• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 62; First Week of School


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Well school is back in session for the new school year! Hope all kids attending public school, private school, charter school, magnet school, dual enrollment school, or if you’re going home schooled y’all have a great school year. To all the parents, grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, and older siblings… Make sure to not only check up on the children you're raising or living with in your household, but to be there to care and to be sincere when they are willing to open up about the problems they encounter, while attending school or handling life in general.


First week of school always feels like a drag of some sort. Got to rearrange your sleeping schedule, have to go out of your way to spend a good couple hundred on supplies and such, and have to deal with the exhaustion of spending a good six-eight hour day at a place you have no desire to be at whatsoever… Makes ya think it’s preparing you for the meaningless lifestyle known as the workforce. From 8th grade to freshman year I skipped the first week of school to attend a family reunion out in Buffalo. When I resume attending the first week of school come Sophomore Year… I instantly regret it, due to a very traumatizing experience with my History teacher.


It’ll all happened in my history class led by Ms. Owen. The class experience can be described as serious yet playful. The playfulness of the class came from my fellow classmates. There were a few friends dating all the way back to my middle school days Daeqwaun, Justin, and Matan. I would have a friend of mine whom we discuss Chicago Bears football with from time to time Rodney. I would also meet my high school best friend at the time Lily. The majority of classmates I had in the class had outgoing personalities, however when it came to their studies… They could care less. The only students in that class that actually cared were myself and this one cute girl, which me and her would be top 2 grade wise in that class.


The seriousness of the class came from Ms. Owen. I can describe her as having a pretty tough persona, who never cared to express a smile of any kind, enjoyed politics, and she loved her country. Her persona may not make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud filled with rainbows, however she seemed like a decent person from my first expression of her introduction. Ms. Owen expressed in order to pass her class, all you had to do was do the assignments and that was it… Nothing more than that.


So on a Wednesday, second period, on my third day of school in Ms. Owen’s class, it’s the time period in which we got off from our desks and said the pledge of allegiance… It may shock you to know not a single student in the class was bothered by doing this. In tradition of me doing the pledge of allegiance: I usually end by saluting to the American flag, to honor my cousin who is in the military. As the pledge of allegiance was coming to a close, I took my right hand in a straight position, holding it up against the right side of my head, as I said “With Liberty and Justice for All” as I then saluted the flag.


Ms. Owen took note of my saluting the American flag gesture, as I believe she caught the end of it. I say this because what caused her to throw a temper tantrum against me was she believed I was making a mockery of the flag, as she thought I was doing the “Heil Hitler” salute. Why I believe she caught the end of it, because anyone knows when doing the Heil Hitler salute… The Gesture is started from the chest, not the head. My hand was nowhere near the chest and I damn well know I would never make a gesture that was represented by pure evil, it goes against my cousin, my country, and even my religious faith.


As Ms. Owen witnessed the end of my gesture… She immediately got up from her desk, ran up near me and started screaming at me. While screaming at me, her whole rant was nothing but degrading insults on my character and full of whack assumptions that I was this Anti American person. From the beginning of her screaming at me, my body went into a full shock as I was completely confused on what was going on?! As the tantrum followed: It brought my mind to a full traumatic state, as the screaming brought my mind back to times where I was mentally/physically abused as a child. I broke down in tears as I was repeatedly saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” though knowing I wasn’t in the wrong… It didn’t matter as I just wanted it to stop. As I’m crying, my body was shaking. I was completely terrified that this teacher was going to hit me of some kind because in my past… That was the norm when I was verbally assaulted.


Some friends of mine encountering this moment in the classroom found humor of me getting verbally assaulted and crying, however… I felt devastated. Knowing Ms. Owen for a couple days and expressing her anger on me… I understand why she reacted, however from reacting on just assumption alone because anyone with a brain understands my honorable gesture… This is inexcusable to react the way she did. If she felt I was doing something as vile as a Heil Hitler gesture, my suggestion would’ve been for her to call me out, ask me to step out of the classroom to talk and just to clarify if I did such a thing like that. I would’ve told her my salute gesture was for my cousin in the military, as she would gladly thank my cousin for his service, as she was just making sure she didn’t think what she thought she saw from my gesture.


For someone to not have any college education, compared to one that has 4-6 years under her belt… How in the world did I think of a better way to handle a problem more effectively, than handle a problem where you could’ve potentially caused a great amount of harm in one's mental health?! For one that is in the profession of taking an oath to honor the integrity of the safety, well being, and education for children.. How in the world did you not know how to handle a situation like this, knowing damn well you worked your whole life to be the most effective in these kinds of situations?! I feel a great amount of embarrassment… This kind of behavior done on children can be dangerous, I don’t care what age I was, you have no idea what any of these kids are going through and this moment could become a breaking point for them, you can’t allow this to happen.


