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Limited Releases: Summer of '71

February 27th, 2015

'71 poster

There are a number of limited releases that are earning excellent reviews, including '71, which might be the biggest hit of the week. Or there might not be any limited release that will become a hit. Maps to the Stars has a great cast, but its reviews are only good. Plus is is playong on Video on Demand. Likewise, Wild Canaries is earning excellent reviews, but it is also playing on Video on Demand.

'71 - Reviews
A British film that earned a couple of BAFTA Nominations and one look at its reviews shows that was justified. On the other hand, I don't know how it will do at the box office, as the subject matter might not connect here. '71 opens tonight in select cities, including in New York City and Los Angeles.

Bluebird - Reviews
A bus driver in a small town doesn't realize one of the students she drives home fell asleep in the back of her bus. This causes the residents of the small town to react in a number of ways. The film's reviews are good, but probably not good enough to thrive in limited release. Additionally, the film is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even weaker. Bluebird opened on Tuesday in select cities.

Eastern Boys - Reviews
A film about illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe living in Paris. They look to gangs to find safety. One of these men, Marek, meets a sugar-daddy, Daniel, but what starts out as a financial relationship grows into more. The reviews are excellent, but this is a niche market and the film is also playing on Video on Demand.

Everly - Reviews
Salma Hayek stars as a prostitute who had been working with the cops to bring down the crime boss she works for. When he finds out, he tries to have her killed, but she turns out to be remarkably hard to kill. I heard a lot of buzz for this film, but the reviews are weak. The script is too thin and the film dives into exploitation and torture porn territory too often. It likely won't find an audience in theaters, but might do well on Video on Demand.

Farewell to Hollywood - Reviews
A documentary about 17-year old Regina Diane Nicholson, who is terminally ill, but wants to make a movie. When she meets filmmaker Henry Corra, he agrees to help her make a movie. The reviews are unanimously positive at the moment and I hope the film finds an audience. Farewell to Hollywood opened on Wednesday in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles. Check out the official site for more details.

The Hunting Grounds - Reviews
A documentary about the rape epidemic on American college campuses. The reviews are amazing, but this is certainly not a topic that lends itself to mainstream appeal. The Hunting Grounds opens tonight in two theaters, one in Los Angeles and the other in New York City, with a planned expansion in March. Check out the official site for more details.

Maps to the Stars - Reviews
An ensemble drama directed by David Cronenberg. The film is earning some of the loudest buzz on this week's list; however, its reviews are merely good and not great. Furthermore, it is opening on Video on Demand, so its box office potential is even lower.

My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn - Reviews
A documentary about the making of Only God Forgives. That film earned weak reviews and failed to find an audience in theaters. It looks like the same fate will befall this release.

The Salvation - Reviews
A western about a settler whose family is killed. He kills the people responsible, but they were members of a dangerous gang, who is now out for revenge. The film has a good cast, but there's nothing in this movie that the average fan of the genre will find new or innovative. Worse still, the movie is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are really low.

Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal - Reviews
This film has already earned more than $30 million in its native China; however, it is not earning a lot of buzz here and the only review on Rotten Tomatoes is negative. It will take a while before Chinese films can earn a fraction of what they make in their home market over here. Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal opens tonight in two-dozen theaters in the United States and Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

Wild Canaries - Reviews
An engaged couple are living in an apartment building when their elderly neighbor dies. The lady, Barri, thinks she was murdered and investigates with the help of her friend, Jean, and eventually her fiancée, Noah. The film's reviews are excellent, but it is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are not good. Wild Canaries opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City and expands next weekend to Los Angeles and Seattle. Check out the official site for more details.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Maps to the Stars, Everly, ’71, Bluebird, Farewell to Hollywood, Eastern Boys, The Salvation, My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Wild Canaries, Zhong Kui fu mo: Xue yao mo ling, The Hunting Ground, David Cronenberg, Salma Hayek, Olivier Rabourdin, Alia Shawkat, Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine, Henry Corra, Reggie Nicholson, Kirill Emelyanov