Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Three New Indie Titles (And One Short!)

Only a few lesser known flicks dissected this week (LA Film Fest is underway – can you say cinematically swamped!) to counter all things big budget.  (Though for those who want to get their indie on check out previously mentioned fest!)  Docs on movie music, shark infested fright fests, POV action flicks and a special short via a famed filmmaker all get the critical skinny scenario below!  Check out Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Score: A Film Music Documentary, 47 Meters Down, Kill Switch and the short Rakka for your convenience!


(Gravitas Ventures)

A definitive doc must for the true film fan, Score: A Film Music Documentary explores the wide world of movie music and even at a trim ninety-three minutes this one covers a ton of ground.  From the history of movie music (back when it was used to cover the sounds of the projector!) and film scores of the past (King Kong’s orchestra work was groundbreaking for its time!) to dissections of works of the greats like John Williams, Bernard Hermann, John Barry and Ennio Morricone and even current geniuses (Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman) this one branches out to make sure all areas are present and accounted for.  We even get to go behind the scenes as a fly on the wall during scoring sessions both in a small room with the director (Garry Marshall lets the camera crew sit in!) and a wide one famed hall with an orchestra.  Looking for a fantastic doc that highlights what makes magic in movies happen – score.

(Entertainment Studios)

Saw this one some time ago when it was called In The Deep and was in a straight-to-DVD release case that seemed altogether uneventful.  But upon watching it I was surprised – this little B-movie was one decent thriller.  Pitting two helpless caged gals Mandy Moore and Claire Holt against a gaggle of flesh hungry sharks at the ocean bottom proved to have some seriously savory scares (the camera cage drop got me!), which is a real feat in dealing with a theme and carnivorous creature that has been done to death.  Plus with the added additions of Matthew Modine as the calm ship Captain and some clever twist and turns, In the Deep – now 47 Meters Down – as far as shark cinema goes is one entertaining encounter.

(Saban Films/Lionsgate)

Taking a page from the Hardcore Henry playbook, Kill Switch jets between standard past scenes of lead man Dan Stevens getting recruited to enter an ‘echo universe’ and present alternative ones where it’s a first person affair with mere Stevens voice over.  The regular initial scenes provide the only good work here, as Stevens needs to be seen to be fully appreciated.  The problem with the video game POV style in Kill Switch is how uninspired it is.  Hardcore Henry may have been a tad jarring for some viewers, but it also had Sharlto Copley in multiple juicy roles and a go-for-broke comedic visual style.  Kill Switch by contrast takes itself very serious and as a result the fun of being the eyes and ears of the lead man under fire is less a thrill and more a taxing cinematic chore.


(Oats Studios)

District 9, Elysium and Chappie helmer Neill Blomkamp presses pause on features and goes full tilt on this new short about an alien invasion called Rakka and for all visually intensive purposes the results are savory.  Not that the story doesn’t copy everything from Aliens to Terminator 2 to even his own sci-fi work, but in our current movie climate of recycled ideas, Blomkamp’s skill, namely his visual prowess, is still top notch.  I remember bringing up Blomkamp’s desire to do an Alien film and my excitement for such en endeavor (much to the ire of fellow WhySoBlu cohort Aaron Neuwirth!) and it was met with groans.  Tell you what – I’ll put up Blomkamp’s visual style seen so effectively in Rakka against Ridley Scott’s current lackluster stuff any day of the week – just give the guy a decent script.


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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