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Limited Releases - Back with a Vengeance

April 27th, 2006

It's a very busy week for limited releases. While there are many films on this week's list, and several of them are earning glowing reviews, there's not much here that looks likely to breakout and earn some mainstream success.

Army of Shadows - Reviews
Made in 1969, this is the first time that Jean-Pierre Melville's film has been released theatrically in the United States. Set in 1942, the film tells the story of a French Resistance leader who is turned in by a traitor only to escape and seek Revenge. Army of Shadows opens tomorrow in New York City at the Film Forum.

Clean - Reviews
While the overall reviews for this film are not great for a limited release, Maggie Cheung has been earning a lot of praise for her performance. Cheung plays Emily Wang, an aspiring singer whose past is filled with drugs and mistakes, which culminate in the death of her husband and a jail sentence for her. Now her main desire is to be reunited with her son, who is currently living with her in-laws. Clean opens tomorrow in the Lincoln Plaza and the Sunshine Cinema, both in New York City.

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu - Reviews
A black comedy about Lazarescu Dante Remus, a 63-year old widower who is having health problems. Over the course of the night he is carted around various hospitals in Bucharest, Rumania while his health quickly deteriorates. One of the best reviewed films on this week's list and anyone who has worried about the state of healthcare in their area will want to check this movie out. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu opened yesterday at the Film Forum

Guys and Balls - Reviews
This film was supposed to be released at the beginning of the month, but was pushed back at the last moment. It is a gay themed soccer film, which is too niche markets in one. Add in too many cliches to count, and the film will struggle to find a mainstream audience, but should be easy-going entertainment for its target audience. Guys and Balls opens tomorrow at three theatres including the Quad Cinema in New York City and the Palm D'Or in Palm Springs.

Killer Diller - Reviews
This film has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years now, which is never a good sign. Car thief / guitar player Wesley meets up with autistic blues piano player Vernon and forms the Killer Diller Blues Band with a group of misfits. The story is simplistic and unchallenging, but the music is excellent. Killer Diller opens on Friday in more than 30 theatres in Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City.

Lady Vengeance - Reviews
The final film in Chan-wook Park's Vengeance Trilogy. Neither of the previous two films have found much in the way of mainstream success, but they have developed a cult following. I think this film will perform better than the others as the studio seems set and bringing it to a more mainstream audience. Lady Vengeance opens tomorrow at the Angelika Film Center and the AMC 25, both in New York City, before expanding to the Los Angeles area next weekend and beyond the week after that.

The Lost City - Reviews
Written, starring and directed by Andy Garcia, this film is obviously a labor of love, but in this case, that is not a good thing. He was probably too close to the project to view it objectively and that led to the film's bloated running time. There's a really good 90-minute to 2-hour movie hidden somewhere in the films 143-minute runtime and a good editor could probably find it. As it is, this is one of the weakest releases on this week's list. The Lost City opens tomorrow in 18 theatres in New York, California and Florida.

Three Times - Reviews
Three love stories set in three different time periods starring the same two actors. The film is beautifully shot, but even critics who loved the movie admit that it is slow moving and made for the art house circuit only. Even worse, many complain that the film lacks emotional depths needed to transform the film from a cinematic experience to an engaging movie. Three Times opened yesterday at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza, both in New York City.

Water - Reviews
A follow-up to Deepa Mehta's Fire and Earth. The film is set in 1930s India and follows 8-year old Chuyia, who entered into an arranged marriage only to have her fiancee die. Because of this, she is forced to spend the rest of her life working off the bad karma in a house filled with other Hindi widows. The overall reviews are better than Earth's, not quite as good as Fire's, and among the best that the week has to offer. Water opens tomorrow in five theatres including the Angelika Film Center in New York City and Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles.

The Whore's Son a.k.a. Hurensohn - Reviews
Ozren is a young boy living in 1990s Vienna raised by his mom and his aunt and uncle. When he finds out his mom is not a waitress but a prostitute, he has to deal with the emotional hit and the ridicule of others. The Whore's Son opens tomorrow at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Water, The Lost City, Chinjeolhan geumjassi, Zui Hao De Shi Guang, Clean, Moartea domnului Lazarescu, Killer Diller, Hurensohn, L'armée des ombres