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Limited Releases Won't Leave You Cold

August 7th, 2009

There are only three limited releases on our list this week, but all three of them have some shot at earning at least some measure of mainstream success. They all have some buzz going into their theatrical debut. However, while all three have a shot, Cold Souls has the best chance at becoming a sleeper hit.

Cold Souls - Reviews
Paul Giamatti stars as... Paul Giamatti, an actor who learns about a company that can extract and freeze your soul, but after undergoing the procedure, his soul is stolen and shipped to Russia. This is the theatrical debut for writer / director Sophie Barthes, whose previous two films have been shorts. However, given the film's critical response, I doubt this will be her last. (It is being compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, which is high praise indeed.) My only concern with regards to the film's box office chances is that it could be too bizarre to appeal to multiplex audiences, but could at least expand significantly. Cold Souls opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City.

I Sell the Dead - Reviews
A movie about two 18th century grave robbers, Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes, who have been captured by the law and are about to be executed. One of them confesses his life of crime to Father Duffy, and that's the story we see. The film is not earning strong reviews, but it did have a successful film festival run and the dark period comedy does have significant buzz going forward. I Sell the Dead opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Paper Heart - Reviews
A hybrid-documentary written, directed, and starring Charlyne Yi. In the film she and Michael Cera star as themselves, or fictionalized versions of themselves, as they travel across America interviewing people about love. Early reviews were fantastic, but they've mellowed to just over the 60% level needed to be considered overall positive on Rotten Tomatoes. Some are complaining that it is too light and not insightful enough to be a documentary, while its fictional story is not engaging enough to carry the movie either. That said, it could find a receptive audience on the art house circuit and especially on the home market. Paper Heart opens tonight in nearly 40 theaters nationwide.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Cold Souls