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Limited Releases go Soft

December 14th, 2007

After two great weeks for limited releases, this week's selection is rather soft with no big names coming out. On the other hand, both Juno and Atonement are expanding this weekend.

Goodbye Bafana - Reviews
A film about the white guard who guarded Nelson Mandela while he was under arrest. On the one hand, it is a rather unique take on this story, but on the other hand, reducing Nelson Mandela to a supporting character is a mistake. That issue, along with pacing problems, has hurt the film's performance with the critics, which in turn will hurt the film's performance at the box office. Goodbye Bafana opens tonight at the Metro Cinema in Seattle, Washington.

Half Moon - Reviews
The best reviewed new release of the week, this Kurdish road trip movie tells the story of a musician living in Iran who travels to Kurdish Iraq to give one last performance. Half Moon opens tonight at the ImaginAsian in New York City, as well as the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville, Florida before expanding to Los Angeles in two weeks.

The Kite Runner - Reviews
There were high hopes for this film during awards season, but while the film earned two Golden Globe nominations this week, its reviews suggest it won't be a favorite to pick up an Oscar. 59% positive is not a bad score, but it isn't strong enough to expect great word of mouth from moviegoers and with an opening theater count of 35, it might not earn a high enough per theater average to expand greatly in the coming weeks. The Kite Runner opens tonight in 35 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Look - Reviews
A bit of experimental filmmaking, this movie is shot entirely from the point of view of security cameras. The film works well enough that it is worth checking out, but a rental will do for most people. And since fans of art house cinema have a lot of Oscar contenders to grab their attention, this will hurt this film's box office chances. Look opens tonight in four theaters in select cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

Nanking - Reviews
One of the few films this week that is opening to excellent reviews, limited release or otherwise. A documentary about the war crimes committed by Japan during the early invasion of China. The film includes dramatic recreations of letters and journals by some of the Westerners who tried to save as many Chinese as they could. Nanking opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Youth Without Youth - Reviews
Francis Ford Coppola's return to theaters is not a triumphant one. At least not with critics. Technically it is very well done, but we are dealing with source material that just didn't translate well onto the big screen. The novel deals with a very intellectually intense subject matter that works when you are able to re-read a passage multiple times and contemplate its meaning before moving on. Because of this, I think it will perform better on the home market, if it isn't too late by that point. Youth Without Youth opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, The Kite Runner, Youth Without Youth, Nanking, Look, Niwemang, Goodbye Bafana