• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 80; House Fancy (VanderPump Paris LV)


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


I want to discuss an experience I had out in Vegas, which so happens to be one of the main highlights of my week long vacation. Sure one would think I would talk about my Silk Sonic concert experience, which had me dancing the entire night away, thinking to myself if I had a date on that particular evening… My V-Card would’ve been thrown out the door. Sure one would I think I would talk about my experience I had over at the Vegas Golden Knights game with my homie Casey, of how my record at Golden Knights games is now 4-1. However: We’re not talking about those highlights of the trip. We’re gonna talk about a highlight in which is considered to be a high class rich fly guy experience, as I wanted to critique and tell the story of this once and a lifetime experience.


So a friend of mine by the name of Audrey wanted to arrange plans with me while I was in town. Legend has it: Audrey doesn’t hang out with just ANYBODY especially men, out of 3.97 billion men in the entire world… Audrey has only spent her precious time out with less than ten men in her entire lifetime, so you have to stand amongst the crowd as a man to hang out with one like Audrey. God has always made me confused about life in general… But Audrey being ecstatic in arranging plans with me?! That is a mystery in which I’ll never understand.


Anyhow: Audrey tried to pick apart my brain for a bit, in which she was trying to construct what shall we do during our time in the city?! What kind of food should we eat? What kind of activities shall we do for fun? This a tough task for someone like me: A person in which not only is a picky eater, but more so being a free spirited being in which doesn’t mind what we do so you can’t get a straight forward answer out of me. I’m a surprise me kind of guy, I feel the only goal one should achieve in wanting to deliver a good time or deliver a nice impression with me is to deliver an experience… Doesn’t have to necessarily be a grand spectacle, simply could be doing something I’ve never experience before.


Audrey came up with plans in which met my criteria of an experience: A Fancy French Lounge and Axe Throwing joined by our delightful Southern charming pal D’Mon. Audrey was determine to make a grand impression on me, as she most certainly met the criteria I was looking for, as I was really excited for this Saturday night out with my dear friends.

The day of: Axe throwing was canceled due to being extremely busy, caused by the many tourists whom came down to Vegas for St. Patrick's Day and of course March Madness. With Axe Throwing being out of the picture: For whatever reason Audrey was put into question, if the Fancy French Lounge wouldn’t be good enough or be in my kind of liking. As one can tell from my Instagram page and my common interests… I feel Audrey was afraid I would be let down, as the simple man approach shown on my Instagram page would fear I wouldn’t like what she had planned out. I tend to put in a fair amount of trust in all my friends, as if a friend describes a place to be “Iconic”... I take their word for it and let it roll, plus it was a place I’ve never experience before so I was looking forward to experiencing something new. We all agreed on the Fancy French Lounge, as off we go!


So I headed out on our original time we had in placed for us to meet over at the lounge, which was on the Las Vegas strip. I had in mind they were not going to be on time because the plans were at question, plus there a concept human beings have which is called them having a “Life”, so I have full understanding why they wouldn’t be on time. Plus I like adventuring on the strip: Keeps the mind at float, I love walking in general. Both Audrey and D’Mon had valid excuses why they weren’t on time, all is forgiven plus if you live in Vegas as long as I have, you would know being on time is a rare spectacle so… Who Cares.


So at 9 I headed over to Paris LV, where we would be spending a night out at Vanderpump. Apparently Vanderpump is based off a reality show… This makes a whole lot of sense why Audrey would pick this place, as she is a FAN GIRL of reality shows. I may not be into reality shows at all, however I appreciate the fact Audrey put in thought into a place that resembled her common interest, as you’re experiencing her world in a way… That’s very cool, most people don’t do this as they’re terrified in showing their true selves.


Vanderpump looked very lavish from an outside view, as there's an actual line you’d have to wait in order to come and drink/dine in. The interior design of the place t’was very fancy yet interesting, it kind of resembles something out of The Addams Family in the way. We got Rose Chandeliers working, we got a fancy red piano, we got a luxury booth in which was designed like a couch covered with pillows, we got some other intriguing props… Like shit this is F A N C Y! I was wondering why on earth was Audrey scared about taking me to this place?! Now this is an EXPERIENCE, this is what I’m looking for. Truth be told: I love going to places where there is an intention into dressing very nice, not often do I get to do this but when I do… I’m in pure joy.


About fifteen minutes of waiting, we get to our table as we’re greeted by a very nice waiter. This waiter was very informative about explaining almost every detail. From drinks, to food selections, to props and designs… Man’s was having a field day in being a tour guide, not to mention he checked up on our table every thirty seconds (Literally).


