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Monday, September 1, 2014



Limited Releases: Every Third Person Should See a Limited Release

Third Person poster

There are a dozen limited releases on this week's list, including five films that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Unfortunately, I don't think any of them will be monster hits. There's a Code Black, documentary, which is a genre that rarely finds breakout success. There's Coherence, a high concept Sci-fi movie that will likely be too out there to find an audience. Norte, the End of History, a four-hour foreign-language film, which will reduce its target demographic and the number of screenings that can be shown. A Summer Tale, a French film from 1996, which is making its theatrical debut. And finally Venus and Fur, which is probably going to be the biggest limited release hit of the weekend, but I really doubt it will expand wide enough to find a measure of mainstream success.

Code Black - Reviews
A documentary about an Inner-city E.R. that is called the "Hurt Locker of Medicine". The film's reviews are nearly perfect and healthcare in American is a hot topic with Obamacare and a recent study showing the United States dead last in terms of health care quality out of 11 rich nations tested. That said, documentaries rarely have breakout success. Code Black opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Coherence - Reviews
I have a funny feeling I will have to review this movie before I can tell you what it is about. It's about a dinner party where a comet passes over head and suddenly weird stuff happens. The reviews are excellent, but I think it might be too high concept to find an audience in theaters. Coherence opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, before expanding over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Le Chef - Reviews
Jean Reno stars as a chef who works at a restaurant. The new CEO of the group that owns the restaurant wants to bring in new talent and go in a molecular gastronomy direction, which Jean Reno is not comfortable with. Le Chef opens tonight at the Paris Theatre in New York City before expanding over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

The Last Sentence - Reviews
A biopic of Jan Troell, an investigative journalist who worked in Sweden during World War II, who spoke out against Sweden's policy of neutrality and attacked both Hitler's Nazi regime and Stalin's Communist dictatorship. The reviews are good, but not great, so I think it will struggle in theaters. The Last Sentence opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, before expanding over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Miss Lovely - Reviews
A movie about the thriving Bollywood underground film industry. Imagine 1970s Grindhouse, but made in Bollywood. Suddenly I really want to see some of these movies. I wonder if the sexploitation films have Bollywood music numbers right in the middle of a sex scene. If so, I have to see these movies. Unfortunately, this drama about the movie scene and is earning mixed reviews, so it likely won't find an audience in theaters. According to the official site, Miss Lovely opened on the 6th of June in Seattle, but it is now playing in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Jose as well.

Norte, the End of History - Reviews
A law-school drop-out kills two people, one of whom was a money lender. One of the people this money lender lent money to was convicted of the crimes and sent to prison. Now the guilty person is roaming free, as is the family of the convicted man, both of whom try to figure out what to do. I really don't think this film will do well in theaters. I don't care that its reviews are currently 100% positive. Its running time is more than four hours long. Not only does this mean it won't have as many screenings as other films will, but even most art house aficionados won't be able to last four hours in a theater. Norte, the End of History opens tonight at the The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City.

The Past is a Grotesque Animal - Reviews
A documentary about Of Montreal, an Indie pop band from... Athens Georgia. It focuses mostly on the front man, Kevin Barnes, who wants to make music that transcends the genre. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a bad sign. It is positive, but I don't think it will matter. Additionally, The Past is a Grotesque Animal is opening in too many theaters for this type of release. Check out the official site for details.

A Picture of You - Reviews
Two estranged sisters reunited after their mother passes away. They try to get the estate in order but learn a shocking family secret. There are only two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests there is not enough buzz for it to survive in limited release. On the other hand, both reviews are positive, so that helps. A Picture of You opens tonight at the AMC Loews Village 7 in New York City.

A Summer Tale - Reviews
Melvil Poupaud stars as a young man who just graduated from college and is about to start a summer job. He hopes his girlfriend will arrive, but before she does, he meets another woman. It is part of Eric Rohmer's Seasons Quartet and it is finally getting a release here after being made in 1996. A Summer Tale opens tonight at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City, and perhaps other cities. The link to the official site is dead.

Third Person - Reviews
The latest film from Paul Haggis. It is an anthology that deals with relationships and romance set in three different cities. The star power is amazing, but the reviews are terrible for a limited release. Third Person opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles and maybe the star power will help it survive for one weekend.

No Tears for the Dead - Reviews
Dong-Gun Jang plays a hitman who accidentally kills an innocent person, a young girl, and then is given the mission to kill the girl's mother. However, instead of killing her, he falls in love with her. Both of those elements are rather cliché, which explains why the film's reviews are mostly negative. Granted, there are only three reviews online at the moment, so that could change. According to most sources, No Tears for the Dead opens tonight in about a dozen theaters, but the official site says it opened last weekend at the at the CGV cinemas in Los Angeles.

Venus and Fur - Reviews
An actress tries to convince a director that she is perfect for his new play. At first he agrees that she's perfect, but then becomes obsessed with her. The film's reviews are amazing and it does have some star power. (Granted, Roman Polanski is, to put it mildly, a divisive figure and will turn away as many moviegoers as he draws in.) Venus and Fur opens tonight at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-06-20

Movies 
 Comme un chef
 La Venus a la fourrure