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Limited Prospects

April 11th, 2008

Only eight limited releases this week and only one of those, The Visitor, seems to have a legitimate shot at expanding enough to earn some mainstream success.

Bra Boys - Reviews
A documentary about the surfing gang from Maroubra called the Bra Boys. With a name like the Bra Boys, you can probably tell they get into a lot of trouble, but the name comes from Maroubra. The film has earned strong reviews, but there's a limited target demographic, especially for its wider release. Bra Boys opens tonight in 23 theaters, mostly in surfer hot spots (California and Hawaii).

Dark Matter - Reviews
Based on real life events, the movie tells the story of a student who believes his academic career was damaged by university politics and when he is passed over for accolades, he reacts with violence. The film was made in 2006 but was delayed a year after the Virginia Tech massacre, but the delay won't help the storytelling. Most critics are complaining that there's not enough emotional weight for the violent finale and instead of explaining Liu Xing's actions, merely seems exploitive. Dark Matter opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

Don Giovanni - No Reviews
The San Francisco Opera performs the opera, Don Giovanni, which was one of Mozart's final operas. There have been several releases in this series, but we haven't seen box office numbers in the past, and I don't expect that to change this time around.

Emma Smith: My Story - No Reviews
A biopic of Emma Smith, one of the wives of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. The movie is opening without a official site, without reviews, and without any shot at expanding outside Mormon areas in Utah, Idaho, etc., where it opens tonight in more than 40 theaters.

Jack and Jill vs. the World - No Reviews
Freddie Prinze, Jr. stars as Jack and Taryn Manning stars as Jill in this romantic drama. He has a big career in the ad business, she's new in town and full of ideals, they meet, they fall in love, but will a secret tear them apart? There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but it is unlikely to earn strong word-of-mouth as the movie is very similar to Sweet November, which wasn't a good movie to begin with. Jack and Jill vs. the World opens tonight in Providence, Rhode Island, which is not a city that gets many openings like this.

Remember the Daze - Reviews
A movie about High School Graduation, which is a sub-genre that is featured in a number of movies. Say Anything..., Can't Hardly Wait, Dazed and Confused, etc. Sadly, this film adds nothing to the genre and 1999 is not far enough in the past to add any nostalgia to the endeavor. Remember the Daze opens tonight in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

The Visitor - Reviews
One of the best-reviewed new releases of the week, this is writer / director Thomas McCarthy's follow-up to The Station Agent. It goes without saying that it is also one of the most anticipated limited releases of the week as well. Granted, it is not a particularly strong week when it comes to limited releases, but this one still has the best shot at earning some mainstream success. However, it will likely have to wait until the home market to find the audience it deserves. The Visitor opens tonight in 4 theaters, half in New York City and the other half in the Los Angeles area.

Young @ Heart - Reviews
A documentary about a senior citizen choir who perform covers of famous rock and roll songs, both contemporary as well as hits from the past. An uplifting and inspirational story that is perhaps a little heavy-handed for its own good, although it is still worth checking out. Young @ Heart opened on Wednesday in 4 theaters and should do respectable business over the weekend.

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Filed under: The Visitor, Young @ Heart, Dark Matter, Jack and Jill vs. the World, Don Giovanni, Remember the Daze