I was hoping to get switched out of her classroom, for the safety of my well being. However, the next day… Ms. Owen took me out of the classroom and apologized to me. I accepted the apology, as within the week I felt a little more comfortable being in the class. Ms. Owen is lucky that we weren’t living in an era, where human beings record everything around us, because of course if that temper tantrum was recorded… It would’ve gone viral and her job would be gone.


Though I was extremely disappointed in her response… I didn’t want her to lose her job over this. All I wanted was a sincere apology and I did get just that, so all is well. Unlike my friends: I don’t find joy in people’s pain nor failures. I know she failed at this moment, but we all make mistakes in life, as we should never be defined by our mistakes or should we be completely erased out of life because of our fuck ups. It’s important that we move forward and hope they progress as a person, as I believed Ms. Owen after this moment did just that, there were times where I expressed a joke here and there and she took it like a champ. Well I guess all I gotta say is: Don’t attend the first week of school, go have a week to yourself before the storm… Let’s talk about movies!

The Last Letter From Your Lover Grade: B-

From the director of A24’s Comedy film Never Goin Back, shifts into a new direction with a romantic drama film in The Last Letter From Your Lover.

The main issue I have with The Last Letter From Your Lover, is due to the fact our main character Jennifer (Shailene Woodley) believes a character is dead because her husband Lawerence (Joe Alwyn) told her so. As Jennifer recollects her memory of her past lover, one must tend to question why Jennifer would take Lawerence’s word knowing damn well he doesn’t want her near him?! Knowing a guy like Lawerence, you tend to question just how reliable his word would be?! Felt odd that Jennifer would believe him.

The Last Letter From Your Lover follows a pretty basic formula for a romantic drama film. You get the feels from the romantic pair in Jennifer and Anthony (Callum Turner), as you feel the lows when they are apart. I think the whole solving the mystery side with Ellie (Felicity Jones), as she’s passionate about the letters as she tries to puzzle what might’ve happened to a romantic pair, who would write passionate love letters to each other?! I’m not so big of a fan of Ellie’s romantic side plot as it felt cheesy and weird, but at least the audience can relate to Ellie that finds admiration towards true love and such. Solid cast as a whole, enjoyed the performances.

Overall, The Last Letter From Your Lover was decent. I recommend checking this one out, it’s on Netflix.

He’s All That Grade: F

I’ve never seen 1999’s She’s All That, however if I did… Maybe I would be furious by how they butchered it, I can trust after seeing this film that they butchered that film for sure.

I struggled immensely to find one single positive thing to say about He’s All That, however I finally came up with one positive… There are gorgeous women in this film. You know the ole saying right?! Life can be one miserable ass experience, however sometimes a bad ting can make it all worth living… So at least there’s at?!

He’s All That is the most miserable experience in film of 2021, I would’ve said of all 2021 alone however that would be an insult to the horrors of the Biden administration so let’s not get carried away. The storyline of a social media influencer losing followers because she was caught on a live stream, catching her boyfriend cheating on her, as now there is a bet in place that she must grant a makeover to an antisocial camera nerd, in order to retrieve her followers back… Why would Miramax, a film company that has had a reputation to produce dope films, would attach their name to something as repulsive as this storyline?!

From the opening of Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae), doing a live stream answering questions about makeup… I could tell I was walking into a living nightmare, as that’s exactly what this was. Everything about this film doesn’t work, it’s visually horrendous, the music is atrocious, don’t get me started about the acting, the characters are all awful and lifeless pawns, and the story is completely meaningless.

The romantic side of this story does not make you feel anything, while watching Padgett and Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) as I question why are these two together?! Padgett is boring, most to all social media influencers are dreadfully boring human beings just like Padgett. Cameron is an artsy fartsy photographer that likes horses and hates people… YOU CAN’T MAKE A CONNECTION WITH THESE TWO?! I don’t get what Cameron saw in Padgett or brought him to be attracted to her, maybe he’s been in that photo room and in those horse stalls for so long he forgot what a woman looks like perhaps. How about Padgett and Cameron’s friends getting together?! “Hey cool dress!” “Thanks!” *End of the Movie* “Hey we got together wooh hoo!”... The amount of laziness is appalling.

The comedy side is blank, it’s nowhere to be found. At least The Kissing Booth franchise made you laugh, but with He’s All That my face showed no expression as my soul was slowly dying inside. Can someone explain to me, why there is an ongoing joke of one talking over the intercom?! Every time that joke appeared, I screamed at the television “WOULD YOU SHUT UP?!” It didn’t make me laugh the first time, it won’t make me laugh the last time.

