Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Four New Indie Titles

Under a handful of Indie hopefuls this week (though check out my career interview posted earlier this week with Samantha Mathis – click HERE – in anticipation of the film Boarding School also out this week!), but some cinema is better than no cinema.  (Movies big and small are all important to dissect after all!)  A doc about canines looking to excel, plus tales of heists gone wrong, what lengths one will go to in clearing their good name and big ass alligators that bite make up the four flicks covered this week ala Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the critical skinny on Pick Of The Litter, Let The Corpses Tan, Reprisal and Lake Placid: Legacy all below!

(Sundance Selects)

Engaging and informative doc that follows a litter of five puppies on their exhausting journey to possibly becoming guide dogs for the blind.  Not only do we see these furry fellows going through various interesting developmental stages (who knew there was such a thing as ‘puppy raising’ people?) but we also get to know the various personalities and quirks of each featured canine over the films’ two year dissection which makes this outing easy to adore. Investing the audience with loving doggie details and the real and raw emotions of their human counterparts, Pick Of The Litter passes the decent doc test with entertaining ease.

(Kino Lorber)

A real strong case of style over substance, Let The Corpses Tan is an unapologetic experiment in pure gonzo visual filmmaking.  Taking a typical tale of a heist and hideout story and injecting it with constant electric eye candy in the form of creepy colors, trippy style, scary shot selections and enough oddball characters that would make even David Lynch take pause, this one adopts an ‘everything AND the kitchen sink approach’ in its desire to be different and definitely succeeds.  Down side though is that the rapid fire images do come so fast and furious that eventually it does begin to feel like an unwelcome assault on your cinema senses. Bottom line is satisfying style is a lot like choosing the right amount of grub in an all-you-can-eat buffet – too much of a good thing can be the enemy of enjoyment.

(Lionsgate Premiere)

Love the earnest gravitas of actor Frank Grillo in any role, but even he can’t elevate this far-fetched tale of a bank manager who becomes obsessed with finding the bank robbing bad guy who held him at gunpoint.  Not to mention that playing his ex-cop neighbor and grumpy helpy helper, Bruce Willis all but phones his work in and adds yet another walk-through role to an already massive recent movie list.  (Please tell me Glass is gonna be different sir?!)  The only saving grace of this one is the notable turn by a hard-edged Johnathon Schaech as the resident bad guy – this outing should have copied his fascinating film focus for sure.

(Sony Pictures)

A pure cash grab if ever there was one, Lake Placid: Legacy would almost be an embarrassment if the expectations going in weren’t already so low.  And this one definitely delivers on the promise of bad acting (there’s even the standard ‘every man for himself’ character!), bad cameos (what the hell is The Matrix alum Joe Pantoliano doing in this seemingly made-for-TV mess – even for a minute?!) and overall bad creature visuals.  (The folks who did the horrible alligator CGI for this one must hand over their effects cards on the way out the door!)  The only good news here is that this one plays possum with the creature by not showing too much to keep the suspense going – whatever works to keep this crappy B-movie gator off the screen gets my thumbs up.



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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