• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 87: An Honorable Gatekeeper Betrayed


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


When I was younger in my high school days: I often get asked from my peers if I could set them up with one of my friends. Rarely ever do I ever set one of my friends up with one of my friends, especially if that friend is a girl. There’s a Drake lyric on Furthest Thing that always stays with me, where Drake says, “I made every woman feel like she was mine and no one else’s”... That was clearly my mentality when I had friends that were girls.


Sure I didn’t want to date every single one of them, however I felt as if I was the gatekeeper for all my girl friends. I cared for every single one of my friends that are girls, I only wanted them to feel the way I would make a woman feel. If I didn’t see myself in the men whom wanted to pursue my friends… I would never recommend them at all. In reality there’s really not a single man who will treat women the way I do, so for me to recommend one I would have to have fully trust they’ll come remotely close to the way I would treat a woman.


I can never stand the idea of a woman going through betrayal, a broken heart, mistreatment, being misused, and worse of everything a woman shedding tears of sadness. It upsets me, embarrasses me, and worse of all pisses me off when any woman goes through that. It’s one thing to fall out of love and interest, but it’s another thing to be willingly want to hurt someone and that thought upsets the living hell out of me. That’s why my word meant a great deal to a lot of my girl friends: They know I’m not capable of doing a such thing, therefore it’s my responsibility to make sure they are treated right.


I feel men don’t take much appreciation into relationships the way they should. Being in a state of love, especially when a woman gives you an opportunity to come into their life to love them, should feel like the biggest blessing of your entire life. You should go into a mentality that this will be your last go around, as you must do WHATEVER it takes to make them feel happy, secured, and unconditionally loved. Love by another person is not promised in this world, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to just achieve the greatest feeling in life, girls go through massive heart break and betrayal constantly, so their ability to be open to grant someone an opportunity of love is very limited. So be the best you can be for any girl who gives you that privilege of loving them… There should never be a feeling of ungratefulness when partaking in any relationship with another woman.


One of my friends was dating one of my dear friends. I was honestly happy to hear they were dating, as I felt this man was a good man for her. I even reached out to both and express how happy I am to see her with a good man as I recommended it’s a good choice for her, while expressing that I’m happy to see her with him. She’s had quite a bad dating history, so this change of pace felt very promising on her end. I cared very deeply about my friend, as I only wanted the best for her.


I was extremely sadden to hear this man actually caught cheating on my dear friend… I felt extremely betrayed. I felt the betrayal hit me terribly because this man knows how much this woman meant to me and the fact that I don’t recommend any guy to just anyone because this is what I want to avoid at all costs. To go out of your way and to just to do a despicable act, in which it’s upsetting for her and even upsetting for myself… I just feel ashamed. It just shows a great deal of ungratefulness and disrespect… It’s going to take a great deal for me, to ever consider another man worthy of dating any of my friends, I’m just extremely upset. Thankfully she has moved on and found someone special whom treats her with unconditional love and kindness, I do want to thank this man for being there for her during a rough period in her life, that means the world to me.. I know you gave her the strength to over come the biggest battle of her life. I wish more years of love for you two, God Bless you two and cheers to a brighter future filled with endless appreciation of life.


Like all things in life: There is good and bad in everything. While I do feel lacking of trust of my gender in which could rightfully treat women the way they should be treated… I will say there are great men out there, who have solid morals and values in how to treat women. Love is achievable when there is a lot of positivity and a lot patience put in… Eventually we’ll all have someone who will love us unconditionally, for now we can only move forward by continuing to live a pure kind hearted spirit, rather than not changing for those whom are not worth tarnishing our mind, hearts, and souls. Let’s talk about movies!

Dinner in America Grade: B


Dinner in America was brought to my attention by a review from the Roger Ebert website, standing at a very high 3 and a half star rating. What led me to even rent this film, was the fact the poster looked pretty unique as I assume this would be some kind of love story.


Well Dinner in America is in some regard a love story, however it’s not a traditional love story. It features an odd pair: One bad boy musician named Simon (Kyle Gallner) that has a bad reputation, one punk rock lover chick Patty (Emily Skeggs) whom is not the coolest girl around as she’s heavily mistreated, even though she’s a quiet sweetheart who can be a bit loud at times.


I felt the romance side of this story was indeed odd, however the way it’s executed was done extremely well. It’s basically a couple misfits whom don’t necessarily fit in with society, as within the time they spent together, they better their well beings with their love for one another. I genuinely enjoyed moments where the significant other sticks up for the other significant other, when their heavily mistreated by another person, as it was extremely sweet to see. I adore the one moment where Patty asks Simon if she was a retard as often enough she is repeatedly called that, as Simon immediately puts the brakes on his car, as he passionately tells her to never talk about herself like that… It was a strong wholesome moment, especially in their bondage for one another.


One of the best moments in this film for me was when Patty and Simon recorded a song together, as the music making process was extremely adorable to experience. The comedy material is surprisingly bold, as it took risks you don’t often see in today’s landscape of comedy. There are a few well executed comedic moments, I felt the beginning is where it was at it’s best, especially when Patty begins to play basketball as that sequence was hilarious. The film has a satisfying conclusion as well.


