• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 93: Congrats Kevin and Melissa

Updated: Aug 17


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! 


I feel the need to take this opportunity, to say some words towards a beloved groom and bride for a good minute. Man oh man… Too many blessings in the air these days man, you always have to give Glory to God for every single day you walk on this earth, as none of this is guaranteed nor promised. Anytime you get to experience loved ones of your own whether it be your family, your friends, or your acquaintances in receiving that rare opportunity of the most important value of all mankind and that is love… It always reminds us how terrific life can be.  Not everyone gets this rare opportunity to spend the rest of their lives, spending it with someone they love on this earth and on into eternity… There ain’t nothing more beautiful than being in this holy position of love. To the bride, groom, and all the married couples: Don’t ever take the biggest blessing of your lives for granted, this love shall and should always remain to be scared through and through till your dying day.


To the groom, my G Kevin. I met Kevin on a random summer day in 2012, while he was working at the ole Jim’s Steakout. Kevin reminded me of the actor Michael Cera the way he talked and his mannerisms. Right off the bat when I met this young man, I liked this dude… Because this guy reminded me of myself. He loved sports, quiet but was easy to talk to when given the chance, but most importantly he was an extremely kind hearted individual. For a first boyfriend: My cousin was on par to have a promising dating life, as she most certainly found a diamond in the rough, which is rare to find in high school especially with regards to the male gender.


Every summer vacation I spent in Buffalo from then on, I always asked my cousin if Kevin was going to join us at her house, where we stayed at Ellicottville, or whatever shenanigans we were involved with. Kevin may not appear to be the flashiest guy around, however Kevin has got something many human beings rarely don’t have… Someone you want to be around with simply because they make you feel good. Kevin was someone who would accept you for who you are, even if you appear as a complete misfit amongst the rest of the pack, Kevin would make sure you were essential… These are the kind of people you always want around.


We’ve had some simple yet memorable memories. Whether it be bar hopping out in Ellicottville, partying up at the family Christmas party, or having the time of my life at the Chicago Bears Buffalo Bills game whether it be the tailgate or my Bears kicking your Bills ass! I will say out of all the Bills fans I’ve known in this family: Kevin is my favorite Bills fan hands down, probably my favorite Buffalo sports fan since he supports ALL OF THEM from college to pros. I respect this dude: I talked so much trash to him ALL GAME LONG, yet he took that beating like a man and he still kept being the nicest kid you’ve seen in West Seneca… I feel my cousin knew right then and there she may have to put a ring on this man if he doesn’t, because Kevin is a certified catch you NEVER see often in Buffalo and that’s a FACT!


Kevin… It’s been an honor to have known you these past like ten years man. I feel the happiest man on earth, knowing this man achieved the biggest blessing life has to offer… There ain’t no Buffalo boy more deserving than Kevin. I’ve been waiting for a long time to say this: Welcome to Da Family Kevin!


To the bride, my cousin Melissa. I’ve known Melissa my whole entire life, from kicking it with her in my fresh outfit at two years old, standing alongside her next to a Bison like statue. I feel like recollecting the memories we’ve shared together, would take about a couple days… God really blessed us big time, there’s not a handful of cousins who get to experience an attached by the hip relationship, we’ve had a blast together for two decades deep. When it comes to the city of Buffalo… There’s really not a whole lot to get excited about. However: When you try to think of what this city has to offer; Melissa has to be on top of that list.


Melissa used to be my favorite cousin for the longest amount of time, as truth be told she never really felt like a cousin to me at all… She felt like a best friend. This really was my best buddy, we can literally do anything together, talk to her about anything, and especially can be myself around her… She would always LOVE whenever I act completely goofy and never feel the need to talk down on me ever, but only mimic me as she adored my different voices and such. I hated living in Buffalo when I was in sixth grade, however… I cried so hard when I had to move back to Vegas, because leaving my best friend behind is never an easy feeling to come by. I mean this is Melissa we’re talking about, this woman can make any shitty day turn into sunshine at the blink of an eye… Not having her around is an awful feeling.


I feel with all due respect: I played a massive influence on Melissa’s career path. She always felt immense joy whenever she helped out or made someone’s day, who doesn’t necessarily fit in or perhaps appear to be too different… That’s why she chose a career path in the Mental Health field. I feel when I was struggling with complications with Mental Health, it only made Melissa become stronger and more determined in achieving her dreams, as she knows it’s her DESTINY to help others like myself. To that I say: At least my life brought importance to someone else’s, as you’ve done an insane amount of hard work to get there, so proud of you.


I remember when my dad was telling me and the family, how your dad was nervous about you going to some kind of party, meeting up with some boy. Who would’ve thought that same boy your dad was terrified about, would be still standing eleven years later?! You know you two were such a cute up and coming couple, as I question: I wonder which one of you is gonna fuck this up?! Human beings are confusing complicated creatures: They don’t make any damn sense, so if a break up is bound to happen, I wonder who’s going to be the idiot that lets the other go? These are not only two certified catches, but these are two lovely individuals that both talk at a reasonable volume… That doesn’t happen too often in this family.


Melissa is probably the most gifted human being on this planet. She’s athletic, she’s funny, she’s intelligent, and she found a way to find the love of her life on her first attempt in pursuing love… Your parents gave you terrific genes. You know both of your parents are extremely proud of you, I’m happy for both of them but I’m extremely happy for your father. This woman of yours Uncle Don… You’ve raised her from the beginning as a baby to now, I know this moment means everything to you, this is your greatest achievement of your entire existence on this earth.


These are the rare moments in life, in which I feel extremely grateful to not have taken my life earlier than expected. I got to witness one of the greatest friends I’ll ever have, achieve the biggest blessing of all while achieving massive success… What more can I really ask for? I feel spoiled too often.


