• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 75: Life is All About an Experience


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


You know what’s crazy?! I’ve lived in my area of Florida for a good year, yet I have not made a trip to my local beach… That’s crazy. Like majority of people would kill to be live by a beach, considering I’m from Vegas, all the Vegas folks have always say all that missing was a beach to make Las Vegas a perfect city. I feel the way society is designed now a days: We don’t take advantage of pure beauty the world has to offer from God. Like we’re all so caught up in our jobs, our phones, our social media, our celebrities we follow… That we sometimes forget to actually live. I feel when people hear the word “Live” now a days, that get depressed because the meaning of the word lost meaning because they forgotten how to live outside of the workplace and outside of their electronic devices.

I feel the true essence of living is to have an experience. Step outside of that comfort zone in which influences one mind to not go outside of an office space, a couch, your bedroom, and actually make an effort in exploring the world around you. The thing is man: We’re all going to go home someday and that day will indeed be beautiful, however while you’re here… Don’t be that person who gets to go home, then rewatch your entire life, as you realize… You didn’t do jack shit. Don’t reflect while you were alive you cared about work alone, cared about pictures that were posted online, cared about tweets that were posted, cared about what was shown on ones stories, cared about celebrities lives to the point where you not only forget your own life but forget about the lives of others around you… Don’t be this person, these kinds of people are lost and shouldn’t be heavily influenced upon others like the media tries to enforce day in and day out.


Yesterday: I finally woke up early and headed over to my local beach. I love bike riding man, I prefer it over driving in a car because… You get more of an experience out of it. Within that experience, you take the full advantage of the blessing you have of having legs and feet. Often enough I get criticized or made fun of for walking long ways or bike riding long ways. I get confused because what is the point of it all?! The fact that I take full advantage of my blessing the way it’s suppose to be used… I don’t get it and maybe it’s the fact human beings have forgotten, life is suppose to be meant to having an experience. Plus with all the “Climate Activists” out there… How come none of those “Activists” actually ride a bike or walk everywhere, rather than ride cars or private jets for that matter?! I get human beings lack consistency, but lord if you’re going to stand for something… Be consistent.


Anyhow as I was riding my bike there, I was loving the feel riding along the sidewalks as the music is blasting in my ears. As I finally encounter the bridge leading to the beach, I had to walk my bike over the bridge where it had a sidewalk to offer. It was quite a walk over the bridge leading there, it was like being on an incline on a treadmill. Finally off the bridge and man oh man: I made it to the beach. I then parked my bike at the place I was later going to have lunch at, as I headed over to the beach.

I enjoy long walks on the beach, especially music in my ears. I played The Weeknd’s new album Dawn FM walking along the waters and I was in pure peace. I thought to myself while having this experience: Why don’t I do this more often?! All this time wasted being on my phone which does increase your chances of enduring depression/suicide tendencies, I should instead be having more experiences like this that make you want to live more. Long walks on the beach or being on the beach can really help heal your mind, heart, and soul as you can truly appreciate life around you. I then had a really good lunch at The Whale, where I would grub on Smoked Wings and Fried Shrimp.


So I think it’s best to say: In order to achieve in bettering ourselves, we need to put the phone/computer down and go after having an experience with the world around you. Doesn’t always have to be nature even though exploring nature more than often brings peace, it can be things you enjoy or things you are often curious about and want to experience for the first time. Try to do something new every single week, as little as experiencing a new film at theater or experiencing a new food establishment for the first time… Just have an experience. Let’s talk about movies!

The Wasteland (2022) Grade: B

First film of 2022 happens to a Netflix original horror film from Spain The Wasteland.


The Wasteland gives 2022 in cinema a nice start, as I felt this horror film was nice. The film is centered around this family, whom is heavily isolated in this house in the middle of nowhere, as they can not go above their horizons because there is war. So this family pretty much keeps themselves in this small area, that way no harm can be done to them, as they are away from civilization.


The film does a simple effective job, on how isolation can actually bring a war within yourself. Too much isolation can really be really dangerous to ones mental health, as you can put yourself in depression along with suicide tendencies, which the father in this film Salvador (Roberto Alamo) has experienced as he sees an entity. Sure isolation can prevent majority of harm from the world, however too much isolation can cause harm within yourself due to the fact too much isolation is not good for your mental estate… I’m sure many of you have come accustom with “Health Experts” claiming this is the safest way to go about life, but it isn’t, it’s a recipe for disaster and insanity like this family.


