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Say Yes! Sir Yes! to Limited Releases

April 7th, 2006

It's a busy week for limited releases, with the number of films on this week's list hitting double-digits (and that doesn't count Kinky Boots, which has a sneak peak this Saturday). There are a few films that look poised for some measure of mainstream success, with Friends with Money leading the way.

4 aka, Chetyre - Reviews
One of the more unusual films you'll ever see, and a very difficult one to adequately describe, so I'll just quote the synopsis from the official site. "An apocalyptic journey through the dark heart of the new Russia. Three strangers meet in a Moscow bar one late night and spin fantastic stories, all of them lies. They depart and journey their separate ways through a landscape filled with decaying meat, wild dogs, ravenous crones, cloned piglets, and modern industrial horrors." 4 opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

95 Miles to Go - Reviews
A road trip / concert film that follows Ray Romano and Tom Caltabiano on a tour. On the one hand, it's not every day you get to see the day-to-day life of someone like Ray Romano with such unfiltered access. On the other hand, there's a reason for that, as even big stars' lives are 90% mundane. That is not to say it's a bad movie, but it could have been trimmed and turned into a TV special instead. 95 Miles to Go opens tonight at the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and the AMC Empire 25 in New York City.

Free Zone - Reviews
An amazing beginning and equally great performances by its three leading ladies (Natalie Portman, Hana Lazlo, and Hiam Abbass), are wasted because the script and directing just are not up to the task. Overall, there's not enough here pay full price to see, but it might be worth renting on DVD. Free Zone opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza and the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, both in New York City.

Friends with Money - Reviews
The reviews are not quite up to the level I was expecting, and with a theatre count of 28, the film is opening much wider. The cast is certainly well-known enough to draw people into theatres, but the weaker word-of-mouth and the wider release might result in a per theatre average that's too low to justify a massive expansion; hopefully I'm wrong about that. One last note, all four leads have been praised for their performances, especially Catherine Keener, but the film is opening too early in the year for it to be a player during award season.

I Am a Sex Addict - Reviews
Writer / director Caveh Zahedi stars in this auto-biographical documentary about his long-time battle with sex addiction and how it nearly ruined his life. Fans of his previous work show find something to enjoy here, but the film is unlikely to convert too many newcomers. I Am a Sex Addict opened on Wednesday at the Balboa Theater in San Francisco and expands tonight to the Elmwood Theater in Berkeley.

Kalamazoo? - No Reviews
Three women return to their home of Kalamazoo, Michigan for their High School Reunion only to learn the time capsule containing all their goals will be opened. Not wanting all their unfulfilled goals made public, they decide to find the time capsule and destroy it. Kalamazoo? opens tonight in a handful of theatres in Michigan, check the official site for more details.

Sir! No Sir! - Reviews
Arguably the best and most important film on this week's list, this is a documentary about the anti-war movement that gripped the U.S. armed forces in the 1960s. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary but lost out to Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. After a special screening yesterday, Sir! No Sir! opens tonight at the Red Vic Movie House in San Francisco and the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland.

On a Clear Day - Reviews
One of the best movies on this week's list, the film stars Peter Mullan as Frank Redmond, a recently laid-off shipyard worker who does what anyone would do in his situation: try and swim the English Channel. The film was aiming for inspiring and uplifting and for the most part was right on target. Some people, on the other hand, might find the film a little overly sentimental. But even then they will likely praise most of the cast for their performances. On a Clear Day opens tonight in a handful of theatres including a couple in the AMC chain in New York City.

When Do We Eat? - Reviews
Easily the widest release of the week, but not the best-reviewed. It's not a bad film, but it is perhaps too lighthearted and schmaltzy, and the subject matter may limit its audience (if you don't know what the Seder is, this movie is probably not the best choice for you). But the target audience should really enjoy the film. When Do We Eat? opens in four dozen theatres tonight, mostly in New York, California and Florida.

White Rainbow - Reviews
The latest film from India isn't a Bollywood muscial but a drama about four widows. This film has none of the weaknesses usually associated with Bollywood, and is one of the best movies on this week's list. White Rainbow opens tonight at the Camera 12 Cinema in San Jose.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Friends with Money, When Do We Eat?, On a Clear Day, I Am a Sex Addict, Free Zone, White Rainbow, 95 Miles to Go