• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 68; Hand Me Down Furniture Road Trip to Vegas


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


On Friday October 29th, 2021 me and my mother went on a road trip, from Florida to Vegas. The purpose of this road trip is to deliver hand me down furniture and other materialistic items… For those wondering why not just sell the furniture and buy new furniture for whatever house we’re dropping this off to?! I don’t get it either, so don’t ask


Anyhow we traveled 2,461 miles as we experience new sites along the way. From Florida, to Alabama, to Mississippi, to Louisiana, to Texas, to New Mexico, to Arizona, and finally to Vegas. It took a good four whole days, four hotel nights, six meals, $700+ worth of gas (The West Coast was the worst regarding pricing), and a morning to achieve this mission at hand.


The question that is asked: Was it worth it?! Financially speaking: BWHAHAHAAHAHA NOOOOOPE! Time speaking: Eh, not really. I think my favorite moment of that entire trip was Day 2, where we were driving at the end of Louisiana and onto Texas. In this particular moment we were literally driving at night in the middle of nowhere, where it’s pretty much a ghost town, abandoned businesses and abandoned houses. It’s a pitch black road, as the headlights flashed onto the trees that looked familiar to a horror like film setting, I mostly thought of Silent Hill. For some reason: I found a great amount of humor within this moment, because all I could think of is how terrifying this looks visually. My mother was on the verge of crying by how terrified she was, thinking of the worst case scenarios at hand. While I’m in the passenger side, just laughing my ass off while we drive down this long dark abandoned road at hand. It’s amazing how human beings view and react to things differently, I don’t know why that was my favorite moment of the trip, but it’s definitely the one moment where I laughed the most.


From this journey, I did however learned a lesson. I believe one main lesson I received out of this whole journey across the globe, is that questions you have within regards to life, can be answered if you actually make a valid effort to search for it yourselves. When I say “Search for it”, I don’t mean lay back in your own home and search it on the web, I actually mean search for it meaning going to the source in person.


A lot of my curiosity surrounding the world I live on, was simply answered while traveling in just seven states. Questions regarding meat consumption for example: How can we have all these places that sell meat?! While traveling in the Southern states: It’s ridiculous how many farms and ranches there are, where it features a great amount of cattle eating grass alongside of the road. Especially while traveling around Texas… I never realized just how HUGE Texas is, till I was traveling on the road. I think Texas within itself could feed just half of the country itself, it’s ridiculous how huge that state is, literally took us a full day to travel it all together.


Another question I have is why there is an obesity problem in the country?! While traveling on the road: Almost on every single stop, it featured unhealthy fast food options. I was extremely stunned by how many fast food joints were placed on my travels, especially the repetitiveness in which each exit almost had exactly the same spots. It’s no wonder why we have such a health issue in this country, like I think I’ve only seen maybe a few healthy joints along my travels out of the thousands of places at hand?! Not saying it’s a bad thing to eat at these places, nothing wrong with having it once and a great while. But it does explain the ongoing health issue going on in the country and why many people have a difficult time choosing to eat healthy… It’s kind of difficult where your options only highlight the shit food.


One last question of mine at hand: How bad is the labor shortage at hand?! I kid you not: Upon every single exit, literally 95% of places were hiring. I’ve seen banners at restaurants, gas stations, fast food places, other businesses, and what’s even crazier is I’ve seen A LOT of digital and physical billboards showcasing their businesses were hiring… The Labor Shortage is Shockingly terrible.


It’s amazing how when you actually make a valid effort to go out of your way and physically go to the source, to where you question the world around you… You get the answers. It felt more rewarding than just searching it up online, because you don’t really fully understand from just looking it up online, you literally need to be there to fully understand it all yourself. I believe if humanity would just not go by assumptions from what they hear or see on the web, as they go by to what they’re experiencing in front of them physically… You’ll find a much greater truth, than ever before, that’s all it takes.


It was quite relaxing experiencing the great amount of land I was seeing. I prefer the Southern side of the world, there’s so much Green, the architecture of the buildings and houses are magnificent, heavily believers of Christ as you see many Churches and billboards spreading the Gospel, plus it’s a land that influences the mind to explore more beyond your horizon… It’s a comforting feel. Well hopefully my father, my sister, my brother in-law, and my little niece appreciates the amount of effort spent delivering the hand me down furniture at hand. Hopefully my stay in Vegas will be enjoyable, a Mitch just wants to have fun and be around bad tings… Let’s Talk About Movies!!!

