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Limited Releases hit by a Late Snow

April 27th, 2007

While wide releases are a dumping ground of mediocrity this week, the limited releases are not scared of the upcoming summer blockbuster season and there are several high quality movies worth checking out. This includes the Canadian film, Snow Cake, which was delayed from last December to this weekend.

Diggers - Reviews
A nostalgic look back at the 70s focusing on a group of Long Island clam diggers. There are a lot of movies that have similar themes, many that are better, but there's more than enough here that works for the film to be worth checking out, especially fine performances by many of the cast members. On the other hand, the film's theater count is rather high at 15 and this could hurt its per theater average enough to prevent any further expansion. Diggers opens tonight in 15 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Fakers - Reviews
A U.K. crime caper about a man who owes 50,000 pounds and can only pay it off by selling five copies of a forged painting in one day. Any connoisseur of such films will admit this one is merely average, but there's enough here to have a bit of fun. Fakers opens tonight in seven theaters split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Jindabyne - Reviews
An import from Australia. This film has been generating a lot of buzz for a while now, but the reviews are a little disappointing. They are not bad, but lower than one would expect and perhaps low enough to prevent a strong run in limited release. Jindabyne opens tonight in six theaters, include a couple in New York City and a couple more in the Laemmles chain.

Poison Friends - Reviews
One of the best-reviewed films of the week, this French film is about two students who fall in with a charismatic older student who takes them under his wing, but his disappearance causes serious problems. This is writer / director Emmanuel Bourdieu's second film, but if this film is any indication, he has a long career ahead of him. Poison Friends opens tonight Cinema Village in New York City.

Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace - Reviews
A group of friends who sang a cappella in college reunite for a friend's wedding and reminisce about the past while catching up on the present. The film is so predictable that it really hurts its value, and even those who enjoy parts of the movie will recognize a lot of inspiration from similar films. Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace opens tonight in 11 theaters, mostly in the North East with some in the Los Angeles area.

Snow Cake - Reviews
This Canadian film was originally set for a December release, right in the heart of award season. Being pushed back until the end of April is a bad sign, but the reviews are still strong. (Below what one would expect for a award-season player, but better than most films earn.) This film could have a good weekend as it has more star power than most limited releases this week and even with a pace that is slower than most, it should still generate enough positive word-of-mouth to survive. Snow Cake opens tonight in four theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Something to Cheer About - Reviews
A documentary about the first all black high school basketball team to win a US state championship. The film should come across as inspirational but ends up just muddled. Something to Cheer About opens in nine theaters in major cities nationwide.

Ta Ra Rum Pum - Reviews
The latest Bollywood movie, but this one has a twist: it was shot in the States and is in both Hindi and English. The film is about a race car driver who gets into an accident and is forced to sing a lot of songs. The film is opening in 85 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release to handle, but this type of films has been doing quite well for some time now and even with no reviews and no mainstream ad campaign, it should do well enough.

Triad Election - Reviews
A sequel to Hak se wui, a.k.a. Election. While the earlier film was a bigger winner in terms of awards, this film was able to earn better reviews. But even with some of the best reviews of the weekend, this film will have to wait for the home market to find an audience, or perhaps it will be remade like The Departed. Triad Election opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Wind Chill - Reviews
A movie about two people travelling home from university when they get caught in a snow storm. ... Who here thinks this movie is being released at the wrong time of the year? Add in no reviews and almost no publicity and this film won't be able to handle its theater count of 42. That's a shame since the trailer was surprisingly effective.

Zoo - Reviews
A documentary about... well, it's about a love that dare not speak it's name. And no, I'm not going to say anything more about it. (The movie's called Zoo, so you can figure it out for yourself.) This is obviously a difficult subject to go into and no matter how well done there would have been some critics who didn't like it. However, there are some substantive issues here including the overly artists nature and the lack of even-handedness in the telling. Zoo opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Ta Ra Rum Pum, Jindabyne, Zoo, Diggers, Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai, Fakers, Snow Cake, Les amitiés maléfiques, Something to Cheer About