Although the mother Lucia (Inma Cuesta) one may question why doesn’t she see this entity until after her husband leaves?! Well the thing is: I believe Lucia felt secure with her husband in the house, as the isolation didn’t bother her much at all, because her husband took care of mostly everything. Whether it be her needs, gardening, hunting… She felt safe with her husband mostly. Now with her husband gone… Lucia slowly endures the pain her husband suffered with. She now has to handle many difficult tasks around her, which the stress will then eventually lead her to encountering this entity. It’s simply done and straight forward, as it was easy to comprehend what the film maker was trying to express.


Issues I have with it was were pacing issues, as it can get a little slow here and there. Some of the jump scare elements were a but cheesy for me, I also felt the horror element could’ve been improved as well.


Overall, The Wasteland was solid. I recommend checking this one out on Netflix.

Brazen (2022) Grade: D-


According to this film: Every single Cam girls catch phrase is “That’s All For Now”... Did this film even tried doing any research of Cam girls, before making this film?!

Brazen felt like a film that was heavily inspired from TV crime shows, only the film maker has no idea how to make it effectively. Like the whole “Mystery” portion of finding out who is the killer and what the motive might’ve been, is not only blatantly obvious as far as whom the killer is, but the motive… HUH?! I don’t know what the killers mind was at when the reveal came about, but it is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time.


The Cinematography was pretty lousy and of course was very TVish looking. But the shots where it featured the Cam girls sequences, more so Grace (Alyssa Milano) mimicking a cam girl so she can lead the killer onto her… Atrocious. Almost felt as if Alyssa Milano wanted scenes where she can show off her body to the audience, as it felt like a serious mid life crisis moment, just flat out awful to watch.


The main character Grace is poorly written because how this character is develop has no development. Grace is just a perfect being, a perfect writer, and can be a crime investigator off the street as no one questions her experience as she’s brought on board because she’s perfect and a know it all… This is really bad written character, that is flat out boring just like this story. There is no twist nor surprises, everything is established to where you know where everything is going, as you question why should we care about anything that is going on in this story?!


Overall, Brazen is GARBAGE! I don’t recommend this film, go watch Cam or watch Jezebel (2019), films that are good films about cam girls.

Mass (2021) Grade: A-


Mass has been on my radar for quite sometime, missed a chance to see this in a theater due to being out of town. I wished I left Vegas earlier and saw this in a theater… Mass one of the best films of the year of 2021.


First off: The performances in this film were fantastic as a whole, my only complaint really was Ann Dowd as sometimes her accents shift back and forth, so that was really it. As Wes on Letterboxd would say “A Movie So Good, That I forgot Everyone was acting” as that’s the best way to describe the performances… These actors get completely lost within their characters, as the audience felt they actually were real people handling an actual real situation like this. Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, and Reed Birney were all terrific, delivering many incredible sequences of rage and emotion as you feel the pain these characters are enduring towards this event.


The story at hand takes place in all in one setting, in a room in a church hall. Basically it’s two couples whom endured a great amount of pain towards the deaths of their two kids, as you learn from the perspective of the family whom lost their child caused by the murderer, and the family whom lost their child by suicide however caused harm by killing the other family’s child and many others. The film doesn’t want you to take sides in any way, the film wants you to understand as we often times lack compassion towards the families, who’s child committed these horrible events as it’s honestly very shameful. Like we totally understand everyone’s pain rightfully so, however does it ever occur to you that the families who’s children go through with these horrible acts of violence, aren’t hurting too?! Like I’m pretty sure majority of them never wanted any of this to happen and often enough prevented from this to happen is not as easier as it seems, a lot of parents do the best they can but unfortunately the demons inside the child’s mind cause by bullying and more so isolation from the internet bring them out.

The great sequences of brilliant dialogue displayed, as it honestly teaches the viewer about humanity as a whole, at times the thing we want to received from tragedy aren’t always the best way to heal ourselves. The best recipe is really trying to have a better understanding for one another, try to create effective communication, and learning how to forgive and move forward… The best way to move forward especially towards the circumstance of tragedy. If you love films like 12 Angry Men, this film will definitely be a treat for you, as it breaks waves into the genre.

Overall, Mass was an excellent film. I highly recommend checking this one out, can be available to rent from ITunes, Amazon, and more. -Mitch Smietana


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