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Death of Limited Releases

July 30th, 2010

There are a number of limited releases on this week's column. However, only one of them, Get Low, is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews and it is clearly the best bet for potential breakout success. On the other hand, if you live in Canada, The Death of Alice Blue is worth keeping an eye on to see if will expand to a theater near you.

The Concert - Reviews
A French film from 2009 that earned six César Awards, including two wins. However, its reviews here are decidedly mixed, which is especially troubling for a niche market offering like a foreign language film. The Concert opens tonight at the Paris Theatre in New York City and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles before expanding during August.

The Death of Alice Blue - No Reviews
This Canadian film stars Alex Appel as the titular Alice Blue, who has just begun a job at Raven, an advertising company, and soon discovers the company is run by vampires. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I've seen a few online that were mostly positive. If you are a fan of the genre and live in Toronto, head to the AMC Theaters Dundas Square and check it out. If you live in the rest of Canada, check out the official site and hopefully it will have more screenings soon. And if you live in the United States, you'll likely have to wait to import the DVD.

The Dry Land - Reviews
Ryan O'Nan plays a returning soldier back from Iraq who is having troubles adjusting. When his wife and mother are unable to help him, he reconnects with a fellow soldier. The reviews are good, but not great, and dealing with the war is still tricky in movies. A lot of the potential audience might not be interested in watching a movie about a war they've grown too fatigued to think about. The Dry Land opens tonight in 5 theaters in New York City, the Los Angeles area, and in Dallas.

The Extra Man - Reviews
Paul Dano stars as Louis Ives, an aspiring writer living with Henry Harrison, a failed playwright turned "Extra Man". An "Extra Man" is someone who accompanies older socialites to events so they don't have to go alone. Reviews are well below the 80% level usually associated with success in limited release; in fact, they are below 50% positive. Perhaps with the cast it can earn some success early on, but don't expect it to have much potential to expand. The Extra Man opens tonight in 3 theaters, 2 of which are in New York City.

Get Low - Reviews
The only film on this week's list to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. It stars Robert Duvall as Felix "Bush" Benzeale, a hermit who decides to break his self-imposed exile so the town can throw him a "Living Funeral." The cast list for this film is amazing with not only Robert Duvall, but also Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and many others. We've had a few limited releases breakout to some measure of mainstream success this year, and hopefully this film will join them. Get Low opens tonight in four theaters, half in New York City and the other half in the Los Angeles area.

Smash His Camera - Reviews
A documentary about paparazzi photographer Ron Galella, who stalked celebrities like Jackie Onassis and Marlon Brando. The official synopsis includes the line, "As it turned out, he gave them a strange and lasting beauty they might never have known without him." ... Yeah. 'Cos without him, no one would remember Marlon Brando. Since the cult of the celebrity has gotten much worse in the 30 or 40 years since Ron Galella was at his most notorious, this film could do well at the box office, at least for a documentary. Smash His Camera opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Get Low, The Dry Land, The Extra Man, Smash His Camera, Le Concert