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Limited Releases: Grace Under Pressure

October 4th, 2013

There are ten limited releases on this week's list, but only one of them is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Let the Fire Burn is the standout, with a 92% positive response. The Summit is earning 73% positive reviews, which is good, but not great. Then there's Grace Unplugged, which is opening in more than 500 theaters, but with no reviews. That's a horrible combination. Overall, there's nothing that jumps out as a potential limited release hit.

A.C.O.D. - Reviews
Adam Scott stars as the titular A.C.O.D., which stands for Adult Child of Divorce. His parents, Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara, went through a divorce that was beyond messy and he was part of a study about the children of divorce. He didn't know he was part of this study until 15 years later when the doctor who ran it, Jane Lynch, wants to do a follow-up with him. The film's reviews are only mixed, which is bad news for a limited release. Perhaps it will perform better on the home market. A.C.O.D. opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, before expanding to Boston and San Francisco next week.

All is Bright - Reviews
It's a Christmas movie in October. Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd star as two guys trying to sell Christmas trees in Brooklyn. Giamatti is just out of prison and on parole, so he needs a real job. Rudd, on the other hand, is trying to raise money so he can marry Amy Landecker, who is Giamatti's ex-wife. The reviews are terrible, but Paul Giamatti is earning praise for his performance. All is Bright opens tonight in ten theaters, but there's no official site.

Argento's Dracula 3D - Reviews
One of two horror films opening this week with zero positive reviews. Ouch. This one is written and directed by Dario Argento, who has enough cred with the horror community that it might do better than its genre and reviews would suggest, at least during its opening weekend. However, word-of-mouth will kill this movie. Argento's Dracula 3D opens tonight in six theaters, but its official site doesn't have any details... about anything.

Besharam - Reviews
One of two films opening in hundreds of theaters, but that have no reviews. This one is a Bollywood release, so unlike Grace Unplugged, having no reviews isn't a terrible omen, it's to be expected.

Grace Unplugged - No Reviews
Amanda Michalka stars as a musician whose father was a pop-star, but turned to Christian music when he converted. He wants his daughter to also play Christian music, but she wants pop stardom. This film is opening in more than 500 theaters nationwide, but there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. That's a horrible sign. It is definitely aimed at the churchgoing set, so perhaps this niche market won't be bothered by the lack of reviews. Conversely, perhaps the buzz is too low for the target audience to know it is opening.

Let the Fire Burn - Reviews
A documentary consisting entirely of archival footage that tells the story of the confrontation between the City of Philadelphia and the MOVE organization that ended in the death of 11 people and the destruction of 61 homes. The film is earning great reviews, particularly for the way that it uses archive footage to tell a gripping story. It opened in one theater in New York on Wednesday and will be expanding over the next few weeks.

Nothing Left to Fear - Reviews
A horror film opening in limited release with zero positive reviews. This film will likely go nowhere at the box office. Nothing Left to Fear opens tonight in five theaters, before coming out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday.

Parkland - Reviews
A look at the JFK assassination from the point of view of all of the supporting players who surrounded the event. There is a huge and very talented cast, but the reviews are weak. The main complaint from critics is usually the same. There are simply too many characters and not enough time to get to know them. It would have been better to make this a TV mini-series and not a movie. Parkland opens tonight in more than 200 theaters, which is likely too many to thrive.

Pulling Strings - Reviews
Laura Ramsey plays Rachel, a woman who works for U.S. embassies traveling the world from job to job. During her last night in Mexico City, she gets drunk during her going away celebration and passes out. When she wakes up, she's in the home of Alejandro. Sparks fly, but there's a secret that could get in the way of true romance. Isn't there always a secret like this in romantic comedies? The reviews are mixed, which is good for a romantic comedy, but terrible for a limited release. Then again, it's a romantic comedy, which is terrible for a limited release. Pulling Strings opens tonight in nearly 400 theaters. Obviously the studio is hoping it will do as well as No Instructions Included.

The Summit - Reviews
A documentary about a 2008 attempt to climb K2, a.k.a., Savage Mountain. Savage Mountain sounds like a name out of a horror film, and it fits. At the beginning, 22 people started at the base camp. Within 48 hours, half were missing or dead. The reviews are good, but not great, which is normally bad news. On the other hand, there are no films opening in limited release that are earning great reviews, so maybe this film will do well for a documentary. The Summit opens tonight in six theaters in select cities nationwide, include New York City and Los Angeles, but also Seattle and Denver.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Grace Unplugged, All is Bright, Nothing Left to Fear, A.C.O.D., The Summit, No se Aceptan Devoluciones, Parkland, Let the Fire Burn, Pulling Strings, Besharam, Dario Argento, Jaime Camil, Paul Giamatti, Richard Jenkins, Amy Landecker, Jane Lynch, Catherine O'Hara, Laura Ramsey, Paul Rudd, Adam Scott,