• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 9: Quarantining is not Fun

Welcome to another episode of Weekly Roundup!! It’s been three weeks since I last went to a movie theater, let me just say... I’m depressed. But you know what’s not depressing?! Talking about new 2020 releases with you guys, let’s discuss these few titles shall we!

M.O.M. Mothers of Monsters Grade: C+

Found footage films have a soft spot in my heart. Sure we’ve only had two great films in that genre Chronicle and Creep, but I just find them fascinating. A heavy praise I can give to this film is it has a fair amount of charm towards it. It feels inspiring to those whom want to make a film of their own someday, by using just hidden cam corders. I felt the story of this film was quite interesting, some elements are a bit silly at times, but does have some strong moments. Strong moments as the intense disturbing tone it goes for in the third act. While also the son (Bailey Edwards) wilding out over his PlayStation being taken away. It kind of feels like a great value version of We Need to Talk About Kevin, one being an excellent mom to son character study, while this one has some moments of it’s nature, but other times some scenes drag out the interest behind the characters. For example when the mother (Melinda Page Hamilton) was explaining about her brother’s mental issues, it was dragged a long time during an intense thrilling sequence. There’s also a conversation going on with the mother and Doctor that I found quite boring and out of place. I also have the problem with the mother of this film... I found her behavior to be frustrating, as she’s motivating her son to be more of a complete douche bag than he already is. Listen her son is responsible for his own well being... But the fact this woman just consistently bothers him every single minute, shoves a cam corder in his face, and floods the house with even more cam corders... I’m not surprised this kid is messed up to begin with. For a protagonist like the mother is in this film, I expected to like her but I just don’t at all. The son however is a solid antagonist as he makes valid points as to why he is the way he is and why the audience just can’t stand this character. The conclusion of this film will turn heads, however it made a valid point. The film kept me at interest for the total duration, has strong moments in the third act, as well as a strong finale as well. May not be the best found footage film, however it’s a charming yet disturbing film that works. Overall, M.O.M. Mothers of Monsters is an enjoyable average film and I would recommend checking this out on Amazon Prime.


Coffee & Kareem Grade: D+

Before this Coronavirus ruined our lives, we were set on an epic journey for a theatrical experience of Peter Rabbit 2. Instead... We’re sad, quarantine, and are forced to watch Coffee and Kareem. All jokes aside: This film wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Terrance Little Gardenhigh actually delivers some comedic moments this film NEEDS, in order to somehow survive. There is one solid laugh out moment in the beginning, where Kareem does a freestyle rap for his teacher during Poetry Jam or whatever it’s called... ALRIGHT THAT WAS FUNNY. But at least I can say this film made me laughed out loud once and made me laugh a few more times. I think just about everything else was not that good at all. I don’t know what the hell happened to Ed Helms, but he has become so unfunny these last few years, the comedic charm is running out for him. The characters are really one note and uninteresting, other than Kareem everyone was either loud, obnoxious, strange, or gave nothing to the table. The story is meh, the predictable twist at the end I saw it coming miles away... Like it was shouting at my face. Other than the comedic moments from Kareem, some of the comedy material in this film was pretty bad. The forced racial and gay jokes... I mean I did get a chuckle out of Coffee’s interrogation scene, but other than that it gave me a headache. You know for all the memers out there: I think you should all reach out to the people behind Peter Rabbit 2 and apologize to them, for making fun of the idea of making a sequel to Peter Rabbit. I think all of you would much rather see adults and children have a nice time together out at a theater watching Peter Rabbit 2, than spend another day of this depression. Overall, Coffee and Kareem is crap and I don’t recommend this film.

Lost Girls Grade: C+

As I was finishing this film, my mother comes into the room and tells me how good this was. This is nothing new with my mother, on the count she has a sick fascination with any sort of media involving serial killers... I don’t know why, don’t ask me. Anyhow Lost Girls is a pretty basic American crime film, that keeps the viewer at least interested, but it’s pretty standard. The story itself is basic, although I will say it provides some thoughtful messages on the way we look at human beings. Instead of categorizing women that were abducted and murdered “Prostitutes” through media outlets, even though that was their source of income... We should be giving them a much thoughtful reputation, of being a daughter to her loved ones. Not only is it extremely bad taste to even described the victims as just ordinary prostitutes, but people that watch this headline will not give any sympathy due to the fact they were prostitutes which is just wrong. They are still human beings with mothers, show some respect, which I appreciate this film partaking on that subject matter. I felt the cast as a whole was fine. Amy Ryan as the lead Mari played a good performance, sometimes she struggled in some line delivery, but this was nice. As much as I love Thomasin McKenzie in Jojo Rabbit and Leave No Trace, I must say this is her weakest performance of her career thus far. She’s struggling quite a bit in emotional scenes, line delivery as well, just not her best work. There are some more issues I have with this film. Some of the cinematography could’ve been done better as there were aspect ratio problems, confusing long distance shots of people talking when their WAY out of sight. Some of the editing could’ve been done better as well. Like in one instance Mari gets a call from an unknown number, as the man behind the phone has some answers for her. While this intriguing unexpected scene is going on... We cut to the group of women outside, talking about their feelings of their lost... It felt so random as it took me out of the moment. Show the group of women scene before Mari gets the call and goes on the ride, with the unexpected man first, it would flow much better. For some reason this film tried to be funny. Like you have Mari telling a cop to Suck her %^&$, which you know I received a laugh from it... But then it tries once more, involving a Fortune Cookie as I’m sitting here thinking, “Who wrote this?” I mean this is a serious crime story, as we’re receiving a really stupid dialogue scene. There are some under developed characters in this film, mainly Mari’s child whom has mental issues. Yeah we see a couple scenes of her, but the film forgets about her, as we’re told some important information about this character in the end credits... We question the film maker, as to why this character wasn’t explored more? I can also say this film forgot about one character as well in the third act. I think if this film took it’s time and not rush on some significant elements, this would easily be good because for awhile I was enjoying this film. But there are so many little problems that keeps it’s full potential held back, which is disappointing. Overall, Lost Girls is an average flick as I would recommend watching this on Netflix. -Mitch Smietana

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