• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 47; Happy Valentines Day

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Truth be told I love Valentines Day. It’s been a special holiday for two reasons. One being it’s a holiday in which women receive a great amount of appreciation, gifts, and love they rightfully deserve. This should be done everyday for women in general, but beggars can’t be choosers, let’s just appreciate this day as a rightful yearly holiday men step up to the plate for women. God Bless all women, you’re all incredible and beautiful beings, don’t let anyone tell you different.

The other being it’s a holiday which reminds us how sacred, precious, and beautiful the idea of romance truly is. There really is nothing like a significant other supporting you, loving you physically and mentally, reminding you each and everyday just how special you are to them and how grateful they are, that God lead them to you on this fine moment in their life. Truly keeps people like you and I a reason to keep on living. In all fairness… What’s the point in life if there is no love?! Pointless if you ask me.


But for all you single ladies and fellahs… Don’t put yourself down if you have no one to share this holiday with. In due time that special someone will come, but until then… Love yourself. At the end of the day you still are God’s creation, in which he thought you were worthy and special enough to be put on this earth for a rightful reason. You are wonderful, you are essential, you are beautiful… So go on ahead and treat yourself to some nice things or better yet treat someone to a nice outing… Sometimes the best gift is putting a smile on someone else's face, doesn’t matter if it’s not a significant other, could be a friend, acquaintance, heck even someone you just met for the first time. It’s all about Love B A B Y, it’s all about love.


It's looking like another solo Valentines Day for me unfortunately. Normally I would be perfectly fine, but this year... I feel a little down can't lie. Few factors play into: Today's society still on a wrong pathway of hatred, negativity, and violence. Also people still can't get along with people whom are different than themselves. Depression is still influence amongst adults and even children, as some states still won't allow people to get back to a healthier routine of making a living, going to school, or seek out escapes to help themselves during a critical time. Sure my circumstances maybe better than others, however at the end of the day I'm still human that cares about human beings, as it truly pains me each and everyday watching them go through hard times, when those in power can easily grant them their simple requests... Maybe one day they'll have a heart.


With all those factors in play, I'm still fairly new in the city I live, so loneliness does hit different this time around. Sometimes you need a hug from a significant other or lay on her shoulder, as they tell you they love you and that everything is going to be ok... Does help keep you moving forward. At the end of the day: Appreciate the blessings around you, as you wait for better days ahead as they say the best is yet to come... So we’ll be fine. Hope everyone enjoys their Valentines Day, go make sure you're loved or make someone else feel loved, they surely need it, just like we need to talk about movies!


Over the Moon Grade: C

Over the Moon is contending for a Best Animated Film at the Golden Globes, along with Onward, Wolfwalkers, The Croods: A New Age, and Soul. I would say it's a fine choice, I would replace The Croods: A New Age and Over the Moon to The Willoughbys and Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon, that would be the best animated films of 2020 in my opinion.

Over the Moon does have a couple things to like, including the great amount attention to detail in the human characters of the film, as they are well designed. Some worlds offered in Over the Moon were pretty cool, very colorful and imaginative as it reminds me of this video game, my little brother Noah used to play My Little Planet... Has that kind of style to it.

As far as animation: Some backgrounds don't look fully finished, as it can appear very awkward in scenes as it doesn't have a natural realistic look. Biggest Achilles heel for Over the Moon is the musical aspect... I didn't like it all, as at times it felt out of placed. It feels like Over the Moon was trying to become another Frozen, the way the pitch sounded in the vocals and how the songs were sung. I wouldn't call the musical aspect unbearable, only maybe two musical numbers I fast forward because they were either boring or beyond bad to sit through especially the space ping pong one... Good God who put that in?! I think this would've been perfectly average if it didn't have a musical put into it, the story isn't half bad however it's weighed down by the musical aspect.

Overall, Over the Moon was just ok. I don't really recommend this film, maybe your children may like it due to the worlds and colors this has to offer, so it's fine for them.

Dreamland Grade: C+

Bonnie and Clyde story again... Didn't we get this in 2019 with Queen and Slim?!

This partially follows a Bonnie and Clyde type of story in the finale, but it's more of a lost young man Eugene (Finn Cole) whom misses his dad and wants to travel to Mexico to see him, as he gets caught up with a high profiled fugitive Allison (Margot Robbie) whom somehow gives him life.

Dreamland plays off very differently than what you assumed to be, followed by some very cool stylistic choices. When it turns into this 4 by 4 Kodak film frame, it looks pretty cool as the film wants to capture a personality from this era. Also felt the performances were actually solid, especially from Margot Robbie and Finn Cole, both had solid chemistry. These are understandable likable characters, that unfortunately get caught up in unfortunate circumstances while you understand their emotional toll going on and about in life moving forward.

The style choice in the finale when someone gets shot felt completely messy. Some aspect of the story regarding the sand storm and of course the Bonnie and Clyde aspect can get a bit silly. Also the shower scene... What the hell was that?! Why would you cut away from Margot Robbie's acting chops?! It was honestly a very ridiculous choice. For what Dreamland is... Wasn't a half bad movie.

