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Limited Releases are Keeping it Real

August 6th, 2004

Big week for limited releases with more than half-a-dozen movies opening in limited release. Not only that, but two of these wide releases are opening in more than two dozen theatres, which is quite large openings for limited releases. By some strange coincidence, four of the movies are based on real life events with a fifth film being a documentary.

Bang Rajan - Reviews
The true-life story of a small group of farmers who fought back against an army of 100,000 and eventual helped create a rebellion. It is being described as an epic battle movie with an emotional connection. The film opens in one theatre in Los Angeles tonight.

Code 46 - Reviews
A vision of a near-future dystopia where citizens live in protected cities and travel is highly regulated. The reviews for this film are quite unusual. While the overall reviews are positive, the reviews cream of the crop critics have been overwhelmingly negative. The film opens in three theatres in New York and Los Angeles today before expanding in the coming weeks.

Last Life in the Universe - Reviews
The best reviewed film on this week's list is also playing in the fewest theatres, (just the one in New York.) Kenji is a shy librarian who is obsessed with neatness and who has tried to commit suicide on multiple occasions. The film is generating more than a few comparisons to Lost in Translation and is being called darkly funny and charming.

Open Water - Reviews
I fear this movie will do more to demonize sharks even more than they already are. You are more likely to die from tipping a vending machine on yourself than from a shark attack. On the other hand, 100 million sharks are killed every year. But back to the movie, the film tells the real life story of what happened to two people taking a scuba tour when the boat leaves them behind. The film opens in 47 theatres in major cities and hopes to have a Blair Witch like roll-out.

Outfoxed - Reviews
A documentary detailing the right-wing bias of Fox News. Even most people I know who watch Fox News are willing to admit the station has a right-wing bias, so I'm unsure there's many people left to convince. For those of you not living in New York, L.A., Washington or San Francisco, the film has already been released on DVD.

Saints and Soldiers - Reviews
Another film that is based on real life events. It tells the story of soldiers with important information that must get out from behind enemy lines. It won a lot of Best Picture awards at a lot of film festivals, but the critics have all but ignored it. The film opens in 25 theatres this weekend, which may be too many for its limited advertising to sustain.

Stander - Reviews
The fourth Based on Real Life Events film on this weeks list, if you don't count the lone documentary. This one tells of a disillusioned, young Captain of the Johannesburg Police Force who became the most notorious bank robber in South Africa.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Open Water, Code 46, Last Life in the Universe, Stander