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Thursday, April 24, 2014



Limited Releases are Very Becoming

Ten limited releases on this week's list, which can be evenly divided into those that are opening exclusively, or nearly exclusively, and those opening in a couple of dozen theaters or more. Oddly, nearly all of the exclusive releases are earning amazing reviews while most of the wider releases are not. That many theaters is usually too much for a limited release, and there are a couple that seem destined to fail because of their release strategy.

Becoming Jane - Reviews
Anne Hathaway stars in this biopic about author Jane Austen. It would be fair to assume this period piece was made to win Oscars, but it is being released too early in the year to be a serious contender. That, and the fact that the reviews are well below expectations. Just below the overall positive level is better than most wide releases, but likely won't be enough to expand much beyond its opening 100 theater count.

Blame it On Fidel - Reviews
The story of a nine-year old little girl whose life is turned upside down when her family gives up their life of wealth to become political activists. This coming of age film had to avoid a lot of pitfalls and for the most part it does. Even so, the foreign language aspect will likely keep it confined to the art house circuit, but it could do quite well there. Blame it On Fidel opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! - Reviews
Opening today, this film will play in 140 theaters for matinees over the weekend. The film itself is strictly for pre-schoolers, and their unfortunate parents, but with only three showings over the weekend it will have a hard time making a lot of cash.

Cash - Reviews
The first of two Indian films on this week's list. However, unlike the other film, which is a drama, this one's pure Bollywood. This film is about two teams of thieves that are both trying to steal three diamonds. There's not a lot of publicity, but it should still do well with its target audience. Cash opens tonight in 39 theaters.

Ghandi, My Father - Reviews
One of the wider releases, this Indian drama is about the son of Mahatma Gandhi, and what it is like to grow up with famous and dedicated father. Like most Hindi language films, this one is not getting much in the way of publicity, but that never hurt them in the past. Ghandi, My Father opens tonight in 35 theaters nationwide.

If I Didn't Care - Reviews
The only nearly exclusive film not to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. This neo-noir thriller aims for Hitchcock, but falls well short. Strictly for fans of neo-noir and even then they have better options. If I Didn't Care opens tonight in two theaters, both in New York City.

Summer '04 - Reviews
A family on vacation deal with some complications when their 15-year old son invites his 12-year old girlfriend along. Some uncomfortable topics are discussed, but the execution is amazing and the film should find an audience at art house circuits. But that's as far as it will go. Summer '04 opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

The Ten - Reviews
The sketch comedy troupe that was responsible for the TV series The Slate is back in this movie, which tells the story of the Ten Commandments. With a movie that is more or less a series of sketches, there is a lack of an overall story, which tends to hurt the effectiveness of the film. Depending on who you talk to, half or more of the stories work, but that's not enough for an enthusiastic recommendation and it will be better as a rental where you can skip over the ones that fail to connect. The Ten opens tonight in 25 theaters with a planned expansion on the 17th.

Them - Reviews
A tense thriller that is purportedly based on real life events, but it is more likely that it is based on an urban legend. Still, that doesn't affect the effectiveness of the movie. Them opens tonight at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. It's not often that Portland gets a premiere like this, so residents should take advantage of it.

The Willow Tree - Reviews
An Iranian film about a blind man who is diagnosed with a fatal disease, the treatment of which returns his sight to him. The lead performance is excellent, and even if the metaphors are a little heavy-handed at times it is still worth checking out. The Willow Tree opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza in New York City.

- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2007-08-03

Movies 
 Becoming Jane
 La faute Fidel
 Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!
 Cash
 Gandhi, My Father
 If I Didn't Care
 Sommer '04
 The Ten
 Beed-e majnoon