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Some Serious Limited Releases

October 2nd, 2009

While there are five limited releases on this week's list, there is really only one that has a short at significant expansion. That film is A Serious Man, which should not only have the best per theater average over the weekend, but has a chance at picking up several Oscar nominations.

Afterschool - Reviews
The feature-length debut of writer / director Antonio Campos, who has previously made three short films. Two of those shorts were nominated for awards at Cannes, and Buy It Now won the Cinefondation Award, so there's a lot of expectations going forward. On the one hand, this movie was nominated for both Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards, but the reviews are not quite up to the level I normally associate with success on the limited release front. That said, hopefully it will surprise, and if it doesn't, I think it is safe to say we will hear from Antonio Campos again. Afterschool opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Do Knot Disturb - Reviews
A Bollywood film about a businessman who hires a waiter to pretend to be his mistress's boyfriend so he doesn't get busted by his rich wife. Some of you might be thinking, "That sounds familiar." It's nearly the identical plot to a French film called The Valet, which came out a couple of years ago. I don't think this film will do as well as that one did, even if it is starting with a much higher theater count. Do Knot Disturb opens tonight in 57 theaters in the usual locations for Indian films.

More than a Game - Reviews
A documentary about the high school basketball team from Arkon, Ohio. This wouldn't be too interesting a topic for most people, except this was the high school team that featured Lebron James. That said, the reviews are only good, and that might prevent it from finding an audience outside of basketball fans, and even then they might wait until the home market. More than a Game opens tonight in more than a dozen theaters in several cities, including New York City and Los Angeles, but also Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.

A Serious Man - Reviews
A Coen Brothers movie. In many ways that's all you need to know about the movie to know it's going to rise above its limited release origins. But there's also good news: its reviews have improved from earlier in the week when I wrote it in our preview and they are now 85% positive. At this point, one has to assume given its pedigree and its critical reception that it will be an Awards Season player. My only concern is the lack of star power, as this is the first movie role for many in the main cast; however, I doubt it will be their last, given the amount of buzz. A Serious Man opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in New York City, but also in the Los Angeles area and in Minneapolis, where it is set.

Wake Up Sid - No Reviews
The second Indian film on this week's list. This one is opening in more theaters at 79, but with no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's titular character is a slacker that fails out of college much to the dismay of his father, but then tries to get his life back in order. Hardly a revolutionary idea for a script, while the few reviews I've seen online say the execution was average, at best. Could still find an audience within its niche market, but that's it.


Filed under: Limited Releases, More Than a Game, A Serious Man, Afterschool