• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 98: Hurricane Ian


Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup!


It’s devastating to hear about the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the immense damage it has caused in the city of Fort Myers, FL. Knowing I lived there for a short amount of time in 2019 and a couple years from 2020-2022… This occurrence brings me in a great deal of sadness. Many can say how lucky, fortunate, or how blessed I am that I wasn’t there. But at the same time: That place was home to me, so you feel a glimpse of a broken heart.


Back in 2020 where The Pain in the Ass was going on, living in Vegas at the time really put me in a terrible state mentally. The culture within Vegas is already alarming enough, as it speaks great volumes of brokenness and emptiness. The people there are not friendly at all, it’s a more self centered town as you are often greeted with dirty looks as everyone puts their heads down when you walk past them. Now you add the inhumane conditions, where it’s frowned upon to breathe naturally as you constantly see expressionless faces everywhere you go… It’s hard to maintain a stable state of mind.


Moving to Fort Myers, FL at the end of October 2020… Saved my life. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of living in a place where positivity and life is strongly encouraged, but more so… Living in a place where The Culture is mostly centered in lifting your spirits up. Fort Myers, FL maybe a city that is mostly highlighted by great resorts and such… However what makes Fort Myers, FL special is the people in the city.


The strong community oriented environment brings your mind, heart, and soul in a very comforting place, as it’s such a strongly friendly environment. Whenever I walked or bike around the city: I’m greeted by endless smiles as everyone says “Hello”, as sometimes it can feel someone is treating me like they’ve known me for a great amount of time. 


My experience with people has been fairly negative, but with people in Fort Myers, FL puts you in a whole different perspective in just how great people can be. Whether you’re going through your highs or most certainly lows where you’re going through an emotional breakdown… You can always count on having people pull you up at any given moment. You never realize how important it is to live in a strong community till you have lived in one, as living in Fort Myers, FL… It’s a pure blessing to know you are genuinely loved and cared for wherever you go.


I’ve been contemplating on whether or not it’s best for me, to quit my current job, take a long pause on writing reviews, and go hope on a plane to help out in Fort Myers. You always want to do the most for those whom need it most, as when it’s fairly not possible to do so… You feel a fair amount of guilt, however can’t control what I can’t control. Moving forward I shall keep on contributing to charity funds as I go on, least I can do.


If there’s one thing that I’m extremely confident about Fort Myers, FL during this devastating period of time… A crisis is non existent to these kind of people, as they will surely recover from this and be back better than ever before. I will ask of everyone reading to contribute to The Florida Disaster Fund. Not only will your contribution help recover Fort Myers, FL, but will also bring hope in the great people of Fort Myers knowing good and well they’re going to be ok.


I do wish many prayers and blessings to all my beloved people in Fort Myers, love you all very much as better days are certainly ahead. Let’s talk about movies!


God’s Creatures Grade: C+


The new A24 drama centered around a strong bondage between mother and son, in which a mother has to choose between protecting her son or actually doing the right thing… Feels like a scenario I was taught in D.A.R.E, where they believed a mother/father would turn their child in if they committed a crime. God’s Creatures did take a bit of time to get itself going, but once it gets going… A simply told dramatic tale that really doesn’t go anywhere shocking or crazy what we’ve normally seen in the past A24 films. 


I feel the whole the chemistry between Emily Watson and Paul Mescal as mother/son was very believable, as their performances were firmly strong as you felt the connection between the two. You do feel a sense of frustration against the mother in terms of what happens with the son, however at the same time… Mothers are normally blind to the idea of their child doing no wrong, so you get why she’s so protective of him and believes him.


I feel the way the film constructs development, where the mother tends to change her entire perspective on the entire situation was fairly done. It’s really not by what her son says, but it’s more so how he goes about and most certainly his body language. The ending can feel a little conflicted more so with the son and mother, however with the victim… Felt that part it ended fairly strong, with solid dialogue as well.


I wish this story was more steadily paced and had more going on, sure it had a decent bang in the finale but the story as a whole was nothing worth wild. That finale song…. That was absolute fire!


Overall, God’s Creatures was an average watch. I recommend checking this one out, can rent on any V.O.D. platform or wait till this hits a streaming service.


Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby Grade: B-


A documentary centering around Grammy Nominated artist Lil Baby. When it comes to Lil Baby and his music… He’s not half bad I’d say. He’s been featured on some good songs, his collab mixtape with Gunna Drip Harder was decent.


This documentary in terms of substance was actually cool. You learn a lot about the artist Lil Baby from where he grew up, how despite not being in school enough was actually a very bright kid, becoming a hustler, and his unexpected transition to rap. 


What’s most appealing about Lil Baby is less about the music, as more so as the human being… Lil Baby actually tries to make a difference outside of music. You can even say his life experience has truly matured the artist significantly, as being more wise and cautious knowing not to end up in a repetitive cycle of being in and out of jail. I may not be a huge fan of his work or fully agree on everything he stands for, however I can at least acknowledge that he’s a decent being that actually has good intentions.


Style Wise: Felt like a typical standard music biographical documentary film that we’ve come to see time and time again. Couple set backs were some guest speakers, more so the CEO of Motown… I thought she unbearable to sit through, not to mention her presence on screen you can tell was reading off a script. 


While we can agree Lil Baby’s My Turn which so happened to be the most selling album of 2020, did get snubbed for a Best Rap Album Grammy nomination, however the outcry was pretty ridiculous. Given the reasons why they felt My Turn should’ve been nominated, I feel they had 0 idea how awards are supposed to be judged. It doesn’t matter if your album sells a grand number of sales, how many fans they have, or what type of life struggles an artist has been through.. What people are supposed to be looking for when judging music is the music within itself in terms of quality. These guest speakers should’ve been a little more humbled, instead of putting out such terrible analogy of how awards are supposed to be judged.


Not sticking up for The Grammy’s: They are a flawed awards committee and almost all awards committees are, however snubs happen as you look for a minute and move on with your day… It’s that not deep as more focus should be on gratefulness, rather than bitterness.


Overall, Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby was a fairly decent documentary. I recommend checking this one out, can be found on Amazon Prime.


My Best Friend’s Exorcism Grade: C


My Best Friend’s Exorcism falls within a more tamed line between Jennifer’s Body and your typical formula Exorcist style film you’ve come to see too often. 


Elise Fisher and Amiah Miller both had solid performances as this pair of best friends, as it was believable chemistry between the two. Like I said: The film does have a feel like Jennifer’s Body, as one best friend is the attractive popular girl, while the other is a bit of geek I would say. Their friendship has benefits as it’s simply that these girls are good for each other, they can always count on each other whenever needed and that’s pretty much it.


The story within itself isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not really groundbreaking or really entertaining I will say. I feel you’ve seen this sort of story so many times over, so everything coming at you really isn’t much of a surprise at all. There are corny and lame dialogue display, you can even say one sequence was extremely unnecessary in terms of this one character, bringing us such dorky lines of dialogue that you can clearly tell was forced.


When the demon is presented: It comes across a clay designed of a Leprechaun, as I have 0 idea who approved of this as it comes off hysterical. One thing I would like to mention is I’m glad Christopher Lowell made his way back on screen, as his presence was certainly enjoyed… Gosh I miss that TV Show Glow so much, Netflix really screwed that show over.


Overall, My Best Friends Exorcism was just ok. I don’t recommend this film, I suggest watching any other acclaimed Exorcism film or watch Jennifer's Body. -Mitch Smietana

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