• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 53: I Didn’t Watch the Oscars


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


Well the Oscars were yesterday and truth be told... I didn’t watch it this year, which has been a first in 12 years. There are a few reasons why I chose not to partake in watching the Oscars this year. One being I’m currently on vacation and the place I’m staying at doesn’t have cable. Another reason being just how awful the Golden Globes Award Show was, which is comparable to a living nightmare, so I didn’t want to relive that nightmare all over again. Lastly being and this is a big one... I’m tired of privileged people whom are truly blessed to be apart of the film industry, crying and complaining how awful life is.


Life is tough and there are many difficult moments/situations we can not even understand, why things happen the way they do. However Life is a beautiful concept within itself, that sometimes we take it for granted. I mean we were all born with a significant purpose. We have so much beauty within the places we go as far as nature and such that one can’t explain, just how magnificent they are and one can’t imagine how it was all created in the first place. We have the luxury of seeing beautiful sights, our sense of smell, touch, and especially taste. We get to hear such wonderful sounds, whether it be from the simplicity of a piano, a lovely echo from another human being, or the wonderful vocals from a common person gifted with a voice. There is excitement all around you: Whether it be watching a group people battling on a sporting ground, attending a concert, or experiencing tales told on a big screen. We have the luxury of creating memories with those whom were created in this world, whether it be family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. Believe it or not: Everyone has delivered some kind of impact on your life, whether it be the bare minimum of a helpful kind employee at a store, or someone whom have known for a long time.


But one thing in life in which we should rightfully cherish, is the fact we all have the right to become who we want to be. Think of the luxury in which no one can control you as a person, as you have full control of whomever you want to be. Sure people will judge no matter what, however guess what?! You shouldn’t care, because truth be told they’ll never understand you because they aren’t you, that’s what makes you authentic and special, because you are in total control of the person you want to be.


Life is a pain in the ass, however when we look at Life in a deep perspective... It can be extremely precious and sacred, as sometimes it’s kind of baffling how we tend to be more unappreciative than being more appreciative of what we have and can do.


Regarding those in the film industry, sometimes I ask: Would it kill those living out a childhood dream of not only being in the film industry but being recognized by the highest achievement regarding film awards, would actually make a valid attempt to shine some light in a world that’s so accustomed in being in the dark?! I mean we’re all struggling here in some way, however within those in the film industry need to be reminded, that Film does provide people a moral purpose into continuing moving forward. Film provides not only an escape, but provides an experience unlike no other and sometimes people get lost in those experiences in the greatest way possible. How impactful are those experiences?! People tend to live so they can continue to keep living out these experiences on screen. For every misfit in the world, they’ll always be a film that they can latch onto for emotional support.


So those in the film industry: How about we start doing what film does for people, as we should uplift people’s spirits in a critical time rather than doom and gloom. The best medicine for people is to spread laughter and joy, for those who can’t seem to find it now a days. That’s what I want to see more out of these award shows moving forward: Let’s all try to escape from everything that’s putting down our society and create moments in which will uplift society, to remind them that you are grateful for where you are and the movie goers that contribute bringing you there as well. Like Film: Let’s escape reality for a couple hours, enjoying a year of cinema, and enjoying our time here on this earth. Let’s talk about movies!


Shiva Baby Grade: B+

Shiva Baby was getting a lot of buzz out of Virtual Film Festivals and a fair amount of praise from critics.

The Composed Score of this film was very striking, as it echoes the likes of The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Hereditary, though this film is certainly not a horror film, however the Score compliments the anxiety and stress levels our main character Danielle (Rachel Sennott) is currently going through. The cast ensemble was honestly extremely good, like everyone had a pretty good performance here as I honestly didn’t have any complaints.

Shiva Baby delivers a well done dark comedy family drama, that’ll have you laughing at moments however it strictly aligns with the seriousness of this subject matter. I was able to connect with Danielle as surely many would relate to her as well, as far as feeling uncomfortable around family members, as it can be a nerve wrackking experience. Especially when they’re judgmental as well as fearing that you’re not living up to their high end standards.... Even at times I don’t really care how my family thinks of me, however still sucks at the end knowing you don’t feel good enough for them. I enjoyed how authentic and original this film is, it’s a different kind of experience I do say.

Overall, Shiva Baby was a pretty good film. I recommend checking this one out, I hope “It Doesn’t Suck Productions” takes off... That is the coolest name for a production company ever.

Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell Grade: B

Majority of my lifetime I’ve enjoyed Biggie Smalls music, so of course I instantly had interest in this documentary.

