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We Need to Talk about Limited Releases

January 13th, 2012

It's one of the worst times of the year to release a film on the art house circuit. Not only is it too late for Awards Season, but the competition is incredibly tight. So it should come as no surprise that most films coming out this week are underwhelming. In fact, of the films on this week's column, only one of them, Sing Your Song, is earning overall positive reviews. However, the biggest release of the week is We Need to Talk About Kevin, which we previously discussed when it had its Oscar Qualifying run.

Albatross - Reviews
This is Jessica Brown Findlay's first feature-length credit, but early buzz suggests she is one of the best parts of the movie. She plays Emelia, a young lady who comes into the lives of a family that's stuck in a rut. She shakes things up, but not always for the better. Like I said, Jessica Brown Findlay is earning praise for her performance, as is much of the cast, but the overall reviews are mixed. Albatross opened on Video on Demand at the beginning of December, while it opens theatrically tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

The Divide - Reviews
A group of residents of a New York Tenant building are trapped in their bunker after a nuclear war. As supplies run low, they turn on each other. The film is a thriller, which is the wrong genre for limited release, plus its Tomatometer Score is barely in double-digits. It is the widest release on this week's list opening in seven theaters, but I don't think it will be the most successful.

Don't Go in the Woods - Reviews
Vincent D'Onofrio makes his feature-length directorial debut with this Teenage Slasher / musical. A band travels into the woods on a camping trip hoping the isolation will bring songwriting inspiration. Instead, they become the target of a serial killer. Like the previous film, this one is the wrong genre for limited release, plus its reviews are terrible. Don't Go in the Woods opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City, but I don't think it will be a success.

Loosies - Reviews
Peter Facinelli writes and stars in this film as a pickpocket, who has a one night stand that results in an unexpected pregnancy. Like the previous two films on this list, this film's reviews are awful currently at just 20% positive. Loosies opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Lula, Son of Brazil - Reviews
Yet another film with reviews that are in the 20% positive range. This political biopic looks at the life of one of Brazil's most popular presidents. It is also reportedly the most expensive Brazilian movie ever made with a production budget of $5 million, but given its reviews, it will be lucky to find an audience here. Lula, Son of Brazil opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema and the Quad Cinema, both in New York City.

Man on a Mission - Reviews
A documentary about Richard Garriott, who helped pioneer the computer game industry, but whose real passion was space travel. His dad, Owen K. Garriott, was an astronaut and he was looking to become the first second generation astronaut ever. However, eye problems prevented him from joining NASA, so he spent $30 million of his own money to fly with the Russians. The reviews are exactly 50% positive at the moment with many critics praising it portrayal of the space program, while just as many critics are complaining that the film is the world's most expensive home movie. That's still much better than most limited releases coming out this week, and better than two of the three wide releases. Man on a Mission opened last week in Toronto, Canada and opens tonight in New York, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and Lake Worth, Florida.

Sing Your Song - Reviews
The best reviewed film on this week's list. It's a documentary biopic about Harry Belafonte, his music, his acting, and his politics. Sing Your Song opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City and the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, California.


Filed under: Limited Releases, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Loosies, The Divide, Don't Go in the Woods, Albatross, Lula, o Filho do Brasil, Sing Your Song, Man on a Mission