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Limited and VOD Releases: Limited Releases Need Some Animal Magnetism

November 18th, 2016

Girls und Panzer The FILM

There are few films on this week’s list, but most of them are earning good reviews. Two of them, Manchester by the Sea and Nocturnal Animals, are also earning Oscar buzz and I wouldn’t be surprised of both did very well on the per theater average chart. On the other hand, I’m interested in seeing Girls und Panzer The FILM.

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened - Reviews
A documentary looking at Merrily We Roll Along, a Broadway musical that had an amazing pedigree, but still earned critical scorn and closed after just 16 performances. The film looks at the cast and crew and what they were like then and what has happened to them since. The reviews are great and fans of Broadway musicals might get a kick out of seeing a flop from this perspective.

Blood on the Mountain - Reviews
A documentary about West Virginia and how the coal workers there are exploited for corporate profit. The film only has five reviews, but all of them are positive. It needs to be seen by a lot of people, but I fear the people who would benefit the most would be the least persuaded, as we now live in a post-factual political world.

Daughters of the Dust - Reviews
A 25th anniversary re-release of the first feature-length film directed by an African-American woman to be given a theatrical release in the United States. It’s only be 25 years since that happened? The film is about an African-American family living in St. Simons Island, Georgia who have to consider staying true to their unique heritage or moving north. The film’s reviews are amazing and if you can’t get a chance to see it in theaters, there should be a new DVD / Blu-ray coming out soon. The old DVD has been out of print for a long time.

Girls und Panzer The FILM - No Reviews
A group of high school students won the high school tank battle games in order to save their school, but the government decided to scrap it anyway. Now they have to go against a much better prepared University team in order to protect their school and if they lose, they have to give up their tanks forever. ... You know what, this isn’t the weirdest premise for an Anime I’ve seen. In fact, there’s an Anime where the girls are guns. I’m going to see if I can get a screener when it comes out on the home market. In the meantime, check out the official site for dates and places you can see it in theaters.

Hunter Gatherer - Reviews
Andre Royo plays a man just getting out of prison. He is optimistic that he will be able to move on with his life, but his optimism isn’t warranted. The film’s reviews are over 90% positive, but there are bigger films coming out this week and I fear this one will be lost in the crowd.

I Am Not Madame Bovary - Reviews
A Chinese couple divorce so they can get a second apartment, one that is reserved for single people. The husband remarries, which was part of the plan, but he doesn’t marry the woman they agreed to, so the wife sues only for the husband to accuse her of not being a virgin on their wedding night. ... Is that really still an issue? She loses her case, but continues to bring it before more courts higher up the chain. The reviews are excellent and Chinese films are waiting for a breakout hit here to match their domination of their home market.

Manchester by the Sea - Reviews
Casey Affleck plays a man who returns to his small town for the funeral of his brother. While there, he learns his brother wanted him to be the guardian of his teenage son. The film’s reviews are nearly perfect and Casey Affleck is a favorite to earn an Oscar nomination for his performance here. Meanwhile, it is expected to earn more money at the box office than a few of the wide releases that came out / are coming out this month.

Nocturnal Animals - Reviews
Amy Adams is a woman whose second marriage is falling apart when she receives a manuscript from her first husband, Edward Sheffield. As she reads the manuscript, the movie flashes back to her real life, as well as imaging of the events in the story. However, the audience is left wondering how much of this story is actually based on their real marriage. There was talk this film would be an Awards Season contender, but its reviews are only 72% positive. That would be fine if it were opening wide, but this could kill its chances in limited release.

Notes on Blindness - Reviews
A documentary about John Hull, a man who went blind in 1983 and documented what that was like. His memories were hailed by none other than Oliver Sacks, whose writings on neurological matters have been turned into three movies, so he knows a lot about how to turn medical information into an engaging read. The film’s reviews are excellent and it could find an audience in limited release. It likely won’t expand significantly, on the other hand. Documentaries rarely do.

A Street-Cat Named Bob - Reviews
Luke Treadaway plays a recovering addict who is homeless. He struggles to turn his life around until a street cat enters his life. The reviews are very good, but this doesn’t feel like a limited release. If it were a wide release with a major studio behind it, it could be a midlevel hit. As it is, it will likely struggle to find an audience in limited release.

The Take - Reviews
Video on Demand
Idris Elba plays a pickpocket living in Paris. However, when he steals the wrong bag, he gets sucked into the world of international terrorism. The reviews are mixed and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are next to zero. That said, spending $5 to rent it on VOD isn’t a bad idea.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Life on the Line - Reviews - Video on Demand
Officer Downe - Reviews - Video on Demand
Only two secondary VOD releases this week. Of the two, Officer Downe looks like it could be a fun B-movie experience, while Life on the Line still hasn’t earned its first positive review.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Life on the Line, Manchester by the Sea, Officer Downe, Nocturnal Animals, A Street Cat Named Bob, Bastille Day, Notes on Blindness, Girls und Panzer The FILM, Daughters of the Dust, I Am not Madame Bovary, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, Blood on the Mountain, Hunter Gatherer, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Fan Bingbing, Idris Elba, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andre Royo, Luke Treadaway, John Hull