The acting… If Addison Rae does not receive a Razzie for this performance, I will be offended. Addison Rae’s performance is one of the worst displays of acting I’ve seen in a long damn time. This performance is worse than Tommy Wiseau in The Room, this performance is worse than Sam Mraovich in Ben and Arthur… Who lied to this woman and said she’s got potential to be an actress?! I’m sitting there watching Addison Rae attempting to act, in some crucial moments in this storyline… She looks entirely lost, as her line delivery is jaw dropping level of terrible. This performance makes me upset for all the up and coming actors/actresses, living off ramen noodles and living in a shitty apartment, busting their asses hoping to catch their big break when all they get casted for is being an extra and being in no budget student films… I apologize to all of them experiencing this performance, that’s not fair. Addison Rae could perhaps be a good person in real life… But I have no idea how the hell they let her be a leading actress in a movie, without having 0 experience… No one can tell me after watching this film, she’s ever acted in a school play or has had any lessons, there’s no way.

He’s All That reminds me how grateful you are that you are done with school long ago. Watching these kids in this school, how they socialize and operate life on a daily basis… No wonder why parents nowadays say kids got it more rough than ever, this is a freaking nightmare. Can we all demand that films that have a sequence, that is being placed on Prom Night… TO STOP CREATING A FALSE NARRATIVE OF A SCHOOL DANCE?! These dances these kids are doing on Prom night in this film… NOBODY DANCES LIKE THAT! Lady Bird and Sing Street got it right portraying a school dance, these films nowadays make me angry with their false portrayals of a school dance… This film makes me angry.

Overall, He’s All That is one of the worst films of the year. I don’t recommend this film, I also don’t recommend Tik Tok in which this film is continually promoted… Tik Tok is nothing but pure evil and I’m glad that I never got involved with that app.

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal, and Greed Grade: B

I believe my first discovery of Bob Ross was when he was mocked in a Family Guy episode… Which made me believe while watching this documentary, there'll be a moment where Bob Ross gets into an altercation about his paintings.

Bob Ross compares to the likes of Mister Rogers: A Respectful, Kind, Well Mattered Spirit. As you encounter old footage of Bob Ross speaking on his show or just interviews, you can tell his spirit is extremely wholesome as he enjoys what he does for a living not because of money but because of the profession he pursued. It was pretty sweet getting to know Bob Ross as he was portrayed the same way off screen as he was on screen.

Jimmy Fallon was upset this film was released and the reason why is the fact it exposed the people behind the television networks, as they are nothing but greedy beings that lack a soul of any kind, one may say that’s exactly who Fallon works for. Encountering those who gave Bob Ross a spotlight known as The Kowlaski’s, at first things were fine as Bob Ross appreciated them giving him an opportunity to do what he loves. However, as time goes on… The relationship between two as you would think would correlate to the spirit of the television show, was not a relationship at all, as Bob Ross was nothing more than a pawn to these people. It’s upsetting what Ross’ family and co-workers had to endure with The Kowlaski’s, especially the fact they didn’t inform them about Bob Ross’ funeral. Pretty shady stuff, as they profited millions of dollars off the name, leaving Bob’s son Steve barely if not seeing a penny of that money.

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents , Betrayal, and Greed may not be the picture perfect documentary people would’ve love to see from a kind genuine being, however I felt the conclusion despite all the shadiness involved provided a wonderful lesson… It’s not always about money that is important, it’s about learning to love oneself and find happiness along the journey, to do something you truly love.

Overall, Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal, and Greed was a solid documentary. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Netflix.

Vacation Friends Grade: D

Ah yes Vacation Friends: A Film about a normal pair encountering an abnormal crazy pair, as I’ve seen a plot line used in film 1,000 times before.

What’s weird about Vacation Friends is the fact I felt this film does have a good message?! The film expresses the fact to be more open with your soul with others, as though their outside appearance or what they do for a living may not live up to your high standards, however if you give them a chance… They can surprise you, as you could receive a great friend along the way.

I believe the purpose in Vacation Friends is to deliver a laugh out comedy, featuring comedic actor Lil Rel Howery and likehearted actor John Cena… Which Vacation Friends failed immensely at that. There may be one or two quick chuckles, besides that the comedy material of this film feels completely outdated due to the fact we’ve seen comedies like this done thousands of times before. I guess the whole “LOOK AT ME, I’M CRAZY” expressed from the couple has gotten old, as I just didn’t find much of it funny, in fact I got annoyed with it. I didn’t enjoy much of the characters at all, especially this coming around comedic relief character Gabe (Andrew Bachelor) whom is a fake tough guy, coming out for Marcus (Lil Rel Howery)... I’d sock him in the face too, this character is so stupid.

The vibe of this film felt stupid. I mean the conclusion of this film speaks for itself… A Commercial advertisement for a restaurant chain Waffle House and looking at the poorly done set in the finale makes this film feel entirely fake. Vacation Friends doesn’t offend me or make me angry, it’s just one of those comedies in which you can’t find much humor in it at all, so the entire run time you feel quite bored with this major studio property film. I’m actually kind of glad HULU made sure this film didn’t get out in theaters… It would’ve bombed immensely, but who knows people enjoy crap nowadays.

Overall, Vacation Friends t’was a bad film. I don’t recommend this film, I can’t believe there’s going to be a sequel for this called Honeymoon Friends… God helps us all. -Mitch Smietana


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