As expressed earlier one of the main attractions is the drinks, as one who doesn’t drink at all… I can not experience one of these high end lavish drinks, which didn’t bother me at all. My experience with drunk people has given me enough nightmares. Anyhow the waiter gives me a suggestion to try an Orange Gina: A Lavish Non Alcoholic drink that consists of Sprite and Orange Juice. I figure: Why not?


I tell ya: When they say the Drinks is the main attraction… They weren’t lying. The presentation of these drinks felt like a freaking show, from my friends alcoholic drinks, to my drink that was topped off with an orange slice dangling off the glass, to even the way our water were presented in these glasses with high end ice cubes… This is the type of fancy shit Drake would rap about in his songs, like Good Lord this was FREAKING COOL MANNNNNNN!


Where I feel Audrey felt afraid to take me to a place like this, felt understandable when it came to the menu consisting of food. The price range I care less especially where I’m being delivered an experience, so it’s understandable… But I could not understand a lick of these food options at all. The picky side of me was sweating, other than the dessert menu… This is a challenge. My friends picked a couple food items, while as the waiter explained there were sliders, I decided to give them a try.


You know while we were at this luxurious place: We folks we’re discussing real top of the line conversations. We talked about love, feelings, life, fitting the vibe of the place there was drama to be discussed, passions/goals we wanted to pursue, heck Audrey hit me with a job interview type question of what I wanted to do in 5 years. It was cool to get to know more about Audrey as a person, her stories and such were hilarious yet delightful as well.


So my friends ordered some kind of Bird Cage dish which consists of a cheese board of some kind… I kid you not, how it was presented resembled a bird cage. I mean this presentation… F A N C Y. Not only did this Bird Cage consist of fancy cheeses, but it’s also surrounded by grapes, black berries, honey, some crackers, and some almonds… F A N C Y! My friends felt like they were in that scene of Ratatouille, where Remy’s friend was experiencing the cheeses mixed with the fruits and such… Definitely was comparable to that vibe indeed. Didn’t consume the cheeses however the nuts and fruit were exquisite. Audrey got herself some kind of potato caviar dish as well, may not be up to par in presentation compared to the cage, however it looked very cool. Audrey was offended I didn’t try it, however you know the ole saying goes… It’s better for one to not like the same foods as you do, because that just means more for you.


As I was looking forward to consuming these sliders after experiencing a grand presentation, unfortunately I was informed that the buns of the sliders were infused with ketchup and mustard inside the buns. As one whom hates Mustard: This can not do as I had to cancel the order, as the waiter felt terrible that he didn’t know. As we hoped the lavish desserts would come and save the day… Unfortunately the waiter had forgotten what time the kitchen closes, so we couldn’t experience these high class desserts. I feel this has to be the biggest flaw for the waiter at hand: I feel it should be mandatory for the waiter to know what time the kitchen closes, considering the prices of the dishes so any order COUNTS! However all is forgiven considering the waiter being extremely nice (Which is uncommon for Vegas folks) and the experience I had.. Hard for me to be upset at all. Overall, I give Vanderpump a 7/10. I do recommend this place, it’s definitely an experience for the atmosphere and most certainly presentation of everything, if you want to make a great first impression on a date…. This is it fellahs.


D’Mon and Audrey felt bad as they took me out to In N Out after, which I highly appreciated that very much so, as I’m extremely grateful for everything they’ve done for me that night. Shouts out D’Mon continuing his impressive run of being a top caliber friend… That man is determined for greatness and doesn’t let up one bit. Be sure to check out D’Mon radio show KRLV Unnecessary Roughness, covering all your Las Vegas Raiders needs, can be found on Apple Podcast app. Shouts out Audrey for everything: Truly delivered an experience and met beyond expectations, I’m grateful and thank you especially for this grand opportunity as well. I wish you many success and best of luck on a certain area in your life, hope that all works out for ya b.


As D’Mon would brag and talk his shit, “You ain’t never been taken out to a place like this!”... Damn straight fam, damn straight. Time to talk about movies!

Lucy and Desi Grade: B+


I can’t be the only after watching this documentary film, is actually reconsidering my original grade for Being the Ricardos… Sure has made that film significantly worse.


Amy Poehler continues to progress as a film maker within each film. First starting off with a comedic dud with Wine Country, then improving with an average film Moxie that actually showed promise from Poehler, now with this documentary film Lucy and Desi… Continued progression each and every entry, as this is by far her best work yet.


