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Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Limited Releases: Belles of the Ball

Belle poster

There are a few limited releases coming out this week that are earning good reviews. Of these, two of them stand out as potential hits. There's Belle, a period piece that deals with interracial romance, as well as slavery. Then there's Ida, which is about a young woman discovering her past. Its reviews are incredible, so I hope moviegoers reward it with strong ticket sales.

Anaamika - No Reviews
An Indian film about a woman who goes to the cops to try and find her missing husband. There are no reviews, but that is common for this type of film. There is also no official site that I could find,

Bachelor Weekend - Reviews
A group of friends go camping to celebrate their friend's upcoming wedding. However, when the groom-to-be's future brother-in-law shows up and takes control of the camping trip, things take a turn for the worse. The film's reviews are really good, but this is not the usual genre to succeed in limited release. Plus, it is opening in Video on Demand as well, so it will likely do better there than in theaters. Bachelor Weekend opens tonight in Chicago at the Facets Cinémathèque.

Bad Johnson - Reviews
A comedy about a man who cheated on, and lost, yet another girl, so he wishes he didn't have a penis. The next day, his penis has taken human form. The film's reviews are weak and it is opening in Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even weaker. Bad Johnson opens tonight in nearly a dozen cities nationwide.

Belle - Reviews
A period piece about Dido Elizabeth Belle, an interracial woman in 18th England who was raised as an aristocrat. She fell in love with a lawyer, but the uncle who raised her thiks he is below her class. Meanwhile, the lawyer is working on the legal case that could end slavery in Britain. The film's reviews are great and the buzz is better than most of limited releases coming out this week. Belle opens tonight in four theaters split evenly between New York City and Los Angeles, while it expands over the next coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Blood Glacier - Reviews
A German horror movie about a scientific expedition in the German Alps. The team find a red liquid oozing from a glacier that is receding due to Global Warming and when the local wildlife come into contact with this liquid, they mutate into vicious beasts. The reviews are only mixed, so it will likely have to wait for the home market to find an audience. Blood Glacier opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Decoding Annie Parker - Reviews
This movie tells the stories of two women and cancer. One of the women is a three-time cancer survivor, while the other is a geneticist who discovered an important marker for detecting breast cancer. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and it is playing in Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even weaker. Decoding Annie Parker opens tonight in more than a dozen cities nationwide. Check out the official site for more details.

Dil Vil Pyar Vyar - No Reviews
A Bollywood film from 2002 that is finally making its way here. It tells the stories of three couples and the obstacles to romance. Dil Vil Pyar Vyar opens tonight in the usual Bollywood hotspots.

Farmland - Reviews
A documentary about how awesome it is to be a farmer. There are three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and all of them are negative. The biggest complaint seems to be that the movie is more of a recruitment video than a true documentary. Farmland opened on Thursday in select cities nationwide. Check out the official site for more details.

For a Woman - Reviews
A writer in her 30s realizes she doesn't know a lot about her family when she finds a box of photographs and decides to investigate her parents' life. The film's reviews are good, but this is one of two films that deal with very similar subjects and the other film is earning better reviews and louder buzz. For a Woman opens tonight in theaters and on Video on Demand.

Friended to Death - Reviews
After getting fired and dumped by his best friend, a man decides to fake his death on social media and set up a fake funeral to see who his true friends are. This is a black comedy and these are hard to get right and one look at the reviews suggests the filmmakers failed here. Additionally, even when done right, black comedies are hard to sell to moviegoers. Friended to Death opens tonight in select cities and expands to Video on Demand next Friday.

Ida - Reviews
A Polish film set in the 1960s about an 18-year old orphan who is about to take her vows to become a nun when she learns from her only living relative that she has Jewish roots. This film's reviews are among the best of the year. It is a foreign-language film, so its chances to expand significantly are limited. However, hopefully it will at least find some measure of mainstream success. Ida opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, while it expands over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Jellyfish Eyes - No Reviews
A monster movie / coming of age movie from Japan that has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It is really hard to judge a movie with no reviews, but it does suggest it won't find an audience in theaters. Jellyfish Eyes opened on Thursday in Dallas and Boston and expands tonight to Seattle. Check out the official site for more details.

Journey of a Female Comic - Reviews
A documentary about Kiki Melendez, who is trying to make it as an actor / comedian. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is negative. Journey of a Female Comic opens tonight in ten theaters, mostly in Los Angeles. Check out the official site for details.

Kotha Janta - No Reviews
A Bollyood film about a new anchor who falls in love. There are no reviews, but that's not uncommon for a Bollywood film.

More Than the Rainbow - Reviews
A documentary about Matt Weber, who for the past 25 years has driven in his taxi and taken photographs of New York City. There are only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but they are all positive. Hopefully it won't go unnoticed in theaters. More Than the Rainbow opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Mr. Jones - Reviews
A couple move to a cabin in the woods so they can concentrate on their art. Their only neighbor is a reclusive artist who doesn't like to be disturbed. This is a horror film opening in limited release, and long-time readers know that rarely works out. Worse still, the film has bad reviews. Finally, it is also opening in video on demand, while it comes out on DVD or Blu-ray on Tuesday. Mr. Jones opens tonight in select theaters.

NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage - Reviews
A documentary about a theater troupe traveling around performing Shakespeare's play, Richard the III. The reviews are good, but not great, and I'm not sure if it will find an audience. According to its official site, NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage has been playing since Tuesday in a number of theaters.

The Protector 2 - Reviews
A sequel to The Protector. That film earned mixed reviews but did relatively well. This film is earning even worse reviews and its chances at the box office are very weak. It should perform better on Video on Demand, on the other hand. The Protector 2 opens tonight in select theaters at the Cinema Village in New York City, as well as Video on Demand.

Walk of Shame - No Reviews
A woman has a one-night stand and the next morning she has to get to an important job interview, but she doesn't have her purse, her ID, her phone, etc. I thought this film was going to open wide, but that turned out to not be the case. Not only that, but it has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This is all of the markings of a film being dumped by a studio that has no faith in the film. Walk of Shame opened tonight in 51 theaters as well as Video on Demand.

Water and Power - Reviews
A movie about twins who rise up as a cop and politician, but who have to deal with corruption. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests a lack of buzz. Plus, that one review is negative. Water and Power opens tonight in select theaters.

Whitewash - Reviews
A Canadian movie coming out south of the border. It stars Thomas Haden Church as a snowplow driver who, while on a drunken joyride, runs over a man. He covers up the accident and goes on the run, but his conscience gets the better of him. The film's reviews are good, but not great. Whitewash opens tonight in two theaters, one in Austin, Texas, and the other in Columbus, Ohio.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-05-02

Movies 
 Bad Johnson
 Belle
 Farmland
 Mr. Jones
 Tom yum goong 2
 Walk of Shame
 Whitewash