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Limited Releases Limp Toward the End of Summer

August 24th, 2007

There's a big list of limited releases this week, but not a strong list. It is too late to take advantage of summer holidays to boost their box office, and too early to generate decent Oscar buzz. Only one film, Deep Water is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, while most can't even crack 50%. Because of these issues, it will be even tougher than usual to break out of limited release and earn a

The Bothersome Man - Reviews
Andreas arrives in a strange city with no memory on how he got there, but while he's told he has a family, job, etc., he feels something is not right. This Icelandic / Norwegian co-production has an interesting story to tell, but there are a few issues. Most notably, the message is a bit confused and the running time is a long. In fact, it might have been more successful as a short film instead. The Bothersome Man opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Closing Escrow - Reviews
A film about three families trying to buy the perfect house. It's very much like the Christopher Guest mockumentaries with its level of improve, but the end project isn't nearly as successful. Perhaps if you've just bought a house, or are in the process of buying a house this film might be a needed comedic lift, but for most people they can wait till it comes out on DVD. Closing Escrow opens tonight in five theaters, including one in Denver, Colorado and Tempe, Arizona.

Dedication - Reviews
Billy Crudup and Mandy Moore star as Henry and Lucy, an author and an illustrator who team up to help create the latest children's book from Henry after his previous collaborator dies. This is the directorial debut of Justin Theroux and while it shows a lot of promise, it isn't a total success either. Perhaps one day it will be looked at as the beginning of a great career, but now it is probably best to check it out on the home market.

Deep Water - Reviews
The only film getting overwhelmingly positive reviews, this documentary tells the story of the first solo, non-stop, around-the-world boat race. It focuses on amateur Donald Crowhurst and the psychological toll paid during nine months of isolation. Easily the best movie of the week, it might be difficult for the film to break out and earn mainstream success, but it could do relatively well for a documentary. Deep Water opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

Eye of the Dolphin - Reviews
The widest release of the week, this film isn't the best-reviewed, not even close. It stars Carly Schroeder as a troubled 14-year old who moves in with the father she never knew she had. Carly Schroeder stands out in the film and there are some great underwater shots, but this coming of age story never really comes together. After some delays, Eye of the Dolphin opens tonight in 130 theaters, but that's as far as the film will go.

Hannah Takes the Stairs - Reviews
One of a couple films to crack the 60% positive level needed for an overall positive score, this film was shot without a script. And there are times you can tell. No script means no overall story being told and some of the scenes are a little rambling, but it should still entice fans of indie cinema. On the other hand, the mainstream appeal here is very limited. Hannah Takes the Stairs opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Heyy Babyy - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood flick opens in 68 theaters with no advanced buzz, no official site, no reviews, and nearly no chance at crossover success. In fact, there's only a 50% chance the film will have box office numbers released on Monday. But these are popular with their target audience and there's no arguing that point.

The Hottest State - Reviews
Based on a novel by Ethan Hawke. Screenplay by Ethan Hawke. Directed by Ethan Hawke. Co-starring Ethan Hawke. This might seem like a vanity project, and there have been some that have leveled that complaint, but the sophomore effort for Ethan Hawke has shown some growth in his abilities and he could have a career behind the camera. Granted, it might take one or two more tries before he films can be recommended solely on their own merits and not as part of a burgeoning career, but there is enough here that the film is worth checking out when it hits the home market. The Hottest State opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and another in Los Angeles.

Right at Your Door - Reviews
Terrorists detonate several dirty bombs in Los Angeles in this thriller,which focuses on a man who accidentally locks his wife out of his home after he quarantines himself inside. The film was delayed and is now being dumped into a couple dozen theaters at the end of summer, which would indicated the studio doesn't have a whole lot of confidence in the movie. However, the reviews are better than most films coming out this week and the timely nature of the film could have helped it do reasonably well if the release was more limited and targeted. On a side note, if you are going to use chemical weapons, why use a bomb? It's a terrible delivery system. Hit the water or food supply instead, just don't poison dog food, toothpaste or kids toys, cause no one would figure out it’s a terrorists attack.

Skid Row - Reviews
A documentary in which Pras Michel, from The Fugees, spends 9 days as a homeless man. While a noble goal, the final project doesn't work as well as it could because the subject wasn't able to immerse himself in the world in just 9-days. Some have even called it a vanity project, but I think that might be a little harsh. Skid Row opens tonight in three theaters, including the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Hey Baby, Deep Water, Dedication, Eye of the Dolphin, Right at Your Door, The Hottest State, Hannah Takes the Stairs, Closing Escrow, Skid Row, Den brysomme mannen