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Friday, July 25, 2014



Limited Releases: Afflicting Limited Releases on the Public

Alan Partridge poster

It is a busy week, not only in terms of quantity, but also quality. There are seven films earning 80% positive reviews or higher (at least when I checked last). Some of these, like Afflicted, probably won't find an audience in theaters, because it is just the wrong genre. Others, like The Unknown Known and Watermark, might do well for the genre, but won't find any real measure of mainstream success. On the other hand, Under the Skin and Alan Partridge might find audiences in theaters.

10 Rules for Sleeping Around - Reviews
Two couples give their ten rules for a happy, open relationship. Rule number one is probably don't make your significant other see this movie. So far there are seven reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and all of them are negative. They are all negative and aggressively so. 10 Rules for Sleeping Around opens tonight in theaters and on Video on Demand. I can't imagine it will do much business in the former.

Afflicted - Reviews
Horror films rarely do well in limited release, even those with great reviews. That's too bad, because this film does have great reviews. It is a found footage horror movie about two friends who decide to travel around the world but one of them has a one-night stand and something happens to him as a result. Afflicted opens tonight in ten theaters in select cities.

Alan Partridge - Reviews
Steve Coogan plays the titular Alan Partridge, a radio personality and complete arse. When the company he works for is bought-out, he convinces his new bosses to fire his co-host, Colm Meaney, without him finding out. When Colm Meaney returns, with a gun, he asks Alan Partridge to be his negotiator with the police. This is one of the best-reviewed releases of the week and it has strong buzz, so it could be the biggest limited release hit of the week. Alan Partridge opens tonight in six theaters in select cities. Check out the official site for more details.

Alien Abduction - Reviews
A movie supposedly based on real life Brown Mountain Lights in North Carolina. A family has an alien abduction encounter while on vacation. This isn't a unique storyline and the reviews are weak. Plus it is a horror film already playing on Video on Demand. There's little hope for this film at the box office. Alien Abduction opens tonight in about a dozen theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Cas & Dylan - Reviews
Richard Dreyfuss stars as Dr. Cas Pepper, a terminally ill doctor on the road. He picks up Dylan, played by Tatiana Maslany, a young lady on the run from a violent boyfriend. After accidentally hitting the boy friend with the SUV, the pair go on the run. This is a Canadian film opening in its native land in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.

Dom Hemingway - Reviews
Jude Law plays a safe-cracker just out of prison who tries to go legit, but falls back trying one last heist to get what he is owed. The film's reviews are mixed, which wouldn't be bad for a wide release, but could prove fatal for a limited release. Dom Hemingway opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and Los Angeles.

Flex is Kings - Reviews
A documentary about Flexing, a form of street dancing that is more simulation combat than simply just dance. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the reviews are not overwhelmingly positive. Also, there is a lot of competition this week. This film could slip between the cracks. Flex is Kings opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

Frankie and Alice - Reviews
This movie originally came out in 2010 and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Halle Berry. It went nowhere originally, because the reviews were terrible. Now it is being re-released in nearly 200 theaters. I don't think it will do any better now than it did back then.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden - Reviews
A documentary about a group of people who wanted to live on the Galapagos islands to avoid civilization. It ended poorly. The reviews are mixed with many critics complaining that it is not as engaging as it should be, given what happened in real life. The Galapagos Affair opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City with some other showings planned throughout the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Goodbye World - Reviews
A couple lives off the grid raising their young daughter in an organic and sustainable way. When a computer virus destroys civilization, their old friends come up to flee the chaos, but old wounds resurface. The movie's reviews are terrible and the film is opening on Video on Demand, so its theatrical numbers are likely going to be insignificant. Goodbye World opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

Ilo Ilo - Reviews
Set in Singapore during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. It deals with an upper middle class family whose fortune takes a hit when the father loses his job, but he doesn't to tell his wife. There are not a huge number of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but so far all eleven are positive. It is a foreign language film, which means its potential to expand significantly is lower, but it should do well in art house theaters. Ilo Ilo opens tonight in two theaters with plans to expand over the coming week. Check out the official site for more details.

