Limited Releases: Best Week Ever?

Best Night Ever poster

It's a rather busy week for limited releases, but not a good week. There are a couple of films that are earning overwhelmingly good reviews, 12 O'Clock Boys and Tim's Vermeer, but there are more films earning terrible reviews. The limited release I'm most interested in are the 2014 Oscar Shorts. This year they are split into four films (live action, animated, and two for the documentaries) and should easily be the biggest limited release of the weekend. The total combined reviews are 30 positive and only 4 negative.

12 O'Clock Boys - Reviews
A documentary about the 12 O'Clock Boys, a group of BMX bikers who perform dangerous stunts in public, and Pug, a 13-year old boy who wants to join them. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend, but it is already playing on Video on Demand, so that will hurt its box office chances. 12 O'Clock Boys opened on Thursday in Miami and it expands tonight into nearly two-dozen more theaters. Check the official site for details.

At Middleton - Reviews
Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia play two parents who are taking their respective kids to a college tour. However, they leave the group and talk about their memories of college. The reviews are mixed with some critics praising the performances of the two leads, but other saying this isn't enough to mitigate the cliché-ridden script. At Middleton opens tonight in 18 theaters in the AMC Theatres chain.

Best Night Ever - Reviews
From the directing team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who so far have specialized in terrible fake parody movies. This is their first "original" film, but its reviews are even worse than their career average. Best Night Ever opens tonight in one theater in Vancouver, Washington, while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

Brightest Star - Reviews
Chris Lowell plays an unnamed character who is dumped by his girlfriend right after he graduates from college. Instead of moving on, he tries to become the man of her dreams. The film's reviews are awful, worse than the two wide releases that came out this week. That's too bad, as there are a number of cast members that I really like. Brightest Star opens tonight in more than a dozen theaters, check out the official site for details, while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

California Scheming - Reviews
Gia Mantegna stars as Chloe, the new girl in town who becomes the center of the lives of three teenagers and gets them involved in a life of drugs and petty crimes. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests a fatal lack of buzz surrounding the film. Also, that one review is negative. Finally, California Scheming debuts tonight in theaters and on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are further hampered.

Charlie Victor Romeo - Reviews
A documentary based on a 1999 play that looks at airplane emergencies and how the pilot and co-pilot react. The play and the film uses real black box recordings and has actors reenact what happened. The last few reviews have been positive, which has bumped the film's Tomatometer Score above 80% positive, so it has a shot at finding an audience. On the other hand, it is a documentary, so its chances of expanding significantly are very limited. Charlie Victor Romeo opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City and expands to the Downtown Independent Cinema in Los Angeles tonight.

Love is in the Air - Reviews
Ludivine Sagnier plays a woman flying from New York to Paris to get married. It's a long flight, and even worse, she seated beside Nicolas Bedos, the man who broke her heart three years earlier. The film's reviews are good even great compared to the average romantic comedy, but I'm not sure it will thrive in limited release. Love is in the Air opens tonight in six theaters, including some in New York City and Los Angeles.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls - Reviews
A Canadian film set in a fictional First Nations reserve. Devery Jacobs stars as a 15-year old girl who sells weed for her uncle and is at the mercy of the sadistic Popper, who runs the local school. There are three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is more than most Canadian films have, and all three of them are positive. Rhymes for Young Ghouls opens tonight at the Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas in Toronto, Canada.

Somewhere Slow - Reviews
Jessalyn Gilsig stars as Anna Thompson, who gets caught up in a convenience store robbery and decides to leave her old life behind. The film's Tomatometer Score is 60% positive, which would be good for a wide release, but limited releases tend to need much better reviews to thrive. Somewhere Slow opens tonight in eight theaters in eight cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and others. Check the Facebook page for details.

Tim's Vermeer - Reviews
A documentary about Tim Jenison's quest to discover the secrets of Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch artist in the 1600s whose paintings have been described as photo-realistic. The film's reviews are overwhelmingly positive> Those looking to see an award-worthy movie and but have seen all of the Oscar-nominated films already will likely want to see this one. Tim's Vermeer opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

The Wait - Reviews
Two sisters are grieving over their recently deceased mother when they receive a phone call from a psychic telling them their mother will be resurrected. A lot of sources have it opening today, but we already have box office numbers from its debut in Philadelphia earlier this month. Check out the official site to see where it is playing now.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-31