• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 96: Ghosted


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! 


Back earlier this year in March, I was heading off to Vegas for vacation since my work was heading into Spring Break. A couple days before I headed to Vegas: I matched with a girl on Tinder, who was in the Vegas area visiting for her birthday. Unfortunately the day that I come into town, would be the day she would go back to her home in California… Tough break I thought. However we exchanged Instagram’s in the process, didn’t think much of anything happening but she seemed nice and very friendly.


While I was in the city or back home in Florida: I would casually message her from time to time. We would converse over my experience at the Silk Sonic concert, her experience at Coachella, and music recommendations. Though we didn’t talk much: I could tell she was a down to earth girl, who was very sweet in nature. There was also an open indication that she was actually attracted to me, as she thought I was so handsome and that she wished I was her date at Coachella. Given that information when I was moving back to Vegas later in April, even though it was a long shot given she lived in a different city, I thought to myself… Could there possibly be something here?!


About a good week moving back to Vegas, she randomly messaged me her number as things really TOOK off. We would be texting literally everyday whether it be over the phone or on Instagram, as we developed rather quickly. We talked on the phone for hours whether it be FaceTime or a regular Phone call… It’s been a very long time since I’ve developed a connection with someone, actually it has been six years so it’s been awhile indeed.


Most of my time was spent in developing StrictlyFilms to where it currently is now. I didn’t find much success on dating apps: Even though there were many matches, most of them were either unresponsive or couldn’t develop much of a connection to where I wanted to invest my time with them. You can also say I’m at fault as well: I don’t really take many chances in the dating field. I felt hesitant most of the time, simply by not wanting to get hurt but more so drain myself immensely from putting a lot of time and effort into making a significant other to feel happy and loved. I’m an extremely unconditionally loving person: It’s in my nature and it’s my moral purpose in existing, but the idea of being hurt emotionally really takes a toll on me mentally as the last girl did just that.


With this new girl in my life: Lord knows how I miss this feeling of someone being extremely excited to talk to you, wanting to hear about your feelings as feeling free to express yourself fully without no judgment towards your well being, connecting on a deeper level, converse on your interests and passions, and one expressing such wonderful feelings about you. When you have a significant other involved in your life: You’re hit with a great amount of adrenaline. You feel so great about yourself physically and more so mentally, that you feel you can take on anything. I feel much more motivated and inspired to do more when a significant other is involved in my life. The idea of feeling unconditionally cared for and loved makes me feel whole inside, it brings a great amount of purpose in my life. That’s why whenever I get an opportunity: I cherish it like it’s my last, because you never know when you get a chance to encounter the greatest blessing life has to offer.


I planned a vacation out in California with my family, so I can have an opportunity to go out on a date or two with this girl. Many obstacles came into the picture, where we would immensely struggle in executing plans… It definitely was something else, but given my life I’m sort of used to the strange and unexpected to occur, where it wouldn’t happen to anyone else. 


But fortunate enough: We thankfully secured a date night a day before I would return home. The date went extremely well, she took me to DownTown Disney and we had dinner together. She was exactly like she was over text or on the phone: Just an absolute down to earth sweetheart. As the night concluded with a terrific ending which I haven’t experienced in years… It felt like I was potentially going to have a wonderful Summer Romance with this girl. We’ve discussed plans in which we would visit each other once a month, go on lavish date plans including DisneyLand which I’ve never been to before as DisneyLand is her favorite place to go. It just felt like for the moment: I was finally going to have something special with someone that I’ve been wanting for so long.


When I came back to Vegas… Things changed. We would talk on to a bare minimum over text everyday and once a week call on the phone, but it wouldn’t be like it was as she was extremely busy at her job. I was extremely patient, caring, supportive, but more so considerate of her well being during this entire process… Given where I was as a person six years ago to now, I was extremely proud as I’ve really matured. Like I never blew up her phone with text messages or countless phone calls, even though she was barely responsive I understood she was going through a lot so I just wanted her to feel she was genuinely cared for.


