• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 84; A Brief Moment, Changes an Entire Life


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


Have you ever had a moment in your life, where the moment at hand though was quick and brief, played such a significant impact on your life, to the point if that moment had never occurred… Your whole life drastically changes completely?!


I think about this one moment at hand ten years ago, in the middle of May near the end of my Sophomore Year. Me and my crush Maleni planned out a get together at her house for swimming at her complex. I was really looking forward to actually spending time together outside of school, considering the fact I really liked her and I REALLY wanted to get into a relationship with her. There was a lot of hype and anticipation for this get together, heck even my classmates and friends were all hyping it up… It was a big deal for me, especially considering the fact we were supposed to go out and see The Avengers not too long ago, as this time around it’s going to happen for real!


So it was that Friday, as I quickly gathered my stuff to swim at Maleni’s as I headed out the house. I was dropped off at her house, as I went up to the front door and rang the doorbell. I was greeted by Maleni’s mother, as Maleni was getting ready upstairs as I waited for her for a couple minutes. While I was waiting downstairs: Suddenly this girl, who appeared to be around the same age as me, started coming down stairs. The girl politely greeted me with a “HI!”, flashing a big smile along with it, as I smiled and replied hi as well. At that moment I felt pleased but also curious, wondering if she was one of Maleni’s friends or could perhaps be a younger sister, plus she was kind of cute.

Maleni then comes down with jean shorts and I believe one of them white Abercrombie crop tops you normally see at the beach, as we headed down to the pool. I asked Maleni who the girl was earlier, as that was her niece Taylor, who was a freshman in High School. At the pool we also met up with Mikey and I believe Paulina joined us as well, but the girl I briefly met earlier was not there, not too sure why but it’s whatever. Now you may be thinking to yourself: What is the moment that was significant enough, to where I’m still thinking about it ten years from now?! Am I going to share my feelings with Maleni?! No, but eventually I will. Am I going to attempt to kiss her in the pool, like in the movies? Hell no, I’m a wimp and have a strong fear of being yelled at. Is this going to be one of those embarrassing moments, where a man can’t handle his emotions over seeing his crush in a bikini?! No, this is not American Pie at all.


So at a random moment when we were over at the pool area, Mikey was sitting on a pool chair laughing along on his phone. I was curious to know what exactly was he laughing about. So Mikey shows me his phone, as there were these text messages from the girl I met earlier Taylor, as she was texting Mikey about me specifically. She was texting Mikey about how hot I was with all these heart eyed emoji’s. My reaction was simply being extremely flattered but actually happy, just because I normally don’t feel women find me attractive at all… So I felt good, but didn’t think much of her considering the fact I was still invested in her aunt at the time.


So: Why does this particular text message play such a significant moment in my life?! Well here’s the thing: If Mikey would’ve never shown me that text message, to where Taylor was actually highly attracted to me… I would’ve never even thought about pursuing her at all. Taylor has made an enormous impact on my life during my Junior Year. So much time and energy went into loving that woman, like 85% of my Junior Year was all about her even, but also we’ve had unforgettable memories that’ll last a lifetime. Memories in wish I’ll always cherish, as despite all the heartaches, headaches I’ve given her especially… We’ve actually had a blast together during that year. I know for a fact when Taylor thinks about Sophomore Year… She’s only going to think about that unconditional loving whack job, who provided her non-stop entertainment throughout that year, whether that’s a good or bad thing… At least I’ll always be remembered.


That moment plays in my head a lot, as what if that moment never had happened you know?! Where would all this time go into that school year? Would my rap stage of my life be as effective without her inspiring my songs? Would I even know the existence of a couple friends, April Cinco or Sharebear? Would I have even gone to Homecoming? Would I even find the love of my life that I missed out on? You think about all these things a lot, especially considering that one small specific moment created a whole lifetime in front of you, that if that moment were to never had existed… The whole course of time changes completely, has who knows what kind of life you would’ve had without that moment occurring.

