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Will Limited Releases Earn a Perfect Score or Get Detention?

April 13th, 2012

There are quite a few limited releases on this week's list, but few of them are earning overall positive reviews. In fact, only Monsieur Lazhar and Post Mortem are earning reviews above 80% positive, although Here is close to that mark. Additionally, the PG-13 cut of Bully is also coming out this week and it should be the biggest hit out of all of the limited releases.

Bad Ass - No Reviews
Danny Trejo stars as a Vietnam vet-turned-hero-turned vigilante. I've heard some good buzz about this movie, but there are no reviews and the film's director, Craig Moss, is responsible for two hideous movies. Additionally, it was a VOD premiere movie, so I have low expectations for its box office numbers. Bad Ass opens tonight in theaters and on Video on Demand. It will likely do more business from the latter than the former.

Blue Like Jazz - Reviews
A college sophomore flees the Bible Belt to transfer to one of the most progressive schools. This film is based on the semi-autobiographic novel by its writer / director, Steve Taylor. It is also noteworthy because it was partially funded by Kickstarter fund raising. However, its reviews are weak for a wide release and nearly fatal for a limited release. Additionally, it is opening it more than 100 theaters, which is far too many for a limited release. I don't have high hopes for the movie's box office chances.

Deadline - Reviews
I thought this film came out earlier. I have no updates to give, other than the film has gone from no review to no positive reviews. Ouch. Deadline opens tonight in Quad Cinema in New York City.

Detention - Reviews
A teenage slasher film, which is the wrong genre for limited release. It is also earning reviews that are weak for the genre and will likely prove fatal for limited release. On the other hand, the film did earn enough pre-release buzz from genre fans that it could do well enough on the home market. Detention opens tonight in AMC theaters in a dozen cities, including two in Canada (Toronto and Halifax). Check the Official Site for details.

Here - Reviews
One of the few films on this week's list earning overall positive reviews, although its Tomatometer Score is still just a hair below the 80% level I prefer to see with limited release. It stars Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal as two people traveling across Armenia. He's a cartographer looking to create a more detailed satellite map and she's an expatriate photographer who has come home. Here opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Hit So Hard - Reviews
A documentary about the Seattle Grunge scene, how it changed the music industry, and how it affected some of the musicians that got swept up into super-stardom. Like too many films on this week's list, the reviews are weak compared to the average wide release and there's little hope it will find a receptive audience in theaters. Hit So Hard opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City and includes a Q&A tonight a Q&A and home movies on Saturday.

How to Grow a Band - Reviews
The second music documentary on this week's list. This one is earning better reviews, but not great ones. Also, the musicians involved were not as well-known as the ones in Hit so Hard, so I'm not sure if this film will find an audience in theaters. How to Grow a Band opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City.

The Lady - Reviews
A biopic about Aung San Suu Kyi starring Michelle Yeoh. Aung San Suu Kyi is a major force in the Burmese democracy movement and this should have been an interesting story, but the reviews are quite weak. The Lady opened on Wednesday in 18 theaters nationwide.

Late Bloomers - Reviews
Isabella Rossellini and William Hurt star as a married couple dealing with retirement. The film has an impressive cast, but the overall reviews are only mixed. Mixed generally won't cut it for a limited release. Late Bloomers opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

L!fe Happens - Reviews
Three roommates living in Los Angeles have their lives changed when one of them, Kim, gets pregnant after a one-night stand. The film has a good young cast, but the reviews are disappointing, to say the least. L!fe-Happens opens tonight in 16 theaters in select cities.

Monsieur Lazhar - Reviews
A Canadian film about a teacher, Bachir Lazhar, who was hired as a replacement after the students' original teacher committed suicide. The film is earning incredible reviews and even picked up an Oscar nomination. This does bode well for the film's box office chances, assuming people remember the Oscar nominations and haven't moved on. Monsieur Lazhar opens tonight in 22 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Post Mortem - Reviews
Set in Chile during the 1973 coup, the film tells the story of a mortician who is in love with his neighbor, a dancer, but becomes obsessed when she disappears during a violent raid on her family home. (Her brother and father supported the former leader, Salvador Allende.) This film is earning some of the best reviews of the week, but I'm worried it will get buried underneath the large number of weak releases. Post Mortem opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Touchback - Reviews
Brian Presley stars as a former high school football player whose potential professional career was cut short by an injury in his final game. However, he gets a chance to relive his life when he wakes up as a high school senior. It's a family faith-based film, and there have been a lot of these films that have struck a cord with moviegoers, regardless of weak reviews or a theater count that is too high by normal standards. The distributor is obviously hoping it happens again. Touchback opens tonight in more than 50 theaters nationwide.

Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day - Reviews
A pseudo-sequel to Woman Thou Art Loosed. It has the same target audience, but even weaker reviews. On the other hand, the market has grown in the eight years since the first film came out, so maybe it will thrive. Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day opens tonight in more than 100 theaters.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Detention, Touchback, Bully, The Lady, Monsieur Lazhar, Post Mortem, Deadline, Bad Ass, L!fe Happens, Woman Thou Art Loosed On the 7th Day, Blue Like Jazz, Here, Hit So Hard, Late Bloomers, How to Grow a Band