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Murder Made Easy (2017)
Clever Murder Mystery
Murder Made Easy is a clever new release indie murder mystery directed by David Palamaro. I became aware of this film due to some buzz at the Dances With Films festival at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood and I'm very happy to see that it has now been released for all of us to watch at home. Murder Made Easy is a murder mystery about a widow named Joan who wants to get a measure of revenge on some people who she believes wronged her husband. Her friend Michael is her accomplice as they lure them into a dinner party.
This film is very well acted, with a standout performance from Jessica Graham in the lead role. The various dinner guests are also quite good at being eccentric or annoying, which is exactly what they needed to be. MME is also well written and it might remind some of Clue or an Agatha Christie story. The film is low budget, as many indies are, but the movie smartly takes place all in one home and they go all-in on making this a successful chamber play.
I highly recommend Murder Made Easy to anyone looking for a good murder mystery.
Perfect Feet (2019)
This is no small feet
As a big documentary fan, I'm always interested in checking out the new releases, which is how I came to watch Perfect Feet the Movie. This doc is both funny and informative as we follow one man's journey to find the perfect feet. I wasn't really sure how there could be a feature length film about feet, but the film continually brought up of lots of interesting topics relating to the two things that keep us standing: Arch support vs. no arch support, how so many bones are in our feet, how feet are such an integral part of many professions, feet binding, etc. If you like documentaries like me, particularly ones that do a fun deep dive into a particular topic, then check out Perfect Feet the Movie.
Breathe Breana (2019)
Breathe Breana is an inspiring documentary. It tells the story of a young women with cystic fibrosis who, despite all of her challenges, dreams of becoming a champion tandem surfer. It's remarkable tale of perseverance and it might just change your perspective a little bit. The film is also well crafted -- so compliments to the filmmaking team. I think many of us are getting tired of the reality shows on television, or the depressing news every night, but Breathe Breana has an important and inspiring real-life story to showcase that I think everyone should watch for themselves. Highly recommend.
The Painted Warrior (2019)
This documentary is a really interesting look at Stephen and Aeni, a husband and wife duo, who have created "The Painted Warrior." This is a truly unique story that I was not aware of previously. Stephen gets painted by his wife Aeni in beautiful body paint designs (that you can catch a glimpse of right now in their poster image or trailer) before Stephen takes on daunting obstacle races. Once I saw just a few images of the body painting, I was hooked. I think the movie's poster might be my favorite of all time. The film goes on to delve deeply into their lives and their motivation. By the end of the film I was incredibly motivated to go take on the world. I highly recommend this movie to any documentary lovers out there or any endurance athletes.
She Walks the Woods (2019)
New Indie Found Footage Horror
I just watched She Walks the Woods, a new release horror film on Amazon Prime. I've been on a bit of a found footage horror kick lately since it's around Halloween. She Walks The Woods is definitely a good addition to this horror sub-genre. It starts with a good premise -- lots of people go missing in national parks and some go missing forever or turn up dead. We've all seen real life news stories about that, so I appreciated having a believable entry point to then ponder, "What if something out there is responsible?" She Walks the Woods has a solid cast and is an overall well executed film for its indie budget. If you're as interested in these kinds of films as I am then I'd definitely recommend watching She Walks the Woods!
Shady White (2019)
Slick New Release Indie
Shady White is a new release indie film involving guns, murder, the mob, and corrupt cops. Everyone is out to get each other and I was definitely entertained. The film maintained my interest throughout and I appreciated the dry wit and sarcasm as well. I enjoy indies like this, and while they may not have the multi-million dollar budgets and A list actors, they usually make up for it with creativity and originality. If you like films like that, then I'd definitely recommend giving Shady White a watch.
