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Limited Releases are Trippin' Out

April 20th, 2007

Looking at this week's list of limited releases, it's hard to pick a definite winner. Stephanie Daley has potential given its cast and reviews while The Tripper has a wide advantage in theater count, which could give it the edge this weekend. There are also a handful of foreign language films and one of them might surprise, but overall it doesn't look like a very strong batch of limited releases.

A Dios Momo - Reviews
A film from Uruguay, which should increase the curiosity factor; however, that might be the only factor going for the film. It's not a bad movie per se and does have its moments. It's cute and sweet, but too lightweight and unoriginal to have any substance. A Dios Momo opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Believe - No Reviews
Mormon cinema that is not Mormon specific as it is actually about a multi-level marketing scheme. Like most movies aimed at Mormons, there's almost no reviews, publicity, advanced buzz, etc., and almost no chance of expanding outside of Utah. In fact, if recent history is any guide, there's almost no chance it will do well enough to expand inside Utah. Believe opens tonight in seven theaters in Utah, but this is likely the last most people will hear of it.

Downtown: A Street Tale - Reviews
The tale of street kids was originally made in 2004 and is just now getting a theatrical release. Although it might be better described as being left to fend for itself as it has no reviews, no advanced buzz, etc. Downtown: A Street Tale opens tonight in two theaters in New York City and plans to expand to Los Angeles next week, but it will struggle to find an audience.

Stephanie Daley - Reviews
Amber Tamblyn stars as the titular character, a 16-year old girl who is accused of killing her newborn baby while she claims she never knew she was pregnant and her child was stillborn. Originally set for a December release, right in the heart of award season, it was pushed back a few times. Normally this would be a huge warning sign, but the reviews are excellent with plenty of praise to go around. I don't know if it would have earned many nominations, but it would have had a legitimate shot at it. Stephanie Daley opens tonight in three theaters, including the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

Syndromes and a Century - Reviews
A Thai drama about writer / director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents, who were both doctors. The best-reviewed new release of the week but the foreign language aspect might limits its chances. Syndromes and a Century opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

That Beautiful Somewhere - La Review
The latest Canadian film to be released without any advanced publicity. (I could only find one review, and it is in French.) At least its website is good and has a theater listing. That Beautiful Somewhere opens tonight in Toronto and Montreal before touring the rest of Canada over the summer.

The Tripper - Reviews
The directorial debut of David Arquette, but don't let that scare you. The movie takes place at an outdoor music festival where a serial killer stalks killing off several young men and women. You're probably thinking, "Wow, that's incredibly generic." But here, the hook, the psycho in question in a Reagan obsessed psychopath. It's a new morning in the horror genre. It is certainly a genre picture, and as such Rotten Tomatoes doesn't really do the film justice. The dark political comedy makes the movie nearly impossible to market and the heavy-handed political allegory might be too much for some. However, for most fans of the genres it is worth checking out and David Arquette should get more work behind the camera. The Tripper opens in 50 theaters this weekend but will likely have to wait till the home market to find its audience. On a side note, there's already talk of a sequel, but that will depend heavily on the DVD sales.

The Valet - Reviews
Pierre Levasseur has it all, a powerful job, a beautiful wife, a beautiful mistress. But he could lose it all when a photographer catches him with his mistress, but he quickly hatches a plan to convince his wife that the super-model is actually dating the valet, who just happened to be walking by when the photo was taken. The film is a French farce and as such is rather predictable at times. On the other hand, it was written and directed by Francis Veber, who is a master at the genre, (he wrote the original La Cage aux Folles), and anyone who likes these films should definitely check it out. The Valet opens tonight in six theaters in New York City and the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, La doublure, Stephanie Daley, The Tripper, Sang sattawat, Believe, Downtown: A Street Tale