupidity they come up with, as it’s just oddly amusing.

Overall, After We Collided is garbage. I don’t recommend this film at all, only the strong willed can handle this level of garbage.

Valley Girl Grade: F

When I heard about Valley Girl (2020) as a musical, but a remake to Valley Girl (1983) featuring Nicolas Cage, I instantly thought “Nick Cage was in a musical?” I’ve learned while watching Valley Girl (1983) that I was lied to, as Valley Girl (1983) is not a musical in any way, as my dreams of seeing Nick Cage singing was never going to happen.

Valley Girl (1983) was an enjoyable average high school romance story, pairing up two romantic partners from different backgrounds from different areas of California. It’s a silly little movie, however it also provides a strong message of the importance of being independent, as no one should dictate or influence how you operate your own life.

I may not be the biggest fan of Valley Girl (1983), however I found Valley Girl (2020) extremely offensive. It honestly strips away anything remotely delightful about the original and replaces with this extremely cheap, lazy, and awful musical that honestly those fans of the original, did not ask for. I watched a couple musical sequences, as I found myself fast forwarding all them moving forward after that. Why?! Well ya know when you’re making a musical... You have to cast people that can actually SING! From a sound and vocal perspective... It seems there is no one with any talent found, as you come to ask... Why would you make this a musical, knowing nobody can sing?! At least it made me rush the process of watching this film.

But even as a story alone... It holds absolutely no value to the original at all, as it’s replaced by this shitty obnoxious romantic comedy. The story in the original had something to say, while providing likable characters. In this film... There is absolutely nothing to say, while nobody in this film is likable at all. What pisses me off the most... The parents from the leading lady which are understanding parents in the original, are replaced by a cliche as the leading lady’s parents are not understanding of their daughter, as they harshly criticizes her choices... WHY?! In the original her parents gave her a breath of fresh air, as they taught her that living life by acceptance from others is unimportant, as she should live her life by whatever or whomever makes her happy. Why the hell would you replace the moral message of the entire story?! This film makes me angry man and I’m not even a fan of the original to begin with, but at least it had SOMETHING worth enjoying.

Overall, Valley Girl (2020) is a flat out disgrace and embarrassment. I highly don’t recommend this film, just watch the original Valley Girl (1983) and have fun with that one. -Mitch Smietana

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