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Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Limited Releases: Go For Broke

It is a pretty busy week for limited releases with a number of them that could do well. Blancanieves should do well in art house cinemas, but it is too out there for mainstream success. Likewise, From Up on Poppy Hill should draw in fans of Anime, but there are not enough of them to allow the film to expand significantly. Ginger and Rosa has more appeal to mainstream audiences and strong buzz, but its reviews are only good and not great. Spring Breakers is also earning reviews that are good, but not great. However, it has a planned wide opening next week, so unless that falls apart, it will be the biggest hit on this week's list.

Blancanieves - Reviews
A modern retelling of Snow White set in 1920s Spain and focusing on the world of Bullfighting. Also, it's in Black and White and is a Silent film. So far the film's reviews are perfect, but it is likely too weird to thrive outside of limited release. Blancanieves opens tonight, or maybe on the 29th. I've seen conflicting reports. It likely won't expand to where I live, but I really hope to get a screener to review.

From Up on Poppy Hill - Reviews
Written by Hayao Miyazaki, who is considered the greatest living animator by a lot of people, and directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki. The reviews are excellent, but Anime is still a niche market, so it likely won't expand significantly. From Up on Poppy Hill opens tonight in select theaters.

Ginger and Rosa - Reviews
Elle Fanning and Alice Englert star as two teenage girls growing up in London during the Cuban missile crisis. This film has louder buzz than most limited releases, but the early reviews were mixed. They have since improved and are now at 70% positive. However, while this would be good for a wide release, it might not be good enough for a limited release. Ginger and Rosa open tonight in select cities and is currently on Video on Demand.

I Killed My Mother - Reviews
A semi-autobiographical movie written, directed, and starring Xavier Dolan and is based on his highly dysfunctional relationship with his mother. I Killed My Mother opened on Wednesday at the MOMA in New York City.

If I Were You - Reviews
Marcia Gay Harden plays a woman who learns her husband is cheating on her with a younger woman, Leonor Watling. They form a strange, and strained, relationship. The reviews are terrible and are barely in double-digits. If I Were You opens tonight at the Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Los Angeles.

K-11 - Reviews
A record producer goes on a drink-fueled bender and wakes up in the homosexual wing of the local prison. So far the film has only earned one positive review out of the ten on Rotten Tomatoes. It has almost no chance of surviving in limited release, but it could do better on Video on Demand. K-11 opens tonight at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in Los Angeles and the Cinema Village in New York City.

The Kitchen - No Reviews
No reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. That's never a good sign. Laura Prepon stars as Jennifer, who is celebrating her 30th birthday when just about everything goes wrong. It is a dialogue heavy ensemble film that might find an audience on the home market, but it likely will struggle in limited release. The Kitchen opens tonight at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in Los Angeles and the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mindless Behavior: All Around The World - Reviews
A concert film from a band I've never heard of before. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a bad omen, but at least it is positive. Perhaps their fans will rush out to see the film, but I don't think it will do well enough to expand wide. Mindless Behavior opens tonight at the AMC Theatres.

My Amityville Horror - Reviews
First of all, the Amityville Horror was revealed to be a hoax. Although there was certainly some family dysfunction there. The reviews are good, but not great, and documentaries tend to need even better reviews than the average limited release. My Amityville Horror opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Philip Roth: Unmasked - Reviews
A biography about Philip Roth released to coincide with the writer's 80 birthday. The film's reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely struggle at the box office. Philip Roth: Unmasked opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Reality - Reviews
A look at a man who is obsessed with becoming a contestant on Big Brother, but this obsession takes a toil on him. The film's reviews are excellent, but while it has a shot at winning over art house fans, its chances of expanding significantly are limited. Reality opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

Reincarnated - Reviews
A documentary about Snoop Dog's transformation into Snoop Lion. Going from a man who used music used to glorify the gangster lifestyle to one who lost too many friends to violence could be an interesting one, but the reviews are far from strong. Documentaries about musicians have found some success in the past, but I don't think this will be one of them. Reincarnated opens tonight at the AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19 in Los Angeles.

Spring Breakers - Reviews
This film is earning louder buzz than most limited releases can dream of. It includes two former Disney stars, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, in their most adult roles to date. While the buzz was loud, there were some less generous with the film's chances with critics. The trailer made the film look exploitative, but without a strong plot to go with it. Now that there are plenty of reviews online, there are still quite a number of critics that still feel that way. However, the majority are giving the film positive reviews. It is more of a critique of the Spring Break lifestyle than a celebration or a cheap T&A film, so it might be able to bridge the gap between art house theaters and mainstream audiences. I'm not 100% sold, because that's never an easy climb. Spring Breakers opens tonight in three theaters before expanding next weekend.

Upside Down - Reviews
This film takes place in a world with two planets, Up and Down, which are so close that you can travel from one to the other. However, objects from one planet, including people, have gravity reversed when on the other planet. The people who live on Up are the Elites, while the people who live on Down are the lower classes and the people of Down are not allowed to travel to Up. This is a really fascinating set-up, but most critics agree that while the world created by the movie is interesting, the story is not. It has made $20 million internationally, but it likely won't find an audience here. Upside Down opens tonight in 11 theaters.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-03-15

Movies 
 Blancanieves
 Kokuriko-zaka Kara
 Ginger & Rosa
 J'ai tué me mère
 K-11
 The Kitchen
 Mindless Behavior: All Around The World
 My Amityville Horror
 Philip Roth: Unmasked
 Reality
 Reincarnated
 Spring Breakers
 Upside Down