• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 57: God Bless the USA


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend, I sure did as I spent the holiday weekend with some family that live two hours away from me.


As a teen I was conflicted about living in America believe it or not. There is joy within the country in regards with Cinema, Music, Food, and of course sports. However sometimes you feel troubled within the humanity side of this country. They’ll be many situations at hand that you read up online or hear from the news of this country, that can make you feel broken in a way as circumstances can feel entirely unfair as answers towards those difficult questions never get solved.


I think about my schooling days as I can’t really recall a time, in which a history teacher of mine express the importance of this country’s history and why the pride within our values and documents within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are ever so sacred. This is not a diss in any way towards those teachers, I developed a dope connection within my U.S. Government teacher my senior year that’ll always bring me genuine joy. I just feel when it came towards experiencing the importance of this subject… It almost felt lackadaisical, as they were just trying to achieve their day job from start to finish and nothing more than that. One teacher in mind I can tell felt entirely angry and depressed with regards of their own life, as maybe the profession itself wore her down… It’s not easy teaching a bunch of immature teenage kids, especially when half of the classroom doesn’t want to be there in the first place. The lesson I’ve always received from not only history classes in general but just any class in general in high school, was to only complete the assignments that were given and you’ll be good to go… Nothing mattered more than that and that’s why our schooling system in a way fails us for the future, that’s the mentality of one going into the work force rather than the mentality of one wanting a career. So you can see why my teenage self felt conflicted with the country itself: I wasn’t taught the true value of what this country was all about, when it achieved it’s independence.


Over the course of many years, as I’ve partaken in countless amount of films, as I not only learn about this country but also other countries. In my opinion… We as Americans living in this country are BEYOND SPOILED. The many freedoms and privileges we as Americans are granted thanks to our values within our documents, explain why so many people in other countries wish they can live here… It’s an honor and privilege to be an American and we really take what we have for granted, you have no idea how GOOD most of you have it.


Of course America is not perfect by any means, however nothing in Life is Perfect, except Jesus. In Life you’re always going to encounter the good and unfortunately the bad within everything, God has given you free will to decide which side you want to continue your story and how to respond within your own circumstances. Responding to unfortunate situations should not be followed with the blame game or expressing hatred to a place/person/thing, as that response is the most useless and ineffective way in order to achieve progress within yourself or situation. Responding to unfortunate situations you should be responding by taking actual action, meaning help within the situation to achieve progress. As Americans: It should always be your right to take a stand on matters that don’t seem fair. But don’t just complain about it, tweet about it, post on FaceBook or on your Instagram story… Actually put your own words into action and do something about it. We were never meant to be sitting ducks on matters that dearly troubled us, if we did then America would never have achieve the current success as it is today, by our people that came before us.


You can also respond to an unfortunate situation by just moving on and be somewhere else that you can secure happiness… No one deserves to be unhappy. The thing that drives me insane is when the privileged rich people cry and complain about this country, however they are doing absolutely nothing about changing their own living circumstances for the better, as they instead spend more time collecting off this country than spend more time giving to build progress. If you’re going to cry and complain how terrible this country is, yet you’re making a lot of money and living a comfortable lifestyle… By all means quit being a flaming hypocrite and stop collecting off a country you despise ever so much, if you truly can’t stand the place you live then why accept anything from it?! If something troubles you and you’re in the position to make a difference: Put Up or Just Shut Up completely, we don’t need anymore unnecessary negativity from those that aren’t going to do anything about the problems we’re currently dealing with, we’re trying to move FORWARD than move backwards or stay in the same place.


America has a long way to go in order to achieve perfection, but for right now we should all do the right thing, as we show gratefulness of what we currently have and coming together as one. If you currently have a mind of your own, have food on the table, clean water, clothes to wear, and shelter… By all means you are living a damn good life and you really have no idea how much of a blessing it is to have the simplicity of those things. In order to achieve progression, we need to bring back our most valuable trait within humanity and that is Effective Communication. Avoiding each other just because people think differently than you is unacceptable behavior and has held ourselves backwards for the last couple years. We must get back to our ole healthy ways as we come together as one, like True Americans are suppose to do, work out our differences to bring a mutual understanding, and continue moving forward like we’re suppose to be.


I do believe in due time the pure foundation of this country will be restored, America has always been one inspiring comeback story time in and time again, as I firmly believe we will get there once again. God Bless All Americans of Today, God Bless our Founding Fathers, and God Bless the U.S.A. Alrighty time to talk about some movies!

False Positive Grade: D+

The new Horror Hulu/A24 Collab brought to us from the film maker that brought us Pee Wee’s Big Holiday… What a time to be alive I must say. Pee Wee itself is an extremely weird concept, as False Positive is a also a weird concept itself, so who knows it might just work?!

I liked the opening sequence, felt like it paid homage to such horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, as far as the title sequence and how the film was shot in the night. I think the best part of this entire film for me, was how a shadow figure was briefly communicating in a way with our main character Lucy (Ilana Glazer). Not gonna spoil it but as you follow along with the story, you realize this shadow figure that comes out and about is trying to indicate with Lucy that her fertility doctor is a bit shady.

False Positive kept me going for awhile, until the film basically fell apart as much of it made barely any sense. There are some hallucination sequences that were not handled properly, as you can’t indicate if it’s reality or as the film calls it “Mommy Brain”. Speaking of hallucination not handled properly… The hotel sequence… There are so many questions within that sequence, but more so why is this in the movie?! It never comes back around again as it doesn’t affect the plot by any means, which if I were Lucy seeing what she seen I mean… WHY STAY QUIET?!