Who knows where our lives would be if I never saw that text message, only God will reveal what kind of journey of a life we would’ve had if I went that route. Happy Ten Year Anny to that significant moment that changed my life forever. These ten years of a friendship that resembles an on and off dysfunctional relationship has been one that I find a great amount of appreciation for. In another universe Taylor would’ve been my best friend for sure, as we share similarities in common interests, our faith in Christ, and of course have similar morals and values as well. Will always genuinely love the person you are Taylor, thank you for everything.


I ask all those reading this, to pray for Taylor during this time, as she’s been dealing with undisclosed health issues recently. Hopeful for a speedy recovery, as you come out of this healthier than ever before and stronger than ever before. Let’s talk about movies!

Crush Grade: D+


There is an actual sequence of a high school couple having sex at a party, where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is on television speaking in the background… This absurd obsession over politics needs to stop, get these people in a mental institution NOW!


Crush is a film in which is getting some fairly positive reviews at the moment. When I see the title of the film, I instantly think this is going to be about having a crush of some sort, as since I’ve had many crushes in the past… Maybe this film can make me relate and laugh at the silliness of having a crush back in the day.


The one thing Crush actually gets right is the romantic side of the film, establishing developing chemistry between characters Paige (Rowan Blanchard) and AJ (Auli’i Cravalho). Paige has had a crush on Aj’s sister Gabby (Isabella Ferrira), as she hopes to secure a relationship even though she has trouble communicating with her. What Paige has learned is you can not force love with someone or feel the need being highly attracted to someone, is an indication that a relationship has to happen. You have to really develop some kind of connection of some kind, as it’s extremely difficult to secure love with just really being fond of their looks and the way they express themselves out in public, you have to actually make a valid attempt in getting to know someone and see if you two fit.


That’s where Paige came down to reality when it came to AJ: She was able to actually get to know someone, build a genuine connection, as sure enough she found love within AJ… Without any anxiety or exhaustion she used to have while having a crush on Gabby. I thought it was simply effective, I’m sure a lot of people whom have crushes in the past can also relate, and wish they didn’t take their crushes so damn seriously to the point where they stressed themselves out over it.


I found the whole King Pun ordeal when it comes to the plot, actually wrapped up nicely in the end. It was rather adorable, I like the fact the puns within the murals actually had some kind of deeper meaning behind it all.


The main flaw with Crush is the comedy material… It is beyond horrendous. It’s hard to believe you have a writing crew assign on a comedy film, yet there is 0 sense of humor to be found in this film. I mean the first five minutes I’d say had a couple chuckles, but then it just went downhill completely, as every single joke attempted was just awful. The comedic relief characters where two political minded high schoolers want to bang each other 24/7, or Paige’s mother and the track and field coach want to bang each other… These reoccurring jokes were not only not funny from the first time, but every single time retelling the same joke… I feel like throwing up, like how can one be this bad at writing humor?! It’s embarrassing.


Crush is also a very predictable film as well. I knew who King Pun was within the first few minutes of the film… It just felt very obvious, especially with the poster as it gives itself away as who the culprit could be. The film also has really bad dialogue, as the writers have no idea how teenagers actually socialize or talk at all. Especially how almost every character talking like they’re making sure to politically correct… I think everyone is getting rather tired of fearing what they say within each and every damn sentence, I’ve been around a lot of people lately and nobody talks like this, only people with no social life on Social Media talk like this.


Overall, Crush was meh. I don’t recommend this film, it’s a shame the romance side wasn’t half bad, but the comedy wanted to make sure this film didn’t succeed.

The Survivor Grade: B


I was feeling depressed the past couple days, as I figured this boxing film could cheer me up… Well I’ll be damn: This is not a film you seek out to, when you’re feeling the blues. I had 0 clue this was about a boxer that survived the Holocaust, so of course I had to quickly shift gears of preparing for some saddening images and such.


The Survivor considering it’s based around Harry Haft’s (Ben Foster) memories… The film quite honestly does the best it possibly can, to where even though it’s constructed a bit wanky, you can still understand it clearly based around that description. Sure there’s some sequences that feel a bit out of order or feel a period of time has been glossed over, however since the story is being told from one’s memory, it makes clear sense why it’s constructed the way it is.


