Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Three New Indie Titles

Sorry movie fans – sadly only a mere tripod of Indie flicks reviewed this week.  (Both Backstabbing For Beginners and Disobedience were not made available to me!)  But at least there’s a pinch of smaller film fare to provide some cinematic counterbalance to the mighty Marvel big budget stuff.  Tales of being trapped on a highway by a rifle wielding madman, a saga of two bumbling lawmen looking to regain their jobs and the adventures of a woman in search of love via many gentlemen suitors all make up the movies dissected via this week’s edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on Downrange, The Escape Of Prisoner 614 and Let The Sunshine In all below!


It’s no surprise that the effectively dark and unrelenting new outing Downrange was helmed by Japanese filmmaker Ryûhei Kitamura as his previous dip into the demented pool The Midnight Meat Train is a highly underrated hidden gem.  Here Kitamura attaches the same brooding chaos reigns style to a terror tale about a group of friends who find themselves under fire by a mysterious and senseless sharpshooter on a stranded stretch of highway with disturbing results.  And while we have seen similar scary scenarios in genre films before, Downrange is a reminder that if crafted with cinematic skill a familiar frightful fable can be worth revisiting.

(Saban Films)

Taking a page from the old west playbook and then infusing it with comedic aspects, there is much to celebrate within The Escape of Prisoner 614.  Not only is there plenty of western machismo via tough guy sheriff Ron Perlman (he brings ornery to a whole new level!), but there’s also a kind of Keystone Kops element (though much more subtle!) via goofy deputies Jake McDorman and Martin Starr that properly elevates the material.  And while the pairing of genres doesn’t exactly provide five-star sustainability throughout, this one has enough experimental success to warrant a watch.

(IFC Films/Sundance Selects)

There’s a fantastic final scene in Claire Denis’s latest outing Let The Sunshine In where the love obsessed lead Juliette Binoche consults shifty psychic Gérard Depardieu and it really encapsulates her character’s issues in both love and life.  Problem is the scene should have opened the film, as watching Binoche wade through a gaggle of unworthy and uncaring suitors throughout the flick feels less like a single movie and more like scenes simply slapped together.  In fact the only cinematic string holding the film together is the passionate turn by the leading lady – Binoche makes even nonsensical utterly watchable.




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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