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The Weekend is 3 Days for Limited Releases

August 10th, 2007

The selection of limited releases is more limited this week, but there are still a couple that could reach out to mainstream audiences. However, both 2 Days in Paris and Rocket Science have uphill battles ahead of them.

2 Days in Paris - Reviews
The sophomore effort for Julie Delpy in the director's chair, she also wrote and stars in the movie. In it she plays half of a couple with Adam Goldberg, who travel to Paris to visit her family. There, Adam Goldberg's character learns more than he wanted about her family and her past. When actors try their hand at directing, it doesn't always go smoothly, but this film is a dialogue-heavy comedy and that helps ease her into the new job and the results are pleasing the critics. 2 Days in Paris opens tonight 8 theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Chak De India - No Reviews
A film about a hockey player who returns to the game to coach the women's national team. That's field hockey and not ice hockey. One of a long line of Indian films that have come out in recent years. Like far too many of them, this one has little advanced publicity, no reviews, and only a 50% chance that it will even report box office numbers on Monday. On the other hand, they seem to do well with their niche market. Chak De India opens tonight in 60 theaters, but this might be the last we hear of it.

Crossing the Line - Reviews
A documentary about James Dresnok, the first U.S. soldier to defect to North Korea during the 1960s. While the story of this one man, and the few others like him, is certainly interesting, I think the subject matter is a little to narrowly focused to draw in a wide audience. Crossing the Line opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City before expanding into Los Angeles next weekend.

Descent - Reviews
Rosario Dawson stars as a gifted university who meets a fellow student at a party, a preppie athlete named Jared. Despite his inept attempts to woo her, she inexplicably agrees to see him for a date. What starts out well enough, but when she tries to stop his romantic advances, he rapes her. What follows is a downfall slide into drugs and sex and finally revenge.

What appears to be a film made to show female empowerment after a degrading event, doesn't work because of a few flaws. For instance, both during the downward spiral and the revenge scene felt exploitive at times. This made the film more unpleasant that necessary; granted, the movie is about a very unpleasant topic, but a better film would have been able to tell the story in a way that draws in the moviegoers, not repel them. Additionally, I felt the movie moved too slowly. Not only didn't the plot progress too slowly, but there were many scenes that lasted too long, (especially the final revenge scene that seemed to last forever).

There are some positive aspects to the film, namely Rosario Dawson's performance, as well as the powerless nature of the rapist in his regular life. But even here it is hard to give credit to the film as the performances are lost lost beneath the piles of scenes that don't work and the psychological angle is barely touched upon. Perhaps if the film was redone as a 40 minute short film, it would have worked out. As it is, I can't recommend going out of your way to see it in theaters. It would only be worth a rental for hardcore fans of the darker side of art house cinema.

Inside Paris - Reviews
A film about a man who deals with his breakup with his girlfriend by moving in with his divorced father and younger brother. Not the strongest release this week with reviews that are barely over the overall positive threshold. This would be great for a wide release, but well below what is needed for a limited release to thrive on the art house circuit. Inside Paris opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Washington, D.C.

Rocket Science - Reviews
A coming of age story about a high school boy that may remind you of Rushmore, a lot. In fact, there's a whole sub-genre of indie comedies that focus on a moopy lead character and deal in quirky situations. This makes distinguishing one from the other increasingly difficult. At least this film has strong reviews that should help word-of-mouth, but despite the real potential to become a breakout hit, I have a feeling moviegoers have seen too many films like this for that to happen. Rocket Science opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

A Stone's Throw - Review
The feature-length debut for Camelia Frieberg's career as writer / director. So far she has produced many films, including several greats like The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica, but early reviews suggest this film will not be as enthusiastically received as those films were. A Stone's Throw opens tonight at the Carlton Cinemas in Toronto, Canada, before expanding to Nova Scotia next weekend and Vancouver the weekend after.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Deux jours à Paris, Chak De India, Rocket Science, Dans Paris, Descent, Crossing the Line, A Stone's Throw