Limited Releases: Rocket, Man.

The Rocket poster

It's a relatively busy week for new releases, but sadly, almost none of them are earning overall positive reviews. Banshee Chapter is one exception, but it is the wrong genre for limited release. On the other hand, The Rocket is earning the best reviews and it is the kind of film that can thrive in limited release. Perhaps it can be an early year success story.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box - Reviews
A family-friendly adventure film opening in limited release. These rarely work out. This one has a much better cast than most, but so far there are zero positive reviews. The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box opens tonight in more than 80 theaters, which is way too many for a limited release.

Banshee Chapter - Reviews
A man learns of a military experiment with a powerful mind-altering drug, and tries it. He then disappears. His friend, Katia Winter, begins to investigate his disappearance. The reviews for this horror film are amazing, but it is a horror film opening in limited release. It is also playing on Video on Demand and comes out on DVD in less than a month. I think its theatrical run was an afterthought.

Cold Comes the Night - Reviews
Alice Eve stars as a single mother who might lose her daughter, Ursula Parker, as she might be taken into foster care, if she can't provide a safer living environment. She operates a run down motel, which tends to attract the wrong type of people. One of those people is murdered, but the real trouble begins after the cops leave and a man, Bryan Cranston, demands to know where the briefcase the victim had is. It contained a lot of money and if Alice Eve can't get it back, he will kill her daughter. It's a good setup, but the reviews are mixed. A lot of critics are praising the acting, but they are also saying the script has too many twists to sustain itself. Cold Comes the Night opens tonight in select theaters and on Video on Demand.

Divorce Corp. - Reviews
A documentary about divorce, specifically the people who profit from long and contentious divorces. It is an interesting subject matter, but the overall reviews are mixed with a lot of critics complaining it doesn't have enough statistics or balance to be effective. Divorce Corp. opens tonight in about three-dozen theaters nationwide. Check the official site for more details.

Dumbbells - Reviews
A struggling gym tries to stay afloat by being the subject of a reality TV show. This is the wrong genre for limited release and the reviews are terrible. I think the film opens tonight in Los Angeles and / or Las Vegas, but there are very few details online.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo - Reviews
Unless you are a fan of this series, it is really hard to explain what is happening. I think the easiest way to describe it would be to call it Pacific Rim but with giant aliens instead of Kaiju. Also, some of the humans want the aliens to win. This is the third of four planned films and fans of Anime will want to check it out. I don't think it is a good entry point into the genre. Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo opened tonight in too many theaters to count. It's not literally too many to count, but given the tiny font size on the official site, it's too hard for me to read.

If You Build It - Reviews
A documentary about a school in a poor rural district in North Carolina where two teachers, Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller, teach a group of students how to design and build a building from scratch. The reviews are good, but not great. On the other hand, most films opening this week are not even earning good reviews, so the competition isn't very strong. If You Build It opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Raze - Reviews
Zoe Bell stars as a woman kidnapped by a rich cabal of men. They have kidnapped 50 women and force them to fight to the death, or they will kill their families. The reviews are mixed with a lot of critics complaining it is a gruesome exploitation flick, while other critics admit that, but compliment the film for telling a story beyond that and commentating on violence against women as entertainment. Raze opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City, as well as Video on Demand nationwide.

The Rocket - Reviews
This was Australia's official entrant for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but it wasn't nominated. Currently it is sitting at 100% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, so that might have been a mistake. It is about a boy, Ahlo, who is thought to be cursed and the cause of a number of tragedies, including the death of his mother during childbirth. He and his father have to leave the village and he tries to prove he isn't cursed. The Rocket opens tonight in two theaters in New York City, while it has plans to expand over the coming weeks and months.

The Truth About Emanuel - Reviews
Kaya Scodelario stars as the titular Emanuel, a girl whose mother died during childbirth. Her new neighbor, Linda, looks a lot like her dead mother. When she's asked to babysit Linda's newborn child, Emanuel finds herself in a in a strange world. The two leads are earning praise for their performances, but the overall reviews are weak. The Truth About Emanuel opens tonight in theaters, but has been playing on Video on Demand since November.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-10