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Limited and VOD Releases: Say Hello to Limited Release

March 11th, 2016

Hello, My Name is Doris

There are quite a few limited releases on this week's list that are earning excellent reviews and / or substantial buzz. This includes Hello, My Name is Doris, which I really hope does well. Boom Bust Boom, City of Gold, Eye in the Sky, and Marguerite are all worth checking out in theaters. Most of the rest are worth a rental on VOD.

Backtrack - Reviews
Video on Demand
A psychiatrist discovers all of his patients are ghosts. This isn't the worst setup for a movie I've seen, but the reviews suggest the execution was flawed, to be polite. If you like the cast and think the film sounds interesting, even then I think renting it on VOD is asking too much.

Boom Bust Boom - Reviews
A documentary by Terry Jones, who is best know here as part of Monty Python, but he's done a lot of historical TV shows in the U.K., so this isn't that unusual. The reviews are excellent and releasing a political documentary in an election year could be a wise move. Or people could be sick of the election already and not want to see a political movie. Boom Bust Boom opens tonight in New York City, with a VOD release on Tuesday. It is certainly worth checking out.

City of Gold - Reviews
A documentary about Johathan Gold, a food critic living in Los Angeles. The film focuses on the huge diversity of ethnic food in Los Angeles. The reviews are excellent and it could do well in limited release, at least for a documentary. It looks very interesting to watch, just make sure you have a reservation at a restaurant for after the movie is over. City of Gold opens tonight in four theaters split evenly between New York City and the Los Angeles area, with a planned expansion next week. Check out the official site for more details.

Creative Control - Reviews
A look at a near-future New York City where an advertising executive, Benjamin Dickinson, creates an augmented reality avatar of his girlfriend, Nora Zehetner, and begins to fall in love with the avatar more than he loves the real woman. The reviews are mostly positive, but usually that's not good enough for a limited release. You can pre-order it on VOD, on the other hand.

Eye in the Sky - Reviews
This feels like Oscar-bait, but it is opening way too early in the year. It stars Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman, among others, and it focuses on the drone strike program, making it very relevant. The reviews are also stunning and it is one of two movies opening in limited release this week that could find at least some measure of mainstream success. Eye in the Sky opens tonight in five theaters, three in New York City and the other two in Los Angeles.

Hello, My Name is Doris - Reviews
Sally Field is getting a lot of praise for her performance in this movie, so much so that I think it has a solid shot at earning at least some measure of mainstream success. Hello, My Name is Doris opens tonight in four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, with a planned expansion next week. This could be the winner on the theater average chart. It is more of a feel-good film, while serious dramas tend to do better in limited release. That's my only real concern.

Hyena Road - Reviews
Video on Demand
A film about the Afghanistan war that is earning mostly good reviews and is playing on VOD. Its box office chances are close to zero, but renting it on VOD makes sense.

The Legend of Barney Thomson - Reviews
Video on Demand
Robert Carlyle directs and stars in this film as an unassuming man who accidentally becomes a serial killer. The reviews are mixed and it failed to make much of an impact in its native U.K. Furthermore, it is playing on VOD here, so its box office chances are even weaker.

Marguerite - Reviews
This movie is inspired by the real life events of Florence Foster Jenkins, who was a lover of opera, but lacked the talent to sing. She didn't let that stop her from singing. This film focuses on a very similar woman, played by Catherine Frot, as the titular Marguerite. The reviews are excellent, but foreign-language films rarely have breakout success.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Hyena Road, Backtrack, Eye in the Sky, Hello, My Name is Doris, City of Gold, Barney Thompson, Marguerite, Creative Control, Boom Bust Boom, Monty Python, Alan Rickman, Sally Field, Adrien Brody, Robert Carlyle, Catherine Frot, Terry Jones, Helen Mirren, Nora Zehetner, Johathan Gold, Benjamin Dickinson