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Limited Releases - Sinfully Good or Just Sinful?

February 9th, 2007

Several high quality films on this week's list, include an Oscar nominated one. On the other end of things, the widest release is again the worst reviewed, which is an all too common trend.

Black Friday - Reviews
A drama about the Bombay bombing on March 12, 1993 and the investigation thereafter. The film was made in 2005 but it was banned by the Indian government. However, that ban was recently lifted and the film opened there last Friday while it opens here tonight. Like many films from India, it is not getting a whole lot of press here, but elsewhere it is being praised. Black Friday opens tonight in 9 theaters in major cities.

Burning Annie - Reviews
One of the first movies I ever reviewed is finally getting a theatrical release after touring the Film Festival circuit for a couple of years. The reviews are weaker than I expected with some critics complaining that the dialogue felt like a screenwriter trying to be witty with characters that suffer as a result. I mentioned this in my review but felt it was not a serious enough problem and still recommend the movie. Burning Annie opened on Wednesday at the Pioneer Theatre in New York City.

The Last Sin Eater - Reviews
It's like they are intentionally trying to kill Christian Cinema. Recently there has been a glut of films aimed at the churchgoing audiences, nearly all of them terrible. In fact, The Nativity Story's Tomatometer score of 39% positive seems like Oscar caliber compared to the average offering. (On a side note, as bad as the reviews are, they are better than I expected. I didn't think the film would crack 10% positive.) On the other hand, these films have been solid performers and despite playing in way too many theaters, this one should still have a reasonable run. The Last Sin Eater opens in more than 400 theaters tonight and should earn between $1 million and $2 million over the weekend.

The Lives of Others - Reviews
Germany's official entry for best foreign language Oscar. And just one look at its reviews tells you why. (Although I think it will fall short of winning the Oscar as it seems to be Pan Labyrinth's year. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, but personally I voted for Days of Glory in that category.) The film is set in pre-unification East Germany and focuses on a Stasi (secret police) officer. But this is not an action-packed Bond knock-off, rather a drama that examines the frightening absurdity of the system. The Lives of Others opens tonight in 12 theaters, mostly in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience - Reviews
A documentary featuring the letters written by soldiers while they were serving in Iraq. Arguably the most honest look at the war so far, which makes it one of the most important films on the subject. Operation Homecoming opens tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Das Leben der Anderen, The Last Sin Eater, Black Friday, Operation Homecoming, Burning Annie