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Limited Releases go Postal

May 23rd, 2008

Only half a dozen films on this week's list, and only half of those are earning good reviews, and none seem likely to expand beyond their limited beginnings. That said, we've yet to have a sleeper hit this year, and maybe one of these movies will surprise.

Children of Huang Shi - Reviews
The film tells the real life story of the Japanese occupation of China at the beginning of World War II, but does it in a way that manages to lessen the emotional impact. It tries so hard to 'tug on your heart strings' that it winds up being dull. That said, it looks great. Children of Huang Shi opens tonight in a handful of theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

The Edge of Heaven - Reviews
A Turkish film set in Germany. It tells the story of a lonely widower who invites a fellow Turkish immigrant to live with him for a low rent. However, the fact that she is a prostitute doesn't go over well with his son. The film is earning the best reviews of any release this week, but it is still a foreign language film and that will limit its potential to expand. The Edge of Heaven opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

A Jihad for Love - Reviews
A documentary about Islam and its treatment of gays and lesbians. It is a very powerful film, and one that could escape its doubly niche market, but it will be an uphill struggle. A Jihad for Love opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City, and should expand somewhat, but it will never grow past the art house circuit.

Postal - Reviews
Arguable Dr. Uwe Boll's best movie he ever made that is based on a video game. It still sucks. The movie is political satire that was aiming at highly offensive, but most critics agree is just dull. This is the widest limited release of the week, it is also earning the weakest reviews. (It's surprising how often that happens.) However, it could be the biggest hit on this week's list as Dr. Uwe Boll's style of filmmaking has earned him some a lot of fans. Okay, 'style' might not be the right word, nor is 'fans,' for that matter. But just as there are those who watch NASCAR solely for the crashes, there are those who eagerly await Dr. Uwe Boll cinematic offering, and these people could push this film over the top, at least for one week. Or perhaps good senses will prevail and it will earn a per theater average barely better than his last few films. Postal opens tonight in 10 theaters, some that are only having midnight showings.

Twisted: A Balloonamentary - Reviews
A documentary about balloon animals. Wait... What? I guess people who like documentaries want light entertainment every once and a while as well. However, calling it light entertainment should not be taken as an insult and the movie is earning good reviews, (if not a whole lot of them). Twisted: A Balloonamentary opens tonight for one-week runs in St. Louis, Missouri, and in Madison, Wisconsin, before touring in several cities that normally not host to limited releases. (Check the official site for more details.)

War, Inc - Reviews
Political satire is a very difficult genre to get right, as I mentioned at the beginning of the month. Additionally, the film mixes a huge number of topics, and genres, that further limits its appeal with each change in tone likely to turn off at least some of the audience. Given the reviews, there's little hope of expanding significantly beyond its limited opening, but it should earn a cult following when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray. In the meantime, War, Inc opens tonight in two theaters, Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles and the Angelika Film Center in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, The Children of Huang Shi, Auf der anderen Seite, War, Inc., A Jihad for Love, Twisted: A Balloonamentary, Postal