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Last of the Summer Limited Releases

August 19th, 2011

It's a rather busy week for limited releases with eight films in total, including a few earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. That said, its too late for summer and too early for Awards Season, so it might be tough for any of the films to find an audience. If I were to bet, Mozart's Sister is the mostly likely winner, but The Hedgehog and The Last Circus are also worth checking out.

5 Days of War - Reviews
Set during the war between Russia and Georgia, it follows three people (a journalist, his cameraman, and a local woman) who get caught in the middle and have to find a way home. It's not the typical limited release, while the director, Renny Harlin, is better known for big budget action films. It does have better than average name recognition, but the reviews are below the overall positive level. 5 Days of War opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City and the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C.

Amigo - Reviews
One of the wider releases of the week, unfortunately, it is not one of the best-reviewed films. It does take a look at a little seen part of American history (The Philippine-American War) from the perspective of a village mayor just trying to maintain stability for his people, who are mostly just farmers. It does have overall positive reviews, so it is worth checking out, but you might need to wait till the home market to catch it. Amigo opens tonight in nearly a dozen theaters in select cities.

Flypaper - Reviews
Two gangs converge on the same bank at the same time to rob it leaving an innocent bystander, Patrick Dempsey, and a bank teller, Ashley Judd, to try and get out after the automated security system locks them all into the bank for the night. The reviews are a mess at just 23% positive, which would be too low for a wide release. It's directed by Rob Minkoff, whose first film was The Lion King, but whose box office record since then as been mixed. This film won't improve on that situation. Flypaper opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Griff the Invisible - Reviews
Ryan Kwanten plays the titular Griff, a shy office worker who has a secret life as a super hero. His secret identity could be in jeopardy when it meets Melody (Maeve Dermody) and there's a connection. The film's reviews are good, but there have been a number of similar films that have come out in recent years (Defendor, Super, Special, Kick-Ass). Griff the Invisible opens tonight in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The Hedgehog - Reviews
Garance Le Guillermic stars as Paloma, a young girl who has decided to kill herself on her twelfth birthday because she can't stand the hypocrisy of the adult world and doesn't want to grow-up and become one of them. As that date approaches, she develops a friendship with her building's concierge, Renée. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend, and while it could do well with art house aficionados, hopefully word-of-mouth helps it expand. The Hedgehog opens tonight six theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also a couple in New York City.

A Horrible Way To Die - Reviews
A serial killer escapes from police and travels across the country to reunite with his ex-girlfriend, who would rather not remember her past. The film's reviews are mixed and it is the wrong genre to do well in limited release. On the other hand, it could find an audience on the home market and it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray early next month.

The Last Circus - Reviews
One of the best reviewed releases of the week, it still will have a hard time finding a large enough audience to escape the art house circuit. It's about a clown, Javier, living at the end of Franco's regime in Spain. His father was also a clown, as well as a hero in the revolutionary war. Javier has always tried to live up to his father's legacy, but it just hasn't been easy for him. The reviewes are amazing, but the film is just too bizarre to find a wide audience. The Last Circus opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City before expanding to Dallas, Texas next weekend.

Mozart's Sister - Reviews
A fictional look at Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart (Marie Feret). She has considerable musical talent and composes original works; however, because she is a woman, she is forced to give up her career when and marry someone her father will approve of. The film is earning excellent reviews and it is perfect subject matter for art house crowds. Perhaps it will even do well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. Mozart's Sister opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Programming the Nation? - Reviews
A documentary about the use of subliminal messaging and how it might be used by advertisers and governments to control the people. The critics are split into three groups: Those who gave the film a negative review, those who said it was an important film but flawed, and those who thought it was paranoid rantings. Programming the Nation? opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Le hérisson, Flypaper, Amigo, The Last Circus, A Horrible Way To Die, Griff the Invisible, 5 Days of War, Programming the Nation?, Nannerl la soeur de Mozart