The film also has quite a few baffling moments, where it’s hard to take it seriously. Especially the epic finale where Lucy is dealing with the fertility doctor and the assistant, like the whole “I trained myself so I won’t have a gag reflex” moment… I mean in this grand epic finale, I should not be laughing hysterically at such bone headed dialogue like sheesh. Didn’t care for any of the acting, didn’t care for how the film looked visually at all felt like sit com set. I think it had potential, however just did not make it’s mark.

Overall, False Positive was crap. I don’t recommend this film, by A24 standards this was not it.

Awake Grade: D

When I don’t get enough sleep you can get two sides of me: The one side where I’m extremely cranky and want everyone around me to screw off, or the other side where I’m all lovey dovey and loopy… Unfortunately that side only comes around on dates... I’m better off going to dates with lack of sleep, than getting full rest, seriously my social skills are well adjusted when I have no sleep compared to having sleep. Netflix comes back with another end of the world disaster, featuring a world in which people can not fall asleep… OH BOY. I don’t hate the concept at all, a world without sleep sounds like a perfect disaster to me.

The way the concept is executed in Awake was done extremely poorly. Instead of properly executing it the way it should be, where the audience can figure out that characters just can’t seem to fall asleep as the world changes dramatically around them. Instead characters just shout it to us in a hospital, as we’re just starting to try and to get a grip of what is the real disaster at hand. I thought the real disaster was the world going without power, as automobiles, homes, and businesses losing power, as the world goes chaotic without usage of their smartphones, everyday transportation, operation to food, entertainment, and such. But since one of the characters just screamed it out to us… I guess there’s no use in trying to figure it out amongst ourselves anymore.

Awake felt unrealistic in many ways, especially how the disaster is extremely quick in terms of development. The people go crazy in this world within hours without sleep… Last time I checked many Americans especially, pull over nighters all the time, as you don’t see any of them act insane like these people are. I say we’re about twelve hours over like regular everyday human beings bed time would be, as now we’re in the midst of crazy religious people talking about sacrificing a little girl so they can secure their right to sleep… There is no way this would ever happen that quick.

I understand these people can’t fall asleep, but do you find it odd that barely anybody tries and close their eyes at least?! Other than our main character Jill (Gina Rodriguez) whom tries to mediate in the beginning, everyone else seems to be frown upon on the idea of closing their eyes as they atomically accepted defeat. It’s not like this world is forcing them to keep their eyes open, they can at least try to attempt sleeping and close their eyes.

This film plays off like every other typical disaster film we’ve seen in the past, as it’s just rubbish crap per usual. I didn’t care for any of the acting in this, felt majority of the actors gave off a poor portrayal of one who hasn’t slept in a long period of time, it looked more like they were drunk. The ending was… Hysterical. Let me put it to ya this way: If you enjoy a baffling conclusion mixed with a highly unnecessary blood bath… This one will work for ya.

Overall, Awake was a bad film. I don’t recommend this film.

Censor Grade: B

Censor premiered earlier this year in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, getting rather decent praise.

Censor has quite a unique story, tying into a woman whom works as a film censor uncovers a random film that brings back her haunted past, dealing with the likes of the disappearance of her sister. Visually the film looked stunning, loved the shots when they zoomed in the old television set as it transitions onto the next scene in our current story. The story does a pretty decent job, regarding to the likes of consulting just how people come across some dark thoughts partaking in violent films and how it can affect them mentally as well or struck a chord regarding their own personal life too. Well acted all round by the cast.

The finale of Censor… Meh. Some of the events that occur didn’t sit well with me, especially the last shot as you’re questioning… What is this all about?! Is it trying to mess with your head, claiming your still trying to consult if this is fictional or reality? Hard to make much of it.

Overall, Censor is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out.

Sisters on Track Grade: C+

Sisters on Track is a documentary centering around a trio of sisters known as The Sheppard sisters, whom rose from being in a homeless shelter into becoming 2016 Sports Illustrated Kids Athletes of the year. In this documentary we will follow the sisters into young adult territory, as a couple sisters train and study hard to get into a really good school as they prepare themselves for college, while trying to compete in The Junior Olympics.

Sisters on Track does a pretty good job in terms of rooting on the kids your documentary is centered around. The young group of girls are sweet and hard working, though they go through a couple behavioral bumps down the road, you still continue to root them on just by their circumstances and how they respond in terms of the mistakes they go through. It was also very heart warming encountering the track and field coach, whom is strictly dedicated in not only helping the sisters succeed on the field, but also off the field.

Visually this film didn’t do much for me at all as it looked basic. There is some elements within the documentary that needed to be explored more. With regards with the mother whom is striving to get a job, so she can help provide for the kids and the place she is currently in thanks to my G Tyler Perry… Not enough coverage surrounding that process at all, which is underwhelming considering it’s a big deal for not only the girls, but as well as the family as well. I mean having a home of their own means literally everything to this family and yet this film doesn’t bring on enough coverage, on a important element in order to with stand the expenses of living. I believe not enough coverage was on the littlest sister, as she honestly became rather absent in this film. Don’t get me wrong the other two sisters earned their coverage, as their future with regards to schooling and entering the hardships of teenage hood. However… I do believe the youngest of the pact should’ve gotten some spotlight at least.

Sisters on Track for me is fine enough to watch that’ll make you somewhat inspired and make you learn about the sport in general.

Overall, Sisters on Track was average. I recommend giving this a watch. -Mitch Smietana


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