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Limited Releases are in the Bag

June 13th, 2008

Seven new releases this week and of those more than half are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Even so, it is tough to imagine any of them becoming this summer's sleeper hit, especially since so many other potential hits have missed.

Baghead - Reviews
A ... huh. ... I have no idea how to describe this movie. I'm not even sure what genre it is. It could be a drama, an indie comedy, a low-budget horror movie... It's about a group of wannabe actors who go to a secluded cabin in the woods to write a screenplay they can make and star in. The idea they come up with: a man with a bag over his head is terrorizing a group of people. Yes, they plan to make a Teenage Slasher with the main villain being a man with a bag over his head. Only, while they are trying to write the movie, they are stalked by a man with a bag on his head. Before you dismiss the film, it is earning 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Baghead opens tonight in three theaters in Austin, Texas, which is not a city that normally gets a box office premiere.

Chris and Don: A Love Story - Reviews
A documentary about the 34-year relationship between writer Christopher Isherwood and artist Don Bachardy. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the week, but it is still a niche market film and might struggle for break out success. Worth checking out, even if you have to wait until it reaches to home market to get a chance to see it. Chris and Don: A Love Story opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Encounters at the End of the World - Reviews
A documentary by Werner Herzog who takes a look at the men and women who live in Antarctica. Arguable the auteur's best film, and that's saying a lot. However, it is still a documentary and even under the best of circumstances it will have an uphill climb at the box office. Encounters at the End of the World opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

My Winnipeg - Reviews
Writer / director Guy Maddin returns with this autobiographical look at his childhood in Winnipeg. As you all know, Winnipeg is the largest city in the Province of Manitoba with a population of just over 6 million, if you count the mosquitoes, which are bigger than most of the people. Those familiar with his works, which include The Saddest Music in the World and Brand Upon the Brain!, should be pleased with this film, as it is earning some of the best reviews of his career. However, it is still strange enough to prevent it from expanding much beyond the art house circuit. My Winnipeg opens tonight in two theaters in New York City, but doesn't open in its native Canada until later this summer.

Quid Pro Quo - Reviews
A movie that tackles the topic of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, which is what it is called when someone wants an elective amputation. Their body image is such that they believe they should lose a limb. Many are comparing this movie to Crash, and not the Oscar winning one from 2005. The strange nature of the movie and the reviews that are merely mixed will likely prevent the film from expanding too far. Quid Pro Quo is also this week's widest release at four theaters, most of which are in the Los Angeles area.

To the Limit - Reviews
A documentary about mountain climbing and two brothers who are attempting to break the speed record for climbing the vertical face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Could be of interest for fans of the sport, but the appeal might be lost on others. To the Limit opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Young People F*cking - Reviews
Well there's a blunt name. This Canadian romantic comedy is about the sex life of several characters and it is as blunt as its name. The film generated a lot of buzz and sold out all of its Toronto International Film Festival showings in record time. The reviews have been generally positive and the film is opening nationwide... in Canada. (Not sure when it will open in theaters in the United States, if it opens in theaters down south, but its rights are owned by ThinkFilm.) Since it is a Canadian film, its reviews are stronger than its marketing campaign and there's little hope that it will find an audience before it reaches the home market.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Encounters at the End of the World, Chris and Don: A Love Story, My Winnipeg, Baghead, Quid Pro Quo, Am Limit