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Please Give Limited Releases a Chance

April 30th, 2010

It's the week before summer starts and there are very few limited releases on this week's list. Even fewer have a real shot at mainstream success. The best-reviewed release of the week is Please Give, while the widest release might actually be Gunless, a Canadian offering.

The Good Heart - Reviews
Brian Cox stars as an owner of a dive bar who suffers a heart-attack. He decides to get the help of Paul Dano, a homeless man, and mentor him. However, when Isild Le Besco enters their lives, their relationship is strained. Overall the reviews are quite bad, but even most of the negative reviews praise the performances of the two leads. Will that be enough for the film to thrive? We will soon find out. The Good Heart opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Gunless - No Reviews
A Canadian Western about an American gunslinger (Paul Gross of Men with Brooms) on the run. In fact, he accidentally runs all the way to Canada. This Culture Clash film cost $10 million Canadian to make, which works out to about $10 million American. That's a pretty big budget for a Canadian film and expectations are relatively high. In fact, I'm even seeing ads for the film on TV. That almost never happens for a Canadian film. That said, there's almost no chance the film will make back it budget domestically. If you live anywhere outside of Canada you will likely have to wait till the home market to see it. Gunless opens tonight across Canada.

Harry Brown - Reviews
Michael Caine stars as Harry Brown, a pensioner living in rundown apartment building that is the target of gangs. When his best friend is killed by gang members, he decides to get revenge. The film is earning good reviews, but not great reviews, while its theater count is a tad high for a limited release. Harry Brown opens tonight in 19 theaters in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago. It should expand further, but I'm unconvinced that it has what it needs to earn mainstream success.

Mercy - Reviews
Scott Caan stars as a writer who writes about love but has never experienced it. This changes when he falls in love with a book critic who hated his last book. The film was also written by Scott Caan and is also earning the weakest reviews of the three he wrote. Mercy opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Passenger Side - Review
The second Canadian film on this week's list, although this one was filmed in Los Angeles. Adam Scott stars as Michael, who gets a call on his birthday from his brother. However, his brother isn't calling to wish him a happy birthday, but to ask him to drive him to some errands because he car has broken down. The film has earned some good reviews, but since it's Canadian, there's little hope for the film at the box office. Passenger Side opens tonight in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Please Give - Reviews
The only limited release of the week to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. The film is written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, who previously made Friends with Money. There are some similarities between the two films. Most obviously is the presence of Catherine Keener. (The actress was also in Lovely & Amazing and Walking and Talking.) All three of Nicole Holofcener's previous films opened in limited release, but all three eventually went on to earn at least $1 million at the box office. Let's hope she goes four for four. Please Give opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in New York City, but also in the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Please Give, The Good Heart, Harry Brown, Gunless, Mercy