There are times where the documentary’s style looked pretty good, mainly when it showed old footage of Biggie Smalls talking which honestly looked pretty stunning, lovely visuals. As far as substance goes... Good. There are a couple things I’ve learned about this documentary that I didn’t know of, regarding where Biggie’s inspiration of music came from and the fact he was getting sued from another rapper who was originally named Biggie Smalls. My father made a complaint that it was the same old shtick being told again, preferably the likes of the DocuDrama film Notorious, as I have to agree.... Majority of the documentary felt very similar to just that. For what it is: I liked it, didn’t love it.

Overall, Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell was a solid documentary. I recommend checking this one out.

Why Did You Kill Me? Grade: C+

When I saw this new documentary popped up on my feed, with a MySpace profile style picture for the poster... This I had to see. The substance within itself t’was honestly interesting for the most part, especially as a revenge story. I guess complaints would be why hasn’t the younger sister of the woman whom was murdered, not aged at all?! Like old photos shown looked similar to her now, as I question if this was all taken place in 2006, how the hell does she still look like a little girl still?! Was she using myspace at a three old?! Is that an actress portraying the girl?! The crazy mother thing kind of loses momentum within the story, as it feels like a side plot that was honestly annoying. It’s your typical Netflix Crime Documentary you’ve seen many times before, but thankfully this one was interesting.

Overall, Why Did You Kill Me? was fine. If you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon, I guess check it out.

Thunder Force Grade: D+

Ah Netflix is trying to get into the Super Hero business and they’re going to start it off with.... Melissa McCarthy as the lead?! Did they not know what happened the last time Melissa McCarthy headlined a Super Hero film?! It flopped horribly and no one remembers the name... Well I do it’s called The Kitchen, I didn’t see it either by the way.

There are fortunately a couple things I liked about this film. One being there is one scene where I laughed a couple times, as I enjoyed Melissa McCarthy’s Steve Urkel impression and the Jodie Foster jokes were good. I would like to point out a couple jokes, where I pointed at the TV because I understood the joke... I didn’t laugh at them, however pointing out jokes I understood in a good way can sometimes be fun to me. I guess there are a couple entertaining super hero moments, thankfully this wasn’t dull.

Thunder Force unfortunately is another typical stupid super hero film that no one asked for. I thought Melissa McCarthy’s performance was completely dreadful, I’m kind of sick and tired of her comedy shtick as it is, as we’ve been over it for almost a decade now. The villain’s of this film kind of annoyed me, especially the assistant Laser (Pom Klementieff) which every scene her involving dialogue was incredibly cringe in the worst way possible. I hate how the film wraps up in the end, won’t spoil it but it has to do with what happens with the villain is all I’m going to say. Will Thunder Force spark up a Superhero franchise with Netflix?! Dear God I hope not. But at least this wasn’t completely terrible, I can sleep at night.

Overall, Thunder Force was crap. I don’t recommend this film.

The Dig Grade: B+

The Dig was a January release, however it didn’t feel like a January release as it was more suitable as a winter release, meaning Oscar buzz season.

The story was well written as most certainly was extremely important. Just how extraordinary archaeologists like Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes), whom can spot out historical discoveries from out of nowhere are just amazing. Honestly: The Dig was more preferable on the big screen, solely on the fact this was an experience. Like I learned a fair amount of information, learned about a profession I hardly know much of, as well as witness a well taught story with characters you truly care about.

Overall, The Dig was a pretty damn good film. I recommend checking this one out.

The United States vs Billie Holiday Grade: C-

When Andra Day took home Best Actress for a Golden Globe for her role in The United States vs Billie Holiday, I was honestly surprised... I didn’t see that coming.

I think Andra Day is the best part of this entire film, I thought she did a pretty damn good job as Billie Holiday. I do believe she does actually sing in this role, but even so when she’s not singing and just playing Billie Holiday as a person it’s honestly pretty good and even accurate I do say so myself.

Narrative speaking... This film has moments, but as a steady narrative it falls flat for me. Like they’ll be interest here and there as something happens with Billie Holiday and the feds. But when it comes to what is going on in the story, leading up to these moments... It’s extremely dull, uneventful, and just bland. The finale was underwhelming for me, I think it was suppose to be a powerful finale however it just felt kind of random to go out like that.


Overall, The United States vs Billie Holiday was mediocre. I guess watch this film for Andra Day alone, other than that you’re not missing much, I think last years documentary Billie is more likely better than this. -Mitch Smietana

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