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Sunday, April 20, 2014



Limited Releases: Glimpse Inside the Limited Releases

While there are a number of diverse limited releases this week, only two of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Those two are Lore and Caesar Must Die. Neither has a real shot at mainstream success, as foreign language films and documentaries rarely expand significantly. Hopefully they will at least find a receptive audience in the art house circuit.

Caesar Must Die - Reviews
A documentary about the Rebibbia Prison in Rome, in which the prisoners are putting on an adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. We see the process from casting to rehearsals and more. It's the best-reviewed new release of the week and it seems made for the art house circuit. I don't think it will expand much beyond that, on the other hand. Caesar Must Die opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III - Reviews
Charlie Sheen stars as the titular Charles Swan III. At the beginning of the movie, he is dumped by his girlfriend, Ivana, and tries to figure out what went wrong. The reviews are terrible and the film has already been out on Video on Demand, so I don't think it will have any real success in limited release. A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III opens tonight in select cities.

Lore - Reviews
Saskia Rosendah stars as Lore, the daughter of an SS officer whose parents are arrested by the Allies after World War II. So she leads her four siblings north to live with her grandmother. Along the way she meets another refugee and this encounter makes her question what she was taught by her parents. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the week and it could be the biggest hit on this week's list. Lore opens tonight in select cities.

The Playroom - Reviews
Olivia Harris stars as 16-year old Maggie Cantwell. The film takes place one night while her parents are having a party and she is up in the playroom / attic with the other kids telling them a bed time story that mirrors the problems in their real lives. The film boasts a strong cast, but the critics are split evenly. The Playroom opens tonight in three theaters, one in New York City, one in Los Angeles, and one in Dallas.

Porfirio - Reviews
A not quite documentary about Porfirio Ramirez, who was paralyzed when the police shot him by mistake. It's more of a dramatic reenactment of his life, with him in the lead role as a somewhat fictionalized version of himself. Unfortunately, this has resulted in mixed reviews and limited releases generally need overwhelmingly positive reviews to thrive. Porfirio opens tonight at the MOMA in New York City.

The Sorcerer and the White Snake - Reviews
Jet Li stars as a monk trying to save the soul of a herbalist who has fallen in love with a demon that has transformed herself from a white snake into a woman. Jet Li has a lot of name recognition here, but the film is still the wrong genre for limited release and its reviews are terrible. Perhaps it will find an audience on Video on Demand, because it will likely struggle in limited release. The Sorcerer and the White Snake opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in Hawaii.

Spiders 3D - No Reviews
A crashed Soviet Space Station causes some spiders in New York City to mutate and wreck havoc. This is the wrong genre for limited release, there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is currently playing on Video on Demand. All of these factors will likely conspire together to kill the film's chances at the box office. Spiders 3D opens tonight in eight theaters in the South California area.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-02-08

Movies 
 Cesare deve morire
 A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
 Lore
 The Playroom
 Porfirio
 Bai she chuan shuo
 Spiders 3D