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Limited Releases: The Perks of Being a Limited Release

September 21st, 2012

It's another busy week for limited releases. However, of the nine films on this week's list, only two of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, and both of them are documentaries. There is one film that is earning great reviews and is also generating a lot of buzz, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. If that film isn't the biggest hit on this week's list, I would be shocked.

About Cherry - Reviews
Ashley Hinshaw stars as an 18-year old about to graduate from high school, but whose difficult home life drives her to porn. The film's reviews are among the worst on this week's list with critics calling it dull, inconsequential, preachy, and just plain bad. About Cherry opens tonight in three theaters, including in San Francisco, which is where it is set.

Backwards - Reviews
A film about a rower who quits the sport when she doesn't quite make the Olympic team, but doesn't quite know what she's going to do next. So far this film has only two positive reviews out of nine on Rotten Tomatoes, which would be bad for a wide release. It will likely prove fatal for a limited release. Backwards opens tonight in five theaters, including three in Pennsylvania.

Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best - Reviews
An indie road trip about two guys in a band looking for one last shot at success, but who end up discovering themselves in the process. Too many critics are saying, 'Been there, done that,' to predict whether this film has any real chance at success. This is Ryan O'Nan's first attempt at writing and directing, but maybe the actor will have better luck with his next film, Chu and Blossom. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best opens tonight in two theaters, including the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel - Reviews
A documentary about fashion icon Diana Vreeland. The film is earning excellent reviews with many critics praising its use of talking head interviews mixed with archival footage and more visually stimulating techniques. It certainly has the reviews to suggest it could find some measure of mainstream success, but so few documentaries do that I'm unwilling to bet it will. Diana Vreeland opens tonight in two theaters, Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City and the Landmark in Los Angeles.

Head Games - Reviews
A documentary about sports, specifically, head injuries that are the result of sports. The film's reviews are good, but not great. Even the negative reviews tend to agree that the film tells an important story and has a lot of facts backing it up, it just doesn't quite tell them in a compelling enough way. Given that, it is worth checking out if you are interested in the subject, but likely won't find any real measure of mainstream success. Head Games opened on Thursday at the Laemmle Noho 7 in Los Angeles, while it expands on Friday to AMC Empire 25 in New York City, The Royal in Toronto, and the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon.

Heroine - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about Bollywood. Like so many similar films, it is opening with no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and it is opening in more than 100 theaters. Normally, those two factors would kill a movie, but Bollywood films are anything but normal.

How to Survive a Plague - Reviews
A documentary about activists in the 1980s and 1990s that tried to take AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable illness. They worked with pharmaceuticals to find treatments that might work and to get them to patients as fast as possible. So far the film's reviews are perfect, plus the subject is quite topical, as there are political movements currently going that are struggling to find traction. How to Survive a Plague opens tonight in four theaters split between New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Reviews
This film is easily earning the best buzz of any limited release opening this week. It was mentioned as a possible Awards Season player, although its reviews are not quite at that level. In fact, at 76% positive, they are a little lower that I normally associate with success on the limited release front. Too many critics are saying this film is too familiar. That said, the buzz should help during this weekend and it is Emma Watson's first starring role after Harry Potter and that could help. I choose to remain cautiously optimistic. The Perks of Being a Wallflower opens tonight in four theaters split between New York City and the Los Angeles area, while it expands into more than a dozen additional cities next weekend.

You May Not Kiss the Bride - Reviews
A romantic comedy. That's strike one, as this genre rarely performs well in limited release. It was made in 2009. That's strike two, as a delay like that usually means there's something wrong. It currently has no positive reviews. That's strike three, for reasons I shouldn't have to explain. You May Not Kiss the Bride opens tonight in ten theaters, but I suspect that's as far as it will go.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, You May Not Kiss the Bride, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, How to Survive a Plague, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, Backwards, About Cherry, Head Games, Heroine