Encapsulated Movie Reviews – 4 New Indie Titles

Encapsulated Movie Reviews

There are a few less indie titles out this week (both the engaging looking The Infiltrator and Our Little Sister we not made available to me!) I’ve tried to give you readers a little more bang for the movie buck with the inclusion of two more recent small-scale flicks to fill in the cinematic gap.  Two new, two older, but all review ready for your convenience.  So check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Zero Days, 3rd Street Blackout, Clown and Swiss Army Man below!


Zero Days

(Magnolia Pictures)

While doc director Alex Gibney has shown a natural knack for making intricate movie subjects easy and interesting to follow (Going Clear was eye-opening for the uninitiated!), Zero Days by contrast feels a lot less accessible.  A film immersed in the complex area of computer malware – in this case a mysterious self-replicating virus called Stuxnet – Gibney tries his hardest through engaging animated computer style graphics and interviews with government officials to make Zero Days’ complexities coherent, but sadly with little success.  Not to mention that in a world of works that go behind the Oz curtain like the Edward Snowden film Citizenfour and the fact that everyone interviewed here refuses to even discuss involvement in such rights violating matters makes for an outing that just lacks doc dynamite.

3rd Street Blackout

(MarVista Digital Entertainment)

Even though some of the marketing for this film is pushing the inclusion of sassy comedian Janeane Garofalo – who only shows up in one scene – it’s the filmmaking/acting duo of the witty Jeremy Redleaf and wry Negin Farsad that makes 3rd Street Blackout worth checking out.  Taking on everything from infidelity to obsessive cell phone culture all within the framework of a blackout in New York, Redleaf and Farsad together build one creative and funny film that adds just a pinch of romantic sentimentality for good measure.  Cute, quirky and clever, even in the dark Blackout shines bright.


(Dimension Films)

I know some film folks have tried to make a connection between Director Jon Watts early work in both this film and Cop Car to show a clear path towards his helming of the new Spiderman film, but even as a serious student of cinema I don’t get it.  There’s no real distinctive style in Clown and the story – which drives the entire film – isn’t great either.  The premise seems solid with proud pop Andy Powers accidentally putting on a cursed clown suit that won’t come off, but things simply go from good to god awful in terms of both his lame transformation (Rob Bottin’s work this ain’t!) and sadistic slayings.  (The killing of kids here holds no joy – even for a hardcore horror fan!)  The only joy in this turkey is the wacky work by Peter Stormare once again playing nutty expert, but even his old hat act can’t bring charm to Clown.

Swiss Army Man


Swiss Army Man is a flick that from the outset feels like it’s trying way to hard to be shocking.  A crazed man, a horny corpse and fantastical flatulent happenings that are humorous could easily be construed as just crude.  But for those who watch the entire movie, Swiss Army Man is one of the most moving and thoughtful films in recently years.  An odd and interesting allegory on growing up over the space of only a few days, the story tackles life, love, lust and loss from the perspective of a naïve but spirited corpse and the result is truly magical.  An original and unique piece of work if ever there was one, Swiss Army Man boldly tries every movie trope never used – and still fits.

Zero Days poster

Blackout poster

Clown poster

Swiss Army Man poster


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

1 Response to “Encapsulated Movie Reviews – 4 New Indie Titles”

  1. Brian White

    I’m so glad I did not waste my time with Clown. Thank you Jason!