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Limited Releases - Looking for a Little Bit of Love (and a lot of Cash)

October 6th, 2006

A dozen films on this list and while there are few Oscar contenders, it could be the Canadian film, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, that has the best long-term potential.

49 Up - Reviews
This is the seventh film in this franchise, which started back in 1964. The premise was simple, 14 Britain 7-year olds from various backgrounds were interviewed on various topics. Simple premise, but very compelling. What makes it stand out so much is that every seven years they revisit these people and the franchise has moved from beyond a series of documentaries to one of the most interesting psychological studies ever. 49 Up debuted yesterday at the New York Film Festival before starting its theatrical run tonight in 21 theatres nationwide.

Black Gold - Reviews
A documentary about Coffee. Specifically it looks at the poor farmers trying to grow the crop in Ethiopia and how it is bought and sold and how eventually helps huge multi-national companies make huge profit margins. One of several highly-rated films coming out tomorrow, but considering how many people are addicted to caffeine, it could be the film that connects the most with its audience. Black Gold opens in three theatres tomorrow, one in New York City and two in Seattle, the birthplace of the modern coffee craze.

Blood Tea and Red String - Reviews
This Stop-Motion animated film took 13 years to make, and if the reviews are anything to go by, it was worth the wait. The film tells the story of White Mice and their struggles against the Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak over a doll... you know what? The story isn't important, what is important are the incredible visuals and the film has plenty of those. Blood Tea and Red String opened on Wednesday at the Two Boots Pioneer Theatre in New York City and plays until Thursday.

The Domestic Import - No Reviews
Husband and wife hire a domestic from the Ukraine to help with their new baby. But soon the situation grow out of control as she is in a race to find a husband before her visa expires. The film has a culture clash feel to it like My Big Fat Greek Wedding but it unlikely to grow past the four theatres it is playing in this weekend.

Kettle of Fish - Reviews
There are a couple of recognizable names starring in this film including Gina Gershon and Matthew Modine. In the film, the latter stars as a life-ling bachelor whose has to re-examine his life after Gina Gershon's character moves into his apartment. The two leads do the best they can with the script they have, but there's not enough here for audiences to grab onto. Kettle of Fish opens tonight in three theatres in the AMC chain.

Little Children - Reviews
Another potential award-season player, this film stars Kate Winslet, who has been nominated four times for an Oscar, Jennifer Connelly, who has won an Oscar, and was written and directed by Todd Field, whose last film earned five nominations. Like In the Bedroom, this film has a dark tone and is certainly not for everyone, and while it should earn some measure of mainstream success, it won't be as big of a hit. Little Children opens tonight in five theatres in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Love is the Drug - Reviews
I have a pet peeve when it comes to movies about spoilt teenagers and the various, self-destructive things they do to fill their time. Not only is it really difficult to create characters like these that are compelling, there are so many competing films that it is just that much more difficult to rise above the pack and get noticed. While this film is better than most at the former, it won't be able to succeed at the latter. Love is the Drug in seven theatres, but it is unlikely it will expand significantly after that.

Love's Abiding Joy - Reviews
For the second time in as many weeks there's a film aimed squarely at the Christian market. Like the previous film, this one is opening in way too many theatres and with reviews that are not nearly strong enough. Even many in the target demographic are going to balk at the heavy-handed nature of the message and the overall quality betrays its made-for-TV roots. Love's Abiding Joy opens tonight in 208 theatres, but that is likely as wide as it will go.

Shortbus - Reviews
Daring. I think that's the term writer / director John Cameron Mitchell was going for here. He certainly achieved that goal with the film's frank and graphic portrayal of sex, but while that aspect will be the most talked about, it is also a good film that deals with complex interpersonal relationships. Shortbus opened on Wednesday in six theatres in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

So Goes the Nation - Reviews
A look at the 2004 election in Ohio, how it turned out the way it did, and just how far each party was willing to go to win the White House. Given the current political scandal regarding the Foley coverup, which was born out of the desire for power above all else, this film might benefit from the timing. Or it might be drowned out by the breaking news. The film is being praised for its evenhandedness and lack of vitriol, but it also misses a lot of key problems with the voting in the state, but I guess that's a topic for another documentary. So Goes the Nation opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City as well as the cable channel.

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie - Official Site
The highly popular Canada TV series comes to movie theatres across the country, at least in this country. It's almost unique among Canadian films as it's using a different method to inform the people about the movie. They are using those things, you know, that appear between the bit of TV shows. What are they called? Commercials. More than 90% of Canadian movies released never get an ad campaign, nothing, and more than 90% of Canadian films never find an audience. This is not a coincidence. So, it comes as a bit of a shock that this film is being advertised more on TV than some of the wide releases coming out this weekend. What will this mean for the film's box office chances? It is unlikely to break any records, but it won't need to do so to recoup its $5 million production budget (that's $5 million Canadian, or about $4.5 million American). Fans of the show should be more than willing to slap down the cash, but a word of warning; they take advantage of the theatrical setting to get away with stuff you couldn't do on TV. And you can do a lot on Canadian TV. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie opens tonight in theatres nationwide and it shooting for a opening as big as Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner - Reviews
A documentary look at playwright Tony Kushner who wrote Angels in America among other projects. The subject is certainly interesting enough, but the film isn't entirely successful in its study of the man or his work. Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Little Children, Shortbus, Love's Abiding Joy, 49 Up, Black Gold, Wrestling with Angels, So Goes the Nation, Blood Tea and Red String, Love is the Drug, The Domestic Import, Kettle of Fish