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Nothing Limited About This Week's Selection

August 5th, 2005

The market is overflowing with limited releases, almost a dozen film debut this weekend and five of them are opening in two dozen theatres or more. With that much competition it might be difficult for any one film to attract enough attention to succeed. Which is a shame since many of the films are highly praised and deserve to be seen by a wide audience.

2046 - Reviews
The name of this film comes from China's promise to the people of Hong Kong that nothing would change for 50 years, or until the end of the year 2046. That got the filmmaker thinking, what if there was a place where nothing ever changed? And what if the one thing you needed the most was change? Beautifully shot, filled with passion, filled with amazing performances. The film is also getting one of the smaller releases playing in just four theatres in New York and Los Angeles including the Lincoln Plaza and Nuart Theatre.

Bailey's Billion$ - Reviews
A Canadian film that looks so bad I feel the need to apologize on behalf of my county. In the movie a dog named Bailey, (voiced by Jon Lovitz) inherits billions of dollars from his owner, much to the dismay of her nephew, Tim Curry, and his wife, Jennifer Tilly. On a side note, Jennifer Tilly is also in another Canadian film opening this weekend, Saint Ralph, which is the far superior film. Bailey's Billion$ opens tonight in more than three dozen theatres in Los Vegas, Buffalo, Atlanta, and other cities.

Broken Flowers - Reviews
I don't think many people would have thought Bill Murray would have become a major player in independent movies 20 years ago. In Broken Flowers Bill Murray stars as Don Johnson, a Don Juan of sorts who was just dumped by his latest girlfriend when he receives an anonymous letter that says he fathers a son 17 years ago and he's looking for his father. After writing a list of his past girlfriends he travels in search of his son. Broken Flowers opens in 27 theatres tonight in major cities across the country and should expand enough later on to earn some mainstream success.

Chaos - Reviews
A teenage slasher flick with ambitions to be a cult classic like The Last House on the Left, but is so poorly conceived and executed on nearly every level that it's destined to go down as one of the worst movies of the year, possibly ever. There really is no redeeming value to this film.

Chumscrubber - Reviews
I had high hopes for this film as it supports and impressive cast and while it is teen angst / suburban malaise story has a lot of potential, it was wasted here with a plot that seems recycled. It's not a total loss as there are some great performances. Chumscrubber opens in 28 theatres, none of which are in Los Angeles or New York City. It doesn't play in those cities till the 26th of New York. In the meantime people in Seattle, Portland, Austin, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and others have a chance to see it first.

Duma - Reviews
A road trip / coming-of-age story about a boy and his pet cheetah named Duma. The pair travels across South Africa to return Duma to nature when it becomes clear that is where he belongs. It's the best reviewed new film of the weekend and it opens in five theatres in Chicago and the Chicago area.

Junebug - Reviews
The directorial debut of Phil Morrison, who got his start in the business directing music videos. An art dealer and her husband travel to a small town in rural North Carolina to meet an artist and to meet the husbands family. Filled with eccentric characters, the film may be a little slow at times but it's worth it for patient moviegoers. Junebug opened on Wednesday in in seven theatres in New York and Los Angeles, more than half of which are part of the Laemmle chain.

My Date With Drew - Reviews
Filmmaker Brian Herzlinger has had a crush on Drew Barrymore since he first saw her in E.T.. 20 years later he decides to try and get a date with her, so he buys a camera to record his exploits. As far as documentaries go, this is pretty much fluff, but it's fun fluff; if you're a fan of romanitc comedies you'll probably enjoy this film as well. It opens in 58 theatres in major cities across the nation.

Saint Ralph - Reviews
Ralph Walker is 14 year-old who doesn't have a father and whose mother is gravely ill. Hearing it would take a miracle for her to recover he decides to work on another miracle, winning the Boston Marathon. Depending on whom you talk to, this Canadian film is either an inspirational story, or an overly emotional, insipid piece of hokum. It seems the former opinion is more prevalent among critics, which the film needs as it is the widest limited release of the week at more than 5 dozen theatres across the country.

Secuestro Express - Reviews
A story of a couple who are kidnapped by three men who demand $20,000 from the lady's rich father. Reviews are mixed with the main complaints being the borderline exploitive nature and the MTV-like editing and noise. Others are calling the film a tense thrill ride. Secuestro Express opens in 8 theatres in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Florida.

Shoujyo: An Adolescent - Reviews
The subject matter in this film makes is a difficult film to make as it could easily turn exploitative. You see, the film tells the story of a May / December love affair... well that's not quite accurate, April / December would be a better way to describe it because he's 43 and she's 15. The film does an admirable job of avoiding the pitfalls and just telling the story of a doomed love affair. But even so the subject matter means this film will have a very limited appeal.

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Filed under: Broken Flowers, Junebug, Duma, Saint Ralph, Secuestro Express, My Date With Drew, Shôjo, The Chumscrubber, Chaos, Bailey's Billion$, 2046