We were heading into our one month anniversary of our first date, as over the top that might sound… She has expressed feelings towards me that are much more over the top. So I felt the need to celebrate by making her a personalized playlist, while also sending her a love letter. She replied that she would call me later after her shift, wished me a Happy Anny, that the gesture was cute, and her last words would be “You Have Such a Kind Heart.”


She never called me that night, but unfortunately… I would never hear from her again. I’ve only called her three or four times total over a month span, while also texted her three times… Not a single call back nor a message back. Given my nature when things come to an end: I would always analyze what I might've done wrong. As extremely critical I am of myself… I couldn’t figure out a single thing where I would be at fault, which is a first. Without a doubt: How I handled all this was excellent, I couldn’t be more proud of myself, just because I don’t see another one being this patient and understanding in these circumstances. My only flaw really was feeling sad when hearing she was going through a rough time… I appreciate myself caring immensely about her feelings, but one can not shut down when one is going through a difficult period, stand strong and just provide carness and continue on as usual.


Given how great the first date went, how she felt about me, but more importantly what she said about me including her final text messages… I was stunned. It’s one thing to give notice, while simply explaining why one feels they don’t have feelings for you anymore or doesn’t wish to continue on… But to just not speak to me entirely, avoiding conversation, and just flat out disappearing from my life… Honestly it’s an awful feeling to experience. 


I was even more surprised when this kind of circumstance is much more common, as my friend knew exactly the term of it which is called Ghosting. I’ve seen Ghosting as a regular everyday thing people my age do in terms of dating and I just have to ask… Why is this kind of inhumane immature behavior normalized?! You can seriously wreck someone’s emotional state in a very severe way, where they can encounter a great amount of damage towards their Mental Health. They’ll develop extreme trust issues where it will be extremely difficult to take anyone’s word seriously, but they’ll encounter a great deal of depression simply by not knowing what exactly they did wrong… Why on earth would anyone want to make anyone feel this way?! Be a bigger person and just leave notice you don’t want to continue things, sure they’ll feel upset at first, but at least you don’t emotionally wreck the person that could worsen over the years.


I felt severely depressed for a good couple weeks. Considering how invested I was with this girl, the connection we had, the future plans we made for the summer, and the way it unexpectedly ended without notice… You just feel a great amount of disappointment all together, I was going through a heartache. Eventually I gotten over it thanks to a dark comedy film World’s Greatest Dad… Ironically enough the message of the film resonated with what I was going through.


I’m not too sure what might’ve happened: Maybe she found someone new, maybe she didn’t want anything serious at the moment even though I told her I was willing to compromise in just having fun for the summer, or maybe her insecurity issues got the best of her… It’s unfortunate she’s not overly confident about herself, she’s really pretty and has great qualities about her. 


Despite all that happened: I still have no sense of hate nor harsh judgment against her. Sure what she did was wrong, however we all make mistakes we are not proud of, we are only human at the end of the day. I still see a great amount of good in her, like I said: She’s an absolute sweetheart, I just don’t understand why she would do this sort of thing, but there’s always a reason for everything so I hope she works that out. I can just only hope she progresses as a person, while accomplishing happiness in the process as well.


For what’s it worth: I’m still truly appreciative of the time we spent together over these few months, as feeling blessed for an opportunity of romance. The most important value a human being can take out of their experience with other people is simply this: If someone made you happy once, then you are blessed beyond measure. Let’s talk about movies!


Prey Grade: B


Obviously another Predator film was in the works, considering the fact the Shane Black film from 2018 The Predator was received poorly so they just had to revive this franchise on a higher note. It made sense why this new prequel/reboot style film was made directly to HULU: The Predator wasn’t much of a box office draw. Didn’t have much expectations for the film, I thought the little poster made it look like it was going to be a train wreck. But unexpectedly this film got MASSIVE raved reviews, so I was extremely excited considering I’m a fan of this franchise. Man oh man were fans of this franchise and movie goers were robbed big time… This film should’ve been in theaters as this was quite an entertaining comeback.


Prey develops a likable protagonist within our main character Naru (Amber Midthunder). Naru goes through the early struggles of becoming a hunter, as in her culture normally girls don’t take up hunting as that’s the man’s line of work, so she has to go through obstacles. I enjoyed how humbled this character was, how she is effortless with her craft and doesn’t give up, and of course her strategy skills in trying to better herself or conquer challenges ahead was nicely done.