Melissa… I’m extremely happy for you, knowing well enough you’re going to live a long prosperous life with your high school sweetheart. I love you my dear friend, always have and always will, God Bless you. Well without further or do: Time to talk about movies!


Wedding Season Grade: B-


Ah what a coincidence! Believe it or not I actually watched this the night before the wedding, wasn’t planned nor arranged by any means, just was in the mood for a romance film fitting the occasion. Normally when it comes to these romantic comedies from Netflix, usually it’s mostly miss. The low budget quality and the immensely weak story telling can run into an never ending recycled result, of never ending mediocrity. Fortunately in this case: Wedding Season wasn’t half bad.


Wedding Season spoke volumes in terms of what exactly should one look for, in terms of a relationship and further into marriage. I feel parents or even human beings have this beyond high standard for someone, in which if they don’t fit the criteria what they’re looking for more towards the career field… They atomically diminished that person entirely. Having a career is important however one’s résumé shouldn’t validate if one should invest their time in a relationship. 


Say our main lead character Ravi (Suraj Sharma)... His family and others wrote him off, just because he doesn’t qualify a résumé that most potential suitors want for their daughter to marry. Ravi is a responsible, matured being, with a great heart… Who really cares about his résumé, what does a résumé have to do with being a great companion?! Marriage is all about committing to an unconditional bondage of love that carries on till your dying day, as what one has on the inside is what truly matters. When seeking out relationships: The moral focus is if you can develop an intimate deep connection with the significant other, if one can’t what is the point?! So the film does a fairly done job in valuing what is important in relationships/marriages.


I felt my main flaw with this film is the character Nick (Sean Kleier)... This has got to be the most unnecessary character of the entire film. Not only is he an extremely weak comedic relief, but the film doesn’t value his existence in providing a meaningful message. Like I can see if the film was trying to show, that one doesn’t have to try so hard to be accepted by a significant other’s family/culture, as Nick does has a few sequences where he’s doing the most to impress his bride and her family. But no the film just wants to use Nick as this comedic relief, as anytime he’s on screen you get rather annoyed with it.


Overall, Wedding Season was a decent film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Netflix, one of the better Romantic Comedies that’s for sure.


Fall Grade: C-


The ole strategic kind of storyline, in which characters are placed in a very dangerous situation, where they must figure out how exactly they’ll make it out alive or face death… Haven’t seen one of these in awhile.


Fall is at least tolerable for the hour and forty plus minute run time, a run time in which could perhaps be a bit long for a storyline like this, however it kept my interest for the most part. I felt the film maintain a focus in which those must over come their fears, as they must live life to the fullest as if they let fear over take them, they’ll miss out on life entirely. Sure maybe climbing a 2,000 Ft. landmark in which has been abandoned for quite sometime, without any renovations is a bit excessive… But hey, if these girls can do this insane challenge, sure enough our challenges are significantly small in comparison as maybe we should all let fear aside.


Fall however does have several problems. I’m surprised a film like this got a theatrical release, given the fact how cheaply made this film looked from a visual perspective. I also felt the performances were extremely weak and unconvincing, felt very amateurish quality of acting as there are perhaps a few unintentional laughable moments. The film also goes through some tropes we’ve seen WAY too many times in a film like this. One trope in particular makes my head scratch because there are several plot holes that go along with it, making the viewer very confused on how exactly one accomplish the things they accomplish, knowing well enough one important figure wasn’t present. 


Overall, Fall was alright I suppose. I don’t recommend this film, it’s better suited at home than it is at the theater.


My Old School Grade: B


My Old School is a documentary film centered a teenager named Brandon (Alan Cumming), who comes from Canada and has just enrolled Bearsden Academy in Glasgow, Scotland. Brandon is an extremely smart individual, who wants to have a future in medicine. Brandon will eventually rise in popularity amongst teachers and his peers, however Brandon will also have a secret in which will shock just about everyone.


My Old School is told in back and forth sequences of animation, guest speakers, and a lip sync performance by Alan Cumming as the real Brandon refused to be on camera for whatever reason. I will say: I watched the trailer for My Old School after seeing this film, as I was extremely surprised how great the trailer was. It didn’t give out any hints on what the massive twist might be, as it kept the viewers curiosity in tact as what could possibly be the secret at hand?! My Old School t’was a solid documentary in terms of style and substance wise.


The style had some nice unique quirks to it, as the animation was nicely done as I like the whole lip sync idea as well having a professional actor like Alan Cumming perform it. You can clearly tell whomever the real Brandon was that whatever he might’ve done, must’ve been quite embarrassing so it was a neat cool little idea. Could you clearly tell Alan was lip syncing?! A couple times it was noticeable, but overall it was nicely done.


The substance… This is such an unusual tale, that is also extremely fascinating. It’s hard to talk about it without spoiling the main reveal: But I will say the film does a great job in providing a great amount of understanding for Brandon, despite the countless amount of lies and manipulation he did. I mean in Bradon’s defense… You honestly feel sorry for the guy, as he had to go through these kinds of measures in the first place. It’s not like he was involved in really any harmful acts at all, in fact I would say Brandon was a good guy that at least made a meaningful impact on his classmates lives, that they even accept Brandon after the big reveal. The system is extremely unfair so Brandon had to do what he had to do… But how Brandon was able to pull some of it off was just crazy, as it really makes your mind question what is reality or just complete fantasy?!


I feel the main issue with this film is it can feel a bit repetitive every now and then, as sequences can feel like they’re running on longer than they should have. 


Overall, My Old School was a solid documentary film. I recommend checking this one out, glad I made it out to the theater to experience it. -Mitch Smietana

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