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Thursday, August 21, 2014



Limited Releases: Earning Your Trust

The Case Against 8 poster

It's a pretty good week for limited releases with a few films that are earning good reviews and strong buzz. This includes The Case Against 8 (Reviews), but documentaries are rarely break-out hits. Borgman is earning very strong reviews and the buzz is good, but it is too bizarre for mainstream audiences. This leaves Obvious Child (Reviews) as the most likely break-out hit on this week's list. On the other hand, I really want to see Trust Me (Reviews), but I'm a Fanboy of a particularly strong type and Clark Gregg is part of my preferred Fandom.

Anna - Reviews
A police procedural with a supernatural twist. The reviews are weak, so despite the star power, it will likely fail to find an audience in theaters. Anna opens tonight in ten theaters, as well as video on demand.

Borgman - Reviews
I've seen the trailer to this movie a couple of times, but I have no idea what it is about. The reviews are excellent, but the film is bizarre enough that it likely won't do well enough to earn a measure of mainstream success. Borgman opens tonight in two theaters, both in New York City, and expands over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Burning Blue - Reviews
An air show like military team is thrown into chaos after an accident. Two of the members then begin a forbidden relationship. The reviews for the film are terrible with most critics focusing their complaints on the script. It likely won't find an audience in theaters. Burning Blue opens tonight in a dozen theaters, as well as on Video on Demand. Check out the official site for more details.

Burt's Buzz - Reviews
A look at Burt Shavitz, the co-founder of Burt's Bees. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which indicates a lack of buzz. That said, most of the reviews are positive, so that's a good sign. Burt's Buzz opens tonight in eight theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

The Case Against 8 - Reviews
A documentary about the Supreme Court case that through out Proposition 8 in California and paved the way for a number of states to toss out bans on gay marriage. The film's reviews are among the best of any release this week and Gay Rights is certainly winning the culture war, so it could do well in theaters. The Case Against 8 opens tonight in a few theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Citizen Koch - Reviews
A documentary about the Koch brothers and their corrupting influence on American politics. The reviews are only 60% positive, which could prove fatal for a limited release. On the other hand, they are a hot button issue, as is the whole money in politics debate, so that could help the box office numbers. Citizen Koch opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City and there are Q&As on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check out the official site for more details.

Filmistaan - Reviews
The first of two Bollywood films on this week's list. Both are about terrorism, strangely. This film has one review and it is positive, but that's not enough to judge its box office chances.

Holiday - No Reviews
A Bollywood film that is a remake of a Tamil film from 2012. There are no reviews, but there are almost never any reviews for these films. It makes it hard to judge the film's box office chances.

Like a Country Song - No Reviews
A faith-based film set in the world of country music focusing on an up-and-coming star whose world falls apart because of his partying ways. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the target audience generally doesn't pay attention to reviews anyways. Like a Country Song opened on Thursday in Nashville.

Obvious Child - Reviews
Jenny Slate plays Donna, a woman whose now ex-boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. She gets over this by having a one-night stand, and ends up pregnant. This film has some of the best buzz for the weekend, as well as some of the best reviews. Obvious Child opens tonight in select cities and expands to Canada in two weeks.

Ping Pong Summer - Reviews
A coming of age film set during a family vacation in 1985 and focuses on a boy who is obsessed with hip hop and ping pong. The reviews are weak, so its box office chances are really limited. Additionally, it is playing on Video on Demand. Ping Pong Summer opens tonight in select cities.

Rigor Mortis - Reviews
An homage to the Hong Kong vampire films from the 1980s. The reviews are good, but not great, and this is the wrong genre for limited release. Rigor Mortis opens tonight at the AMC Atlantic Times Square 14 in the Los Angeles area.

The Sacrament - Reviews
A group of documentarians travel to a commune to meet with one of their group's sister, who has been staying there after getting out of rehab. At first, the place seems great and the woman looks healthier than she has for a while. However, this is a found footage film, so you know things go wrong. The reviews are good, but not great, plus it is the wrong genre for limited release. Finally, it is also playing on Video on Demand, which will further hurt its box office chances. The Sacrament opens tonight in New York City and Toronto, Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon - Reviews
A biography about Shep Gordon, who might not be a household name, but has had a huge impact on many different fields in entertainment from music, to movies, to food. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and limited releases usually need great reviews to thrive. Supermensch opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles and expands over the coming weeks.

This is Not a Ball - Reviews
A documentary by and about Vik Muniz, an artist planning a massive art project using 10,000 soccer balls. He travels around the world trying to learn the history of balls and why play is so important to our species. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and it is negative, so it will likely not find an audience in theaters. This is Not a Ball opens tonight in select cities, including New York City and Los Angeles.

Torment - Reviews
A Canadian horror movie starring Katie Isabelle and Robin Dunne as newlyweds. He is a widow with a child from his first marriage, a child who hasn't bonded with his new wife yet. They decide to take a family vacation to their remote summer home, but when they get there, they learn someone has been living there in their absence. The reviews are only mixed and this is the wrong genre for limited release. Torment opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City, but I'm not sure where else, because there is no official site for the American release.

Trust Me - Reviews
Written, directed, and starring Clark Gregg. He plays a talent agent who needs a big break or his career is over. The film's reviews are only mixed with many critics complaining that the film's third act suffers from a tonal shift that is too great to survive. Trust Me opens tonight in select cities, while it has already been playing on Video on Demand for a while.

Willow Creek - Reviews
A horror film written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. That's not something you see every day. The reviews are amazing, but this is the wrong genre for limited release and it is also playing on Video on Demand. Willow Creek opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-06-06

Movies 
 Borgman
 Burning Blue
 Obvious Child
 The Sacrament
 Trust Me