Limited Releases: Shelter From the Storm

Gimme Shelter poster

There are a number of releases on this week's list that are worth checking out. This includes Gloria, the official Oscar selection from Chile; Stranger by the Lake, an erotic thriller with a gay protagonist; and Our Man in Tehran, a Canadian documentary that tells the story of what happened in Argo. There are also some less serious films that I think I will like more than the average critic: 3 Night Stand and Knights of Badassdom. On the other hand, the widest release is Gimme Shelter, which might do well if it can tap into the churchgoing demographic; however, it could also miss the Mendoza Line.

3 Night Stand - Reviews
Sam Huntington of Being Human and Meaghan Rath, also of Being Human, play a married couple who take a winter vacation in a mountain chalet. However, this chalet is run by the ex-girlfriend of the husband, Emmanuelle Chriqui. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment, which would normally be a really bad sign, as it would show a lack of buzz. However, this is a Canadian movie, so having one review is actually better than average. Also, that one review is positive. 3 Night Stand opens on Saturday at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, Canada.

24 Exposures - Reviews
An erotic thriller about a photographer who photographs half-naked women posed if they were dead. Then one of his models ends up dead. And then another. The film's reviews are only mixed, which is usually fatal for a limited release. 24 Exposures opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City and on video on demand.

Enemies Closer - Reviews
A Jean-Claude Van Damme movie that is earning good reviews. Granted, the reviews are not good enough to think it will thrive in limited release, but it is nice to see him in a movie critics are enjoying. Here he plays the bad guy, while Tom Everett Scott plays a forest ranger (and former Navy SEAL) who is forced by a gang, led by Van Damme, to find a drug shipment that was lost in the forest near the Canada / U.S. border. Enemies Closer opens tonight, but I'm not sure where, because there doesn't appear to be an English-language official site.

Gimme Shelter - Reviews
This film is the widest limited release of the week, but it is also one of the worst reviewed. Vanessa Hudgens is earning praise for her performance, but the writing and directing is being eviscerated by the critics. Gimme Shelter opens tonight in more than 300 theaters nationwide.

Gloria - Reviews
Chile's official selection for the Oscars this year, but it wasn't nominated. Given its reviews, that might have been a mistake. Paulina Garcia gives an amazing performance as an older woman who tries to get back into the dating scene. Gloria opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the third in Los Angeles.

Knights of Badassdom - Reviews
Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I want to see the most. The film focuses on a group of LARPers (live action role-players) who drag their friend out to an event, to help him get over a bad relationship. However, during the session, one of them accidentally summons a real demon. Granted, the reviews are not good so far, but this is the type of film I tend to love. Knights of Badassdom opened on Tuesday on TUGG and expands to Los Angeles on Friday.

Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America - Reviews
A documentary about Mercedes Sosa, a Latin American folk singer who had a massive impact on the region. Sadly, the reviews are not very good with critics complaining the film is too generous with the praise and too stingy with information. If you don't know a lot about the singer, you won't learn it here. Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Mourning Has Broken - No Reviews
After the sudden death of his wife, Robert Nolan tries to continue his life, but he gets increasingly frustrated by all the little events that make life annoying. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but this is a Canadian movie, so this is not a surprise. However, I found several reviews online and most were really positive. It is a black comedy / satire, so its target audience is a little more limited, but hopefully it will find an audience. Mourning Has Broken opens tonight at The Royal in Toronto, Canada.

Our Man in Tehran - Reviews
If you liked Argo but thought they shouldn't have ignored the role the Canadian ambassador played in the rescue, than this documentary is for you. There are five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and all of them are positive. Our Man in Tehran opens tonight at the VanCity Theatre in Vancouver, Canada.

Run and Jump - Reviews
Maxine Peak plays Vanetia, a housewife whose life is turned upside down after her husband has a stroke and this results in his personality changing. An American doctor comes to stay with them to observe the recovery, since it is such an unusual medical case, which further complicates her life. The film's reviews are nearly unanimously positive. Run and Jump opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

Stranger by the Lake - Reviews
A French film about a gay man who goes cruising at a summer lake only to fall in love. ... Then someone is murdered. It's an erotic thriller with a gay angle and it is also a foreign language film. It's a niche market of a niche market. On the other hand, it currently has 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so perhaps it will find an audience in limited release. Stranger by the Lake opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles next week.

Visitors - Reviews
An experimental documentary that looks at how people are effected by technology. There's no dialogue, for instance. Films like this are made for critics, but not the average moviegoer. However, this film's reviews are below the overall positive levels. Visitors opens tonight in New York City and also in Montreal, Quebec.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-24