I felt the story as a whole was highly fascinating, while being an emotionally riveting tale about how this Polish Jewish man, had to literally fight his way to survival from the Holocaust. It’s definitely a unique tale to be told when considering this genre of film whether it be based around the Holocaust or Boxing in general. I felt the film delivered a very powerful message in terms of how love will carry one’s mind forward, through being severely troubled and broken. Even when love is present or currently not present physically as more so mentally: Love really is powerful enough to keep one’s mind telling you to keep on going, even when there’s not much left in tank.


For a quick second I was wondering when Ben Foster was going to be in this film, considering the poster headlines his name on the top. Then I realize after seeing this film, he was Harry Haft the entire time… Ben Foster completely disappears in this role, not only by great makeup work, but performance alone was truly outstanding. His delivery with regards to his accent and his drive to delivering such passionate emotionally riveting scenes whether it be frustration or sadness was just terrific by Mr. Foster.


My main issue with the story is I wished the side, with regards to Harry’s past love life was explored more, considering the fact it does play major significance towards this story. We only get a slight glimpse of the relationship taken place, as there wasn’t enough there, you can also say the film slows down the momentum of Harry consistently trying to see if she’s alive or not.


Overall, The Survivor was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on HBO.

The Bubble Grade: D+


A film set around a film set, making a one hundred fourteen million dollar pointless sequel to an existing franchise, in the middle of The Pain in the Ass… Interesting.


I have a slight few nice things to say about Judd Apatow’s new comedy film. There are slight few moments of humor, where it highlights the ridiculous nature of how human beings were reacting during these times and also showing the hypocrisy of human beings during these times as well.


I appreciate the fact this film at least kind of poked fun whether it be the obsessiveness of testing for The Pain in the Ass, flip flopping over wearing a mask, and of course one sequence where one made a YouTube video warranting one to be canceled just because they decided they didn’t want to be locked up in a cage via room or house… Sure the sequence was poorly executed since everyone in the place the cast were staying were free to move out and about in their own bubble, however at least I got a chuckle based around how literally pathetic humans were during these times.


I guess what Judd Apatow trying to expose major industries of how abusive they were, to over work and wreck their employees Mental Health was also fairly done. Whether you were working in the film industry, athletes, the medical field, and of course essential workers all across the board… I’m pretty sure most those that worked during this time can agree, that though they were given great wages, rest assure most of them can recollect their bosses over working them or increasingly damaging their Mental Estate along with it due to their own greed as well. Would I like Apatow actually explored this theme a bit more?! Sure, but at least it was constructed fairly to where it was sprinkled in throughout the film.

I also want to point out: Iris Apatow hands down had the best performance in this entire film. Iris plays a knock put performance, playing the most accurate portrayal of a famous Tik Tok influencer I’ve ever seen hands down. Some maybe confused why I believe she was so good?! Well if you know anything about Tik Tok Influencers: This is exactly how one acts in real life… Bland Personality, Has No Charisma, Has 0 Talent, Has 0 Business in working in Acting Whatsoever as they can’t execute lines to save their own damn life… Awesome job by Iris, she really did her homework with this performance.


The Bubble may have a slight few moments of comedy, I’m afraid to say that the humor in this film was bad as a whole. The comedy material felt completely obnoxious and flat out stupid the entire time, it was honestly extremely painful to watch as just nobody really wanted to step up in producing good jokes and such, just no consistency in the humor whatsoever. The comedy material also has reoccurring jokes that weren’t funny the first time, but continue to retell it over and over again for some odd reason.


The story felt flat out stupid as well, what has a nice concept at hand, was handled extremely poorly as it felt nothing more than a poorly made parody if that. The third act especially just collapses entirely, a flat out embarrassment that makes you wonder if Apatow himself was rushing to finish this film, it’s just all over the place and extremely dumb as well. This felt like a major missed opportunity for Apatow to actually make something hilarious here, major disappointment especially coming off of a really good comedy with The King of Staten Island.


Overall, The Bubble was crap. I don’t recommend this film, I suggest watching The King of Staten Island instead. -Mitch Smietana

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