Encapsulated Movie Reviews – 5 New Indie Titles

Encapsulated Movie ReviewsThis week sees the return of both Jason’s to action – Bourne on the big screen and Coleman on the movie watching scene.  So from women on Wall Street to the after effects of fornicating with a ghost, we’re digging deep and diverse for the latest edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews featuring five new films.  Check out the critical chatter on Equity, Gleason, Into The Forest, Ants On A Shrimp and Lace Crater below!

E to Use

(Sony Pictures Classics)

A riveting Wall Street style tale of three very different women – a no-nonsense investment banker, her driven protégé and a Fed looking to take her down – here is given extra feminine ammunition under the ample skills of both a female writer and director.  Not that Equity’s very captivating and layered characters are soft and cuddly – far from it.  Alysia Reiner’s Samantha is a well meaning wolf in sheep’s clothing, Sarah Megan Thomas’s Erin is a babe in the woods who grows up fast and lead Anna Gunn is utterly scene stealing as hard-as-nails Naomi Bishop.  But beyond the showcasing of impressive actresses, Equity is simply a well told and well made flick – the finesse of finance made fascinating.


(Amazon Studios/Open Road)

What begins as a video journal from an ALS stricken father with a life expectancy of two-three years to his newborn son turns into one utterly candid doc no matter how you slice it.  On the positive side there’s not only the tender moments shared between proud pop Steve Gleason, his wonderful wife Michel and their son Rivers, but also the multitude of charity work the former New Orleans Saints defensive back does to help others stricken with his disease.  On the realistic side the filmmakers here don’t candy coat everything and we get a full view of the hardships, day-to-day trials and struggles of the entire family dealing with Steve’s affliction and the toll it takes.  Sad and heartwarming, brutal and beautiful, Gleason is a wondrous cinematic conundrum that’s doc defying.

Into the Forest


With its world gone to hell without technology, electricity or the like scenario, Into The Forest feels redundant.  A mix of the claustrophobia of 10 Cloverfield Lane with the depravity of The Divide (hell, this one even adds Divide baddie Michael Eklund for good measure!), gives this one a distinctive been there, done that feel.  But it’s the strong and intimate work of stranded sisters Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood that ultimately saves the film from flopping.  Their honest and gut-wrenching performances burn bright and add fire to an otherwise familiar forest.

Ants on a Shrimp

(Sundance Selects)

Following some of the folks from the previous doc Noma: My Perfect Storm, including creative chef Rene Redzepi, the Noma gang decides to move the team from Denmark to Japan in a wild cross culture experiment and the result is a fascinating film of trial and error.  Much like their process detailed so specifically in the first film, Ants On A Shrimp is a food film fan’s dream (for everyone else it’s gonna be merely so-so!) with everything from making new dishes (how about some deep fried fish sperm?!) to discovering new flavors (how about using a strawberry when they’re white?) all in an effort to create an original 14-course menu – bon appetite!

Lace Crater

(Invincible Pictures)

While seemingly part Contracted, part Before Sunrise, this indie odd egg is still one original nasty nugget.  The tale of a gal who summons a ghost in a haunted guest house (who appears in full burlap sack attire!), falls for his boyish charms and sleeps with him is interesting enough to hold attention alone.  But add to that a rather eerie and slimy inner and outer transformation of lead gal Lindsay Burdge into something deeply disturbing (not to mention the Frankenstein reaction by friends and family!) and you’ve got one low-budget cinematic crater that’s way too big and bold to ignore.

Equity Poster

Gleason poster

Into the Forest poster

Ants On A Shrimp Poster

Lace Crater 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.

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