Lucy and Desi is an intriguing yet satisfying documentary centered around the Queen and King of Television, while being the most famous couple in Hollywood. We learn a great amount of information not only about them together, but the individuals themselves, from their childhoods, humble beginnings, then rose to fame and glory.

What I enjoyed most about this documentary is the film treats as if they’re fans of both icons, as the film doesn’t point the blame of how the marriage failed or pictures one being the bad guy. It takes a consistent approach in showing the real life story of these well accomplished individuals, while sharing a great amount of appreciation for one another.


Lucy and Desi really made Television as big as what it is today, from delivering us many our beloved Television shows that go beyond I Love Lucy, as truth be told they even started the term “Re-Runs” as well.


My only issue really is one speaker tried to force unnecessary politics into the story. Especially the one term Mansplained… Who invited her?!


Overall, Lucy and Desi t’was a pretty good documentary film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Amazon Prime, I especially recommend this over Being the Ricardos too.

Windfall Grade: B


Sad Boy breaks into a rich billionaire’s home, hoping to secure the bag in a hostage like situation… Interesting.


Windfall may not be high art or the best hostage film you’ve ever seen, however I will say for the ninety minute run time it fulfills it’s moral purpose in providing an engaging story from start to finish. All the performances were all solid by the entire cast, I will say Jesse Plemons out shines the rest of the cast as he plays a pretty good soulless jerkoff Billionaire.


Windfall does have a couple really neat striking moments in the third act, more so what happens with the gardener. What impresses me about the brutal striking moments at hand is how it’s handled extremely well, without really over doing it in terms of violence but more so blood. I also enjoyed what goes on in the finale between the married couple, as it makes clear sense why one would act in a way, after experiencing ones lack of emotion in hearing what could be devastating news to someone they love oh so much and especially wanting to start a family.


My biggest issue with this film is most certainly the main character played by Jason Segel, in terms of motivation towards this hostage situation. I wouldn’t have much of a problem if the film remained consistent, to where it’s a complete mystery why this stranger is trying to rob this man out of a large amount of money. But unfortunately considering the ending and all where it does indeed reveal some kind of truth, to his moral intentions in executing this plan… Now it brings up a bunch of question marks, as I would’ve rather it be a mystery as we let the audience think for themselves.


Overall, Windfall was solid. I recommend checking this one out, don’t expect to be blown away by any means, just expect a nice ninety minutes of your time.

Umma Grade: C


Umma was one of the two theatrical trips I’ve made while in Vegas, this film wasn’t playing near where I lived so I figured I get it out of the way. I wasn’t really expecting much with Umma, as the poster and not so good reviews had me fear this would be a typical bad horror film.


Umma was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. What impressed me the most about Umma is the fact this film had something meaningful to say, in terms of understanding our parents and showing a bit more sympathy. Like at times as young children, we give our parents a tough go around due to the fact the way they parent could perhaps be harsh in some degree. However what we don’t clearly understand is the fact they really are trying the best they can, as we don’t really know what their upbringing was like that possibly effect their emotional estate.


One of the Ten Commandments is honoring thy mother and father, as with this film it tries to make us understand the true value of that term, as we need to be a little more understandable towards our parents. Sure Amanda’s (Sandra Oh) parenting is a little bit extreme as she refuses for her daughter Chris (Fivel Stewart) to go to college or refuse to have electricity in the house, as Chris spends so much time in the house that she lacks social skills with other beings. But as we learn about Amanda’s upbringing with her own mother: We clearly understand compare and contrast mothering skills, Amanda is doing a terrific job, even as she’s haunted by a traumatizing past that did involved an electrical wire. The dramatic side of this film actually clicked with me, I felt it had something meaningful to say as it was handled pretty matured, which was a surprise.


What killed Umma for me was the fact this film is a horror film. I felt horror aspect of this film to be really weak, felt like a typical standard jump scare kind of horror film. It does weigh down this film quite a bit, the CGI moments of these entities designs were really bad… I mean what was the deal with that CGI fox like creature?! That was completely random, unnecessary, and it looked awful.


Umma does deal with some logic issues, especially the whole “No Electricity” aspect, as considering how honey is made… I don’t know I couldn’t buy into it all working out.

Overall, Umma was just ok. I would wait for this film when it hits rental or streaming, it definitely has something worth of use to say, as you know what?! I appreciate my parents even more after watching this, as that commandment makes a whole lot of sense. -Mitch Smietana


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