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No Shortcut for the Limited releases

July 13th, 2007

Not the strongest week for limited releases overall, but we do have at least one that seems ready for mainstream success, Talk to Me, as well as two releases from last week that are expanding, Joshua and Rescue Dawn.

Drama/Mex - Reviews
A Spanish language film from Mexico that just doesn't work. It's being produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, who are better known for their acting, and they should probably stick to that side of the moviemaking business. Drama/Mex opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Hula Girls - Reviews
A coal-mining town in northern Japan tries to turn its fortunes around after the country switches to oil. And they do so by creating a Hawaiian village as a tourist attraction. This film was picked by Japan as its official selection for the Oscars, but was not nominated. It's a good movie and worth checking out, but a little to lightweight and forgettable to be a contender for major awards. Hula Girls opens tonight at the ImaginAsian in New York City.

Interview - Reviews
Steve Buscemi stars in (and writes and directs) a movie about a political journalist who has to interview a TV star, played by Sienna Miller. The interview starts... poorly, but the next hour or so the two have a very intriguing and engaging conversation, which should be enough for fans of art house films to be drawn in, but its mainstream appeal is limited. Interview opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

My Best Friend - Reviews
Daniel Auteuil and Dany Boon reunite from The Valet in another lighthearted comedy from France. Here, Auteuil plays an unpleasant man whose business partner bets he doesn't have a friend, so he hires Dany Boon to pretend to be one. The film is earning good reviews and could be headed toward some mainstream success, although I don't know if it will catch The Valet. My Best Friend opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and one in Los Angeles.

Shortcut to Happiness - Reviews
Sometimes movies have a rough time trying to get to theaters, but rarely is the FBI involved. The movie stars, among others, Alec Baldwin, who also directed. The FBI got involved during post-production and the film sat unfinished for a number of years. Now that it is coming out, Baldwin declined to finish the project and instead has asked for his name to be removed, which isn't a good sign. I can't see it expanding much past its initial theater count of 22, but it should do better on the home market by drawing in the curious.

Talk to Me - Reviews
One of a handful of limited releases coming out this month that I can see expanding wide. Don Cheadle proves an Oscar win is just a matter of time as he plays radio DJ and ex-con, Ralph "Petey" Greene. Reviews are a little weaker than I was expecting, but 79% positive should still be enough to generate the word-of-mouth needed to escape the art house circuit. Talk to Me opens in 33 theaters in major cities nationwide, which is higher than I would have liked, but it still has a good shot at expanding.

Time - Reviews
Written and directed by Ki-duk Kim, who also made 3-Iron, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, and others. Here he tells a story of a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend only to undergo total reconstructive surgery and try to get back together with him while pretending to be a new woman. Anyone who enjoyed this South Korean auteur's pervious work should find something alluring here. Time opens tonight in New York City at the Cinema Village and in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center.


Filed under: Talk to Me, Mon meilleur ami, Interview, Shi gan, Drama/Mex, Shortcut to Happiness, Hula gâru