I read on an internet message board that someone said about `Felon' and how it's "The best film ever to go straight to DVD."
Well, I'm not sure it's the best ever, but I kind of know where that quote came from. It is damn good. However, it is also very BLEAK. Wow, is it depressing from time to time. It is dark, gritty, nasty, sad, frustrating and then all of those again.
It tells the story of a decent family man who (sort of) accidentally kills a burglar one night and gets sent to prison. There he must learn the inner workings of the new `society' he finds himself in. Many people may draw parallels with the excellent `Shawshank Redemption.' Yes, they are both about similar subject matter, but they're both very different. Felon uses a lot of handheld camerawork, giving it a deliberately amateur `documentary' feel to it, which adds to the realism.
Just like Shawshank, Felon has no `weak links' when it comes to its actors. I don't normally think much of Val Kilmer, but here he plays his part well and you'll find you have sympathy for everyone here, even some people you think you may not normally like.
All it all, Felon is a great little movie. It probably should have got a full theatrical release, but its sombre tone may well alienate the general populous. If you're in the mood for something dark then you'll probably appreciate this.