Hypnotic Grade: D+

From the film makers whom brought you one of the worst horror films in the history of Netflix The Open House, surprisingly comes back with another horror film with Hypnotic! One may asked considering The Open House was the worst film of 2018, why even bother checking this out?! Well fortunately for the film makers I had no idea this was made by them, I just saw this film popped up and thought… Ok!

Thankfully these film makers have redeemed themselves, as Hypnotic is a major improvement from The Open House. I thought the whole horror aspect of hypnotherapy is pretty cool, as hypnotherapy when in the wrong hands can be extremely terrifying to think about having no control of your mind whatsoever. There’s a couple fair sequences of horror, including the elevator shot especially in the beginning.

Hypnotic however does feel like watching a LifeTime Television film. The predictability of this film was very noticeable, as you can see things coming from a mile away. The acting in this film from a cast perspective wasn’t at all good, some very laughable acting sequences. I felt this film should’ve developed the characters Jenn (Kate Siegel) and her ex fiancé Brian (Jamie M. Callica), that way the audience can get a better connection of the past relationship and feel the fall out especially.

As for Jenn: I’m not sure why is that she went under hypnotherapy in the first place. The thing with Jenn wasn’t about having fear of any kind, Jenn was feeling a lack of motivation to pick herself up from her lost. So I don’t really get the whole “I should try hypnotherapy” from Jenn, I just feel she needed a motivational speaker if we’re completely honest.

Overall, Hypnotic wasn’t terrible, but not good. I wouldn’t recommend this film, hats off to the film makers for improving their craft, surely the’re on pace to make a good film in no time!

Ailey Grade: C+

Ailey is centered around a well known dancer Alvin Ailey, whom held his own dancing studio in New York, performing many shows across the globe. This film not only tells the story of his life, but also goes behind the scenes of a dance dedicated to his own life as well.

I for one am not great at dancing but enjoy dancing time to time when I can, actually have a breakout hit dancing video on YouTube “White Kid Jerking”… The glory days of my youth.

Watched Ailey while on the road and I could say it was a slightly intriguing documentary, as for one not really into the art of dancing. Learning about Alvin Ailey’s life was intriguing and somewhat inspiring as well, as one whom is dedicated in the art of dancing and followed through with his dream despite people making fun of him and the pay is not at all great. If one wants to pursue in dancing, one must know you’re intentions in pursuing it is because you enjoy the art as a passion and nothing more.

Since I wasn’t into dancing at all… Ailey didn’t really elevated my interest in dancing at all. It’s a partially interesting documentary that left me kind of undesired if we’re being honest, was more interested in Alvin’s life than I was with the dancing ordeal. Plus the dance dedicated in his honor… Didn’t care much for it.

Overall, Ailey was perfectly fine. I recommend checking this one out, it’s a neat little documentary.

Language Lessons Grade: B+

I always know I’m in for something new, when Mark Duplass is involved with the project, whether it be directing, writing, or even acting… It’s going to be something new.

Language Lessons takes place mostly on FaceTime calls and self recorded videos taken on IPhone, centering around a Spanish lesson class. Where one might not think much of the premise, however it somehow manages to be a pretty effective rom com, that isn’t necessarily romantic however it’s does develop an unusual bond that focuses on two broken and unstable beings.

Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales are magical together, as their chemistry on screen is out of this world, as you believe in the connection between the two. Both characters have fun persona’s, however when it comes to being in difficult situations that are indeed heartbreaking… They have a struggling time in managing it all together.

The story itself is extremely well written, as though not much is happening per say as far as entertainment value, you are heavily invested in these two characters and what goes on in their personal lives. This film makes a case how human beings are more willing to give help to others, however when it comes to receiving help from others… Not so much. I heavily related to that as I would always make my way to help others, however I would never want to receive help as I handle my own problems at hand. I believe it’s more of a pride issue, we like to think we got it all together and can make way to helping those that don’t have it so well, when in reality we need help just like them.

The film does a great job being accurate to how these FaceTime calls work, whether it be sound wise or visual wise. Sometimes the film can get a bit slow here and there, also didn’t really enjoy the whole race moments as I felt it was forced and was not needed at all.

Overall, Language Lessons is a pretty damn good film. I recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana


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