Overall, Dreamland was a average film. I recommend giving this a watch can be found on RedBox, a much better recommendation would be of course Queen and Slim.

The Prom Grade: D+

I may write an article about the Best Comedy/Musical section for the Golden Globes... I mean it's shaping up to be quite embarrassing, as you can tell the committee did not watch that many movies.

I love Prom, Prom was a night in which I'll remember for the rest of my life, surrounding by my closet friends and taking the hottest girl in my class... It's a flex, but a good flex. Now then when it comes to The Prom... I want to forget about this one.

As a musical it's unbearable, to the point where I simply said Enough is Enough of torturing myself sitting through these God awful musical numbers, as I fast forward maybe a good quarter of them. Not only is it dull, cringeworthy, but the amount of autotune put into them... Holy crap can it get any worst?! Oh yes it can get worst... JAMES CORDEN GETS TO SING AGAIN! MAKE THIS NIGHTMARE STOP!

What annoys me most about The Prom other than the musical aspect, is the fact they tell us important details of our characters... Without ever establishing them. Like the main character’s parents kicked her out because she's a lesbian... It was never established, it was told to us by the grandmother... There are many moments similar to this, as why couldn't any of this be established?! I much rather see these important parts established, than sit through trash musical numbers that no one wants to sit through and have their ears bleed. The finale feels rushed, as things get solved unusually quickly as human beings can easily adjust to situations that can't be agreed on or can be easily reasoned with... Have you seen today's society?!

I will give The Prom one prop: They do deliver an important message towards celebrities. The main characters whom help the lesbian teenager don't genuinely help her, but they help her to help their own image. For some time now: Nothing what celebrities say or do comes from the heart, as it's all for their public image and nothing else. So hopefully when a celebrity watches this film, they'll go "You know what?! It's time I stop being a phony."

Overall, The Prom is crap. I don't recommend this film, someone ban James Corden in being musicals.

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin Grade: B-

Werner Herzog delivered a solid documentary with Family Romance, LLC earlier in 2020, as he quickly comes back with another documentary about explorer Bruce Chatwin.

This is an intriguing and even visually stunning documentary. The places looked extremely fascinating, as the places Chatwin had explored in honestly makes me inspired to explore them myself. The individual centered in this documentary t'was an interesting individual, who really did live life to the fullest by discovering things and exploring many places.

I prefer Family Romance, LLC over this one, as I felt it was more of an interesting story compared to this one. The substance though interesting, didn't really appealed to me that much, as the pacing was extremely slow. It's also worth noting the detours taken away from Chatwin felt off, as they talk about some other countries and why their songs are sacred and shouldn't be shared with anyone. It was cool for what it was, however wasn't really impressed with this one.

Overall, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin was fairly decent. I recommend checking this one out, especially if you're into PBS... Does have that PBS nature doc style.

Greenland Grade: B

Greenland was suppose to be released in theaters back at the end of September, as they played the preview of this in every film I've attended upon reopening and so on. It got delayed due to Tenet not making a whole lot in the box office, so it instead went to a streaming release in December.

I had almost zero desire to see this film, as it looked like yet another stupid disaster movie. However due to the good reviews... I gave it a shot and what do you know?! It's A LOT better than I expected it to be.

Honestly the disaster part is shown briefly, every now and then you get to see big disastrous things happening regarding meteors falling, a plane explosion, and a car falling off the highway. However it's really more centered around this one family, as how they try to get to this desired destination, while going through many obstacles along the way. Like this story is very character driven, as your whole attention is on the family, as the main drama is how this family tries to overcome all this mayhem in front of them as it's not even close to what it appeared to be in the trailers... In a good way. Like I'm extremely impressed that this story didn't wanted to be some stupid spectacle, as we actually care about our characters as we can relate or understand what they're going through. The cliches and tropes come about, as some other silly elements play a factor. But yeah just an all around enjoyable film, that is engaging and has it's moments of entertainment as well.

Overall, Greenland was a good film. I recommend checking this one out.

Let Them All Talk Grade: B

I would say Soderbergh's 2019 year was rather disappointing, though High Flying Bird and The Laundromat were both average, still for Soderbergh... You expect good.

Let Them All Talk helps Soderbergh shake off from an average 2019 year. Does bring back the settle tone and feel you're used to seeing from Soderbergh films, as this was very character driven as you slowly learn about each and everyone of them, especially the main Alice (Meryl Streep). The film is mainly set on this boat, traveling to a desired destination, as you simply just learn about all these characters whether it be themselves, the feud, as minor conflicts is involved learning about the influence of Alice's novels, Alice developing her new book, Alice maybe having an affair, or discovering what is Alice's new book about?! A fair amount of mystery surrounding Alice.

Speaking of mystery... Soderbergh gives off brief hints that this is a different kind of mystery film, only it doesn't play off as one, as it worked out perfectly as the film wraps up. I enjoyed the character driven aspect however the mystery aspect is also done well and can be described as unique. I did have some cinematography issues, as the lighting, glaring, and even some color palette issues. Still this film was a nice rebound for Soderbergh, as it appears he's back to form once again.


Overall, Let Them All Talk t'was solid. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on HBO Max. - Mitch Smietana

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