29 to Life (2018)
Charming Indie Rom-Com
29 to Life is charming independent romantic comedy. Barnaby is a loser, as we are told early on in the film by his ex-girlfriend. I'd probably agree with the ex-girlfriend, but later when Barnaby meets an old friend in Madison, he starts to grow more likable as the two of them even start to spark some romance. 29 to Life is the kind of fun, low-budget indie that I like to discover when I'm scrolling through my options on Amazon. The film has a few of the imperfections of your typical film without the budget of a major Hollywood movie, but it is redeemed by overall charm and performances like that of Diana Solis. If you're into these kinds of movies like I am then give 29 to Life a shot.
Ab Negative (2019)
Cool new action/sci-fi film!
I just checked out this New Release on Amazon Prime and I have to say I was really glad I decided to watch AB Negative. I like indie movies, but rarely are they legitimately cool like this. The movie is shot in Belgium and it's gorgeous -- made me want to go there. I feel like I'm always seeing LA or New York in movies so it was just really refreshing to see somewhere new on screen. The premise of the film is also great and a perfect setup for a movie: most of the world has died from a virus except for those with the rarest blood type (AB negative, of course). But if someone can drink AB negative blood then they help counter the effects of the virus. This obviously creates a really interesting and savage future world where everyone is out for those with AB negative blood and will do anything they can to get it. The movie is a bit more deliberately paced at the beginning, but the film really takes off as it progresses. There's a really cool fight sequence that's in and out of falling water under a bridge that I really liked.
If you're into indie sci-fi action films then you should definitely check out AB Negative.
Feels like a Film Festival Gem waiting to be discovered
Pester is a really intriguing bit of art house cinema. I watched the movie on Amazon Prime, but it gave me the feeling like I was watching a film festival gem waiting to be discovered. The film has a unique sensibility -- it's a very visual film where dialogue is sparse and the two leads' nuanced performances speak volumes. The cinematography is a particular standout here, capturing visuals ranging from the beautiful to the beautifully rotten or downtrodden. Pester is well crafted overall by do-it-all filmmaker Eric Gerber, and I particularly appreciated the symbolic ending of the film. I would highly recommend checking out Pester if you're looking for a unique bit of independent cinema.
Are You Glad I'm Here (2018)
Unique Indie Find
Are You Glad I'm Here is a new release that I found on Amazon Prime. I did some quick Googling and found out that it was a well reviewed indie film that did well on the film festival circuit, so I decided to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. I think we'll all admit that sometimes we can be hesitant to watch an indie film because we know that they don't have the advantages of Hollywood films that have a big budget or A list actors, but this film was a good reminder of the really different stories and perspectives that they can bring. I don't think I've ever watched a film that took place in Lebanon or at least not one that really delved into the culture, which I found interesting. There's some beautiful cinematography that shows off the location as well, including some really pretty aerial shots. The film's story and acting are also both really good, particularly for an indie, and let's be honest, that's what really counts in a film. So if you're looking for a unique film, I'd recommend giving this little indie find a shot.
This Is Meg (2017)
Fun, Honest Indie Comedy
This is Meg is a new release indie comedy that I found on Amazon Prime. This is a fun little comedy with an honest core and I have to say I definitely enjoyed watching this movie. Meg is struggling to make it in Hollywood and her challenges are not unheard of. We're all aware of the challenges facing actresses as they get older or if they're not rail thin, which are obviously unfair. This is Meg approaches these difficulties in an amusing way. I've found that laughs can sometimes be hard to come by in some indie comedies, but I laughed quite a bit during This is Meg. The scene where everyone takes ayahuasca is very good. There's several good comedic performances in This is Meg. If you're looking for a relevant indie comedy, I'd recommend watching This is Meg.
Nineteen Summers (2019)
Honest and Real New Film
Nineteen Summers is fresh off its theatrical run and I was happy to see it is now available for me to watch on Amazon. I gladly forked over $2.99 to check out this new release in the comfort of my own home.
Nineteen Summers is an authentic indie drama about DeAndre, a 19 year old father trying to make it amidst a turf war in his hometown of LA. The film deals directly with a number of social issues as DeAndre is inevitably confronted with dilemmas about the right way to make it, as well as the always looming police presence and biased criminal justice system. I really enjoyed this movie. Nineteen Summers has something to say and it's a relevant film. The movie is shot well and looks high end for an indie release. If you're looking for an authentic movie about coming of age in urban LA, then check out Nineteen Summers, I highly recommend it.