In the Blood - Reviews
The latest film starring MMA turned actress, Gina Carano. Many of the critics are complimenting her ability to handle action parts, while she is improving as an actress. However, she needs to work on picking better projects, because this is a by-the-numbers action film. It's not the kind of movie that works in limited release, but it could find an audience on Video on Demand or when it hits the home market. In the Blood opens tonight in 15 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar - Reviews
An IMAX release opening the same weekend Captain America: The Winter Soldier should have the best IMAX opening of the year so far. I'm not sure I would have made that decision. Granted, its target audience is not the same as Captain America's is, but the film won't get as many screens as it would have during a slower weekend. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar opens tonight in 37 IMAX theaters.

Jinn - Reviews
A horror film that was made in 2010, but is only getting a release now. That's a bad sign. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and it is negative, which is a worse sign. Finally, Jinn is opening tonight in way too many theaters for a limited release. Check out the official site for more details.

Nymphomaniac: Volume Two - Reviews
Either you saw Volume One last month and liked it enough to see volume two, or you don't care. Either way, there's not much for me to add that I didn't say last time. Nymphomaniac: Volume Two opens tonight in 30 theaters.

On the Other Side of the Freeway - No Reviews
The first of two French films released by Weinstein Co. This one is a buddy cop action comedy, but there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is hard to judge its quality. There are many reviews online, but most of them are not in English. From the little I could gather, it is an okay buddy cop comedy that works well enough to be worth watching, but perhaps not well enough to head to the theater to see. On the Other Side of the Freeway opens tonight in 50 theaters, which is probably too many.

The Players - Reviews
A French anthology about husbands cheating on their wives or girlfriends and trying to not get caught. Like most anthology films, this one is hit and miss, but there are too many misses to bother watching it in theaters. Wait till the home market when you can skip over the misses. On the other hand, many of the complaints are that the film is simply sexist, so you might just want to stay away entirely. The Players opens tonight in 50 theaters, which is probably too many to thrive.

The Retrieval - Reviews
Set during the Civil War, a 13-year old boy is sent by bounty hunters to retrieve a freed slave and return him to the South. The film is earning excellent reviews, but it is certainly not among the most buzz-worthy movies coming out this week and that could hurt. The Retrieval opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City and includes Q&A events tonight and tomorrow. Check out the official site for more details.

Under the Skin - Reviews
One of the more difficult films to explain on this week's list. Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien who inhabits a human body and ... does something. The official plot synopsis is very vague and a lot of critics say the movie is inexplicable, but really engaging. Under the Skin opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles. Check out the official site for more details.

The Unknown Known - Reviews
Donald Rumsfeld is arguably the worst Secretary of Defense the United States has ever had. Errol Morris is one of the best documentary filmmakers, especially when it comes to interviewing people. However, is he a match for deluded stupidity? Even if Errol Morris can't get a good answer out of Donald Rumsfeld, it should be excellent, if frustrating viewing. The Unknown Known opened on Wednesday in a dozen theaters in select cities.

Watermark - Reviews
A Canadian documentary that was released in Canada last year. It earned excellent reviews and did very well for a documentary up here. It will be interesting to see if it can match that performance here. Watermark opens tonight in New York City in two theaters expanding to Los Angeles on the 11th. Check out the official site for more details.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-04-04

Movies 
 10 Rules for Sleeping Around
 Afflicted
 Alan Partridge
 Alien Abduction
 Dom Hemingway
 Frankie and Alice
 The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
 Goodbye World
 In the Blood
 Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
 Jinn
 Nymphomaniac: Part Two
 De l'autre côté du périph
 The Retrieval
 Under the Skin
 The Unknown Known
 Watermark