The Predator this time around is back and better than ever. I enjoyed the creature design of the Predator this time around, I felt it was extremely effective in terms of designing a terrifying creature, as the skull prop used as a face guard was pretty cool. I felt majority of the Predator sequences were kick ass, some fun action sequences not only were brutal and fun to watch when it encounters humans, but even when the Predator encounters animals was also pretty dope to experience.


There is much to enjoy about Prey: It has entertainment value Predator fans and movie goers are asking for, plus the entire new direction of having a storyline taking place in the 1700’s where hunting is a main resource of survival like a Predator, is a much fitting way to tell a beloved action franchise.


Overall, Prey was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on HULU.


Rifkins Festival Grade: D


Since 1966: Woody Allen surprisingly enough is still making films. I’m not going to comment on his whole real life situation, I will say given the backlash he’s received the last few years which makes it extremely difficult for him to release his films… You figure he should just hang it up completely?! He’s 86 Years Old, he’s won 4 Oscars, made close to 50 films… I’m not too sure what else he has to prove in terms of filmmaking, considering the lack of quality in this film you can clearly tell he’s better off retired.


Rifkins Festival quite honestly is one of the most bland comedies I’ve seen out of Woody Allen’s career thus far. The film does at least have a moral message you can easily follow and understand, from what I recall it’s about not pulling yourself back and settling for less, as you should go for it. I say from what I recall as even though it’s been a week since I’ve seen this film: The memory of it has indeed fallen out of my mind, as it’s a pretty forgettable film.


Wallace Shawn playing the lead character Mort Rifkin was a poorly miscast, as I couldn’t buy him in this role for one second. I didn’t buy once that any highly attractive gal could possibly be attracted to this French cinema film geek one bit, I feel an actor that is in their late 30’s or 40’s that has a type of charm would be better suited for this role. Mort as a character felt extremely annoying given his whiny nature, I can see why his wife wants to leave him because why would anyone want to be with someone this boring and annoying?!


The main thing that is very bothersome is the film shifting to Mort’s comfort place, in terms of random sequences in his beloved films… Those sequences were just utterly boring, as it didn’t deliver that usual unique charm we used to see from Allen’s films. They're supposed to be fun and comedic, but all I’ve received was extreme awkwardness as it felt like walking into a blind date.


Nothing much about this film really works at all for me: No interesting characters, the storytelling is dull, the comedy material is nowhere to be found… Feels like an entirely wasted idea.


Overall, Rifkins Festival t’was a bad dull film. I don’t recommend this film, I’ve heard the next film Woody Allen makes will be his final film as he said on some kind of show he did… I would just retire, but if he can go out with a bang so be it.


DC League of Super-Pets Grade: B


It was a beautiful thing to have experienced this film in a completely empty theater, with no annoying loud children at sight. 


DC League of Super-Pets t’was an genuinely enjoyable film, showcasing some super powered pets. The character development twas the main highlight of this film, as I felt the film did a nice job developing these characters especially our main pup Krypto (Dwayne Johnson). 


Obviously Krypto is the most experienced super pet out of all the pets, however in terms of his leadership skills… Not so much, especially since he lacks in getting acquainted with other pets himself. Now that his powers are simply on hold due to accidentally consuming kryptonite… His leadership is put to the test, as he can’t just fight his battles on his own. The film does a nice job in developing Krypto into becoming a matured leader, his sequences with all the pets involved were a nice touch.


You can also say within the other pets involved: Children are able to learn valuable useful lessons within their own character development as well. Like being comfortable in your own skill, being brave, controlling what you can control… T’was nicely done. The humor of this surprisingly enough was effective, I felt the best usage of humor when it involved Batman (Keanu Reeves) as those dark jokes were simply funny.


It’s a heartfelt film which brings comedic value and entertainment value that is fun for not only kids, but even adults can enjoy as well.


Overall, DC League of Super-Pets was a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, nice family time at the movies indeed. -Mitch Smietana

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