Before the Dawn (2019)
Compelling New Indie Drama
I just watched Before the Dawn, a new release on Amazon Prime, and I definitely appreciated this well-made indie drama. Before the Dawn is about a story that we see in the news every few years, but I have yet to see a movie about it. The plot concerns a new high school teacher who falls for one of her troubled students. Now this film definitely has sex appeal, but this is not an exploitative or overly sex driven treatment that you might find with a lesser film on a bad network. Before the Dawn creates a compelling and balanced story where the love feels pretty legitimate, which makes for a more complex tale. I'll also note that the film has very pretty cinematography and nice music as well. If you're interested in a complex and well-made indie drama, I'd recommend that you check out Before the Dawn.
Take Me Out (2018)
Compelling Indie Sports and Family Drama
Take Me Out is an indie sports drama directed by Joe Shanks. The film is both a family drama and a coming of age story about Nicholas Dupree, who lives in the shadow of his athlete brother. The relationships within this family are complex and Nicholas struggles a bit to find his path. I enjoyed this indie film. It feels modern but with the familiar tone of many sports/family dramas that we've all loved over the years. I'm a big sports fan so that added to my enjoyment of this film, but at its core, Take Me Out is about Nicholas finding his way and navigating the relationships in his family as well. Check it out!
Hello & Goodbye (2018)
Really Interesting Indie Relationship Drama
Hello & Goodbye is a really interesting indie new release on Amazon Prime. The first thing that jumped out at me with this film was the evocative imagery. Hello & Goodbye has really compelling lighting, framing, and the occasional sweeping drone shot that are particularly remarkable given that this is likely a moderately budgeted indie film. The plot concerns two exes as they reunite and seem to connect and understand each other in ways that they had not when they were together. I like these movies where the acting does not feel "performed," rather it feels natural like we are observing people we know. Hello & Goodbye takes its time where necessary, and excels in creating a unique mood and atmosphere for this story to grow. I enjoyed this movie and I think those who like a really good indie relationship drama will enjoy it as well.
Tag Team Truckers (2018)
Quality new indie release
Tag Team Truckers is a new release indie dramedy that I found on Amazon Prime. I was curious to check out some of the latest releases and noticed that Tag Team Truckers was just coming off a successful film festival run and decided to give it a shot. The film follows two brothers, who could not be more dissimilar, who make an impulsive decision to become commercial truckers. Tag Team Truckers both looks and feels superior to most indie films that you'll see, with high quality camera work and overall production value. The film has plenty of laughs, particularly with the quirky lead brother, but there's some drama in the film as well. If you're looking for a quality new indie film to watch, I'd recommend Tag Team Truckers.
Texas Heart (2016)
Unique indie suspense film about small town USA
Texas Heart is an indie suspense film directed by Mark David. The plot concerns a man on the run who ends up in a small Texas town and ultimately finds an opportunity for personal redemption while he is there. I enjoy indie films like this that tell a unique story, this one about people in small town USA. There are a few recognizable actors, which is always fun, and some solid performances by others who I'm not as familiar with. If you're looking for an original indie film to watch tonight, maybe one with (Texas) heart, then I'd recommend checking out Texas Heart!
Sisterhood of Death (2012)
Fun Indie/Horror Comedy
Sisterhood of Death is a fun indie horror/comedy from director Antony De Gennaro. The film combines camp, witchcraft, and a bit of sex appeal for a unique blend. This is the type of film for those who enjoy a good over the top horror film that doesn't hold back with its performances and plot. I really enjoy these kinds of films since it's a lot of fun to be able to laugh and enjoy my favorite genre of horror at the same time. If you're the same, I'd recommend you check out Sisterhood of Death.
First Lady (2018)
Popular New Film!
