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Hammering Home Limited Releases

March 21st, 2008

Nine films on this week's list, including The Hammer, which was on last week's list as well. (Hopefully it is really coming out this week, or it might be on next week's list as well.) Most films are only earning average reviews, so it will be interesting to see which ones can fight through that, if any.

Boarding Gate - Reviews
An international thriller about Sandra, a former prostitute turned drug-runner, who has to flee to the Hong Kong underground in a Neo Noir offering. Critics are complaining that the film has too much style and not enough substance, and that below the surface there is nothing here that really stands out as original. Boarding Gate opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

The Grand - Reviews
A mockumentary about the world of high stakes poker that is very much in the vein of Best in Show. It's in the same improv style, but it is not the same quality, which is a even more disappointing given the film's impressive cast. This is not a terrible movie, but poker itself it not very cinematic and the level of comedy is a little too hit and miss to be fully satisfying. Still, worth checking out, but for most people they can wait until the home market. The Grand opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in the Los Angeles area.

The Hammer - Reviews
Adam Carolla stars as Jerry "The Hammer" Ferro, a 40-year old man who decides to get back into boxing after he lands a lucky punch during a sparing match and knocks out an up-and-coming young boxer. This romantic comedy works surprisingly well despite the number of genre clichés found within it. But likely not well enough given the tough limited release market. It just isn't the type of film that thrives in art houses, but it should find a more receptive audience at the home market. The Hammer opens tonight in 20 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Irina Palm - Reviews
Marianne Faithfull stars as Maggie, a woman is desperate need of money to pay for the medical treatment for her sick grandson. One day while looking for work she stumbles across a store called Sexy World which has a "Hostess wanted" sign in its window. Sexy World is not a restaurant. But she needs the money and so she takes the name Irina Palm and gets to work. The film is earning good reviews, but not great reviews, and it likely needs great reviews if it is to go anywhere outside the art house circuit. Irina Palm opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Kenny - Reviews
A film about Kenny, a man who supplies port-a-potties to outdoor events, or porta-loos as they are known in Australia, where this movie is from. The film opened in semi-limited release there but wasn't a massive hit, at least not immediately. It managed to stick around a long time and earn $6 million during its run, which is equivalent to $60 million here, taking account the respective size of the two markets. I'm sure the studio would be ecstatic is the film earned $6 million here, or even just made it past $1 million. The mockumentary is certainly worth watching right until the end and hopefully it will find an audience here, if not theatrically, then on the home market.

Love Songs - Reviews
A French musical set in Paris that revolves around the love lives of several individuals of various orientations. The movie became a cult hit in France, and that is likely the best it can do here. This is partly because the movie is a niche market release, and partly because it is only earning average reviews. Love Songs opens tonight in two theaters, both in New York City.

Planet B-Boy - Reviews
A documentary about B-boying, or, as it is more commonly known, breakdancing. This is the only film opening this week, both wide and limited, that is earning overwhelming positive reviews, but the target audience is rather limited. Those who were fans of the dance style when it peaked in the 80s might be interested in learning whatever happened to the one time phenomenon, but most simply moved on. Planet B-Boy opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Shelter - Reviews
This film has earned zero reviews so far, but has won awards at several Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals and that has helped it earn substantial buzz. How much that buzz will help the film during its theatrical run is not yet known, but it should draw in its target audience. Shelter opens tonight at the Landmark Varsity in Seattle, which is not a city that normally gets premieres like this. Come Monday we may know why.

Under the Same Moon - Reviews
A movie about a Mexican boy trying to illegally enter the United States to find his mother after his Grandmother dies. This is by far the widest release of the week, opening in 266 theaters, but its reviews are only mixed. In fact, at the moment the film is earning exactly 50% positive reviews. That said, the film opened on Wednesday and actually cracked the top ten. The film will likely be a little-front loaded and with three wide releases, it won't finish in the top ten over the weekend, but it should do rather well nonetheless.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, La misma luna, The Hammer, Planet B-Boy, Shelter, The Grand, Les Chansons d'Amour, Boarding Gate, Irina Palm, Kenny