Mother of All Limited Releases

There are only a handful of limited releases this week, and only one of those is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. That film is Mother, which is the latest from South Korean director, Joon-ho Bong. It could also be the most promising film in terms of box office chances.

The Exploding Girl - Reviews
Zoe Kazan is an up-and-coming actress who in a few years should be huge. Here she stars as a young girl home from college whose relationship with her boyfriend could be in trouble when her friend stays at her place over Spring Break when he can't find another place to stay. The reviews are good but I'm not sure they are good enough for a limited release. The Exploding Girl opened tonight at the Sunshine Theaters in New York City and is set to expand over the coming weeks.

Mother - Reviews
The latest from Joon-ho Bong, who previously wrote and directed The Host. This movie is about a mother raising her mentally challenged son. He is wrongfully convicted of murdering a young girl. She is then determined to discover the truth, no matter what. The film is earning the best reviews of the week, and with the success of his previous film, the director might have enough fans here to help the film thrive. That said, it is always tough for limited releases. Also, while Mother opens tonight in five theaters, it is also playing on Video On Demand, which will further erode its box office chances.

Stolen, a.k.a. Stolen Lives - Reviews
The directorial debut of Anders Anderson. Given the film's reviews, the fact that it is a directorial debut might be the most intriguing aspect of the film. It stars Jon Hamm as a detective dealing with the disappearance of his ten-year old son who is also investigating the discovery of the mummified remains of another boy. As I've said numerous times, limited releases live and die by their reviews, so they need a better Tomatometer score than wide releases. For a limited release to open with zero positive reviews is devastating. Stolen opens tonight at the Clearview Chelsea in New York City.

Suicide Girls Must Die! - No Reviews
Part Reality TV, part Horror. The film is an unscripted Teenage Slasher featuring a dozen models from the Suicide Girls site who are off in the woods shooting their new calendar. When the photoshoot is over, models start to disappear and soon the remaining girls are wondering if there is a killer among them. I doubt it is going to be a critical darling or a box office success, but it could do well when it hits the home market.

Tales from the Script - Reviews
A documentary about screenwriters. I've said for a long time that the script is the single most important factor in determining the quality of a movie, so this could be a very interesting documentary. However, the reviews are merely mixed with some critics complaining that it's too inside baseball. On the other hand, a lot of critics are saying that if you want to be a screenwriter, this is a must see. How big of a target audience is that? Tales from the Script opens tonight Quad Cinema in New York City and it expands to Los Angeles next weekend.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2010-03-12