I guess my flaws with this film has to be some comedic moments don’t always land, as they can be a little obnoxious or in the case where everyone is stoned… A cliche that has been overused WAY too many times. I also wished Simon in a way was a little more of a likable character, I felt his likeness would’ve been justified if he didn’t burn down someone’s house earlier for literally no apparent reason. I also felt a moment was confusing much in the conclusion, about how one contacts the cops, even though one performed the show anyways.


Dinner in America is a comedy film that brings back the early 2000’s vibe in cinema you often miss.


Overall, Dinner in America was a solid film! I recommend checking this one out, it’s a nice comedic flick with a fair amount of heart to it.

Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off Grade: C+


When I was ten years old I wanted to have a birthday party at a skate park, as my mother refused to let me have a party there… That is considered the end of my potential skateboarding career.


The greatest strength of this documentary for me is the true power of Determination. It really doesn’t matter if one doesn’t have a clear and bright future in whatever they pursue in, but if they are relentlessly determined and disciplined in whatever area they pursue in… Eventually they will succeed. Tony Hawk is the best example of what the art of determination will do for a person, as a young child and a teenager, every single person doubted, criticized, and singled him out that he didn’t belong skateboarding.


However Tony Hawk canceled the noise around him, as he continued to practice and practice almost every single day, as he worked effortlessly on his craft as sure enough he went on to become the face of Skateboarding as we know it. So if you want to be just about anything in life and you truly want to be that person: Put determination in your mindset and you will surely see wonders in your life.


There’s also a nice brief message at the end, on what is the consequences of doing whatever it takes to succeed in an area as well. You see Tony Hawk achieved a great amount of success in his profession, but the cost of it all is life threatening injuries and to not so be emotionally savvy in his relationships with the people he loves. Sometimes it takes a great amount of sacrifice in order to achieve greatness, as if you’re willing to do whatever it takes, expect to lack in some very important areas you will miss in life that does matter a great deal. I thought it was emotionally touching at the end, regarding that Hawk will likely die doing what he loves, as it’s really too late to consider the “What If’s” or potential health concerns considering he’s too banged up to begin with.


For a documentary covering the biggest icon of the sport… I was kind of underwhelmed in what I received. I felt visually speaking was pretty bland for my taste, felt like a typical standard looking documentary film. Substance it does have it’s moments and clearly has powerful messaging, but I can’t help the fact that this was dull for a good chunk of the film. The film certainly lacked energy, like for a skateboarding documentary it barely had much stamina to throughly entertain the audience, as the pacing can be a bit slow as I was like “Ah another hour of this” when pausing to see how much time is left.


Overall, Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off was an average documentary film. I recommend checking this one out on HBO Max.

Rise Grade: B-


The fact that this film doesn’t give us a backstory, of how Giannis Antetokounmpo gets away with traveling thirty times a game is quite disappointing. All jokes aside: Giannis def has made me appreciate his game since that title run in 2020-2021, as he literally put the Milwaukee Bucks on his back to the win the NBA Championship over the Phoenix Suns. With this based on a true story film centering around Giannis’ journey to making the NBA… I was looking forward to see how this dream came to life.

The story itself is quite moving, as the Antetokounmpo’s way of life as illegal immigrants in Greece was quite an immense struggle. They really were limited to a restricted lifestyle, like the parents were limited to rare few work opportunities since they needed full citizenship to actually work at an establishment, so their way of providing for their family was a difficult challenge. It would be extremely hard to just about do anything, even playing basketball at a local gymnasium was taking a huge risk, at any given moment they could all be deported so they typically were mainly low key majority of the time.

So following the story it’s really all about trust and courage especially. Through their struggles and all: The family found a way to make the best of their situation, to where they could eventually succeed to where they can achieve a much more secure lifestyle. As basketball was their ticket to achieve not only to become wealthy, but to also not always duck their heads low and they can truly live life to the fullest, with citizenship. The brothers were determined to get this done by any means, as the tale was indeed inspiring and the challenge to get there was enjoyable and emotionally hectic to experience.

The main flaw I have with this film is the fact this film doesn’t really dive into, how Giannis (Uche Agada) became a much better basketball player over the course of time. Sure in the beginning when he first started out the coach taught him how to have a better forum in terms of shooting a basketball, however how he developed his game over the course of time is left to be desired, as the film really didn’t put much effort in showing just how he became a better basketball player. I’m sure it takes more than dribbling on the streets of Greece or just practice montages, we need more scenes to where Giannis figures out what tweaks in his game he needs to improve on and such.


I will say despite this film being moving and all, presentation wise it does feel a bit Hallmarky. Like considering this was based off an NBA champion basketball player, whom truly overcame an immense struggle to get to that point: I expected it to be handled better than just being decent or average, as this really had potential into becoming a great film, but unfortunately it seems they didn’t put much love into the production value and such.


Overall, Rise is a fairly decent film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Disney Plus, definitely a nice film to be inspired off of that’s for sure. -Mitch Smietana


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