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Will We Hear a Peep from Limited Releases?

March 25th, 2011

There are plenty of limited releases to talk about this week, including a few that were earning better than average buzz either due to their cast or their directors, or both. However, in a couple of cases, the buzz did not translate into strong reviews, so either these releases will have to overcome their poor reviews, or we will need one of the lesser known limited releases to have breakout success.

The 5th Quarter - Reviews
The latest film aimed squarely at churchgoers. A family deals with the death of one son while the other dons his brother's jersey number and leads his high football team to their best season ever. There are not many reviews online and the ones I've seen mostly give the film high praise for intentions, but low marks for execution. That said, it's almost impossible to predict how these films will do at the box office and with an opening theater count of over 100, it could earn anywhere from a $100,000 to $1 million.

Bal, a.k.a., Honey - Reviews
The final film in the Yusuf trilogy, the others being Egg and Milk. The trilogy tells the story of Yusuf, a poet, and his life, but does so in reverse choronological order. So while Egg was about his life as an adult and Milk was about his life as a older teen / young adult, Honey tells the story of his life as a child. Turkey's official selection for this year's Foreign Language Oscar. It wasn't nominated, but its early reviews suggest it could of have been. Honey opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

Miral - Reviews
Freida Pinto stars and Julian Schnabel directs, which should be enough to get a lot of art house fans interested, as they both have experience with Oscar-worthy films. However, one look at its Tomatometer Score and you know this is not one of them. So far the film is earning just 14% positive reviews, which is worse than either of the wide releases. Although telling a story set in the Israel / Palestine conflict from the point of view of four women does help set it apart, I can't see it surviving much beyond its opening weekend. Miral opens tonight in four theaters, evenly split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Music from the Big House - Review
A Canadian documentary about the Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, which has gone from one of the bloodiest prisons to a source of blues music. The film has been playing at several film festivals in Canada, but opens theatrically tonight at the Carlton in Toronto, Canada. And for those south of the border, it plays at the Nashville Film Festival on April the 14th.

My Perestroika - Reviews
A documentary about the last generation of kids that grew up in the Soviet Union before it fell. Early reviews are quite strong and many critics are complimenting the mixture of politics and the personal. My Perestroika opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Peep World - Reviews
Four siblings reunite for their father's birthday party, but it is not a reason to celebrate. A very strong cast, but most critics are complaining that the family dysfunctions are at the sitcom level. Perhaps the cast can draw in enough moviegoers for a strong opening weekend. Peep World opens tonight in three theaters, one in New York City and the other two in the Los Angeles area.

Potiche, a.k.a. Trophy Wife - Reviews
Catherine Deneuve stars the the trophy wife of Fabrice Luchini. When he is kidnapped during a labor strike, she is forced to take over the company, and proves to be a very capable business leader. Her life becomes further complicated with the return of an old lover, Gérard Depardieu. One of the better reviewed new releases of the week, it also has a cast of French actors that has drawing power here. It is a foreign language film, which could limit its ability to expand, but hopefully it will grab some measure of mainstream success. Potiche opens tonight in eight theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

White Irish Drinkers - Reviews
Two brothers, Brian and Danny, have spent their youth pulling petty crimes, but with a desire to leave their working class neighborhood behind, they plan to rob the local theater the night of The Rolling Stones concert. Critics are evenly split on the film with many praising the performances, but with just as many critics are complaining that the story is far too predictable. White Irish Drinkers opens tonight in six theaters, half in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City and Boston, as well as Toronto, Canada.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, The 5th Quarter, Miral, Peep World, White Irish Drinkers, Potiche, Bal, My Perestroika