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My Name is Limited Releases

October 31st, 2008

Horror films rarely do well in limited release, and this wee we have three of them opening. Interesting. We also have a couple with an Indian connection, a Canadian release, and a few documentaries. A wide selection indeed.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father - Reviews
A documentary done by writer / director Kurt Kuenne about his recently murdered friend, who was murdered by an ex-lover. An ex-lover who was pregnant with the victim's unborn child. What starts out as a personal testimony turns into an indictment of the legal system. So far the film's reviews have been perfect, and if you see only one limited release all month, this would be it. Dear Zachary opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Eden Lake - Reviews
The first of three horror films coming out in limited release this week. This one is opening in the most theaters, but it is also earning the best reviews of the three films as well. Still not as good as Let the Right One In, but strong enough to suggest it could survive in limited release. On the other hand, this British film doesn’t have the advanced buzz here. Eden Lake opens tonight in 10 theaters in select cities.

The End of the Line - Reviews
A romantic comedy about an Indian woman who works at a call center for an American company and who falls in love with a man she meets over the phone. The widest limited release of the week, and one that is not earning great reviews. This is not surprising, as this is a genre that rarely works well with critics. It is also one that rarely works in limited release, which further complicates matters. So you have a genre that doesn't have a track-record of doing well in limited release, very few reviews in total and weak ones at that, and a theater count that is nearly in triple digits. Finally, it's being released by MGM. It is hard to see this film thriving this weekend. The End of the Line opens tonight in 91 theaters in select cities nationwide.

The First Basket - Reviews
A documentary look at the intersection of Jewish history and basketball. So far the reviews are few and far between, as well as on the low side. There might be a potential audience for this film with either Jewish historians or basketball historians, but I haven't been able to find an official site, so I don't know if many of these people even know it's playing. The First Basket opened on Wednesday at the Village East Cinema in New York City.

Heaven on Earth - Reviews
The latest from Canadian director, Deepa Mehta, whose previous works include the Oscar nominated drama, Water, and the Bollywood crossover romantic comedy, Bollywood/Hollywood. This film tells the story of a woman involved in an arranged marriage who has trouble adapting to her new life in Canada. Review are better than most, but it is particularly hard for Canadian films to thrive at the box office up here, so we will have to see if this one has what it takes. Heaven on Earth opens tonight in select cities in Canada.

The Matador - Reviews
A documentary about the 'sport' of bullfighting and one man's quest to be the best. The critics have called it beautifully shot, but it tries too hard to be even-handed in justifying the bloody ritual. Perhaps the filmmakers were trying to avoid being biased, but refusing to be objective in order to be even-handed is a form of bias. The Matador opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City, before expanding over the coming weeks.

My Name is Bruce - Reviews
A B-movie action / horror / comedy starring Bruce Campbell as Bruce Campbell. In the movie he is mistaken for the character Ash from the Evil Dead series by the Chinese God of War and is forced to fight a monster for real. So far the film has not won over many critics, but fans of the actor should get a kick out of the film, even if they have to wait till the home market to see it. My Name is Bruce opens tonight at the Landmark Theatre in New York City.

Splinter - Reviews
A horror film opening in limited release, which normally is a death sentence for a such a movie. However, just last week, Let the Right One In opened with nearly $50,000 in just 4 theaters. Granted, this film is not earning the same level of reviews, but it at least has a shot at earning a respectable per theater average over the weekend ($5000 to $10,000). Splinter opens tonight in 4 theaters in select cities, including New York City and Austin, Texas.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Other End of the Line, Dear Zachary: a letter to a son about his father