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Limited Releases are Looking to Score

October 22nd, 2010

We should be getting a flood of Oscar hopefuls coming out in limited release every week, but that's not the case here. There are a couple films earning amazing reviews, but we have more films on this list with weak reviews, or (nearly) no reviews, and are opening with little or no fanfare. Perhaps there will be a surprise hit on this week's list, but if there is a hit, it will be a surprise. The widest release on this week's list is a Canadian movie, Score: A Hockey Musical. A hockey musical.... It's Canadian alright.

11/4/08 - Reviews
A documentary about the election of Barack Obama with several segments from around the world. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is negative. It's not overly negative, but what one would expect given the style of film. The quality varies widely and it might work better on the home market. 11/4/08 had a special screening on Wednesday and is now available On Demand. Check the official site for more details.

Boxing Gym - Reviews
A cinema verité style documentary about a boxing gym in Austin, Texas and the people that train there. The film is directed by Frederick Wiseman, who has made many award-winning documentaries over the years, and given this film's reviews, this one will be added to that list. Boxing Gym opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Inhale - Reviews
Dermot Mulroney and Diane Kruger star as a husband and wife who have a sick daughter in need of a double lung transplant. When the father, a prominent district attorney, finds a doctor that can perform the operation, he learns that instead of being a savior, the doctor has ties to organized crime, and instead of organ donors, there are victims. Now he has to choose between doing his job and prosecuting the corruption he's discovered, or saving the life of his daughter. Reviews for the film are on the weak side, but it does have a couple of big names that could help it at the box office. Inhale opens tonight in two theaters, the IFC Center in New York City and the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.

Kalamity - Reviews
Nick Stahl stars as Billy Klepack, who is dealing with a bad breakup and decides to go back to his hometown hoping his friends can help. Unfortunately his friend, Stanley, has also been through a rough breakup, and it has affected him to the point of mental instability. Nick Stahl is the biggest name in the film. (It also has Sammi Hanratty in it. She played the Young Chuck in Pushing Daisies, but given that show's ratings, I might be the only one who recognized the name.) Not a lot of star power, zero positive reviews, wrong genre for limited release. There's not a lot of evidence that suggests this film will thrive in limited release. Kalamity opens tonight in two theaters, City Cinemas Village East in New York City and Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.

Knucklehead - Reviews
A conman's latest scam involves an orphanage, mixed martial arts, organized crime, nuns, and more. And during the trip, he might even find redemption. What he won't find, apparently, is a lot of support from critics. So far the film is earning just 17% positive reviews, which would be bad for a wide release, and will likely prove fatal for a limited release. Knucklehead opens tonight at the Palace 18 Cinema in Miami, Florida.

Punching the Clown - Reviews
Henry Phillips stars as Henry Phillips, a musical comedy act trying to make it in L.A. He gets his big break through a bit of luck, but luck can turn on you pretty quickly. One of only two films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews on this week's list, it still might have a hard time finding an audience in limited release. Punching the Clown opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City, along with the short film, Adelaide.

Rising Stars - No Reviews
Three bands are looking to win a music video competition on a Reality TV show for a chance at their big break into the business. However, when the producer needs to boost the ratings, he decides to add a little drama to an already dramatic situation. A total lack of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes is not a good sign. Also, while it is opening in three theaters, they are not in traditional limited release markets, so that could also hurt its chances. Rising Stars opens tonight at the Regal Hollywood 27 in Nashville, Tennesse; the AMC Southroads 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the Celebration Rivertown 20 in Grandville, Michigan.

Score: A Hockey Musical - Reviews
A Canadian musical about a hockey prodigy, who was home schooled and lived a very sheltered life. When he's seen by a scout, he's signed to a minor league team, but his sheltered life hasn't prepared for life in professional sports. There are not many reviews online, but many agree that the film is just too "Canadian" to find much of an audience outside the Great White North. On the other hand, it is opening nationwide up here and the airwaves have been flooded with advertisement, so it might actually do some business up here. That said, there's not a lot of crossover appeal between hockey and musicals.

The Taqwacores - Reviews
Bobby Naderi is Yusef, an engineering student and first generation Pakistani-American who lives with a group of Taqwacores. What are Taqwacores? Muslim Punk Rockers. Its an interesting subject, but the film's target audience might be a tad small, and its reviews are not exactly positive. The Taqwacores opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Knucklehead, Kalamity, Boxing Gym, Rising Stars, Inhale, Punching the Clown, The Taqwacores, 11/4/08