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Not the Only Limited Release of the Week

March 28th, 2008

Nearly a dozen limited releases coming out this week, but none seem destined to break out and reach a wide audience. Priceless and Flawless both have a shot, but both might be opening too wide to thrive.

American Zombie - Reviews
There has been such a glut of zombie movies made recently that it was only time before someone made a mockumentary on the subject. Here we follow the lives of four 'Deceased-Americans' who are trying to reintegrate back into society after their death. Reviews are mixed, which is really bad news for a limited release, and while it certainly has comedic moments, it is a horror film, which is a deathblow for limited releases. American Zombie opens tonight at the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and the official site has a coupon for the show, so check it out.

Amhurst - No Reviews
The second horror film coming out in limited release this week, although it is more of a suspense than a horror film. That matters little for the film's box office chances, which are slim. Not only is the genre not conducive to limited release runs, but there's little in the way of publicity, including no reviews. Amhurst opens tomorrow in one theater, and its Saturday opening might be the only noteworthy aspect of its run.

Backseat - Reviews
A road trip / coming of age story featuring two guys that really should have grown up already. The film was made in 2005 and has played in a number of film festivals since then, but it is opening with little in the way of fanfare and only two reviews (both negative). This does not bode well for its box office chances. Backseat opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City before expanding to San Francisco next week and Austin the week after that.

Chapter 27 - Reviews
A biopic of Mark David Chapman, whose was the murderer of John Lennon. Jared Leto, who gained more than 60 pounds for this part, plays the lead. Unfortunately, this physical feat appears to be the most impressive part of the movie. (Apparently he is having problems losing the weight now. I feel your pain, Jared, as I'm closing in on eight months on my diet. My suggestion is lots of homemade vegetable soup, which is not only very filling and very low in calories, but also packs a serious nutritional punch.) The main problem here is the total lack of insight. Films like this are only made for one reason, to ask the question, "Why?" Here we don't get any answers and it makes the film tedious. And Lindsay Lohan doesn't help. Chapter 27 opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City, and the controversy might help it overcome its reviews.

Flawless - Reviews
Demi Moore stars has Laura Quinn, a woman who has hit the glass ceiling at the London Diamond Corporation and is frustrated by her lack of advancement. Also working there is Hobbs, the nighttime janitor, who also has a grudge. Together they hatch a plan to get even. A film that is good enough to find a mainstream audience, but it will have to fight its way out of limited release first. And not just limited release, but select cities. Still, I have hopes. Flawless opens tonight in 35 cities nationwide.

Happy Valley - No Official Site
A documentary about Happy Valley, Utah, a place with low crime rate, and high prescription drug abuse. The film is made in Utah and it aimed at a Mormon audience. In part because of this, there are no reviews, no advance publicity outside of that state, and only a 50/50 chance of we will see box office numbers come Monday.

Hats Off - Reviews
A docuementary look at Mimi Weddell, an actress who began her career at the tender age of 65, which was nearly 30 years ago, and she's still acting today. This is an amazing story, but sadly the filmmakers don't go into the details and are content with using Mimi Weddell's life as simple inspiration. Hats Off opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

My Brother is an Only Child - Reviews
One of the best-reviewed films of the week, this is an Italian Coming of Age story where the rivalry between brothers has a political twist. The film opened in first place in its native market with nearly $2 million over the weekend, which would be an impressive total run here. My Brother is an Only Child opens tonight in the Lincoln Plaza in New York City.

Priceless - Reviews
Audrey Tautou stars as Irene, a woman who has her eyes set on a rich man, who actually happens to just be a humble bartender. When she realizes her mistake, she dumps him, but he is not going to give up that easily. It's a simple set up for this French farce, but charming performances have won over many critics so far, and hopefully it will win over even more moviegoers. Priceless opens in two dozen theaters in cities nationwide.

Samson and Delilah - No Reviews
The second in a series of opera performances put into theaters by The Bigger Picture. It opens 120 theaters on Saturday, but it is unlikely that it will be the biggest limited release of the week.

Who's Your Monkey? - No Reviews
Three men try to help one of their mutual friends out of a funk but in the process run afoul of a drug dealer who makes animal porn on the side. Gee, I wonder why it couldn't get a wide release. Actually, considering it has no website, no reviews, and no advanced buzz, I'm amazed it is getting any theatrical release at all in advance of its DVD release in May.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Hors de Prix, Flawless, Mio Fratello è Figlio Unico, Happy Valley, Chapter 27, Hats Off, Backseat, American Zombie, Who's Your Monkey?, Samson and Delilah (San Francisco Opera), Amhurst