Limited Releases: Stoked for Limited Releases

It is a busy week with a dozen films on this week's list. However, most of them are earning reviews that are decidedly mixed. There are a couple great films, including War Witch. There are some earning a lot of buzz, even if their reviews are only good or mixed. Of these, Stoker appears to have the best box office potential.

Charlie Zone - Reviews
An ex-fighter and ex-con is asked by a family to rescue their daughter, who was kidnapped and is being held in a crack house. It's a Canadian film opening north of the border, but there are a couple reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not always the case for Canadian releases. Also, both reviews are positive. Hopefully this is a good sign and it is able to expand wider. Charlie Zone opens tonight in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The Condemned - Reviews
A suspense film from Puerto Rico. We don't get to talk about a lot of movies from there, but unfortunately this one is earning zero positive reviews so far. Most critics are complaining that it is too tame to be a horror film and too dull to be a mystery. The Condemned opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Day of the Falcon - Reviews
I believe this film was made in 2009 and was originally planned for a 2010 release. That didn't work out. It had its premiere in 2011, but it is only now getting a theatrical release. Why did it take so long? Just one look at the reviews explains that. 9% positive reviews would be terrible for the least demanding action film. It will likely prove fatal for this film. Day of the Falcon opens tonight in ten theaters, but that's likely as far as it will go.

The End of Love - Buy from Amazon
Written, directed, and starring Mark Webber. He plays an aspiring actor who suddenly has to grow up after the mother of his two-year old son dies and suddenly he has a lot more responsibilities. The reviews are only mixed, which is a really bad sign for a limited release. The End of Love opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City and the Sundance Cinema in West Hollywood.

A Fierce Green Fire - Reviews
A documentary about the environmental movement, which has been going on for decades. The reviews are only mixed, and this is a subject that has been tackled in documentaries over and over again. A Fierce Green Fire opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Hava Nagila: The Movie - Reviews
A documentary about "Hava Nagila", which is arguably one of the most famous songs ever created. The reviews are very good, and given the popularity of the song, it might find an audience in limited release. Hava Nagila: The Movie opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.

Leviathan - Reviews
A documentary about the commercial fishing industry in the North Atlantic. The film's reviews are good, but not great. Some critics love the visuals, but others think there's not enough of a narrative to carry the full film. Leviathan opens tonight at the IFC Film Center in New York City.

A Place at the Table - Buy from Amazon: Reviews
A documentary about "food insecurity" in the United States, which is a fancy way of saying not being able to afford enough food. Due to backwards subsidies, those who are the most poor also tend to be the most overweight, because unhealthy food tends to be the cheapest. The reviews are excellent, but it is opening in 30 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release, and in Video on Demand, so its box office chances are weak.

Stoker - Reviews
The English-language debut for Korean director Chan-wook Park. The film's reviews are good, but not great. However, it is earning better buzz than most limited releases, while the director does have some name recognition, especially amount art house crowds. This could translate into a sizable box office before finding a bigger audience on the home market. Stoker opens tonight in seven theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Toronto.

The Sweeney - Reviews
Based on a 1970s British cop show. The film's reviews are barely above 50%, which is terrible for a limited release, plus it is the wrong genre for limited release. I don't think it will find an audience in theaters, but it should perform better on the home market. The Sweeney opens tonight in ten theaters in select cities.

War Witch - Reviews
A Canadian movie about a 14-year old girl kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier. The film's reviews are incredible and it even had some major nominations during Awards Season. Hopefully this translates into box office numbers. War Witch opens tonight in two theaters, the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-03-01