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Looking for the Real Dirt on the Limited Releases

January 20th, 2006

Several more limited releases start their run this week, but I'm not entirely sure of the chances for any of them. One is opening too wide, another isn't earning the reviews needed to expand, while the pair of documentaries might cancel each other out.

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World - Reviews
Easily the widest limited release of the week, opening in 161 theatres, which is too wide. I've mentioned this before, but select cities is the most difficult release to pull off since it is too wide for a targeted ad campaign but to small for a national one. It would have been better to open in one tenth as many theatres and hope the word-of-mouth would carry the film. However, since its reviews are just mixed, that probably wouldn't have been possible anyway.

Pizza - Reviews
So far this film has earned a Tomatometer reading of 0%. However, most of the negative reviews are not hostile in their attacks and admit there are some redeeming qualities to the movie. Number one on that list of positives is the performance by the newcomer Kylie Sparks, who will hopefully get another chance in a much better movie. The Coming of Age tale opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John - Reviews
The story of a farmer you transforms his farm into an artists' commune after the death of his father. The best reviewed new release of the week, this film deals with what is a much more complex story than it first appears, touching on such topics as environmentalism, agribusiness, cross-dressing... okay, not all the topics are deep, some just add to the film's charm. The Real Dirt on Farmer John opens tonight in three theatres including the Crown Block E in Minneapolis.

Why We Fight - Reviews
Called by some the most important documentary since Fog of War. This film talks about the Military Industrial Complex and how Dwight Eisenhower's warnings have come true and that the tail has begun to wag the dog. Reviews seem to fall into two camps. The first call it an effective, non-partisan, well-argued, balanced, thoughtful, fair, powerful, etc. The second camp calls it propaganda, and some even go so far as to point out it has some French backers. And yes, that is true, but it is an American film that was co-produced by several nations including United Kingdom and Canada. Why We Fight is the must see movie of the week. It opens tonight in six theatres in New York and Los Angeles including the Angelika Film Center in the former and Laemmles Sunset 5 in the latter.

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Filed under: Limited Releases