I saw First Lady on a list of some of the most popular new films on Amazon Prime so I decided to check it out. This is an intense indie action/drama that hooks you in immediately. The main character Maria's man gets killed and everyone is trying to move in on his business and Maria herself, and all hell breaks loose. I can tell by the charts that I saw that this movie is really popular and I can see why. It's a low budget film but really impressive. Give it a watch!
A Legacy of Whining (2016)
Fun, Unique Indie Comedy
A Legacy of Whining is a unique indie comedy from director, and actor, Ross Munro. The film and its script have an original sense of humor that I enjoyed. The plot concerns two middle aged friends who meet up after 30 years and get themselves into some unusual situations late one night. The film excels in embracing awkward comedy and not taking itself too seriously. This indie find really goes for it and doesn't hold back. I genuinely appreciate little indie comedies like these. I'd recommend A Legacy of Whining to anyone who also enjoys unique indie comedies as well.
Exciting new Detroit dance documentary
I'm a fan of all types of documentaries, so I was excited to watch the new indie dance documentary, The Jitterbugs: Pioneers of Jit. The film follows the history and evolution of the jit -- the popular dance that originated years ago in the city of Detroit. The doc combines modern day interviews and footage with older footage during the early days of the jit. The doc matched the energy of the dance itself and breezed by with a runtime under an hour. I enjoyed the film without knowing much about the jit prior to the film and I would bet that anyone who appreciates dance or has ties to Detroit will particularly love the film as well. Check it out!
The Edict (2017)
Quality New Indie Horror Film
The Edict is a quality new indie horror film that is directed by Mark Cross. The film is both a modern tale and a bit of a throwback to classic horror films of years past. The Edict does a good job of making you wonder whether the lead actress experiencing something truly sinister or if her psychotic depression is taking over. I always gravitate toward indie films since I'm not always just looking for the biggest budget, rather for some creativity and originality, which The Edict definitely has. I'd recommend The Edict to anyone who is into indie horror films.
Better Than Love (2019)
Timely Indie Drama
Better Than Love is a gripping indie drama. Based on true events, the film follows a young man who deals drugs in order to help get him out of the suburban ghetto. But after an altercation lands him in the hospital with a prescription to OxyContin, the young man slowly transforms from a dealer into an addicted customer. This is an incredibly timely film as the opioid epidemic is sweeping our country. I'm not sure that I've seen a film really deal with this issue yet. Better Than Love is gripping and very well crafted, particularly for an indie film. I very much liked the film's score as well. I'd highly recommend watching Better Than Love to anyone looking for a timely and high quality indie drama.
Amplify Her (2019)
Powerful New Documentary
Amplify Her is a remarkable new documentary about several female electronic dance music artists. I couldn't look away. The film is incredibly interesting and well crafted by its directors -- Nicole Sorochan and Ian MacKenzie. Amplify Her moves seamlessly from interviews to concert footage to animated sequences. I'm always a sucker for animated sequences in documentaries. They just seem to grab my attention and add a dynamic layer to documentaries that can sometimes otherwise feel a bit too straightforward and routine. As for the story content, it is quite compelling. The stories of these women artists are both riveting and feel important. This kind of a film is truly refreshing and necessary today. If you're into EDM, powerful stories about women, or documentaries in general then I think you should check out Amplify Her!
Gritty Desert Tale
"Hesperia" lured me in with the cool movie poster of what looked like a desperate kid in the middle of the desert, only lit by headlights. The film's succinct logline is quite straightforward -- "In a small desert town a home invasion goes terribly wrong" -- but the film is about more than that. Hesperia follows an ensemble of troubled characters out in a small desert town, from kids to tweakers to dealers, as a gritty and raw plot unfolds. The film grapples with some of the grim realities of these types of people and the film gives off an authentic sense of realism. I was a big fan of the cinematic desert filming locations in the film in particular. When I watch indie films I'm not always looking for the biggest production value or a million dollar budget, rather I'm looking for creativity and originality and Hesperia had that. I'd recommend checking this one out.