Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles (w/Bonus 5-Star Short Link!)

The year is closing down, but that doesn’t mean the indie film fare train is in anyway starting to cinematically slow down.  (Aka there is life besides end of year Oscar fare film freaks!)  Teen detective stories, road racing outings, wild bio-pics, women in the wasteland and cheaters getting their due all make up the five films covered in this weeks Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on Hollow In The Land, Fast Convoy, I, Tonya, Apocalypse Road and The Condo below! (Plus check out article end for a special link to the five-star genre short The Plague as a bonus Christmas gift!)

(Vertical Entertainment)

Terrific first feature from writer/director Scooter Corkle about a sister who decides to play detective when her brother involved in a murder suddenly disappears.  While the performances are decent across the board (Dianna Agron is particularly effective as the inquisitive sibling!), it’s the fabulous twists, turns and overall tone within Corkle’s somber story that makes this one a standout.  It’s a rare gem that not many films today possess – a filmmaker with a strong story to unspool.

(Under The Milky Way)

Fast Convoy, a French high-octane action import, is one of those films that suffer from a rare case of not enough.  Meaning in biting off way more than it can chew in a single movie sitting by focusing on four car loads of people involved in a vehicle drug run, none are fully given their due.  So while all possess characteristics that make them individually engaging (the forced by circumstance relationship between Benoît Magimel’s quiet hitman and Reem Kherici’s meek bystander is especially spicy!) there’s simply not enough time to fully explore all with the detail required.  Screeching by way too fast, this fast film character wise needed to slow down.


While there is a bold movie move within I, Tonya to infuse both comedy and drama into a very tragic story told from varied perspectives, the uneven tone shifts prove somewhat distracting.  An inconsistent balance between both sides is glaring (not even the savvy style can fuse them appropriately!) and as such both suffer and never reached their full stride.  Not that some of the performances aren’t notable – both Margot Robbie and Allison Janney bring some A-game – but they can’t mask the fact that even told with tongue firmly in cheek horrible events like domestic violence will and should never be a laughing matter.  I, Tonya is a gallant gamble that sadly doesn’t pay off.

(Wild Eye Releasing)

Touting itself as an outing in the vein of Mad Max: Fury Road mixed with the Viggo Mortensen flick The Road, this low budget flick while grungy hardly comes up to such a high post-apocalypse level.  Mired in mean men, soulless sharpshooters and good guys who go down, Apocalypse Road feels like a ho-hum been done better affair.  The only notable nugget here is the work by Katie Kohler and Ashlyn McEvers playing sassy surviving sisters, but even their sibling rivalry can’t save this one from being familiar film fare.

(Gravitas Ventures)

A sad excuse for a comedy, The Condo lowers itself to basic bathroom humor though minus any modicum of clever.  A tale of four guys who get served a little payback after cheating on their significant others in a lush mansion stetting is not even funny by accident – a true film feat indeed.  (One of the characters is even a stand-up comedian in the film – and still not funny!)  People complained that The Book Of Henry was bottom of the barrel and its films like this that make me beg to differ – The Condo digs deeper.

Finally for all you genre fans looking for the next cool thing Christmas has officially come early!  The best of this year’s Screamfest 2017 horror shorts and my personal five-star favorite The Plague is now available for all to see!  (It has a music score via Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe helmer Fede Álvarez y’all!)  Seems Uruguay filmmaker Guillermo Carbonell has seen fit to let fans check his stellar short out for free and oh what a true treat under the tree it is – here is my review from the Screamfest coverage:

A stunning stirring short that dares to put outstanding acting in the forefront, this brief but effective tale of deceased loved ones who simply “don’t want to go” makes me want to see the inevitable future feature work of Uruguay filmmaker Guillermo Carbonell.  (aka I’m now a fan!)

So simply click…



and you can behold the poignant The Plague glory all for yourself – I’m watching everything you do Guillermo!  (And there’s talk of this concept in future projects so stay tuned!)



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 – Five New Indie Titles (w/Bonus 5-Star Short Link!)”

  1. Brian White

    You kind of have me interested in Condo just to see a Jason coleman 0 score movie if nothing else.
    I do want to see I Tonya. I doubt it will play down here.